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New Super 12s promise exciting racing

by Meg Ehman on 30 Jan 2016
Super 12 lead designer Britton Ward (Farr Yacht Design, Annapolis), Project Manager Randy Moreno, and Westerly Yachts Co-Owner Lynn Bowser at tonight’s Cup-date presentation at Balboa Yacht Club in Newport Beach, CA. Ward announced that the new Super 12 yachts will be, on average, a minute a mile faster than a classic 12 Meter yacht. San Francisco Yacht Racing Challenge
Britton Ward, the lead designer for the new Super 12 Class, says the racing yachts will sail on average one minute per mile faster than the International 12 Meter Class yachts that raced in the America’s Cup from 1958 through 1987.

Ward, of Farr Yacht Design, gave updated statistics Thursday night during a presentation in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Balboa Yacht Club.

The Super 12s will compete annually in the San Francisco Yacht Racing Challenge for the Super 12 Cup beginning in July 2017, returning dignity, style and stability to yacht racing in that reliably windy and iconically beautiful venue.
The Super 12s are a modern take on the classic 12 Meter yachts. A new, rule-legal 12 Meter has not been built in three decades.

“The Super 12s are one-design 65-foot monohulls designed by our team at Farr Yacht Design in Annapolis,” Ward said. “The Super 12s are an homage, a tribute, to the International 12 Meter Class, inspired by the elegance of their aesthetic. While a Super 12 will resemble a 12 Meter from the waterline up, the underbody and rig will be modern.”
The Super 12s will be built at Westerly Marine in Orange County, California. Westerly Marine co-owner Lynn Bowser said, “The Super 12s will cost considerably less than boats of equal size, such as the TP52, VOR 65 or Maxi 72. We are doing everything within reason to control costs.”

Super 12 Project Manager Randy Moreno added that the competitive life of the Super 12 will be more than 20 years. Moreno said, “My experience with yachts of similarly robust design and construction, such as the Farr 40, suggests that 20 years is conservative.”
Westerly Marine co-owner Steve Lee added, “The boats will be exceptionally strong and built to exacting standards, with strict one- design tolerances and controls, assuring close racing at minimal cost.”

Regatta CEO Tom Ehman, a former long-time America’s Cup executive, led the Balboa Yacht Club presentation, updating the crowd on plans and progress. He quoted a recent post from the forums of a popular online sailing website, saying, “I couldn’t have said it better myself”:

'If you have never sailed a 12 Meter you have missed out, especially in a breeze. Throwing those beasts around the racecourse is a lot of fun. Also no lifelines [means] no guts-out hiking. TE knows what he wants. He doesn't want a TP52 with skinny all pros. He wants to create a class doing what he and many others had fun doing for years, racing meter-style boats. All the Meter classes still have their following. A well practiced amateur team can do well in a Twelve, with the balance of age and sex in each team, TE is obviously looking to create a class like the Twelve [where] not everyone onboard has to be a 28-42 [year old] 6'2' male. Obviously a few of those on the grinders will help! So you create a boat that thunders up wind like a Twelve, goes better down wind — surfs unlike a Twelve (they just sink) and is built like a brick [expletive deleted] house (unlike a TP52) so they last a long time. I would definitely sign up for sailing something like that in San Francisco.’’

The Super 12 Cup will be financially stable, environmentally friendly and socially responsible. The local not-for-profit event organizers are working closely with community leaders to use existing facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area, minimize event costs, and provide fun and entertaining activities to the public at no cost to the city.

Ehman outlined plans for public interaction, including a “Pit Row” where all the yachts will dock together each night during the regatta, with a race village incorporated into existing facilities, and free public race viewing from Marina Green.

Ehman also announced that the race course will be in San Francisco Bay between the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and Pier 39. “San Francisco Bay is one of the best sailing venues on the planet. The Super 12s will be elegant yet fast and powerful. With July’s reliably strong wind, and race courses close to shore, the racing will be exciting for sailing and non-sailing fans alike.”
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