Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - NZ

Six Metre Europeans - Wind fails to make an appearance on day 2

by Fiona Brown on 23 Jul 2014
2014 Six Metre European Championship - Day 2 Fiona Brown © http://www.fionabrown.com
Sadly the wind failed to make an appearance on day two of the Six Metre European Championship in Falmouth and the twenty-seven strong fleet experienced a frustrating day of waiting in vain. Initially the Race Committee held the fleet ashore for a three-hour postponement, but by early afternoon there were signs of a sea breeze so the boats set off for the race area.

Race Officer Chris Hadden takes up the story; 'We always knew, from the advanced forecasts over the past 48 hours, that this would be a challenging day. During the mid to late afternoon there were several points at which our hopes got up that the wind was going to play, and at one point we actually managed a start, but unfortunately the wind faded. All sympathy with the competitors, who have had a frustrating day in the very light winds. Looking ahead for the next two to three days, the forecast remains for light winds. We are going to try to hold extra races on Wednesday and Thursday to get back on schedule. Fingers crossed!'

So the overall standings remain unchanged tonight with Titia leading the Classic Division on four points ahead of Gallant second on seven points and Nada third on nine points. In the Modern Division Valhalla and Blade Runner are tied for the lead on three points with Notorious lying third on 9.5 points.

Fortunately it takes a lot to keep the Six Metre sailors down and whilst the racing didn't go their way, the après sailing fun most certainly did. Back on the dock the entire fleet was invited to a very special birthday party to celebrate the 84th birthday of Matt Brooks' Classic Six Metre Lucie. Lucie was the last Six Metre designed by Clinton Crane and she is arguably his best.

She was built by Henry B Nevin's yard on City Island, New York, for the well-known American sailor Briggs Cunningham, who went on to skipper the 12 Metre Columbia to a four straight wins victory over British challenger Scepter in the 1958 America's Cup. Under Briggs' ownership Lucie represented the US three times in the British-American Trophy races, the last being in 1936 when they won the event, also in four straight races. She continued racing on the Great Lakes through the 1950s, but then went into a gentle decline.

As if often the way with Six Metre's there is a great story around how Lucie came into Matt Brooks' ownership in 2011. Matt and Jamie Hilton Sr had been racing together in Antigua Classic Week on another boat. Jamie had been invited to sail as a tactician in the 2011 Six Metre World Cup and talked the offer through with Matt on their flight home from the regatta.

Matt liked the sound of Six Metres so persuaded Jamie that they should find a boat and race the 2011 Worlds in Helsinki together instead.


So far, so good. Matt was enthusiastic. Jamie was enthusiastic. All they needed was to find a boat to charter and a crew to race with. Oh, and Matt was insistent that she must be have a wooden mast and Dacron sails and a good pedigree. Oh, and they had just three months to put the whole thing together. But as Jamie explains 'You should never tell Matt that something isn't possible.'

So the search began for a charter, but in mid-May Jamie heard about Lucie, which was about 85% of the way through a complete restoration at Brion Rieff Boat Builders in Brooklyn, Main. When she'd arrived in the yard her transom had been cut off, an outboard had been wedged into her just behind the aft cockpit, her rig was beyond all hope, her hull and deck were in a sorry way and she hadn't measured as a Six in fifty years. Her then owner had lost interest in the project and Brion was desperate to find her a new owner who would complete her refit properly.

She was the right era, she had a wooden mast (albit an unfinished blank), she had Dacron sails, and the work done by Brion and his team so far was of exceptional quality, although she still needed deck fittings, paint, varnish, and her new spar needed fully fitting out. Matt, Jamie, Brion and Lucie were the perfect partnership, so the race was on to complete the refit in time to ship her to Helsinki for the July 2011 Worlds.

Naval architect Jacob Vargish had already been involved in the refit and played an invaluable role in the completion of the project, as did craftsmen from the IYRS School of Technology and Trades, many of whom worked on the project with Brion and his team. Thirty days later and the boat was finished, complete with her new wooden rig, custom made bronze fittings and wooden blocks to ensure she looks 100% as original on deck, and a host of clever systems below deck to allow her to be raced competitively.


At this point neither Matt nor Jamie had ever sailed a Six, but they changed that on 5 June when they launched Lucie and took her for her one and only 90 minute trial sail before she was shipped to Europe on 12 June. Once in Helsinki, Lucie soon proved that she had lost none of her winning ways. Not only did she finish the World Cup as the leading Vintage Six (built to the second iteration of the rule), but she also came sixth overall in the regatta. She finished in the top six overall at the 2013 European Championship too, and then went on to be the only boat in the combined fleet to win two races in the 2013 World Cup in Flensburg and finish fifth overall. For Matt and Jamie this year's European Championship is only the fourth regatta they have ever sailed in Lucie and they are on track for a great result here too.


This evening's party, which was hosted by Matt and his wife Pam Rorke-Levey, Team Lucie and the IYRS School of Technology and Trades, celebrated not only Lucie's Birthday, but all the grand old ladies of the Six Metre fleet and the skilled craftspeople that keep them in fine fettle.

The IYRS is a world-class trade school, and it’s School of Boatbuilding and Restoration, based in Rhode Island, specialises in teaching tehnical and craft-oriented marine trades. Many graduates, faculty members and affiliates participated in the restoration of Lucie in some way and both Matt and Jamie are members of the IYRS board. They are hugely supportive of the invaluable work the organisation does in training craftsmen in the skills needed to maintain historic yachts like Lucie, and they are rightly proud of the fact that 95% of the school's pupils have secured full time jobs by the time they graduate.


The party also celebrated the bounteous wonders of our host county Cornwall, with live music by local Cornish musicians and cocktails made using Knightor sparkling wine, Tarquin's Dry Gin, Elemental Cornish Gin and Cornish Orchards Elderflower Presse and Apple Juice. The food was also entirely Cornish grown/reared/produced and featured delicious canapés and of course traditional Cornish Pasties!


And so the sun set on day two of a regatta where a frustrating day's sailing could be immediately forgotten in the enjoyment of the camaraderie of fellow Six Metre sailors and the wonderful boats they race.

Hopefully day three will bring better winds and the Race Committee will be able to run all three of the planned races. The racing is currently scheduled to continue until Thursday 24 July, however Friday 25 July is a reserve day on which racing can be run if less than eight races have been completed by Thursday night.
Event website

InSunSport - NZKilwell - 1Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr