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More frustration for sailors on day three of the Xacobeo Six Metre World Championship 2022

Xacobeo Six Metre World Championship 2022 – Day 3  – All images © SailingShots by Marian Muiña

For a second day running light airs dogged the 40 strong fleet challenging for the Xacobeo Six Metre World Championship 2022 in Sanxenxo and no races were completed. Overnight thunderstorms and very strong winds had gone through by the planned 13:00 start time, but although a first attempt to get the fleets underway was made it was not to be with the wind dying off to almost nothing, so the fleet was sent back to the dock for a lunch break and to await further instructions.

A little after 16:00 the race officer called the teams out to the inner racecourse again and the Open Division got race three underway, but in the closing minutes of the sequence for the Classic Division the wind once again began to fade and so the race was abandoned for both fleets. The race officer held the boats on the water until early evening but with no sign of stable breeze and thunderstorms on the horizon his only option was to call it a day.

Two races have been completed so far and five races are required to validate the Championship. The Race Committee has published a change to the schedule for tomorrow’s penultimate day to bring the first start time forward to 10:30, as the current forecasts indicate the best chances of a reasonable sailing breeze are in the morning or later afternoon. The forecast for Saturday’s final day is a little more promising and with a final start cut off time of 16:00 hopes remain high that at least five races can be completed.

In the overall standings the Open Division is still led by five points by Dieter Schoen’s brand new Judel/Vrolijk designed SUI142 Momo. On eight points apiece behind her are Jamie Hilton’s USA125 Scoundrel, Johan Larson’s SWE199 Rebecca and defending champion SUI77 Junior, owned by Philippe Durr and Rainer Müller.

In the Classic Division Spanish America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race veteran and multi-class champion Pedro Campos Calvo-Sotelo continues to lead by a narrow two-point margin. The first ever Romanian Six Metre team sailing ROU65 Essentia, owned by Catalin Trandafir, is lying in second place, and on equal points with Essentia but lying third on countback is International Six Metre Association President Louis Heckly.

Although the weather is disappointing, the crews continue to enjoy their time in Sanxexo on the beautiful Atlantic coast of Galicia. Much of the talk amongst the sailors has been about the current resurgence of interest in the class, and in particular the construction of several new boats in recent years with more due for delivery in time for the Six Metre European Championship 2022 which will take place in Cascais, Portugal from 2 to 10 September. The class does not typically host a Europe based Worlds and a Europeans in the same year, but the loss of a season to Covid meant that the programme has been compressed and so this year the teams will get two bites at the championship cherry. Already some 20 boats have confirmed their commitment to attending the Cascais event and rumours abound that at least two more brand new boats are likely to compete.

Alongside the new boats joining the fleet it is also exciting to see new young faces racing Sixes too. They are a technically challenging boat to race well and the circuit takes in some of the best venues available, so its perhaps unsurprising that a new cohort of Olympians, match racers, dinghy champions and Ocean Race sailors are keen to join their veteran counterparts in the fleet.

Bernardo Freitas has been a national champion in the Optimist, 420 and SB20 classes, he’s won the Dragon European Grand Prix, represented Portugal at the Olympics in the 49er and raced in Volvo Ocean Race, the World Match Racing Tour, the Extreme Sailing Series and the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. In the Six Metre he sails with Hugo Stenbeck’s Sophie Racing Team and he summed up the appeal of the fleet saying, “The Six Metre is a very fun boat to sail. It’s an old design, but there’s a lot to play with, it’s very technical, very sensitive. Mixing up old talented sailors with young talented sailors can bring a better performance and we gain experience from them too.”

Aboard Meerblik Bear we find 2020(21) 470 Olympic Bronze Medallist Nicolas Rodriquez Gracia-Paz who is also clearly loving this opportunity, “Experience saves you many mistakes or anticipate problems. On the other hand young people are bringing new ideas, energy, strength, attitude. It’s the combination of all these factors. So its undoubtedly a very nice learning experience. The beauty of sailing is there is so much variety, and variety is the spice of life!”

