12 Metre North American Championship

Monday, 18 September 2017


Season’s Grand Finale for the Americas Fleet Starts Sept. 22
NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND (September 16, 2017) – Ten historic 12 Metres are sailing their North American Championship off Newport, R.I. over Sept. 22 -24 and promising a spectacular finish to their 2017 sailing season. The event, along with the METREFEST Newport, Newport Trophy and Edgartown Race held earlier this summer, counts toward points collected in the ROAD TO THE WORLDS Waypoint Series that leads to the next 12 Metre Worlds, scheduled for Newport in 2019.

“The game’s afoot,” said Event Chair Peter Gerard who also is Vice President of the Americas Fleet and spearheads the ROAD TO THE WORLDS program. “Everyone is ramping up for the Worlds, and it’s very exciting that we have several new revitalized and/or completely restored boats joining the Americas Fleet and adding depth to the competition as well as the rich history of the 12mR class.”

Ranging in length between 65 and 75 feet, the Twelves – as they are fondly called – are best known as the America’s Cup yachts sailed during the “Golden Era” of that event, which filled the years between 1958 and 1987. Since the America’s Cup was held in Newport from 1930 to 1983 and many of the Twelves now call Newport their home, these yachts are dear to the hearts of locals as well as sailing aficionados worldwide, remembered for their intriguing designs, keenly competitive teams and famous skippers, which included Americans Ted Turner and Dennis Conner.

This year’s North American Championship fleet will be hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club and docked, just like back in the day, at Bannister’s Wharf for viewing while not racing. The teams of 14 to 16 will compete in three divisions – Grand Prix, Modern and Traditional – from Friday through Sunday, and courses are planned for Rhode Island Sound and upper Narragansett Bay.

With course signals at 1055 each morning of racing, landlubbers who go to Bannister’s Wharf between 0900-1030 will have the best chance of seeing the 12s “docking out.”

Re-introduced to the sailing scene earlier this year, Defender (US-33), Challenge XII (KA-10), and Freedom (US-30) will bring the count of Twelves sailing in the Modern Division at the North Americans to five. The division is rounded out by longstanding favorites Courageous (US-26) and Intrepid (US-22). Sailing for North American bragging rights in the Traditional division will be Columbia (US-16), Weatherly (US-17) and American Eagle (US-21), while in the Grand Prix division, defending champion New Zealand (KZ-3) will spar with Laura (KZ-5).

At an Awards Ceremony on Sunday afternoon at Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the Gubelmann Trophy will be awarded to the three division winners, while the Ted Hood Trophy will be awarded to the 12 Metre teams in each division with the highest points overall for the season.

Courageous is currently the top Americas Fleet contender in the Waypoint Series standings. Gerard expects 25 boats – more than half coming from outside North America – will compete in the 2019 12 Metre World Championship.

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

Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/12mR.Class

Modern Fleet Strengthened with New Players

“With the addition of Defender, Challenge XII and Freedom to the Moderns, you can expect that division to be ultra-competitive,” said Gerard. “And next year when we have two additional Moderns on the line, as we’re expecting, it will be even more competitive.”

Freedom, designed by Olin Stephens and the last yacht to successfully defend the America’s Cup for the New York Yacht Club by defeating Australia in 1980, was completely overhauled by Charles Robertson (Guilford, Conn.). Freshly outfitted with new sails and a new crew, she made her debut at METREFEST Newport. Challenge XII, designed by Ben Lexcen for the 1983 America’s Cup, has been turning heads with her new refit and jet-black hull and sails. Her owner/driver, Jack LeFort (Jamestown, R.I.), proved his is the team to beat when he turned in a commanding victory at the Newport Trophy.

Defender, which was designed by Pedrick Yacht Designs and sailed in the Defender Trials for the 1983 America's Cup, was this season’s early leader after having been saved from the scrap heap in 2010 and restored to racing form by Dennis Williams (Hobe Sound, Fla./Newport, R.I.). It was a tough decision for Williams to campaign Defender and bench his Victory ’83, which was the current 12mR class fleet, North American and World champion, but the long-game goal was to increase the size of the local fleet.

“We’re only guardians of these boats,” said Williams, who also owns a third 12 Metre, USA (US-49), which he hopes to also see racing again by the 2019 Worlds. “We leave them better than we found them and pass them along to others who we hope will do the same and continue to propagate the fleet.”)
(Full Entry List Follows)

Grand Prix Division
KZ-5 Laura, Kip Curren, Newport, R.I.
KZ-3 New Zealand, Gunther Buerman, Highland Beach, Fla./Newport, R.I.

