Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

12 Metre North Americans - They can steal a sailing show

by Kirsten Ferguson on 3 Oct 2013
Dennis Williams’’ Victory ’83 (left) and Rich Moody’s Courageous in Modern Division at the 2013 12 Metre North Americans SallyAnne Santos
Whilst the America’s Cup was finishing up on the West Coast, vintage 12 Metres from the Cup’s Golden Era were gearing up on the East Coast to prove they still can steal a sailing show when it comes to grace, beauty and competition.

The 12 Metre North Americans sponsored by Pine Brothers hosted six of the sleek Twelves sailing on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound over three days of racing (Friday, September 27 through Sunday, September 29), and it was clear for all who participated or simply caught a glimpse of the action on the race course or the docks at Bannister’s Wharf (where the fleet and teams congregated each morning and late afternoon, just as they did during Cups held here in the ‘70s and ‘80s) that the Twelves would forever proudly hold their place in history, not simply as chapters in a century and a half’s worth of tomes written about the pursuit of the Auld Mug but as living, breathing works of art, lovingly restored by owners who consider themselves privileged caretakers of the past.

'It was really special to have the 12 Metre North Americans follow the America’s Cup event,' said Dennis Williams (Hobe Sound, Fla.) whose Victory ‘83 (K-22) turned in a perfect score line over seven races to win Modern Division (for yachts built between 1974 and 1983), which also included John Curtin’s Intrepid (US-22) and Rich Moody’s Courageous (US-26). 'We were out practicing on the day of the last race, so we cut it short so everyone could watch the final race.'


Williams commended the Race Committee from Ida Lewis Yacht Club for its management of spirited racing, which on Friday consisted of three races held 'up the Bay' in a perfect northerly of 11-18 knots, as there were high wind warnings for offshore.

'In the Modern Division, the racing was tight, as it always is,' said Williams, who was awarded the Pine Brothers Trophy on Sunday at the Prize Giving held at Ida Lewis, since his was deemed the regatta’s best overall performance. 'The gap between us and Courageous was three or four seconds in the first race; a bit larger in the second and third.'

Herb Marshall’s American Eagle (US-21), the only Twelve sailing in Traditional Division (for yachts built between 1958 and 1970), started at the same time as the Moderns. Though older than the others, the Eagle—built for the 1964 Cup Defense and famous as Ted Turner’s champion in distance races as far back as the ‘70s and in 12 Metre events as recently as last year’s 12 Metre North Americans—challenged the Moderns tactically, adding some close cross-tacking to the on-water ballet. (Turner, forever a fan of the class, supplied Bison meat from his ranch for the 12 Metre dinner on Friday night.)

On Saturday, the Twelves sailed offshore on the traditional America’s Cup course where the breeze was light despite predictions for a stronger northeast gradient in the open water. One long race provided the platform for an impressive come-from-behind win by Victory ’83, before the wind took a nap.

'You had to stay in the breeze on this race,' said Williams. 'If you got in a hole, you were slow for a long time. We got rolled at the start by Intrepid, but were able to fight our way back and win the race.'

Though still shifty with varying pressure, Sunday’s breeze was better, and on the same course three races—the first two in 10-13 knots, the second in six to eight--wrapped things up.

Courageous and Intrepid took second and third, respectively, in Modern Division, while Gunther Buerman’s New Zealand (KZ-3), sailing in Grand Prix Division (for yachts built for the 1987 America's Cup), won all races against Kip Curren’s Laura (KZ-5).


The Ted Turner Trophy, awarded to individuals who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the 12 Metre class, this year went to three crew members who, according to president of the 12 Metre Americas Fleet Herb Marshall, 'have put their lives on the line for all, to allow us to race fast and free.' They were Tony Pierce, USMC, aboard Victory ’83; Sean Klaboe, US Army, aboard New Zealand; and James Heckman, USMC, who campaigned USA (US-61) last season before heading to Afghanistan.

