21-Sep-2010

12 Meter North Americans

Friday, Sept . 17th ended the 12 Meter North Americans held in Newport, RI with 11 yachts competing.  This North American regatta also coincided with the America's Cup 12 Meter Era Reunion (which had over 300 participants).  America's Cup Charters American Eagle won the Classic Division with very tight racing.  With charterer Carol Swift and her all star crew including Ted Turner and Gary Jobson sailed AE to victory.  America's Cup Charters Intrepid was chartered by former America's Cup sailor Andy Rose, he fielded a team from Newport Beach, CA and sailed her very well in the Modern Division.  The out of town guests said that they had a fantastic regatta.  Some of the crew hadn't been on 12 Meters before, not only was Intrepid a great ride, but the close racing, fine weather and social events surrounding the North Americans and the 12 Meter Era Reunion made for a most memorable week.  

Day 1 was held offshore in strong and gusty NW winds (but flat water) providing challenging conditions - yet GREAT sailing! Day 2 also held offshore 10-15 knots southerly in relatively flat water (the swell from hurricane Igor was beginning to be felt).  Day 3 was inside the Bay, starting with light breezes but continued to build for better racing.  The final race of the day was the Candy Store Cup which starts all divisions of 12's on the same line, around some marks with a finish off Bannisters Wharf in Newport Harbor.  With the strong Northerly and the International Boat Show (extended docks and extremely busy harbor) the finish line was moved to the mouth of the harbor - the 12's then completed a picturesque finish lap around the harbor to the delight of spectator fleet and boat show attendees!

Saturday, Sept. 18th over 300 12 Meter Era Reunion attendees either jumped onboard 12 Meters to race or boarded a spectator yacht to watch the 12's race. The start was off Goat Island with a short windward leg  toward Fort Adams, followed by a close reach to R6 just beyond Castle Hill, then down wind  under the Newport Bridge  to "EP" with a finish at the mouth of the harbor.  A great sight of all the 12's with multi-generations of 12 Meter sailors enjoying another lap in Newport.  The dinner at the NYYC was a attended by 650 12 Meter enthusiast.  America's Cup luminaries Ted Turner, Ted Hood, Gary Jobson, Dennis Connor, Bill Flicker, Russel Coats, Bill Koch were among the attendees.  America's Cup Hall of Fame also inducted 6 new members whom were introduced to the audience with a rousing applause.

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