A Majestic Battle Against The Sea


In 1973, Glen Dexter, Andreas Josenhans and Sandy MacMillan decided to pool their financial resources and purchase a boat to race in the soling class, the most competitive fleet in the world of sailing. Soling is probably the most difficult of all sailing classes as the small boats require great athletic ability, coordination, skill and luck.  Little did these men know they were launching an effort that would see them sail into world championship waters.

The trio had little sailing experience but a strong competitive nature showed up in  MacMillan, who felt that with the right crew they could be a championship team. They knew who did what the best on the boat and trusted each one to do his job right. Dexter looked after the steering, Josenhans did the trimming of the sails and MacMillan flew the spinnaker. The threesome won their first race in 1974 winning the Maritime championship and won the national title in 1975. In 1976 they won the Olympic trials giving them the right to represent Canada at the games in Montreal where they finished eighth overall. In doing so they achieved something no other Nova Scotians had ever done. No sailors from the province had made it so far in Olympic competition.

While disappointed with their Olympic result, it however set the stage for 1977 and their world soling championship off the coast of Norway. “It was a dream of a lifetime”, stated MacMillan at the time. It was described by the crew as “a majestic battle against the sea and fierce competition.” To win against sixty eight other crews from sixteen nations was no easy task. According to Dexter, “We knew we had it won as soon as we crossed the finish line” bringing home Nova Scotia’s first ever world sailing championship.