The rule also called the “Metre Rule” was ratified by the European nations in 1907, and International Yacht Racing Union (I.Y.R.U.) was established with offices in London.
Denmark with “Verana” won the Kattegat Cup races in 1903. Denmark won again in 1904 with “Paradox”, Sweden in 1905 with “Princess Margaret”, and Norway in 1906 with “Brand II”. In 1907 races was moved to the international 8mR Class. Winner that year was Norway with “Brand III” as the only competitor.
W.F. Meyer from Bergen had in the 1890-ties been part of the Norwegian yacht fleet racing in Sweden and Denmark. From 1907 on the number of sailors from Bergen participating in international regattas increased. Racing destinations were Gothenburg, Malmö, Copenhagen, Kiel, Cowes and Ostende.
In 1908 the Swedish designer Ljungberg presented his “Square metre rule”. Sailors within K.S.S.S. were critical to the “Metre rule of 1907” which they felt would promote narrow V-shaped hulls with large sail areas, less friendly for cruising. In the London Olympics 1908 Scandinavia was in the 8mR Class represented with “Vinga”, Sweden and “Fram”, Norway.
10mR “Allegro” owned by Svensson, Malmö, Sweden participates in regatta in Kragerö and Tönsberg, Norway. 7mR “Sonja” owned by Christiansen, Kristiania (Oslo), participates in Öresund racing week.
The relationship between Swedish and Norwegian sailors, which had suffered since 1905 started improving again in 1910. KNS was invited to participate in G.K.S.S. anniversary regatta in Gothenburg and a fleet of Norwegian yachts participated, hereof two 12mR, three 10mR, one 9mR, four 8mR and three 7mR. After the race week in Gothenburg several Swedish sailors joined their Norwegian friends to races at Hankö, Norway. No races for the Kattegat Cup had taken place in 1908 and 1909. In 1910 8mR "G.K.S.S." raced 8mR “Condor” from KNS. This year it was agreed to split the 6mR and 7mR classes in two, separate classes for open and closed yachts. Johan Anker races with 6mR “Ola”, KNS in Kiel.
12mR “Rollo” and 8mR “Taifun”, both constructed in 1911, participated with success in Kiel. “Rollo” went from Kiel to Cowes where she proved superior to the British 12 Meters.
The Olympic races in 1912 were to be held in Nynäshamn outside Stockholm. Fourteen entries were made to the International R-Classes of which Sweden 14, Finland 6, Russia 6, France 4, Norway 4(3), Denmark 2 and Germany 1. 8mR “Lucie IV” from Norway was present but did not race. No British yachts participated in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm.
In Cowes 1913, 6mR “Mosquito” from Norway is the first Six Metre with Bermuda sail. “Mosquito”, 8mR “Taifun” and 10mR “Noreg” (ex “Magda 7) participates in the third European Race Week in Le Havre. As a result of strong consultations by KNS President Sam Eyde involving the King of Spain the fourth European Race Week in 1914 is to be arranged in Norway, and for Spain to follow in 1915, which never happened due to WWI. Sam Eyde travels to Kiel where he consults Keiser Wilhelm on next year representation in Norway. Johan Anker advocates in Britain for British yachtsmen to participate in the upcoming event.
Celebration of the 100year anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution takes place in 1914 with European Racing Week in Horten in the Oslofjord. 132 participating yachts representing 8 nations, Denmark, UK, Finland, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Germany and Norway. 33 foreign yachts including 3 German schooners. Five 15mR, eleven 12mR, six 10mR, eleven 8mR and a large number of 6mR were competing in the International Classes. In 1914 Norway had in accordance with statistics from Lloyds the third larges fleet of nation built R-yachts in Europe, only outranked by Germany and France (Britain listed as number four). British 8mR “Ierne” is the first Eight Metre with Bermuda sail and the Norwegian 12mR “Symra” is the first twelve metre with Bermuda sail.
The fourth European Racing Week at Horten proved to be the last one. From Oslo the yachts raced to Marstrand for the Gothenburg regatta. After Gothenburg, races are scheduled to take place in Copenhagen. The political situation in Europe is tense as the outbreak of WWI is only days ahead and the Copenhagen regatta is cancelled.
