Please select your home edition
Mackay Boats 728x90 TOP

The oldest video footage of Tornado catamarans racing

by Magnus Smith 12 May 04:00 PDT
A revealing picture of an early version of Icarus, when although the boat could foil, the speeds were scarcely any faster than that of a standard Tornado © Austin Farrar Collection / David Chivers

Our video archive is fully searchable, and linked to all the clubs and classes in our database. It is updated weekly with the latest videos of sailing, but here we delve into the past, and round-up everything that shows early racing in the Tornado class.

It could be said that the birthplace of the Tornado was during the IYRU A & B Catamaran Trials 1967 which we featured in an article a few weeks ago: Oldest videos of racing catamarans.

The next footage probably comes from the USA, judging by the letters on the sails. The title Tornado race 1970 gives no clue of location, but as the date is 4th December, perhaps this is somewhere southern?!

The 1980s

We move to colour recordings now! Tornado World Championship 1986 in Bermuda cannot be embedded here, so we have to direct you to watch all 46 minutes on Youtube in a new browser tab - - if you have the time. There are a few sailor interviews mixed in with the scenes on the water.

57 minutes from the Tornado World Championship 1989 in Trinity Bay, Houston has a wonderful description from the uploader: "How to win a World Title by 34 pts by Mitch Booth & John Forbes. Introducing the Wild Thing and 'that mainsail' to the sailing world for the first time ever!" There are interviews with Reg White, Goran Marstrom, Giorgio Zuccoli and Pease Glaser.
Watch on Youtube:

The 1990s

From 1992 we have the Worlds at Jervoise Bay SC with plenty of sailor interviews amongst the on-water footage.

This 23 minute video from the 1992 Olympic Games includes the Medal Ceremony and interviews. There are a few places where other Olympic classes are covered briefly, but mostly it is Tornados.

If you'd rather see the highlights from the above in just 1m54s then try the Tornado highlights from 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games on Youtube:

Four years later we have the Tornado World Championship 1996 at Mooloolaba (22m25s) with aerial footage and sailor interviews.
Watch on Youtube:

Still in the nineties this is a great promotional video from Brazil ahead of the Tornado World Championship 1998 which surely tempted a lot of people to consider if they could afford to travel out there.

We will end with a heart-warning story of the Papua New Guinea team sail for 4 days ahead of the Pre Olympics 1999. These two guys had previously sailed only local outrigger canoes, but they had a chance and they grabbed it!
Watch on Youtube:

What of the rest?

Do you know the location of any Tornado videos that show racing from the early years, or big fleet events? We would love to share these with other sailors. You can submit video links to us for immediate review.

Keep watching with:

Related Articles

Oldest videos of racing catamarans
We start in 1965, covering Hobie, Shearwater, Prindle and C Class, then the Worrell 1000 We delve into the past, and round-up all the videos which show racing catamarans, including Hobie cats, Shearwaters, Prindles and C Class, from the 1960s to the 90s. Plus some Worrell 1000 history. Posted on 7 Apr
UK Tornado Nationals 2023 at Minnis Bay
Unseasonably warm and fine weather for the end of September Minnis Bay Sailing Club hosted the 2023 Tornado Nationals in unseasonably warm and fine weather for the end of September. Seven Tornados rigged up on Saturday morning and waited for the wind to appear. Posted on 4 Oct 2023
Tornado Europeans at Achensee, Tyrol, Austria
A total of 25 sailors from 8 different nations came to compete for the title From July 18th to 22nd the European Championship in the boat class Tornado took place at the picturesque Achensee in Tyrol, Austria. Posted on 25 Aug 2023
Solent Forts Race 2023
Part of the Allen Endurance Series The Solent Forts Race is an annual long-distance event for catamarans and other high performance boats, run by Hayling Ferry Sailing Club from their base at the entrance to Langstone Harbour. Posted on 17 Jun 2023
Tornado Worlds at La Grande-Motte overall
Only one race possible on the final day Yesterday, Saturday September 3rd, two races were scheduled. Unfortunately, the wind conditions meant that only one race could be run before 3pm. As explained in the previous press release, no start could be made after this time. Posted on 4 Sep 2022
Tornado Worlds at La Grande-Motte day 4
Only one race was run Friday 09/2/2022, only one race was run today out of the 2 planned. Posted on 3 Sep 2022
Tornado Worlds at La Grande-Motte day 3
Two more races held at La Grande Motte Still under the direction of the President of the International Race Committee Paul Bastard, two more races on the program for the third day of the Tornado World Championships. Posted on 30 Aug 2022
Tornado Worlds at La Grande-Motte day 1
30 cats from 10 different nationalities taking part Since this Saturday, August 27, the YCGM is organizing the Tornado Worlds. This former Olympic Catamaran class is honoured this year in La Grande-Motte. About thirty boats are present at the club and among them, more than 10 different nationalities. Posted on 30 Aug 2022
The Forts Race 2022
Some competitors take the 'endurance' aspect a little too far Whitstable Yacht Club hosted the Forts Race Weekend over 28th and 29th May, after a Covid-enforced absence of two years, welcoming the top UK catamaran sailors back to the club for the iconic event, and kicking off this year's Allen Endurance Series. Posted on 31 May 2022
Tauranga crews dominate 2022 Tornado Nationals
Tauranga took its place as the home of the Tornado class, winning the top four overall Tauranga took its place as the home of the Tornado class in this country, with sailors from the Bay of Plenty taking the first four places at last month's Tornado national championships at the Howick Sailing Club. Posted on 13 Apr 2022
J Composites J/45North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTERArmstrong 728x90 - Performance Mast Range - BOTTOM