A Sailing Spectacle Like No Other

12 Metre World Championship Set for Newport in July

NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND (November 6, 2018) – With a little more than eight months to go, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the International Twelve Metre Association (ITMA) America’s Fleet and the 12 Metre Yacht Club are gearing up for the largest-ever gathering of historic 12 Metre yachts in the U.S. at the 2019 12 Metre World Championship. Scheduled for July 8-13, the regatta will host 24 teams from seven countries, and the fleet will include Italian Patrizio Bertelli’s US-12 Nyala, which is the defending 12 Metre World Champion, and five yachts that have successfully defended the America’s Cup: US-16 Columbia (1958), US-17 Weatherly (1962), US-22 Intrepid (1967 & 1970), US-26 Courageous (1974 & 1977) and US-30 Freedom (1980).

 12 Metres racing in Barcelona during the 2014 12 Metre World Championship. The 2019 Worlds in Newport will be the largest-ever gathering of 12 Metres in the U.S. (photo credit: SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative)

12 Metres racing in Barcelona during the 2014 12 Metre World Championship. The 2019 Worlds in Newport will be the largest-ever gathering of 12 Metres in the U.S. (photo credit: SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative)

“The last 12 Metre World Championship was in Barcelona, Spain in 2014,” said Event Chair Peter Gerard, “so there is some pent-up energy for sure. Over the last two years, there has been an emphasis on developing new teams, training for the worlds and getting these iconic yachts into the best possible condition for competition.”

Making the trip to Newport from overseas are teams from the Northern Europe and Southern Europe Fleets. They will join the Americas Fleet for racing on Rhode Island Sound where a dozen America’s Cup competitions were held for just over five decades. Three of them (between 1930 and ‘37) were contested in the Universal J Class yachts, while nine (between 1958 and ‘83) were held in the 12 Metre yachts that are now famously etched into the “Golden Era” of America’s Cup history.

Left: Italian Patrizio Bertelli’s US-12 Nyala, the defending 12 Metre World Champion, will travel to Newport for the 2019 Worlds. (photo credit: SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative) Right: Also competing will be US-22 Intrepid and US-26 Courageous, which have each defended the America’s Cup twice. (Photo credit: Stephen Cloutier)

Left: Italian Patrizio Bertelli’s US-12 Nyala, the defending 12 Metre World Champion, will travel to Newport for the 2019 Worlds. (photo credit: SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative) Right: Also competing will be US-22 Intrepid and US-26 Courageous, which have each defended the America’s Cup twice. (Photo credit: Stephen Cloutier)

The 12 Metres are divided into divisions based on when they were built. At the Worlds, eight of the contenders will sail in Grand Prix (for 12 Metres built in 1987, winged keel), seven in Modern (1967-1983), five in Traditional (1958-1966) and four in Vintage (1907-1958). Grand Prix, Modern and Traditional divisions mostly represent 12 Metres built for America’s Cup competition, while the Vintage division represents those built prior to the Cup’s 12 Metre era and when 12 Metres held a place in Olympic history.

Competing 12 Metres (to date):
Grand Prix Division

US-46 America II, New York Harbor Sailing Foundation, New York, N.Y.
K-24 Crusader, Richard Matthews/Sally Morton, Ipswich, UK
KZ-7 Kiwi Magic, Johan Blach Petersen, Arhus, Denmark
KA-12 Kookaburra II, Patrizio Bertelli, Rosignano Solvay, Italy
KA-15 Kookaburra III, Maurizio Vecchiola, Morrovalle Macerata, Italy
KZ-5 Laura, Jesper Banks, Denmark
KZ-3 New Zealand, Gunther Buerman, Highland Beach, Fla./Newport, R.I.
(expressing interest: US-42 America II)

Modern Division

KA-10 Challenge XII, Jack LeFort, Jamestown, R.I.
US-32 Clipper, Hugo Stenbeck, Stockholm, Sweden
US-26 Courageous, Ralph Isham/Steve Glascock/Alexander Auersperg/Ward Marsh/Arthur Santry, Newport, R.I.
US-30 Freedom, Charles Robertson, Guilford, Conn.
US-22 Intrepid, Jack Curtin, Toronto, Ontario/New York, N.Y.
K-18 Lionheart, Harry Graves, Grand Isle, Vermont
K-22 Victory ’83, Dennis Williams, Hobe Sound, Fla./Newport, R.I.
(expressing interest: US-27 Enterprise, US-33 Defender, US-24 Valiant)

Traditional Division

US-21 American Eagle, Bob Morton/Cindy DeLotto, Newport, R.I./Edgartown, Mass.
US-16 Columbia, Kevin Hegarty, Boston, Mass.
US-18 Easterner, Scott Bernard, Annapolis, Md.
US-19 Nefertiti, Sears Wullschleger, Sarasota, Fla.
US-17 Weatherly, Jay Schachne, E. Greenwich, R.I.

