Bill Barton is a clinical Psychologist and expert in biofeedback who practices in San Francisco. He is also a demon for sailing. Life on the water began for him at age four, riding below-decks on his father’s 33-foot International One Design, Aries. The sounds of a boat slicing through water just inches from his ears, the groans of winches loading and unloading, the slapping of sails and the mix of salt air, cigarette smoke, sweat and competitive tension etched their way into his soul.
A native New Yorker, Barton grew up with four brothers, two older, two younger, all of whom loved to sail and were fortunate to live close to the waters of Western Long Island Sound. He was a champion junior sailor in Blue Jays and Lightnings and became a successful collegiate racer for Hamilton College as well as captain of the basketball and lacrosse teams.
Bill transplanted to California after college, looking for adventure in sailing and purpose in life. Soon he had it all—a new career in mental health and invitations to race in the great regattas around the world. He brings to each and every yacht his passion for competition, a drive to sail a boat as well as she can be sailed. Bill learned ocean racing during a colorful era of modern sailing and became a regular on the legendary San Francisco yachts Improbable and imp, serving as a trimmer and helmsman, also as tactician with an uncanny knack for reading the wind. In his first book, Bill captures the highs and lows and characters of an incredible decade, 1971-1981, and the connections and magic that led to the legendary imp and her unparalleled success.
Bill races today at the top of his sport in the 30-foot International Etchells. He has competed in 15 Etchells World Championships, finishing nine times in the top ten. He has won the North Americans twice and competed in two Soling Olympic trials. He lives in the small surfing town of Bolinas, California with his supportive wife and two sons who all love to sail.
Life and death can draw a fine line on the ocean, and the author chronicles how he has used up eight of his nine sailing lives already. So he's hoping for more than nine.