Background to article in Classic Boat oct 2002
Allan Förberg and Martin Carlsson
THE SQUARE METER CUP IN SWEDEN.
One the oldest and most legendary sailracing prizes in
Sweden is the ” Square Meter Cup” invented in 1910, first for the Sq. M 30
class. But since 1933 22 Square Meters are competing for the trophy, also
Swedish Championships in A22. 22 Sq. meters are designed according to the Sq.
Meter rule. The rule was updated in 1935 when a higher freeboard was demanded.
Today in 2002 the ”Square Meter Cup”
is the only design class in Sweden with championship status. 20-30 boats and
crews compete the first week of July every summer with one common dream: to
get the inscription on the cup!
This is a race for young racing wooden
boat freaks, as well as old legends that don’t leave the tradition. Bengt
Helgesson holds the record with 37 years on the starting line, and his 335
Marina is a mint condition racer, designed in 1964 by Harry Becker. But last
years the K-H Reimers design has dominated the class, even with competition
from modern plastic 22 Sq. meters. In 2002 years race at lake Ekoln, all
podium positions where taken by Reimers designs from 1943, 1958 and 1961.
First glass-fibre design came seventh…
2002 winner Henrik Lindman (328 Tatjana) got his third inscription on the home
waters at lake Ekoln, and has now won the cup forever. His name will be in the
history books among just a few other skippers who has won the cup three times.
Most famous was Lasse Thörn, Olympic gold medallist in Melbourne 1956, who
started his sailing career by winning the Skerrie Cruisers Cup 1941 and
1945-48. A new price will be put up next year by ESK Yacht Club
”Toughest competition ever” said Henrik Lindman after the 2002 race. ”In
top four it was close to match racing in almost every race!”. Lindman and
crew Per Gidfors and J-O Sandberg made it after a successful series of 3-1-2-2-1-3-2-1….
”But no way I quit racing 22 Sq. meters being satisfied” continues Henrik.
”There is no faster and more beautiful sailing boat on the market, so I will
be back again next year, and the year after that and….”
Some say the A22 is the ”fastest keelboat related to
sailing area” and the class is still developing. Two new plastic boats have
been built in 2002 after a mould of K-H Reimers design 360 Silver. Also a
brand new mahogany boat was put into water this summer. 180 boats have
designed totally since 1925. Approximately 100 are still in Sweden, the rest
of the fleet in Finland, Norway, Germany, Holland and the US.
& Martin Carlsson
The rule has been a great challenge since 1925 for the designers. But no one
has managed to beat K-H Reimers designs from the 40´s, 50`s and 60`s which
still is the benchmark with more inscriptions than anyone else in the Square
Meter Cup history.