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The irregular newsletter of the International Eight Metre Association
No. 29 - November 2003

Dear 8-Metre friends,

With the season behind us, and most boats ashore it seemed a good moment to take a round of the yards to see which boats are hibernating and which are in for the beauty farm treatment. During the past season a number of boats have changed hands. The activity in the fleets has been quite amazing and in this Eightm@il I will take you on a trip around the world.

Our journey starts down under in Sydney Australia. There, Kraig Carlström has taken on the restoration of Varg, a 1924 Johan Anker design, built or Fritjof Larsen of the KNS. A major task including structural work on the hull, a new deck, plus new spars and fittings. A full set of custom bronze fittings have been cast at Absolute in Portugal to bring her back as close to her original configuration as possible. The project may well take another 2 years to complete by which time she will be ready to resume competition with Saskia (1931), (probably the most famous Fife 8-Metre). Although I have limited information on Vanessa (1927 Fife), I believe that she too is at a yard for overhauling. Juana is another Australian project, designed by Garry Lidguard, this new boat is a classic above and modern below the waterline. The work is coming along well and launch is envisaged early next season. The hull is built in Huon Pine, scarce native specie, undoubtedly one of the finest boat building lumbers available. Juana is of course built to Lloyd's but as the survey in Australia was challenging an alternative had to be found. IEMA is very pleased that Mr. Ken McAlpine was ready to take on plan approval and the building survey. For those who don't know Ken, as naval architect he is technical director of the America's Cup Class and indeed the Int. 12-Metre Association and has a world of knowledge and experience. For future modern 8-Metre projects IEMA would recommend the same procedure, which so far has proved to work much easier than working through the large classification societies. Attached are some images of Juana. At some stage she's expected to race in Europe although hopefully owner Jose de la Vega may possibly be persuaded to represent Australia at the upcoming worlds in Canada. (Picture is Juana)

New Zealand
Moving even further south, we arrive in New Zealand. There the 1937 Arthur Rob designed Tamatea was damaged severely by fire. Although not beyond salvation, the work will be major. Having seen pictures of her in her old days, I can't bare the though of this very pretty boat being lost forever. If anyone would like to take up the project than please contact Chad Thompson at:

As the Canadians are preparing for the 2005 World Cup and the 75th Anniversary of 8-Metre sailing on Lake Ontario, activity is increasing in the yards. David Wolf took over Jackeen (Starling Burgess 1928) from James Countouris who is concentrating on bringing Jackeen's sister ACE back on the water. ACE is nearing completion, it’s been a huge project involving new frames, planking and deck, just about everything. With some luck and lots of hard work the boat will float again this coming season. Pandora (Alfred Mylne 1938) is now well underway. Ralph ‘Iskareen’ Reimann bought her from California, saving her from the brazier and stored the boat near Toronto. A new owner was found who has a great barn right behind his house so he can spend all his spare time and more restoring the boat. A good-looking boat with a good performance record in the old days. This T.C. Glenn Coates (Alfred Mylne & Co) design certainly has the potential to do very well in the Lake Ontario races. Venture (Arthur Shuman 1938) is back racing after a refit last winter. As expected she sailed straight back in the money, giving her old rival Iskareen a very hard time. Guy-Roland Perrin is visiting the fleet on Lake Ontario to measure the boats and as the organising committee is now firmly in place, the 2005 World Cup at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto promises to be a superb event. Contact Dan Molloy for further information.

In the USA, Marblehead based Bruce Dyson is close to launching his new 8-Metre Pleione. This Jim Taylor design is modern below and classic above the waterline. I have not seen the latest pictures but I believe the boat is very close to completion. See web site .Surely Pleione will compete at the upcoming Worlds in Toronto. I was very surprised to see the California based Marotte, a 1925 Grossi design, auctioned on E-bay! The highest bid came from Donald Cok and Jan Veenendaal who consequently shipped her to Den Helder, Holland. The boat has pretty lines and lots of original details and fittings. Floating is just 4000 hours away, we will keep you posted. Exciting news too for IEMA as the owner of Albatross (Tore Holm 1938) contacted the secretariat. This 8-Metre was successful in her early years in Sweden and then moved to San Diego where we lost track of her. In the hands of Bruce Snyder for the past 27 years the boat is actively sailed and in good shape. Bedouin, the Bahamas based 8-Metre has been sold to Steve Johnson from Texas. I have not heard if he is planning to keep the boat in the Bahamas or bring it to mainland USA.

