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thanks for nothing!

6 sophie
Sophie 2. A sophisticated modern 6 Meter. Photo by Snap.

That’s what we were all saying to the wind gods who plagued the 6 Meter Europeans in Falmouth U.K,.this week. The Europeans ended today on a whimper in another dying breeze day and concluded a non event since the required five races was not achieved to establish a series.

Today was the make up day and with fingers crossed we all headed to the boats for the early start time with high hopes for two or possibly three races today. There was no time to grab a breakfast pasty or really bad coffee from Tesco as we had to get out and attack the morning breeze, which sadly did not arrive.

Still, we all headed out to the course and the PRO ultimately sent us on our way in what looked like light but reasonably steady breeze. Unfortunately, the breeze died and while the modern division managed to limp over the line the classics could not overcome the 0-2 knot gusts against a building adverse tide.

On US 83 Llanoria, we match raced a lobster pot for about half an hour and were soundly beaten. At that point we radioed the RC and let them know we were retiring. Other boats anchored for a while and the PRO, Chris Hadden, finally let the classics know that we were done.

Normally – after having three and a half days of being skunked for wind – there would be lots of grumbling, but everyone took it in stride. There was really nothing that could have been done with zero workable wind despite the admirable efforts of the race committee.

I’ve taken a few swipes in my reports and they’ve all been justified, especially calling out certain teams who had support boats that could have helped tow boats in (after being asked to) but chose not to, while others went over the top to help. The 6 meter fleet is chock full of really great people who are enthusiastic, love their boats, and partaking in an event that became a non event did not damper the overall feeling of general camaraderie among the bulk of the competitors.

6 actionThe race committee team really deserve some praise for doing everything possible to get the fleet racing. The British Open had some of the best 6 meter racing I’ve done with nice breeze and good courses. I for one am going to miss the voice of the radio time keeper, whom I nicknamed Davros (the imperial Dalek leader) with his count offs and when he announced ‘one minute to orange’ was eerily reminiscent of ‘orange alert’ from the classic 60’s series The Prisoner. All joking aside, the team on the Buccaneer Charlie and all the mark boats deserve a big hand and everyone appreciated their efforts!

The North American’s will be held in Vancouver in September, the site of the 2017 World’s. It promises to be a great event with several European teams coming over to test the waters. The official site is ¬†and you can find lots of shots from the British Open and Europeans as well as notices for the NA’s.

I’ve been racing 6 meters for five years now and race everything from Vipers to large high performance boats. The 6’s are amazingly cool to sail because whether you are in a modern or classic, there is plenty to do in these highly tweaky boats! If you get a chance, go for a sail on a tuned up classic or modern, you will be impressed!

The British Open winning team of US 83 Llanoria consisted of Eric ‘Jumbo’ Jespersen (helm), Chris ‘Snapper’ Winnard (Main/Tactics), Rodger ‘Nudger’ Phillips (Genoa/Spin), Peter ‘Noddie’ Hoffman (owner/ cockpit) and last but not least, Ross ‘Bubbles’ Jespersen on bow. We had a fantastic time in Falmouth and local comedy legend Jethro will be handing out the Snappie awards later this year in front of the Oggy Oggy Pasty Shop with musical guests, The Wurzels.¬†Photos – credit Dana E Olsen.

-Chris ‘Snapper’ Winnard