“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.