Vintage Division

K-17 Blue Marlin, Henrik Andersin, Kotka, Finland
US-12 Nyala, Patrizio Bertelli, Rosignano Solvay, Italy
US-6 Onawa, Earl McMillen, Newport, R.I.
N-11 Vema III, Vema Syndicate Oslo, Norway

ROAD TO THE WORLDS AND NEW YORK YACHT CLUB’S 12 METRE JUBILEE

The global ROAD TO THE WORLDS WAYPOINTS Series, which started in 2017, has helped build competition in the Northern Europe, Southern Europe and Americas fleets and culminates with a series winner named at the conclusion of the 12 Metre Pre-Worlds Regatta, scheduled for just prior to the Worlds on July 6-7.

For some extended racing excitement beyond the Worlds, New York Yacht Club has invited the 12 Metre Class to participate in a “12 Metre Jubilee” at its 175th Anniversary Regatta (July 15-20) and compete for a series of historic 12 Metre Trophies.

“It will be a full summer of happenings,” said Gerard, explaining that the last four WAYPOINTS SERIES events* are scheduled for 2019 in New England as tune-ups for the Worlds. “This remarkably large fleet of 12 Metres, known for their historic significance, beauty and grace, will create a spectacle of 12 Metre racing that has not been seen here since the America’s Cup days of old.”

Plenty of 12 Metre action in store for 2019 at the 12 Metre Worlds in Newport, R.I. (Photo credit: Stephen Cloutier)

Plenty of 12 Metre action in store for 2019 at the 12 Metre Worlds in Newport, R.I. (Photo credit: Stephen Cloutier)

During the Worlds and the Pre-Worlds, most of the fleet will be berthed at Fort Adams where visitors will be able to view the yachts before and after racing. A large on-water spectator fleet is expected, and land-based spectators can catch the fleet sailing to and from racing at vantage points along the shores closest to Narragansett Bay’s East Passage, including Fort Adams, Beavertail Light and Castle Hill.

*2019 WAYPOINTS Series regattas: New York Yacht Club’s 165th Annual Regatta (June 14-16), Edgartown Yacht Club‘s 12mR Regatta (June 21-23), Ida Lewis Yacht Club’s Newport Trophy Regatta (June 29-30), and the Pre-Worlds hosted by Sail Newport (July 6-7)

For more information visit: https://12mrworlds.com/ or  http://www.12mrclass.com or contact Peter Gerard at pgerard53@gmail.com.

(end)

CONTACTS:

Event Chairman
Peter Gerard
pgerard53@gmail.com
+1 214-244-4955

Sponsorship
Manuka Sports
Sam@Manukasem.com
+44 7398-183-957

Media
Media Pro Int’l
Barby MacGowan
Barby.Macgowan@MediaProNewport.com
+1 401-849-0220

International 12 Metre Class
SallyAnne Santos
sallyanne@windlasscreative.com
+1 401-847-0112

November 2018 E-Newsletter

Scroll through static version below, click here to read online.

August 2018 E-Newsletter

Dear 12mR Friends,

It is with great excitement that we anticipate welcoming the European 12mR fleets to Newport, for the 2019 World Championship!

In 2013, when first appointed 12MYC Commodore, my goal –in keeping with the mission* of our new not-for-profit organization– was to re-invigorate our then-dwindling local 12mR fleet… read more.

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.

Newport Trophy Regatta Wrap-Up

Newport Trophy Regatta for 12 Metres

A Window Onto the 2019 Worlds

NEWPORT, R.I. (July 24, 2017) – The waters off Newport, R.I., were alive with 12 Metres when the Newport Trophy Regatta took place over July 21-23. The event, hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club, reflected the excitement growing for the 12 Metre World Championship set to take place here in 2019 as part of the New York Yacht Club’s 175th Anniversary Regatta. The historic fleet numbered ten boats, all collecting points in the global ROAD TO THE WORLDS Waypoint Series.  The closely matched New Zealand (KZ-3) and Laura (KZ-5) sparred in the Grand Prix division, while the uber competitive Freedom (US-30), Defender (US-33), Challenge XII (KA-10), Intrepid (US-22) and Courageous (US-26) took off the gloves in Modern Division and the beautifully spirited Columbia (US-16), Weatherly (US-17) and American Eagle (US-21) battled it out in Traditional Division.

