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


Happy Birthday Lucie!

Check out photos from LUCIE’s Birthday Party in Brunnen, Switzerland: IMG_1777 IMG_1769 IMG_1768 IMG_1766 IMG_1765



Swiss Open Championship – Day 3 Extension


After the original two days of the Swiss Open Championship, only one race was completed (which LUCIE won), so a vote was taken among all boats that had entered for the Swiss Open Championship to ask if they wanted to extend this regatta by one day and use the Friday “practice race day” for the 6MR European Championships and make is part of the Swiss Open Championship. All boats agreed and the schedule for the day was changed slightly to accommodate, and we headed out a bit earlier than usual to try for three races between 11 am and 3 pm.

The Race Committee took the fleet all the way to the south end of Lake Uri, which unfortunately took a long time. It then took a while to set the course with the floating marks (the lake is around 650 feet deep, so anchoring marks is not an option) and around noon we finally got the first gun.

LUCIE had a good start, battling for position with FIN 67 DJINN (Henrik Andersin) and kept climbing up the first windward mark just fine, but shortly before the leading group of five boats made it to the mark, the race was cancelled as the wind was dying. The sun finally came out for the first time in five days, lots of layers of clothes came off, and 30-some boats lay completely becalmed on the southern part of Lake Uri.

Again we watched the time ticking away, and by 2:45 the Race Committee finally called off the day, as there was no more chance to start another race by 3 pm. We towed home. (A fresh new breeze came up on the northern part of the lake around 3:15 but it was too late.)

So there is no Swiss Open Championship for 6 Meters this year, but Saturday will mark the start of the 2016 European Championships. There is plenty of sunshine in the forecast and we hope for some wind, though the thermal could take a while.

The opening dinner was a huge success with over 200 sailors and company enjoyed great company, live music and a very nice meal.