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Three Way Tie Going into Final Day of 2019 Sinebrychoff 6 Metre World Championship

N87_0856_DxOIt’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.

Junior_N87_0950_DxOIn 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”

Bribon_ Gallant_N87_0884_DxOConditions 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.

Violeta_Alvarez_N87_0981_DxOOne 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!

Goose_N87_1094_DxOOn 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.

2019-08-07 15.26.05Two 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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2019 Sinebrychoff 6 Metre Worlds – Day 2 Report

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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.

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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.”

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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All images courtesy of www.sailpix.fi

2019 Sinebrychoff 6 Metre Worlds – Day 1 Report

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The opening day of the 2019 Sinebrychoff 6 Metre World Championship brought sparkling sunshine and a lovely summer breeze building gradually from around 8 knots at the start of race one to 18 knots by the end of race two. The the Hangö Segelförening’s Race Committee provided near perfect windward leeward courses and the 47 strong fleet, which is divided into the Open Division for Moderns built after 1 January 1966 and the Classic Division for boats built before 31 December 1965, enjoyed two fabulous races.

With two of the scheduled eight races completed defending World Champion Philip Durr’s SUI77 Junior, a 1981 Pelle Petterson design subsequently reconfigured by Ian Howlett with a new keel in 1989 and new rudder in 1991, has given notice to the Modern Division that she would very much like to claim her sixth world title by taking a first and third in today’s races to lead the regatta overall.

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Just one point behind Junior, thanks to third and second places, lies Henrik Andersin’s FIN78 Evelina, a 1995 Peter Norlin design with eight time world champion Theis Palm of North Sails calling tactics. Hugo Stenbeck’s 1989 Peter Norlin designed SUI32 Sophie Racing is one further point adrift in third and in fourth place lies Portugal’s Patrick Monteiro de Barros sailing the 1988 Pelle Petterson boat Seljm, winner of the second race.

In the Classic Division Henrik Lundberg’s gorgeous 1930 Tore Holm designed FIN12 Fridolin, winner of the 2013 Classic 6 Metre Worlds, leads the pack thanks to a pair of second places. Three points behind her lies FIN67 Djinn, designed by the legendary Olin Stephens in 1938 and being helmed this week by owner Karl Gustav Phil.

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In third place is Thomas Khumann’s US96 Hanko III which was designed in 1955 by Bjarn Aas and underwent major work at Jespersen Boatbuilders in preparation for the 2017 Worlds. She scored a fourth in race one and crossed the line fifth in race two, but only a few moments later a rigging screw failed and her mast went over the side. Smart work by her crew and nearby support boats saw the debris rapidly recovered and the boat on tow. The race is on to bring a new mast to Hanko this evening and re-rig it overnight. The crew won’t be getting much sleep tonight, but the camaraderie of the 6 Metre fleet is strong and many of their competitors have offered help and support to get them out racing again so fingers crossed they will be with the fleet again tomorrow.

His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain’s ESP16 Bribon, the reigning Classic 6 Metre World Champion helmed today by Pedro Campos, sailed beautifully to win race one, but fared less well in the stronger breeze of race two. Unusually for this beautifully rehearsed crew, they dropped the spinnaker over the bow at the second leeward mark and it took some time to unravel the resulting mess. They finished the race in tenth place which leaves them fourth overall going into the second day.

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Hanko and Bribon weren’t the only boats to suffer bad luck and gear failure. Beat Furrer’s Modern SUI104 Temptation 3 was looking all set for a third place after the first lap of race one when they misjudged a cross, hit Michel Teweles’ SUI111 Thisbe and were forced to do turns. Fortunately neither boat was seriously damaged and Thisbee went on to finish fourth in the race, but Temptation 3 limped home last.

Peter Harrison’s K12 St Francis XI with Andy Beadsworth at the helm had a series of mishaps including a failed halyard clutch and lost sheet. In race two they came storming off the line to lead the fleet up the beat, but then over stood the first mark badly and found themselves down in twelfth place. They did all they could to recover but the fleet is so well matched that eighth was the best they could achieve.

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The crew of Peter Hoffman’s 1938 Olin Stephens designed Goose, arguably one of the most successful 6 Metres ever built and being helmed this week by Canadian Olympian Eric Jespersen, also had a somewhat trying day. At one point the clutch on their spinnaker failed and all three forward crew found themselves desperately hauling the sail back out of the water, only for it to fill before they had managed to cleat it and drag back out of their hands. They also blew an underdeck halyard turning block too which created another set of problems. Eric was pragmatic after racing, acknowledging that when you race boats that are over 80 years old gear will fail from time to time no matter how carefully you prepare.

