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With World Championship on horizon, 12 Metre North Americans to be hotly contested

by Barby MacGowan 17 Sep 2018 04:20 PDT 20-23 September 2018
2017 Newport Trophy Regatta © Stephen R Cloutier

From Friday through Sunday, September 21-23, nine historic 12 Metre yachts (including four past winners of the America's Cup) and 150 of some of the world's top sailors will be racing on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay in quest of the title 12 Metre North American Champion.

In addition to being the capstone of the 2018 12 Metre racing season, the 2018 North American Championship will be the last major regatta before the 2019 World Championship season, which includes the 2019 12 Metre World Championship scheduled for next July 8-13 in Newport, R.I.

"The North Americans will be the last chance for the teams to identify opportunities to fine tune their boats and develop a work plan for the off-season to find that illusive extra tenth of a knot," said Event Chair Peter Gerard, who also has spearheaded the organization of next year's Worlds.

Competing in Traditional Division will be Defending Champion US-17 Weatherly (Jay Schachne, Barrington, R.I.); US-16 Columbia (Kevin Hagerty/Anthony Chiurco, Boston, Mass./Newport, R.I.); USA-19 Nefertiti (John Wullschleger, Sarasota, Fla.), USA 18 Easterner (Scott Bernard, Annapolis, Md.); and US-21 American Eagle (Bob Morton/Cindy DeLotto, Newport, R.I./Edgartown, Mass.). Competing in Modern Division will be Defending Champion KA-10 Challenge XII (Jack LeFort, Jamestown, R.I.); US-26 Courageous (Ralph Isham/Steve Glaskock/Alexander Auersperg/Ward Marsh, Newport, R.I.); US-30 Freedom (Charles Robertson, Guilford, Conn.); and K-22 Victory '83 (Dennis Williams, Hobe Sound, Fla./Newport, R.I.

Eight races are scheduled. Courses will be windward-leeward, and at the end of each day the Race Committee may run a "race to the harbor" (that will not count as part of the North American Championship scoring).

Event Host Ida Lewis Yacht Club, whose long association with the 12 Metre Class began in 1958 when the boats were first selected for the America's Cup, will likewise host the 2019 12 Metre World Championship where organizers are expecting 22 plus entries, making it the largest ever gathering of these historic yachts in the U.S. and the second largest gathering ever in the world. (The largest was the America's Cup Jubilee held on the waters off Cowes, England in 2001.).

"The U.S. fleet has been gearing up for this historic regatta for almost four years," said Gerard. "During that time at least five of the 12 Metres have been completely renovated, with the balance of the fleet undergoing major upgrades."

For more information on the 2018 12 Metre North American Championship, go to www.12mrclass.com/events-detail/262-id.209715236.html

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