Club Members Race in 6 Metre Worlds!

Club member Mark Wallace and a mostly local crew are having the time of their lives participating in the 6 Metre World Championships in Vancouver: http://6mvancouver2017.com/2017-6mr-schedule-pacific-northwest/

Along with Mark, Paul Faget, Douglas Woolcock, Ron Mazza and Ole Andersen are the crew racing the classic 6 metre Kitsita II. The boat was built in 1935 for Danish Baron Juel Von Brockdorf.  Sometime in the 1960s it showed up in Ontario, where it was owned by Ron Mazza’s father.  After being sunk by its next owner, the boat was then bought by 6 metre aficionado Rainer Mueller on Mark’s recommendation, and was transported to Saltspring, where Mark has spent more than 3000 hours restoring it.

Mark, Ron and Ole initially spent 3 days working on fitting the boat with the necessary hardware to make it raceworthy, finishing literally just in time, within an hour of the start of the Westerleigh Cup series. So they had no practice time as a complete crew beforehand. As a result, they did not have high expectations of themselves going into the races, but they nonetheless managed to finish 15th after 4 races.

So far, they report having an incredible experience, being part of it and mingling with sailors from Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Brazil, USA, Spain, Great Britain, and Canada, and viewing all the beautiful 6 metres.

Fascinating Tidbits…

  • the 6 Metre Class is about 100 years old
  • there are 2 classes, Classic and Modern; boats built after 1968 or so are considered Modern and can be very sophisticated, with wing keels and other modifications
  • each of Kitsita II‘s crew members had sailed in the boat beforehand, but the crew had never practiced together as a team before their first race
  • they are racing against such notables as the King of Spain, Dennis Connor, Ross McDonald, Ron Holland, Torben and Lars Grael from Brazil (racing Mark’s former boat Saskia)
  • Kitsita II is “a bit dried out” due to time sitting in the sun, so you can sit down below and watch the water come through the seams!  Ron mans the bilge pump every 15 minutes to keep everyone dry and comfortable.

Thanks to Ole for the information and photo.

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Calendar of Events 2017 Racing Calendar Round Saltspring 2017