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

by Fiona Brown 8 Sep 08:19 PDT 31 August - 8 September 2023

Three intense and thrilling races completed the 2023 Six Metre World Championship in style a day early. Knowing that the final day of the regatta was likely to be windless, the Royal Yacht Squadron's Race Officer Peter Saxton made the wise decision to run all three remaining races on the penultimate day.

With both Open and Classic Divisions still wide open it was to be a day of intense and spectacular competition. For the fourth day running the wind remaining in the south-east quadrant, predominantly at around five to seven knots with occasional puffs up towards double figures. Constant shift spotting, current evaluation and gear changing were vital throughout the racing.

Jamie Hilton's Scoundrel, a 1986 Ian Howlett design, went into the day leading the Open Division from Violeta Álvarez' 2017 Juan Kouyoumdjian designed Stella and Dieter Schoen's 2022 Vroelick designed Momo. Momo took victory in race six, but Scoundrel was right behind her, and Stella crossed third, maintaining the status quo. Race eight went to Philippe Durr and Rainer Muller's Junior (, but Scoundrel's team are nothing if not consistent and as they crossed the line in second place, they secured the championship with a race to spare.

As Junior headed for home Stella and Momo went head-to-head again in race eight to decide the Open silver and bronze medals. With the wind just holding at around five to six knots and the tide turning it was snakes and ladders on every leg. Ultimately it was Basil Vasilou's Jane Anne (1985 Pettersson) that took race victory, with Jan Eckert's GinkgoToo second and Eugenio Galdon Brugarolas' Maybe XIV third. Stella and Momo meanwhile were virtually match racing their way around the course and on the line, Stella crossed in sixth to secure second with Momo seventh and taking the final podium place.

After sailing, and a victory dunking courtesy of his team, Jamie Hilton was fulsome in his praise of his crew and his fellow competitors. "It's hard to process and winning the World Championship is candidly unbelievable. We didn't want to take any big risks, we wanted to execute as best as we could and I think we had two seconds and I'm speechless, it was just fantastic. We've had great competitors that kept us on our toes and really made us work hard.

"My crew Mike Marshall and I have sailed together for probably about ten or fifteen years now in a boat at home, the Shields, he really did a lot of the sail design work and is just a phenomenal talent. He really handled boat and it was his boat in the starts and he did the positioning and the tactics. Then there's Dave Hughes, a 470 World Champion sailor, just a fantastic guy to sail with. Everyone on the team adds so much confidence to me that my job becomes much, much simpler. And we've got Alan Terhune who's our tactician, and I think if you ask other boats on the racecourse, we were in a pretty good position most of the time. Addison Caprioni also sailed with me in my Shields back in Newport and did the bow. The whole team was just amazing, and I really feel fortunate to have not just such high-quality sailors, but fantastic people and real gentlemen to sail with."

The competition in the Classic Division was event tighter and the result went down to the wire. Ultimately it was to be a battle royal between the reigning champion Dix Août (1950 Bjarn Aas), owned by Louis Heckly, who is known affectionately in the fleet as the 'Maharajah of Djeezupuhr', and His Majesty King Carlos of Spain's Bribon (1947 Arvid Laurin). On behalf of the Maharajah, helmsman Gery Trentesaux and his crew gave it their all, but the King's Bribon was on fire, taking first place in races six and seven and securing the championship with a fourth in race eight. This is Trentesaux's first time in the Six Metre and it was clear that, although disappointed not to win, he was delighted to have enjoyed such terrific competition against such a strong crew.

The fight for the bronze medal in the Classic Division was nerve wracking as two of the boats in contention were disqualified under U flag in race six and the third was disqualified from race seven following a protest. Simon Williams Silvervingen (1939 Tore Holm) was one of the U flaged boats but went on to finish second and third in the other races to give his team the bronze medal by a single point. Mauricio Sanchez-Bella's Titia (1952 David Boyd) took fourth place and Patrick Sandman's May Be VI (1946 Tore Holm) came fifth.

His Majesty King Juan Carlos was delighted with Bribon's result and acknowledged the exceptional achievement of his team of helmsman Ross MacDonald, Alejandro Abescal, Alberto Viejo, Roi Álvarez and Simon Fisher. "It's a sensational team, a really good team. We've worked for it, we've fought for it, and here is the result.".

For Volvo Ocean Race five-time veteran Simon Fisher, who joined the Bribon crew to bring local knowledge of the Solent, this was as welcome return to the Sixes. "It's been a very, very hard-fought regatta, really tricky conditions. It's not often that you sail in south-eastly breeze for so many days in a row here on the Solent, and coming off spring tides there was plenty of tide all week. I've been very lucky to join this fantastic team for the week and I'm very proud we got the result we wanted. It wasn't easy, but very satisfying to get the result in the end. It's been a real pleasure to come and sail back in the Six Meters. I think the last time I sailed a Six was almost thirty years ago, so it's been an absolute pleasure to jump back in and get involved, learn about the boats and their history. It's been a really enjoyable experience and I hope I get the opportunity to do some more in the future."

In the Corinthian Divisions for amateur crews the Open Corinthian title went to Philippe Durr and Rainer Muller's Junior, a four-time past overall winner of the Open World Championship, built in 1981 to a Pettersson design with subsequent upgrades by Howlett. Patrick Sandman's May Be VI, designed by in 1946 by Tore Holm, was the Classic Corinthian winner.

Although there will be no sailing on the final day of the competition as all races have been completed, the Prize Giving Reception will still take place as planned at the Royal Yacht Squadron this evening where the sailors will come together for one final time to celebrate their champions.

Additional information about the 2023 International Six Metre World Championship, including a list of entries with details of each boat is available at

Overall Results: (top five)

Open Division

1st Scoundrel, USA123, Jamie Hilton - 1, 3, 7, 3, 2, 2, 2 (19/RTD) = 20pts
2nd Stella, GBR112, Violeta Alvarez - 5, 2, 1, 4, 6, 3, 6, (6) = 27pts
3rd Momo, SUI143, Dieter Schoen - (9), 5, 8, 2, 1, 1, 4, 7 = 28pts
4th Junior, SUI77, Philippe Durr and Rainer Muller - 6, 9, 4, 1, (11), 4, 1, 9 = 34pts
5th GinkgoToo, SUI140, Jan Eckert - (14), 1, 6, 12, 3, 5, 7, 2 = 34pts

Classic Division

1st Bribon, ESP16, His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain - 3, (12), 4, 1, 4, 1, 1, 4 = 18pts
2nd Dix Août, FRA111, Louis Heckly and Gery Trentesaux - 1, (14), 1, 4, 1, 6, 4, 7 = 24pts
3rd Silvervingen, GBR31, Simon Williams - 7, 3, 7, 3, 9, (16/UFD), 2, 3 = 34pts
4th Titia, ESP72, Mauricio Sanchez-Bella - 11, 1, 5, 7, 3, (16/UFD), 2, 3 = 35pts
5th May Be VI, FIN51, Patrick Sandman - 9, 7, 2, 6, 5, 5, (16/DSQ), 8 = 43pts

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