Lucie Takes First Place for Day 1 Metrefest

LUCIE takes the bullet on day 1 of the 2017 Metrefest regatta in Newport!

The Metrefest started with the traditional Race around Conanicut Island – a 14 nm course around “Jamestown Island”, a beautiful sight with plenty of Metre boats on the line. LUCIE got off to a great start and took the lead heading out the bay toward Beavertail, then defended her lead going up north through the West Passage of Narragansett Bay. As the fleet was turning back south heading down the East Passage back to Newport things got tight, LUCIE got seriously challenged by the Modern 6 DISCOVERY, lost the lead for a while but choose the better side when the whole fleet came to a brief stop in a big wind hole north of the Pell bridge.

LUCIE took the lead back and defended her position for the last two miles toward the finish.

We are looking forward to some windward leeward racing today – stay tuned.

More photos from Jens Lange

Swiss Open Championship – Day 2

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The second day of the Swiss Open Championship started yesterday with an early skippers meeting and immediate heading out to the Lake, despite no wind. Because we did not get in any valid races on Tuesday, the race officers wanted the whole fleet out on the water to take any and all opportunities to get some races in. The rules state that we need to complete three races for the event to constitute as the Swiss Open Championship. So, we sat in the drizzle and rain for over three hours.

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At 1:30 pm, the first race of the day got started, the moderns got off the line just fine, but the classics were all a bit trigger happy after two days of jogging around. The first start was a general recall; the second start shortly after got blown off as well. The third try at starting a race was under the black flag, which means any boat being early over the line would be immediately disqualified, and still with only about seven knots of wind three boats were over the line early. However, we finally we had a race underway.

LUCIE went left to get under shore; the rest of the fleet split evenly, some left, some right. The left side paid off, LUCIE rounded the first windward mark as first boat, hoisted the kite and did not give up the leading spot for the whole downwind leg. It was a slow run, but at the leeward mark LUCIE had carved out a 40-second lead on the second place boat. From there, it was basically about covering the second place boat back up to the windward mark. By this time the race for the moderns had already been shortened, so the classics knew what was coming: finishing at the windward mark.

LUCIE defended her lead just fine and took the first bullet in the Swiss Open Championship. It was around 2:45 pm and very clear that no further race could be started before 3 pm, so it was time to head in. Just as LUCIE was being towed in, the orange storm warning lights on shore started flashing again! We towed the boat home at max speed and made it home safely with the rest of the fleet.

The planned awards ceremony for the Swiss Open Championship got cancelled as no three races could be completed. However, we all still had a very nice pasta dinner at the regatta center, all crews mixing and telling lots of stories.

There is still is a chance to complete the Swiss Open Championship, and two races have been scheduled for Friday morning, and if all participants vote and agree the Swiss Championship could be extended to Friday evening, with the 6MR European Championships being pushed to Saturday. More info on this will be provided later today.

Today is a lay-day for us, and all boats participating in the 6MR European Championships will have to get measured and approved. We are spending the day moving sails, getting the boat into race trim and making sure everything is in proper order.

6 Metre Invitational: Wrap

Over the past three days, we have seen spectacular racing in San Francisco Bay for the International 6 Meter Invitational Regatta hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club. Eight boats came to race and LUCIE made the journey all the way from the East Coast. Teams consisted of local boats as well as some that had traveled from Seattle, Vancouver, and San Diego. It was a very competitive fleet with classes split between Rule 2, Rule 3 and Modern Boat Divisions.

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Courses were set between the St. Francis Yacht Club and the Golden Gate Bridge, with Alcatraz and San Francisco’s city front providing the backdrop! What seemed to be fairly calm waters from ashore proved to be a lot rougher once out, and the fleet saw everything from 5 knots to gusts above 20 knots, which provided challenging conditions for all competitors.

Tuesday saw three races, all at a very high and competitive level.

All eight boats started at the same time, and as could be expected the moderns pulled away from the field. It was a nice showing of hull development over 60+ years, but the classics still held their own and showed mixed results between the Rule 2 and Rule 3 Classes, which were all very close with results with one boat standing out: the famous GOOSE, which not only was sailed flawless by 6 Meter World Champions Peter Hofman and Eric Jespersen, but also confirmed its reputation of possibly being the fastest Rule 3 6 Meter ever launched.

On Wednesday we were greeted with even more wind. After two races — with the second race seeing gusts of just over 20 knots and a few round-ups — the race committee called it for the day.

Thursday was scheduled to start racing late, with the first warning was planned for 1600, as the previously used race course was partially closed off for the training of the US NAVY Blue Angels. They were still showing some of their stunts by the time the fleet went out. The conditions lightened up as the late afternoon was progressing, and just with sunset the fleet finished the third race. Altogether, eight races were accomplished, finishing up a great event! From there, everybody headed straight for the bar and lots of discussions and maneuver reviews were held over proper drinks! The whole fleet is looking forward to the awards dinner on Friday night. By that time the first boats will be hauled out already.

Jens Lange