A Snipe and the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix

A Snipe and the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix Image

by Per Gothlin

I got inspired by John D. Roses` story in a recent SnipeToday post where he told us about the Snipes appearing in Hitchcock´s movie “How to catch a thief” (movie starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant on the French Riviera).

Yeah, Mr Hitchcock apparently knew which sailboat was the hottest in Cannes, Monte Carlo, Beaulieu sur Mer and San Remo!

How hot the Snipe really was during those days is exemplified by this picture with the luxurious gold frame.

The picture is a souvenir from Arma di Taggia, an Italian resort east of San Remo, very close to Monte Carlo. How I found this old Snipe with the impressive frame at a simple flee market outside Stockholm, I don´t know. 

Anyway it´s a nice piece of work and it reminds me of all the regattas we attended at the Riviera in the 70`s and 80`s. For instance in 1979 when my brother Mats and I were driving through Europe in an old Volvo with the snipe on the roof. The destination was the South European Championship at the friendly little village Beaulieu sur Mer. 

After 3000 km we`re finally facing the city of Monte Carlo – a tax haven with white palaces, a golden casino, Grace Kelly and a jungle of narrow streets. 

Well inside the city we´re trying to find our way to the yachclub of Beaulieu sur Mer. It is not easy and all of a sudden we are quite alone on the street, no cars, no noice, no nothing. The only things we see are piles of rubber tyres and hay bales, big commercial signs like Castrol and Dunlop on housewalls. Flagpoles in a row. Black sliding tracks in the asphalt. 

We realise we accidently have slipped into the racecourse of the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix event. Apparently the South European Snipe Championship and the Formula 1 race are taking place at the same time. (The race is famous for running through the winding streets of Monte Carlo.)

But there are no public along the course so perhaps the race will be tomorrow, we gather. “But think if some guys are out training. ”We have to get out of this place!”

I beg brother Mats to step on it but it is not easy with 400 pound on the roof.

And Mats isn´t a Ryan Goslin, the professional escapedriver in the movie Drive (even if our surname Gothlin has some resemblance to Goslin).

After a minute or so a hurried car mechanic in yellow dress direct us out of this labyrinth into an ordinary street with ordinary cars.

The strange meeting between a red hot Mac Laren and a green plump Volvo Amazon-64 with a boat on the roof is never taking place.

A little scary it was, but cool too!


Besides the snipeweek we had a good time getting starstruck at The Film Festival at nearby Cannes. Watching Jack Lemmon, Sally Fields, Polanski, Coppola on the Croisette  nice!

Per Gothlin, Stockholm Sweden

Beaulieu sur Mer

Snipe Regattas in Monaco

Monaco 1979 Formula 1 Grand Prix


1 comment

John Rose
02/04/2022 -

A fun story of Snipe sailors experience from the past. There must be more memories from over the years "back then." I seem to recall one scene in the movie "On Golden Pond" where a Snipe was anchored offshore from where the filming took place.

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