New Zealand and Challenge XII at the Newport Trophy Regatta, Stephen Coutier photo

The Modern fleet at the Newport Trophy Regatta,Stephen Coutier photo

The Grand Prix Division completed two races on Friday, while the other divisions completed only one in light breezes that just wouldn’t hold for a full day of racing planned “up the Bay.”  Saturday was worse when sailors floated for six hours “outside” on Rhode Island Sound waiting for wind that never came. Sunday, however, made it all worthwhile when four races were completed in upper Narragansett Bay, this time in a northeasterly that began with wind speeds in the mid-teens and then diminished to 7-8 knots as it clocked right.

“I think we went through our entire sail inventory, putting up the light #1, the heavy #1, the #3, a couple of different spinnakers…it was fun!,” said Gunther Buerman, the owner/driver aboard New Zealand. Although New Zealand beat Laura in all six of its races, Buerman said it wasn’t easy. “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than smart, and we got lucky a couple of times. KZ-5 was every bit as fast as us today, and sailed really well.”

In the Modern fleet, Challenge XII held commanding leads in all but the last of its five races, when Courageous won. Accumulating six points for its final standing, Challenge XII finished eight points ahead of Courageous, which was tied on point score with Defender. Challenge XII, along with Freedom and Defender, are newly revived 12 Metres, their owners inspired by the promise of intense competition in 2019 when 12 Metres from across the globe are expected to come to Newport for the Worlds.

Challenge XII’s owner/driver Jack LeFort attributed the boat’s performance to crew work and great sails, among other things. “We’ve done some nice work modifying the boat, getting it ready, but we think there’s more room for improvement. By the time the Worlds come around, there are going to be more teams stepping it up, so we need to make sure we continue to move our game up as well.”  Historically, Challenge XII was a contender in the 1983 America’s Cup series. “It’s Ben Lexcen’s last boat,” said LeFort. “He’s probably smiling somewhere right now. It’s got great bones, it’s fast off the breeze. People thought it was a light-air boat. We don’t think that; we just think it’s a really good boat.”

In Traditional Division, Columbia won four of five races, leading over Weatherly and American Eagle, which finished second and third, respectively.

Celebration Dinner for Intrepid and Courageous at Newport Trophy Regatta, photo: SallyAnne Santos

Previewing the social events on tap for 2019, a Celebration Dinner for the 50th Anniversary of Intrepid’s first America’s Cup victory and the 40th Anniversary of Courageous’s second America’s Cup victory was held on Friday at the International Yacht Restoration School’s Restoration Hall.

Waypoint Series standings have been tallied based on previous events held in Newport (the Metrefest Newport Regatta held in June), Germany and Denmark.

For more information visit http://www.12mrclass.com/waypoints or contact Peter Gerard at pgerard53@gmail.com or +1 214-244-4955

Additional Information:

Road to the Worlds, Waypoints Series Standings

Racing Photos, 7/21/19  by Paul Stuart Todd

Racing Photos, 7/23/19 by Stephen Cloutier

Intrepid-Courageous Celebration Photos, 7/21/19, by SallyAnne Santos

Newport Trophy Prize-Giving, 7/23/17 by SallyAnne Santos

12 Metre Class Maps Road to 2019 Worlds in Newport

The Countdown Begins!

NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND (December 8, 2016) – The International 12 Metre Class has announced the ROAD TO THE WORLDS, a 900-day schedule of international regattas and social events leading up to what will arguably be one of the most highly anticipated Metre yachting events since the America’s Cup Jubilee in 2001: the 2019 12 Metre World Championship in Newport, R.I.

Scheduled for July 15-21, 2019, to coincide with celebrations marking the 175th anniversary of the New York Yacht Club, the 2019 12 Metre World Championship is expected to attract more than 30 historic 12 Metres. Participating Twelves will come from the Americas Fleet, which includes a number of Newport-based vintage, traditional, modern and grand prix 12 Metres as well as other America’s Cup-era Twelves from around the U.S.; the Northern and Southern Europe Fleets, which consist primarily of Vintage and Antique Twelves; and the southern continents.

12 Metres racing in Barcelona during the 2014 12 Metre World Championship.

12 Metres racing in Barcelona during the 2014 12 Metre World Championship.
(photo credit: SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative)

“The prospect of a Jubilee-caliber event in Newport, hosted by the New York Yacht Club, has generated incredible enthusiasm on the part of past, present and potential 12 Metre owners and enthusiasts,” said Peter Gerard, Vice President of the Americas Fleet and chair of the 2019 Worlds, noting that the last 12 Metre World Championship was held in 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.

