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Solveig

Vessel Number: HV000662
Date: 1950
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 10.97 m × 2.67 m × 1.68 m (36 ft × 8.75 ft × 5.5 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
SOLVEIG is a timber racing yacht built in Sydney NSW in 1950. It was designed and built by members of the famous Halvorsen family in Sydney at their yard Lars Halvorsen Sons, and represents their first offshore yacht where the design combined speed with safety. It was also Trygve Halvorsen’s first offshore racing yacht design. In 1954 SOLVEIG became the first Halvorsen yacht to win the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, and participated in many other ocean races helping establish the offshore racing career of both Trygve and Magnus.
DescriptionSOLVEIG is carvel planked in Oregon (Douglas fir), which was used in many other parts of the construction including the deck. The varnished cabin sides are teak, as is the trim. SOLVEIG was the first yacht that Trygve designed, his older brother Magnus had designed their previous yachts including PEER GYNT, which Trygve described as an ‘icebreaker’. PERR GYNT was a very heavy yacht and was influenced strongly by the robust, seaworthy designs of the famous Norwegian naval architect Colin Archer, and their experience from sailing the much lighter, inshore racing yacht SAGA offshore.

With SOLVEIG they decided to go for a lighter vessel than PERR GYNT, but retained the seaworthy double ended shape, and used a spade rudder as it gave them a vertical leading edge and balance to the rudder. They were not keen on the raked rudders as this type did not steer as well as a vertical rudder. It had a masthead sloop rig and was well fitted out. Trygve always maintained their philosophy was to design a good fast cruising yacht that could be raced as well, as this would give them a safe and fast yacht that they could still sail hard in rough conditions.

SOLVEIG raced in the 1950 Sydney to Hobart race and finished 5th on handicap and after this event crossed the Tasman Sea to Auckland New Zealand to race in the 1951 Trans-Tasman race. The Halvorsens were impressed with its good speed downwind so they then took it over to Los Angeles USA to sail in the 1951 Transpac ocean race to Honolulu, a race known for consistent downwind sailing throughout each event. At one point SOLVEIG was 6th on handicap but did not take a place at the finish, as they experienced two days of unusual, adverse southerly conditions. In July 1951 it was offered for sale in Honolulu, but no sale eventuated and it was sailed back to Sydney by three crew leaving in mid-August.

In 1953 SOLVEIG participated in the ocean race to Noumea, New Caledonia but retired with mast head damage, a rare thing to happen to a Halvorsen yacht. In 1954 it had its major success winning the Sydney to Hobart race on handicap, and nearly winning outright as well as it led the fleet off the coast of Tasmania at one stage. After this race SOLVEIG was then sold to Tom Doyle in Honolulu in 1955, and later it raced once again in a Transpac event.
Les Vasconcellos, a diver from the 1950s recalled how he had sailed on SOLVEIG in 1957, when it was moored at the Waikiki Yacht Club. The owner was still Tom Doyle at that time, and while some of the subsequent owners are not recorded, it appears that SOLVEIG remained in the Hawaiian Islands from then onwards. In 2000 it was owned by Phil Gagorik, then Stephen Bitner, followed by Richard Cowan before the current owner took over SOLVEIG in 2007.
The current owner has given SOLVEIG an extensive refit in 2014, replacing the deck and refastening major fittings, and SOLVEIG is once again ready to cruise and sail offshore.

Vessel Details
Ballast:external
Ballast:lead
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel-short
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:spade rudder
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: CYC 54

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