Newport Trophy Regatta for 12 Metres Begins This Weekend

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Newport Trophy Regatta for 12 Metres Begins This Weekend

NEWPORT, R.I. (June 24, 2019) – As an important lead up to the 12 Metre World Championship in July, the Newport Trophy Regatta will take place off Newport, R.I. over the weekend of June 29-30. Hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the 12 Metre-only event provides one of the last formal opportunities for teams to fine-tune skills and also counts toward standings in the global ROAD TO THE WORLDS WAYPOINTS Series, which has helped build competition in the Northern Europe, Southern Europe and Americas Fleets.

“The game is afoot,” said Americas Fleet President and Event Chair for the Worlds Peter Gerard, explaining that points for the WAYPOINTS standings have been accumulating since 2017 and currently show American Eagle (US-21), Challenge XII (KA-10), Courageous (US-26), and Victory ’83 (K-22) – all from the Americas Fleet – in the final hunt for the series trophy, which will be awarded at the conclusion of the 12 Metre World Championship to a single team with the highest overall point score (among all divisions) for the past three seasons. “The Worlds are part of the WAYPOINTS Series as are the 12 Metre Pre-Worlds Regatta (part of Sail Newport’s Newport Regatta, July 6-7) and the New York Yacht Club’s 165th Annual Regatta, which was held last week. At that latter event, we really got our first glimpse into just how competitive the 12 Metres are going to be on the World Championship stage.”

Left: Challenge XII (KA-10) won the highly competitive Modern Division at the New York Yacht Club’s 165th Annual Regatta. Right: Modern fleet on the starting line and sailing downwind at the Annual Regatta. (Photos Credit: Stephen R. Cloutier)

At the Annual Regatta, where six of the Modern 12 Metres competed together, Challenge XII, skippered by Jack LeFort (Jamestown, R.I.), won with a three-point lead over Courageous, skippered by Art Santry. Courageous finished second on a tiebreaker with Victory ’83, skippered by owner Dennis Williams, and just one point behind them in fourth place was Enterprise (US-27), which has been chartered by Clay and Nancy Deutsch (Newport, R.I.) for the Worlds and was racing in its current configuration for the first time.

“At almost every finish we were overlapped with one or two or three boats, and there couldn’t have been more than 15 seconds separating first from sixth,” said LeFort, who won two of the four high-breeze races. “All the teams have stepped it up this year, so any boat can win any race. It’s going to be an unbelievable summer of racing…very cool.”

Challenge XII, designed by Ben Lexcen, was commissioned by Alan Bond as a possible Australian challenger for the 1983 America’s Cup. LeFort bought her in 2017, completed most of its renovation two winters ago, and with is current crew has been practicing for the Worlds for three years.

“We love the boat and we want to continue racing it beyond the Worlds,” said LeFort. “The other 12 Metre owners are jazzed to do the same, and the boats are so well restored now, it would be a shame not to keep the enthusiasm and momentum going.”

Clockwise from top left at the Annual Regatta: Clay Deutsch at the helm of Enterprise (US-27), crew work aboard Courageous (US-26), and American Eagle (US-21), Dennis Williams at the helm of Victory ‘83 (K-22) (Photos Credit: Stephen R. Cloutier)

In its first regatta experience, Enterprise turned a shaky beginning into a clear promise that the new kid on the block will be a threat at the Worlds. After an extensive multi-year refit, Enterprise was recently donated to the U.S. Merchant Marine Sailing Academy. She splashed only weeks ago when Clay Deutsch, who has won past 12 Metre World Championships with both Weatherly (US-17) in the Traditional division and Freedom (US-30) in the Modern division, took charter possession of her and formed his team of veteran sailors.

At the Annual Regatta, the team broke two jibs and a main on Friday (in the Around the Island Race that is scored separately from the Annual Regatta) and made one mistake after another in Saturday’s single race.

“On Saturday night, we had an ‘exorcism’ by a bonfire where we burned some old stuff and had a group chant; it was pretty spiritual,” laughed Deutsch. “On Sunday there were encouraging signs for sure when we won two races. We were either awfully lucky or it was real progress. The boat is fine; we just need to figure out how to sail it and get that last bit out of her. The learning curve is insane.”

As for the general experience of sailing 12 Metres, Deutsch said, “If you don’t sail the heck out of these boats, they sail you. The physical appeal of the 12 Metres is the feeling of power; everything is heavy and super loaded up. When you get them rumbling it’s like riding bareback on a 747 plane; there is no feeling like it.”

In Traditional Division American Eagle prevailed over its two Traditional counterparts Columbia (US-16) and Nefertiti (US-19), in second and third, respectively. In Grand Prix, New Zealand (KZ-3) won all of its four races to win overall against Kiwi Magic (KZ-7).

