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Posted by on Aug 17, 2009 in Sailboat Racing, UK, US | 2 comments

Video: Fiberglass Sailboats Meet Immovable Objects

Sailors in Sweden's Tjorn Runt disprove the notion that watching grass grow is more exciting than a sailboat race.

Our friends at Blur Sailing and RegattaTV sent us these videos of the action at the finish of Tjorn Runt, an annual summer event that takes a large number of sailboats in close proximity to a great many very solid bits of the planet.

Tjorn Runt winner, the J/109 Blur. Photo by Bo Bergqvist

Tjorn Runt winner, the J/109 Blur. Photo by Bo Bergqvist

The first video, while very blurry, shows some boats having more success than others threading the needle through a narrow gap in the rocks. Although it may have been low tide, I suspect that this passage will no longer be recommended for boats with deep keels. One boat offers a technique that I don’t recommend for slowing down in order to drop the spinnaker. Another shows how to use its keel as a depth sounder on both sides of the channel in one passage. Another shows in rapid succession how to hit the rocks, get clear, and recover a crewman who has fallen overboard.

This video shows an exciting sequence in which a boat with spinnaker overtakes a larger vessel at precisely the wrong moment, and neither crew is likely happy with the result. This is followed by a close call that, more happily, shows disaster narrowly averted.

By the way, Blur Sailing blogger Peter Gustafsson won his racing class as well. Good job, Peter.

—John Burnham


  1. JB
    Hope you saw the IOD in the beginning of the second video.

  2. I didn’t notice it before but no question the white, black, and gray spinnaker is an Int’l One-Design. I think that’s a wood one too…glad it didn’t bump the rocks.