February 7, 2020: The 2020 12mR World Championship to be held in Helsinki, Finland from August 16th to 23rd is shaping up to be the biggest 12mR event ever seen in the Nordics. Today’s competitor count is lucky 13, comprised of 1 Antique and 12 Vintage yachts sailed by teams from Germany, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Italy.
With all of the top European Vintage 12s racing in Helsinki’s typical 15+ knot winds, this regatta promises to be iconic, exciting and beautiful. To reach the starting line, many will first sail 440 – 550 nautical miles from the Southern Baltic along the eastern coast of Sweden to the Sandhamn Sailing Centre where they will compete in a Worlds Tune-Up Regatta from August 6th-9th. Another 250 nm sailing leg from Sandhamn to Helsinki completes the first half of the 1200 nm total round-trip World’s Championship voyage for most of the sailors. Event organizers have recruited a pool of young volunteer crew to assist with transport of the 12s back to the Baltic.
The Wings (K-15) syndicate has been topping the leader-board at Baltic 12mR regattas since their formation in 2017. Now, syndicate head Philipp Skafte-Holm says they are ready to race with the best at the 2020 12mR World Championship in Helsinki, Finland.
Skafte-Holm credits Wings’ success to the “close community of 30 men and women who participate in each other’s lives. Our results are due to the joint contributions of this group of highly committed people that race, maintain, transport and celebrate the boat together. As newcomers, with a joint Finnish-Danish syndicate, the Helsinki Worlds holds special meaning for us. We are particularly excited about the opportunity to compete against Patricio Bertelli’s Nyala (US-12)— the reigning (2014 and 2019) Vintage division 12mR Champion. It will be a great honor to race with the best of the best in Helsinki,” said Skafte-Holm.
“A major inspiration to host the 12mR World Championship in Helsinki, Finland next summer was the recent rebuild of Blue Marlin (FIN-1), said 2020 12mR Worlds Event Chairman and FIN-1 owner, Henrik Andersin. Thanks to her extensive refit (completed in 2014), the North European fleet of racing 12 metres now extends to the northernmost shores of the Baltic Sea. With her return to the racecourse, she is the first 12 to compete in Finnish waters since Heatherbell returned to England in 1914, exactly 100 years prior to Blue Marlin’s re-launch. (Heatherbell, a First Rule 12, won a bronze medal for Finland at the 1912 Olympics Games.)
Since her re-launch, Blue Marlin has been actively racing and cruising, participating in one major event per year. She has traveled to Sweden, Denmark, Germany and just returned to the Red Sky Shipyard in Kotka, after sailing in the United States at the 2019 12mR World Championship held in Newport, Rhode Island.
Based on his experience at the Worlds last summer, Andersin eagerly anticipates racing Blue Marlin against a substantial fleet of Vintage division 12s in his home waters. “At Newport we had a good 23 starts, we learned to sail hard and to never give up. We continued to improve throughout the series of Waypoints to the Worlds regattas and were gratified with our third place finish in the Vintage division. Also, we are very pleased with Blue Marlin’s performance; she is as solid as a rock and can take what is needed to win. Now with a new rig and modern sails we are fully fit for fighting and can’t wait to meet Jenetta (K-1) on the starting line for the first time next August.”
The 2020 12 Metre World Championship will witness a spectacular battle, as the new European 12mR champion Vim (US-15) will race against the serial World champion Nyala (US-12) in Helsinki. Historically Vim has more wins, but lately Nayala has been hard to beat. The last time these two legendary yachts raced was in 2014 at Barcelona, where Nyala claimed the World Championship. The contenders are both Sparkman & Stephens designs, built just one year apart, 1939 and 1938. “The clear goal for next season and our participation at the 2020 Worlds is to beat our tough Baltic competition, but primarily to try to take the World Championship title from the Vintage Division title holder, Nyala,” said Vim syndicate head Patrick Howaldt. Nyala announced its participation in Helsinki while at this year’s Worlds at Newport. More competitors are expected to announce plans for their participation in the Helsinki Worlds 2020 in the weeks ahead.
Helsinki, Finland to Host 2020 12 Metre World Championship: A Historic Gathering of the 12mR Fleet is Expected
HELSINKI (September 3, 2019) – After a phenomenal 12 Metre World Championship in Newport, RI (USA), the NJK yacht club in Helsinki and the International Twelve Metre Association (ITMA) are moving at full speed to organize the next 12mR Worlds in Helsinki from August 16-23, 2020.
Approximately 15-20 12mR yachts raced by teams from a dozen countries are expected to compete. The European vintage fleet will be well represented and the organizers have high hopes for representatives for Modern and Grand Prix division boats well.
Blue Marlin (FIN-1) and the 2017 European champion Wings (K-15) raced by a Danish-Finnish syndicate, will both sail under the flag of the event host NJK– the oldest yacht club in Finland, founded in 1863.
It has been more than 30 years since the memorable 1988 12mR Worlds at Luleå — the last 12 Metre World Championship to be sailed in the Northern Baltic. ITMA Vice President Patrick Howaldt said: “The rapidly growing interest for the Twelves in Northern Europe is a testimony to the Class. Combined with NJK’s reputation for world-class racing, glamorous social events and vibrant Helsinki location, we expect the 2020 Worlds to exceed every 12mR event previously raced in the Baltic.
The fleet will include the 2019 European Champion, Howaldt’s famous Sparkman & Stephens design Vim (US-15), The recently rebuilt Jenetta (K-1) and Wilfried Beeck’s Trivia (K-10), both representing Germany, will also face off against the reigning 12mR Vintage Champion, Patrizio Bertelli’s Nyala (US-12) representing Italy and the Southern Europe 12mR fleet.
“After sailing Blue Marlin since 2014 in Continental Europe and recently in Newport, it will be exciting to race in my hometown waters with a fleet of impressive size,” said 2020 Worlds event chairman, Henrik Andersin. “This will be a historic occasion for us, no 12 Metre has raced in Finland since WWI. We are hopeful that all 15 of the Northern European 12mR fleet will participate and be joined by additional 12s from Southern Europe and the United States as well as some of the oldest gaff-rigged 12s in Europe.”
The organizers are currently working on logistics solutions that would enable participants from other continents to have their boats skipped to Helsinki for a reasonable fee.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL 12 METRE CLASS
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). www.12mrclass.com