The Iroquois (S&S 1967) has changed hands. For 17 years she had her mooring in Finland where Joni Hertell, Bertil Paulig, Frank Schauman, Robbie Lindberg and Per Gundersby have been true custodians of this famous boat. Per Wermelin bought her and sailed the boat to her new home in Sweden at the Djurö Båtvarv. The winter project has been assigned to make a new cabin top and return her deck back to ‘Intrepid’ green again. Sigge Svensson finally sold good old Wye. Having sailed her over from the Clyde in 1973, Sigge raced and cruised Wye for the best of thirty years. He introduced Philip Crebbin to the class in 1987 with whom he won the Sira Cup, and went on to build ‘Gefion’ the most successful modern 8 to date. Under Sigge’s ownership they won the world Cup 5 times. An exceptional and colourful personality.

Also in Sweden, two First Rule boats are under restoration. Skum, a 1912 Zake Westin design which Christer and Cecilia Nordwall has taken on. The project, which according to my information will possibly take another 2 years or more to complete. Ultra is a 1908 Johan Anker design and owned by Kjell Nilson. Her original gaff rig is back and to my knowledge her restoration has been completed or will be completed soon. Another gaff 8-Metre is Brand III. This was the first 8-Metre design by Johan Anker and possibly the oldest surviving 8-Metre in the world. Sven Matton found her in derelict state and bought her saving her from being broken up. Although Sven decided to save the boat, he currently does not have the opportunity to rebuild her. He will pass the boat on at cost, subject to the buyer being able to properly restore the boat to her original glory. This would be a great project with an obvious target, Celebrating her 100th birthday at the 2007 Centenary World Cup on the Clyde. Anyone interested can contact the IEMA secretariat.

In Norway Sira is still in the yard. I do not have the latest news but obviously we are all very excited that H.M. King Harold is returning this famous and beautiful 8-Metre back to the water. Also in Norway, Pleiades of Rhu is under restoration. Svein Olav Moe bought her in Turkey, sailed her to Greece and then shipped her up to Norway. A boat with a long story, designed and built by Johan Anker in 1926 for Robin & John Aspin in Glasgow she spent most of her life on the Clyde. First actively raced, later used more for cruising. Iain Rutherford describes her voyages in the book "At the tiller". Later the boat sailed down to France, Spain and then ended up in Turkey. Svein Olav Moe has a Herculean task ahead of him but the boat is certainly worth the effort!
SIRA 8 N-33

Silja is at the yard of Granström for a major refit. She needs a new keelplank, stern and stem, etc. The work is in the hands of Ulf Granström in Hangö, Finland. Ulf has been taking care of Silja for more than 20 years now, but this is a major repair, and considering that he is over 70, probably the last of this magnitude that he will undertake. He has done the same operation on Wanda and Vågspel, and some other non-R yachts, so he knows the ropes. The work will be documented by photography student, Aino Huovio, from the Helsinki University of Art and Design. It will be her final graduation work. Hopefully we can post progress pictures on the IEMA site. Silja is one of the most succesfull Eights ever and has been succesfull from the day she was launched. She won a string of trophies in Scandinavia, silver at the 1936 Olympics, the World Cup in 1970 and 1975 and so on. On the Clyde Silja was the one Eight that could take Iskareen and with some luck the two will meet there again for the Centenery in 2007.

In Denmark Asger Hachman sold his Peggy (Fife 1914) to Italy but soon concluded life without an 8 was not the same. He bought Zenta, a 1909 Max Oertz design. She is now under restoration and will be brought back to her original gaff rig. Not sure what the timing is for this project but undoubtedly is will be a year or two before all work is done. Also in Denmark there is news from the famous Walstead yard. They will build a new Johan Anker or Bjarne Aas 8-Metre to the original lines. The project will probably commence in 2004.

The largest 8-Metre fleet is now in Germany, with 22 8-Metres they have a string of eights, which covers all generations of design from the gaff rigged first rule boats on Lake Constance to the modern Spazzo in the Baltic. Under restoration are three classics; Lempo, a 1928 Gustav Estlander design is under restoration in Berlin by metre boat man Torsten Dornberger. I am not up to date on the progress but surely the boat will be ready for the next major event in Baltic Germany 2006? Also in the North, Germania IV (A&R 1939) is still under restoration. Rolf Recta is not so much in a hurry, probably enjoying the work too much. He has recently sold his other 8-Metre Foe and more than likely that will now take Germania off the backburner. It will be interesting to see this boat back in competition, undoubtedly a very, very quick contender.

