Eight Bells: Bengt-Olof Hult

Published on April 12th, 2021

The international judge and rules expert, Bengt-Olof Hult passed away March 10 at 98 years old. Bengt-O Hult was a colorful character, and with his in-depth knowledge and deep engagement, contributed to the development of Swedish and international sailing over many decades.

Numerous sailors, both international and national, came to know Bengt-O in the jury room and at rules seminars. He became one of the first Swedish international judges when the IYRU introduced the function in the early 80s. For more than 25 years, Bengt-O sat in many international juries during World and European championships, among them several World and European championships in the Optimist class.

He contributed many years to the work of the Swedish Sailing Federation Rules Committee and was a true expert on the rules. Bengt-O was an articulate and enjoyable person, and at the same time demonstrated a strong integrity. His long experience was also his strength as a judge.

“During the 90s, when I organized national and international championships he became my first choice judge,” said Anders Larzon, who has been working within the Swedish Sailing Federation since the 70s. “With Bengt-O as the jury chairman, it was easy to recruit the rest of the jury, no matter if it was national or international. Everyone liked B-O.”

Bengt-O’s great contribution to Swedish sailing was based on his broad experiences. He authored several books on sailing and racing such as Nautical Dictionary and Sailboat Racing. Over the years he translated the Racing Rules of Sailing and numerous books on sailing to Swedish. He authored columns on rules in nautical magazines, contributing to Swedish sailors’ knowledge of the rules.

Bengt-O himself raced offshore internationally and nationally, with an overall win in the Swedish Round Gotland race. He collaborated extensively with Paul Elvström, introduced Paul’s Trapez dinghy in Sweden and translated each edition of Elvström Explains the Racing Rules.

Bengt-Olof’s strong engagement to pass on his knowledge to others continued long after he stopped judging on the water. B-O taught rules seminars in Sweden and abroad, and became an appreciated judge at radio controlled race events.

Source: Swedish Sailing Federation

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