Sadly strong winds made sailing impossible for the forty-three strong International Six Metre fleet on final day of the Société Nautique de Genève’s Annual Regatta at Sea in La Trinité Sur Mer.
With two races completed on the opening day, Paul Smith’s Valhalla GBR107, the current British Six Meter Champion and winner of the 2012 European Championship in Nynashamm, claimed overall victory and the prestigious Annual Regatta at Sea Trophy.
The competitors’ attention now turns to the World Championship, which opens Monday and concludes on Friday 5 June. Eight races are scheduled with racing planned for Monday 1 through Thursday 4 June with Friday being a reserve day if required.
As always the Classic Division has a strong entry of 23 teams, but this event is remarkable in that it has also attracted a large entry in the Modern Division, which has seen an enthusiastic resurgence of interest in recent years. This is a very welcome increase on the past entries of just 10 or 12 Moderns a few years ago.
The title Modern Division is perhaps a misnomer since it incorporates boats built as early as 1967, but in a class which dates back to the 1920s that actually is quite “Modern”! The Six Metres hit their heyday during the era of the 12 Metres in the America’s Cup, when the Sixes provided ideal test beds for many of the greatest yachting innovations of the era.
Following the demise of the 12s in the America’s Cup the Sixes saw a similar downturn, but in recent years discerning owners have seen their potential for truly first quality racing at a very affordable price. A top flight Modern with an excellent track record can be purchased for around £40,000 and there are a number of good second hand boats available at a range of prices.
This week’s crew list alone feature the likes of Olympic medalists Phil Crebbin, Eric Jespersen, Peter Holmberg and Alba Batzill, Etchells World Champion and legendary sailing coach David “Sid” Howlett, past Six Metre World Champions Tony Griffin, Yan Marilley, Steve Kinsey, Barry Van Leeuwen and Eddie Eich, 12 Metre and Classic Six Metre World Champion Jamie Hilton and 5.5 Metre World Champion Kenneth Thelen,to name but a few.
With eight World Championship races ahead of us there will be plenty of opportunity to see just how exciting the Six Metres can be. Further information, news and results from the regatta will be available from 6metreworlds.com
Annual Regatta at Sea Trophy – Open Division
1. GBR107 – Valhalla – Paul Smith – 3, 1 = 4 pts
2. USA105 – Jane Ann – Jali Makila – 4, 2 – 6 pts
3. FRA107 – Tsigane – Nayl Driss – 1, 6 = 7 pts
4. FRA177- Junior No Limit Yacht – 2, 5 = 7 pts
5. GBR86 – Scoundrel 1 – 7, 3 = 10 pts
Annual Regatta at Sea Trophy – Classic Division
1. US83 – Llanoria – Eric Jespersen – 1, 1 = 2 pts
2. SUI344 – Astree – Louis Heckly – 3, 4 – 7pts
3. GER30 – Mena – Thomas Kuhmann – 5, 3 = 8 pts
4. US55 – Lucie – Matt Brooks – 2, 10 = 12 pts
5. FRA111 – Dix Aout – Pierre-Paul Heckly – 9, 5 = 14 pts
Full Results: www.6metreworlds.com