Another hugely talented young sailor racing this week, this time as part of the Swiss Ginkgotoo crew, is top Australian match racer Torvar Mirsky, who won the 2017 World Match Racing Tour. More recently Torvar has discovered the joy of a very different kind of boat, racing to great success in the Dragon fleet and now with the Sixes. Whilst they may not offer the high-speed thrills and spills of their modern counterparts, the challenge of these extraordinary classic keel boats and the chance to race with and against their heroes is clearly an opportunity the younger generation cannot resist.

With two more days to go until the championship concludes on Saturday 18 June all we can hope is that the weather gods smile on the fleet, and we get the chance to see these glorious boats and their exceptionally talented crews back in action again.

Provisional Overall Top Five After Two Races

Open Division

  1. SUI142 – Momo – Dieter Schoen – 1, 2 = 3
  2. USA126 – Scoundrel – Jamie Hilton – 7, 1 = 8
  3. SWE119 – Rebecca – Johan Larson – 5, 3 = 8
  4. SUI77 – Junior – Philippe Durr – 4, 4 = 8
  5. POR4 – Seljm – Patrick Monteiro de Barros – 3, 7 = 10

Classic Division

  1. ESP16 – Bribon 500 – Pedro Campos Calvo-Sotelo – 3, 1 = 4
  2. FRA111 – Dix Août – Louis Heckly – 2, 4 = 6
  3. FIN80 – Astree III – Ossi Paija – 6, 2 = 8
  4. USA96 – Hanko III – Thomas Kuhmann – 4, 5 = 9
  5. GBR33 – Nirvana – Andy Postle – 7, 3 = 10

Full Results

Photo Gallery – All images © María Muiña / Xacobeo 6mR Worlds

Youtube Channel

Live Tracking

Further information about the event can be found at 6mrworlds2022.com and about the class at www.6metre.com and on the ISMA Facebook page .

No wind and no racing on day two of Xacobeo Six Metre World Championship 2022

Xacobeo Six Metre World Championship 2022 – No wind on day two  – All images © SailingShots by Marian Muiña

The second day of the Xacobeo Six Metre World Championship at the Real Club Nautico de Sanxenxo proved to be long and frustrating for the sailors and race committee alike.  The forecast going into the day indicated dull skies and extremely light airs, but with a possible window of approximately three hours when conditions might permit racing. Determined to be ready for any chance that came, the fleet was afloat on the outer course area in good time for the planned 13:00 start.  Over the course of the next five hours zephyrs of breeze came and went from virtually every point of the compass, the fleet transferred to the inner course area and the race committee constantly monitored the situation. But all to no avail and eventually the boats were sent ashore to enjoy paella and live music in the Regatta Village.

In the overall standings therefore Dieter Schoner’s Momo continues to lead the Open Division by just two points from Jamie Hilton’s Scoundrel, Johan Larson’s Rebecca and Philippe Durr and Rainer Müller’s Junior, who all count eight points apiece but lie second to fourth respectively on countback. In the Classic Division Pedro Campos’ Bribon 500 leads the pack by two points from Louis Heckly’s Dix Août, with Ossi Paija’s Astree III third and Thomas Kuhmann’s Hankø III fourth.

Despite the lack of racing the crews were appreciative of all the effort that Race Officer Alejandro Martín de Pazos and his team had put into the day. International Six Metre Association President Louis Heckly summed up their feelings saying, “We’re obviously disappointed with the weather, but we have witnessed the great work of the race committee to try at every moment to race. They were constantly reactive, even moving us from the first race area to the second to try to get a race in. But no wind happened and that leaves us with two or three races, weather permitting, tomorrow and we will see how that works. But despite the disappointment on the water, it was super to come back to the terrific hospitality of the club, which has been so welcoming and generous to us all.”

One time Finn sailor Otto Pohlmann, who is based in Palma de Mallorca and joined the class earlier this year after considerable success in Dragons, was also frustrated not to race but admiring of the efforts of the race committee. Pohlmann has purchased the Pelle Petterson designed USA124 Bear, now renamed Meerblik Bear, which was built by Båtbyggarna Ab in Sweden for the 1989 World Cup. The boat underwent a major refit in 2015/16 in preparation for the Vancouver World Championship of 2017 and since acquiring her Pohlmann and his team have been hard at work bringing her up to speed, so are now keen to test themselves against this top-quality fleet. Meerblik Bear’s crew includes Gabrielle Pohlmann, Spanish 49er sailor Albert Torres, double Snipe European Champion Laureano Witzner Perales and Olympic 470 Bronze medallist Nicholas Rodriquez Garcia-Paz, so we will be watching this strong new team’s progress with interest.

