Article By Connie Bischoff
NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND (September 17, 2010) – It is no surprise that Newport, RI is the epicenter of the 12 Metre “world” this week. It is also not shocking that Ted Turner and his former America’s Cup Tactician Gary Jobson, USSAILING’s current President, revealed that they still have their sailing skills after 33 years. The team and their able crew showed their expertise during the 3 day 2010 North Americans, earning 5 bullets in regatta and winning their division. The many on-the-water spectators included a whale. This was the perfect kickoff to the 2010 America’s Cup 12 Metre Era Reunion presented by Rolex and hosted by New York Yacht Club which extends through Sunday, September 19 at New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court.
The NAs took place out on Long Island Sound with the social events held at New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court. The PRO for the regatta was America’s Cup veteran Sam Wakefield. Watching the Twelves sail out brought back old memories of the America’s Cup which was raced in 12 Metres in Newport from 1958 to 1983. There were 11 of these classic boats in four divisions competing in the regatta.
In the oldest Vintage Division (also known as Division D consisting of 12 Metres built between 1918 and 1937), Northern Light ~ US 14 triumphed. She is owned by Elizabeth Tiedemann was and sailed by Kip Curren. The second place boat was Onawa ~ US 6. These beautiful wooden boats were built in 1938 and 1928 respectively. They showed that classic boats can still be super competitive.
The next oldest class, Division C, is the Traditional Class made up of boats built from 1958 to 1970. The winner was American Eagle ~ US 21, owned by Herb Marshall, chartered by Carol Swift with Ted Turner as the skipper. 1958 America’s Cup winner Columbia ~ US 16 and Easterner ~ US 18 followed closely.
Division B, Modern is made up of boats built between 1974 and 1983. The winner, Courageous had previously won the America’s Cup in 1974 and 1977 (with Ted Turner as the skipper in ‘77). In the 2010 NAs, Courageous was followed by Freedom ~ US 30, Victory ’83 ~ K 22 and Intrepid ~ US 22.
Grand Prix, the newest Division A, is made up of boats built for the 1983 America’s Cup. USA ~ US 61, with owner Guy Heckman at the helm, dominated the regatta with 7 bullets…one in each race. The other competitor in this class was America II ~ US 46.
The 2010 12 Metre North Americans concluded with the famous Candy Store Cup where the entire fleet (boats in all four divisions) raced from the Sound past Castle Hill and Ft. Adams into Newport Harbor to finish at Bannister’s Wharf. This is a spectacular race to see and the winning boat enjoys a magnum of champagne as they cruise around the harbor (known as the “harbor burn”) while they celebrate their victory. The victorious boat this year was Courageous.
The 2010 12 Metre NAs enjoyed fierce competition and great camaraderie as these big and beautiful boats sailed across the royal blue waves of Narragansett Bay. It was not just a great photo op; it was a perfect example of the “class slogan”…12 Metres…still elegant, still racing.
For More Photos of The 12 Metre North American Championships and The Candy Store Cup Click Here