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

For more information on the Newport Trophy Regatta or the 12 Metre Worlds visit https://12mrworlds.com/ or contact Peter Gerard at pgerard53@gmail.com.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. #12mRWorldChampionship, @12mRWorldChampionship

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CONTACTS:
Event Chairman
Peter Gerard
pgerard53@gmail.com
+1 214-244-4955

Sponsorship
Manuka Sports
Sam@Manukasem.com
+44 7398-183-957

Media
Media Pro Int’l
Barby MacGowan
Barby.Macgowan@MediaProNewport.com
+1 401-849-0220

International 12 Metre Class
SallyAnne Santos
sallyanne@windlasscreative.com
+1 401-847-0112

Decades Later, Champions Return to Claim 12 Metre World Title

2019 12 Metre World Championship logo

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Decades Later, Champions Return to Claim 12 Metre World Title

NEWPORT, RI (May 14, 2019) – When the 12 Metre World Championship comes to Newport, R.I. this summer (July 8-13), it will celebrate one of the greatest classes in world sailing history. The 112-year-old International 12 Metre Class encompasses a living history of racing yacht design by the world’s foremost naval architects 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).

“It’s going to make quite a statement to the world when 21 of these historic 12 Metres – the largest gathering ever in the U.S. – converge in Newport and it becomes clear that they are still being sailed at such a high level,” said Gary Jobson (Annapolis, Md.), who will serve as tactician aboard Courageous (US-26), an Olin Stephens design that will be helmed by Arthur Santry (Washington, D.C./Newport, R.I.) in the Modern class, for 12 Metres built between 1967 and 1983. (Santry also crewed on the 12 Metre Independence (US-28) in 1977.)

Courageous (US-26) and Intrepid (US-22) both successfully defended the America's Cup twice. (Photo credit: Stephen R. Cloutier)
Courageous (US-26) and Intrepid (US-22) both successfully defended the America’s Cup twice. (Photo credit: Stephen R. Cloutier)

Courageous was the first all-aluminum hulled 12 Metre and the second 12 Metre to successfully defend the America’s Cup twice, in 1974 and 1977. The first 12 Metre, also an Olin Stephens design, was the wooden-hulled Intrepid (US-22), which successfully defended in 1967 and ’70 and will also sail in the Modern Division with skipper Jack Curtin (Toronto, Ontario/New York, N.Y.) at the helm.

Courageous is in the best shape she’s ever been in,” said Jobson, explaining that her benefactors Ralph Isham, Steve Glascock, Alexander Auersperg and Ward Marsh (all Newport, R.I.), who also crew aboard her, lead a syndicate formed 15 years ago to charter the yacht after it was donated to the Museum of Yachting. “There has been some work on her keel, rudder and trim tab over this past winter, and she will be sporting new winches and sails. Our goal is to win every race, but you never know in this division. Otherwise, it’s to be a strong contender, to put on a good show and get better with each race.”

It just so happens Jobson was the tactician on Courageous in 1977 when Ted Turner defeated Alan Bond’s Australia (KA-5) four races to zero in a best-of-seven series. Turner’s America’s Cup victory (his second try) came long before he was a television media mogul, but with his famously quick wit and tell-it-like-it-is character, he was already well on his way to becoming an authentic American sailing hero. Turner plans to return to Newport to watch the Worlds, and he will be pleased to see Jobson and his fellow sailors from that era making Courageous spotlight-worthy again.

Clockwise from left: Arthur Santry at the helm of Courageous (US-26) with Gary Jobson behind him (Photo Credit: SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative); Gary Jobson and Ted Turner in 1977; the winning Courageous crew in 1977 (Photo credits both: courtesy of Gary Jobson).
Clockwise from left: Arthur Santry at the helm of Courageous (US-26) with Gary Jobson behind him (Photo Credit: SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative); Gary Jobson and Ted Turner in 1977; the winning Courageous crew in 1977 (Photo credits both: courtesy of Gary Jobson).

Significantly, four others on the Courageous crew of 16 have won the “Auld Mug” at some point in their lives. Jon Wright, who will serve as jib trimmer, sailed on three America’s Cup winners: Courageous in ’74, Freedom (US-30) in ’80 and Stars & Stripes (US-55) in ’87 (he also sailed on Independence in ’77 and Liberty (US-40) in ’83.) LJ Edgcomb, who will serve as navigator, sailed on Courageous in ’74 and ‘77 (he also sailed on Courageous again in ’80). Robbie Doyle will serve as main trimmer, just as he did on Courageous in ’77 (he also sailed on Mariner (US-25) in ’74 and Courageous again in ’80); Stu Argo, who will serve as jib trimmer, sailed on America3 in ’92 (he coached the All Women’s team on America3 in ’95 and raced on Oracle Team USA in 2007).

According to Jack Curtin, who salvaged Intrepid in as a “massive labor of love” after it ran aground on Nantucket, his crew hasn’t changed much from when it was first assembled in 1998, after a two-year complete restoration of the yacht. “I’m most proud that we don’t bring in any rock stars,” said Curtin. “It’s staggering the amount of time people are willing to sacrifice for this summer’s racing schedule, but that’s how strongly everyone feels about each other.”

