Designed and built by renowned Norwegian naval architect Johan Anker, Vema III (N-11) was among the last of 20 Twelves envisioned at his drafting table. During her 1933 launch season she campaigned successfully at the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club’s 50th Anniversary Jubilee as well as at Cowes Week. Impressively, N-11 has been actively sailing for 88 years and has the notable distinction of being the only 12mR to sail under the Norwegian flag throughout her entire lifetime.
Commissioned by Norwegian-American shipbuilder Georg Unger Vetlesen, Vema III was the “little boat” to his 300-ton schooner Vema II. During World War II, N-11 was Nazi war-prey in occupied Norway. After he war she raced well into the 1950’s with the lively Oslo Fjord fleet consisting primarily of Blue Marlin, Santa, Figaro VI, and Norsaga (now Trivia).
After the decline of 12mR sailing in the late 50’s, Vema III remained in Norway as the only active boat in her Class. By 1979, new owners Tor Jøgen Dahl and Lars Christian Dahl noticed the corrosion of key structural elements in need of prompt attention and started her preservation. In 1999 TJ Dahl with new owner Einar Nagel Erichsen undertook a more extensive restoration.
Since 2006, Vema III has been owned by a group of 10 sailors who share a keen interest in 12mR sailing and her notable Norwegian designer, Johan Anker. Together, N-11’s team strive to keep their “pride & joy” in perfect condition and consider her to be one of the best-preserved 12mR yachts in the world. Syndicate lead, Johan Troye said, “We look very much forward to racing in the waters of Helsinki and being part of the most spectacular fleet of 12mRs in the world.”
To this day, Vema III continues as a seasoned racer and was one of four boats shipped from Europe to the 2019 Worlds at Newport, RI (USA). In Helsinki this summer, Vema III will meet her “baby sister” Nini Anker (N-12) in their first Worlds-encounter. (Now named for Johan’s famed wife Nini, Anker’s last design #434 was built and launched in 2013 at the Robbe Berking boatyard, and originally named Siesta (DEN-14).)