Photo credit: Gunilla Edfeldt
“I have often won and often lost. I am used to both“
His statement after the Olympic races in 1936, characterizes well Tore Holm’s personality: he was down-to-earth and unassuming, with a serious attitude to sailing.
Tore Holm (1896–1977) was a schoolboy, student, and a man, he became a husband, father, and a widow, but it was his career as a yacht designer, boatbuilder, and sailor that earned him a place in the annals of sailing history. Rising to fame in the turbulent world of the first half of the 20th century, he was at the front line when the sport of modern sailing developed and matured.
He was born in the Swedish coastal town of Gamleby. Imbued with sailboats in his father’s boatyard, young Tore soon became its in-house designer. He acquired a university-level education and quickly built a name for his fast sailboats. For two decades Tore was head of the boatyard, making Gamleby a household name for sailors around the world.
Sailing yachts of his own design he was, among numerous other international events, awarded five Olympic medals, more than any other Swedish sailor ever.
This extensive biography follows Tore’s path as he works his way up to the highest echelons of Swedish and international yacht design and competitive racing. When harder times fell on the traditional wooden boat builders, Tore adapted to a changing world without sacrificing his love in developing better boats.
The author’s approach to chronicling Tore Holm’s life should ensure the book appeals to a wide readership, be they sailor, boat builder, or simply those fascinated by sport in general and the human story itself.
Tore Holm’s legacy is manifested in the many designs that are still sailing and racing, as well as those built with his plans in the 21st century. His memory as a sailor encourages any current sportsman to play fair and never give up.