Tore Holm

Sweden, (1897-19777).

The young Tore grew up on his father’s boatyard in Gamleby, a village on the Swedish east coast. He diligently obtained an engineer’s degree from KTH in Stockholm, and learned to design, build and sail yachts under the stern supervision of his father Knut. Much later, he was to take over the yard and run it in his name, Ab Tore Holm Yachtvarv, which still stands for rakish lines and quality boats. Tore Holm made his debut as a designer in his own name in 1919, in the Swedish skerry cruiser class.

In 1920, Tore and his brother Yngve won the gold medal in Antwerp with “Sif, a 40m2 yacht of his design. Sensing the international market, Tore concentrated on designing and sailing metre yachts. After taking a string of daily firsts in the able on Danish waters. His designs to the Finnish low-Genoa Regatta in 1928 with his sixes “Lilian” and “Västanfläkt”, the Holm yard was deluged by orders from all over the world. His most famous Sixes are “Bissbi” ready to publish his designs, for the bernefit of the sport. (1929), twice winner of the One Ton Cup, ” Fågel Blâ” (1937) and “May Be VI”, 6-metre Gold Cup winner in 1949. flamboyant Estlander, Mr. Kyntzell received an increasing After the introduction of the 5 metre rule in 1936, he de- number of design commissions for international Metre signed a large number of these affordable yachts for Nor- yachts. His 6-metre design “Inga-Lill XXVI” participated dic clients. Tore Holm designed a total of 13 eight-metres in the 1927-1945 period.

As the Holm yard was known for its high standards of materials and workmanship, many of these yachts are still sailing today. At the World Cup in Helsinki, we have the pleasure to see “Wanda” (1937, Coppa d’ltalia winner 1946), “Allegro” (ex-Atair, 1939), “lderim” (1939) and the replica “Birgit” (newly built, from plans dated 1945). Earlier eights include “Sylvia” (1927) and “Elsinore” (1930).

Tore Holm was a legendary sportsman, according to any standard. His two gold medals, one silver medal and three bronze medals still tops the all-time Swedish list of Olympic accomplishments. Tore was the trusted “hired gun” of the Swedish yachting magnates. The combination of their money and shipping lines, and Tore Holm’s sailing sill and construction experience, not to mention his time off from a summer-closed yard, created a formidable combination for hunting medals in foreign waters. He could be quite sarcastic, and is known to have described the World Championship in 6 metres as “a competition in lead transport”. After losing the gold medal in Cowes 1948 due toa rigging failure, the disappointed Tore gave away his bronze medal to a local 11-old souvenir collector. Scuttlebutt has it that Tore could amuse himself by deceiving nearby yachts. With a great show, he would prepare the spinnaker for hoisting. Once the copycat competitors had theirs hoisted, he would dismantle his gear and continue with a chuckle.