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Notorious and Aida Dominate in Light Airs on Day One of Xacobeo Six Metre European Championship 2021

Xacobeo 6mR Europeans 2021 organizado por el Real Club Náutico de Sanxenxo. ©SailingShots by María Muiña Photography

14 September 2021 – Sanxenxo, Spain – The opening day of the Xacobea Six Metre European Championship 2021 in Sanxenxo, Spain featured two tricky light airs races for the thirty-one competing teams from eleven nations. Racing for the Open and Classic Divisions was run in a light and at times shifty north westerly that gave the tacticians plenty to think about, kept the trimmers busy changing gears and put the mark layers through their paces.

In the Open Division it was to be a Swedish affair with Claes Henningsson’s SWE114 Notorious winning both races from Richard Göransson’s SWE137 Filippa, putting them into first and second overall respectively. Third place in the opener went to Rainer Muller’s SUI111 Thisbe, and they followed up with a fifth to end the day third overall. Patrick Monteiro De Barros and the POR4 Seljm crew had looked good in the early stages of race one, but then got the wrong side of a big shift and had to fight for a seventh place. They came back with a third in the second race to put them in fourth overall, three points ahead of Hugo Stenbeck’s SUI132 Sophie Racing.

It was a similar story in the Classic Division where Francisco Botas and Juan Carols Escotet’s GER59 Aida took victory in both races from Finland’s Ossie Paija in FIN80 Astrée III. K48 Caprice, owned by Spain’s Javier Monzón followed Astrée III across the line in race one and then added a fifth to her card in the second race putting them in third overall. ESP16 Bribon 500, skippered by Pedro Campos, claimed a sixth and third place so are now fourth overall, just one point ahead of Miguel Lago Cereceda’s GBR50 Alibaba II.

Back ashore Claes Henningsson talked us through his day saying, “In the first race we had a perfect start and came out on starboard going to the left side and we were in the lead at the first mark. We kept the lead all the way round and were quite well ahead. In the second race we had a little bit of a problem in the start and had to tack off onto port through the fleet onto the right side of the course. After a while we tacked onto starboard over to the left, we caught the windshift and rounded number three, and after that we took two boats downwind and by the second weather mark, we were into second. On the last downwind we were able to pass Seljm and keep Filippa behind us, so it was nice racing for us. The light to medium winds are best for us as it’s a quite light boat and it was very nice to race on the outer course, it’s a bit more open than the inside race area.”

Whilst for some boats the light airs were a blessing, for others they were a curse. Violeta Alvarez’s ESP16 Stella led Open Division race one at the first mark but then got the wrong side of a big left hander and ended up fifth, then on the final run of race two they fell into a hole in the dying breeze and dropped from sixth to eleventh. It was also a day of mixed fortunes for Jeremy Thorp’s GBR89 Battlecry, they opened with a solid fifth but then struggled to find traction in the lighter second race and could do no better than thirteenth.

But whether they struggled or revelled in the conditions, all the boats made a spectacular sight as they spread out against the backdrop of the picturesque Galician coastline. Any Six is an elegant and powerful bit of sailing equipment, but many of the classics are also pieces of history.

The oldest boat racing in the championship is E26 Acacia, which was built to a Gustaf Estlander design by Abrahamsson and Son in Gothenburg in 1929. Her first owner was Luis de Allende, who kept her in Bilbao in northern Spain. She was built at a time when this area of Spain had a flourishing Six Metre fleet, and she sailed there with around 20 other boats. In 1954 she was sold to a new owner in Barcelona and became part of the burgeoning fleet there. By the early 1960s the fleet was in decline, and she was fitted with an engine to facilitate cruising. In the early 1970s she made her way north again, to Castro Urdiales between Santander and Bilbao. At this point her story becomes vague, with the previous owners hearing news of her being badly damaged after hitting some rocks. They assumed that the boat had been lost for ever. This was not so, however, and in the 1990s she was discovered and taken to the Astilleros Lagos shipyard where she waited for a new owner to restore her to her former glory. Here, she was spotted by her current owner who oversaw her restoration. She was re-launched in 2010, looking as good as the day she was built and is now an active member of the revived Spanish fleet.