Whilst the fleet is gathered in Sanxenxo the International Six Metre Association took the opportunity to hold its AGM, which this year included the presentation of a brand-new trophy, The Tim Street Perpetual Trophy.  Over many years Tim Street has played an important role in helping to ensure that Classic Sixes (boats first certificated before December 1965) are still able to level race with their modern counterparts. Inevitably older wooden boats gradually take up water, eventually making it impossible for them to comply with the class flotation rules without significant loss of sail area, which renders them uncompetitive. To encourage the participation of as many Classic Sixes as possible Tim was part of a team that developed Class Rule Appendix A, through which older qualifying boats are allowed to float lower than their original designed waterline without a detrimental reduction in sail area.

The stunning new trophy was initiated by Peter Hoffman and Rainer Müller of the Pacific Northwest Fleet and its creation was overseen by Puget Sound Six Metre sailor Adam Henley, who presented it to ISMA President Louis Heckly at the AGM. Sadly, Tim is not able to be present at this championship, but he will be delighted to know that five boats are competing under Appendix A for his trophy.

The regatta continues until Saturday 18 June and with three more days of racing to come the fleet remains hopeful of completing all eight scheduled races. Five races are required to validate the series and if six or more races are completed a single discard will be introduced. The forecast for day three is for further light airs but all fingers are crossed that sailing will be possible.

Provisional Overall Top Five After Two Races

Open Division

  1. SUI142 – Momo – Dieter Schoen – 1, 2 = 3
  2. USA126 – Scoundrel – Jamie Hilton – 7, 1 = 8
  3. SWE119 – Rebecca – Johan Larson – 5, 3 = 8
  4. SUI77 – Junior – Philippe Durr – 4, 4 = 8
  5. POR4 – Seljm – Patrick Monteiro de Barros – 3, 7 = 10

Classic Division

  1. ESP16 – Bribon 500 – Pedro Campos Calvo-Sotelo – 3, 1 = 4
  2. FRA111 – Dix Août – Louis Heckly – 2, 4 = 6
  3. FIN80 – Astree III – Ossi Paija – 6, 2 = 8
  4. USA96 – Hanko III – Thomas Kuhmann – 4, 5 = 9
  5. GBR33 – Nirvana – Andy Postle – 7, 3 = 10

Full Results

Photo Gallery – All images © María Muiña / Xacobeo 6mR Worlds

Youtube Channel

Further information about the event can be found at 6mrworlds2022.com and about the class at www.6metre.com and on the ISMA Facebook page .

For additional information please contact ISMA Press Officer Fiona Brown on fiona.brown@fionabrown.com or +44 7711 718470

Momo and Bribon 500 shine on day one of Xacobeo Six Metre World Championship 2022

Xacobeo Six Metre World Championship 2022 Open Division Day 1 – All images © SailingShots by Marian Muiña

The opening day of the Xacobeo International Six Metre World Championship 2022, hosted by the Real Club Nautico de Sanxenxo, produced two terrific races for the 40 teams from 15 nations competing. Although initially overcast and misty, the wind gods delivered a decent 12-14 knots from the southwest, which clocked right and dropped to around 6-8 knots as the sun broke through later in the day. The Race Committee opted for the inner course, which not only provided perfect racing conditions, but also allowed spectators at the RCNS clubhouse a grandstand view.

In the Open Division, the newly launched Judel/Vrolijk designed Momo, owned by Dieter Schoen, led race one from the off and came second in race two to end the day with a five-point overall lead. Jamie Hilton’s 1986 Howlett designed Scoundrel, which shipped from the USA for the event, Johan Larson’s 1988 Pettersson designed Rebecca from Sweden and Philippe Durr and Rainer Müller’s defending World Champion Junior from Switzerland, a 1981 Pettersson/Howlett design, are all tied on eight points with Scoundrel claiming second overall thanks to a race two win, Rebecca third and Junior fourth.

