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New book release: 'Sira - One boat, two kings' by Mikkel Thommessen

by Robert Deaves 3 Feb 15:48 GMT

The Norwegian 8 Metre Sira was built in 1938 to win the Kattegat Cup. She did that a total of six times - three of them with King Olav at the helm. King Harald took over Sira in 2006 and actively sailed the boat until 2022.

'Sira - One boat, two kings' is the story of Sira. Lavishly illustrated with photos of Sira from many of the world's top yachting photographers and written by the esteemed Norwegian yachting journalist, Mikkel Thommesson, this highly elegant book tells the story of the history of the boat and most of the races with the two kings at the helm.

The English edition of 'Sira - One boat, two kings' has been published following the successful launch of the Norwegian edition, with the first print run sold out in short measure. During the last few years, Thommessen carried out interviews and research on Sira, and many of those involved in her sailing and preservation, including King Harald.

She is perhaps one of the most famous of Norwegian yachts and has a long history of racing and regatta wins. Sira was built to win the Kattegat trophy, a trophy that was transferred to the 8 Metre class in 1907. This was achieved in the very first season in 1938 with the designer and builder Johan Anker himself at the helm.

After the Second World War, Sira was a frequent visitor to Hankø. When the boat was not sailing in regattas, King Olav used Sira for sailing trips with friends. In 1983, the 8 Metre World Championship was held on Hankø, and Sira participated with King Olav as skipper.

King Harald took over Sira after King Olav's death in 1991. The Marine Museum in Horten then became responsible for the 8-metre vessel.

King Olav sailed Sira in the Færder Race in 1949, 1950 and 1951, and won all three times. In 2012 and 2013, King Harald was also the skipper of Sira during the Færder Race. Due to official duties, the King did not have time to start in the class for classic wooden yachts, which had the first start, and therefore had to sail under LYS. But it was a victory, 64 years after the boat's first victory in the Færder Race.

Everyone involved in sailing in Norway knows Mikkel Thommessen. He is still as active on the race course as well as a columnist for Seilmagasinet, Norway's leading yachting magazine. Through an active life as a sailor and journalist, Thommessen has contributed to making sailors and the sport of sailing known.

He said, "In my opinion, Sira is one of Norway's most beautiful sailboats, which also represents an important part of Norwegian pleasure boating and sailboat history."

The English edition of 'Sira - One boat, two kings' is available to order, price £39.99.

Format: 216 x 280, 104 pages, hardback.
ISBN: 978-1-912724-27-7
Cost: £39.99
104 pages, 160 photos

Order details are here

Sample pages below:

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