12 Metre fleet at start of racing ( Photo © George Bekris )

12 Metre fleet at start of racing ( Photo © George Bekris )

NEWPORT, R.I. (Sept. 24, 2018) – An eight-race series held Friday through Sunday (September 21-23) on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay determined title holders for the 2018 12 Metre North American Championship. The event, hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club and including divisions for historic 12 Metres from the Modern and Traditional eras (1974-1983 and 1958-1970, respectively), was especially competitive this year due to teams ramping up for the 2019 12 Metre World Championship, which also will be hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club on these same waters off Newport, R.I. next July.

Challenge XII passing Castle Hill Lighthouse ( Photo © George Bekris )

Challenge XII passing Castle Hill Lighthouse ( Photo © George Bekris )


Action aboard winners Challenge XII and American Eagle at the 2018 12 Metre North American Championship held in Newport, R.I.

12 Metre American Eagle ( Photo © George Bekris )

12 Metre American Eagle ( Photo © George Bekris )

“The boats that prevailed had to perform in all wind ranges and sailing conditions,” said Event Chairman Peter Gerard, explaining that the fleet of nine boats had three races on Friday that were held in ideal 12-15 knot winds “outside” on the open water where the America’s Cup 12 Metre races were held from 1958-1983. Saturday’s three races saw 15-18 knots at the racecourse “inside” the Bay (north of Pell Bridge), and Sunday’s last two races were held in challengingly light and variable breezes, also inside. “It was a true test for the championship and a great example of the 12 Metres committed to and prepping for the Worlds here next year.”

12 Metre American Eagle ( Photo © George Bekris )

12 Metre American Eagle ( Photo © George Bekris )

Topping five boats in the Traditional Division was American Eagle, which has been chartered by the American Eagle 2019 Syndicate for this year and next. The team is comprised of regional sailors mostly from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including Bob Morton (Newport) who skippers and leads the syndicate jointly with team member Cindy DeLotto (Newport/Edgartown, Mass.).

“This really showed that both our team and boat are tuned up,” said Morton after racing on Sunday. “I don’t know if we’ll do anything else to the boat; we’ll just continue to improve on what we are doing in preparation for the Worlds.”

 


The 2019 12 Metre North American Championship was hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club in Newport, R.I., where the 2019 12 Metre World Championship is scheduled to take place.

 

 

Giving American Eagle its best run for the money was Weatherly, chartered by Jay Schachne (Barrington, R.I.) who plans to compete in the Worlds. Weatherly finished with 18 points to American Eagle’s 14; however, only two points separated the two boats going into Sunday. “We were working one-on-one with Weatherly because mathematically we only had to beat them to win,” said Morton, who took second in both races Sunday while Weatherly finished third in both. “It was crazy out there, all the back and forth, close racing all the time. We don’t have any real strengths…for instance, Columbia excels in heavy air, Weatherly is good in light air.  We just average out; we’re always there. You can see that in our scoreline; we were never worse than second.”

 

Weatherly ( Photo ©George Bekris )

Weatherly ( Photo ©George Bekris )

According to American Eagle’s tactician Dave Vietor (Edgartown, Mass.), Sunday’s races were “character building.” He knows a thing or two about 12 Metres, as he skippered Courageous in the Defender Trials for the 1983 America’s Cup. (Courageous, a veteran of five America’s Cup campaigns and twice a successful defender, finished third in the Modern Division with a new face, Arthur Santry of Arlington, Va./Newport, R.I., at the helm.)


Historic 12 Metres competing in the 12 Metre North American Championship participated in an exhibition race back to Newport Harbor on Friday (Sept. 21). The nine-boat fleet had just completed three races on Rhode Island Sound, where 12 Metres contended for the America’s Cup from 1958-1983.

Victory '83 ( Photo © George Bekris )

Victory ’83 ( Photo © George Bekris )

Going into Sunday, Victory ’83, skippered by owner Dennis Williams (Hobe Sound, Fla./Newport, R.I.), was leading the four-boat Modern Division by one point, but it was Challenge XII with owner Jack LeFort (Jamestown, R.I.) at the helm that ultimately won – by one point. “We were really concerned about Victory ’83, because it’s a very good boat and team, and we knew whoever won today was going to be the champion,” said LeFort, who sailed with America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race veteran Ken Read aboard as tactician. “It was fluky, it was hard and we ended up 1-2 and they posted a 2-3. All regatta, it was anybody’s game at any time. The 12 Metre racing is great competition, we love it. It will be nice when there are more boats at the Worlds.”

Easterner ( Photo © George Bekris )

Easterner ( Photo © George Bekris )

According to Peter Gerard, who is also heading up the Worlds, as any as 10 Modern 12 Metres are expected at that event, while five Traditional, six Grand Prix (built for the 1987 America’s Cup) and three Vintage 12 Metres (built before the America’s Cup 12 Metre era) are also expected, making it the largest gathering of 12 Metres ever in North America.

Ted Hood and Ted Turner Trophies

At Sunday’s afternoon Awards Ceremony at Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the Ted Hood Trophy was awarded to the teams in each division with the highest points overall for the season. Those teams were American Eagle and Challenge XII.

American Eagle is currently the top America’s Fleet contender in the Waypoint Series leading up to the 2019 Worlds.

 

Clockwise from left: Ted Turner Trophy photographed at 12 Metre Yacht Club/Clarke Cooke House; American Eagle team with the 12 Metre North American Trophy; Event Chair Peter Gerard, Alec LeFort and his father Jack LeFort with the Ted Hood Trophy.  (Photo credits: SallyAnne Santos)

Clockwise from left: Ted Turner Trophy photographed at 12 Metre Yacht Club/Clarke Cooke House; American Eagle team with the 12 Metre North American Trophy; Event Chair Peter Gerard, Alec LeFort and his father Jack LeFort with the Ted Hood Trophy.
(Photo credits: SallyAnne Santos)


Clockwise from left: Ted Turner Trophy photographed at 12 Metre Yacht Club/Clarke Cooke House; American Eagle team with the 12 Metre North American Trophy; Event Chair Peter Gerard, Alec LeFort and his father Jack LeFort with the Ted Hood Trophy.

