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Six Metre World Championship 2023 at the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes - Day 2

by Fiona Brown 5 Sep 13:40 PDT 31 August - 8 September 2023

A stellar day for Stella in the Open Division and a Classics three-way tie

The Solent was at is sparkling and most tidally challenging best for the second day of the International Six Metre World Championship in Cowes. With five races required to complete a series and light airs forecast for the third day, the Royal Yacht Squadron Race Committee did an excellent job of running races three and four of the series in a south-easterly that ranged from 6 to 15 knots. They also did an excellent job of almost completing race five, but harbour operations had other ideas and the need for a gas tanker to transit through the race area during the second run left the committee with no option but to abandon the race and ask the support and race committee RIBs to escort the boats safely out of the North Channel.

In the Open Division Violeta Alvarez’ Stella was on flying form, winning race three, taking fourth in race four and looking good for at least a second in the abandoned race five. Her consistency jumps her to the top of the Open rankings at the halfway point in the eight-race regatta. Now trailing her by two points is overnight leader Jamie Hilton’s Scoundrel who couldn’t quite match their opening day performance, but none the less took a seventh and a third to put them two points behind Stella. Third place in the open division is a tie between Philippe Duur and Rainer Muller’s Junior and Jeremy Thorp’s Battlecry. Junior took a fourth followed by a first and now sits in third on countback. Defending Champion Dieter Schoen’s Momo made eighth in race three and then achieved her best result of the series so far with a second in race four, putting her four points back in fifth.

After racing Violeta Alvarez paid tribute to her boat and crew for today’s performance saying, “I think the team has been doing a great job. Pablo [Inglesias Garcia] has got us on the right side of the course and the trimming of the boat is very good so I’m proud of the boys. The rest of the week is very open, there are still four races to go so still anyone can win so one has to keep focused and humble about where you are in the fleet. I think there’s great competition. Every single boat here has fantastic sailors. It’s a testament to the class how many good sailors are attracted to the class. So far, we’ve been extremely lucky, we’ve had wonderful sunshine, good wind, big tides, but then that’s what makes Cowes interesting – you always expect big tides here in the Solent.”.

It was all change in the Classic Division where Louis Heckly’s Dix Août, helmed this week by Gery Trentesaux, His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain’s Bribon and Simon Williams’ Silvervingen are now tied on points and lying first to third respectively on countback. Dix Août and Bribon won a race apiece and each also claimed a fourth today, leapfrogging them up the ranking, while Silvervingen scored exactly the same as day one with a seventh followed by a third. Fourth place overall is also currently a tie in the Classics between Mauricio Sanchez-Bella’s Titia and Patrick Sandman’s May Be VI. They lie four points behind the leaders with Titia claiming fourth on countback.

Ross McDonald, who today was at the helm of Bribon, talked about the challenges the of Solent tides. “The event so far has been quite tricky. We’ve had nice wind, but the current here is very tricky so for us trying to figure out which side to be on, like everyone else, is quite difficult. Today we had two good starts which made it a little easier and having some local knowledge on board [Simon Fisher] also helps on which direction to go, so we’re looking forward to the next few days. The forecast right now is a little bit complicated, not much wind for Wednesday or Friday, but it looks like there should be enough wind Thursday to complete the championship no problem. So, it’s up to the Race Committee and we’ll do whatever they tell us we need to do.

The loss of today’s fifth race was a blow for all concerned, particularly as there are light winds forecast for the remainder of the week and five races are required to constitute a championship. Additionally, many of the teams are carrying at least one high point result and so the introduction of a discard once six races have been completed will be much anticipated. The forecast for Wednesday is particularly light, but Thursday looks more promising, and Race Officer Peter Saxton and his committee will be doing all they can to complete the maximum number of races.

The start of racing on day three is scheduled for 11:30 and the Race Committee will update the competitors using its direct messaging system first thing in the morning to confirm their plans. Four races remain to be sailed in the eight race series which concludes on Friday 8 September.

Provisional Results after Day 2: (top five)

Open Division
1st Stella, GBR112, Violeta Alvarez - 5, 2, 1, 4 = 12pts
2nd Scoundrel, USA123, Jamie Hilton - 1, 3, 7, 3 = 14pts
3rd Junior, SUI77, Philippe Durr and Rainer Muller - 6, 9, 4, 1 = 20pts
4th Battlecry, GBR89, Jeremy Thorp - 8, 4, 3, 5 = 20pts
5th Momo, SUI143, Dieter Schoen - 9, 5, 8, 2 = 20pts

Classic Division
1st Dix Août, FRA111, Louis Heckly and Gery Trentesaux - 1, 14, 1, 4 = 20pts
2nd Bribon, ESP16, His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain - 3, 12, 4, 1 = 20pts
3rd Silvervingen, GBR31, Simon Williams - 7, 3, 7 , 3 = 20pts
4th Titia, ESP72, Mauricio Sanchez-Bella - 11, 1, 5, 7 = 24pts
5th May Be VI, FIN51, Patrick Sandman - 9, 7, 2, 6 = 24pts

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