History of Stockholm Ice yacht Club
Icesailing in Stockholm area started with the Vikings – daring sailors known for their crusades in Europe and across the Atlantic Ocean. In wintertime they experimented with icesailingships. Iceboats were built and used mostly for transportation of goods and fishermen on the big lakes Mälaren and Hjälmaren. Iceyacht racing (as a sport) started around 1880 and some very large and fast sailing iceyachts were designed. A similar evolution is known from North America and the Baltic nations. A spectacular iceyacht regatta was held in Stockholm 1901 during the Nordic Athletic Games. This was also the founding of Stockholm Iceyacht Club one of the worlds oldest and most famous iceyacht clubs still active.
1900 -1935 The golden period
At the beginning of the century the iceyacht was the fastest man made vehicle that existed. Huge iceyachts with 20-55 m2 sail area, designed by reputable engineers were built. The best material available – often mahogany, Oregon-pine and other exotic wood was used. The fleet of iceyachts based at the lake Stora Värtan in Stockholm numbered more than 50 iceyachts. Crowds of spectators gathered on the ice at weekends to watch the big iceyachts race. Unfortunately some fatal accidents occurred and gave the sport bad publicity. A special safety zone was imposed by the police in which iceyachts were towed by cars between the depot in Germaniaviken and the racing area. The social life related to iceyacht sailing was impressive. Among founders and honorary members of the club were many famous persons. Most of them with relation to sailing and shipping.
1930 – 1939 The Baltic period
Estonian iceyacht designs had a great influence during this period. A new concept with smaller and faster yachts with new mastconstructions was introduced. The International Monotype-XV (15 m2) iceyacht dominated international regattas. Streemlined experimental iceyachts with wingmast brought icesailors to topspeed exceeding 200 km/h.Europäische Eissegel Union – EEU was very active.
1940-1965 The National period
The World War II prevented international regattas. The first Swedish Championships were sailed 1940. In Sweden a national Monotype-X (10 m2) iceyacht was constructed (1943) and was very popular in Stockholm Iceyacht Club. However very few bigger iceboats were built after 1960 and the interest for icesailing diminished.
1965 – 1985 The DN period
The DN-iceyacht designed in USA 1936 was introduced in Sweden 1965. This easy to build, easy to transport 7 m2 iceyacht meant a renaissance of the noble art of icesaling in Europe. International regattas with up to 200 DN participants are now performed annually in Europe and North America.
1985 – The new age
Stockholm Iceyacht Club has initiated a program to locate, restore and document old iceyachts built in Sweden. Intensive contacts with the Baltic Nations and Russia has resulted in the forming of The International Monotype-XV Ice Yacht Racing Association (IM-XVIYRA). This activity has re-established the prewar cooperation between iceyacht craftsmen and sailors around the Baltic Sea.
The First clubhouse was a very nice and comfortable boathouse. It was a gift from the wellknown member and ice sailor Carl Smitt. The house was anchored in wintertime close to the racingarea at lake Stora Värtan only 7 km from Stockholm. A lot of social activities was arranged during this period. Often the Royal family took part in the sailing and social life onboard. Many Royal guests from Europe were introduced to ice-boating. Prince Gustav Adolf was often sailing his own Iceyacht (Mavourneen) when he was visiting the club. He later became king Gustav VI Adolf.
The second clubhouse was also a boat. This boat was built to be used during the World War I. However it was never finished as a ship, and after the war the club rebuilt it for its purpose. In this ship the club had all it needed: Restaurant, Workshop, storingroom, sleepingrooms, open fire-place, telephone and central heating. For 30 years the club had one man living and working at the boat as steward, cook, guard, weather-man and mechanic. Three times a day the weather observations was very carefully written in the logg-book. During weekends the members was arriving for the sailings. The good restaurant served lunch and dinner for representation. During the World War II a British diplomat worked top-secret with the Swedish authorities and exchanged information. Often they had their lunces and dinners onboard Isabella. Prince Carl Bernadotte was a very active icesailor in the club. Prince Carl was also president in the club for a couple of years in the 1950’s.
Today the boat is used as restaurant located in front of the Royal Palace in Stockholm.
1992 – “Jaktslottet”
The third and new clubhouse is built on an island –Stora Skraggen– at Värtan. The building of this house was finished in 1994. This island is also situated very close to the racing-area. In this new house of 75 m2 area it will be room for sleeping and a big clubroom equipped with a kitchen and other nice facilities. The house is built only 25 meter from the ice.
The iceyacht classes in the club
Is -of course- the biggest and most active class today. The club has a numerous number of members who has won many important championship during the 25 years the DN-class has been in Sweden and the club. The DN arrived to Sweden in 1965.
Was brought to the club in 1935 of Gösta Gahlnbäck from Reval (Tallinn) in Estonia. The following years it was built ten XV’s in Sweden, but they were rather expensive with bronze-runners. European Championship was held six times in the 1930’s in Estonia and Latvia. The Word War II then stopped all international contacts. The class survived isolated in Sweden, Sovjetunion, Poland and Germany. 1991 was a big step. The club was invited to Estonia to take part in the Open Estonian Championship in the class. In 1992 a sister-organisation to IDNIYRA was established under the name: International Monotype-XV Ice Yacht Racing Association, (IM-XVIYRA). In 1993 European Championship was held in St. Petersburg in Russia. Twentyfour Monotype-XV’s from Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Sweden took part in these competitions. Last time it was 55 years ago.
was designed of Oscar Plym, a member of the club. This Iceyacht is very look-alike as the Monotype-XV however it’s a little smaller and more easy and cheap to amateur-build. Approximately 25 yacht’s was built 1943-1965. This was the most popular class in Sweden during 1940’s – 1960’s. Twelve of these yachts are still sailing.
Traditional stern-steerer, Ving-class etc. is also very active. However these 15-40 m2 big iceyacht have big problems with transportation. A 40 m2 ice-yacht has a weight of over a half ton.
The following table show estimations of all iceyachts in the club.
|Class||Established||Sailarea (m2)||Number of yachts|
|Stern steerer IV||» 1905||Max 15||9|
|Stern steerer III||» 1905||Max 20||4|
|Stern steerer II||» 1905||Max 25||3|
|Stern steerer I||» 1905||Over 25||2|
|Total approx 100|
The club was founded 10 February 1901 in Saltsjöbaden outside Stockholm. It has 160 members – most of them with long experience in iceyachtsailing. Some members are also dedicated “soft water sailors” with experience from Withbread-around-the-world-race, Americas Cup, SORC, Olympic sailing in 6-meter, Tornado, 470 etc. A number of gentlemen who were very active in the 1930’s – 1950’s are still members of the club. It’s amazing to follow their interest in what is happening in the club today.
President : Håkan Wersäll
Secretary : Ulf Torberger
Order of merit.
Swedish championsship won by members of Stockholms Iceyachtclub.
Year Swedish Champion Class
1996 Lars Lönegren/Ulf Torberger XV
1993 Gutta, Gross & Seweling DN-team
1993 Ulf Torberger XV
1992 Ulf Torberger XV
1990 Gunnar Johansson DN
1989 Thomas Gross DN
1984 Lars Engelbert DN
1982 Göran Tell DN
1981 Göran Tell DN
1980 Göran Tell DN
1974 Björn Arvidsson DN
1971 Hans Bergqvist DN
1970 Björn Arvidsson DN
1969 Robert Frodé DN
1968 Robert Frodé DN
1966 Sune Lind DN
1959 Lars Käll X Carl Sundin XV
1956 Folke Löfström X Stig Matton XV
1955 Robert Frodé X Curt Enqvist XV
1954 Folke Löfström X Robert Frodé XV
1953 Åke Karlström X Sten Åhrberg XV
1952 Åke Catoni X Tore Johansson XV
1950 Bertil Pettersson X Tore Johansson XV
1948 Bertil Pettersson X Tore Johansson XV
1947 Tore Billberg X Clarence Hammar XV
1943 Clarence Hammar XV
1940 Sten Scholander XV
XV=International Monotype-XV (15 m2)
X =National Monotype-X (10 m2)
DN=International Detroit News (7 m2)