Among Intrepid’s crew members are two father-son combinations. Travis Pierce, son of starboard trimmer Reggie Pierce (Courageous ‘74, Independence ’77), will work the bow, while Ian O’Brien, son of port trimmer Tom O’Brien (Courageous ’74, Independence ‘77), will work the pit. Other America’s Cup veterans crewing are tactician Scott Perry (Independence ’77) and main trimmer Skip Beck (Clipper (US-32) ‘80).

From left: Jack Curtin, owner of Intrepid (US-22) after an early practice this May in Newport and at the helm during last year’s Newport Trophy. (Photo credits both: Stephen R. Cloutier)
From left: Jack Curtin, owner of Intrepid (US-22) after an early practice this May in Newport and at the helm during last year’s Newport Trophy. (Photo credits both: Stephen R. Cloutier)

“We’ve started practicing already, so we are serious, and we’ve done whatever we thought we could do to make us more competitive,” said Curtin, noting he has now completed major improvements to Intrepid a total of four times (including this year in preparation for the Worlds). He pointed out other American owners such as Dennis Williams, Charles Robertson, Jack LeFort and Gunther Buerman – owners, respectively, of Victory ’83 (K-22), Freedom (US-30), Challenge XII (KA-10) and New Zealand (KZ-3) – who have invested great amounts of money and effort into either restoring or totally rebuilding the magnificent 12 Metres that will be racing in the Worlds.

“In addition to being as beautiful and significant as ever, the fleet is the fastest it has ever been,” said Curtin. “Every boat that’s racing is in better shape than when it first sailed decades ago.”

The 12 Metre World Championship is hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the International Twelve Metre Association (ITMA) America’s Fleet and the 12 Metre Yacht Club.

The 2019 12 Metre World Championship is sponsored by Château d’Esclans -Whispering Angel, Grand Banks Yachts, Gurney’s Marina and Resort, MJM Yachts and North Sails. Official suppliers include Bacardi, Harborside Marina, Helly Hansen Newport, McMillen Yachts, Sevenstar Yacht Transport, Stella Artois, Trident Studio and Vhernier Milano. Event venue partners are Clarke Cooke House, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, International Yacht Restoration School, Newport Shipyard, Sail Newport and Seamen’s Church Institute. For more information please visit: https://12mrworlds.com/partners/

A full list of competitors is here: https://12mrworlds.com/2019-competitors/

For more information visit https://12mrworlds.com/ or contact Peter Gerard at pgerard53@gmail.com.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #12mRWorldChampionship, @12mRWorldChampionship

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ABOUT THE 2019 12 METRE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

The International 12 Metre Class’ 2019 World Championship will be held in Newport, Rhode Island (USA) from July 8-13 and hosted by the Ida Lewis Yacht Club and the 12 Metre Yacht Club. It will be the largest-ever gathering of 12 Metre yachts in the United States with at least two dozen boats from seven countries expected. International teams comprised of elite sailors, including America’s Cup veterans and Olympic medalists, will represent such countries as Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway and the United States. The 2019 12 Metre World Championship fleet will span the years 1928 -1987, include seven America’s Cup defenders and challengers, and be sailed on Rhode Island Sound, the site of nine America’s Cup competitions from 1958-1983. www.12mrworlds.com

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

CONTACTS:
Event Chairman
Peter Gerard
pgerard53@gmail.com
+1 214-244-4955

Sponsorship
Manuka Sports
Sam@Manukasem.com
+44 7398-183-957

Media
Media Pro Int’l
Barby MacGowan
Barby.Macgowan@MediaProNewport.com
+1 401-849-0220

International 12 Metre Class
SallyAnne Santos
sallyanne@windlasscreative.com
+1 401-847-0112

12 Metre Worlds Will Harken Back to America’s Cup Days in Newport

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12 Metre Worlds Will Harken Back to America’s Cup Days in Newport

NEWPORT, RI (March 20, 2019) – When the 12 Metre World Championship comes to Newport, R.I. this summer (July 8-13), the significance of the venue will not be lost on sailing buffs, or for that matter, on sports historians in general.

The America’s Cup, one of the most famous competitions between countries, was held here in Newport 12 times from 1930 to 1983, and for nine of those times, from 1958 to 1983, the sailboat used to determine the winners was the 12 Metre, a single-masted sloop of approximately 68 feet (21 metres) in length.

Scenes from the docks at the end of the 1983 America’s Cup (Photos by Gilles Martin-Raget)
Scenes from the docks at the end of the 1983 America’s Cup (Photos by Gilles Martin-Raget)

During the 12 Metre Cup years, thousands of sailors, support teams, families and spectators from around the world swarmed lower Thames Street and wharves such as Bannister’s where the 12 Metres and their teams headquartered during races that determined a final defender and challenger destined to spar one-on-one for the coveted silver ewer that was “The Cup”. The most memorable Cup in Newport was unfortunately its last; 1983 marked the first winning challenge to the New York Yacht Club, which had successfully defended the Cup over a period of 132 years.  An Australian syndicate representing the Royal Perth Yacht Club wrested the precious trophy from its decades-old resting place, breaking a winning streak that was the longest on record in any sport.

