Last summer, 16 skippers set off from Charleston on a 27,000-mile ocean odysey around the world. Each one alone in a boat powered only by the wind.

Battling time, frigid cold, isolation and waves as tall as buildings, they've raced from South Carolina to South Africa, New Zealand and South America, experiencing adventures they never expected. A former Russian commando was forced to perform surgery on himself while his yacht crashed through the Atlantic. A world-famous female skipper found herself upside down in her boat in the frigid waters off Antarctica, while a wiry Italian braved furious seas to come to her rescue.

This month, a few of the original 16 will sail the final leg back to Charleston. One will be the victor. But all are heroes.

An award-winning team of Post and Courier writers and photographers has tracked these daring solo sailors, recording the triumphs and terrors of their trek in hundreds of interviews and vivid color photographs. This action-packed coverage has been compiled into a collectible, hardcover book titled Into the Wind.