After sailing the crews were able to enjoy the Real Club Nautico Sanxenxo’s delicious post racing drinks and nibbles and relax on the terrace as the sun set, but for the owners there was important business to settle at the International Six Metre Associations Annual General Meeting. One of the more important items on the agenda was confirming Louis Heckly, owner of FRA FRA111 Dix Août, as the new International Class President.

The forecast for day two of the championship is for further light airs and possible rain and thunderstorms. The Race Committee is keeping a close eye on the forecast and will update the competitors at the daily 09:30 briefing. The regatta continues until Saturday 18 September with up to eight races scheduled.

Provisional Top Ten Results

Open Division

  1. SWE114 Notorious – Claes Henningsson – 1, 1 = 2
  2. SWE137 Filippa – Richard Göransson – 2, 2 = 4
  3. SUI111 Thisbe – Rainer A Muller – 3, 5 = 8
  4. POR4 Seljm – Patrick Monteiro De Barros – 7, 3 = 10
  5. SUI132 Sophie Racing – Hugo Stenbeck – 4, 9 = 13
  6. ESP70 Maybe XAV – Eugenio Galdon Brugarolas – 9, 7 = 16
  7. SUI140 Ginkgo Too – Jan Eckert – 11, 6 = 17
  8. ESP16 Stella – Violeta Alvarez – 6, 11 = 17
  9. GBR89 Battlecry – Jeremy Thorp – 5, 3 = 18
  10. SUI77 Nivola – Reinhard Suhner – 13, 8 = 21

Classic Division

  1. GER59 Aida – Escotet/Botas – 1, 1 =2
  2. FIN18 Astrée III – Ossi Paija – 2, 2 = 4
  3. K48 Caprice – Javier Manzón – 3, 5 = 8
  4. ESP16 Bribon 500 – Jose Cusi – 6, 3 = 9
  5. GBR50 Alibaba II – Miguel Lago Cereceda – 4, 6 = 10
  6. ESP91 Stardust – Hermanos Campos – 8, 4 = 12
  7. FRA111 Dix Août – Louis Heckly – 5, 10 = 15
  8. FIN59 Ian – César Elizaga Viana – 9, 8 = 17
  9. ESP72 Titia – Alicia Freire Sánchez – 10, 9 = 19
  10. FIN44 Toy – Mika Lappalainen – 14, 7 = 21

Track the racing live 
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Full Results
Photo Gallery – All images © María Muiña / Xacobeo 6mR Europeans
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Teams Prepare for Xacobeo Six Metre European Championship 2021 in Sanxenxo

Xacobeo 6mR Europeans 2021 organizado por el Real Club Náutico de Sanxenxo. ©SailingShots by María Muiña Photography

13 September 2021 – Sanxenxo, Spain – A year later than originally intended, the International Six Metre fleet is finally gathered at the Real Club Nautico Sanxenxo on Spain’s spectacular Galician coast in preparation for the Xacobeo Six Meter European Championship 2021, which runs from 13 to 18 September. It’s been two years since the fleet last came together for a major championship and the expectations for what promises to be a superb regatta were running high as the crews enjoyed a spectacular Opening Ceremony on the club’s waterside terrace. 

The 31 strong fleet is evenly distributed between the Open and Classic divisions and draws competitors from Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Canada. The quality of the crews is higher than ever with many well know names from the Olympics, America’s Cup and other top international classes participating. A brand new Six is joining the fleet for her first international event and several of the boats have undergone significant work during the lockdown period.

The new kid on the block in the Open Division for the Modern Sixes is Jan Eckert’s SUI140 Ginkgo Too, a Javier Cela design built by Nene Gallardo which hit the water earlier this year and is participating in her first major competition. The Ginkgo Too team are still working up their new boat so it will be exciting to see how her performance develops over the coming days.

From 10 to 12 September the fleet participated in the Spanish National Championship, run in association with the King Juan Carlos I Regatta, giving them the perfect warm-up opportunity and a chance to see who the favourites might be for the Europeans. In the Open Division, featuring the Modern Sixes, the Juan Kouyoumdjian designed 2017 built ESP16 Stella took victory by a narrow two point margin, claiming both the King Juan Carlos Trophy and the Spanish Open Championship title. Helmed by Violeta Alvarez Landaluce, Stella is the second newest boat at the regatta and finished fifth at the 2019 World Championships. Since then, Alvarez and her team have worked incredibly hard to develop their boat’s potential and she is clearly now hitting the sweet spot.

