Back in business

After a three year hiatus, Whitbread legend Ludde Ingvall returns to ocean racing
Back in the bad old days of the Whitbread Race, Finland was a significant player in the classic fully crewed round the world race. In the first event we covered in 1989-90 there were three Finnish boats competing, among them the giant maxi Union Bank of Finland - a sloop when the winning boats were ketches - skippered by one Ludde Ingvall. For more than a decade now Ingvall has been based in Sydney where given his ocean racing credentials he was a regular feature of the Boxing Day flight south to Hobart, claiming line honours in both 2000 and 2004. Unfortunately his last bid to compete in 2006 came to disaster when his former Nicorette, renamed Diabetes at the time, dismasted during training prior to the start. Since then it has been all quiet on the Western front. So why has Ludde been away? "There are a number of reasons as always," he told thedailysail. “I basically left because I needed to spend some time with my family. I realised, as you do when you live the lives we live, that I have three daughters and they are all growing up and sure enough they are all moving away. So I took a break to focus on what they want to do, which is all to do with horses and riding. So I built an equestrian centre on the north outskirts of Sydney and my middle daughter, Dominique, is hoping to make the London Olympics in eventing. So she is on the shortlist to ride for Finland, which is all good. “I also had a few issues to deal with. My father passed away, which I took quite hard. And my mum got cancer, had a stroke and then she’s gone deaf. And I had a couple of issues myself