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It's a somewhat crazy story, but an irresistible one,
because first and foremost, it involves a group of men
bound in friendship. . .

It is the story of a shared passion,
driven by the love of art and culture that I want to relate.

Here is the saga of the Runas . . .




that tells the story in great detail of the only ten yachts designed by an amazing Danish yachtsman. Gerhard Rønne (1879-1955) was an architect of buildings by profession, but loved offshore sailing and occasionally designed a yacht. He was a passionate advocate of wildlife and nature as well as being member and one of the main movers of the Royal Danish Yacht Club.


Yves Carcelle fell to the charms of Gerhard's creations.
He acquired two of them, the yawl, Runa IV (1918) and the cutter Runa VI (1927).

He had both magnificently restored by the Chantier du Guip in Brest, France.



Yves immediately sensed that there was a fascinating story hiding behind these two yachts that needed to be retraced, and this, well before Runa IV was relaunched in 2011. He confided the mission to Jacques Taglang, who dedicated himself to an in depth inquiry over the following four years.

The Runa Saga faithfully relates this history in a journey taking the reader on a sea voyage through the Baltic Sea and across the North Sea to the English Channel, passing by San Francisco Bay and along the misty coasts of Mystic and Rhode Island before surfing along the Viking routes and the Portuguese shoreline, finishing the cruise in the blue waters of the Mediterranean.

We discover these charming small yachts through the words of the men and women who have sailed aboard the Runas, whether humble everyday sailors or those of more noble standing, including an ex-commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron, the son of a prestigious French pastry chef, a top Portuguese financier.

The most surprising fact is that Gerhard Rønne designed a total of only ten yachts

Five of these boats are still sailing today, including the oldest, Runa (1910), which has become the flagship of the Danish Museum of Yachting in Svendborg

Yves Carcelle's dream was to reunite all these yachts on the water. Two of the other five still exist, but are in a very bad state, requiring serious works to find their original condition.

There are several indications that the last three can be found again. A big challenge that one day soon may well become reality.


These "little" boats have never been the subject of such a profoundly developed research programme.



Gerhard Rønne was the friend of Knud Degn (1880-1965), gold medallist at the Le Havre (France) Olympic Games of 1924 and of the marine painter Sigurd Kielland-Brandt (1886-1964)

He baptised his own boats Runa (he designed 6 for himself), explaining the choice thus: "It's a name I found within myself. It indicates 'rune' - a little mystical. I am also aware that it has a nice sound to it".



The restoration of Runa IV and Runa VI at the Chantier du Guip www.chantierduguip.com

It would be hard to imagine a more appropriate place than the Chantier du Guip in Brest to assure the renaissance of Runa IV and Runa VI

The Guip is one of those rare niches full of enthusiastic men with their rich maritime culture, led by the enlightened Yann Mauffret to achieve excellence in all they do. 






The magicians of the Guip reanimated the two Runas of Yves Carcelle...

Confronted with his Runa VI after her return to the water, Yves confided: "I am trembling and impatient, like a kid with a new toy that I have been waiting for for a long while."




The 31st August 2014 Yves left this world.

Although he read its manuscript, he wasn't able to see the finished book...

Yves received confirmation of his condition in June 2013: he was suffering from a rare form of cancer that left no escape route (the orphan disease of the Bellini duct carcinoma). He managed, however, to continue his activities, including direction of this book The Runa Saga, in full lucidity and determination till his final days.





a book by Jacques Taglang, translated by Nigel Pert
Publication date: 04/12/2014

publisher: Runa Sailing
printed in France by: imp Chirat

Square format: 29.7/29.7cm
396 pages / 10 fold-out drawings / Glossy paper
Weight: 3kg

Pictures by Nigel Pert et Michel Le Coz
Maps by François Chevalier
Contributions: Lene Hansen, Dominique Gabirault, Torben Ethelfeld
Layout: Marie Miagkoff – Translation: Nigel Pert – Copyediting : Christopher Curioli

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