Reigning European Champion SUI74 Nivola, owned by Reinhard Suhner, will be determined to give Stella a good run for her money, while Patrick Montiero de Barros helming POR4 Seljim, who was second at the 2019 Worlds must be hoping to make it onto the top step of the podium this time around. Other serious Open Division challengers include the 2019 World Championship winning SUI77 Junior, owned by Philippe Durr, which won her first World Championship in 1979 and is arguably the most successful Modern Six of all times. Hugo Stenbeck’s SUI132 Sophie Racing, winner of the 2009 and 2011 Worlds and the 2010 Europeans, and Jeremy Thorp’s and GBR89 Battlecry, both put in excellent showings in the warm-up event, finishing fourth and third respectively, putting them in the running for podium positions too.

In the Classic Division His Majesty Don Juan Carlos’s stunningly beautiful and hugely successful 1947 Arvid Laurin designed ESP16 Bribon 500 will defend her Classic Six Metre European Champion title with Spanish sailing legend and Real Club Nautico Sanxenxo President Pedro Campos Calvo-Sotelo at the helm. From Finland comes Ossi Paija’s FIN80 Astrée III, which was designed by Bjarne Aas in 1959 and finished third at the 2019 Worlds. The Spanish fleet is well represented by Javier Monzon’s K48 Caprice, which was designed and built by McGruer in 1946 and won the 2008 European Classic Championship in La Trinite, and Miguel Lago’s 1948 Tore Holm designed GBR50 Alibaba II. Fresh from Classic Division victory in the King Juan Carlos Regatta is International Six Metre Association President Elect Louis Heckly’s FRA111 Dix Août, which was launched in 1950 and was also designed by Bjarn Aas.

Speaking on behalf of the class on the eve of the championship Louis Heckly said, “This is a fantastic venue, all the boats were launched with masts stepped in two days. The welcome is extremely warm with everyone making us feel at home with free aperitifs each evening and we see that the recently reborn Spanish fleet is now well established, which is great. The competition this year is going to be tough, when you see the crew lists, when you see the level of the boats it is going up, up and up from championship to championship and they are even more prepared than they were in Hanko in 2019, so we are really looking forward to racing at a high level. Violeta has put in a huge effort and is beginning to see the gains from that. The boat is a beauty on the water, her new deck layout is fantastic, the crew are sailing very well, and she is really starting to reach her full potential and is very fast, so Stella is definitely the boat to beat this week.”

Racing for the Xacobeo Six Metre European Championship 2021 gets underway on Tuesday 14 September, when two races are programmed, and continues until Saturday 18 September with up to eight races scheduled. Racing will take place on windward/leeward courses on the Pontevedra Estuary starting from noon each day.

Further information about the event can be found at www.6mreuropeans2021.com and about the class at www.6metre.com. You can track the racing live and regular updates will be available on the ISMA Facebookpage. 

Full entry list

Photo Gallery

Youtube Channel

“Dix Août” and “Stella” winners of the 6th Rey Juan Carlos

The 6th Rey Juan Carlos I El Corte Inglés Master Regatta was hosted by the Real Club Nautico Sanxenxo from 1 to 3 September and incorporated the Spanish 6 Metre National Championship.

Light airs were a feature of the regatta and ultimately, despite the very best efforts of the highly experienced race committee, only three of the six planned races could be completed. But what the racing lacked in quantity it made up for in quality. A 27 strong fleet split evenly between the Open and Classic divisions put on a spectacular show against the stunning backdrop of the Galician coastline.

Ultimately Louis Heckly’s classic 6 Metre “Dix Août” and Violeta Álvarez’s “Stella”, one of the newest boats in the fleet, were the winners of the event, with the Spanish 6 Metre Championship being won by Pedro Campos’ “Bribon 500” in the classic division and Álvarez’s “Stella.”

For the Classics fleet, competition in the sixth edition of the Real Club Náutico de Sanxenxo’s prime event, could not have been tighter. On Friday Louis Heckly’s French team set off well, winning the first two partial victories, and on Saturday it was Pedro Campos’ “Bribon 500,” who with a comfortable victory in the only race held, was responsible for the close leader board, with a triple draw at the top of the board, between the French boat in first, Campos’ team in second, and Íñigo Echenique’s “Caprice,” in third.