For July’s 12 Metre Worlds, teams from around the world again will flock to Newport. They will sail a series of fleet races, held over five racing days, to determine winners in four Divisions: Grand Prix, Modern, Traditional, and Vintage. And they will sail somewhat the same America’s Cup courses plotted beyond the mouth of Narragansett Bay and off Brenton Reef in the Atlantic Ocean – that long ago brought notoriety to scenic Newport and its surrounding waters.

A Look Back from the Sailors

With the Cup’s historical ties to Newport, it’s no surprise that many of the sailors planning to compete at the Worlds are veterans of 12 Metre America’s Cup campaigns.

Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) started his America’s Cup career in 1980 when he successfully defended the Cup as bow man on Dennis Conner’s Freedom (US-30). At the 12 Metre Worlds he will sail in the Afterguard of New Zealand (KZ-3), entered in the four-boat Grand Prix Division and owned and driven by Gunther Buerman (Highland Beach, Fla./Newport, R.I.).

Lexi Gahagan and the current team of New Zealand (KZ-3); Brad Read (far left), Lexi Gahagan (third from left), and Gunther Buerman (fourth from left)
Lexi Gahagan and the current team of New Zealand (KZ-3); Brad Read (far left), Lexi Gahagan (third from left), and Gunther Buerman (fourth from left)

“In 1980, it was like we were all on college football teams,” said Gahagan, who would go on to sail for Cup campaigns in 1987, 1992 and 2000. “No one got paid, but we were working hard while also having a really good time. By ’87 it had ramped up; it was more like going to work as professional athletes; people were hired and fired for their performances.”

Gahagan said no one on KZ-3 is paid, although all are veteran sailors, including locals Duncan Skinner and Chris Fischer, who have America’s Cup credentials as well. “The team has sailed together now for five years and feels good about knowing the boat,” he said, adding that local knowledge, which Afterguard member Brad Read and other area sailors contribute, also is a plus. “We haven’t had many other Grand Prix 12 Metres to sail against, and it’s time to mix it up with some of the good competition coming in.”

Grand Prix teams coming to America to compete at the Worlds are Patrizio Bertelli’s Italian entrant Kookaburra II (KA-12), Jesper Bank’s Danish entrant Legacy (KZ-5), and Johan Blach Petersen’s Danish entry Kiwi Magic (KZ-7).

“The others won’t know the boats as well, perhaps, but they’ll pick it up in a hurry,” said Gahagan, referencing the fact that some of the teams have only recently formulated, specifically for competing at the 2019 Worlds and the Pre-Worlds, also to be held in Newport (July 6-7).

As for 1983, when the world watched as John Bertrand’s Australia II (KA-5) beat Dennis Conners’ Liberty (US-40) and afterward revealed its secret weapon winged-keel to thousands of race fans on the Newport waterfront, Gahagan said he was watching, too, from a TV in Vermont.

“I wasn’t there for that one, but I’ve been all over the world sailing, and having all the boats on Thames Street the way it was, how close we all were…it can’t be replicated,” said Gahagan. “Newport to me is a special place…it’s why I still sail with Gunther and his team; it’s where the Cup should be if America can win it back next time.”

Mike Toppa (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Newport, R.I.) will sail on the newly confirmed entry Enterprise (US-27), chartered from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Sailing Foundation by Clay and Nancy Deutsch (Newport, R.I.) for the Modern Division competition. Toppa sailed on the same boat in 1980 when she served as a Trial Horse for Dennis Conners’ successful Freedom campaign.

Enterprise was discovered in France, in disrepair, a few years back, and brought back to racing form by two different owners before she was donated to the Foundation.
“Her interior was taken out by the second owner, who was getting it ready for the Worlds,” said Toppa, who also sailed on and designed sails for Defender (US-33) in 1983 and Eagle (US-60) in 1986. “A lot of design work has been done, and everything has been changed, including the deck hydraulics, the mast, the keel, the trim tab and sail plan.
The best things about the old Newport Cup days for Toppa was learning as much as he did, sailing with the best sailors at the time, and soaking it all up. “I mean, I was sailing for the America’s Cup in my hometown; it was the biggest sailing regatta in the world!