At the 12 Metre Yacht Club’s Annual Dinner, held at the Clarke Cooke House on Thursday evening (Sept. 20), the Ted Turner Trophy was awarded (in absentia) to James Patrick Howaldt (Copenhagen, DK), Vice President of the International Twelve Metre Association (ITMA). Gary Jobson made the presentation noting that Howaldt’s love of 12 Metres combined with his determination and dedication are largely responsible for the thriving Baltic fleet of Vintage 12 Metres, now 20 boats strong. ITMA’s Treasurer, Dr. Robin Wallace, read remarks of acceptance and thanks from Howaldt, while ITMA’s President, Dyer Jones, relayed additional words of praise from his Baltic fleet colleagues.

The Ted Turner Trophy is awarded annually to individuals(s) who have made an outstanding contribution to the 12 Metre Class on or off the water.

Nefertiti ( Photo © George Bekris )

Nefertiti ( Photo © George Bekris )

For more information, visit http://www.12mrclass.com/https://12mrworlds.com/ or contact Peter Gerard at pgerard53@gmail.com, +1 214-244-4955.

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12 Metre North American Championship Results
Sept. 21-23, 2018
Modern (4 Boats)
1. Challenge XII, 12 Metre 67, Jack LeFort , Jamestown, RI, USA – 3 -1 -2 -1 -3 -2 -1 -2 ; 15
2. Victory 83, 12 Metre 65, Dennis Williams , Hobe Sound, FL, USA – 2 -4 -1 -2 -1 -1 -2 -3 ; 16
3. Courageous, 12 Metre 65, Ralph Isham /Alexander Auersperg , Newport, RI, USA – 1 -2 -3 -3 -2 -3 -3 -1 ; 18
4. Freedom, 12 Metre 63’5, Charles Robertson , Guilford, CT, USA – 4 -3 -4 -4 -5 -5 -4 -4 ; 33
Traditional (5 Boats)
1. American Eagle, 12 Metre 67, Eagle 2019 Syndicate , Middletown, RI, USA – 1 -2 -2 -1 -2 -2 -2 -2 ; 14
2. Weatherly, 12 Metre 69, Jay Schachne , Barrington, RI, USA – 3 -1 -1 -3 -1 -3 -3 -3 ; 18
3. Columbia, 12 Metre 69’8, Kevin Hegarty / Anthony Chiurco , Newport, RI, USA – 2 -4 -4 -3 -3 -1 -1 -1 ; 19
4. Nefertiti, 12 Metre 68′, Jon Wullschleger , Sarasota, FL, USA – 4 -3 -3 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 ; 30
5. Easterner, 12 Metre 65, Scott Bernard , Annapolis, MD, USA – 6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 ; 48

 

12 Metres ( Photo © George Bekris )

Dennis Williams’s Victory ‘83 won the Pine Brothers Trophy for overall best performance at the 2013 12 Metre North Americans. (credit SallyAnne Santos)

While the America’s Cup was finishing up on the West Coast, vintage 12 Metres from the Cup’s Golden Era were gearing up on the East Coast to prove they still can steal a sailing show when it comes to grace, beauty and competition.  The 12 Metre North Americans sponsored by Pine Brothers hosted six of the sleek Twelves sailing on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound over three days of racing (Friday, September 27 through Sunday, September 29), and it was clear for all who participated or simply caught a glimpse of the action on the race course or the docks at Bannister’s Wharf (where the fleet and teams congregated each morning and late afternoon, just as they did during Cups held here in the ‘70s and ‘80s) that the Twelves would forever proudly hold their place in history, not simply as chapters in a century and a half’s worth of tomes written about the pursuit of the Auld Mug but as living, breathing works of art, lovingly restored by owners who consider themselves privileged caretakers of the past.

“It was really special to have the 12 Metre North Americans follow the America’s Cup event,” said Dennis Williams (Hobe Sound, Fla.) whose Victory ‘83 (K-22) turned in a perfect score line over seven races to win Modern Division (for yachts built between 1974 and 1983), which also included John Curtin’s Intrepid (US-22) and Rich Moody’s Courageous (US-26). “We were out practicing on the day of the last race, so we cut it short so everyone could watch the final race.”

Dennis Williams’s Victory ‘83 (left) and Rich Moody’s Courageous in Modern Division at the 2013 12 Metre North Americans. (Photo by SallyAnne Santos).

Williams commended the Race Committee from Ida Lewis Yacht Club for its management of spirited racing, which on Friday consisted of three races held “up the Bay” in a perfect northerly of 11-18 knots, as there were high wind warnings for offshore.

cid:image009.jpg@01CEBE28.2287D6A0 Dennis Williams’s Victory ‘83 won the Pine Brothers Trophy for overall best performance at the 2013 12 Metre North Americans. (credit SallyAnne Santos) Available for download by clicking the photo above

“In the Modern Division, the racing was tight, as it always is,” said Williams, who was awarded the Pine Brothers Trophy on Sunday at the Prize Giving held at Ida Lewis, since his was deemed the regatta’s best overall performance.  “The gap between us and Courageous was three or four seconds in the first race; a bit larger in the second and third.”

Herb Marshall’s American Eagle (US-21), the only Twelve sailing in Traditional Division (for yachts built between 1958 and 1970), started at the same time as the Moderns.  Though older than the others, the Eagle—built for the 1964 Cup Defense and famous as Ted Turner’s champion in distance races as far back as the ‘70s and in 12 Metre events as recently as last year’s 12 Metre North Americans—challenged the Moderns tactically, adding some close cross-tacking to the on-water ballet. (Turner, forever a fan of the class, supplied Bison meat from his ranch for the 12 Metre dinner on Friday night.)

cid:image010.jpg@01CEBE28.2287D6A0 The 12 Metre fleet berthed at Bannister’s Wharf during the 2013 12 Metre North American Championship sponsored by Pine Brothers. (credit SallyAnne Santos). Available for download by clicking the photo above   On Saturday, the Twelves sailed offshore on the traditional America’s Cup course where the breeze was light despite predictions for a stronger northeast gradient in the open water. One long race provided the platform for an impressive come-from-behind win by Victory ’83, before the wind took a nap.

