12 Metre World Championship
Vim (US-15) Claims the Crown;
Helsinki, FI and Blue Marlin (FIN-1) Also Winners On and Off the Water
HELSINKI, FI (August 22, 2021) – After navigating 2 years of shifting circumstances caused by Covid-19, racing at the 2021 Evli 12mR World Championship (postponed from 2020) hosted by Nyländska Jaktklubben r.f. (NJK) finally got underway on August 16. Finland’s capricious weather presented a wide range of wind speeds and sea states to challenge the fortitude, skill and patience of the nine 12mR teams who had arrived at the regatta from Denmark, Germany and Norway— all on their own keels– after traversing hundreds of nautical miles on the Baltic Sea. This in itself was a rare and impressive achievement for the fleet of Vintage yachts that range in age from 82 to 103 years old. (Please click on any of the yacht names in the results section below to learn the history of each of the competing 12mRs.)
But no matter the conditions the competition, camaraderie and Finnish hospitality could not be dampened at the tremendously successful event that also celebrated a milestone anniversary for NJK, the oldest registered sports club and largest yacht club in Finland. Commodore, Mats Welin said: “Although this is the first time the 12mRs have held their World Championship in Finland, NJK has a long history with the Class including participation at our 50th and 75th Anniversary celebrations in 1911 and 1936. Now during our 160th Anniversary year we are very pleased to host the International Twelve Metre Class and proud that two competitors will race under the NJK flag.”
Best of photos: Erik Lähteenmäki | Sailpix.fi
<click on any image to view full size>
On Tuesday, Henrik Andersin, skipper of Helsinki’s hometown team Blue Marlin (FIN-1) “watched the clouds” and was first across the finish line in the series opener. Vim (US-15), skippered by Patrick Howaldt, prevailed in Race Two, the first of what would become a 4-race winning streak for this team.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the wind and seas states were deemed unsafe by the Race Committee together with cooperative input from representatives of each team. All but one of the crews stayed ashore enjoying NJK’s hospitality and sauna while keeping an eye on their yachts tugging at dock lines. The only exception being Flica II (K-14), skippered by Alexander Falk, who used the opportunity for some heavy-weather practice.
FLICA II (K-15), AUGUST 19, 2021
On Friday, the skies cleared and racing resumed in continuing windy and choppy conditions. Three races were held with all nine yachts on the starting line for Race Three. Unfortunately, neither Nini Anker (K-14) nor Wings (K-15) were able to compete in Race Four due to equipment failures. By the third start, the fleet had diminished to just four yachts, notably some of the eldest in the fleet— Thea (D-1), Vanity V (K-5), Vema III (N-11) and Vim (US-15). Others including Blue Marlin (FIN-1), Flica II (K-14) and Jenetta (N-1) were also compelled to return to the docks for repairs prior to Race Five. Vim’s team, adept at “big wind” sailing according to skipper Patrick Howaldt, swept all three races of the day.
Despite numerous breakdowns the previous day, all nine 12mRs returned to the race course for the final day of racing on Saturday. This being a testament to the cooperation and commitment shared by the teams to collectively effect repairs to their historic yachts. Race Six of the series started in light and shifty winds ranging from 4-6 knots. Relative 12mR newcomer, Nini Anker (N-1) skippered by Christopher Avenarius prevailed and Wings (K-15), perhaps with a sense of redemption after an uncharacteristically disappointing series, won Race Seven— the final in the series.
Even with two second-place finishes in Races Six and Seven, Vim (US-15) never slipped from the podium position she had established on Day One. When the final scores were tallied, Patrick Howaldt’s team reigned supreme completing the series with a total score of just 8 points over the 7-race series to claim the 12mR World Championship crown. Howaldt, who also serves at the International Twelve Metre Association’s (ITMA) Vice President of Northern Europe said: “NJK, the Organizing Committee, all of the yacht owners, sailors, volunteers and sponsors did an incredible job to create a truly spectacular regatta. We are of course happy with our results, but equally gratified by the high level of competition and excellence exhibited by the Baltic 12mR fleet.”
To the delight of hometown fans Blue Marlin (FIN-1) captured second place overall and Alexander Falk’s Flica II (K-14) took third. (complete scores below) Blue Marlin skipper and 2021 Evli 12mR World Championship event chairman, Henrik Andersin said: “We are very happy to have been able to host this wonderful event, a first of its kind for Finland. Our Organizing Committee along with NJK persevered with planning and re-planning every detail against an ever-changing set of circumstances for this event originally scheduled for 2020. They are all to be commended for their dedication, creativity and professionalism throughout. The level of sportsmanship shown by everyone involved this week has been truly inspiring and we are thrilled with the success of the event, as well as the second-place finish of our own Blue Marlin team.”
