A Note from RC Keefe


RC Keefe, Senior Staff Commodore and Club Historian at the St. Francis Yacht Club:

I did an evening at the Corinthian Yacht Club last month; the slide show at one point showed two photographs of Lucie, one taken recently, and one taken during the yachting trial races for the American Olympic Games, held in Santa Barbara in 1931. I had not noticed, but it was in the form of a question from the floor; why did she show as “6 US 36” in 1931 and “6 US 55” in 2016? Quickly, on my feet at the microphone, I simply said that I would look into this. I was pleased that one of the Corinthians was paying attention.  A little research into the 50 years of 6 Metre history indicated that the photographs were of two different boats. Lucie was designed by Clinton Crane, who was a very prominent Naval Architect as well as Commodore of the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in Oyster Bay on Long Island Sound.  She was launched as Akabar by the Nevin’s Yard in City Island, New York City in 1927, for his own account.  She carried the class number 36.  She was very successful racing here and in Europe. He only kept her a year, and then sold her to Briggs Cunningham, who renamed her Lucie.  In late 1930, Cunningham sold her to St. Francis Yacht Club’s Cyril Tobin (Commodore 1934). He renamed her Naiad, still carrying the number 36. It was Tobin who entered her in the 1931 Olympic trials.  She won a couple of races when Tobin withdrew her from the trials.  It seems that there was a collision on the course, not involving Naiad, during the third race.  The Race Committee declined to convene a protest hearing, and that didn’t sit well with Tobin.  He felt one boat had to be at fault and disqualified; the Committee did not. The Olympic Games and the 6 Metre Class, a class of gentlemen, were very important to him.  Naiad sold immediately, and returned to New York ownership.  Enter Briggs Cunningham again; in late 1931, Clinton Crane designed a new 6 Metre for him built at Nevins in City Island in 1931.  She was Christened, Lucie II, carrying the number “6 US 55”. In 1952, Clinton Crane wrote “Yachting Memories”.  He mentions that over the years, he had designed over 40 6 Metres for some of the country’s principal yachtsmen and believed Lucie II to be the best of his stable.   She was his last 6 Metre design in 1922.  He then moved onto the “M” Class Sloops and the 12 Metre Class. Lucie II (No. 55) is still very active.  Lucie (No. 36), once Akabar and later Naiad, is long gone.  So much for the numbers game.



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