6 mR LUCIE – US55 – 2012 Season

The August Ringvold Memorial Trophy

LUCIE – a 1931 Clinton Crane rule II vessel – started its 2012 season long before the first sun rays of spring hit the frosty ground: After a very successful campaign in Helsinki in the summer 2011 with the boat freshly out of the restoration shed we faced a long list of changes, improvements and repairs over the winter.

The focus was primarily on speed and rigging and after a 3D scan of the boat it turned out that a simple fairing of the boat would not be enough to boost her speed. The rudder unfortunately had warped badly and the only logical remedy was the design and construction of a new rudder. As LUCIE “lives” on her own trailer when out of the water we wanted a design for the new rudder that would allow to take the blade off without lifting the boat of the trailer. The design parameters also called for construction that would be immune to any warping. Without going too deep into the design elements in this article a new rudder was designed and built at Baltic Boat Works in Newport – the rudder essentially features four lifts of Maranti plywood with seven G10 lined removable stainless steel drifts and access pockets which allow the blade to be removed from the rudder stock. The whole blade is glassed over, the access pockets are capped with G10 plates and the trailing edge is supported by a G10 inlay. Feedback from the crew after the first sea trials were excellent.

As some of you recall LUCIE had a very close call in Helsinki when her jib halyard sheave box ripped out of the wooden mast during the first race. It got temporarily fixed in Helsinki (in a miraculous overnight stunt) but certainly created the need to review the issue before the 2012 season. It soon became clear that all halyard sheave boxed needed work, some of them got an all new design, but all of them received thru bolted sheaves set in G10 bushings to prevent pulling thru the grain.

Further improvements were made to the mast step to allow some tuning and the mast partner, which now allows faster adjustment of the partners to the sailing conditions.

In early May LUCIE was launched in Narragansett Bay for some tuning sails in preparation for the European Championship in Sweden. LUCIE was joined by FLAPPER who would become her travel companion to Sweden. Over the course of three weeks several smaller changes were made, last adjustments to the sails were introduced and the crew got some training in before we hauled LUCIE again, packed her up and send her on the long journey to Nynashamn, south of Stockholm, Sweden.

LUCIE and FLAPPER traveled from Newport/Bristol to New York on their trailers, from there by ocean vessel to Gothenburg on the Swedish West Coast, then onto a flat bed trailer and across Sweden to Nynashamn, some 30 miles south of Stockholm. Nynashamn was the location of all sailing competitions of the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, so this little town celebrated the centennial of this event by hosting a long string of Championships for all sorts of sailing classes – and in late July it was time for one week of 6 Metre sailing! Close to 30 entries were listed for the 6 Metre European Championship of which 18 boats competed in the classic division.

The local Yacht Club (Nynashamn Segelsallskap / Nynashamn Yacht Club) did an outstanding job of accommodating the whole fleet, many volunteers were at hand at all times to support the fleet and all its crew. They ran an absolutely flawless regatta and provided perfect conditions for a professional regatta event.

LUCIE used the first two days for training, tuning, and to get everything adapted to the local Swedish waters, many tacks and jibes over two days, followed at night with adaptions to hardware and sails.

28 boats (10 modern, 18 classics) were ready on Monday morning to get the regatta underway – and got AP’ed with winds beyond 25 kt in the various course areas. But on Tuesday the racing finally started and LUCIE was right in the mix, finishing in the upper half of the field. As the Championship continued over the next three days LUCIE got more and more into her groove and was always seen in the top third of the classic division – not that big of a deal until the boats are back at the yacht club and one realizes that LUCIE is a pure Rule II boat sailing in a fleet of mostly Rule III classics. So – no self tailing winches, no cam cleats, a beautiful wooden spar and Dacron sails… This also made LUCIE very easy to spot on the starting line: look at the first boats over the line and find the one boat with white Dacron sails – and you got LUCIE.

So after seven races over three days of the European Championship LUCIE finished in a very respectable (and respected) 5th place overall, only beaten by a few rule III boats and followed for several places by rule III boats. Team LUCIE certainly was happy with the result and the boat was awarded the August Ringvold Memorial Trophy, a trophy that dates back to the year 1908 and is awarded in the spirit of Mr. August Ringvold, who himself was an immensely competitive Six Metre yachting helmsman in his days. The August Ringvold Memorial Trophy is owned by the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club and is presented to the 6mR yacht that carries a valid measurement certificate, designed and built in accordance with the 1st (1907-1919) (“Rule 1″) or 2nd (1919-1933) (“Rule 2″) International Rule and that accumulates the highest aggregate score among such yachts in the Six Metre European Championships.

And so went the awards dinner: everybody on Team Lucie had such a good time in Sweden that the decision was made to do this again and participate in the 6 Metre World Championship 2013 in Flensburg, Germany! But first LUCIE had to go back home to the US, again a long haul across Sweden, another Ocean crossing on a ro-ro ship to New York and then back up to Newport. Two days after LUCIE was released from customs she was floating again in Newport – just in time to make it to the starting line of the PANERAI Museum of Yachting Newport Classic regatta! Another two days of racing and LUCIE won the 6 Metre division of the MoY Newport Classic regatta – what a homecoming…

As of this writing in mid October LUCIE is still in the water with the crew focusing on preparing the boat for the Worlds next year in Germany – hardware adjustments, changes to some running rigging and a new main sail all need to be implemented and tested. But the list of winter projects is fairly short and when LUCIE finally gets into the shop for the off season it should be an easy winter hiatus – the LUCIE crew however is already looking forward to Germany in 2013.

Jens Lange
Baltic Boat Works

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