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.

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

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

1977 Slow Boat In Newport

by Stephen Lirakis

I was poking around boatyards as I had done most of my life; it was the fall of 1976 when I ran into Jeff Neuberth, the project manager for the Courageous-Independence Syndicate. Jeff had been told that I was sailing on Enterprise with Lowell North and was surprised to learn that was not the case. I was invited to join the Independence crew shortly after that.

Ted Hood designed and built Independence and had leased Courageous to Ted Turner. It was the first real two-boat program. Ideal for sail development and boat refinement.

Hover over images to reveal captions, click to view any photo at full size…

Ted Turner had said leading in to this program that he wanted a time tested boat; still smarting from the Mariner disaster in 1974. Independence being the “new boat” was always expected to be the ultimate selection. Courageous was referred to as the trial horse. It was difficult to know which boat was faster as most of our sailing in those early months (February-May) were long tacks sometimes 30 miles!

A mini-regatta was organized with racing between Courageous and Independence before we towed to Newport for the June trails. Courageous proved to be faster on every point of sail in those races. Reg Pierce who had been aboard Courageous for the successful 1974 defense looked up from the grinder handles and said: “It’s going to be a long summer.” These proved to be prophetic words.

Hover over images to reveal captions, click to view any photo at full size…

Building Courageous

by Stephen Lirakis

In 1973 I accepted a job at Minneford’s Yacht Yard to build aluminum boats lured by the assurance that I would build the next Sparkman & Stephens twelve meter; the first in aluminum. Interestingly the decision had been taken to supply the offsets in metric; a departure from tradition. The reason being that it would be more precise– the plans for the keel were supplied in tenths of a foot. Finding metric rulers in 1973 was not as easy as today, as well having to find a tape in tenths.

The plans for a twelve meter were delivered in the fall of 1973. This boat was originally going to be sailed by Bill Ficker and his team. We even built a mock-up of the boat which we could heel, Bill and the crew came to try the layout and make suggestions. Due to circumstances Bill and his team were out. Olin instructed us to continue work on the boat as he looked for a new syndicate.

Only two of us were assigned to the build during this time. To further retard our progress; no scantlings existed for aluminum twelves meter. We developed scantlings that we proposed to Lloyds and then had to wait for their approval.

As we laid down the lines of Courageous it became clear that her design was an evolution of Constellation and Intrepid; with subtle and progressive innovations, all within The Rule.

Hover over images to reveal captions, click to view any photo at full size…

We built all the fittings at Minneford’s, Including the cauldron in which we melted 50,000 pounds of lead for the keel which we poured into the mould made of 50,000 pounds of cement. The pour took place over a 24 hour period with breaks for food.

Even though the keel mould had cured for at least 6 weeks, once we started the pour of molten lead into the mold the steam coming from the cement was frightening. I was concerned that the whole thing might explode. Happily it did not.

Looking back, I went to Minneford’s to be involved in building a 12 meter, never imagining Courageous would be the last two-time defender.

Press Release: COURAGEOUS REIGNS SUPREME

12
For Immediate Release

12 Metre North American Championships Sponsored by Bai

Courageous Reigns Supreme

NEWPORT, R.I. (September 28, 2015) – Ralph Isham and his brother-in-law Alexander Auersperg (both Newport, R.I./New York N.Y.) co-skippered the 12 Metre Courageous to win the Bai Trophy for best overall performance at the 2015 12 Metre North American Championship sponsored by Bai.  The event concluded Sunday, September 27 after three days of racing on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. The crew aboard Courageous won four of eight races in Modern Division (for yachts built from 1967-1983) and never finished worse than second.  Victory ’83, with defending champion and past 12 Metre World Champion Dennis Williams’ (Hobe Sound, Fla.) at the helm, was runner-up in Modern Division.

Courageous (white hull) prevailed over Victory ’83 in Modern Division at the 2015 12 Metre North American Championship sponsored by Bai. Courageous also was named the regatta’s overall winner. (credit SallyAnne Santos).

Read more…