In 1915 Scandinavia Sailing Federation (SSF) was established with representatives from Denmark, Norway and Sweden. All designers agreed that the development of yachts was going in the wrong direction. Due to the war no meeting could be called for in I.Y.R.U. in order to discuss modifications to the Metre Rule. As such one main activity for SSF was to suggest a revision of the international R-rule of 1907.
The initial discussion in 1915-1916 included replacing the international formula with a new formula to be temporary in force until the international formula expired on Dec. 31st 1917. A new formula with less influence from hull factors beam B, girth G and girth difference “d”, more in line with the American “Universal rule”.
The first meeting in SSF was to be held in Stockholm on February 5th-7th 1916 and revision of the R-rule was up for discussion. Prior to the meeting SSF had in writing informed the sailing nations in Europe that they intended to arrange a common conference after the War. Rumours said that German sailors were invited to participate at SSF’s meeting in Stockholm, which was badly received among British yachtsmen. The Yachting World (Y.W.) announced in an article that Scandinavian was withdrawing from international cooperation.
However although few British yachts were participating in races in Scandinavian Y.W. agreed to the benefit a common international rule had on second hand sales of British yachts. During WWI several British and German yachts were sold to Norway who at the time had the largest fleet of R-yachts in Europe. Famous yachts as 15mR “Istria”, “Maudrey”, “Pamela” “Tuiga”, “Hispania”, “Lady Anne”, “Isabel Alexandra”, and 12mR “Javotte”, “Ierne”, “Cintra”, and 8mR “Garraveen”, “Ierne”, “The Truant”, and several 7mR and 6mR got Norwegian owners. Nevertheless Y.W. suggests that Britain after the War enters into a separate racing union with France, Belgium, Russia, Spain and one or two more nations.
Finnish designers advocated for the American “Universal Rule” to become the new international rule as not only USA but also Russia and Finland had adopted the rule.
The formula presented by SSF based upon Johan Ankers thoughts during the February 1916 meeting was strongly supported by Finland’s Gustav Estlander residing in Sweden. The formula he expresses to be the coming International Rule. He concludes the formula will result in seaworthy and cruising friendly yachts in between Finlands existing “American” and “International” yachts, and that existing yachts with minor modifications could be modified to fit into the new classes. For details go to Rules History section S-rule of 1917.
SSF’s attempt of replacing the international formula with a new formula to be accepted as international after the War was certainly not going to be an easy task.
The war in Europe had affected racing between the Scandinavian countries. This picked up again in 1916. A fleet of Norwegian yachts participate in regatta in Gothenburg and Copenhagen. K.D.Y celebrates her 50 year anniversary with 3 Norwegian 12mR on the starting line. 2 Swedish yachts participate in KNS regatta outside Kragerö in southern Norway.
Sweden wins the Kattegat Cup races in 1915 with 8mR “Tuttan”and in 1916 with 8mR “Angelica”. In 1917 the cup returns to Norway by 8mR “Quinta” (Anker 1914). “Quinta” which the last years had been under Danish ownership was fitted out with new Bermuda sail plan, same as her competitors “Tuttan” of Sweden and “EA 2” of Denmark.
The international R-rule expires 31st December 1917 and Johan Anker running one of Europes largest yacht construction yards in Vollen outside Oslo is determined to keep up design and construction work. Benzon, Ljungberg and Anker had continued their work on a revision to the R-rule and on a meeting in Copenhagen in October 1917, SSF settles for a modification to the International formula to be valid from 1st January 1918 and for a period of 5 years. The revised formula to be known as the Scandinavian S-rule of 1917 contained no beam “B”. The impact of girth difference “d” in the formula was weakened as well as sail area. The size of the S-1917 rule yachts was compatible with the R-1907 rule yachts, keeping construction cost down. For details go to Rules History section S-rule of 1917.
The S-rule of 1917 proved to meet the demand for more cruiser friendly yachts. More than 25 yachts are during 1917 –1919 constructed in accordance with the formula, 12mS, 10mS, 8mS, and 7mS. Of the twenty (20) 8mS yachts built in 1918 and 1919, Anker & Jensen Verft laid down thirteen (13) keeping up construction. (When construction cost increased with the new international R-rule of 1919 several Eight Metre sailors converted to the less costly 6mR Class.)
