The minutes of the 2019 International Six Metre Association Annual General Meeting held in Hanko, Finland on Wednesday 7th August 2019 are now available to view online.
Sadly the final day of racing at the 2019 Sinebrychoff 6 Metre World Championship in Hanko was blighted by light winds for the second day running and no racing was possible. Fortunately six of the eight programmed races had been completed and the winners of the Championship could be declared.
2019 Sinebrychoff International 6 Metre World Champion was confirmed as Philippe Durr helming SUI77 Junior, crewed by Nicholas Berthoud, Kaspar Schadegg, Yann Marillet and Alexandre Nicole. The competition had been fierce and at the final prize giving a delighted Philippe Durr paid tribute to his fellow competitors and in particular to second placed Patrick Monteiro de Barros, sailing POR4 Seljm, crewed by Henrique Anjos, Gasto Brun, Joao Matos Rosa and Rodrigo Vantacich, and third placed Hugo Stenbeck helming SUI132 Sophie Racing with Martin Westerdahl, Bernardo Freitas, Lars Linger and Concalo Ribeiro, who finished the regatta on equal points with Durr and only lost out to him on countback.
His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain’s ESP Bribon Gallant, helmed jointly by His Majesty and Pedro Campos and crewed by Inaqui Castaner, Alberto Viejo, Ropi Alvarez and Ross MacDonald, safely defended her Classic 6 Metre Worlds title by a seven point margin. As His Majesty and the team came to the stage to collect the prestigious Djinn Trophy there were rousing cheers and hearty applause as the King’s fellow competitors recognised the incredible achievement of this 81 year young sailor who only took up serious 6 Metre sailing in 2017 and has already won the European Championship and now two World titles. Second place in the Classic Division went to FIN67 Djinn helmed by Karl-Gustav Pihl and crewed by Georg Tallberg, Thomas Castre’n, Oscar Andersin and Hema Virkunen. Championship Regatta Chairman Ossi Paija and his local crew of Thomas Hallberg, Jonas Renlund, Sam Fagerlund and Kimmo Vijamaa sailing FIN80 Astree III took the final step on the podium in the Classic Division.
There are also a number of special trophies awarded at the 6 Metre Worlds and the first of these to be presented was the Lucie Trophy, for the highest placed boat with a female crew member. This year’s winner was not only a crew member, but also the only female helm in the competition. Violeta Alvarez was deservedly delighted to receive the trophy which not only recognised her own impressive achievement, but also that of her crew and her boat. Stella is the most recent 6 Metre constructed and this was her first international championship. Designed by Juan-K and first launched in 2017 the revolutionary design initially took time to optimise and master, but this week she signalled loud and clear that she has the ability to perform consistently well in both windy and light conditions, finishing the championship fifth overall – no mean achievement in a fleet of this exceptional quality.
The Baum & Konig Trophy for the highest placing boat in the Classic division with wood spars, white sails and a racing flag, and the KSSS Cup for the highest placed boat built to the first or second edition of the 6 Metre rule was won by US55 Lucie, helmed by Craig Healy of the St Francis Yacht Club. Built in 1931 to a Clinton H Crane design at the Henry B Nevins Boatyard in New York for the legendary America’s Cup skipper Briggs Cunningham who raced her to considerable success. She was fully restored by Matt Brooks just in time for the 2011 6 Metre Worlds in Helsinki and is without doubt one of the most beautiful classic sixes sailing today.
The Nelson Trophy for the highest placed boat designed between 1966 and 1979 was won by Canadian Adam Henley’s KS7 Toogooloowoo V, a 1970 Sparkman & Stephens design which is of particular interest as a first concept of trying to separate the rudder and keel. She was initially very successful but was quickly overtaken by newer boats during this period of very rapid design progress in the class.
The final formal presentation was of the Astor Cup, which is awarded to the highest placed boat with a crew member aged 25 years or younger, which this year went to Peter Harrison’s K12 St Francis IX, helmed by Andy Beadsworth and crewed by Colin Murray, Jana Zimmerhakl, Vince Bartlett and Misky Torvar.
In closing the prize giving, Race Officer Mikael Lindquist thanked the competitors for travelling from around the world to Hanko to compete and for being such wonderful competitors. The sailors in turn showed their genuine appreciation for the terrific job that Mikael and his team from the Hangö Segelförening have done in running the event despite the at times very challenging conditions.
And so the 2019 Sinebrychoff 6 Metre World Championship came to a close and the sailors set off on their journeys home with great memories of races sailed, stories told and friendships made and with happy smiles on their faces. The next international championship for the class will be the 2020 6 Metre European Championship, to be hosted by the Real Nautico de Sanxenxo on Spain’s spectacular Galician coast during the last two weeks of August 2020. Further details about the regatta will be published shortly at http://www.6metre.com.