But while a few boats had problems, the majority revelled in the spectacular conditions and the site of this beautiful fleet of 6 Metre yachts spread out before Hanko was truly impressive. With the oldest boat built in 1921 and the newest in 2017 there truly was almost a century of yachting history laid out for the many spectators to enjoy.

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The Finns are renowned for their hospitality and back ashore the sailors enjoyed the the daily Sinebrychoff Aftersail Party, before each of the visiting international crews were welcomed by a local host team for dinner. This tradition is one of the great social highlights of each 6 Metre Worlds and is much appreciated by all the guests.

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The forecast for day two of the regatta is for rain and potentially strong winds which are expected to range from the mid teens in the morning to over 20 knots by the end of the day. There are six further races planned with up to two races scheduled daily until Thursday 8 August. Friday 9 August is a reserve day which may be used if the full programme has not been completed by Thursday evening.

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Djinn Wins Sinebrychoff Challenge Cup & Sophie Racing & Astree III Claim Worlds Warm Up Regatta Victory In Hanko

Sunday morning’s third warm up races for the 2019 Sinebrychoff 6 Metre World Championship gave the competitors one last chance to test the waters off Hanko and get the measure of each other before the start of formal championship racing tomorrow.

In the Open Division race victory went to Philippe Durr’s Junior, who was followed home by Hugo Stenbeck’s Sophie Racing with Patrick Monteiro de Barros’s Seljm third, Michel Teweles sailing Thisbee fourth and Andy Beadsworth at the helm of St Francis IX fifth. In the overall standings Sophie Racing took victory from St Francis IX with Thisbee third.

In the Classic  Division consistency paid off for regatta organiser Ossi Paija at the helm of Astree III whose 7, 6, 8 scoreline gave him overall victory. Second place went to Sara of  Hangö skippered by Henrik Tenström, with Andreas Haubold’s Marianne third thanks to their second place in race three. Todays third Classic warm up race was won by Hanko III helmed by Thomas Kuhmann, but having missed yesterday’s second race the best they could do overall in the no discard series was 12th.

Full results are online at www.manage2sail.com

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Photo courtesy of sailpix.fi

The crews then repaired ashore for the fabulous Sinebrychoff Challenge Cup lunch at a waterside restaurant, after which they were able to enjoy the spectacle of the Classic 6 Metres FIN12 Fridolin, helmed by Henrick Lundberg with Tom Borenius as tactician, and FIN67 Djinn, helmed by Karl Gustav Pihl with George “Tusse” Tallberg as tactician, going head to head in a three match race final to decide the winner of the 2019 Sinebrychoff Challenge Cup – one of the oldest trophies in yacht racing after the America’s Cup. It was a fantastic competition but Djinn got the upper hand and with two race wins was declared the victor.

Racing for the 2019 Sinebrychoff 6 Metre World Championship commences tomorrow, Monday 5 August with up to two races scheduled and a planned first start time of noon.  You can follow the action live at tractrac.com and via the ISMA Facebook Page

Check out the event photos from sailpix.fi

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St Francis IX Leads Ranking After Opening Rounds of Sinebrychoff Challenge

Koff_pokaaliThe opening day of the Sinebrychoff Challenge in Hanko, Finland, which this year is being used as the warm up regatta for the 2019 Sinebrychoff 6 Metre World Championship, brought light and tricky conditions.  Two fleet races were completed as part of the series which will see the top crews quality for tomorrow’s Sinebrychoff Challenge match racing final.

Switzerland’s Huge Stenbeck, sailing SUI132 Sophie Racing, drew first blood with Andy Beadsworth at the helm of Peter Harrison’s K12 St Francis IX second and Beat Furrer at the helm of SUI104 Temptation 3 third.

The wind was very light and fickle and as a result there was a significant delay between the first and second race, buy once they were underway again Beadsworth got the upper hand and took race victory from Michel Teweles at the helm of SUI111 Thisbe with Philippe Durr’s SUI77 Junior, who had missed the first race of the day third.

IMG_2988In the overall standings Beadsworth now leads the fleet from Stenbeck, who took fifth in race two, with Furrer third, thanks to a fourth in the second race, and Teweles fourth.

Tonight the crews have enjoyed a delightful Welcome Reception at Hanko Town Hall and tomorrow there will be a single practise race in the morning followed by the match racing final of the Sinebrychoff Challenge.

Click here for full results