Moving south we arrive at Lake Constance. At the Josef Martin yard another classic is being restored; Froya (ex Turid, ex Froya) This 1939 Bjarne Aas design had a colourful history that started with her first KNS Commodore O. Ditlev-Simonson, later (around the same time as Iskareen) she moved to Scotland where both continued their active racing careers. Froya, (then named Turid) was later sold to Sweden and I believe returned to Scotland until finally she was sold to Germany where she has now found her new mooring at Lake Constance. I recently visited the Martin yard and was impressed by the quality of her almost entirely original Oregon Pine (Douglas Fir) planking. Interesting to see how a good quality Pine Planking sometimes holds better than mahogany. The restoration includes hull and deck work as well as building new spars and replacing most of the fittings.
8 Froya (ex Turid, ex Froya)

In Italy the most exciting project will be the restoration of Margaret. Gerard Mesnel sold this very pretty flush deck 1926 Johan Anker design to the new owner in Italy. Originally she was built for Sir Ernest Rooney who owned a string of eights. Margaret was named after his daughter who incidentally later owned the C&N 8 Feo. The latest is that Margaret will also be restored to her original configuration, wooden mast and over length boom, no backstay, just preventers. I am not sure which yard will do the work. The 1914 gaff rigged Fife Peggy was sold from Denmark to Italy. The last I heard is that she's stored without any work done so far. Possibly she will be back on the market. At the Lavazza yard Mario will start rebuilding his Licea, a 1928 Costaguta design. I had a quick look at her this spring, recognised her beautiful lines and admired Mario for taking on the huge task to rebuild her. Say no more. Last but not least, German Frers will design a modern 8-Metre for an Italian owner. I am not sure how far the project is progressing. If and when news comes through I will include it in the next Eightm@il.

As mentioned earlier, Wye has moved to Atlantic France and her new owner Alain le Routier has started a rebuilding project which includes replacing many, if not all of her steel frames, part of the planking and the deck. As usual, the project turned out to be larger than anticipated and unfortunately Wye missed the World Cup, which was held on her doorstep. Newcomer to the World Cup was Enchantement. Alexandre Geoffrey bought her 3 years ago and started a systematic restoration project allowing him to keep her sailing during the summer months. She did well during the World Cup, despite her single spreader rig, which did not allow her to use overlapping jibs. Regardless she was still able to give the others true Vintage boats a hard time and what a great sight she was with that huge mainsail!
WYE 8 S-38

Last winter Jean Fabre decided to make drastic changes to his Yquem. Her new Van Oosanen keel had its first outing in La Trinite. Performance in the beginning appeared far from consistent. In moderate air she had troubles with Lafayette, but once the wind dropped she came into her element and proved to be very quick. Watch Yquem next year in Geneva. There’s good chance that she’ll be aiming to push Fleur de Lyss of her throne. Another project in Switzerland is Jacques Eduard’s Fife. Launched as Sirena in 1928, she is one of the few Fifes not built at Fairlie but at Attilio Chiesa in Cannes under the supervision of naval architect Camatte. The project does not seem to be progressing too quickly, but maybe the upcoming Worlds in Geneva will make them shift gears. At the SNG, our President Fred Meyer heads the organisation committee. Needless to say the organisation will be spot on and with the America's Cup bolted down in the Club has Switzerland first sport become sailing pushing skiing to second place?

Great Britain
In England Avia Willment rebuilt Ilderim II. This 1939 Tore Holm design lived at Djura Batvarv for many years. Avia decided it was high time for a huge overhaul and replaced a large number of steel frames. Lavazza supplied new spars and re-named Amorevita she competed at La Trinite. After some tuning the boat resumed her old form and showed great potential coming second in La Coupe Cartier. Siris also got a new Lavazza mast; it will be very interesting to see how this boat will perform with the new rig configuration. Avia's next project is building a replica of Prelude, a 1937 Sparkman & Stephens design. A very interesting boat, most likely the first reverse counter metre boat ever designed & built. The original Prelude was lost some 30 years ago in a gas explosion. Avia is committed to build the boat as close to original specification and configuration as possible. The work will probably commence autumn next year.
S&S 1937

Another new IEMA member is Garry Pione owns the 1929 Camper & Nicholson Anthea. Through our website Garry contacted us. I was very excited to learn the boat was still around. He keeps her in Honolulu, Hawaii. What a place to keep an Eight; life must be hell out there.... Another C&N 8-Metre Reality is based in Canada but visits Hawaii from time to time. She was rebuilt at Bent Jespersen in Canada years ago. He added a plank to her freeboard and a cold moulded skin. The result was a very fast and pretty seaworthy boat that since has logged thousands of miles sailing offshore in the Pacific Ocean.

Portugal & Japan
At Absolute Restorations another spectacular project is shaping. Johan Anker's last design was an 8-Metre, which due to World War II was never built. Yutaka Kobayashi from Japan decided to commission David Vieira to build and run the project. The boat is a development of Sira and has very powerful lines. Absolute is building with utmost authenticity, however with a clear aim for performance. The boat is built to the old scantling rules, mahogany planking on steam bent frames. Attached is an image of the boat. The progress pictures will be posted on the IEMA website which will give a rare insight on the complete process of traditional yacht construction.
8 J-1

I think that was about all I could report from the yards. If I have missed a project then please contact me. Pictures of restoration projects are always welcome and we indeed plan to make a separate section on our Website to post the news and pictures from the yards in the near future.

Best regards,
John Lammerts van Bueren
Executive secretary IEMA