Clockwise from left: Challenge XII (KA-10) under sail, Freedom (US-30) at Pilots Point Marina in 2017; Intrepid (US-22) under sail. (Photos by Windlass Creative/SallyAnne Santos and courtesy of Freedom)
Clockwise from left: Challenge XII (KA-10) under sail, Freedom (US-30) at Pilots Point Marina in 2017; Intrepid (US-22) under sail. (Photos by Stephen R Cloutier and courtesy of Freedom)

The Modern Division is yielding the deepest fleet, with seven entries that include three successful Cup defenders: Freedom (US-30) (1980), skippered by owner Charles Robertson (Guilford, Conn.); Intrepid (US-22) (1967 & 1970), skippered by Jack Curtin (Toronto, Canada/New York, N.Y.); and Courageous (US-26) (1974 & 1977), skippered by Arthur Santry (Arlington, Va./Newport, R.I.), another America’s Cup 12 Metre veteran. As well, it includes Jack Lefort’s (Winter Park, Fla./Jamestown, R.I.) Challenge XII (KA-10), which two years ago was returned to racing trim specifically for the Worlds; 2009 12 Metre Worlds (Modern Division) Champion, Dennis Williams’ (Hobe Sound, Fla./Newport, R.I.) Victory ’83 (K-22); and Harry Graves’ (Grand Isle, Vt.) Lionheart (K-18).

The 12 Metre World Championship is hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the International Twelve Metre Association (ITMA) America’s Fleet and the 12 Metre Yacht Club.

The 2019 12 Metre World Championship is sponsored by Château d’Esclans -Whispering Angel, Grand Banks Yachts, Gurney’s Marina and Resort, MJM Yachts and North Sails. Official suppliers include Bacardi, Helly Hansen Newport, Sevenstar Yacht Transport and Stella Artois. Event venue partners are Clarke Cooke House, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, International Yacht Restoration School, Newport Shipyard and Sail Newport. For more information please visit: https://12mrworlds.com/partners/

A full list of competitors is here: https://12mrworlds.com/2019-competitors/

For more information visit https://12mrworlds.com/ or contact Peter Gerard at pgerard53@gmail.com.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #12mRWorldChampionship, @12mRWorldChampionship

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ABOUT THE 2019 12 METRE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

The International 12 Metre Class’ 2019 World Championship will be held in Newport, Rhode Island (USA) from July 8-13 and hosted by the Ida Lewis Yacht Club and the 12 Metre Yacht Club. It will be the largest-ever gathering of 12 Metre yachts in the United States with at least two dozen boats from seven countries expected. International teams comprised of elite sailors, including America’s Cup veterans and Olympic medalists, will represent such countries as Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway and the United States. The 2019 12 Metre World Championship fleet will span the years 1928 -1987, include seven America’s Cup defenders and challengers, and be sailed on Rhode Island Sound, the site of nine America’s Cup competitions from 1958-1983. www.12mrworlds.com

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

CONTACTS:
Event Chairman
Peter Gerard
pgerard53@gmail.com
+1 214-244-4955

Sponsorship
Manuka Sports
Sam@Manukasem.com
+44 7398-183-957

Media
Media Pro Int’l
Barby MacGowan
Barby.Macgowan@MediaProNewport.com
+1 401-849-0220

International 12 Metre Class
SallyAnne Santos
sallyanne@windlasscreative.com
+1 401-847-0112

Olympic Medalists at 2019 12 Metre Worlds

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Olympic Medalists Grael and Bank to Battle Head-to-Head at 12 Metre Worlds

NEWPORT, RI (January 23, 2019) – Brazil’s Torben Grael and Denmark’s Jesper Bank, who have eight Olympic sailing medals between them, will face off in the 2019 12 Metre World Championship, joining sailing royalty from around the globe for the largest-ever gathering of 12 Metres in the U.S.  Scheduled for July 8-13 in Newport, R.I. the 12 Metre Worlds is hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the International Twelve Metre Association (ITMA) America’s Fleet and the 12 Metre Yacht Club and takes place on the same waters where the America’s Cup was held in 12 Metres from 1958 to 1983, adding further historical significance to this fleet racing competition planned for two dozen teams representing seven countries in four divisions.

Italy’s Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of the Prada fashion group and primary backer of the Challenger of Record (Luna Rossa) for the 36th America's Cup, will join five-time Olympic Medalist Torben Grael aboard Kookaburra II (KA-12) at the 2019 12 Metre World Championship. (Photo credit Carlo Borlenghi) Sailing aboard Legacy (KZ-5) will be three-time Olympic medalist Jesper Bank. (Photo courtesy Jesper Bank)
Italy’s Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of the Prada fashion group and primary backer of the Challenger of Record (Luna Rossa) for the 36th America’s Cup, will join five-time Olympic Medalist Torben Grael aboard Kookaburra II (KA-12) at the 2019 12 Metre World Championship. (Photo credit Carlo Borlenghi) Sailing aboard Legacy (KZ-5) will be three-time Olympic medalist Jesper Bank. (Photo courtesy Jesper Bank)

Grael, winner of five Olympic medals (two golds and two bronzes in Star class and one silver in Soling class) will skipper Italian Patrizio Bertelli’s KA-12 Kookaburra II in the seven-boat Grand Prix Division while Bertelli’s second boat, US-12 Nyala, will defend its World Title from Barcelona 2014 in the four-boat Vintage Division.

