6 Metre

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The International Six Metre Class is a class of classic racing yachts. Sixes are a construction class, meaning that the boats are not identical but are all designed to meet specific measurement formula, in this case International Rule. At their heyday, Sixes were the most important international yacht racing class, and they are still actively raced around the world. "Six metre" in class name does not, somewhat confusingly, refer to length of the boat, but product of the formula; 6mR boats are, on average, 10–11 metres long.

History[edit]

France Mac Miche. Gold medalist at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm
Danish Nurdug II. Silver medalist at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm

The International Rule was set up in 1907 to replace numerous handicap systems which were often local, or at best national, and often also fairly simple, producing extreme boats which were fast but lightly constructed and impractical. The Six Metre class was not the smallest rating established under the rule, but was nonetheless the most popular, and they were chosen as an Olympic class in 1908. However, it was not until revision of the Rule in 1920 when the Sixes really became a popular international racing class. The 1920s and '30s were 'golden age' of the International Rule boats and Sixes were still the most popular class, attracting top sailors and designers to compete for prestigious trophies such as Scandinavian Gold Cup and Olympic medals.

Alexander Robertson and Sons Ltd (Yachtbuilders) produced a total of five 6-Metre yachts between 1921 and 1953. In 1937 their young naval architect David Boyd designed the sleek 6-Metre racing yacht Circe, which was described by many as the most successful racing yacht produced at the yard. Mr J. Herbert Thom, one of the Clyde's best helmsmen sailed the yacht with tremendous success in America in 1938 and brought back the Seawanhaka Cup, which was successfully defended in home waters the following year. In later years Circe represented Russia in the 1952 Summer Olympics.

However, Sixes were also criticized as having become too expensive and towards the end of the 1930s they became more so, making the class too exclusive, as under what is known as the Second International Rule (1920 - 1933) the yachts had gone from being less than 30 feet in overall length to being almost 40 feet. By 1929, 5 Metre class was becoming more popular as a cheaper and smaller alternative for Sixes, but the final blow was creation of International 5.5 metre class in 1949. 5.5 m soon replaced 6mR as the premier international racing class, and after 1952 Helsinki Olympics Sixes were dropped from Olympic regattas. The Gold Cup was also transferred to 5.5 m class from 1953 onwards.

Despite this, the class continued to exist, and new boats were made utilising the newest contemporary technologies, although sparingly. During the 1980s, many old sailboat classes experienced revival of interest and Sixes were at the forefront of this development. The Class has undergone a renaissance which has continued to the day, with many old yachts restored or rebuilt to racing condition, and 6mR competition is once again thriving. Performance differences between classic and modern era Sixes are usually small and they can be raced together.

The 6 Metre Class is one of the potential Vintage Yachting Classes for the 2012 Vintage Yachting Games.

Offshoots[edit]

Several variations of the rule have been developed to meet specific criteria. Perhaps the best known is International One Design class, which was designed by Cornelius Shields and based on the 6mR boat Saga.[1]

See also[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1908:
Great Britain

details
 Great Britain (GBR)
Gilbert Laws
Thomas McMeekin
Charles Crichton
 Belgium (BEL)
Léon Huybrechts
Louis Huybrechts
Henri Weewauters
 France (FRA)
Henri Arthus
Louis Potheau
Pierre Rabot
1912:
Sweden

details
 France (FRA)
Gaston Thubé
Amédée Thubé
Jacques Thubé
 Denmark (DEN)
Hans Meulengracht-Madsen
Steen Herschend
Sven Thomsen
 Sweden (SWE)
Eric Sandberg
Otto Aust
Harald Sandberg
1920:
Belgium

1907 rule
details
 Belgium (BEL)
Emile Cornellie
Frédéric Bruynseels
Florimond Cornellie
 Norway (NOR)
Einar Torgersen
Leif Erichsen
Andreas Knudsen
 Norway (NOR)
Henrik Agersborg
Einar Berntsen
Trygve Pedersen
1920:
Belgium

1919 rule
details
 Norway (NOR)
Andreas Brecke
Paal Kaasen
Ingolf Rød
 Belgium (BEL)
Léon Huybrechts
Charles van den Bussche
John Klotz
No further competitors
1924:
France

details
 Norway (NOR)
Anders Lundgren
Christopher Dahl
Eugen Lunde
 Denmark (DEN)
Vilhelm Vett
Knud Degn
Christian Nielsen
 Netherlands (NED)
Johan Carp
Anthonij Guépin
Jan Vreede
1928:
Netherlands

details
 Norway (NOR)
Johan Anker
Erik Anker
Håkon Bryhn
Crown Prince Olav
 Denmark (DEN)
Vilhelm Vett
Sven Linck
Aage Høy-Petersen
Nils Otto Møller
Peter Schlütter
 Estonia (EST)
Nikolai Vekšin
Andreas Faehlmann
Georg Faehlmann
H. R. Lehbert
Eberhard Vogdt
William von Wirén
1932:
United States

details
 Sweden (SWE)
Tore Holm
Olle Åkerlund
Åke Bergqvist
Martin Hindorff
 United States (USA)
Robert Carlson
Temple Ashbrook
Frederic Conant
Emmett Davis
Donald Douglas
Charles Smith
 Canada (CAN)
Philip Rogers
Gardner Boultbee
Kenneth Glass
Gerald Wilson
1936:
Germany

details
 Great Britain (GBR)
Christopher Boardman
Miles Bellville
Russell Harmer
Charles Leaf
Leonard Martin
 Norway (NOR)
Magnus Konow
Karsten Konow
Fredrik Meyer
Vaadjuv Nyqvist
Alf Tveten
 Sweden (SWE)
Sven Salén
Lennart Ekdahl
Martin Hindorff
Torsten Lord
Dagmar Salén
1948:
Great Britain

details
 United States (USA)
Herman Whiton
Alfred Loomis
Michael Mooney
James Smith
James Weekes
 Argentina (ARG)
Enrique Sieburger, Sr.
Emilio Homps
Rodolfo Rivademar
Rufino Rodríguez de la Torre
Enrique Sieburger, Jr.
Julio Sieburger
 Finland (FIN)
Tore Holm
Carl Robert Ameln
Martin Hindorff
Torsten Lord
Gösta Salén

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shields, Cornelius (1974). Racing with Cornelius Shields and the masters. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. p. 50. ISBN 0-13-750224-9. 

External links[edit]