Pehrsson was known internationally as the owner of two former Midnight Suns, both of which were Admiral's Cup contenders for Sweden. His first boat was in 1978, a 42ft Ron Holland-design that won the Runt Gotland Race and scored wins in the SORC and Two Ton Cup. The next Midnight Sun was another Holland design, a bigger 50 footer, built in aluminium in Huisman's in Holland.
|Hull profile and internal arrangement of maxi yacht Midnight Sun|
|Midnight Sun on launching day|
Construction of the 79.5ft yacht began at Baltic Yachts in Finland in November 1981, with a foam sandwich layup using aircraft-grade balsa, providing greater flexibility in weight distribution. The deck was built in S-glass over carbon fibre beams. The yacht weighed in at 75,000lb, the lightest maxi in the world at that time (although with the addition of ballast she measured with exactly the same displacement as Jim Kilroy's Kialoa IV). The mast and hydraulics were by Stearn Sailing Systems, sails were by Hoods and a titanium rudder was supplied by Solimar of Italy.
Her initial campaigning was to involve the Runt Gotland Race before the Maxi Cup in Sardinia and the Mediterranean Sea Race in 1982, and followed by the 1983 SORC, before returning to England for the Fastnet Race and the Maxi World Championships.
|Helisara (left), Midnight Sun and Condor|
|On delivery to the 1983 SORC|
|Midnight Sun (above and below) sailing upwind during the 1983 SORC|
Kialoa IV may have had an edge overall but upwind, even in the light, Midnight Sun had an advantage. This was confirmed in a maxi series held in light-airs in Nassau soon after the SORC when Midnight Sun, still not properly optimised, sailed through the fleet on the windward legs and won both races.
It was felt that if she was to be raced as hard and as often as Kialoa IV, and if Pehrsson could match Kilroy's determination, both boats could produce superb competition in following seasons. However, although Midnight Sun went on to sail in a couple of regattas in Europe, where she performed very well inshore, she quietly disappeared from the international ocean racing scene. It is understood that she is now a fully fitted luxury charter yacht.