There were a number of Swedish sailors in the United States prior to 1944, but no one had made an effort to bring them together. Lars Eklund, a Swede then living in New York and a member of The Royal Swedish Yacht Club/Kungliga Svenska Segel Sällskapet (KSSS), suggested to Count Pehr Sparre, another Swede in New York, that they establish a KSSS station in North America.
Eklund returned to Sweden the following year and was unable to participate in the actual formation of the station he envisaged, but his connections and those of Count Sparre in Sweden and America were key in the founding of the North American Station (NAS), as it came to be called when it became official in 1945. Initially there were about a dozen members.
The Station’s purpose then was the same as it is now: “To encourage the art of building, rigging and handling small vessels and interest in seamanship and naval architecture, particularly in connection with the promotion of close ties between North American and Scandinavian yachtsmen.” It is was never intended for the NAS to have a large membership, but rather a small and dedicated membership dedicated to those ideals. The NAS welcomes both American and like-minded Scandinavian members committed to the club’s objectives.
The membership of North American Station has remained steady for decades at about 250.
NAS Mission Statement
The objects of this Station are to encourage the art of building, rigging, and handling small vessels and interest in seamanship and naval architecture, particularly in connection with the promotion of close ties between North American and Scandinavian yachtsmen. In order to do so, the Station will not seek a large membership, but especially welcome as members those distinguished by their activities in racing, cruising, and naval architecture and those who have sailed or are preparing to sail in Scandinavian waters, or who have special interest in Scandinavian yachting.
The North American Station was started in 1945 as a station of Kungliga Svenska Segel Sällskapet (KSSS, the Royal Swedish Yacht Club) by Count Pehr Sparre in New York City with about a dozen members. In 1964 the station expanded to become the North American Station of the Royal Scandinavian Yacht Clubs and Nyländska Jaktklubben, representing Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub (KDY, the Royal Danish Yacht Club), Kongelig Norsk Seilforening (KNS, the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club), and Nyländska Jaktklubben (NJK), in addition to KSSS. In 1977 Göteborgs Kungliga Segelsällskap (GKSS, the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club) requested that NAS also become their station in America, bringing the total of Home Clubs to ﬁve. Kungliga Svenska Segel Sällskapet (KSSS).
KSSS was founded in Stockholm in 1830 under the name of Svenska Segel Sällskapet (the Swedish Sailing Club), making it one of the oldest yacht clubs in the world. In 1878 it received royal status and the current name, Kungliga Svenska Segel Sällskapet (the Royal Swedish Yacht Club). The current membership of KSSS totals about 5,000.
Originally named Dansk Forening for Lystsejlads (the Danish Association for Pleasure Sailing), the Club was founded in 1866 after a regatta in Nyborg (Funen). In connection with the 25-year jubilee in 1891, King Christian IX granted the Club his permission to use the name Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub (Royal Danish Yacht Club). Today, KDY has about 2,000 members, of which many live in the provinces or abroad. The club has harbors and clubhouses in and near Copenhagen in Langelinie, Rungsted, Skovshoved, and Tuborg. Tuborg was the site of the famous brewery and has a new marina with a clubhouse inaugurated by Queen Margrethe II in 2007.
The Club, originally Norsk Seilforening for Lystseilads, was organized by a meeting of 25 men on February 7th, 1883, in Oslo, Norway and was a central association for the whole country. On September 24th, 1903, the name was changed to Kongelig Norsk Seilforening (KNS, or Royal Norwegian Yacht Club). KNS now has more than 4,000 members.
NJK was formed in 1861 in Helsinki when Finland was called the Grand Duchy of Finland, part of Russia, via a constitution approved by Czar Alexander II. One member leased the island of Blekholmen to the club for a nominal fee, and that is where the current clubhouse, a pavilion, has sat since 1900. It displays the largest collection of half models in the Nordic countries. To commemorate Independence in 1917, NJK donated “The Gold Cup,” which has achieved international recognition in the 6 m and 5.5 m classes. NJK has approximately 2,700 members.
GKSS was established in 1860 as the Gothenburg Sailing Club and received the Kungliga (Royal) appellation in 1890 from King Oscar II, who summered on Marstrand. Currently having a membership of about 2,700, GKSS is one of the largest sports organizations in Sweden and has its own harbor and clubhouse at Långedrag, just outside Gothenburg, as well as an oﬀshore sailing center on Marstrand. It sponsored the Swedish challenger SVERIGE for the America’s Cup in 1977 and 1980 and celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 2010.
Annual Meeting & Christmas Dinner
The Annual Meeting is the first Friday of December at the New York Yacht Club and is held in conjunction with a black-tie Gala.
Spring Meeting and Clambake
The Spring meeting and Clambake is held around the first of June in Stamford, CT.
Starting in 1983 organized cruises have taken place in Scandinavia and since then there have been 15. Cruises are held every 3 years. The next cruise will be held in the United States, beginning and ending in Newport RI, in 2022.
The Atlantic Round (TAR)
Since 1993 this annual regatta is held in America every third year and in the off years at one of the Scandinavian clubs. This event was named The Atlantic Round (“TAR”) in honor of the original 1978 event.
Seminars & Special Events
Periodically NAS hosts speakers of interest, Safety at Sea classes, cultural events, etc. of interest to the membership
NAS sponsors two programs for juniors: The Junior Exchange program is for teens from Scandinavia to visit America with our members and American teens to visit with sailing families in Scandinavia. A Five Club Regatta for Juniors is held every third year in Newport RI and hosted by one of the Scandinavian clubs in the intervening years.