In the Classic Division reigning champion Bribon 500, a 1947 Laurin design owned by Jose Cusi and helmed by Pedro Campos, got her defence off to a solid start with a third followed by a win giving her a two-point delta on her nearest competitors. On the water the opening race was won by Catalin Trandafir’s 1956 Sparkman & Stephens designed Essentia, helmed by Erik Jesperson, and she went on to finish sixth in race two, putting her initially into second overall, however, back on the dock she faced a race one protest and was disqualified so drops down to eleventh overall.

Essentia’s disqualification was good news for ISMA President Louis Heckly’s 1950 Aas designed Dix Août, which now lies in second place, two points ahead of Ossi Paija of Finland’s Astree III, another Aas design but this time from 1959, which scored a sixth and a second. Andy Postle’s Nirvana took seventh in race one and third in race two ending the day fifth overall.

Whilst the leader board is starting to take shape there’s a lot of sailing to come. Several of the top players experienced mixed fortunes today and may well bounce back in the days to come. In the Open Division Jan Eckert’s Gingkotoo placed second in race one but found herself down in tenth in race two so now sits seventh overall. Patrick Monteiro de Barros’s Seljm sailed to a solid third in the opener but found it harder to gain traction in race two finishing in seventh for fifth place overall.

It was a similar story in the Classics where Mauricio Sanchez-Bella Carswell and the crew of Titia won race one thanks to Essentia’s disqualification and followed with an eighth in race, putting them initially into fifth overall. Back ashore however they too found themselves in the protest room and disqualified from race two, dropping them down to ninth overall.

The closeness of the racing and the cut and thrust of some of the mark roundings confirm that we are in for an exciting regatta as the teams battle it out to find the Xacobeo Six Metre World Champions 2022.

Whilst the chase for the victor’s laurels is always intense in the Sixes, equally intense is the love the owners and sailors have for these beautiful, complex and in many cases historic racing machines. An Olympic class for almost half a century from 1908 to 1952, the Sixes were also used as a testbed for the America’s Cup during the 12 Metre era. The fortunes of the class may have waxed and waned over the years, but with new boats being built, classic restorations undertaken and entry into the fleet possible for a very modest sum through the second-hand market, the class retains a firm grip on its well-deserved reputation as one of the World’s foremost development classes.

Another big appeal of the fleet is its camaraderie and love of a good party, and in this regard the Real Club Nautico de Sanxenxo is the perfect partner, as not only does the club run superb racing, but it also throws a world class party. Each evening the regatta village welcomes the sailors for complimentary entertainment, drinks, and food, all supported by some of Galicia’s finest producers. This evening’s supper offering was the local delicacy Fideuá with Chicken, which is to pasta what Paella is to rice. Huge thanks must go to the sponsors, official suppliers, and club team for laying on such spectacular hospitality. 

The forecast for day two of the regatta is for an overcast day and very light winds from the northern quadrant, giving little chance of a sea breeze. The Race Committee will brief the competitors at 10:00 in the morning and if conditions allow races three and four of the eight race series will be run, with a planned first start of 13:00. The regatta continues until Saturday 18 June.

Provisional Overall Top Five

Open Division
1. SUI142 – Momo – Dieter Schoen – 1, 2 = 3
2. USA126 – Scoundrel – Jamie Hilton – 7, 1 = 8
3. SWE119 – Rebecca – Johan Larson – 5, 3 = 8
4. SUI77 – Junior – Philippe Durr – 4, 4 = 8
5. POR4 – Seljm – Patrick Monteiro de Barros – 3, 7 = 10

Classic Division
1. ESP16 – Bribon 500 – Pedro Campos Calvo-Sotelo – 3, 1 = 4
2. FRA111 – Dix Août – Louis Heckly – 2, 4 = 6
3. FIN80 – Astree III – Ossi Paija – 6, 2 = 8
4. USA96 – Hanko III – Thomas Kuhmann – 4, 5 = 9
5. GBR33 – Nirvana – Andy Postle – 7, 3 = 10

Full Results

Photo Gallery – All images © María Muiña / Xacobeo 6mR Worlds 

Youtube Channel

Further information about the event can be found at 6mrworlds2022.com and about the class at www.6metre.com and on the ISMA Facebook page .

