5.5 Metre (keelboat)

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International 5.5 Metre
5.5 Metre (keelboat).svg
5.5 Metre insigna.png
Class symbol
Current specifications
Crew 3
Type Monohull
Design Development class
Keel Fixed
LOA About: 9.5 m (31 ft)
Beam Minimum: 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)
Draft Maximum: 1.35 m (4 ft 5 in)
Hull weight Minimum: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb)
Maximum: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb)
Main & jib area Minimum: 26.5 m2 (285 sq ft)
Maximum: 29.0 m2 (312 sq ft)
Spinnaker area About: 50.0 m2 (538 sq ft)
Year Basic rule:
Designer Basic rule designer:
Charles E. Nicholson
Infobox last updated: 08-AUG-2011
Vintage Yachting class

The International 5.5 Metre Class was created to yield a racing keel boat giving a sailing experience similar to that of the International 6 Metre Class, but at a lower cost.

The main class regulation is a restriction on a single quantity output from a formula involving the boat's rating length L, weight (expressed as a displacement D) and sail area S; the regulation states that the output of this formula must not exceed 5.500 metres. There is considerable scope for variations in design while still meeting this restriction, and as a result each 5.5 metre boat is unique.

If the design parameters of a proposed new boat result in a formula output exceeding 5.5 metres, then one or more of the parameters must be suitably adjusted. Performance data gained from testing models towed in a long water tank (referred to in yacht design as Ship model basin) can suggest optimal combinations of parameters. The 5.5. metre rule is a variant of the International Rule (sailing) that was established already in 1907. The 5.5. is therefore closely related to larger metre boats such as the 6mR, 8mR and the 12mR.

Since 2010 the 5.5 Metre is one of the Vintage Yachting Classes at the Vintage Yachting Games.

The Formula[edit]

The measurement formula is given in the 2006 International Five Point Five Metre Rating Rules:

5.500 \mbox{ metres} \ge 0.9 \cdot \left( \frac{L \cdot \sqrt[2]{S}} {12 \cdot \sqrt[3]{D}} + \frac{L + \sqrt[2]{S}} {4} \right)


  • L = length for rating
  • S = measured sail area
  • D = displacement in cubic metres

International 5.5 Metre Class Association [1][edit]

International 5.5 Metre

The object of the International 5.5 Metre Class Association is to promote and develop 5.5 Metre racing throughout the World. The first President of the association was Mr. Owen Aisher.

Since the development of the class spanned more than half a century the early boats are not competitive to race against the modern designs. Therefore the association made, in 2007, divisions in the class based upon age of the boat:[2]

  • Classic Fleet (Designs before 1970)
  • Evolution Fleet
  • Modern Fleet (Designs from 1994)

During major races there are separate trophies per fleet, however if a classic fleet boat beats the modern fleet, the classic fleet boat wins the modern fleet trophee.

History and Olympic career[edit]

5.5-metre class Olympic race in Helsinki 1952. Boats are German Tom Kyle (G I), Gold medalist Complex II (US I) and Danish Jill (D 2).

The 5.5-metre class was a redesign of the 6-metre class by Charles E. Nicholson in 1937. The first boats conforming to the 5.5-metre rule were built in 1949. There had been an earlier attempt to build a cheaper alternative to the Sixes. In 1929 the 5-metre class was established by the French "Union de Societes Nautique Francaise" and the class was accepted in London. It achieved a position as the smallest new international metre class and some hundreds boats were built. Nevertheless the 5 metre never managed to achieve an Olympic status. The 5.5-metre class replaced it quickly and was raced in Olympics for first time in 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. The Scandinavian Gold Cup has also been competed with 5.5m boats since 1953. 5.5 metre boats replaced the International 6-metre at the 1956 Olympic Games held in Melbourne, Australia. The 5.5 metre participation in the Olympic sailing events continued at the 1960 Olympic Games and 1964 Olympic Games. During the 1960s it however began to draw similar criticism as preceding six-metre class - namely, increasing costs - and the boat lost Olympic status after 1968 Olympic Games, due to excessive design and building costs of one off boats, marking the end of development class keel boats in Olympic regattas. However, the class remained active thereafter and 5.5-metre boats are still very actively raced.

