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2023 6mR Nationals - The other sort of hiking. What's the reality?

Shaun Holbeche

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I know some Six Metre sailors have been worried that Fleetwood is all about long days of hiking up and down a long lake and that it's all beyond them. 

The lake is substantial, which makes it possible to have good, meaningful course legs where proper tactical sailing can take place as befits a National Championship when sailed with a tactical boat like a 6mR. However, the 'hiking' will depend greatly on the wind direction and the courses set by our RO, Peter Baldwin, plus the pace at which heats are sailed and number of breaks taken.

I'm sure that he will be sensitive to the needs of the fleet to provide a test that is commensurate with a National Championship but also fair and reflective of the capabilities of the skippers. 

I would point out that we didn't use the full length of the lake at our two day 'Weekender' event that we just held. The competitors were a fair cross-section of six metre skippers and no-one who competed felt that the walking was unmanageable, especially as it is tarmac we are walking on, not rough ground as at many venues. 

The distance and visibility of the marks also means that you don't have to walk 'all the way' to achieve satisfactory mark roundings. 

Furthermore, being able to walk with your boat and be closer to it, rather than being restricted in position, can actually make sailing it easier with improved performance through better avoiding tangles and penalties for collisions, plus better sheeting and more confident boat handling.

I know that a number of clubs and skippers sail from relatively restricted positions but they might find the alternative at Fleetwood quite liberating!

I hope that these observations have answered questions that have discouraged some skippers from entering. This is your Nationals. It's just a big club event really with the same people that sail Sixes at clubs up and down the country sailing together at possibly the best sailing water in the country. It's absolutely worth the drive there.

And it's time to get your entry in!

Entry is via the Events page on the main MYA site, closing on this coming Monday 15th May, 9.00pm


Shaun Holbeche. 2023 6mR National Championship organiser.

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I have 2 artificial knees and I managed the recent weekender easily, I heartily reccomend to any six metre sailor to come to Fleetwood it is the perfect lake for displacement yachts like the six metre, you will love it

Mike Ewart

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Fleetwood is a big lake, but no bigger than a lot of lakes we sail at, just we like to walk the bank the whole way to get the best look at our yacht and keep her going at peak speed, something we can't do at a lot of lakes. The marks are a lot closer than most lakes, and therefore as Shaun says you don't have to walk the whole length to still get good visability when rounding marks.

Fleetwood has to be the "Best model yachting lake in the world" and I'm sure Shaun and Derek have booked the wind to come straight down the middle to get that fantastic 3 beat leg - so come and enjoy.


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