November 2018 E-Newsletter

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ENTERPRISE, US-27 Prepares Return to Racing

Enterprise, US-27by Dennis Gunderson

Recently under new ownership, Enterprise US-27 begins a new phase of her life. The new team is very excited about the boat and the upcoming years of competitive racing in the 12mR modern fleet! What a terrific opportunity to bring back such a purebred as Enterprise into racing shape to compete for the 2019 World Championship!

Enterprise was built in 1977 as a continuation of the Courageous model. Designed by Olin Stephens at S&S, she was initially skippered by Lowell North of North Sails. She was beaten by Courageous in the ’77 trials, but then continued on in 1980 and 1983 to serve as a competitive trial horse for the Freedom and Azzura campaigns. Enterprise has long been an admired design, and has served her crews well throughout many years of competition.  Enterprise, US-27

The new team consists of some great friends and partners from the Newport area who are very excited to see Enterprise being taken seriously as a contender for the 2019 12mR World Championships. The new owner is an experienced and passionate yachtsman who has put together an equally passionate and dedicated group of sailors, designers, and engineers each sharing a long history in the 12mR community. The afterguard of the team consists of three individuals who shared in the early campaigns with Enterprise in 1977 and 1980. Steve Casella of NEB in Portsmouth, was an original builder of the yacht in 1977 at Minneford Yacht Yard. Tom Rich, also of NEB, was an original crew member when the boat was campaigned in 1977 by Lowell North, and Mike Toppa of North Sails who sailed on-board in 1979-1980 when she was a trial horse for Dennis Connor’s Freedom campaign. Paul Buttrose, former President of the ITMA, has thrown his hat in the ring as Program Consultant, and David Pedrick of Pedrick Yacht Design has agreed to bring his valuable insight from years of 12mR experience into the fold for Enterprise. This tight nucleus of 12mR knowledge and experience are being joined by the current S&S design team based here in Newport and led by chief designer Brendan Abbott.

The team is thoroughly enjoying the experience as we bring together the same design and construction offices that helped to create Enterprise in the first place. Just like the S&S team had done in ’77, Brendan Abbott and his team of designers are working hard to optimize her hull characteristics and ensure that she is as fast as she can be. Utilizing her original plans from the S&S archives, we are able to look at each and every design change made to Enterprise from her beginning in 1977; as all major design changes have been documented by S&S. A 3-D hull scan was created and has been analyzed alongside the originals to see where changes were made and what might need to happen to bring her, in some cases, back to a previous shape. No rock will be left un-turned, and we are all very excited to bring Enterprise back from a modified racer-cruiser to a proper 12mR racing yacht.

Enterprise, US-27While we are working alongside Enterprise’s original design office, we are also excited about working closely with her original sail designers at North Sails. Lowell North had originally meant for Enterprise to be at the forefront of sail and rig design in 1977. He tested many different designs and concepts on board Enterprise throughout the ’77 Defender Trials.  Mike Toppa was a part of the boat’s history throughout those early campaigns, and he is again helping to ensure that Enterprise is well canvased. The team intends to utilize the North 3Di technology for its new suit of sails in 2018.

The team at New England Boatworks will be helping the new team to transform Enterprise back into fighting shape from years as a racer-cruiser platform. In 2000 Enterprise emerged from refit in Europe as a compromise 12mR, complete with a removable cruising interior and an engine. To accommodate this, her original cockpit was removed and replaced with a smaller cockpit and larger deck. These additions to the yacht have since been stripped away, and plans are being made to re-install a functional 12mR racing cockpit and fore-deck. The engine has been removed along with associated hardware. Any and all creature comforts have been stripped away and set aside. In addition to a proper racing cockpit, we can expect to see Enterprise sporting a new mast designed by Jim Gretzky. Many other elements of her sailing hardware will need to be replaced or refitted once the cruising outfit has been thoroughly executed.

The Enterprise team is most excited about such a tremendous surge of enthusiasm for 12mR racing in Newport!  This community has had such an illustrious past as a formula-design fleet, and to be an active part of that history is an exciting prospect. The team hopes to not only participate in the coming years of heightened competition, but to do so at a level commensurate with the care and quality that these fine yachts deserve!–DG.

America’s Cup 12 Metre Freedom to Return to Newport

New Owner Preparing Historic Racing Yacht for Competition

NEWPORT, R.I. (February 16, 2017) – The 12 Metre yacht Freedom has been purchased by Charles A. Robertson (Guilford, Conn.), a well-known East Coast sailor who has been active in a number of America’s Cup and 12-Metre campaigns and is well known for skippering his Frers 75 Maxi Cannonball and a series of other like-named boats to victory in various one-design and offshore racing events.

Robertson, a former trustee of the New York Yacht Club, plans to race Freedom in the boat’s home waters of Newport, R.I. starting in June.  He will participate in the  International 12 Metre Class’s recently announced “Road to the Worlds” series that culminates in the 2019 12-Metre World Championship, which is scheduled to coincide with celebrations marking the 175th anniversary of the New York Yacht Club.

Historic 12mR yacht Freedom (US-30) newly faired and primed.

The 12 Metre yacht Freedom (US-30) has been bought by Charles A. Robertson who will make her race-ready for the 2017 sailing season.

