Initial Comments on Transitional Class at Portofino

Here are some of the initial comments on whether or not there should be a Transitional Class at the 2001 World Cup at Portofino. As can be seen by the comments, there is relatively positive reception to the idea, but the most important step will be to involve the actual owners of these boats.

April 23, 2001

An Open Letter to Thomas Lundquist, ISMA President, from Luigi Pavese, owner ITA 70 'Valentina'

Dear Mr. Lundqvist,

I was in Cannes last week hoping to see you during the 6-metre races organized by Mr Odero. As I didn't receive any answer to my two e-mails I sent you on 14 October 2000 and on 26 February 200, I would like to have your official opinion about the transitional (or classic) division to be formed during the next World Championship in Portofino. I met in Cannes Mr. Bernard Haissly (the winner of Ski Yachting 2001 with his FLEAU) and I explained to him the possibility of instituting this new class, according with Mr. Hol Michael Larsson and with Mr. Matt Cockburn. He also thinks that it would be a good idea.

In order to give the possibility to all the 'classic' 6 metre owners to organize their participation in Portofino, I would like to offer a special prize for the best classified 'classic' 6-metre in Portofino. The rule is very simple: this new class will be formed by 6-metres built after 1965 with trapeziodal keel, without wings, with skeg to the helm, identical to their original plans. No limits for sails, masts or other equipment. If you agree, I would like to name this cup 'Memorial Gary Mull Trophy'. It might be a Challenge Cup presented each World Championship, definitely achieved after three victories.

I'll send a copy of this mail to Mr. Larsson and to Mr. Cockburn and I hope they might publish this proposal on their sites' forum, hoping that many 'classic' 6 metres' owners can be informed about this opportunity so to be desirous of participating to the WC in Portofino. This could be a good opportunity to make an amusing WC also for the 6 metres that are too much modern to be vintage but too much old to race against moderns.

My intention, I want to underline it, is to offer my little contribution to the development of the 6 metre Class, respecting the autority of ISMA. As I told you in my latest mail, this third class gives the possibility to many boats, that today don't sail because they are not competitive, to be refitted so to participate in the races with satisfaction for their owners. Both the 12 and the 8 metres are divided into four classes; is it so difficult for the 6 metres to follow the same concept? Also Mr.Odero, the organizer of Regates Royales in Cannes, decided last year to divide the participants into three classes, according to the 'rule' of the keel without wings.

I remain awaiting your kind opinion about my proposal. If I have your agreement, I'll order a wonderful, hand-made, silver Cup in memory of the designer of Valentina and many other 6-metres well known of the same period as St. Francis V, St. Francis VI, St. Francis VII and Ranger.

Best Regards

Luigi Pavese



Comments from Niklaus Waser of the newly reformed German Six Meter Association:

My proposal is to have not three but maybe four different classes:
a) vintage: long keel, wodden mast and boom
b) classics: long keel, alu mast and boom
c) transitions (name it as you like): trapeziod keel, separate rudder, no
wings, no substantial modifications on the original plan
d) moderns: keel with wings, separate rudder, modifications

It should not be the target to modify all old 6 metres built with wodden mast and boom to arm them and to bring them in a more modern race condition. From my point of view there are enough owner with such yachts keeping their yachts in perfect condition with high effort and costs. Also these owners should have the change to race against others with realistic chances. I agree with Luigi Pavese not to fix a year term but to identify the main changes which make differences in the general race performance of the yachts.


From Sweden:
"I completely agree with your proposal, and think it is an exellent idea. I have been trying to push this idea for many years. I also have disscused this matter with Mr. Luigi Pavese,VALENTINA (ITA-70) who as you know also agrees with your proposal. For your information the Swedish Sixmetre Association fully supports your proposal. I hope that together with your North American Six Metre Association and the Italian Six Metre Association we will be able to form this long awaited new class."
Yours sincerely,

Hol Michael Larsson.
Owner of:
St. Francis VI, (SWE 89 ) Gary Mull, 1975.
Delphina, (SWE 125) Pelle Pettersson, 1989.

From Italy:
"I'm the Italian owner of the wooden 6-metre VALENTINA (ITA-70) built in 1976 by Sangermani Shipyard and projected by Gary Mull. You can find one photo of the boat taken during the 2000 EC in St. Tropez at this site: We also raced in Cannes at the Regates Royales last September where, for the first time, the race-committee introduced this intermediate class (named Classic) for the 12-metre, the 8-metre and also for the 6-metre. Look some photos at these pages:
I agree completely to your proposal. There was no race between us and a truly modern 6-metre! My idea is to make three different classes:

a) vintage: long keel
b) classics: trapeziod keel and separate rudder with skeg. No wings, no modifications on the original plan.
c) moderns: wings keel

In my opinion, it's not so important to fix a year term. It's better to form the classes looking at the keel."

Luigi Pavese

From the 5.5 Metres:
Yes, we have in the 5.5m class three categories:
1. Modern built from 1990
2. Development built between 1970 and 1990
3. Classic built before 1970 ( 1970 was the year when a separate rudder was alowed)
The result is that we now have a couple of old and older boats at our Worlds!
I do hope this answers your question.

Best Regards,

Thomas Sprecher
President, International 5.5 Metre Association

"It would be good to see these boats out on the water racing. It would also save the owners the huge expense of new keels etc. on the speculation that these boats might be competitive with the new moderns. This is a good idea that should be pursued. "
-Regards, Basil Vasiliou, USA 105 'Jane Ann', ex. SWE 109 'Gredelin'

"The 5.5 Metres already do this. Go for it."
-Scott Rohrer

"As an owner of 1.5 "transitional" boats, I would very much like to see this happen. Without having given a lot of thought to what constitutes a "transitional" it would seem to me that anything post 1965 (rudder detached or not) up to winged keel, will fall into the category. I believe the 5.5meter class have this all worked out, so that may be a guide. Although maybe a little premature at this point, separate starts must be provided in major regattas, such as Worlds/E.C. etc. It is just not acceptable and fair to the others to have 4 or 5 transitionals screwing up starts and roundings etc. and then to be scored separately. In local regattas however, sure that is a different story. We may therefore say that for Portofino a minimum of 7 boats must enter and then gradually increase to say 10 for Copenhagen and so on..."
Lets all make a real effort to get the owners of "transitionals" involved................
-Hans J. Oen, owner USA 108 St Francis VII, partner USA 112 'Ranger'

"Well, that sounds very sensible to me."
-Jonathan Fairchild, K17 'Sioma II'

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