The SCYR is the largest and most prestigious Classic Yacht Regatta in Greece, organized by our Yacht Club Greece held at the historic isle of Spetses. This past June we had the 7th edition of the Regatta. It attracted more than 70 participations, from Greece and abroad, and boats ranging from small “Latinis”, to internationally renowned Schooners.
As a Team we have participated in three editions of the race, always on chartered boats. In two of these we managed podium positions, but we never won the regatta. Always left with the bitter feeling that with a better prepared boat we not only would have enjoyed the regatta more but we could possibly have won top position. We therefore, started thinking of buying a Classic of our own, to better prepare and increase our chances of winning.
After a long period of researching the options ahead of us, we concluded that the best solution would be to aim for a Metre Class boat. We looked up a couple of 8’s that were for sale, a number of 6’s and then bumped at the 5.5’s. It was love at first sight !!
The 5.5’s were back in 1937, a stroke of genius of Charles E. Nicholson as a more economical alternative to the then very popular 6’s. The first boat was built in 1949 and by 1952 the 5.5’s achieved Olympic status in the Helsinki Olympic Games. In 1968 in Mexico City was their last Olympics. Russia having built a large number of 5.5’s, very fast boats with aesthetically pleasing lines, they attracted the rich, the famous and the Royals of the era. Hence the nickname “the boats of the Kings and the Communists” !!
Following their Olympic times, the class remained very active. Being a development class, allowed the design and the materials to improve over time, with a very wide range of boats, of different ages, different material and designs, competing effectively to date.
They are divided into three categories, the classics – built until 1970, the evolutions from 1970 to 1994, and the moderns – after 1994. With a crew of three, weight between 1,700 and 2,000kgs, LOA up to 31 feet, upwind sail area from 26.5 to 29m2 and spinnakers of up to 50m2, these are very exiting boats to sail; overpowered, with unique abilities upwind and very fast downwind.
During the winter we scoured the market mainly in Europe for classics for sale and after narrowing down our options, we started contacting the sellers.
Panagiotis had to go on a number of fact-finding trips about the boats on our short list and after long considerations and intense brainstorming we came to the decision to welcome LIZZA to our Team, weeks only before SCYR ’18. The Team had to organize a rushed road trip from storage in Zurich to her new home port, Mikrolimano/YCG and get her ready for her first race in Greek waters.