October E-News

12MYC Commodore James Gublemann at the 2017 12 Metre North American Championship, Newport, Rhode IslandOur October 2017 E-Newsletter is packed with news including:

Click through to read it here.

 

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.

 

12MYC June 2017 E-Newsletter

Commodore Jimmy Gubelmann

In case you missed it, here is the link to our just published June E-Newsletter. This issue is packed with new content including:

  • METREFEST NEWPORT 2017 UPDATE
  • ROAD TO THE WORLDS, WAYPOINTS REGATTAS ANNOUNCED
  • 3 MODERNS RETURN TO RACING: Challenge 12 (KA-10), Freedom (US-30) & Defender (US-33)
  • THE DEMITASSE CUP, by Stephen Lirakis
  • 2017 NORTH AMERICAN RACING CALENDAR

Please read, enjoy and share!

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A Gnarly Trip to New London

ameagle4up

In the Cup Summer of 1964 I worked as crew for John Nicholas Brown aboard Volta. When one American Eagle crew member developed appendicitis, Mr. Brown volunteered my services as replacement crew. I was a fraction of the size of the crew I was replacing! This happened just shortly before the NYYC Annual Cruise, in which all of the 12 metres were expected to participate. The Cruise was to start in New London and on the day we were to be towed the weather turned foul. Our tender Active, however skillfully operated by owner Bill Stetson, was just not designed for this job. As we approached Race Rock, the wind, rain and foul tide worked at the flawed transom tow bit as a tail wagging a dog. The tender could not tow American Eagle away from Race Rock. We saw no choice but to cast off the tow line and set a staysail. Happily, we were able to sail away from danger. Once clear we transferred the tow line back on and completed the journey safely. –Stephen Lirakis

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.