As the boats left the dock for the fourth day of competition at the 2019 Sinebrychoff 6 Metre World Championship in Hanko, Finland, there was a palpable sense of tension and anticipation. Ahead of the competitors lay two final races to decide the winner of the Open Division, with the leading three boats, Philippe Durr’s SUI Junior, Patrick Monteiro de Barros’s POR4 Seljm and Hugo Stenbeck’s SUI132 Sophie Racing all holding 15 points apiece and Henrik Andersin’s FIN78 Evalina just a single point behind them. A final show down of epic proportions was hotly anticipated!
As the boats docked out a light southerly breeze took them down to the race area where the committee was set up and ready to go for race seven of the eight race series. There was an initial slight postponement to allow the wind to settle, but then off the Open Division boats went in a steady 5-6 knots. The breeze held in for the Classic Division start and all was looking good.
At the Open Division’s first windward mark Richard Goransson’s SWE137 Inga From Sweden VIII headed the fleet from Sophie Racing with Seljm third. Junior rounded in 11th place, but the pack was tightly bunched so it was all still to play for.
They came down the run and as they passed through the up-bound Classics fleet the wind began to drop, but with no significant current to worry about the boats were all still making reasonable progress and they were able to round the leeward gate and head back upwind behind the Classics. Seljm now led from Inga From Sweden VIII with Sophie Racing third and Junior up into tenth.
Meanwhile in the Classics His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain’s ESP16 Bribon Gallant was busy giving the fleet a master class in light airs sailing, carefully picking her way up the tricky first beat in impressive style. But as Bribon Gallant approached the first mark the wind began to drop and before long the entire fleet was barely ghosting along. Bribon Gallant, Louis Heckley’s FRA111 Dix Août and Eric Jespersen’s USA81 Goose were among a small group that made it around the weather mark, but others were now struggling to keep momentum. Before long everyone was becalmed.
The Race Committee held out as long as it possibly could in the hope that the wind would return, but eventually it was forced to admit defeat, abandon both fleets and call them back to the start area to await breeze. But it was a hopeless case and eventually the A over N signal flags were hoisted and the fleet sent home for the day.
The rules of the 6 Metre World Championship are very traditional in that they allow for a reserve day at the end of the regatta, which can be used if any of the races remain to be sailed. That clause has now been invoked and so the Championship will continue on Friday 9 August when it is hoped that the final two races can be completed.
One of the wonderful features of the regatta has been the excellent social programme supported by event sponsor Sinebrychoff. Despite the fact that the regatta will now continue for an extra day, the planned Sinebrychoff 6 Metre World Championship Gala Dinner went ahead as plannrd, allowing the crews to come together for a wonderful traditional formal dinner at the spectacular waterside art deco Hanko Casino. Whilst it may not have been possible to present the silverware, nothing stops the 6 Metre fleet enjoying a good party!
The forecast for Friday’s final racing day is unfortunately for further light winds. Race Officer Mikael Lindqvist and his team will be watching the forecasts extremely closely and will update the competitors on their hopes for the final races at the 09.00 competitor briefing in the morning.
It’s going to go right to the wire at the 2019 Sinebrychoff 6 Metre World Championship in Finland where three teams are now tied for the lead going into the final day of competition. Day three of the championship brought beautiful sunshine, a 6 to 10 knot south-easterly, races five and six of the eight race series, the introduction of the single scoring discard and some incredibly close racing between the 47 competing yachts.
In the Open Division Philippe Durr’s SUI77 Junior, Patrick Monteiro de Barros’s POR4 Seljm and Hugo Stenbeck’s SUI132 Sophie Racing ended the day counting 15 points apiece, whilst yesterday’s leader Henrik Andersin’s FIN78 Evalina has dropped into fourth, just one point behind them. Durr had kicked the day off with a win before going on to take an eighth in race six while de Barros was third and Stenbeck fourth in both races. Andersin had his worst race of the regatta in the morning with a ninth, but bounced back with a second. Eleven points behind the leading pack in fifth place is the Alvarez family’s ESP16 Stella, which won race five but was then disqualified from race six following a jury hearing.
In the Classic Division His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain took the helm of the stunningly beautiful ESP16 Bribon Gallant today and showed that at 81 years young he’s still got the competitive edge, finishing second and then first to consolidate the boat’s overall lead. Bribon Gallant now has a seven point delta on nearest rival, Karl-Gustav Pihl sailing FIN67 Djinn, who won race five and was fifth in race six. There’s then a ten point gap back to third placed Ossi Paija aboard FIN80 Astree III on twenty-four points, who in turn has Eric Jespersen’s US81 Goose and Louis Heckly’s FRA111 Dix Août hard on his heels with twenty-six points apiece.
