All Roads Lead to Newport

The International 12 Metre Class has announced the Road to the Worlds, a 900-day schedule of international regattas and social events leading up to the 2019 12 Metre World Championship in Newport, Rhode Island.

Scheduled for July 15–21, 2019, and set to coincide with celebrations marking the 175th anniversary of the New York Yacht Club, the 2019 12 Metre World Championship is expected to attract more than 30 historic 12 Metres. Participating Twelves will come from the Americas Fleet—which includes a number of Newport-based vintage, traditional, modern, and grand prix 12 Metres—as well as from the Northern and Southern Europe Fleets.

“The prospect of a Jubilee-caliber event in Newport, hosted by the New York Yacht Club, has generated incredible enthusiasm on the part of past, present, and potential 12 Metre owners and enthusiasts,” said Peter Gerard, vice president of the Americas Fleet and chair of the 2019 Worlds. “The goal is to encourage more participation by existing 12 Metre owners and to provide an exciting, competitive, and social program to attract new owners and charterers to this historic class,” he said. “Like the 2001 America’s Cup Jubilee, when 38 Twelves gathered in Cowes, England, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the America’s Cup, the 2019 12 Metre Worlds will be an event that fans of this historic class will not want to miss. The racing and social events in Newport will be second to none as part of the New York Yacht Club’s 175th Anniversary Regatta.”

Designed to the International Rule, the first 12 Metres were built in 1907 and selected for Olympic competition in 1908, 1912, and 1920. Prior to World War II, the Twelves were highly sought-after racer cruisers, both in Europe and America. Chosen to replace the massive J-Class yachts for the post-war revival of the America’s Cup competition in 1958, the Twelves then became synonymous with the Cup and the New York Yacht Club until 1983, when Royal Perth Yacht Club’s Australia II bested New York Yacht Club’s Liberty to end the 132-year winning streak that is the longest in sporting history. The Twelves competed for the coveted Auld Mug for the last time in 1987, on the waters off Perth, Australia.

According to Gerard, “The Twelves have played an important part in yachting history, and no place appreciates them more than Newport and the New York Yacht Club.”