Wings Team Visits 12MYC Newport

Last evening, Commodore and Kate Gubelmann hosted an impromptu cocktail gathering at the 12MYC Newport Station to meet 12mR Wings (K-15) co-owners: Philipp Skafte-Holm, Jens Harder, Thomas Ahlstrøm and key crew members Peter Kampmann, Victor Skafte-Holm, Brit Lilja and Anna Klingspor. The Wings team is visiting Newport, racing the X-boat Foxtrot at NYYC Race Week and gathering logistics information re: the 2019 12mR World Championship to convey to their fellow Baltic fleet members.

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March 2018 E-Newsletter

Commodore James GubelmannOur March 2018 E-Newsletter is here!

  • Pre-Season Updates
  • Easterner’s New Owner
  • Onawa Returns to Newport Racing
  • Historian, Steve Lirakis’: The 12 Metre Sonnet
  • NYYC 175th Notice of Race posted
  • ITMA Class Rule Notice No. 1 re: NORDAC
  • Road to the Worlds Waypoints Series standings (all fleets)
  • 12s for Sale
  • Americas Fleet Update & 2018 Sailing Schedule

Click through to read.

A Tale of Two Boats

by Dennis Williams

My fascination with 12 Metres began in the mid ‘70’s in Marblehead (MA)  when Courageous (US-26) and Independence (US-28) were preparing for the ’77 America’s Cup. Just standing on the deck of Courageous at the town landing was a thrill, knowing I’d never sail a 12mR… but it was okay to dream…

Victory '83 (US-22) and Courageous (US-26) cross gybes at the 2016 12mR North American Championship

Victory ’83 (K-22) and Courageous (US-26) cross gybes at the 2016 12mR North American Championship.

Fast forward 30 years. Roseanne and I were off for a week of cruising and en route from Nantucket to Edgartown (MA). As we rounded the northern tip of Chappaquiddick Island, we spotted a number of large boats racing around the buoys. Closer inspection revealed they were 12mRs. We watched the racing for a few minutes and then headed into the harbor. Later, we watched them raft up at the Edgartown Yacht Club. It was an impressive sight! In the morning, we decided that a closer look was in order. Uh oh…..the flame that was started in the ‘70’s was starting to burn a little brighter. Perhaps we should buy a 12mR?

We started talking with Jim Gretzky about 12mRs. Roseanne and I had seen Defender (US-33) many times as we drove past Cracker Boy Marina in Riviera Beach where she had been sitting on the hard for many years. Jim had been the project designer for the boat when she was built back in ’82, so she quickly moved to the top of the list. We looked at the boat, met the owner and tried hard to make a deal, but to no avail. That was the end of the Defender story…. for then. Stay tuned, she makes another appearance later in this story.

Jim activated his 12mR network and another great boat popped up…Victory 83 (K-22). She had been in a boatyard in Cogolin, France for several years. Roseanne, Jim and I packed our bags and headed to France to take a look. We asked Ian Howlett, Victory’s designer to meet us there. We found Victory in the back of the yard, under a tree, filled with leaves, rudder and tab frozen hard to port and not looking very attractive. Ian felt she was sound and pronounced her to be “shockingly original!” After some very lengthy negotiations with the Italian owner, we made a deal. Getting the boat out of France turned out to be a bigger adventure than we expected. The Italian owner had “hidden” Victory 83 in France and had not paid taxes.

Victory '83 2016 12mR North American Champion

Victory ’83,  2016 12mR North American Champion.

She had never been registered, so documentation with the USCG was an issue, etc, etc, etc. There are enough stories to fill 3 articles, but in the end we prevailed. We sold the spars to Doug Peterson for use in Gretel (KA-1) and the winches to the Italians so they could turn Azzurra (I-4) into a museum piece. Next we cut off the rudder because we could not free it up and did not want to go in circles. Finally, we put her on a freighter that was diverted due to a major storm, and eventually saw her again in Newport in November, 2007.

