The revival of the 15-Metre Class

This month, the Monaco Classic Week will feature a rare sight. After the complete refit of Hispania earlier this year, all four surviving members of the early Twentieth Century 15-Metre Class will take part in the races. Lining up Mariska (1908), Hispania, (1909), Tuiga (1909) and The Lady Anne (1912) will be a thrill for most connoisseurs. All four were designed by Scottish yacht designer William Fife III at the height of his skill. He would prove throughout the International Yacht Racing Union's first and second rule that he was the master of metre designs, especially 6mRs, 8mRs and 19mRs. The most popular class from the onset, the 15mRs, would showcase his capability to design and deliver yachts that would compete for the most demanding owners, including Princes and Kings. His yachts dominated the class for five years until Charles Ernest Nicholson designed the Istria (1912), whose revolutionary construction and rig would top the class in her first season. Thereafter, competition lay only with Istria's sisters Paula III (1913) and Pamela (1913), though the light construction of the Nicholson laminated-wood designs signifies that they were not able to withstand the years between then and now, and they are lost. All four remaining 15mRs survived the post first world war and second world war and thereafter as cruising boats sold off to Scandinavian shipowners. For many years all laid in disrepair, until love for their shape and awe in their heritage gathered able craftsmen in the United Kingdom (Tuiga & The Lady Anne were renovated at Fairlie restorations), France (Mariska was refitted at the Charpentiers Réunis de Méditerranée) and Spain (where Hispania was salvaged and refitted over an extensive period at the Isla Ebusitana fund).

All four 15mRs are scheduled to race in the Voiles de Saint Tropez also. See you there!

Hispania & Tuiga in race (date and photographer unknown)
The four restored 15mRs (Mariska (D1, 1908), Tuiga (D3, 1909), Hispania (D5, 1909) and The Lady Anne (D10, 1912) racing all together for the first time at the Voiles de Saint Tropez
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