After racing Louis Heckly paid tribute to His Majesty King Juan Carlos and his team noting, “They are sailing superbly, but they are never aggressive. They are always just in the right place at the right time. That’s what I love about this class, it’s fun and it’s fair. We’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow, but we’re the only boat left in the [Classics] competition with an all single figure scoreline so the podium is still well within our reach”
Conditions were near perfect with glorious warm sunshine to accompany the light to moderate breeze and as ever the boats looked simply spectacular with their clean elegant lines and the gleaming varnish of the Classics sparkling in the sun. The race committee of the Hangö Segelförening continued to do an excellent job of running the racing with good courses and start lines.
The Classic fleet in particular have been pushing the starts hard this week with numerous general recalls and once again today the race officer eventually had to use the U Flag starting penalty to get them underway. FIN77 Antje, FIN49 Sara of Hangö, S2 MayBe IV and FIN19 Puckie all fell foul of the U Flag in race five and found themselves enjoying a rather longer lunch break than planned.
One team particularly pleased with their performance today was the crew of Marenneito II, who finished seventh in race six, their first appearance in the top ten of the championship. Helmed by Timolean Caravatis this crew of friends from the Airisto Segesällskap brought Marenneito back to Finnish waters in the summer of 2018 following a major refit during the preceding winter. A 1928 Zake Westin design, she had represented Finland in the Scandinavian Gold Cup of 1928 in Sandham, which was won by the Norwegian boat Figaro V. She went on to achieve considerable success at regattas in the 1930s when the fleet in Finland was exceptionally active and was regarded as a fast boat in all conditions. She is now looking wonderful once again and clearly still has a good turn of speed!
On their return from the race area the boats were once again met by the crowds of enthusiasts and spectators who gather each day to welcome them home. The docking in and out procedure is beautifully managed, and as each boat takes it’s allotted berth there are plenty of willing hands to take lines and ensure that each of these extraordinary pieces of sailing history are safe and secure for the night.
Having put their boats to bed the crews one again enjoyed event sponsor Sinebrychoff’s generous Aftersail Party hospitality before heading home for a well deserved shower and to enjoy a relaxed evening off. For the owners however, it was a case of a quick turn around to prepare for the International Six Metre Association Annual General Meeting, at which key decisions are made concerning the administration, technical management and event planning for the class.
Two final races remain to sail to complete the eight race series and decide the 2019 Sinebrychoff 6 Metre World and Classic World Champions. The weather forecast for tomorrow looks promising to complete the full programme with further light to moderate southerlies and more sunshine. There is a slight possibility of thunder storms in the afternoon and should it not be possible to complete both races tomorrow, the competition may continue into the reserve day on Friday 9 August.
Please credit all images to www.sailpix.fi
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Day two of the 2019 Sinebrychoff 6 Metre World Championship in Hanko was a day of ups and downs for the 47 strong fleet as they took on races three and four of the eight race series. Fortunately the threatened thunderstorms and squalls failed to materialise and conditions were actually benign with broken sunshine and a light to moderate breeze. Conditions for the two races were very different. The opener got underway in sub 5 knots and was an entirely light airs affair, but for the second the wind built from around 8 to 14 knots.
With four of the eight scheduled races now completed there have been some interesting changes at the top of the Open/Modern Division leader board. Overnight leader SUI77 Junior, helmed by Philippe Durr, put in a second followed by a ninth and drops down into second place overall. Leapfrogging over him into the top spot is Henrik Andersin at the helm of FIN78 Evalina who finished fourth and fifth and now leads the regatta by a single point.
Patrick Montiero de Barros of POR4 Seljm hails from Cascais so might be expected to be a heavy airs specialist, but he more than had the measure of the morning’s super light conditions, winning his second race of the series by a big margin and coming seventh in race four, making him top performer of the day and moving him from fourth to third overall, three points behind Junior. Hugo Stenbeck’s SUI132 was one of several boats black flagged in race three, so despite winning race four he drops down from third to fourth overall. Stella, the newest 6 Metre competing at the regatta, built in 2017 to a Juan-K design, moves up into fifth place thanks to eleventh and second places. Jali Makela’s US105 also had an excellent day with fifth and third places and goes from thirteenth to sixth overall, a position he currently shares with Peter Harrison’s K12 St Francis IX, helmed by Andy Beadsworth.