“You had to stay in the breeze on this race,” said Williams.  “If you got in a hole, you were slow for a long time. We got rolled at the start by Intrepid, but were able to fight our way back and win the race.”

Though still shifty with varying pressure, Sunday’s breeze was better, and on the same course three races—the first two in 10-13 knots, the second in six to eight–wrapped things up.

cid:image015.jpg@01CEBE28.2287D6A0 Dennis Williams’s Victory ‘83 team (left), sailing in Modern Division, won the Pine Brothers Trophy for overall best performance at the 2013 12 Metre North Americans. Gunther Buerman, with Brad Read, led New Zealand to victory in Grand Prix Division. (credit SallyAnne Santos) Available for download by clicking the photo above

Courageous and Intrepid took second and third, respectively, in Modern Division, while Gunther Buerman’s New Zealand (KZ-3), sailing in Grand Prix Division (for yachts built for the 1987 America’s Cup), won all races against Kip Curren’s Laura (KZ-5).

The Ted Turner Trophy, awarded to individuals who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the 12 Metre class, this year went to three crew members who, according to president of the 12 Metre Americas Fleet Herb Marshall, “have put their lives on the line for all, to allow us to race fast and free.”  They were Tony Pierce, USMC, aboard Victory ’83; Sean Klaboe, US Army, aboard New Zealand; and James Heckman, USMC, who campaigned USA (US-61) last season before heading to Afghanistan.

Pine Brothers, makers of Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops, has come aboard as the 12 Metre America’s Fleet sponsor for 2013 after having sponsored the 12 Metre North Americans in 2011, 2012, and signed on again for 2013. The company’s unique “soft drop” throat lozenge was first introduced in 1870 as America’s first-ever commercially produced cough drop and is a favorite of sailors everywhere.  Pine Brothers reflects the passionate spirit shown by the 12 Metre fleet, which works to not only perpetuate 12 Metre racing but also combine racing with charitable efforts when possible.

For more information visit http://www.12mrclass.com.

The 12 Metre fleet berthed at Bannister’s Wharf during the 2013 12 Metre North American Championship sponsored by Pine Brothers. (Photo by SallyAnne Santos)

 

Results  12 Metre North American Championship sponsored by Pine Brothers

September 27-29, 2013

Grand Prix 1. New Zealand (KZ-3), Gunther Buerman, 1-1-1-1-1-1-1; 7 2. Laura (KZ-5), Kip Curren, 2-2-2-2-2-2-2; 14

Modern 1. Victory ’83 (K-22), Dennis Williams, 1-1-1-1-1-1-1; 7 2. Courageous (US-26), Rich Moody,  2-3-3-3-2-2-2; 17 3. Intrepid (US-22), John Curtin, 3-2-2-2-3-3-3; 18

Traditional 1. American Eagle (US-21), Herb Marshall, 1-1-1-1-1-1-1; 7

Dennis Williams’s Victory ‘83 team (left), sailing in Modern Division, won the Pine Brothers Trophy for overall best performance at the 2013 12 Metre North Americans.

Dennis Williams’s Victory ‘83 team (left), sailing in Modern Division, won the Pine Brothers Trophy for overall best performance at the 2013 12 Metre North Americans.Gunther Buerman, with Brad Read, led New Zealand to victory in Grand Prix Division. (Photo by SallyAnne Santos)

 

Ted Turner At Helm of American Eagle ( Photo by George Bekris )

America’s Cup history will repeat itself this week in Rhode Island when the 12 Metre North American Championship features two of sailing’s most famous skippers, Ted Turner and Dennis Conner, reuniting with their winning tacticians, Gary Jobson and Tom Whidden, respectively.

Turner, an American media mogul and philanthropist, will sail American Eagle in the Traditional division at the regatta, while Conner, known as “Mr. America’s Cup,” will sail KZ-7 (Kiwi Magic) in the Grand Prix division.

The three-day regatta takes place from September 21-23 in Newport, Rhode Island, with racing starting each day at 11am on Rhode Island Sound, where the Cup races were staged from 1930 until 1983.

All nine participating 12 Metres will be berthed at Bannister’s Wharf, reminiscent of the glory days when America’s Cup legends roamed the docks there after racing each day and where those who attended the 12 Metre America’s Cup reunion two years ago revisited.

Turner has won the 12 Metre North Americans for the last two years here, sailing American Eagle as he did in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. His performance in 2011 earned Turner first place in the Traditional division as well as the Pine Brothers Trophy for best overall performance.

“It’s a great thrill to reconnect with my long-time friend Ted Turner,” said Gary Jobson, who served as tactician for his skipper when Courageous beat Australia to win the 1977 America’s Cup.

“Ted is one of the heroes of our sport. He retired many years ago, but when he is on the water his competitive drive continues.”

About Conner, Jobson added, “Dennis Conner is one of the most successful American sailors of all time. Any time he is on the water he has a way of lifting every competitor’s game.”

Conner, a four time America’s Cup Winner (1974, ‘80, ‘87, ‘88), will have an impressive crew aboard KZ-7 (Kiwi Magic), which is currently owned by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Foundation.

Tom Whidden, one of the most experienced AC sailors in the world, sailed with Conner in three of his victories (1980, 1987 and 1988), while three others have sailed with Conner during various AC campaigns: Jerry Kirby (2003), Dave Kulver (’92, ’95) and Ralf Steitz (’92, ‘95). Joining them will be Michel Maeder, who sailed with Baron Marcel Bich in 1980.

“This will be Kiwi Magic, powered primarily by Stars & Stripes,” said Steitz, recognising the irony that during the Louis Vuitton Challenger series held in Fremantle, Australia during 1986/’87, Conner had challenged the fairness of KZ-7’s fibreglass hull against the slower aluminum hulls being used at the time.

