Russ Silvestri wins Six Metre North Americans
Published on October 22nd, 2016
Russ Silvestri (StFYC) and his team on Sting won the 2016 International Six Metre North American Championship and Fall Invitational 6 Metre Regatta, held October 20-22 in San Francisco, CA. Hosted by St Francis Yacht Club, Silvestri’s team of Craig Healy, Ethan Doyle, Chris Smith and John Bonds topped the 11 boat field.
In the Classics division, Ben Mumford (Port Madison YC) finished first aboard Llanoria with 25 points followed by Matt Brooks (StFYC) on Lucie with 28 points.
Over the course of three days and nine races, the fleet of Six Metres put on a gorgeous showing of classic yacht racing on San Francisco Bay. Following a particularly breezy September in San Francisco, competitors were pleased to see breeze in the low teens coming in from the west around noon each day.
One of the most interesting sub-plots of this regatta was the competition between Silvestri and Eliza Richartz, two St. Francis Yacht Club sailors who have been competing enthusiastically aboard Six Metres all year. Silvestri finished 2nd in Six Metre Europeans and 1st at the Queen Cristina Nations Cup in Vancouver; Richartz finished 6th in Europeans.
“I first started racing Six Metres this summer because Russ found me in the bar and asked if I would be interested,” said Richartz. “Now, I’m obsessed. Scoundrel is such a beautiful boat. I think she is the prettiest boat out there and I love racing her.”
Though Silvestri finished with a decided first place—6 bullets after throw-outs which were only a 3-3-2—Richartz was hot on his heels and getting hotter. The entire series was an upward battle for Richartz after her team had a tough first day and finished with a DNF and a DNC due to a mechanical mistake.
“Our crew was unfortunately not gelling well, and it showed in our performance,” explains Richartz. She went into Day Two with a new bowman, Keith “Panda” Love and finished that day with 2-2-3. Knowing she had three throw-outs to go, she went into Day Three on the hunt and finished with a 2-1-3, leaving her with a low total score of 12.
“For a crew that had never sailed together, we did pretty well,” said Richartz. “I love sailing against Russ because he constantly pushes me. I’m a girl; I’m half his age; I didn’t grow up here and I haven’t mounted Olympic and America’s Cup Campaigns like him. Still, I like to think we give him a run for his money!”
Richartz (StFYC) finished second sailing with Brooks Price, Kermit Shickel, Gerard Sheridan and Keith Love. Says Silvestri, “Eliza has a great spirit. She’s spunky and always willing to fight.”
In addition to placing second in the Pacific Coast Championship Trophy and Six Metre North American Trophy, Richartz was awarded the Lucie Bedford Cunningham Warren — North American Trophy for being the top-performing boat with a woman helmsperson or crew. She also won the President’s Trophy for being the top-performing both with a youth helmsperson or crew.