“I am looking forward to some action in these beautiful and historical boats and to sailing them in a special place like Newport,” said Grael, whose past 12 Metre experience includes winning the 1999 12 Metre Worlds in Saint Tropez with KZ-7 Kiwi Magic (also competing in the Grand Prix Division here) and sailing Nyala in the America’s Cup Jubilee in Cowes in 2001.

And while Grael adds relevant 12 Metre experience to his accomplishment of being one of the most successful sailors in Olympic history, he nevertheless has enormous respect for Bank’s sailing accomplishments. “I know Jesper well; we have sailed Solings against each other on many occasions. He is a great sailor.”

Bank has won three Olympic Medals (two golds and one bronze in Soling class). At the Worlds, he will serve as tactician aboard KZ-5 Legacy (formerly Laura) while his close friend Thomas Andersen (Kerpeminde, Denmark) takes the helm.

“It was Thomas’s idea to come,” said Bank, adding that Andersen crewed for him during the ’84 Olympics and went on to helm many campaigns. “We grew up sailing Optimist Dinghies against each other in Fredericia, so it is a long, tested friendship. His father owned a 12 Metre, so that was part of his childhood, and Newport for us is such a legendary place for 12 Metres….”

Bank has campaigned for the America’s Cup twice, in 2003 with Victory Challenge and in 2007 with United Internet Team Germany. When asked which experience – America’s Cup competition or Olympic sailing – will better serve his participation in the 12 Metre Worlds, he explained: “The way I see it is the fleet racing in Olympic competition is more tactical and valuable coming into the 12 Metre Worlds, whereas America’s Cup match racing experience is not as relevant.”

Clockwise from left: 12 Metre sailor preparing sails (Photo credit Richard Schultz); KZ-5 and KZ-7 at the 2012 12 Metre North American Championship; 2014 Worlds fleet in Barcelona (Photo credit SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative)
Clockwise from left: 12 Metre sailor preparing sails (Photo credit Richard Schultz); KZ-5 and KZ-7 at the 2012 12 Metre North American Championship; 2014 Worlds fleet in Barcelona (Photo credit SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative)

Legacy has been chartered for the two weeks covering the 12 Metre Pre-Worlds Regatta (July 6-7) and the Worlds. “When we get here, it will be our introduction to sailing a Grand Prix 12 Metre. None of us has ever sailed one; it will be a steep learning curve.”

It is expected that Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of the Prada fashion group and primary backer of the Challenger of Record (Luna Rossa) for the 36th America’s Cup, will join Grael’s team aboard Kookaburra II. The rest of Grael’s team will consist of sailors from past Luna Rossa America’s Cup campaigns (2000 through 2015), while Mauro Pelaschier, skipper of the Azzurra America’s Cup campaign in ’82, will skipper Nyala with some original Azzurra sailors and ex-Luna Rossa sailors aboard. Kookaburra II and Nyala will arrive in Newport near the end of June to compete in the Pre-Worlds and will sail in the “12 Metre Jubilee” at the New York Yacht Club’s 175th Anniversary Regatta (July 15-20) after the Worlds.

Competing 12 Metres (to date)

The 12 Metres are divided into divisions based on when they were built: Grand Prix (for 12 Metres built in 1987, winged keel), Modern (1967-1983), Traditional (1958-1966) and Vintage (1907-1958). Grand Prix, Modern and Traditional divisions mostly represent 12 Metres built for America’s Cup competition, while the Vintage division represents those built prior to the Cup’s 12 Metre era and when 12 Metres held a place in Olympic history.

Grand Prix Division

US-42 America II, New York Harbor Sailing Foundation, New York, N.Y.

US-46 America II, New York Harbor Sailing Foundation, New York, N.Y.

KZ-7 Kiwi Magic, Johan Blach Petersen, Arhus, Denmark

KA-12 Kookaburra II, Patrizio Bertelli, Porto Santo Stefano, Italy

KA-15 Kookaburra III, Maurizio Vecchiola, Morrovalle Macerata, Italy

KZ-5 Legacy (nee Laura), Jesper Bank, Denmark

KZ-3 New Zealand, Gunther Buerman, Highland Beach, Fla./Newport, R.I.

Modern Division

KA-5 Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia

KA-10 Challenge XII, Jack LeFort, Jamestown, R.I.

US-26 Courageous, Ralph Isham/Steve Glascock/Alexander Auersperg/Ward Marsh/Arthur Santry, Newport, R.I.

US-33 Defender, US Merchant Marine Academy

US-30 Freedom, Charles Robertson, Guilford, Conn.

US-22 Intrepid, Jack Curtin, Toronto, Ontario/New York, N.Y.

K-18 Lionheart, Harry Graves, Grand Isle, Vermont

K-22 Victory ’83, Dennis Williams, Hobe Sound, Fla./Newport, R.I.

Other potential competitors:

US-27 Enterprise – likely

US-24 Valiant – possible

Traditional Division

US-21 American Eagle, Bob Morton/Cindy DeLotto, Newport, R.I./Edgartown, Mass.

