8m Worlds

Anne Massot looks at the format for the racing in La Trinite-sur-Mer and the Atlantic Cup prologue

Thursday June 5th 2003, Author: Anne Massot, Location: France
Following on from Finland last year, this year the 8 Metre IC World Championship is being held in France, in La Trinité-sur-Mer, from 14-21 June. This event will be preceded by the Atlantic Cup on 11-13 June, a training race for the Championship.

21 competitors representing eight nations will be participating in this world event co-organised by the Société Nautique de La Trinité sur Mer and the International Eight Metre Association.

The Atlantic Cup

This was created recently by Mrs Avia Willment, Secretary of the 8 M IC in England (BIEMA), and owner of Amorevita, backed by the Swiss firm Victorinox.

On the programme is a coastal course on Wednesday 11 June followed by two windward-leeward courses on the subsequent two days, culminating in a prize-giving on Friday evening. The Atlantic Cup will also serve to rank the boats, separating the modern from the old yachts ready for the Worlds.

For the Worlds there will be four scoring categories as while some boats remain as classics in their original configuration over the last 10 years new hi-tech boats have started to appear.

Far from remaining stuck in the classic mould at all costs, the 8 M IC have evolved, keeping up with the progress in modern naval architecture. Instead of rating the different genres of boat the organisers have instead chosen to divide the fleet into categories :

- The Overall Category will be won by the highest-scoring yacht irrespective of category. In 2002 in Helsinki, the Modern 8 M IC Fleur de Lys won the World Championship title with Frenchman Jacques Fauroux at the helm , winning every single round and the Finnish Cup as well.

- The Vintage Category or Coupe Cartier covers all boats built between 1907 and 1960. They have to be maintained as close as possible to their original design brief and must not have undergone any major modifications. Yachts in this series shall compete in the Coupe Cartier created in 1998 to encourage 'identical' reconstructions. Among the boats we can quote are Aile VI, Catina, Suzette and Amorevita.

- The Classic Category or Coupe Sira brings together yachts which were also built before 1960 but which have been modernised, particularly with regard to the rig and deck layout, with the exception of the hull which must respect strictly the pre-1960 measurement rule. The Coupe Sira was created in 1983 to favour the development ad modernisation of the 8 M IC. Among these boats are Vision, Cutty and Sphinx.

- The Modern Category or Coupe d’Italie is for yachts built after 1960, among which figure Yquem, Fleur de Lys and Lafayette.

The competitors

Vintage yachts -Coupe Cartier :

Aile VI – 1928-France
Amorevita -1939-England
Bona -1934-Italy
Catina VI -1936-Switzerland
Enchantement IV -1923-France
Silk -1947-France
Suzette -1930-France

Classic yachts - Coupe Sira :
Ayana -1947-Germany
Cutty Tou -1930-France
If -1930-England
Sphinx -1928-Finland
Sposa II -1929-Germany
Vision of Sebago -1930-France

Modern yachts - Coupe d’Italie
Aluette -1997-Switzerland
Fleur de Lys -2002-France–Titleholder
Gaulois -1984-France
Gefion -1988-Switzerland
La Fayette -1996- Holland
Mystery -1984-Canada
Sarissa -1989 – France
Yquem -1984-Switzerland

Worlds schedule

Saturday 14 June: Registration and Measurement
World Championship Inaugural Evening at 18h30
Sunday 15: one or two rounds from 10h
Monday 16: one or two rounds from 10h
Tuesday 17: one or two rounds from 10h
Wednesday 18: rest day
Thursday 19: one or two rounds from 10h
Friday 20: one or two rounds from 10h
Coupe Cartier Prize-Giving ceremony
Saturday 21 : Parade for the public at 10h
Championship Prize-Giving ceremony at 17h

The International 8 metre class

The measurement rule : The 8 M IC yachts came about with the creation of the International Measurement Rule in London in 1906. They do not measure eight metres in length, but fourteen. The figure 8 is the result of a rating formula including waterline length, freeboard and sail area.

Average characteristics for current 8 M IC yachts:
Length overall : approximately 14 m
Waterline length : 9.50 to 9.75 m
Beam : 2.45 m
Draft : 2 m
Displacement : 8 600 to 9 200 kg, 75% of which is ballast
Sail area : approximately 80 m2 upwind (210 m² downwind)

An Olympic series: The 8 M IC was chosen as an Olympic boat in 1908 and remained as such until 1936.

They are sailed in 22 countries : Historically, the 8 M IC was established in Europe and North America and led to two main championships being held alternately on either side of the Atlantic - the World Championship and the European Championship. 450 8 MIC yachts have been built worldwide since 1907. In 2001, the International Eight Metre Association (IEMA) had located the whereabouts of 170 boats in 22 different countries.

In memory of a notable absent owner: For this 22nd World Championship, 8 M IC enthusiasts will regret the absence of the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, who died one month ago at the age of 70 following long illness. After having abdicated from his religious charges (as spiritual chief of the Ismaili sect of Shiite Islam) this U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, son of the great Ali Aga Khan and uncle of Karim had devoted his existence to humanitarian tasks, which did nothing to stop him from sailing Hobie Cats, sand-yachts, windsurfing and sailing Lacustre. Passionate about classic hulls, in 1935 he fell in love with Carron II, a Fife-designed yacht built in 1935 which was rotting away in Philadelphia under the name of Hurry Angel. He had her restored with the greatest care, in a highly orthodox manner by Fairlie Restorations in 1998. In just a few years, she became one of the main pillars of the series. A great number of yachtsmen will remember the discreet and elegant Prince Sadruddin for the simplicity and kindness with he moved through the world of yacht racing for more than 30 years.

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