Point Roberts Race Week will host the International 6 Metre North American Championships July 13-17, 2020 in Point Roberts, WA. In cooperation with the Puget Sound Six Metre Association (dba North American 6 Metre Association), yachts from Canada and the USA will include both Modern and Classic 6 Metres (designed pre-1965) racing as a single division on windward leeward courses set on the beautiful Strait of Georgia in the USA.
“We’re looking forward to a great event,” expressed Nigel Ashman, appointed liaison representing the US and Canadian Association and Championship and Pacific 6mR Yachts Inc. “Given the caliber and experience of the race management team provided at Point Roberts Race Week, we know the 6 Metre Class will be in very capable hands.”
The 6 Metres will participate in the 5-day championship and compete for the Bill Gooderham Canadian–American Trophy, awarded to the overall championship winner and the Olin J. Stephens II Trophy awarded to the highest placing Classics winner. Additionally, a new trophy (that is yet to be named), will be awarded to the highest placing ‘transitional’ Modern, defined as a boat built between January 1, 1966 and September 15, 1979 with an unmodified keel shape (and all other modifications within the rules that are allowed).
“At least 6 boats will be in close competition for this,” explains Ashman, “including the recently and immaculately refurbished 1977 Doug Peterson design, Razzle Dazzle, Gary Mull’s St Francis V, St Francis VII and Ranger, and Britton Chance’s Frenzy. Peter Norlin, Pelle Pettersen and Ian Howlett designs will also grace the race course with the latest in keel and winglet design.”
The International 6 Metre was first conceived as a Class at the 1907 meeting of the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU), now known as World Sailing. The International Rule, also known as the Metre Rule, was created at this time to establish consistent methods for measuring and rating to ensure fairness in racing and to encourage innovation. This same rule governs 6, 8, and 12 Metre yachts, with the 12 Metres gaining world renowned status as an America’s Cup competitor from 1958 to 1987.
The International 6 Metre was first chosen as an Olympic Class in 1908 and sailed in each Olympics until the last appearance in 1952 at Helsinki, Finland. The 6 Metre was also the boat of choice for a number of other high-profile events including the British–American Team Race Challenge, Seawanhaka International Challenge Cup, the One Ton Cup and the Bermuda Gold Cup. Due to its place on the world stage, the class has historically attracted the very best sailors to its ranks.
In recent years, the Class has seen increased participation in both the Classic and Modern divisions. In 2017, the class drew 45 boats from 11 nations to compete in the World Championships in Vancouver BC Canada.
“For this year’s North Americans in the Classic Division,” explains Ashman, “boats built prior to December 31, 1965 are expected to have a really strong local fleet that is often led by Kimo Mackey sailing the 1935 Bjarne Aas, designed by Saga, that will be exciting to watch. At least 6 other Classics, including the famous Goose, a 1938 S&S design, are also expected to attend.” Commenting about the Moderns he adds, “We expect 2 generations of boats to participate: those with cutting edge winged keels, such as Wildcat, New Sweden II and Arunga and earlier boats with standard fin keels. All boats, Classic and Modern, rate 6 metres and in certain conditions, anything can happen.”
Currently, there are 2 sponsors of the International 6 Metre North Americans that include Pacific 6mR Yachts and PARC Retirement Living.
Point Roberts Race Week is a 5-day big boat race event happening July 13-17, 2020 in Point Roberts, Washington USA. John Abel (Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Victoria, BC Canada) will be at the helm as Principle Race Officer (PRO) and he will be joined by Race Officer (RO) Paul Evenden (Vancouver, BC Canada), and Chief Judge (CJ) Jared Hickman (Seattle, WA). The regatta is open to keelboats and multihulls 19’+ racing PHRF, ORC, or in a (NFS) Cruising Class. The 2020 event will offer two race circles.
After 37 years in Oak Harbor, Washington, it was announced in March 2019 that the event would change venues to Point Roberts, Washington where the event has the capacity to grow. The Point Roberts Marina offers a full-service deep-water marina that can accommodate boats up to 52’ LOA. The mission is to grow the sport of sailboat racing in the region by providing the most qualified race management team in a venue that can offer compelling buoy and distance racing possibilities. Whidbey Island Race Week has since been rebranded as Point Roberts Race Week.