“Coming from the drafting tables of some of the most prolific yacht designers in history - William Fife III, John G. Alden, Bill Luders, Tore Holm and Sparkman & Stephens - the class reached its zenith in the 1930s,” said Bill Doyle, co-chair for the event. “It was an Olympic class from 1908 through 1952 and had large fleets on Long Island Sound and in Europe, the largest in the UK. With that kind of pedigree, a gathering of Sixes guarantees to be a showstopper.”
Among the rarest of the yachts that will make the journey to Newport is the one that is also travelling the farthest. Martin Farrand has shipped NZL 1 Scout from New Zealand to race with his brother Kerry Farrand, nephew Bradley Farrand, son Earle Farrand and childhood sailing mate Evan Innes Jones as crew. Built in 1909, Scout is one of the rare first-rule designs (built between 1906 and 1920) still in existence. The scores for the 2009 Six Metre World Cup will reflect the division of the fleet by classification: Classics/1st Rule (built 1906-1920), Classics/2nd Rule (built 1921-1933), Classics/ 3rd Rule (built 1934-1965) and Moderns which are all Sixes built since 1966.
Of the Olympic Games veterans, three medal winners will compete in Newport. D22~ Clarity (formerly known as Bonzo), which won silver for Denmark at the 1924 Games in Le Havre, has the shortest trip to the championship. Owned by Jed Pearsall, she has called Newport home for over 20 years. FIN67~ Djinn won a silver medal for Argentina in the 1948 Olympic Regatta in Torquay and will be helmed by Henrik Andersin (Grankula, Finland). In 1952, NOR80~ Elisabeth X won the silver medal on her home waters in Helsinki, having been built for a lottery sponsored by the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club . At her helm during the Six Metre World Cup will be Hans Oen (Larchmont, N.Y.) who won a silver medal with her in Denmark at the 2002 Six Metre European Championship, almost 50 years to the day from when she won the Olympic medal.
Sailed by teams of five, the fleet of Sixes will represent ten countries: Bermuda, Canada, Finland, France, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. The public is welcome to view the renowned fleet while they are docked at the Alofsin Piers at Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center. Spectators may also wish to watch daily the fleet sail past Castle Hill light enroute to the race course off Beavertail.
Organized by Sail Newport, and held on the grounds of the Museum of Yachting, the 2009 Six Metre World Cup is presented by Rums of Puerto Rico and The Puerto Rico Tourism Company. Supporting sponsors and partners include: A.T. Cross, Crystal Springs Water, Harbor Town Wine of New Zealand, Narragansett Beer, Newport Harbor Corporation, Newport Shipyard, Quantum Newport, Peters & May Logistics, Sweenor’s Chocolates, Walenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Z Blok.