Tuesday, September 01, 2009

2009 Tjorn Runt race

The video of the 2009 Tjorn Runt race has made the rounds on the Internet, which shows a treacherous stretch of the route readily causing destruction.

Apparently, the Tjörn Runt is an annual long distance sailing competition that takes place in Sweden around the island of Tjörn. The race has been held on the third Saturday of August every year since 1964. About 1,000 sailing boats sail the 28 nautical miles around Tjörn each year. The start takes place under Tjörnbron and the race proceeds clockwise around the island, with the finishing line at Skåpesundsbron.

Is this how you want to spend your weekend?

After watching the video, I contacted Swedish match race champion Bjorn Hansen about the race. Here was his reply:

Hi Craig:

I have seen the video and there is a big discussion going on here in Sweden whether or not the insurance should cover these kind of "accidents".

On Tjorn Runt there is a number of short cuts you can save distance on IF YOU KNOW THEM. The thing is that when crews see local sailors take a short cut, they tend to follow without being 100% sure about the "passing lane". Some people think that there should be certain restricted areas but others think that the possibilities for short cuts is part of the race. Just to clarify, you don’t have to pass thru the narrow straits to sail the course, but sometimes you can save a few boat lengths.

Best Regards


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At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Guy Nowell said...

In Hong Kong, the SIs issued by the yacht clubs forbid boats to pass through certain small gaps. The penalty is disqualification. Maybe the organisers of the Tjorn Runt should consider something similar? Guy Nowell, Editor, Sail-World.com/Asia

At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Mats said...

Being Swedish myself and used to sailing in narrow archipelagos, my spontaneos reaction is: Why on earth do they go in there going at high speeds with spinnaker up? If I wasn't, as Björn says, 100% sure I knew the water, I wouldnt go close to a narrow gap like that. It does not take sailing instructions to avoid these incidents, it takes seamanship and common sense.



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