“We will, of course, also have five USMMA midshipmen sailing as part of the 15-man crew. It’s great to give these young people an opportunity to sail with these great legends in our sport, these America’s Cup notables who also are truly among the greatest sailors in the world,” said Steitz of the program of which he is president.

Approaching Newport Harbor In The Candy Store Cup (Photo by George Bekris)

In addition to American Eagle and KZ-7, Columbia, Courageous, Intrepid, KZ-5, USA, Victory ’83 and Weatherly will be racing. Other celebrity yachtsmen participating include America’s Cup veterans Jim Gretzky, Andy MacGowan, Tom O’Brien, Dave Pedrick, Scott Perry, Reggie Pierce, Richie Sayer and Bill Shore.

Columbia (Photo by George Bekris)

A special private-invitation event on Thursday, September 20, will kick off the 12 Metre North American Championships in style and serve a good cause by supporting the national nonprofit Hope For The Warriors®. The organisation was founded by Robin Kelleher, the wife of a Naval War College Officer, and supports wounded U.S. service members, their families and families of the fallen.

Cocktails and dinner will be served at the 12 Metre Yacht Club, located on the third floor of the famous Clark Cooke House on Bannister’s Wharf. During the dinner, 12 Metre Yacht Club Station Steward, Gary Jobson, will introduce Jimmy Gubelmann as the new commodore of the Club.

Also making presentations will be Ted Turner and combat-wounded veteran and solo distance sailor Ronnie Simpson.

The event concludes on Sunday, September 23, with an Awards Ceremony at Ida Lewis Yacht Club, which also serves as the Organising Authority of the event.

Herb Marshall, Vice President of the 12 Metre Americas Fleet, will present the Gubelmann Trophy for the winner of each class in the North American Championships; the Ted Hood Trophy for the highest points overall for specific regattas during the season; and the Pine Brothers Trophy for best overall boat in the North American Championships.

Ted Turner will present the Ted Turner Trophy for noteworthy contribution on or off the water.

Regatta Sponsor is Pine Brothers, while Supporting Sponsors are Boston Beer Company, Harbor Town Wine of NZ (partner to the 12 Metre fleet), Sebago and Atlantis.

Entries:

Grand Prix – yachts built for the 1987 America’s Cup
KZ-5 ~ KZ5, Kip Curren, Newport, R.I.
KZ-7 (Kiwi Magic) ~ KZ7, Dennis Conner, San Diego, California
USA ~ US 61, Andy MacGowan, Middletown, R.I.

Modern – yachts built between 1974 and 1983
Courageous ~ US 26, Ralph Isham, New York, N.Y.
Intrepid ~ US 22, Jack Curtin, New York, N.Y.
Victory ’83 ~ K 21, Dennis Williams, Hobe Sound, Fla.

Traditional – yachts built between 1958 and 1970
American Eagle/Hope for the Warriors ~ US 21, Ted Turner, Atlanta, Georgia
Columbia ~ US 16, Alain Hanover, Weston, Massachusetts
Weatherly ~ US 17, George Hill, Newport, R.I.

Further information: www.12mrclass.com

Article By Connie Bischoff   

12 Metre Class North American Championships (Photo by Amory Ross)

12 Metre Class North American Championships (Photo by Amory Ross)

 NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND (September 17, 2010) – It is no surprise that Newport, RI is the epicenter of the 12 Metre “world” this week.  It is also not shocking that Ted Turner and his former America’s Cup Tactician Gary Jobson, USSAILING’s current President, revealed that they still have their sailing skills after 33 years.   The team and their able crew showed their expertise during the 3 day 2010 North Americans, earning 5 bullets in regatta and winning their division.  The many on-the-water spectators included a whale.  This was the perfect kickoff to the 2010 America’s Cup 12 Metre Era Reunion presented by Rolex and hosted by New York Yacht Club which extends through Sunday, September 19 at New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court.   

Ted Turner At Helm of American Eagle ( Photo by George Bekris )

Ted Turner At The Helm of American Eagle ( Photo by George Bekris )

The NAs took place out on Long Island Sound with the social events held at New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court.  The PRO for the regatta was America’s Cup veteran Sam Wakefield.  Watching the Twelves sail out brought back old memories of the America’s Cup which was raced in 12 Metres in Newport from 1958 to 1983.  There were 11 of these classic boats in four divisions competing in the regatta. 
 
In the oldest Vintage Division (also known as Division D consisting of 12 Metres built between 1918 and 1937), Northern Light ~ US 14 triumphed.  She is owned by Elizabeth Tiedemann was and sailed by Kip Curren. The second place boat was Onawa ~ US 6. These beautiful wooden boats were built in 1938 and 1928 respectively.  They showed that classic boats can still be super competitive.

Northern Light At Start ( Photo by George Bekris )

Northern Light At Start ( Photo by George Bekris )

Onawa (Photo by George Bekris)

Onawa (Photo by George Bekris)

 The next oldest class, Division C, is the Traditional Class made up of boats built from 1958 to 1970.  The winner was American Eagle ~ US 21, owned by Herb Marshall, chartered by Carol Swift with Ted Turner as the skipper. 1958 America’s Cup winner Columbia ~ US 16 and Easterner ~ US 18 followed closely. 

American Eagle Start (Photo by George Bekris)

American Eagle Start (Photo by George Bekris)

Columbia (Photo by George Bekris)

Columbia (Photo by George Bekris)

 

 

 

Easterner (Photo by George Bekris)

Easterner (Photo by George Bekris)

 
Division B, Modern is made up of boats built between 1974 and 1983. The winner, Courageous had previously won the America’s Cup in 1974 and 1977 (with Ted Turner as the skipper in ‘77). In the 2010 NAs, Courageous was followed by Freedom ~ US 30, Victory ’83 ~ K 22 and Intrepid ~ US 22.

