We are checking out the doublehanded community
A number of years ago, double-handed (DH) was a class more for adventurers than for sailors. Of course, preparation, perseverance and above all seamanship were put to the test, but us who sailed full-crew probably thought that that was only for enthusiasts. We were so wrong.
Today, the DH class is booming and growing rapidly in popularity and number. Of course, the fact that may be an Olympic class 2024 in Paris has contributed to that, but also a number of other factors. We have been in contact with some of the leading figures in the DH community in Stockholm to try to understand the charm of DH sailing.
If you want to keep up with what is up with DH sailing, I can warmly recommend the Facebook group "No-crew". The total competence in that group is fantastic and although not everything is about DH sailing, you can get lots of great tips by reading the threads. Although I have a decent grasp of which people I should probably talk to, I posted a question in the said group so that the community themselves could nominate people to talk to. I got more suggestions than I could handle, so I had to choose some people/teams that I talked a little closer with. These were Team Mobline (Nadine Kugel, Pär Lindforss and Odd Lindqvist), Amazigh (Andreas Hamrin), Emely Hagen and of course Jimmy Hellberg.
I asked these very competent and hopefully representative DH sailors what makes DH sailing so popular? The overall picture I got was that in solo sailing or DH sailing you have to be very knowledgeable in all different aspects on the boat to succeed. If you omit details both below and above deck, you can potentially put yourself in dangerous situations that you cannot solve yourself. Furthermore, it is of course much easier to plan to sail 2 persons than 6-10.
Here follows a brief presentation of the teams:
Team Mobline sails an Albin Nova and was initiated in 2016 to Seapilot2star by Nadine Kugel, Odd Lindqvist and Pär Lindforss to inspire more girls & women to sail short-handed. Nadine and Pär have solid experience of both full-crew sailing and DH sailing both nationally and internationally. They have also both worked as sailmakers and Pär sews the sails for the boat in their own loft. Team Mobline is without a doubt one of the best mixed DH crews in Sweden at the moment.
Behind the project with this interesting name is Andreas Hamrin, who most people may recognize from his rampage in the First 40.7 Blueprint. Now Andreas wants to refine the DH concept and has therefore exchanged the First for another Beneteau boat, namely a Figaro 2. The boat is being antifouled at a shipyard in France while Andreas has already launched Blueprint which he sails with, among others, Linnea Floser and Louise Lindqvist (who you recognize from match racing sailing).
Emely sailed DH last season with Andreas Hamrin on Blueprint. Even though Emely started sailing relatively late, she has managed to do a lot in a short time. Emely has recently been in France looking for a boat. Rumor has it that she has also found a Figaro 2. We will have many reasons to return to Emely's coming venture.
Jimmy has been a short-handed sailor since the early 2000s when he bought his first boat and is a considered the old man in the DH community. Many of us have seen Jimmy sail his 38-footer Pacman in which he has won Gotland Runt. This year he has worked on a new exciting project by constructing large parts on a new boat, Z30 +, which he hopes to have time to sail some races together with super-experienced Anna Drougge. However, Jimmy is involved in some other major sailing teams, which is why Martin Angsell from North Sails will step in instead of Jimmy in some races, Martin is indeed a very competent SH sailor.
During the 2021 season, we will try to follow the DH sailing mainly towards and during Gotland Runt, but also afterwards. We have several very skilled crews who seek to begin international campaigns. We wish these 4 teams and all other DH crews good luck and will return with an update later.