This summer, four regattas were held in France for the 5.5 Metre Class Yachts.
Paris will again host the Olympics, and sailing will take place off Marseilles in 2024. In the year 1900, the 6- and 8-Metre Class as well the 12-Foot Dinghy by George Cockshott participated. For this commemorative modern regatta series, Cockshott’s diminutive dinghy was replaced by the 5.5 Metre Class, popular in France at the moment with a growing fleet of classic and modern boats, and more able to handle the Atlantic coast conditions of the series’ ports – Port Louis, Bénodet, La Trinité sur Mer and Noirmoutier.
The series was held successfully last year and this year has proven more so, with rules that encourage amateur entries and “ordinary people who cannot take forever off to sail around the shores of Brittany”. Participants can only count three out of four events towards their final ranking.
Hispania IV was one of the 8-Metres that took part, once belonging to the Spanish King Alfonso XIII. Blue Red, now flying the French flag, finished 5th at the Games in 1923 under the Argentinian Flag. Enchantment IV (1923) by Johan Anker and British 8 Metre Erica, sailed from Jersey to the Games from her owner David Myatt were also on the water.
The Dutch Metre classes are already thinking along similar lines to commemorate the Olympics held in Amsterdam in 1928, as it will then be the 100th anniversary of the Netherlands winning a silver medal at the Amsterdam Olympics with Gerard de Vries Lentsch’s Hollandia in the 8 Metre. The Gold Medal then went to the Frenchwoman Verginie Hériot with her Aile VI. These yachts both still exist in full racing trim. Is it time for another match?
Classic Boat Magazine first published a story about a series of Metre Class boats along the French Atlantic coast.