There are lots of adjectives to describe the weather. Possible candidates for this include rainy, wet, sunny, clear, bright, humid, dry, arid, frigid, foggy, windy, stormy, breezy, windless, calm, still and so on …. Today was a 50% day – a day when we could justifiably use around half these adjectives for the weather. The day started well. The first entry in the log is sunny, wind NE 1-2 – a good start and for a while this was the pattern though the force 1-2 meant that for the first hour we were motorsailing. But the wind increased a little and we managed to sail for a couple of hours. Then it gradually closed in and the adjectives we started using switched to things like humid and overcast. From there it was all downhill to rainy and wet. In full waterproofs we weaved our way through north of Landsort and turned north towards Nynäshamn. Just short of Nynäshamn it did stop and we eventually moored on the visitors berth there at 1400 after a trip of 26 miles.
Nynäshamn is a big guest harbour and the main ferry port on this coast. Sitting in our berth drinking tea and watching ferries we could dream of heading to Lithuania, Gotland, Finland, the Åland Islands and even Gdansk. Our dreams though were more food-related so we headed into town to stock up and passing an ice-cream shop proved impossible to resist, so we stocked up on that as well – one of the best yet, though we probably say that every time and then just keep checking the next one in case it is better! Nynäshamn itself is a nice town that started developing significantly following the building of a railway line to Stockholm in 1901. The town rapidly developed a reputaton as a spa town and with the easy connection to Stockholm the town developed quickly. The building of an oil refinery in 1928 by Axel Ax:son Johnson & Co created further jobs and opportunities. The refinery is still there though now operates under the company name Nynas. The flare from burning off excess fuel makes a useful reference point coming in from the north. The more attarctive entrance from the south takes you past Nynäs Havsbad- the old spa hotel which has now been updated and refurbished. A double room is a bargain at just £150 per night in case you wanted to know ….
A little known fact about Nynäshamn (well I didn’t know it) is that it was an Olympic venue. Sweden hosted the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm and two towns were in the running to host the sailing. One was Nynäshamn and the other was Göteborg (pronounced yer-ter-bory but we know it as Gothenburg). The good burgers of Gothenburg argued that it would be much closer for competitors to get to them, while the Nynäshamn side argued that they were closer to Stockholm – they won the argument and were the venue for the 1912 sailing event which took place in July that year. Four classes were sailed at that time – the 6 metre, the 8 metre, the 10 metre and the 12 metre. The formula for these classes had been agreed at a meeting in Paris in 1907 and delegates from this went on to form the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU).
The countries taking part in this regatta were Sweden (not surprisingly), the Russian Empire, Norway, Finland, France and Denmark – nearly an all-Baltic affair with the French muscling in on it. The strongest country were Norway who won gold in the 8 and 12 metre, while Sweden won the 10 metre and France the 6 metre. While the event was theoretically gender-neutral, theory did not match reality and it was a men-only event!