12 Metres north of the Newport Bridge at last year’s 12 Metre North Americans. (credit SallyAnne Santos)
12 Metre North Americans – Newport, RI
The 12 Metre North Americans sponsored by Pine Brothers started Friday on Narragansett Bay and will continue through Sunday, with six of the graceful and historic 12 Metres participating.
Gunther Buerman’s New Zealand (KZ-3) and Kip Curren’s Laura (KZ-5) will start first in the Grand Prix Division (for yachts built for the 1987 America’s Cup) , while the Modern Division (for yachts built between 1974 and 1983) will start second and include John Curtin’s Intrepid (US-22), Rich Moody’s Courageous (US-26) and Dennis Williams’s Victory ‘83 (K-22). Herb Marshall’s American Eagle (US-21), which sails in Traditional Division (for yachts built between 1958 and 1970), is due to join the Moderns in their start.
Last, night The 12 Metre Yacht Club held its Annual Dinner, and members and North American competitors enjoyed lively socializing at the Clarke Cooke House before settling in for dinner and special presentations, including four-time America’s Cup defender and founder of the America’s Cup Hall of Fame Halsey Herreshoff paying special tribute to the lifetime achievements of the late 12 Metre yacht designer, sailor and America’s Cup winning skipper Ted Hood.
The 12 Metres sailed in the America’s Cup Golden Era (1958 to 1987) and have been kept alive on the racing scene by class devotees in the Americas as well as in Northern and Southern Europe.
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 possible.