|| Silvestri Wins 6 Metre North Americans with Richartz Hot on his Heels
The 2016 International 6 Metre North American Championship and Fall Invitational 6 Metre Regatta concluded today at St. Francis Yacht Club with Russ Silvestri (StFYC) taking first aboard Sting with a perfect 6-point scoreboard sailing with Craig Healy, Ethan Doyle, Chris Smith and John Bonds. Eliza Richartz (StFYC) finished second aboard Scoundrel with 12 points, sailing with Brooks Price, Kermit Shickel, Gerard Sheridan and Keith Love. In the Classics division, Ben Mumford (Port Madison YC) finished first aboard Llanoria with 25 points followed by Matt Brooks (StFYC) on Lucie with 28 points.
Over the course of three days and nine races, a fleet of eleven gorgeous 6 Metres plied the waters of San Francisco Bay, putting on a gorgeous showing of classic yacht racing. Following a particularly breezy September in San Francisco, competitors were pleased to see breeze in the low teens coming in from the west around noon each day.
Competition was tight, especially because racing allowed for three throw-outs of the nine races sailed. Going into Day Three, with six races down, sailors were ready to fight to attain scores that would allow for a throw-out of an earlier race. The day’s first race was a long twice-around course that stretched to Blackaller Buoy off Fort Point. On Race Two, an aggressive start resulted in a multi-boat collision, a general recall and eventually, Arunga retiring. Race Three was a nail-biter and in the end, two of the top three finishers were able to shake up the standings by discarding last-place finishes. Third-place Arunga threw out her final two retired races while second-place Scoundrel threw out her first two DNF finishes.
One of the most interesting sub-plots of this regatta was the competition between Silvestri and Richartz, two St. Francis Yacht Club sailors who have been competing enthusiastically aboard 6 Metres all year. Silvestri finished 2nd in 6 Metre Europeans and 1st at the Queen Cristina Nations Cup in Vancouver; Richartz finished 6th in Europeans. “I first started racing 6 Metres this summer because Russ found me in the bar and asked if I would be interested,” said Richartz. “Now, I’m obsessed. Scoundrel is such a beautiful boat. I think she is the prettiest boat out there and I love racing her.”
Though Silvestri finished with a decided first place—6 bullets after throw-outs which were only a 3-3-2—Richartz was hot on his heels and getting hotter. The entire series was an upward battle for Richartz. Her team had a tough first day and finished with a DNF and a DNC due to a mechanical mistake. “Our crew was unfortunately not gelling well, and it showed in our performance,” explains Richartz. She went into Day Two with a new bowman, Keith “Panda” Love and finished that day with 2-2-3. Knowing she had three throw-outs to go, she went into Day Three on the hunt and finished with a 2-1-3, leaving her with a low total score of 12.
“For a crew that had never sailed together, we did pretty well,” said Richartz. “I love sailing against Russ because he constantly pushes me. I’m a girl; I’m half his age; I didn’t grow up here and I haven’t mounted Olympic and America’s Cup Campaigns like him. Still, I like to think we give him a run for his money!”
Says Silvestri, “Eliza has a great spirit. She’s spunky and always willing to fight.”
In addition to placing second in the Pacific Coast Championship Trophy and 6 Metre North American Trophy, Richartz was awarded the Lucie Bedford Cunningham Warren — North American Trophy for being the top-performing boat with a woman helmsperson or crew. She also won the President’s Trophy for being the top-performing both with a youth helmsperson or crew.
For photos: http://stfyc.pixieset.com/6metrenorthamericanchampionship/
For results, HERE