"Visbyseglingen" (The Visby Race), is the predecessor of the regatta Round Gotland Race / ÅF Offshore Race. The competition was organized by the Royal Swedish Yacht Club in the 1920s and 30s. Officially the first race around Gotland was organized in 1937.

In the summer of 1937 42 yachts from Sweden, Germany, Poland, Finland, Lithuania, England and the United States participated. The race went from Visby down to Öland due eastward around Hoburgen, counterclockwise around Gotland and Gotska Sandön to finish outside Visby. The race's smallest yacht "Mosca", was the winner under the KR-rule, although she came last across the finishline. Winner under the Bermuda-rule was Sven Salén in his "Havsörnen".

In the summer of 1939 it was time for the second Round Gotland-sailing. This time 51 yachts from Sweden and from neighboring countries around the Baltic Sea and from Norway started. The course was now a little longer and the start was outside Visby. After a rounding north of Öland, they sailed across the Baltic Sea, south of Hoburgen to Ovisi lightship in the Gulf of Riga. The finish was located off Sandhamn, which has since been the site of the finish. Sven Salén with Havsörnen II was the fastest boat but overall winners were two German yachts: Andromeda and Leuchtkäfer II.

From 1963, both the start and the finish were in Sandhamn. Today, the competition has become one of the largest in the world of ocean races. In 2011 and 2012 the Royal Swedish Yacht Club developed the concept and contest further when the start was moved to central Stockholm. In connection with this, the race changed its name to "ÅF Offshore Race, Stockholm - Round Gotland".


Responsible Editor KSSS-Publicerad 2016-04-27