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New Owner Preparing Historic Racing Yacht for Competition
NEWPORT, R.I. (February 16, 2017) – The 12 Metre yacht Freedom has been purchased by Charles A. Robertson (Guilford, Conn.), a well-known East Coast sailor who has been active in a number of America’s Cup and 12-Metre campaigns and is well known for skippering his Frers 75 Maxi Cannonball and a series of other like-named boats to victory in various one-design and offshore racing events.
Robertson, a former trustee of the New York Yacht Club, plans to race Freedom in the boat’s home waters of Newport, R.I. starting in June. He will participate in the International 12 Metre Class’s recently announced “Road to the Worlds” series that culminates in the 2019 12-Metre World Championship, which is scheduled to coincide with celebrations marking the 175th anniversary of the New York Yacht Club.
Designed by Olin Stephens and constructed at Minneford Yacht Yard in City Island, NY, Freedom was the last yacht to successfully defend the America’s Cup for the New York Yacht Club by defeating Australia in 1980 in four out of five races. After the 1983 America’s Cup, she was sold to France where she stayed for many years before returning to the U.S. in 1999. Currently, Freedom is at Pilot’s Point Marina in Westbrook, Conn. where she is undergoing substantial work. Along with getting new sails, instruments and electronics, she will be newly painted to look similar to how she did in 1980.
“Olin was a dear friend of mine, and Freedom was the last 12 Metre he designed,” said Robertson. “He had a special affection for this boat, and so do I.” Robertson added that – like his past Cannonball campaigns – this one will involve a contingent of “young, enthusiastic sailors who are predominantly amateur.”
In the Road to the Worlds series, Freedom will sail in Modern Division (for 12 Metres built between 1968 and 1983) against Victory 83, Challenge 12, Lionheart and the only two America’s Cup yachts to win the Cup twice, Intrepid* and Courageous.
The Road to the Worlds schedule for 2017 starts with the Newport MetreFest, June 9-11, which coincides with the New York Yacht Club 163rd Annual Regatta.
To find out more about Freedom, including crew opportunities visit https://freedomus12-30.com/. For more information on the Road to the Worlds 2019, visit http://www.12mrclass.com/ or contact Peter Gerard at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the 12 Metre class on Facebook.
*Although she was built before 1968, Intrepid is still considered a Modern; Australia II, built during the specified period for Modern designation, is not considered a Modern.
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.
“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.”
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.
Over this long cold winter the 12-Metre Yacht Club has begun organizing the next World Championships to be held in American waters. This will be a spectacular series of regattas. We are planning to invite 12-Metres from around the world to put aside 2 ½ months in May, June and July 2019. Races are being planned in 4 or 5 venues in New England, preceded by an inaugural regatta in the Caribbean. This will become the largest collection of 12-Metre boats since the America’s Cup Jubilee in Cowes back in 2001. Imagine 20-25 12-Metre boats racing together in the waters off Newport.– Commodore James Gublemann, March 30, 2015