The ROAD TO THE WORLDS is a series of competitions, global in nature, that will be a constant “work in progress,” revolving around mainstay events in Europe and at least 16 major regattas in North America.

“The goal is to encourage more participation by existing 12 Metre owners and to provide an exciting competitive and social program to attract new owners and charterers to this historic class,” said Gerard. “Like the 2001 America’s Cup Jubilee, when 38 Twelves gathered in Cowes, England, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the America’s Cup, the 2019 12 Metre Worlds will be an event that fans of this historic class will not want to miss. The racing and social events in Newport will be second to none as part of the New York Yacht Club’s 175th Anniversary Regatta.”

America II and Victory completing their lap of Newport Harbor

Victory ’83 races through Newport harbor during the 2009 12 Metre World Championship
(photo credit: Dan Nerney)

Designed to the International Rule, the first 12 Metres were built in 1907 and selected for Olympic competition in 1908, 1912 and 1920. Prior to World War II, the Twelves were highly sought-after racer cruisers, both in Europe and America. Chosen to replace the massive J-Class yachts for the post-war revival of America’s Cup competition in 1958, the Twelves then became synonymous with the Cup and the New York Yacht Club until 1983 when Royal Perth Yacht Club’s Australia II bested New York Yacht Club’s Liberty to end the 132-year winning streak that is the longest in sporting history. The Twelves competed for the coveted Auld Mug for the last time in 1987, on the waters off Perth, Australia.

The 2019 12 Metre World Championship will revisit those halcyon days of the America’s Cup when glamorous social events, the traditions of sailing, and the visions of Twelves cutting a swath on Narragansett Bay earned the class an unrivaled place in both the history of the City by the Sea and the America’s Cup, still the sport’s most illustrious event.

“The Twelves have played an important part in yachting history, and no place appreciates them more than Newport and the New York Yacht Club,” said Gerard. “The ROAD TO THE WORLDS and the 2019 12 Metre World Championship are the best ways we know to commemorate that appreciation and present a memorable celebration of the class.”

The ROAD TO THE WORLDS schedule in 2017 starts with the Newport MetreFest, June 9-11, scheduled to coincide with the New York Yacht Club 163rd Annual Regatta.

For more information visit http://www.12mrclass.com/ or contact Peter Gerard at pgerard53@gmail.com.

(end)

Lock Up Your Mothers, Hide The Booze…

“They” May Be Returning To Newport!

aussiekangaroo

Click the kangaroo to hear the 1983 Australia II tribute song.

When owners and crew of 12 Metres gather at regattas or the 12 Metre Yacht Club at the Clarke Cooke House, it does not take long for a story to surface about America’s Cup campaigns. Hardly surprising considering a number of veterans from those campaigns circa 1970-87 are still sailing 12s.

As with most sports– it’s all about the people. Stories are less about tacking duels off Brenton Reef and more about the characters involved in designing, building and sailing the 12s. Shore-side supporters, particularly those from ‘Down Under’ who made it to Newport in 1983 add even more color to an already colorful story.  Similarly, the 2001 World Championship held in conjunction with the 150th ‘Jubilee’ off Cowes attracted thirty-six Twelve Metres and at least several hundred of those same characters.

In 2019 the 12 Metre World Championship is scheduled to be held in Newport, hosted by the New York Yacht Club in conjunction with a regatta celebrating the Club’s 175th Anniversary. As plans for that celebration get underway in New York and Newport, another plan is being hatched 10,500 miles away in Melbourne, Australia.

Challenge 12

Click to learn more about Challenge 12

The owner of the 1987 challenger Kookaburra I, who at one time also owned KZ-3, has been keeping his eye on Challenge Twelve, the trial horse for Australia II. She is currently in storage near Newport. He and his merry crew from ‘Down Under’ competed with ‘Kooka’ and KZ-3 at the ‘Jubilee.’ Reportedly, a recent conversation over a ‘quiet little drink’ at a Yacht Club near Melbourne resulted in a ‘why not’ decision.

“Let’s look in to the idea of acquiring Challenge Twelve and campaigning her in Newport, during the summers of 2017-18 and on to the World Championship in 2019.

Then bring her back to Melbourne.” The instigator was ‘egged on’ by several participants in that ‘quiet little drink’– they sailed on Challenge 12 in her duels with Australia II.

If this plan comes to fruition, the Syndicate will be aptly named. While fitting, ‘Geriatric Larrikins’ is already taken. Australian 12 Metre characters arrived on the docks of Newport from the 60s to the 80s, with a small kitbag, a large thirst, passion for the sport, a desire to win and a lovable sense of humor.  This mob from Melbourne will be no different.

Here’s hoping!
–Paul Buttrose