Cancellation of the last day of racing due to the lack of conditions, saw the representatives from the Yacht Club de France, “Dix Août” proclaimed winners of the sixth edition of the Rey Juan Carlos I El Corte Inglés Master Regatta, and the RCNS boat, skippered by Campos, taking the Spanish Championship title with a first in the Classics division. Third place went to Echenique’s “Caprice” (Club Marítimo de Canido).

In the Open category, a great result for Violeta Álvarez’s “Stella.” The RCNS team, finished in second place on Friday and drew on points with leader Patrick Monteiro’s “Seljm” (Clube naval de Cascais). The team swept a victory in the race held on Saturday and moved ahead of the fleet with a two-point advantage over Monteiro.

With their result, and cancellation of Sunday’s racing, “Stella” celebrated a win in both the Rey Juan Carlos I El Corte Inglés Master Regatta, and as Spanish champions in the Open division. The Portuguese team, defender of the two titles at stake in the Ria de Pontevedra, finished the event in second overall, with third place going to British Jeremy Thorp’s “Battlecry.”

Following this year’s edition of the Rey Juan Carlos I El Corte Inglés Master Regata, on Monday Sanxenxo will see the official start of the Xacobeo 6mR Europeans. A training race is to be held on Tuesday, from 12:00h, where the action will kick off again, with the first of five days of racing, to decide the new European champions in the class.

Fotos © María Muiña / Regata Rey Juan Carlos I

FINAL RESULTS

Classics
1. “Dix Août”, Louis Heckly (FRA) 1+1+7=9
2. “Bribon 500”, Pedro Campos (ESP), 5+3+1=9
3. “Caprice”, Laureano Wizner (ESP), 3+4+2=9

Open
1. “Stella”, Violeta Álvarez (ESP), 2+2+1=5
2. “Seljm”, Patrick Monteiro (POR), 1+3+3=7
3. “Battlecry”, Jeremy Thohrp (GBR), 4+1+6=11

Click here for the full results

FOR SALE – ESP71 – BERTA

Price Reduced – Dec 2021!

Berta is a Peter Norlin design built in 1988. 

Location: Sanxenxo (Spain)

Top Condition well equiped.

New Furler Bartels
New Hydraulics
Spi retriever manoeuvre

Sails very good condition:
Main (Europsails Black Aramid) 2018.
Spi Light Runner (Europsails)  2018
Spi Heavy
Genoa LM (North 3DL)  
Genoa Heavy (North 3DI) 

Electronics 2018:
Wind, Depth and speed
Tacktick sensor- GPS NMEA 0183
Tacktick T110 Display
Windex
Three Displays

Asking Price: 62,000 Euro

Contact: celajavi@hotmail.com

A MESSAGE FROM ISMA PRESIDENT LOUIS HECKLY

Dear sailor friends, dear Six Metre enthusiasts,

I have been advised last Thursday from our Executive Secretary that you elected me to the difficult task of succeeding our friend Sir Robert at the head of ISMA.

I would like to thank you warmly with this short message.

I will do my best to keep our Class what it has always been: a Development Class, driven by fierce racers motivated by a spirit of friendliness, courtesy, and sportsmanship.  I keep in mind that this election was close and I have already taken the liberty of offering Ossi to help me in the task, as Mauricio Sanchez-Bella quite rightly suggested in his message from the Spanish Fleet.

I have no doubt that the “situation” is improving, and that we can meet again in Sanxenxo in September.  We must take the lead and register our boats as soon as possible – Dix Août is already registered.  The facilities that the Spaniards are giving us must be taken into account, especially since our International championships will take place in Europe until 2023, which could decide those who come from far to leave their Six Metre there until the World Championships in Cowes.

While waiting for the AGM in September, I will do my best to bring together and re-motivate the French and Italian fleets, so that they join us as soon as possible.

To quote one of my crew: “It has been a long time since a Maharajah had been elected to head ISMA.”

I look forward to seeing you all on the water.

Until then, take care of yourselves and your loved ones.
Louis Heckly
18 May 2021