Spinnakers (Photo by George Bekris)

Spinnakers on Courageous, Freedom, Victory '83 and Intrepid (Photo by George Bekris)

 
Grand Prix, the newest Division A, is made up of boats built for the 1983 America’s Cup. USA ~ US 61, with owner Guy Heckman at the helm, dominated the regatta with 7 bullets…one in each race. The other competitor in this class was America II ~ US 46.
 

USA (Photo by George Bekris)

USA (Photo by George Bekris)

American II (Photo by George Bekris)

American II (Photo by George Bekris)

The 2010 12 Metre North Americans concluded with the famous Candy Store Cup where the entire fleet (boats in all four divisions) raced from the Sound past Castle Hill and Ft. Adams into Newport Harbor to finish at Bannister’s Wharf. This is a spectacular race to see and the winning boat enjoys a magnum of champagne as they cruise around the harbor (known as the “harbor burn”) while they celebrate their victory. The victorious boat this year was Courageous.
 
The 2010 12 Metre NAs enjoyed fierce competition and great camaraderie as these big and beautiful boats sailed across the royal blue waves of Narragansett Bay. It was not just a great photo op; it was a perfect example of the “class slogan”…12 Metres…still elegant, still racing.  

 For More Photos of The 12 Metre North American Championships and The Candy Store Cup Click Here

Approaching Newport Harbor In The Candy Store Cup (Photo by George Bekris)

Onawa and Columbia Approaching Newport Harbor In The Candy Store Cup (Photo by George Bekris)

 

Victory '83 All Around and Candy Store Cup Winners (Photo by George Bekris)

Victory '83 Candy Store Cup Winners (Photo by George Bekris)

While history didn’t quite repeat itself today, it came pretty close.  The final races of the 2009 12 Metre World Championships were sailed on a sparkling Rhode Island Sound as helicopters buzzed and spectator boats jockeyed for front row seats to the action – evoking memories of 26 years ago to the day when the longest winning streak (132 years) in sporting history ended with the loss of the “Auld Mug” to Australia.  On this day, however, instead of just two Twelves there were 17 making their way around the old America’s Cup stomping grounds off Brenton Point and with many of the same spectators there to pay homage as the helicopters droned above.

Notable for traveling the furthest to be part of this largest gathering of Twelves since the Cup left Newport:  Challenge 12, which William Borel (Paris, France) had shipped from Europe early in the summer, and Australian Skip Lissiman who was onboard the Cup-winning Australia II in 1983.  “It’s fantastic to be back in Newport,” he said.  “I wanted to be back in particular for the anniversary and [to celebrate] I will be going down to O’Brien’s Pub where they have the original boxing kangaroo flag.  We’re going to exchange it with one that the entire crew signed last year when we celebrated the 25th and take the original flag back to the museum in Australia.”

For the final act of the world championships, two races were sailed in all four divisions – Grand Prix, Modern, Traditional and Vintage – before The Candy Store Cup was re-run after being abandoned on day two of racing. Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.), on Kiwi Magic-KZ7, won the  Grand Prix division after adding finishes of 1-3 for a net total of seven points.  Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.), driving Wright on White-KZ3, finished 3-2 to place second overall in the division standings, one point back.

More Photos Of The Action Can Be Seen HERE

The Traditional Division saw the only real upset of the championship as Charlie Millikin and Carol Swift (both Newport), on American Eagle-US21, fought back from a three-point deficit with a 1-2 today to tie Weatherly’s Clay Deutsch (Newport) who finished 2-3.  With eight points apiece, the tie-break went in favor of American Eagle earning Swift a surprise swim off the dock at Bannister’s Wharf courtesy of the crew.  In the Vintage division, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), on Gleam-US11, was one point out of first when the day began and placed first in both races to win by three points over Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), on Northern Light-US14.

“In the Modern fleet, on any given day any boat can win, they’re all that close,” said Dennis Williams (Hobe Sound, Fla./Mashpee, Mass.) after winning that division on Victory ‘83-K22.  He explained that it was Courageous who was their biggest competition after they had “two good races today and in conditions that were really pretty crazy.  They had a first and second and I think we were two points apart with one throw out, so very close.  The wind was shifting left and right and the velocity was up and down …it was a very crazy day, it was not predictable.  Everybody worked hard trying to keep the boat on track with the shifting winds.”

In addition to winning his first world championship title, it was “nice to put a little icing on the cake,” said Williams about winning The Candy Store Cup which gave a single start for all divisions and sent them on a course back from Rhode Island Sound, past Castle Hill Light, and into Newport Harbor for a finish off Bannister’s Wharf where champagne was awaiting all the teams.  “It was great,” said Williams of the 2009 12 Metre World Championship.  “Everyone on the boat enjoyed it, we had a great time, great crew.  It was just fabulous.  The competition was great.”