The Kattegat Cup races were moved to the 8mS Class. Winner in 1918 and 1919 was KNS, Norway with 8mS “Apache” sail racing no sH25. In 1916 yachts have been started given sail identification numbers. The 8mR (1907) Class was identified with letter “H”. SSF decided that the 8mS yachts should be identified with a half sized letter “s” added to the Class letter, i.e. “sH”. For racing between 8mR-yachts and 8mS-yachts SSF decided that R-yachts should give S-yachts a handicap of 12sec/nm in wind force less than 5m/sec. This due to the R (1907) yachts larger sail area.
WWI ends in November 1918. Scandinavian Sailing Federation (SSF) was in 1915 established with the purpose of coordinating yachting activities between Denmark, Norway and Sweden during wartime. SSF decides to make an attempt to get I.Y.R.U. back into operation. Johan Anker, president of SSF travels to London in order to get matters moving.
Part of Johan Anker and SSF's objective is to get British acceptance for the S-rule to become the new international rule.
However neither of the two presidents in I.Y.R.U. Sir William Burton and Sir Philip Hunloke nor I.Y.R.U. secretary general Major B. Heckstall-Smith shows interest in promoting a new international union. For some time it seems like British yachtsmen wants to go by themselves. The Prince of Wales is in January 1919 elected President of Y.R.A. During the January 24th meeting several sailors express that Britain should decide its own way and not pay attention to nations not participated in the War, and whatever experience they had earned during wartime.
The British attitude causes a lot of uncertainty in regard to ongoing and future yacht design and construction. Anker & Jensen yard in Vollen had in early1919 several orders under construction including four 8mS yachts based upon Johan Ankers drawing of 27.09.1918, of which one (to day known as "Snarken") was ordered by engineer Arne Blakstad. Later one more 8mS was ordered based on this design to be known as "Trolljo III".
Advised by Johan Anker, acting as president of KNS and serving as president of SSF, King Haakon VII of Norway sends a letter to King George in Britain. In meeting on March 27th 1919 it is decided to call previous members of I.Y.R.U. except Germany and its allies to an international conference in order to agree upon a new international rating rule.
Based upon an invitation from SSF, Sir William Burton and Major B. Heckstall-Smith travels onboard one ship from the British Navy to Copenhagen and further to Stockholm before they end up in Oslo overlooking the 1919 spring regatta on June 14th –15th . In the races participated 92 yachts including five (5) Twelve Metres and twelve (12) Eight Meters. Of the Eight Metres 8 belonged to the 8mS(1917) Class and 4 to the 8mR(1907) Class. Burton and Heckstall-Smith were both impressed by the high standard of the sailors in handling their yachts and the yacht construction methods.
12mS "Heira 2" owned by Olaf Örvig, Bergen outclassed both days the other 12mS and 12mR yachts, including 12mR "Erna Signe" owned by Sam Bull who later in 1927-1929 was the owner of "Snarken", at the time named "Idyll III".
In the 8mR Class, H17 "Ierne"(1914, design Fife) won the Saturdays race with overall best time 3.30.11. On Sunday H7 "Garraveen" (1914, design Giles) won with overall best time 2.13.37. The 8mS Class was both days won by sH25"Apache" (1918, design Anker 1917) with finishing times 3.30.39 and 2.16.13. Although the best 8mS yachts were not faster than the best 8mR yachts they proved their seaworthiness and cruising friendliness. Two of Ankers last 8mS designs of 27.09.1918 participated in the regatta, sH34 "Betty III" and sH37 "Koh-i-Noor, of which "Betty III" owned by Jac. Lindvig, Oslo came in third on Saturday with time elapsed 3.31.20 and second on Sunday, time 2.18.41.
As such it seemed to be questionable if Johan Ankers 8mS design of 1918 was faster than his 8mS design of 1917, and sH25 "Apache" was again selected to represent KNS and Norway for the in 1919 upcoming races for the Kattegat cup.
In KNS 1919 regatta in Arendal July 10th to 13th Johan Anker himself races as helmsman onboard sH34 "Betty III". Anker and "Betty III" (Anker & Jensen yard no 220) wins all four days with sH25 "Apache" second in the two first races. (Anker & Jensen yard no 223 laid down for Arne Blakstad remains onshore.)
After visiting Oslo Sir William Burton and Major B. Heckstall-Smith travels to the USA.