Additionally, and importantly, the regatta adopted a comprehensive Sustainability Program. Spearheaded by 12mR Worlds Committee Member, Johanna Catani and deftly executed by an energetic crew of junior sailors. The Baltic Yachts Sustainability Team / Squad collected and sorted every bit of waste generated by the event including several thousands of plastic water bottles from the boats. Catani said, “We established an action-plan to enhance social and economic well-being and minimize the carbon footprint of the regatta. Our mission statement was: WE WANT TO USE & PRODUCE ONLY WHAT IS NEEDED AND NOTHING MORE!” And so, they did.
On the Social Scene, the regatta kicked off with an elegant Welcoming Reception in the picturesque NJK Clubhouse. Each day an after-sail gathering was held in NJK’s authentic boathouse, where on Thursday crews were treated to a lavish Archipelago Dinner showcasing regional fare. The regatta concluded with an equally elegant and lively Awards Ceremony, held at Restaurant Pörssi.
If there were ever any doubt, this week the 2021 Evli 12mR World Championship proved that the Vintage 12mR Class is absolutely thriving in the Baltic. The boats and crews compete at the highest levels while the owners and caretakers preserve the iconic heritage of these breath-taking and legendary sailing yachts. As ITMA President, Paul Buttrose said earlier this week: “This Vintage 12mR fleet is the most widely-traveled and every boat has a fascinating history. Adding meticulous preparation and such a high standard of competition secures their recognition as “the backbone of our Class.”
Best of photos:
Felix Diemer, Lauri Hänninen, Werner Pluta and SallyAnne Santos
<click on any image to view full size>
In the overall standings of the 7 race series (with one toss-out), the top 3 teams are World Champions Vim (US-15) with 8 points, Blue Marlin (FIN-1) with 18 points and Flica II (K-14) in with 22 points.
2021 12 Metre Worlds
Day 5 (August 21) 2 Races
12mR – Vintage (9 Boats)
1. Vim (US-15), Helmuth Henning, Patrick Howaldt & Ditley Wedell Wedellsborg, Copenhagen, DK: (3) – 1 -1 -1 -1 -2 -2 ; 8
2. Blue Marlin (FIN-1), Henrik Andersin, Kotka, FI: 1 – 4 – 2 – 2 – (RET 10) – 4 -5 ; 18
3. Flica II (K-14), Alexander Falk, Hamburg, DE: 2 – 5 – 5 – 3 – 2 -5 -(6); 22
4. Jenetta (K-1), Thomas Müller, Flensburg, DE: 5 – 2 – 4 – RDG-3.7 – RDG-3.7 – 6 -(7); 24.4
5. Nini Anker (N-15), Christoph Avenarius, Hamburg, DE: 4 – 6 – 3 – (RET 10)- DNS 10 – 1 – 3; 27
6. Wings of Cowes (K-15), Philipp Skafte-Holm, Copenhagen, DK (with Finnish & Danish crew): 7 – 3 – (RET-10) – DNS 10 – DNS-10 – 3 – 1; 34
7. Vanity V (K-5), Mikael Stelander, Helsinki, FI: 6 – 7 – 6 – (DSQ 10) – 4 – 7 – 4; 34
8 Vema III (N-11), Johan Troye, Oslo, Norway, NOR: (9) – 9 – 7 – 4 – 3 – 8-DNF – 8 ; 40
9. Thea (D-1), Jacob Holst, Copenhagen, DK: 8 – 8 – 8 – 5 (10-DNS) – 8-DNF – 8; 45
The 2021 Evli 12 Metre World Championship is presented by EVLI Bank, an investment management firm headquartered in Helsinki, Finland.
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ABOUT NYLÄNDSKA JAKTKLUBBEN (NJK)
Founded in 1861, the Nyländska Jaktklubben, NJK is Finland’s premier yacht club as well as its oldest registered sports organization. NJK has been the forerunner of Finnish yacht racing culture and has a long history with the Metre Classes. The Clubhouse, located on the beautiful island of Blekholmen is situated in Helsinki’s South Harbour, adjacent to the city center with berths for 125 yachts. NJK accommodates their 2500+ members, berths 440 sailing yachts, 90 dinghies and 374 motorboats at their two main harbours in Helsinki as well as at an additional 10 outstations in the Finnish archipelago, with the most westerly on the Åland Islands.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL 12 METRE ASSOCIATION (ITMA)
The 112 year-old International 12 Metre Class encompasses a living history of racing yacht design by the world’s foremost naval architects including Olin Stephens, Clinton Crane, William Fife III, Philip Rhodes, Johan Anker, Ben Lexcen and more who pushed their designs to the very limits of innovation. The resulting boats represented the pinnacle of yacht development from 1907-1987 for the highest levels of international sailing competition– the Olympic Games (1908-1920) and the America’s Cup (1958-1987).
The 2021 EVLI 12mR World Championship is a sustainable event that takes a stand on social, economic and environmental issues. We have created a Sustainability Action Plan, which will enhance social and economic well-being and minimize the carbon footprint of the regatta.
WE WANT TO USE & PRODUCE ONLY WHAT IS NEEDED AND NOTHING MORE!
For more information on the 12 Metre Worlds visit https://12mrworlds.com/
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