World Championship: Mid-Week Race Update

By Jens Lange: 

The International 6 Metre Class World Championships started Sunday (September 17). The weather had significantly changed from the days before, during the 6 Metre Pre-Worlds, with the fleet seeing very light winds, rain showers on and off and significantly lower temperatures. The Race Committee worked very hard to find a course with consistent wind direction and managed to get two races in for the first day. The starting line was kept very long and allowed all boats to find a clear path in the low wind pressure. This was a day where good sense for wind shifts and a bit of luck paid off, and the 1935 Bjarne Aas designed SAGA of Kimo Mackey came away with the win. The second race took place in light but more consistent easterly winds, which was equally challenging. LUCIE played the wind shifts and fleet positions changed numerous times. At the end of day one, the Olin Stephens designed GOOSE came out on top for the classic fleet. Off the water after racing, The Worlds Opening Ceremony took place, hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club with greetings from the First Nation.

Monday, September 18, day two of The Worlds started with the AP flag being hoisted onshore, as there was very little pressure, oscillating directions, on English Bay. It took a while to get out and when the fleet finally got to the proposed starting area on the west side of The Bay, a big fat shower came through and took out what little wind was there before, and 45 Six Metres bobbed around waiting for the breeze to build up again. It took a while but finally a northeasterly wind developed. The course was set up for the new direction, and the third race of the regatta finally went off. The wind shifted back and forth and the windward marks had to be adjusted throughout the race. The classic fleet played both sides of the course to seek better pressure around the light showers, which were still in the area. LUCIE fought hard and finished in ninth place, just to shake off and go straight into the fourth race of the regatta. This race saw a very tight start, most of the fleet had chosen the committee boat side of the line to start, and three boats got pushed and had to bear away. It was a little touch-and-go for LUCIE and another boat, but she redeemed herself with a full circle around the committee boat and was off to chase the fleet, passing one boat after another and ultimately finishing in eighth place overall.

We’ve had mixed results so far, but LUCIE is going very fast and there is lots of potential for the next races. Day three of racing (Tuesday, September 19) got cancelled after a few hours of waiting for breeze on shore, but our fifth race is scheduled for this morning at 11:00.

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LUCIE Wins 6mR Worlds Pre-Regatta

Team LUCIE went through two days of crew training and tuning the boat, we got accustomed to the local current and wind conditions and had some minor repairs at night and then headed right into the 6mR pre-World Championship regatta – The Westerleigh Cup.

The Westerleigh Cup was sailed in very light wind conditions with tide and current that was difficult to figure out. To give you an idea of the potential current the tide rise and fall is nearly 14’. 

The first start of the Westerleigh Cup found LUCIE very eager to get started. So eager in fact that Lucie was over the starting line early and had to return to the starting line to clear herself and start again – this put her in last place! What a great way to start a regatta, NOT!  Despite 20 classic 6 Meters in the Classic fleet, LUCIE fought her way back into the race to finish in 7th place. Not a bad result given her start. The second race went a little better for LUCIE. She got a good start, showed good speed throughout the race and was able to finish first.

Day 2 of the Westerleigh Cup had even lighter wind that started with a one hour Postponement ashore. The race committee finally got the fleet started in about 5 kt of shifting breeze. LUCIE came off the line just perfect, played the left side of the course and was able to finish 4th. The leader after Day 1, MAY BE VII, sailed by Dennis Conner, started prematurely but fought his way back to finish 11th. Day 1’s 2nd place boat was the renown “Goose” sailed by past 6 Meter World Champion Eric Jesperson won race 3.

After 3 races, the Olin Stephens designed GOOSE was still leading with LUCIE 2nd in the overall standings. The wind almost had died, AP went up, some waiting, more windshifts but finally by 2 pm the final start got off. LUCIE was able to get off the line and hold her lane. She fought hard with the Spanish entry BRIBON (helmed by HM Don Juan Carlos de Borbón). GOOSE unfortunately had an port-starboard situation with TOTEM and had to take a penalty turn which moved her back in the fleet. LUCIE struggled a bit on the last leg allowing the Finnish “Fridolin” to pass her but was able to hang on to a 4th place. That was just enough to give Lucie and her crew a hard earned 1st Place in the Westerleigh Cup in the Classic division, only one point ahead of MAY BE VII.

 

LUCIE Update: September 11

Full update on the boat from Jens Lange:
“Our second day in Vancouver went 100% to plan. We got LUCIE launched in the morning, towed around to the mast stepping pad and the spar went in right after lunch. We secured everything, got the last of the gear loaded and then we were off for a 90-minute tow over to the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, passing beautiful Stanley Park and navigating through pretty heavy commercial traffic. The bay in front of the yacht club is the anchorage for tankers and freighters waiting to get into Vancouver Harbour – about a dozen huge ocean freighters are on anchor where we will race, which will be interesting.

“From there, we returned to the yard by boat to get the car and later some clearing up on LUCIE back at the yacht club. Tomorrow will be dedicated to getting LUCIE back into race trim: final tuning of shrouds, installing the vang and backstay control, followed by a bunch of minor things so that LUCIE is ready for take off on Wednesday morning.”