For additional information please contact ISMA Press Officer Fiona Brown on fiona.brown@fionabrown.com or +44 7711 718470

Sanxenxo Welcomes Xacobeo Six Metre World Championship 2022

Xacobeo Six Metre World Championship 2022 Opening Ceremony – All images © María Muiña

A strong fleet of forty International Six Metres from fifteen nations across Europe and North America has gathered at the Real Club Náutico de Sanxenxo in preparation for the Xacobeo Six Metre World Championship 2022, which will take place from 14 to 18 June. Sanxenxo is a much-loved venue for the Sixes and the RCNS has an outstanding event planned featuring eight championship races as well as daily post racing parties in the elegant regatta village. 

Most of the teams competing arrived in Sanxenxo early to take part in the Regatta Rey Juan Carlos I, a three-day warm up event which was held from 10 to 12 June. Heavy airs saw the fleet race on an inshore course on two of the three days and gave an exciting taster of the cut and thrust competition to come. 

Racing for the Worlds will take place on the Ria de Pontevedra where two course areas are available, one out in the open bay and the other in the more sheltered estuary, giving Race Officer Alejandro Martín de Pazos and his committee flexibility to run racing in the widest possible range of conditions. The forecast for the early part of the regatta is for light airs with stronger winds midweek.

The fleet will comprise an Open Division of 22 boats and a Classic Division of 18 boats, whose crews include some of sailing’s best-known names. Defending Six Metre World Champion Junior, owned by Philippe Durr and Reiner Müller of Switzerland, is one of the most successful Sixes of all time and her name has already been engraved on the Six Metre World Cup Trophy no less than five times. Although technical issues meant she did not shine in the Regatta Rey Juan Carlos I, the Junior team is a formidable one and they will be keen to add their name to the trophy for a sixth time. 

Leading those snapping at Junior’s heels will be the brand new Momo, owned by Dieter Schoen of Switzerland. Past 5.5 Metre and double Tempest World Champion Markus Wieser will be on the helm and the crew also includes America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race veterans Dirk de Ridder and Ross Halcrow. Momo put together an impressive set of results to win the Regatta Rey Juan Carlos I by a six-point margin and will be one to watch in the days ahead. Other contenders in the Open Division include John Harald Orneberg’s Scoundrel One, Violeta Alvarez’ Stella, Jamie Hilton’s Scoundrel, Jeremy Thorp’s Battlecry and Jan Eckert’s Ginkgotoo.

In the Classic Division the oldest boat racing will be the 1929 FIN59 Ian, sailed by a Spanish crew led by Cesar Elizaga Viana. Defending her Classic World Champion title will be Bribon 500, which was built in 1947 to an Arvid Laurin design and is now owned by José Cusi. Helmed by RCNS President Pedro Campos and with a crew that includes Canadian double Olympic medallist Ross MacDonald, Bribon 500 is in with a good chance of retaining her title. 

Re-joining the Classic fleet after a change of ownership is Essentia, the former Buzzy II/Great Dane, which was launched in 1956 and is now owned by Catalin Trandafir of Romania. At Essentia’s helm will be Canadian Olympic bronze medallist, America’s Cup veteran and double Classic Six Metre World Champion Eric Jesperson. This new team declared their intent loud and clear by winning the Regatta Rey Juan Carlos Classic Division from Bribon 500 with Ossi Paija’s Astree III third and Mauricio Sanchez-Bella Carswell’s Titia fourth.

The championship was declared officially open at a spectacular ceremony at the RCNS  featuring marching bands, delicious Galician food and wines, welcome gifts for all the competitors and a special group photo of the teams. Telemo Martin, the Major of Sanxenxo, welcomed everyone and wished them all a very happy and successful championship.

Racing is scheduled to commence at 13:00 daily with two races a day planned for 14, 15 and 16 June and one a day on 17 and 18 June. Eight races are scheduled with five being required to validate the series. If six or more races are completed a single discard will be introduced. 

Further information about the event can be found at 6mrworlds2022.com and about the class at www.6metre.com and on the ISMA Facebook page.

Photo Gallery – All images © María Muiña / Xacobeo 6mR Worlds

Youtube Channel

For additional information please contact ISMA Press Officer Fiona Brown on fiona.brown@fionabrown.com or +44 7711 718470