To All 12 Metre Yacht Club members and 12 Metre Class supporters:
Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Peter Gerard, and I am the newly elected International Twelve Metre Class Association (ITMA) Vice President – Americas Fleet. I live in Dallas, Texas and Newport, Rhode Island.
I have been sailing and racing sailboats most of my life. I was first introduced to the 12 Metre Class in the early 60’s, and have raced on a number of the current Americas Fleet yachts. In recent years, I have served as the Principal Race Officer for the 12 Metre North American Championship and numerous other 12 Metre events.
But enough about me. What I would like to tell you about is our plans for the 12 Metre Americas Fleet. As has been previously announced, the New York Yacht Club has issued an invitation to ITMA to hold the 2019 World Championship Regatta in Newport, RI as part of the New York Yacht Club’s 175th Anniversary Regatta in July, 2019, and ITMA is submitting a request to World Sailing to approve the proposal.
In anticipation of receiving a favorable response from World Sailing, we are announcing an exciting racing and social program culminating with the World Championship in 2019. The “Road to the Worlds” is a three year plan of great racing and onshore events for 12 Metre owners, crews, families and friends. Focused around Newport, RI, home of the 12 Metre Americas Cup era, the “Road” will consist of 17 regattas over three years, beginning with the 2016 12 Metre North American Championship Regatta from September 23-25, hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club in Newport, RI.
The Metrefest Regatta will be the kickoff the 2017 Road to the Worlds regattas. Metrefest is an event for all International Rule (the measurement rule introduced in 1907 that spawned the 12 Metre class) classes, tentatively scheduled for early June 2017 including New York Yacht Club’s 163rd Annual Regatta. To date, 8 Metre, 6 Metre and 2,4 Metre classes have all expressed interest in participating.
The balance of the 2017 will include five regattas and parties, with the 2017 12 Metre North American Championship Regatta in Newport closing out the season in late September.
The 2018 Road to the Worlds season will kick off with the New York Yacht Club’s 164th Annual Regatta in Newport (June 8-10), followed by five regattas through out the summer and early fall culminating with the 12 Metre NAs hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club.
The 2019 season will consist of a concentrated racing and social schedule leading up to the Worlds. We are planning four regattas in five weeks leading up to the 12 Metre World Championship in early July. The four lead-in events will be within easy reach of the Newport home base, making the logistics easy and straight forward. The 2019 12 Metre World Championship will coincide with and be hosted by the New York Yacht Club as part of their 175th Anniversary celebrations.
The next three years on the “Road to the Worlds” will be filled with competitive racing, and great social events; we look forward to welcoming competitors and boats from around the world.
The 12’s have played an important part in yachting history since the introduction of the International Rule; and no place appreciates them more than Newport, RI and the New York Yacht Club. The three-year “Road to the Worlds” program and the 2019 12 Metre World Championship is the best way we know to celebrate that appreciation; and we welcome all current and potential 12 Metre owners, friends and family to join in celebration.
ITMA/ VP Americas Fleet