2009 12 Metre Worlds Final Standings

Place, Boat Name-Sail Number, Skipper (Hometown), Finish positions, Total Points

Division I – Grand Prix

1. Kiwi Magic-KZ7, Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.) 2-2-1-1-1-(3), 7

2. Wright on White-KZ3, Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) 1-1-2-2-(3)-2, 8

3. USA-US61, Richard Matthews (W. Mersea, GBR), 3-3-3-(3)-2-1, 12

4. America II-US46, Michael Fortenbaugh (New York, N.Y.), 4-4-DNF-4-4-4, 20

Division 2 – Modern

1. Victory 83-K22, Dennis Williams (Hobe Sound, Fla./Mashpee, Mass.), 1-1-2-1-3-(3), 8

2. Courageous, US26, Stephen Glascock (New York, N.Y.), 3-2-(DSQ)-2-2-1, 10

3. Freedom-US30, Ernest Jacquet (Boston, Mass.), 4- 5-1-4-1-(5), 15

2. Intrepid-US22, Jack Curtin (Toronto, CAN), 2-3-4-5-(5)-2, 16

5. Challenge 12-KA10, William Borel (Paris, FRA), (DSQ)-4-3-3-4-4, 16

Division 3 – Traditional

1. American Eagle-US21, Charlie Millikin/Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.), (4)-2-2-1-1-2, 8

2. Weatherly-US17, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.), 2-1-1-2-2-(3), 8

3. Columbia-US16, Alain Hanover (Weston, Mass./Palm Beach, Fla.), 1-3-3-3-3-(DNS), 12.5

4. Nefertiti-US19, Sears Wullschleger (Nantucket, Mass.), 3-4-4-4-4-(DNF), 19

5. Easterner-US18, Paul Callahan (Ft. Meyers, Fla./Newport, R.I.), 5-5-(DNS)-5-5-1, 21

Division 4 – Vintage

1. Gleam-US11, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), (3)-1-2-1-1-1, 6

2. Northern Light-US14, Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), 1-2-1-2-3-(3), 9

3. Onawa-US6, Morten Kielland (Geneva, SUI), 2-DNF-(DNS)-3-2-2, 13

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Freedom Approaches The Finish Of The Candy Store Cup (Photo by George Bekris)

More Photos Of The Action Can Be Seen HERE

12 Metre Boats Racing Off Breton Point (Photo by George Bekris)

There were no surprises in the finishes posted by the 17 Twelves who completed only a single race today at the 2009 12 Metre World Championship.  After sailing out to the old America’s Cup racecourse off Brenton Point, the wind speed took a nosedive as it changed direction from WSW to NNW, leaving the competitors drifting for close to two hours.  With one race completed, the four divisions were given a combined start for the Candy Store Cup, sending them on a course back into Newport Harbor to the finish line at Bannister’s Wharf.  The wind, however, continued to be uncooperative and the race was abandoned when the Twelves were unable to make the time limit for the race. 

Yesterday, racing in the Modern division was quite contentious, with the outcome of numerous protests resulting in Challenge 12 and Courageous each picking up a DSQ when the jury decisions did not go in their favor and causing a complete shake up in the results for that division.  Unscathed by the protests, Dennis Williams (Mashpee, Mass.) at the helm of Victory ’83 is reaping the benefit of having assembled a crew that includes several who have sailed together for close to 30 years, including Heart of America veterans Wally Henry (San Diego, Calif.) and Jim Gretzky (Storrs, Conn.), along with three father and son pairs – Jerry and Rome Kirby, Bill and Randy Shore (all Newport, R.I.) and Larry and Matt Mialik (both Madison, Wisc.), making for a well-oiled effort as evidenced by the 1-1-2 they posted on day one. 

Peter Stalkus (Newport, R.I.), navigator aboard Victory ’83, has the distinction of having been navigator with four America’s Cup campaigns (’80 Clipper, ’83 Defender, ’87 USA 61 and ’97 Young America).  His take on Victory ‘83’s impressive performance here is that Dennis Williams, its owner, has been meticulous in his approach.  “The boat is well prepared and it shows,” said Stalkus after the team picked up their third win in four races.  “It has good speed and we’ve practiced ahead of time.” 

While the fallout from the protest decisions catapulted Intrepid from fifth into second and Freedom from fourth to third, today’s result did not do much to help either.  Intrepid added a fifth-place finish today and dropped back to fourth overall, while the Freedom’s fourth-place finish held them in place.  For Courageous, who had slipped from third to fourth overall after the protest, their second-place finish today moved them up to second overall.  Challenge 12, dropping from second place to fifth after the protest results, was third in today’s race and did not move in the overall standings.  

Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.), on Kiwi Magic,  leads the Grand Prix division, while tied on points – six each – with Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) on Wright on White.  In the Traditional division, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.) on Weatherly leads with six points, three ahead of American Eagle being driven by Charlie Millikin and Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.).  Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.) on Northern Light is leading by one point over Gleam, driven by Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), in the Vintage division.

Images By George Bekris

(click on image to enlarge)

Legends Forums – The Legends Forums are a unique sidebar to the 2009 12 Metre Worlds, bringing together the biggest names of the America’s Cup 12 Metre era for question-and-answer sessions moderated by Gary Jobson (Annapolis, Md.), who won the America’s Cup with Ted Turner in 1977 and went on to become the voice of sailing for television.  Held after racing each day dockside at Bannister’s and Bowen’s Wharves, with a finale forum planned for Sunday, as well, at the awards ceremony at Harbour Court, the forums are designed to include representation from a varied – and knowledgeable – group of personalities in the categories of Syndicate Representative, Crew, Design, Journalist and Other Notables.  On opening day, the panel included Skip Lissiman (AUS), Gianfranco Alberini  (ITA), Russell Coutts (NZL), and Americans Charlie Hovey, Harry Anderson, Dave Pedrick, Andy MacGowan, Bill Koch and Dick Enerson.  The questions ran the gamut from “Who was the best 12 Metre skipper?” (all of them who won, it was decided in consensus) and “What was the best Twelve ever?” (Intrepid for being the biggest departure, changing all future designs) to “What will win the next America’s Cup, a trimaran or a catamaran?” (that one was a toss-up).  Clearly, the audience was enjoying  the up close-and-personal encounter, and they lingered to talk about the exchanges long after the luminaries had left, some even discussing what questions would be best to ask a different group tonight.

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Intrepid (Photo by George Bekris)

Racing resumes tomorrow, Friday, September 25, and concludes Saturday, September 26.  