St Francis IX was one of the boats for whom fortunes were decidedly mixed today. They were lining up for a great start in race three when they were forced to take avoiding action for one of the boats that was ultimately black flagged. As the gun went they found themselves head to wind on the line and struggling to tack and gain momentum in the super light conditions. Having been forced right things initially looked great until about half way up the beat when a big left hander came in and turned things inside out leaving them last by a huge margin at mark one. But Beadsworth and his team are renowned for their determination and they managed to fight their way back up into tenth place. They were much happier with their fourth in race four, but even that wasn’t without incident as they again had to take avoiding action when another boat misjudged her approach to the first mark and tacked right in their path. “I had no option but to take drastic action or I would have hit them in the middle of the cockpit.” explained Andy after racing. “It was a genuine error on their part as they simply didn’t see me and they immediately acknowledge their mistake and did their turns, but it lost us vital seconds.”
The Classic Division also saw a big shake up in the top five. Bouncing into the overall lead from fourth thanks to a first and second place is His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain’s ESP16 Bribon Gallant, helmed by Pedro Campos, who now leads the Classic Championship by six points. Louis Heckley’s FRA111 Dix Août also had a great day finishing fourth and third to leap up into into second overall, two points ahead of Henrik Lundberg in FIN12 Fridolin, who went into the day leading with two seconds, and added a thirteenth and a seventh today. Karl-Gustav Pihl’s FIN67 Djinn won race four but had only placed seventeenth in race three so slides down from second to fourth, three points ahead of Ossi Paija’s FIN80 Astree III who claimed a second and sixth.
One of the boats dropping out of the Classics top five is Thomas Khumann’s USA96 Hanko III who lost her rig moments after the finish of yesterday’s racing. An incredible overnight effort saw a new mast shipped in by road and the crew working through the night to get it rigged and stepped. They finished just in time to race today and to put the cherry on the cake they led the fleet around the first mark to rousing cheers from the spectators and their fellow sailors. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given their lack of sleep, they did not hold their lead and closed the day with a ninth and eleventh, dropping them into seventh overall, but still within striking distance of a podium finish. No doubt they will sleep well tonight!
Taking part in a 6 Metre World Championship is about more than just racing results though and for many here this week the key objective is to simply enjoy sailing their beautiful boats alongside like minded people and to revel in the wonderful camaraderie and active social life of the class.
Each day the docks are thronged with visitors who come to see the yachts and talk to the sailors. Here in Hanko the moorings have been organised so that each boat is placed in date order and next to their dock there is an information card which tells you the boats name and age. And of course the sailors love nothing better than to talk about their sixes so new friends are made and stories are shared.
But if only the boats could tell their own stories! Take FIN22 Merenneito for example. This 1927 Zake Westin design was built here in Hanko and represented Finland in the Scandinavian Gold Cup of 1927 at Oyster Bay on Long Island Sound – then one of the most prestigious international regattas in the world. She won two races and was one of three Finnish boats to make the finals, ultimately finishing second to May Be sailed by Sven Salen. Sven and May Be went on to win a Bronze Medal in the Open 6 Metre Class at the 1936 Olympics and Merenneito has continued to race since, becoming well known as a light airs specialist.
US81 Goose is another boat whose stories we would all love to hear. Designed by Olin Stephens and built by Henry B Nevins, Goose was the first design extensively tank tested by Sparkman & Stephens and represented a breakthrough in metre boat design. In the heyday of the class she won the Scandinavian Gold Cup in 1938,1939, 1947 and 1947 and the Seawanhaka Cup in 1957. After many years of hard campaigning across Europe and North America she was rebuilt in the Luders yard in 1957 with four layers of mahogany strips to replace the original planking. It is said that S&S would not give Luders the lines for the boat, because he was a competing designer, so before proceeding, yard workers lifted the lines from her tired hull and rebuilt from there. After the rebuild S&S acquiesced, the rebuilt Goose was compared to the original line drawings and found to be within a 1/16″ in every dimension. Goose last came to Finland some 80 years ago for the Scandinavian Gold Cup of 1939, which she won and is currently in sixth place in the Classic Division.
After racing the sailors once again enjoyed their sponsor’s hospitality at the Sinebrychoff Aftersail Party where free drinks and snacks were served. Later the fun moved on to the 6 Meter Worlds Beach Party, which took place at Hanko’s lovely art deco Casino.
The forecast for the third day of the regatta is for 5 to 7 knots from the south west with some sunshine in the morning, but a slight possibility of thunder in the afternoon. A maximum of four further races remain to be sailed with up to two races scheduled daily until Thursday 8 August. A single scoring discard will be introduced once the sixth race has been completed. Friday 9 August is a reserve day which may be used if the full programme has not been completed by Thursday evening.