US-16 Columbia, Kevin Hegarty, Boston, Mass.

US-18 Easterner, Scott Bernard, Annapolis, Md.

US-19 Nefertiti, Sears Wullschleger, Sarasota, Fla.

US-17 Weatherly, Jay Schachne, E. Greenwich, R.I.

Vintage Division

K-17 Blue Marlin, Henrik Andersin, Kotka, Finland

US-12 Nyala, Patrizio Bertelli, Porto Santo Stefano, Italy

US-6 Onawa, Earl McMillen, Newport, R.I.

N-11 Vema III, Vema Syndicate, Oslo, Norway

During the Worlds and the Pre-Worlds, most of the fleet will be berthed at Fort Adams where visitors will be able to view the yachts before and after racing. A large on-water spectator fleet is expected, and land-based spectators can catch the fleet sailing to and from the race course at vantage points along the shores closest to Narragansett Bay’s East Passage, including Fort Adams, Beavertail Light and Castle Hill.

The 12 Metre World Championship is sponsored by Helly Hansen Newport, while Official Logistics Provider is Sevenstar Yacht Transport.

For more information visit https://12mrworlds.com/ or contact Peter Gerard at pgerard53@gmail.com.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #12mRWorldChampionship, @12mRWorldChampionship

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ABOUT THE 2019 12 METRE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

The International 12 Metre Class’ 2019 World Championship will be held in Newport, Rhode Island (USA) from July 8-13 and hosted by the Ida Lewis Yacht Club and the 12 Metre Yacht Club. It will be the largest-ever gathering of 12 Metre yachts in the United States with at least two dozen boats from seven countries expected. International teams comprised of elite sailors, including America’s Cup veterans and Olympic medalists, will represent such countries as Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway and the United States. The 2019 12 Metre World Championship fleet will span the years 1928 -1987, include seven America’s Cup defenders and challengers, and be sailed on Rhode Island Sound, the site of nine America’s Cup competitions from 1958-1983. www.12mrworlds.com

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

A Sailing Spectacle Like No Other

12 Metre World Championship Set for Newport in July

NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND (November 6, 2018) – With a little more than eight months to go, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the International Twelve Metre Association (ITMA) America’s Fleet and the 12 Metre Yacht Club are gearing up for the largest-ever gathering of historic 12 Metre yachts in the U.S. at the 2019 12 Metre World Championship. Scheduled for July 8-13, the regatta will host 24 teams from seven countries, and the fleet will include Italian Patrizio Bertelli’s US-12 Nyala, which is the defending 12 Metre World Champion, and five yachts that have successfully defended the America’s Cup: US-16 Columbia (1958), US-17 Weatherly (1962), US-22 Intrepid (1967 & 1970), US-26 Courageous (1974 & 1977) and US-30 Freedom (1980).

 12 Metres racing in Barcelona during the 2014 12 Metre World Championship. The 2019 Worlds in Newport will be the largest-ever gathering of 12 Metres in the U.S. (photo credit: SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative)
12 Metres racing in Barcelona during the 2014 12 Metre World Championship. The 2019 Worlds in Newport will be the largest-ever gathering of 12 Metres in the U.S. (photo credit: SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative)

“The last 12 Metre World Championship was in Barcelona, Spain in 2014,” said Event Chair Peter Gerard, “so there is some pent-up energy for sure. Over the last two years, there has been an emphasis on developing new teams, training for the worlds and getting these iconic yachts into the best possible condition for competition.”

Making the trip to Newport from overseas are teams from the Northern Europe and Southern Europe Fleets. They will join the Americas Fleet for racing on Rhode Island Sound where a dozen America’s Cup competitions were held for just over five decades. Three of them (between 1930 and ‘37) were contested in the Universal J Class yachts, while nine (between 1958 and ‘83) were held in the 12 Metre yachts that are now famously etched into the “Golden Era” of America’s Cup history.

Left: Italian Patrizio Bertelli’s US-12 Nyala, the defending 12 Metre World Champion, will travel to Newport for the 2019 Worlds. (photo credit: SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative) Right: Also competing will be US-22 Intrepid and US-26 Courageous, which have each defended the America’s Cup twice. (Photo credit: Stephen Cloutier)
Left: Italian Patrizio Bertelli’s US-12 Nyala, the defending 12 Metre World Champion, will travel to Newport for the 2019 Worlds. (photo credit: SallyAnne Santos/Windlass Creative) Right: Also competing will be US-22 Intrepid and US-26 Courageous, which have each defended the America’s Cup twice. (Photo credit: Stephen Cloutier)

The 12 Metres are divided into divisions based on when they were built. At the Worlds, eight of the contenders will sail in Grand Prix (for 12 Metres built in 1987, winged keel), seven in Modern (1967-1983), five in Traditional (1958-1966) and four in Vintage (1907-1958). Grand Prix, Modern and Traditional divisions mostly represent 12 Metres built for America’s Cup competition, while the Vintage division represents those built prior to the Cup’s 12 Metre era and when 12 Metres held a place in Olympic history.

