2023 Six Metre World Championship

Published on September 8th, 2023

Thirty-three teams representing 10 nations competed in the 2023 International Six Metre World Championship on September 4-8 in Cowes, UK. The fleet was divided into two divisions, the Open Division and the Classic Division for those yachts built prior to December 31, 1965.

Jamie Hilton’s Scoundrel (USA), a 1986 Ian Howlett design, won the Open Division with a race to spare. Hilton’s team (above) had Addison Caproni, Dave Hughes, Mike Mrshall, and Allan Terhune, Jr. In the Classic Division, the winner was His Majesty King Carlos of Spain’s Bribon (1947 Arvid Laurin) sailed by helmsman Ross MacDonald, Alejandro Abescal, Alberto Viejo, Roi Álvarez, and Simon Fisher.

“It’s hard to process and winning the World Championship is candidly unbelievable,” admitted Hilton. “We didn’t want to take any big risks, we wanted to execute as best as we could and I think we had two seconds and I’m speechless, it was just fantastic. We’ve had great competitors that kept us on our toes and really made us work hard.

“My crew Mike Marshall and I have sailed together for probably about ten or fifteen years now in a boat at home, the Shields, he really did a lot of the sail design work and is just a phenomenal talent. He really handled boat and it was his boat in the starts and he did the positioning and the tactics.

“Then there’s Dave Hughes, a 470 World Champion sailor, just a fantastic guy to sail with. Everyone on the team adds so much confidence to me that my job becomes much, much simpler. And we’ve got Alan Terhune who’s our tactician, and I think if you ask other boats on the racecourse, we were in a pretty good position most of the time.

“Addison Caprioni also sailed with me in my Shields back in Newport and did the bow. The whole team was just amazing, and I really feel fortunate to have not just such high-quality sailors, but fantastic people and real gentlemen to sail with.”

In the Corinthian Divisions for amateur crews the Open Corinthian title went to Philippe Durr and Rainer Muller’s Junior (SUI), a four-time past overall winner of the Open World Championship, built in 1981 to a Pettersson design with subsequent upgrades by Howlett. Patrick Sandman’s May Be VI (FIN), designed by in 1946 by Tore Holm, was the Classic Corinthian winner.

Event informationRace detailsResults

About The International Six Metre Association
The International Six Metre Class has managed to retain the heritage of international class racing in thoroughbred boats that don’t have to break the bank. We believe some 1225 Six Metre boats exist around the world today. Early Fife boats built in 1907 are still racing – often against new Moderns. Some classics have been beautifully modified for cruising; several race only occasionally.

The class has managed to cover a wide range of sailing need. All have one thing in common: their distinctive sailing silhouette and an adherence to a tried and tested formula. They are a tribute to their designers and builders, and there is no doubt the class generates a passion and devotion driven by the stunning appearance of the boats and their historical significance.

Now more than a century since the first rule was written, metre boats remain at the forefront of yacht development – they were among the first boats sailing in the Olympics, right from the 1908 London Olympics until the 5.5 Metres in 1968 in Mexico, and Six Metres were regularly used for the British-American Cup (team racing and an event far more prestigious than the America’s Cup in its day). The Six Metres have also been used for the legendary Seawanhaka Cup (match racing) no less than 16 times from 1927 through to 1987, by far the largest number of appearances by a class in the event.

Hull designs have always been technologically advanced. Wing keels, rod shrouds and the latest in sail composition on the Moderns contrast with the ageless wooden decks and fittings of the Classics. In recent years there has been a real resurgence of interest with many old boats being restored, new boats being built and some of the mega-stars of the sailing world choosing metre boats for their personal sailing. The International Six Metre Association has members in most European and American sailing centers.

Source: Fiona Brown

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