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.

June 2018 E-Newsletter

In our June E-Newsletter, we feature:

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 or contact Peter Gerard at 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


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…

A Message from 12MYC Treasurer, Jamie Hilton

James (Jamie) Hilton

Treasuer, James (Jamie) Hilton

Having had the honor of being asked by Commodore Gubelmann to join the Board of the 12 Metre Yacht Club in 2013, I’ve had some time to become familiar with the challenges facing the Class and more specifically the Newport Fleet. The efforts of the Club’s board are keenly focused on increasing participation in 12 Metre sailing, racing and related social activities in the Newport area. Clearly one very important job that the Board of the 12 MYC is faced with is to promote the 12 Metre Class. We, the board, need to do all we can to get the Class and the Newport Fleet all the attention and interest we can. Growing the fleet and interest in the 12 Metre Class is a big priority! Having exciting sailing at innovative events, followed by good press is one of the strategies we are pursuing to grow your fleet. Several ambitious projects are in the works to achieve these ends.

My personal interest in seeing the Newport 12 Metre Fleet succeed and grow stem from the privilege of sailing on Courageous from 2005-2009. Having watched 12 Metres race going back to 1980, I never would have guessed what a thrill and challenge it was to sail one. Now that I know what a great experience it is to sail and race a 12, I want to do all I can to provide the opportunity for more people to enjoy the same experience.

Six Metres racing in Newport ~ Onne van der Wal photo

6s racing at Newport ~ photo: Onne van der Wal

In addition to sailing 12 Metres, I’ve also enjoyed racing 6 Metres for the last 4 seasons. Sailing a 6 is every bit as challenging and fun as sailing a 12, but you only need one person to carry a Genoa for a 6! While sailing 6’s in Europe the last 4 summers I have come to appreciate the synergies that exist between the Metre boat classes. In fact, it is not uncommon to be at a 6 Metre regatta and find yourself speaking with a competitor who also sails 12s, or 8s or 5.5 Metres.

Sailors discussing shared interests and challenges with other sailors, recent studies indicate, is what spawned the “post-racing cocktail party.” These shared interests have spawned the idea for a combined Metre Boat Regatta. Due to a confluence of coincidences it may be that many 6s will be transiting from Europe to Vancouver, BC via Newport in 2017. We are also in contact with members of the Toronto 8 Metre fleet who also expressed initial interest in participating in a Metre Boat Festival.

While logistics and dates are still being explored, we are optimistic that this could become an historic gathering of formula racing yachts and sailors in Newport. We feel we can draw many great sailors and a lot of attention to our Newport 12 Metre fleet by holding events such as this. If you’d like to get involved in helping to make the “MeterBoatFestival2017” happen please contact us.

Gunther Buerman talks about owning and racing KZ-3, New Zealand

Gunther Buerman talks about owning and racing KZ-3, New Zealand

Also,  I am working to produce a series of videos, one with the owner of each yacht in the Newport fleet, for this website. (The first with KZ-3, New Zealand owner, Gunther Buerman is already posted here.) The more we reveal the unique story of each boat along with the “whys” and “hows” the owner or syndicate came to sailing 12 Metres, the better our chances become for like-minded people to say: “Hey that’s pretty cool, I’d like to speak to them about getting my own 12 program together.”  If you would like to participate or have suggestions for interview candidates, please contact me.

Stay tuned, good things are happening with 12 Metre sailing in Newport!

Respectfully submitted,
James A. Hilton, Treasurer
12 Metre Yacht Club, Newport Station