Wall of Fame[edit]

Olympic Games[3][edit]

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Sweden (SWE) 2 1 1 4
2  United States (USA) 2 0 2 4
3  Australia (AUS) 1 0 0 1
4  Great Britain (GBR) 0 1 1 2
 Switzerland (SUI) 0 1 1 2
6  Denmark (DEN) 0 1 0 1
 Norway (NOR) 0 1 0 1
5 5 5 15
Event Gold Silver Bronze

 United States (USA)
Britton Chance
Michael Schoettle
Edgar White
Sumner White
 Norway (NOR)
Peder Lunde
Vibeke Lunde
Børre Falkum-Hansen
 Sweden (SWE)
Folke Wassén
Carl-Erik Ohlson
Magnus Wassén

 Sweden (SWE)
Lars Thörn
Hjalmar Karlsson
Sture Stork
 Great Britain (GBR)
Robert Perry
David Bowker
John Dillon
Neil Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick
 Australia (AUS)
Jock Sturrock
Douglas Buxton
Devereaux Mytton

 United States (USA)
George O'Day
James Hunt
David Smith
 Denmark (DEN)
William Berntsen
Steen Christensen
Sören Hancke
 Switzerland (SUI)
Henri Copponex
Pierre Girard
Manfred Metzger

 Australia (AUS)
William Northam
Peter O'Donnell
James Sargeant
 Sweden (SWE)
Lars Thörn
Arne Karlsson
Sture Stork
 United States (USA)
John J. McNamara
Joseph Batchelder
Francis Scully

 Sweden (SWE)
Ulf Sundelin
Jörgen Sundelin
Peter Sundelin
 Switzerland (SUI)
Louis Noverraz
Bernhard Dunand
Marcel Stern
 Great Britain (GBR)
Robin Aisher
Paul Anderson
Adrian Jardine

Vintage Yachting Games [4][edit]

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Finland 1 0 0 1
2  Germany 0 1 0 1
3  France 0 0 1 1
Event Gold Silver Bronze
Lake Como
 Finland (FIN)
Anders Nordman
Robert Segercrantz
Johan Hjelt
 Germany (GER)
Hubert 'Biwi' Reich
Wolfgang Oehler
Christian Hemmerich
 France (FRA)
William Borel
Yves Duclos-Grenet
Adrien Baumelle
United Kingdom
Weymouth Bay
Dates to be decided

Pan American Games[5][edit]

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 1 0 0 1
2  Canada 0 1 0 1
3  Ecuador 0 0 1 1
1 1 1 3
Event Gold Silver Bronze
Flag of the United States.svg
 United States (US)  Canada (KC)  Ecuador (EC)

World Championships[6][edit]

Further information: 5.5 Metre World Championships

European Championships[7][edit]

Only helmsmen are listed.

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1   Switzerland 6 4 7 17
2  Norway 2 2 0 4
3  United States 1 0 1 2
4  United Kingdom 0 1 1 2
5  France 0 1 0 1
 Soviet Union 0 1 0 1
8 8 8 24
Event Gold Silver Bronze
Flag of Switzerland.svg
Neuenburger See
  Switzerland (Z)
Louis Noverraz
 Soviet Union (SR)
Konstantin Alexandrov
 United Kingdom (K)
Robin Aisher
Flag of France.svg
  Switzerland (F)
 France (F)
  Switzerland (Z)
Flag of Switzerland.svg
  Switzerland (SUI)
Daniel Schenker
  Switzerland (SUI)
Jürg Menzi
  Switzerland (SUI)
Bruno Marazzi
Flag of France.svg
Le Crouesty
 United States (FRA)
Glen Foster
  Switzerland (SUI)
Jean-Claude Vuithier
  Switzerland (SUI)
Jürg Menzi
Flag of France.svg
  Switzerland (FRA)
Christian Wahl
 Norway (NOR)
Kalle Nergaard
 United States (USA)
Glen Foster
Flag of Italy.svg
  Switzerland (ITA)
Thomas Moser
 United Kingdom (GBR)
Jonathan Janson
  Switzerland (SUI)
Jürg Menzi
Flag of Austria.svg
  Switzerland (AUT)
Jürg Menzi
  Switzerland (SUI)
Christoph Burger
  Switzerland (SUI)
Hans-Peter Schmid
Flag of Finland.svg
 Norway (FIN)
Kristian Nergaard
Petrus Eide
Johan Barne
 Norway (NOR)
Christoph Burger
Christof Wilke
Mathias Dahlman
Dominik Neidhart 1:st race only
  Switzerland (SUI)
Jürg Menzi
Daniel Stampfli
Léonard Gaume
Flag of France.svg
 Norway (FIN)
Kristian Nergaard
 Norway (SUI)
Bernard Haissly
  Switzerland (SUI)
Jürg Menzi

