Saléns

Three generations of enterprise

Navigare necesse est

Navigare necesse est

“One is only this happy knowing that one has done a good job. One does not have to win trophies to feel such satisfaction. If the fight has been hard and one has sailed a boat well, then everything is as it should be,” wrote Sven Salén in reference to the Gold Cup race in Hankö, Norway, a few years later in 1933. He was a true competitor but also a lover of the outdoors and seems to have found in sailing a way to combine nature experience with excitement.

You might wonder how a successful and thus busy industrialist could devote so much time to a hobby. The weeks, even months, that Sven was out of the office would, in today’s pitiless world of commerce, have skewed daily routines deeply. 

“Dad had time for lots of things without stressing,” remembers son Sven Hampus.

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The winning crew in the Gold Cup race on Oyster Bay at Long Island, 1927. From left: Bertil Carlsson, Sven Salén, Sture Lindgren and Tore Holm.

Today’s tabloids would have called it a sensation

Sven Salén and constant companion, singer Evert Taube, aboard Bolero in the 1950s.
“The battle won, May Be pulled away from Noreg and reached the finish line one minute ahead. On the day, Merenneito was not in the race”, wrote Sven Salén. The press also gave the Gold Cup race minute-by-minute coverage. Sven Salén at the tiller of May Be.
Bolero at sea in the storm-whipped Bermuda Race – 635 nautical miles of open sea. The boat made an average of ten knots in storm winds of 25–30 metres/second.
Brothers Sven Hampus and Christer Salén took over after their father Sven and led the group in new directions. Outside of work, however, they liked to apply Sven’s philosophy; make sure to spend time on other things. Both have been keen sailors their whole life through, Sven Hampus also chaired the Royal Swedish Yacht Club between 1982 and 1988. Christer held the same position in the Gothenburg equivalent GKSS between 1975 and 1980.
Two sailing generations – Sven Salén together with his son Sven Hampus in the early 1940s.