Designed by Laurent Giles to the 12mR Third Rule, Flica II (K-14) was the last yacht built at the 140-year-old W. Fife & Son boatyard when she slid down the rails in 1939. Although she was the last from the famed yard, arguably Flica II (K-14) was the first 12mR built for the modern Americas’ Cup era.
In 1928 Sir Richard Fairey and designer Charles Nicholson had undertaken extensive research and development to create a new 12 Metre Class racing yacht, the result had been the Second Rule Flica (K-16). With Fairey at the helm, her racing success was unparalleled and Flica was considered to be the “best” 12mR of the day.
Hugh Goodson purchased K-16 in 1934 and continued her racing success through 1938. He too had 12mR America’s Cup ambitions when he commissioned Flica II (K-14). She raced in very good company with other 12s designed by the leading J-Class designers of her time including William Fife’s Vanity V (K-5), Alfred Mylne’s Jenetta (K-1), Charles Nicholson’s Tomahawk (K-13) and Olin Stephen’s Vim (US-15). Flica II had the benefit of many design innovations including tank testing, aluminum spars, rudder trim tabs, rod rigging and coffee grinder-style winches.
Finally, in 1958 the New York Yacht Club accepted the first post-War America’s Cup Challenge from the Royal Yacht Squadron syndicate led by Hugh Goodson. Flica II (K-14) had been tested against Evaine (K-2) and Sceptre (K-17), but ultimately it was Sceptre that Goodson raced as the first 12mR Challenger versus Olin Stephen’s Columbia (US-16) who successfully defended the America’s Cup that year.
In the intervening years, Flica II has passed between a dozen owners, along the way she won the 12mR Class at Cowes Week in 1958 and the Royal Thames Yacht Club Queen’s Cup in 1961. An engine was installed in 1964 when she was converted to an auxiliary yawl. In 1968 her mast was moved forward; a doghouse and portholes were installed and she cruised as an auxiliary ketch until she disappeared from the Lloyd’s Register in 1978. In 1989, Robert Tiedeman rescued her from abandonment on a Caribbean shore. He salvaged and sold her to Bruno Pozzi who provided a complete restoration at Camper & Nicholson— only the keel, rudder and some original planking remained. From 1993-99, while owned by Stefano and Francesca Tanzi, she enjoyed racing success in the Mediterranean including winning the Coppa Europa in 1995.
In 2000, Alexander Falk purchased Flica II and brought her to Hamburg (DE) to join ITMA’s Northern European fleet. She has since been meticulously maintained and continues to compete successfully in both the Baltic and Mediterranean fleets. With her distinctive black hull and sails she is a striking standout in the Vintage division.
This year, Flica II will have another chance to prove herself versus contemporaries Vanity V (K-5), Jenetta (K-1), Vim (US-15) and Blue Marlin (FIN-1) —all of whom she will meet again at the 2021 Evli 12mR World Championship at Helsinki (FN) from August 14-22.