Pine Brothers, makers of Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops, has come aboard as the 12 Metre America’s Fleet sponsor for 2013 after having sponsored the 12 Metre North Americans in 2011, 2012, and signed on again for 2013. The company’s unique 'soft drop' throat lozenge was first introduced in 1870 as America’s first-ever commercially produced cough drop and is a favorite of sailors everywhere. Pine Brothers reflects the passionate spirit shown by the 12 Metre fleet, which works to not only perpetuate 12 Metre racing but also combine racing with charitable efforts when 12 Metre website

RS Sailing 660x82Southern Spars - 100Insun - AC Program

Related Articles

Inaugural J/70 Australian Championship overall
Six races were held over the weekend of racing. Saturdays breeze was forecast for 25 knots, but abated to 15-20 knots Not since the J/24 have we seen such a worldwide response to a new one-design keelboat. Like its predecessor, the J/70 has struck a chord across a wide age and skill range and has proven itself to be an extremely versatile platform.
Posted on 19 Oct
The Nations Trophy – Spanish conquistadors
By winning both the Swan 45 and ClubSwan 42 classes, Spain gave little oxygen to the efforts of other competing nations. The individual championships were close-fought affairs. The cream would rise to the top as it always does and solid last-day scores by the class winners ensured their eventual ascendancy.
Posted on 14 Oct
Marseille One Design – Day 3 – Lake Geneva day for the GC32s
In the two following races, it was easier for Zoulou. She led at the top mark and simply extended from there. In a similar display to that of Franck Cammas’ Norauto here last year, the French team has pulled out a significant lead of 11 points going into the final day of racing tomorrow.
Posted on 14 Oct
Mandate Three-Peats J/105 Canadians
They added yet a few more pickle dishes to their already over-stuffed trophy shelves by winning the championship Host for this year’s regatta was the world-famous Royal Canadian YC, also home to the largest J/105 fleet on Lake Ontario. Sixteen boats were treated to three-days of good racing, with seven races completed by the close of racing on Sunday.
Posted on 13 Oct
MANGO Mashes 30th J-Jamboree
The Lake Winnipesaukee SA, the Winnipesaukee YC, J/80 Fleet one, and Fay's Boat Yard held the on Lake Winnipesaukee A highly talented fleet of fourteen teams participated in this year’s regatta. In the end, it was the Annapolis crew on MANGO, led by their fearless leader Ken Mangano, that won the regatta and earned the title of J/80 East Coast Champion!
Posted on 13 Oct
Awesome Storm Trysail College Big Boat Regatta
Conditions for the regatta varied between 8-10 knots of breeze on Saturday to a slightly more rugged 18-20 knots Barry Gold, Chairman of the event, said “In spite of some of early Saturday pea-soup fog and intermittent rain on Sunday, we had two days of fantastic racing, with steady and increasing breeze.
Posted on 13 Oct
The sun never sets on J's sailing worldwide
Event is hosted by the Hamble River Sailing Club, with the fleet sailing in the halo’d confines of the Southampton Water Over in the Americas, the Canadians hosted their J/105 Canadian Championship at the Royal Canadian YC in Toronto, Ontario and sailed on Lake Ontario.
Posted on 13 Oct
The Nations Trophy – Spain moves smoothly into the lead
With the event at the midway point, Spain is the leading the standings, with Italy in second and Germany in third. With a weather forecast virtually identical to yesterday, crews were forewarned of a difficult day. They gave the impression of relaxing quickly into some unexpected ‘extra-time’ ashore as the Race Committee held the crews off the water to allow pressure to build
Posted on 13 Oct
Italy takes an early lead at The Nations Trophy
A struggling breeze led to a two and a half hour delay, and once underway the racing was technically demanding In the individual championship fleets, the ClubSwan 50 Europeans are led by Cuordileone (ITA), with Porron IX (ESP) in pole position in the Swan 45 Worlds and Far Star (ITA) heading the pack in the ClubSwan 42 Europeans.
Posted on 12 Oct
French GC32s fly the tricolor at Marseille One Design
Other French crew hoping for glory on their national waters is Team ENGIE of former Class 40 champion Sébastien Rogues For more than 30 years, France has been the leading nation for multihull racing. Many the country’s top sailing stars, some of them household names such as Michel Desjoyeaux, Loick Peyron and Franck Cammas, have forged their careers competing on two or three hulls.
Posted on 12 Oct