Modern Division
US-26 Courageous, Ralph Isham/Steve Glaskock/Alexander Auersperg/Ward Marsh, Newport, R.I.
US-22 Intrepid, Jack Curtin, New York, N.Y.
KA-10 Challenge 12, Jack LeFort, Jamestown, R.I.
US-33 Defender, Dennis Williams, Hobe Sound, Fla./Newport, R.I.
US-30 Freedom, Charles Robertson, Guilford, Conn.

Traditional Division
US-16 Columbia, Kevin Hagerty, Boston, Mass.
US-17 Weatherly, Jay Schakny, E. Greenwich, R.I.
US-21 American Eagle, Bob Morton/Cindy DeLotto, Newport, R.I./Edgartown, Mass.

Event: Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta January 2 – 9, 2018 hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (NSW) & Southport Yacht Club (QLD) Rikki’s new Aussie adventure

New Zealand yacht Rikki is confirmed for the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta and the bright red Reichel-Pugh 42 is due to arrive in Pittwater mid-December, well in time for the single line start on January 2, 2018.

Owner Ray Haslar has lost count of the number of Tasman Sea crossings he’s made for various Australian East Coast bluewater events including 15 Rolex Sydney Hobarts and three of the Cruising Yacht Club’s midwinter Sydney Gold Coast races.

He’s decided this is the year to bring his one-off RP design built in 2011 from its Bay of Islands home to Aussie shores for a new adventure.

“Personally I like coming to Oz, it makes for a real adventure and the competition is always good,” Haslar said from abroad. “For the crew from Kerikeri Cruising Club it will be their first Pittwater to Paradise Regatta and we’re looking forward to it. Having a series after the coastal race makes the long trip worthwhile for us.”

Other than removing 300kg off the bulb given the boat was originally built a little too stiff, long-time yachtsman Ray and wife Lesley have campaigned Rikki without major alteration and taken out local titles including overall winner of New Zealand’s prestigious 2015 Coastal Classic Yacht Race.

Weather permitting Haslar estimates a seven day crossing from Kerikeri in the North Island to clear customs at Newcastle, north of Sydney, around December 14. The timing allows a couple of weeks to recover and make the switch from delivery to racing mode before the Kiwi crew fly in and the New Year race starts from a laid line to the north of Palm Beach headland at 1300hrs on January 2.

In their size bracket Rikki’s crew can expect to spar over the 370 nautical mile race with the likes of Phil Arnall’s Newcastle based Corby 43 Anger Management, Mark Griffiths’ Ker 40 Showtime and Bob Steel’s Mat 1180 called Quest.

The Bartercard Sail Paradise 2018 series from January 6-9, 2018 is the second part of the regatta pointscore and race entrants are eligible for free berthing at Southport Yacht Club during the short course series. Post-race the SYC will host crews and families with daily free BBQs, fashion parades and live entertainment.

To date the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club has received 15 entries for the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta with a strong fleet of 30 expected come race day. Entries will be accepted up until December 1 and thereafter a late entry fee may apply.

The club, just named 2017 NSW/ACT Club of the Year at Australian Sailing’s awards function last Friday evening, offers boat owners excellent support with online registration and many courses and training opportunities to prepare for the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta and the remainder of the six-part Club Marine sponsored East Coast Bluewater Pointscore Series, which includes category 2 and 3 events.

Boat owners seeking crew or needing to gain on-water experience can contact the RPAYC about the opportunities available to place experienced crew on board and pre-race qualification.

The Pittwater to Paradise Regatta Notice of Race is available to download here. Owners can choose to enter the multihull, monohull or two handed categories and be scored under all of the popular handicap systems – IRC, ORCi, PHS and OMR.

Those thinking about competing are encouraged to visit www.pittwatertoparadise.com.au or www.facebook.com/pittwatertoparadise to keep up with special discounts and offers.  

Details for the Bartercard Sail Paradise 2018 can be found on the regatta website
www.sailparadise.com.au

For further information contact:

RPAYC sailing & communications manager Brendan Rourke
m. 0412 180 509 e. brendan.rourke@rpayc.com.au

Media enquiries - Lisa Ratcliff
m. 0418 428 511 e. lisa@occ.net.au

SYC enquiries Bronwen Hemmings
ph.(07) 5591 3500 e. Marketing.Manager@southportyachtclub.com.au

Lisa Ratcliff event management | public relations | independent journalist

OCC - On Course Communications
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Last Updated ( Monday, 18 September 2017 )