Designed by Olin Stephens and constructed at Minneford Yacht Yard in City Island, NY, Freedom was the last yacht to successfully defend the America’s Cup for the New York Yacht Club by defeating Australia in 1980 in four out of five races. After the 1983 America’s Cup, she was sold to France where she stayed for many years before returning to the U.S. in 1999. Currently, Freedom is at Pilot’s Point Marina in Westbrook, Conn. where she is undergoing substantial work. Along with getting new sails, instruments and electronics, she will be newly painted to look similar to how she did in 1980.

“Olin was a dear friend of mine, and Freedom was the last 12 Metre he designed,” said Robertson. “He had a special affection for this boat, and so do I.” Robertson added that – like his past Cannonball campaigns – this one will involve a contingent of “young, enthusiastic sailors who are predominantly amateur.”

In the Road to the Worlds series, Freedom will sail in Modern Division (for 12 Metres built between 1968 and 1983) against Victory 83, Challenge 12, Lionheart and the only two America’s Cup yachts to win the Cup twice, Intrepid* and Courageous.

The Road to the Worlds schedule for 2017 starts with the Newport MetreFest, June 9-11, which coincides with the New York Yacht Club 163rd Annual Regatta.

To find out more about Freedom, including crew opportunities visit For more information on the Road to the Worlds 2019, visit or contact Peter Gerard at Follow the 12 Metre class on Facebook.

*Although she was built before 1968, Intrepid is still considered a Modern; Australia II, built during the specified period for Modern designation, is not considered a Modern.


Twleve Metres race past Castle Hill

12 Metres off Newport, R.I. at the 2014 12 Metre North American Championship. (photo credit: SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative)

MEDIA CONTACTS: Barby MacGowan, Media Pro International, +1 (401) 849-0220; SallyAnne Santos, ITMA, +1 (401) 847-0112; Susan Whewell, Freedom,  +1 (203) 453-6800 x 351


Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes ’87 30th Anniversary Reunion

Halsey Herreshoff (center) hosted Dennis Connor (not pictured) and his Stars & Stripes 87 team at the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, RI on February 4 as they reunited to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their America's Cup win. Stars & Stripes 87 was the last of the four 12s named Stars & Stripes, she was a refinement of her earlier namesakes. She was chosen for the Challenger Trials in Fremantle, Australia and won the Louis Vuitton Cup by a score of 4-1 over New Zealand (KZ-7). She went on to win the 26th Match for the America's Cup by a score of 4-0 on Kookaburra III (KA-15).

Halsey Herreshoff (center) hosted Dennis Conner (not pictured) and his Stars & Stripes 87 team at the Herreshoff Marine Museum / America’s Cup Hall of Fame in Bristol, RI on February 4, 2017 where they gathered to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their America’s Cup win. Stars & Stripes 87 was the last of the four 12s named Stars & Stripes, she was a refinement of her earlier namesakes. She was chosen for the Challenger Trials in Fremantle, Australia and won the Louis Vuitton Cup by a score of 4-1 over New Zealand (KZ-7). She went on to win the 26th Match for the America’s Cup by a score of 4-0 on Kookaburra III (KA-15).

The Third Rule– Before and Since

David Pedrick

The Twelve Metre Class has operated under the so-called Third Rule since 1933. Using an unchanged rating formula for more than 80 years, although with some changes in secondary technical details, Twelve Metre designs have evolved significantly within the Rule’s envelope.

The basic structure of the (First) Rule was created in 1906, with a similar formula as the Third Rule, but having additional terms that were subsequently discarded and changes made in the weighting of other terms.

Rating = (L + B + 12G + 3d  + 13SF)/2 = 12.000 m

The basis of L, d, S and F are close to the way that they are used in the current Rule, although S was based on gaff rigs. L included girth corrections for the overhangs at the ends of L, similar to now. G was a midships girth measurement taken under the keel, which forced keels to reduce their draft forward of the rudder post – a poor design influence.

12, by the way, was meant to be the approximate waterline length, but LWL has grown toward 14 m in evolutionary design development.

Shortcomings of the Rule were apparent early on, and a lot of effort went into improvements after WW I. The Second Rule in 1920 abandoned maximum beam B and replaced it with a minimum beam limit. The weighting of G was halved, the factor on d was reduced to 2 and √S was taken at full value. The denominator was changed to 2.5 to keep existing yachts’ ratings close to 12.

Also, the reference plane for L was raised from the LWL to 112% of Class rating above the LWL, the lower end for measuring d was set at 1212% of rating below LWL. The fore triangle area was discounted by a factor of 85%. And a formula for minimum displacement was introduced, along with prohibiting hollows in the topsides.

The Second Rule is actually quite close to the Third Rule except for one term. The girth G under the keel was eliminated in the Third-Rule formula, and the denominator re-set to 2.37 to keep ratings close to 12. With these most recent changes in the rating formula in 1933, the Third Rule became the familiar:

Rating = (L + 2d – F  + √S)/2.37 = 12.000 m

There are many detailed requirements and restrictions within the text of the Class Rule, but separate rudders and trim tabs, and then winged keels, have nonetheless broken through design barriers while fitting within these same, basic Rule parameters. Even Appendix E, created in preparation for the America’s Cup Jubilee in 2001, is built on this basic Rule formula with credits for age, design type and propulsion.

The Rule’s girth measurements in the overhangs and the separate displacement-length formula cause the long overhangs and U’d end shapes common to all Twelves. The specified location of the midships d measurement, also coupled with displacement-length, forces the hull’s slack-bilged shape. And the fixed, maximum heights of the mainsail and fore triangle dictate the rig. All pretty simple and durable since the Second Rule of 1920, yet leaving liberty for a century of distinctly different designs.