6MR European Championship – Day 1

Saturday brought about quite a change in the scenery on Lake Lucerne. The morning greeted us with clear blue skies (still cold though) and dramatic views of the surrounding mountains. The marina was full of activity, and everybody was excited about the start of the 6MR European Championship. Right after the skippers meeting, the fleet went out, all the way down to Lake Uri where we finally found a steady but slightly shifty breeze of 12 to 15 knots.
The Sailing Instructions call for two starts per day, and shortly after 11 am the first race of the 2016 6MR European Championship was underway. It was not clear which side of the course would be better, so both the moderns as well as the classics split the field, only to make it to the windward mark after 20-some minutes to find out that it didn’t make a difference. The top of the fleet kept close, which made the roundings exciting (and in some cases noisy). LUCIE played her cards right and rounded in fourth-place position, defended that position all the way through the race and finished with a solid fourth in the first race.
The second start of the day went well for the moderns but the classics again proved to be a bit trigger happy; the first two starts of the second race went into general recall, which triggered a black flag start. This time, LUCIE choose the right side of the course but got into traffic under shore and needed to fight for clean air, which ended up costing a few positions, and she held eight place around the first mark rounding. But LUCIE is a fighter and made up on the first downwind leg, constantly catching up. By the final leg, she was back in fifth position and fighting hard. And just at the last rounding, toward the off-set finish line, LUCIE snug through on the inside. ASTREE was too slow in getting the kite in and LUCIE was through and 200 meters on a reach to the finish line. It was almost a photo finish, but LUCIE prevailed with a one-foot lead, taking fourth place in the second race of the day and holding fourth place overall going into Sunday’s racing.

Onshore all sailors were greeted by the LUCIE birthday party! LUCIE celebrated 85 years this summer, and she still looks stunning. She went right to the guest dock, and magically flags and flowers appeared. Over 200 sailors and guests came in from the water greeted by live music, drinks and food. By now the LUCIE birthday party has become quite the tradition and everybody looks forward to having a good time and discussing the day on the water.

And that birthday cake was out of this world! It took over five minutes until everybody had taken pictures of it before it could be cut. It was super tasty. The Swiss know how to make a cake!

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