Momo are the International Six Metre European Champions

Story by Fiona Brown for International 6 Metre Association

A spectacular photo finish eighth race brought the 2022 International Six Metre European Championship to a conclusion after five glorious days of racing off Cascais. Going into the day overnight leader Patrick Montiero de Baross’s Seljm, John Harald Ornerberg’s Scoundrel One, which had been helmed until the final day by Vasco Pereira, and Dieter Schoen’s Momo were separated by just two points leaving the regatta wide open.

Momo got a great start and led the fleet at the first mark, but she still needed to have at least one boat between her and Seljm to win. Things looked good though as Scoundrel One rounded fifth and Seljm sixth, so all Momo could do was sail fast and hope for the best. She confidently extended her lead, but Seljm was on a charge and with each leg made up places. As the boats turned onto the final run the spectators were on the edge of their seats as Seljm produced impressive downwind speed, closing on the leaders all the way to the finish line. Momo won the race by a minute and a half but immediately checked back up the track. Seljm had sailed a blinder of a last run to pull right up, but it was Stephan Lindberg’s Jane Ann that snatched second place. Jeremy Thorpe’s Battlecry, Jan Eckert’s Ginkgo Too and Seljm surfed into the line absolutely bow to bow and only a last minute surge right on the line put Seljm millimetres ahead of her rivals and onto equal points with Momo. Seljm’s crew had sailed their socks off, but Momo had one more race win to her name and so was declared the 2022 International Six Metre Open Division European Champion. Seljm claimed the silver medal and Scoundrel One crossed the line in seventh place to take the final step on the Open Division podium.

Momo is the newest Six Metre in the fleet, having been launched earlier this year, and her team of owner/helm Dieter Schoen, Markus Wieser, Dirk De Ridder, Ross Halcrow and Victor Marino Prieto have already made their mark on the class. The team has been sailing together for several years in 5.5s and Maxi 72s, twice winning the Maxi 72 World Championship, and they came to the class keen to succeed. A Judel/Vrolijk designed boat built by Wilke in Switzerland, Momo hit the ground running earlier this year with a win at the 2022 World Championship in Cascais. Their victory here in Cascais was hard won, but it’s clear they are no one hit wonder and are here to stay.

After receiving the Coppa Giovanelli perpetual trophy at the Prize Giving owner Dieter Schoen paid tribute to his fellow competitors and thanked the organisers and his crew saying, “I would like to say thank you to Patrick de Barros and Scoundrel One for a great fight this week. I would like to say thank you to the club for a great job and great sailing. And I would like to thank my crew, we’re a good team I think and we made it again.”

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