In a letter to Philippe Hunloke, Johan Anker strongly advocates for Britain to make a positive move in future cooperation with Scandinavia within international yachting. The alternative would be for SSF to go for a North European Yacht Union.
A lot of uncertainty is related to Russia after the revolution in 1917.
Hunloke acting as President of I.Y.R.U expresses his support for a renewal of the international yacht union, although he does not support international regattas in competition with racing in British waters. Hunloke’s support turns the attitude among British sailors in favour of renewing the union, and a conference to take place in London is called for by Y.R.A. in fall 1919 to discuss matters including revision of the international “Metre Rule”.
(part1919: revised oco/18.02.09)
London conference fall 1919
The conference arranged by Y.R.A. in London in October 1919 gathered delegates from Argentina, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Holland, Norway, Spain and Sweden. Germany was not invited. Y.R.A. had in meeting decided not to participate in any regatta with German entries for the next 10 years. (This decision was weakened as time passed by.) U.S.A. was present at the London conference with two observers.
Among the representatives for Scandinavia were Johan Anker, Alfred Benzon, and director of DnV, J. Bruhn.
There were two strong groups of opinion among the delegates, those who favoured a revision of the International R-rule of 1907, and those who favoured the American “Universal Rule” to become the new International Rule. Among the supporters for the “Universal Rule” were representatives from Britain, Holland, Belgium and Finland.
The conference focused to start with on other matters approving 2 Swedish sqm-classes (30sqm and 40sqm), 2 French National classes (61/2 metre and 81/2 metre) and 2 British dinghy classes (18 feet and 12 feet) as International Classes.
As to the main question, a compromise was brought forward of approving 4 Universal Rule Classes and 4 International R-rule Classes. Sir Philip Hunloke warned against a division of the International Classes and the International Rule won a close vote.
S-rule new International
It was a common understanding that from a seaworthy point of view the development in the recent years had gone in a more sound direction with less sail area on larger hulls. However, the hulls were still narrow and V-shaped. The most extreme 8 meters had a max beam B of 2.10 m or less. A negative effect was that construction cost escalated with the larger hulls.
R (1907) = (L + B + 1/2G + 3d + 1/3sqrtS – F)/2
In Scandinavia the first modified R-rule, the S-rule of 1916 had not met the expectations.
S (1916) = (L + 1/3B + 1/3G + 3d + 2/3sqrtS –F)/2.2
A further modification was made, and the Scandinavian S-rule of 1917 proved to overcome the V-shape, however although the yachts were wider and more like the first R-rule yachts in 1908, they were still narrow. Max beam B on Johan Anker 8mS, drawing date 29.11.1917 was 2.36 m and drawing date 27.09.1918 (yard no 220, 221, 223 Snarken, 225, 227) was 2.45m.
S (1917) = (L + 1/3G + 3d + 2/3sqrtS –F)/2.1
Compared to the R rule of 1907 the measurement of “L” and “d” in the S rules differed. “L” was to be measured 1% of Class rating above floating level LWL with bow girth and stern girth representing a more effective waterline length. The impact of “d” was weakened. Skin and chain girth difference to be measured to a point on the hull defined by a tight chain of length 1/8G from LWL. The restrictions on measuring “G” were slightly changed.
The hull size and construction cost were comparable to the early R (1907) designs with approximately the same L.W.L. around 8 metre plus for an Eight Metre.
Based upon experience with both the R-rule of 1907 and the S-rules of 1916 and 1917 Johan Anker argued for getting beam “B”, girth “G” and girth difference “d” out of the formula and suggested as the new International formula
R (suggested) = (L + sqrtS – F)/k
This was a to big step to take for the majority of delegates.
Anker supported by Benzon argued for a revision of the R (1907) rule to be done in accordance with the modifications laid down in the S-rule. After a lengthy discussion on factors and restrictions a development of the S(1917) rule was agreed to.
R (1919) = (L + 1/4G + 2d + sqrtS – F)/2.5
The new R formula contains the same elements as the S-rule of 1917. KNS yachting magazine “Seilas” of Oct. 29th 1919 reports that the S-rule is accepted as International. The changes are not greater than all existing S-yachts can be measured to the new formula with minor modifications if any.
The 2nd International R-rule of 1919
L + 1/4G + 2d + sqrtS – F