Competing 12 Metres (to date):
Grand Prix Division

US-46 America II, New York Harbor Sailing Foundation, New York, N.Y.
K-24 Crusader, Richard Matthews/Sally Morton, Ipswich, UK
KZ-7 Kiwi Magic, Johan Blach Petersen, Arhus, Denmark
KA-12 Kookaburra II, Patrizio Bertelli, Rosignano Solvay, Italy
KA-15 Kookaburra III, Maurizio Vecchiola, Morrovalle Macerata, Italy
KZ-5 Laura, Jesper Banks, Denmark
KZ-3 New Zealand, Gunther Buerman, Highland Beach, Fla./Newport, R.I.
(expressing interest: US-42 America II)

Modern Division

KA-10 Challenge XII, Jack LeFort, Jamestown, R.I.
US-32 Clipper, Hugo Stenbeck, Stockholm, Sweden
US-26 Courageous, Ralph Isham/Steve Glascock/Alexander Auersperg/Ward Marsh/Arthur Santry, Newport, R.I.
US-30 Freedom, Charles Robertson, Guilford, Conn.
US-22 Intrepid, Jack Curtin, Toronto, Ontario/New York, N.Y.
K-18 Lionheart, Harry Graves, Grand Isle, Vermont
K-22 Victory ’83, Dennis Williams, Hobe Sound, Fla./Newport, R.I.
(expressing interest: US-27 Enterprise, US-33 Defender, US-24, Valiant)

Traditional Division

US-21 American Eagle, Bob Morton/Cindy DeLotto, Newport, R.I./Edgartown, Mass.
US-16 Columbia, Kevin Hegarty, Boston, Mass.
US-18 Easterner, Scott Bernard, Annapolis, Md.
US-19 Nefertiti, Sears Wullschleger, Sarasota, Fla.
US-17 Weatherly, Jay Schachne, E. Greenwich, R.I.

Vintage Division

K-17 Blue Marlin, Henrik Andersin, Kotka, Finland
US-12 Nyala, Patrizio Bertelli, Rosignano Solvay, Italy
US-6 Onawa, Earl McMillen, Newport, R.I.
N-11 Vema III, Vema Syndicate Oslo, Norway

ROAD TO THE WORLDS AND NEW YORK YACHT CLUB’S 12 METRE JUBILEE

The global ROAD TO THE WORLDS WAYPOINTS Series, which started in 2017, has helped build competition in the Northern Europe, Southern Europe and Americas fleets and culminates with a series winner named at the conclusion of the 12 Metre Pre-Worlds Regatta, scheduled for just prior to the Worlds on July 6-7.

For some extended racing excitement beyond the Worlds, New York Yacht Club has invited the 12 Metre Class to participate in a “12 Metre Jubilee” at its 175th Anniversary Regatta (July 15-20) and compete for a series of historic 12 Metre Trophies.

“It will be a full summer of happenings,” said Gerard, explaining that the last four WAYPOINTS SERIES events* are scheduled for 2019 in New England as tune-ups for the Worlds. “This remarkably large fleet of 12 Metres, known for their historic significance, beauty and grace, will create a spectacle of 12 Metre racing that has not been seen here since the America’s Cup days of old.”

Plenty of 12 Metre action in store for 2019 at the 12 Metre Worlds in Newport, R.I. (Photo credit: Stephen Cloutier)
Plenty of 12 Metre action in store for 2019 at the 12 Metre Worlds in Newport, R.I. (Photo credit: Stephen Cloutier)

During the Worlds and the Pre-Worlds, most of the fleet will be berthed at Fort Adams where visitors will be able to view the yachts before and after racing. A large on-water spectator fleet is expected, and land-based spectators can catch the fleet sailing to and from racing at vantage points along the shores closest to Narragansett Bay’s East Passage, including Fort Adams, Beavertail Light and Castle Hill.

*2019 WAYPOINTS Series regattas: New York Yacht Club’s 165th Annual Regatta (June 14-16), Edgartown Yacht Club‘s 12mR Regatta (June 21-23), Ida Lewis Yacht Club’s Newport Trophy Regatta (June 29-30), and the Pre-Worlds hosted by Sail Newport (July 6-7)

For more information visit: https://12mrworlds.com/ or  http://www.12mrclass.com or contact Peter Gerard at pgerard53@gmail.com.

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CONTACTS:

Event Chairman
Peter Gerard
pgerard53@gmail.com
+1 214-244-4955

Sponsorship
Manuka Sports
Sam@Manukasem.com
+44 7398-183-957

Media
Media Pro Int’l
Barby MacGowan
Barby.Macgowan@MediaProNewport.com
+1 401-849-0220

International 12 Metre Class
SallyAnne Santos
sallyanne@windlasscreative.com
+1 401-847-0112