Huge regatta was faster but smaller

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Oslo’s annual Færderseilasen (the Færder regatta) was a wet but fast affair over the weekend, with its 860 participating boats propelled by strong winds down the Oslo Fjord.

Boats lined up for last year's Færder regatta. This year it was pouring rain when the race began on Friday but winds were brisk. PHOTO: Views and News

Registration this year was much lower than in earlier years, when more than 1,000 boats have taken part. No one had a clear explanation for the downturn but former Olympic sailor Peer Moberg said interest in sailing goes in waves. He also blamed the late Easter, which cut short traditional training time in other regattas and led to several unusual holiday weekends extending into June and thus colliding with the regatta, still one of the world’s largest.

Not even King Harald sailed this year, and he’s been a fixture in the race with his Fram series of sailboats. His 88-year-old brother-in-law Erling Lorentzen, however, impressed everyone when his boat Saga was among the fastest and won in its class. Lorentzen, married to Princess Ragnhild, was the oldest sailor in this year’s race.

Lorentzen was among roughly 6,000 sailors who started in the race, which runs from Oslo’s inner harbor south to the Færder lighthouse off the island of Tjøme and then north again to the city of Horten. Regatta organizers reported that for the first time, all the boats arrived at the finish line with record-fast times.

Views and News staff