6MR European Championship Photo Gallery

6MR European Championship Wrap Report


The beautiful LUCIE is a well-experienced lady, initially commissioned by none other then Briggs Cunningham in 1931 – a man of many talents. It is believed that he actually invented the cunningham onboard LUCIE, which was named after his wife at the time. The 85-year-old LUCIE has been traveling like a youngster over the past six years, starting in 2011 in Helsinki, then Stockholm, Flensburg, Falmouth, Le Trinete sur Mer and this year Brunnen in Switzerland. Ever since Matt Brooks took on LUCIE as her steward (or did she take on him?) LUCIE has been sailed by the same crew year after year. We’ve traveled to some beautiful places together, made great friendships and developed a 6 Meter that looks like she’s from 1931, but sails as if she is 40 years younger.


Team LUCIE – sailing under the burgee of the St.Francis Yacht Club since 2011 – did some training and tuning in Newport, RI this spring before the classic yacht was shipped across the Atlantic to Brunnen, Switzerland to sail on Lake Lucerne. We were looking forward to spending ten days together as a crew and team, training, sailing, racing and exploring the Swiss Alps. The scenery was picture perfect. It is a crystal clear mountain lake that glittered turquoise and is surrounded by the Alps, with several glaciers visible high up.

The Classes:
In 6 Meter sailing, we usually differentiate between two classes: the Moderns Class and the Classics Class, with the classics being sub-divided into Rule 1 (1907 – 1920), Rule 2 (1920 – 1933) and Rule 3 (1933 – 1965). With each rule change in the classics division major changes to the boat designs were introduced, yet the classics of several generations still sail together, which makes for attractive, fairly large and very competitive fields. LUCIE is a true Rule 2 boat, still sailing under wooden spars, with Dacron sails and bronze deck hardware, like she did in 1931.

The 2016 6MR European Championship:
The pre-regatta (“Swiss Open”) was mostly a wash with no winds, cold temperatures and lots of rain. However, the European Championship was a success, sailed over four days in mostly beautiful and sunny weather, which guaranteed for great afternoon breezes around 15 knots that were brought in by the thermal effect off the surrounding mountains. The 16 boats in the classic division sailed very competitive races with tight starts, close roundings, and very few protests. Despite their age, these boats are tricked out and pushed very hard. The level of competitiveness in this class increases year after year.

LUCIE sailed a clean regatta, and even though she likes the breeze to stay around ten knots she performed great in the 15-knot wind. Day after day, she finished in the top group of the classic division. She took home one bullet and finished the regatta in fifth place overall, losing a tiebreaker to the fourth-place boat FLAPPER.

LUCIE brings home with her the prestigious August Ringvold Memorial Trophy (awarded to the fastest Rule 1 or Rule 2 boat) as well as the Baum & König Trophy (for the fastest boat with Dacron sails and a wooden mast).

— Jens Lange


6MR European Championship – Day 4


The fourth and last day of the 2016 6MR European Championship started again with an early skippers meeting and a tow out to the south side of Lake Uri. Like the previous days we had to wait for the wind, but the whole fleet was chipper. With six races already in the bag, we all knew that we would have a valid Championship. Each boat already had one striker (dropping the worst race from the count) and now we were anticipating two more races, because the rules of this championship state that if all scheduled eight races are completed each boat would be able to drop two races. So this presented a great opportunity to polish the overall standing.


It again took until 12:30 until we had stable enough thermal breeze to lay a course and by the time the moderns had started and the sequence for the classics began it was already 1:15. This would be tight as the last race could not be started after 3 pm and we knew from previous days that course two (two up, two down) will take around 75 minutes. Anyways – LUCIE hung deep at the pin during the final minute of the starting sequence – maybe to deep? – and with the gun crossed the line but immediately saw a gap opened up by FIN67 DJINN and layed over to port tack. Phenomenal start and now all clean air! Would this be LUCIE’s race? The wind was significantly lighter then the previous days, the thermal breeze was only around 10 knots, LUCIE’s favored conditions.


The LUCIE crew sailed without flaws, staying out of any dogfights and seeking clean lanes. LUCIE met DJINN shortly before the first rounding, with LUCIE leading by less than a half a boat length. LUCIE took the inside position, kept her speed and rounded in first place. It was exciting and tight sailing, all very clean. However, there were still three legs to go and the wind was lightening more and more.

By the last leg, LUCIE was in striking distance of the tail-end of the modern fleet and more than ten boat lengths ahead of DJINN. Just as LUCIE reached the last rounding mark to head for the short reach toward the finish line the wind spun and almost died. LUCIE had her spinnaker flying and on what was supposed to be a reaching leg. It started getting slow and boats coming down the course started closing in. However, the entire fleet got stuck in the little wind hole right around the last turning mark while LUCIE slowly reached the finish line and won the race. (DJINN, who was in a solid second place all through the race, got overtaken by LLENORIA at the last mark rounding).

There were 30 minutes left to get the second and final race of the day started. The wind kept building and then peaked at about 15 knots.

The final race of the 6MR European Championship got started at 2:45. It was a longer course this time and LUCIE chose the left side initially as it looked like slightly less wind, but it didn’t pay off. By the first rounding, the Rule 3 boats had taken advantage of their higher wind abilities on the right side, and LUCIE rounded in 10th place. But there was no giving up yet with potentially five more legs to go. So LUCIE was now kicking and fighting, and leg after leg passing one or two boats until she was in 6th place at the fourth rounding. But then a line fouled on deck right after the rounding, and the genoa did not come in. LUCIE got passed by a few boats she had fought so hard to catch. So LUCIE finished the last race of this Championship in 10th place.

Overall LUCIE finished the 2016 European Championships in 5th place with same points as 4th place FLAPPER who beat LUCIE in the last race and therefore won the tie-breaker.

LUCIE won the August Ringvold Memorial Trophy and the Baum and König Trophy

Next stop: PANERAI Newport Classic Yacht Regatta in Newport, RI (September 2nd – 4th)