2009 12 Metre Worlds Results for Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009
Place, Boat Name-Sail Number, Skipper (Hometown), Finish positions, Total Points

Division I – Grand Prix

1. Kiwi Magic-KZ7, Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.) 2-2-1-1, 6

2. Wright on White-KZ3, Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) 1-1-2-2, 6

3. USA-US61, Richard Matthews (W. Mersea, GBR), 3-3-3-3, 12

4. America II-US46, Michael Fortenbaugh (New York, N.Y.), 4-4-DNF-4, 17

 

Division 2 – Modern

1. Victory 83-K22, Dennis Williams (Mashpee, Mass.), 1-1-2-1, 5

2. Courageous, US26, Stephen Glascock (New York, N.Y.), 3-2-DSQ-2, 13

3. Freedom-US30, Ernest Jacquet (Boston, Mass.), 4- 5-1-4, 14

2. Intrepid-US22, Jack Curtin (Toronto, CAN), 2-3-4-5, 14

5. Challenge 12-KA10, William Borel (Paris, FRA), DSQ-4-3-3, 16

 

Division 3 – Traditional

1. Weatherly-US17, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.), 2-1-1-2, 6

2. American Eagle-US21, Charlie Millikin/Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.), 4-2-2-1, 9

3. Columbia-US16, Alain Hanover (Weston, Mass./Palm Beach, Fla.), 1-3-3-3, 10

4. Nefertiti-US19, Sears Wullschleger (Nantucket, Mass.), 3-4-4-4, 15

5. Easterner-US18, Paul Callahan (Ft. Meyers, Fla./Newport, R.I.), 5-5-DNS-5, 21

 

Division 4 – Vintage

1. Northern Light-US14, Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), 1-2-1-2, 6

2. Gleam-US11, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), 3-1-2-1, 7

3. Onawa-US6, Morten Kielland (Geneva, SUI), 2-DNF-DNS-3, 13

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Easterner Rounding The Mark Just Ahead Of American Eagle (Photo by George Bekris)

 Some of the competitors at the 2009 12 Metre World Championship are certainly experiencing déjà vu as a veritable “Who’s Who” of sailing walked the docks at Bannister and Bowen’s Wharves this morning as the first day of this long-anticipated event got underway.  From current America’s Cup poster boy Russell Coutts (Auckland, NZL), who is sailing on Kiwi Magic with Cup patron and skipper Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.), to Dawn Riley (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) who broke ground as team leader of the first women’s entry in the Cup, to noted British sailors Harold Cudmore (Cowes, GBR) and Andy Green  (Lymington, GBR), there is a surfeit of recognizable faces.  Twenty-six years ago when the America’s Cup was won by Australia (in 1983) in Newport, it ended the longest winning streak in sporting history (132 years).  Four years later, two more milestones in the event’s history were marked:  Dennis Conner became the first person to lose and then win the Cup, and the Twelves were sailed for the last time as the America’s Cup yacht of choice after 29 years.  

“It’s wonderful to wander about the docks at Bowen’s and Bannister’s Wharf and see the 12 Metres here again, where they were in ’83, many of them with their same crews from then,” said Robin Wallace (Newport, R.I.) who was a member of Race Committee for the Challenger Series in ‘83 and is the Principal Race Officer for this event.  “With the current legal squabbles going on, people have become disenchanted with the America’s Cup, but this is like a re-awakening of the class, a reinvention of a competition that celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the 12 Meters first being used in the Cup.”

Divided into four divisions – Grand Prix, Modern, Traditional and Vintage – the 17 competing yachts sailed three races today, all in different wind levels in the Twelves old stomping grounds off Brenton Point.  The southwesterly breeze went from light, increasing to 12 knots for race two, and into the mid-teens for the third race, with a relatively flat sea state until race three.  

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French Supporters Cheer On Challenge 12 ( KA 10 ) As They Head Out For Race One (Photo by Donna Erichsen)

 We broke a couple of sails,” said Dawn Riley who came to the event to participate in the Legends Forums and wound up racing on America II.  “But, we’re kind of a slower boat in the Grand Prix so we were happy to beat one of the boats to the top mark and almost to the bottom mark.  And, we improved from the first race to the second race and everybody on board had fun.  The bad news is you break sails and you can’t race, the good news is it was full-on physical, athletic, screaming, swearing . . . and everyone came out with smiles.”

All Images By George Bekris

(click on image to enlarge)

 

 
 2009 12 Metre Worlds Results 

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2000, 3 races sailed (3 races total)

 Place, Boat Name-Sail no., Skipper (Hometown), Finish positions, Total Points

 Division I – Grand Prix

1. Wright on White-KZ3, Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) 1-1-2, 4

2. Kiwi Magic-KZ7, Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.) 2-2-1, 5

3. USA-US61, Richard Matthews (W. Mersea, GBR), 3-3-3, 9

4. America II-US46, Michael Fortenbaugh (New York, N.Y.), 4-4-WDR, 13

 

Division 2 – Modern – Protests Pending

1. Victory 83-K22, Dennis Williams (Mashpee, Mass.), 1-1-2, 4

2. Challenge 12-KA10, William Borel (Paris, FRA), 2-4-3, 9

3. Courageous, US26, Stephen Glascock (New York, N.Y.), 4-2-4, 10

4. Freedom-US30, Ernest Jacquet (Boston, Mass.), 5-1, 11

5. Intrepid-US22, Jack Curtin (Toronto, CAN), 3-3-5, 11

 

Division 3 – Traditional

1. Weatherly-US17, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.), 2-1-1, 4

2. Columbia-US16, Alain Hanover (Weston, Mass./Palm Beach, Fla.), 1-3-3, 7

3. American Eagle-US21, Charlie Millikin/Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.), 4-2-2, 8

4. Nefertiti-US19, Sears Wullschleger (Nantucket, Mass.), 3-4-4, 11

5. Easterner-US18, Paul Callahan (Ft. Meyers, Fla./Newport, R.I.), 5-5-DNS, 16

 

Division 4 – Vintage

1. Northern Light-US14, Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), 1-2-1, 4

2. Gleam-US11, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), 3-1-2, 6

3. Onawa-US6, Morten Kielland (Geneva, SUI), 2-WDR-DNS, 10

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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Northern Light US-14 Sailing Into Newport (Photo by George Bekris)

