June 2018 E-Newsletter

In our June E-Newsletter, we feature:

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 https://freedomus12-30.com/. For more information on the Road to the Worlds 2019, visit http://www.12mrclass.com/ or contact Peter Gerard at pgerard53@gmail.com. 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.

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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).

12mRs in Yachting Times

The 2016 12mR North American Championship was recently featured in Yachting Times magazine, with this excellent coverage including photos and story by Nancy Bloom. Click here to read this news feature in Yachting Time’s e-magazine.

12mR North Americans in Yachting Times

Wire Sheets by Steve Lirakis

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1980 America’s Cup – Gerry Driscoll on-board Intrepid, Baron Bich’s trial horse to France III, for a practice session on RI Sound off Newport.

In 1978, 2-time defender Intrepid (US-22) was owned by Baron Bich. Gerry Driscoll was keen to charter her, provided that he could raise the funds for a campaign; his sights set on a 3-peat. Meanwhile, he sailed Intrepid as a trial horse to France III. (In 100 starts, France III reached the first mark ahead of Intrepid only once.)

As crew boss, I had more than 30 sailors try out for crew spots over two summers. I was also responsible for the maintenance and tuning of the rig. At this time rigging was made with galvanized wire, which was hard on everything including the winch drums and crew. And in order to economize, I tried to make the runner tails last as long as possible, they typically lasted just 4 (sailing) days. On one occasion, during day 5 or 6 of use on a set, and just after a tack, a wire tail wrapped on a winch drum exploded shooting out tiny shards of wire, it was like a porcupine had let loose!  I had “quills” stuck in my arms,  and they burned with the sweat. It was only after we made a quick tack on the other board that I was able to turn around to see that Gerry had wire quills in one side of his face and arm. He had never flinched or uttered a word, he just kept driving.– Steve Lirakis

Intrepid, designed by Olin Stephens was built of double-planked mahogany on white oak frames. She featured important innovations both above and below the waterline. The rudder was separated from the keel and a trim tab was added. This new general under-body type, with relatively minor refinements, was used on every subsequent Cup boat until the 12-metre Australia II’s winged keel of 1983.  Above decks, Intrepid featured a very low boom, made possible by locating the winches below decks. The low boom caused an “end-plate effect,”making the mainsail more efficient.
Photo Credit: ©Paul Mello/OUTSIDEIMAGES.COM Outside Images Photo Agency

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