The Triton

News

Kilted captain is world champion in Highland games events

Clad in a black kilt, his long hair tied behind him, Capt. Petrus Sundevall stoops and struggles to balance what appears to be a towering telephone pole upright in the palms of his hands. The caber, a 21-foot log weighing 125 pounds, points straight to the sky. He maneuvers to keep it upright as he runs, then tosses and flips it end-over-end. As it lands on the ground, it  creates a straight line within an imaginary sundial, and the closer it points to the sun at 12 o’clock, the better.

The caber toss is just one of the events in which Sundevall competed at the 17th annual Scottish Masters Heavy Events World Championships held in Hafnarfjordur, Iceland, in late June. At 43, he is this year’s caber toss reigning world champion in the masters lightweight division (over age 40 and under 200 pounds).

It is an ancient sport with no similarity to his daily work world, Sundevall said.

“It’s a welcome relief from the yacht industry, where people want things done yesterday even though they just gave it to you today,” he said.

Sundevall also won his class in Braemar stone, an event in which competitors must throw a 22- to 24-pound stone as far as they can while standing still, feet planted firmly in place. He competed in eight events that required such maneuvers as swinging and tossing a 42-pound ball with three links of chain; throwing a “hammer” with a 4-foot handle and a 22-pound weight attached; and throwing a 42-pound weight straight up over a bar set at 12 feet, which is then raised higher and higher. With points totaled from all eight events, Sundevall won second place overall in the world championships.

A former engineer and captain, Sundevall has skippered yachts including the 121-foot Azimuth M/Y Andiamo and the 147-foot Trinity M/Y Tajin. He started Fine Line Marine Electric in Fort Lauderdale after he and wife Kimber, former chief stew of the 174-foot Delta M/Y Silver Shalis,  had a daughter nine years ago and decided to be a land-based family.

Sundevall said he was familiar with the competition as a youth, but got serious about trying it after he attended a Celtic festival in Fort Lauderdale about six years ago.

Highland Games

“I told Kimber, ‘Next year, I’ll do that,’” he said.

And he did. He competed as a beginner and won his class.

“It was fun. There were people from 25 to the geriatric, 60-plus crowd,” he said. “These people are all really different – they are really nice, happy and down-to-earth.”

Although competitors in Highland games are traditionally very large in size, Sundevall, who is 6 feet tall, competes in the lightweight class. By eating well and taking a break from his favorites — chocolate and ice cream — before competitions, he keeps his weight right at 199 pounds to stay in this class.

“This is for big, strong, fat people that want to compete,” Sundevall said with a laugh. “Plus, afterward, if you pull a muscle, the medicine is Scotch whiskey.”

Much of the Highland games are steeped in centuries of tradition and celebration of Scottish and Celtic culture, with costumes, bagpipes and dancing.

“Petrus competes in a solid black kilt with the Fine Line Marine Electric logo because he is not Scottish and has no clan kilt,” his wife said. “He is Swedish.”

A decathlete while growing up, Sundevall now trains with weights and yoga. Competition comes naturally, he said. “Sports are like a language – once you learn one, you can easily learn others.”

Sundevall said he looks forward to seeing competitors at next year’s competition in Stuttgart, Germany.

“They are so friendly and funny, it’s a real brotherly love and they always help,” he said. “It puts a big smile on my face.”

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments on this story are welcome at dorie@the-triton.com.

Related Posts...
Former yacht engineer Alexander Michael Hickey, who had recently seen Read more...
Season's Greeting to all our family and friends around the Read more...
From suitcoats to stockings, the crew on M/Y Chasseur, a Read more...
Chefs on Adiamo, Sarissa and Vigilant I take top honors Read more...

Share This Post

About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

View all posts by Dorie Cox →

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the question below to leave a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Editor’s Picks

Triton networks with Culinary Convenience

Triton networks with Culinary Convenience

A brisk South Florida evening was the perfect setting for outdoor Triton networking with Culinary Convenience on the third Wednesday in …

Refit18: Show focused on refits grows 28 percent

Refit18: Show focused on refits grows 28 percent

As yachts age and yacht owners personalize them, the refit industry continues to grow. The third annual Refit International Exhibition …

Hot trip on the Hudson highlights perils of procrastination

Hot trip on the Hudson highlights perils of procrastination

By Capt. Bruce Gregory I've made 40-plus offshore passages from 50 miles to 1,500 miles in boats from 8-foot dinghies to 80-foot tugs; …

Top Shelf: The Birth of Aki-Maki

Top Shelf: The Birth of Aki-Maki

Top Shelf: by Chef Tim MacDonald Many years ago on Huntress, I was taught about the theory of “POP”’ on a yacht. The owner …