 The 2009 12 Metre World Championships are expected to be the largest gathering of these vintage yachts in the 26 years since Newport last hosted the America’s Cup (in 1983) is scheduled for September 22-27, and the accompanying reunion of sailing personalities has drawn a great deal of interest and speculation. This will be a homecoming for these sailing legends, many of whom rose to prominence in the sport while racing “Twelves” on Narragansett Bay. The 2009 Worlds are the centerpiece of the Golden Year of Racing, a year-long 50th anniversary celebration of the 12 Metre’s debut in the America’s Cup, in 1958, which ultimately saw Columbia ~ US 16 defeat the British challenger, Sceptre ~ K17. Five America’s Cup winning boats (including Columbia), a winning skipper, and several boats that were in the Defender competition for the Cup will race. International sailors, including the skipper and crew from France’s Challenge 12, and crews from Norway (racing on Gleam), Switzerland (racing Onawa) and the United Kingdom (racing on USA ) will up the ante in what should be a fierce competition. In the Grand Prix Division, Kiwi Magic ~ KZ 7 will be skippered by 1992 America’s Cup winner Bill Koch (Osterville, Mass./Palm Beach, Fla.), while among the six Twelves sailing in the Modern Division are three (Courageous ~ US 26, Freedom ~ US 30 and Intrepid ~ US 22) who collectively have won the Cup five times. Cup winners Columbia ~ US 16 and Weatherly ~ US 17 will sail in the five-boat Traditional Division and Onawa ~ US 6, the oldest yacht in the American fleet, willcompete in the Vintage Division which will have three yachts racing.

12 Metre Intrepid (Photo by George Bekris)

12 Metre Intrepid (Photo by George Bekris)

The Twelves will be docked at Bowen’s Wharf and Bannister’s Warf in historic downtown Newport. Of particular interest to sailing afficionados will be the 12 Metre Legends Forums, sponsored by North Sails, held after racing in the 12 Metre Worlds Village at Bowen’s Wharf on September 23, 24 and25. Moderators Tom Whidden (Essex, Conn.) and regatta co-chairs Gary Jobson (Annapolis, Md.) and Jan Slee (Newport, R.I.) will interview the slate of 30+ participants who are skippers, tacticians, crew and yacht designers. They include Gianfranco Alberini (ITA), Richard du Moulin (Larchmont, N.Y.), Halsey Herreshoff (Bristol, R.I.), Ted Hood (Portsmouth, R.I.) , Luigi Lang (ITA), Andy MacGowan (Middletown, R.I.), Lowell North (San Diego, Calif.), Charles Dana, Bill Langan, David Pedrick and David Ray (all Newport, R.I.), Jack Sutphen (San Diego, Calif.) and Sam Wakeman (Cohasset, Mass.). The North Sails Legends Forum Finale will take place before the awards presentation on Sunday, September 27, at New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court. Gary Jobson will narrate and produce a one-hour film for ESPN Classic on the history of the 12 Metres and the 2009 Worlds. Bill Koch is the Executive Producer for the film which will feature racing footage shot during the Worlds and interviews with the Legends. It is set to air Saturday, November 7, at 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN Classic and will be available in the future on DVD.

Weatherly, Gleam and American Eagle

Weatherly, Gleam and American Eagle In Newport (Photo by George Bekris)

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Onawa On Narraganset Bay (Photo by George Bekris)

 

 

The 12 Metre Class competes in 5 Divisions: Status as of September 16, 2009

DIVISION A ~ Grand Prix – yachts built for the 1987 America’s Cup

America II ~ US 46 – Manhattan Sailng Club (Michael Fortenbaugh), based in New York City, built in 1986 for the ‘87 Cup
Kiwi Magic ~ KZ 7 – Bill Koch, based in Newport, built in 1986 for the ‘87 Cup
USA ~ US 61 – USA-61 LLC, based in Newport, built in 1986 for the ‘87 Cup, Richard Matthews, Skipper
Wright on White ~ KZ 3 – based in Newport, built in 1985 for the ‘87 Cup, Lexi, Gahagan, Skipper

DIVISION B ~ Modern – yachts built between 1974 and 1983

Challenge 12 ~ KA 10 – William Borel, based in Antibes, France, built in 1982 for the ‘83 Cup
Courageous ~ US 26 – Courageous Foundation (Stephen Glascock), based in Newport, built in 1974, ’74 & ’77 Cup winner
Freedom ~ US 30 – Ernest Jacquet, based in Newport, built 1979, ’80 Cup winner
Intrepid ~ US 22 – Jack Curtin, based in Newport, built in 1967,’67 & ‘70 Cup winner
Victory ’83 ~ K 22 – Dennis Williams, based in Newport, built in 1983 for the ‘83 Cup

Withdrawn:
Enterprise ~ US 27 – Jan & Caroline Slee, based in Newport, built in 1976 for the 1977 America’s Cup
Lionheart ~ K 18 – Harry Graves, based in Newport, built in 1979 for the 1980 America’s Cup
Valiant ~ US 24 – Gary Gregory, based in Marblehead, MA, built in 1970 for the 1970 America’s Cup

DIVISION C ~ Traditional – yachts built between 1958 and 1970

American Eagle ~ US 21 – Herb Marshall, based in Newport, built in 1964, Carol Swift/Charlie Milligan, Skippers
Columbia ~ US 16 – Alain Hanover, based in Newport, built in 1958, ‘58 Cup winner
Easterner ~ US 18 – Shake-A-Leg (Paul Callahan), based in Newport, built in 1958 for the ’58 Cup
Nefertiti ~ US 19 – Sears Wullschleger, based in Newport, built in 1962 for the ‘62 Cup
Weatherly ~ US 17 – Geotge Hill, based in Newport, built in 1958, ‘62 Cup winner, Clay Deutsch, Skipper

DIVISION D ~ Vintage – yachts built 1919 and 1937

Gleam ~ US 11 -, Elizabeth Tiedemann, based in Newport, built in 1937, Einar Sissener, Skipper
Northern Light ~ US 14 – Elizabeth Tiedemann, based in Newport, built in 1938, Kip Curren, Skipper
Onawa ~ US 6 – Syndicate owned (Morten Kielland), based in Newport, built in 1928

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Northern Light Sailing On Narraganset Bay (Photo by George Bekris)

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12 Metres

12 Metres In Newport (Photo by George Bekris)

 

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12 Metre In Newport (Photo by George Bekris)

12 Metre In Newport (Photo by George Bekris)