Winners Scandinavian Gold Cup[edit]

Rank Nation Total
1  United States 17
2  Norway 13
3  Australia 7
4  Bahamas 6
 Sweden 6
 Finland 6
7   Switzerland 5
8  Germany 1
 Italy 1
 Netherlands 1
Year Victor Boatname Helmsman/Team Venue
1953  Sweden (S) Ian IX C. Turitz
1954  Sweden (S) Ian IX C. Turitz
1955  Italy (I) Twins VII Massimo Oberti
1956  Norway (N) Norna VIII Finn Ferner
1957  United States (US) Flame Albert Bel Fay
1958  United States (US) Sabre E.B. Fay
1959  Sweden (S) Rush V L. Thorn
1960  Sweden (S) Wasa P. Gedda
1961  Sweden (S) Nowa F. Wassem
1962  United States (US) Pride E.B. Fay
1963  United States (US) Pride E.B. Fay
1964  United States (US) Flame Albert Bel Fay
1965  United States (US) Pride E.B. Fay
1966  United States (US) Pride E.B. Fay
1967  Sweden (S) Wasa III Sundelin bros.
1968  Norway (N) Fram IV Harald V of Norway
1969  Australia (KA) Pam Gordon Ingate
1970  United States (US) Nemesis R.E.Turner
1971  United States (US) Tiger R.E.Turner
1972  Australia (KS) Southern Cross Frank Tolhurst
1973  United States (US) Sundance E.B. Fay
1974  Bahamas (KB) John B Robert Symonette
1975  Australia (KA) Antares M. Morris
1976  Australia (KA) Arunga Frank Tolhurst
1977  Bahamas (KB) John B Robert Symonette
1978  Australia (KA) Arunga III Frank Tolhurst
1979  United States (US) Wildfire Albert Bel Fay
1980  Australia (KA) Arunga III Frank Tolhurst
1981  United States (US) Wildfire Albert Bel Fay
1982  Bahamas (KB) Ballymena Robert Symonette
1983  Bahamas (KB) Ballymena Robert Symonette
1984   Switzerland (Z) Alzira Willy Vollenweider
1985  Finland (L) Helena Tom Jungell
1986  Finland (L) Tre Gubbar Jussi Gullichsen
1986  Australia (KA) Jan VI B. Ritchie
1987  United States (US) Gorgi Robert Mosbacher
1988   Switzerland (Z) Artemis Ronald Pieper
1989  Finland (L) Gorgi Henrik Lundberg
1990  Norway (N) Alfredo Kalle Nergaard
1991  United States (US) Thunderbunny Michael Haines
1992  Norway (NOR) Alfredo Kalle Nergaard
1993  Norway (NOR) Zenda Corn Kalle Nergaard
1994  Norway (NOR) Zenda Corn Kristian Nergaard
1995  Finland (FIN) DoDoToo Henrik Dahlman
1996  United States (USA) My Shout Glen Foster
1997  Norway (NOR) Zenda Corn John Platou
1998  United States (USA) My Shout Glen Foster
1999  United States (USA) My Shout Glen Foster
2000  Bahamas (BAH) John B once again Gavin McKinney Medemblik
2001  Bahamas (BAH) John B Once again Gavin McKinney Flensburg
2002   Switzerland (SUI) Marie-Françoise XV Jürg Menzi Helsinki
2003  Norway (NOR) Artémis X Kristian Nergaard Thun
2004  Norway (NOR) Artémis X Kristian Nergaard Hankø
2005   Switzerland (SUI) Ali-Baba Flavio Marazzi Sydney
2006  Netherlands (NED) Maitresse Hans Nadorp Medemblik
2007   Switzerland (SUI) Ali Baba Bruno Marazzi San Remo
2008  Norway (NOR) Artémis X Kristian Nergaard
Petrus Eide
Johan Barne
2009  Norway (NOR) John B Gavin McKinney
Bjorn Westergaard
Peter Vlasov
2010  Norway (NOR) Artémis XIV Kristian Nergaard
Peer Moberg
Petter Morland Pedersen
Lake Garda
2011  Finland (FIN) Kan-Bei 2 Kenneth Thelen
Thomas Hallberg
Robert Nyberg
2012  Finland (FIN) Addam 4 Johan Gullichsen
Henrik Lundberg
Timo Telkola
2013  Norway (NOR) NOR 57 Kristoffer Spone
Johan Barne
Christen Horn Johannessen
2013  Germany (GER) GER 79 Markus Wieser
Porto Santo Stefano



External links[edit]