Victory 83’s  total refit began with a new cockpit and new everything else. This was done under Jim’s leadership with innovative ideas coming from many different people. In September 2008, we decided to race in the North American Championship even though the work wasn’t 100% complete. We wanted to get a measure of how competitive she was after all the work. We were very pleased with our performance in this first regatta. Since then, the Victory 83 team has done quite well with this fully modernized boat.

Defender racing at 2017 12mR North American Championship

Defender racing at 2017 12mR North American Championship.

In 2010, I got a call from the wife of Defender’s owner. Sadly, he had passed away and had left the boat to his daughter. She had no use for the boat and wanted to sell. I told he that I already had a 12 metre and didn’t need another, but I would take a look. In 2008, Defender had been rigged and launched and was anchored in the Intracoastal off Palm Beach. When I arrived at the boat, I noticed she was floating a little “deep”. A quick inspection revealed about 2 feet of water in the bilge and a very dead seagull in the cockpit! By comparison, Victory 83 was pristine when we found her compared to Defender. This was a real “fixer-upper.”

It was clear to me that Defender was either going to sink or get cut up and sold for scrap. Since there are so few of these great boats, Roseanne and I decided we needed to rescue Defender. I called her back and we made a deal. The first step was to have her hauled and shipped back to Newport. We pumped out the water on the tow to Cracker Boy. (We also got rid of the seagull!) When she was hauled, 2 years of marine growth appeared. That’s when I decided to go to lunch and let them deal with the mess. Two hours later, there was a big pile of barnacles, oysters and other unidentified things under the boat. Defender was shipped to Newport and the slow process of repair and updating began. We did confirm my worry that she was not far from sinking.

After the 2016 season, we made the difficult decision to leave Victory 83 in the shed and sail Defender in 2017. In the meantime, we had also picked up USA (US-61) to give us a few bits and pieces we needed to finish Defender. Prior to the first regatta, the crew had only sailed on the boat for an hour or two. They all thought I had gone mad and were debating which insane asylum would be best for me. After the regatta, they couldn’t wait for the next one and had lots of ideas on how to improve the boat. The season has been fun for everyone as we started the revitalization of a boat that hadn’t sailed let alone raced in 23 years! Initially, we had old re-cut sails from Victory and USA. For the North American Championship, we had a new main and 3 new head-sails. We also installed a new rudder, moved the wheels forward and the runners aft to create a more typical layout. The most important outcome from this last regatta is that we convinced ourselves that with these changes and additions, Defender is as competitive as Victory 83. The rescue mission started in 2010 has proven worthwhile.

2017 12mR North American Championship, photo by SallyAnne Santos

Dennis Williams at the helm of Defender, 2017.

As I  have said many times to many people, we are the caretakers of these great boats. Our obligation is to leave them better than we found them. We are looking for a buyer for either Victory 83 or Defender to continue building the Modern Division. Victory 83 is a fully modernized, proven winner. Just add water! Defender still needs a little more work to bring her to that same level of modernization and to optimize her competitiveness. We are also hopeful that the Grand Prix fleet will start to grow like the Moderns and that USA will be part of that effort.

 

I am confident new owners will have the same passion as the current owners and that the 12 metre era of the America’s Cup history will continue to prosper. – DW.

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

July 2017 E-Newsletter

12MYC Commodore James GubelmannOur July 2017 E-Newsletter is packed with news including:

  • The “newest” 12 to the fleet– Challenge XII by David Pedrick
  • Steve Lirakis on the Hood / North Controversy- 1977
  • Defender’s Queen’s Cup victory
  • Road to the Worlds Waypoints Series standings (all fleets)
  • QUEST magazine cover story on METREFEST NEWPORT
  • 2017 12MYC Annual Dinner Info
  • Sailing Calendar, Results, Photo links
  • and much more

Click through to read it here.

 

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.

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