WGBH Openvault

Under Sail; Reading the Wind


License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Under Sail
Reading the Wind
Program Number


Series Description

Broadcast in 1983 Batten down the hatches, because WGBH Boston is taking to the water with Under Sail, public television’s unprecedented ”how-to” series on the art of sailing. The eight-part series will take viewers from the very basics of the sport right through to the more advanced aspects, employing a range of vessels and experts along the way in on-the-water instruction. The series was shot primarily at the Longboat Key Club in Sarasota, Florida, with Caribbean side trips to St. Croix and Tortola.

The series host was Robbie Doyle, former US Olympic sailing team member and member of the 1977 America’s Cup winning team. Series regulars included Mr. Knot (Brion Toss), The Commodore (Warwick Tompkins), Harry the Loser (Tom O’Brien) and sailboard expert Kay Robberson.

Produced in association with Sail Magazine.

Series release date: 1983

Program Description

In this program, host and audience put together all of the elements learned to this point in order to actually “sail a course.” Host Robbie Doyle takes us to a point across the by, where viewers are expected to react to changes in wind direction with the proper changes in sail shape, at the same time that we’re watching for other traffic and keeping the boat upright. Viewers are let in on a few new maneuvers and take another edifying lesson in know know-how from Mr. Knot.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Harney, Greg (Series Producer)
Piens (Series Producer)
Chicago: “Under Sail; Reading the Wind,” 04/21/1983, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 23, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_EE6BE68A62D4474499F9A773CFA65DCB.
MLA: “Under Sail; Reading the Wind.” 04/21/1983. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 23, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_EE6BE68A62D4474499F9A773CFA65DCB>.
APA: Under Sail; Reading the Wind. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_EE6BE68A62D4474499F9A773CFA65DCB
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.