Champions Named at 12 Metre Worlds

Footage of the 2019 12 Metre World Championship weekend in Newport, Rhode Island.

July 13th—the fifth and final day of the 2019 12 Metre World Championship hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club and organized by the Twelve Metre Association’s (ITMA) Americas Fleet—couldn’t have been any more exciting.

With Nyala (US-12) having clinched her series early in the Vintage Division after a sweep of two races on July 12, it came down to a single race to determine World Champions in Grand Prix, Modern, and Traditional Divisions. A 12 Metre Spirit Division also sailed, but with no World Championship at stake. Competing in total were 21 historic 12 Metres from six countries—the largest fleet ever gathered in North America.

In the fiercely contested eight-boat Modern Division, the stakes were high for Challenge XII (KA-10), owned and skippered by Jack LeFort of Jamestown, R.I. The evening before the race, the team was disqualified after a protest hearing with Courageous (US-26)— sailed by a Newport contingent led by Ralph Isham, Steve Glascock, Alexander Auersperg, Ward Marsh, and Art Santry (helmsman)—and fell from first overall. During the Championship, Challenge XII closed out Courageous at the start and went on to win the race with a buffer of three boats on Enterprise. (Enterprise and Courageous wound up second and third, respectively.)

Challenge XII (KA-10) owner/helmsman Jack LeFort (second from left) celebrates victory and a World Championship title after today’s final race of the 2019 12 Metre World Championship. (Courtesy of Ian Roman)

In the Grand Prix Division, where four boats from three countries competed, Denmark’s Legacy (KZ-5), helmed by Thomas Andersen with Jesper Bank serving as tactician, took the World Championship title with a one-point lead over New Zealand (KZ-3), owned by Gunther & Maggie Buerman of Newport, R.I. and co-helmed by fellow Newporter Brad Read and Lexi Gahagan of Wilmington, Del.

Clockwise from top: Crew work on Legacy (KZ-5); Legacy celebrates at the awards ceremony; Columbia (US-16); Challenge XII (KA-10) in its final race; Mauro Pelaschier, helmsman of Nyala (US-12). (Courtesy of Ian Roman)

Columbia’s (US-16) owner and tactician, Kevin Hegarty of Newport with Anthony Chiurco of Princeton, N.J. at the helm took the World title in the Traditional Division after winning the final race.

In the 12 Metre Spirit Division, America II (US-42), skippered by Michael Fortenbaugh of Jersey City, N.J., won by one point over America II (US-46), its stable mate from the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation, skippered by Scott Curtis of New York, NY.

Clockwise from top: Vema III (N-11) in the 12 Metre Parade; Earl McMillen of Onawa (US-6) in parade dress; Courageous (US-26) accepts Waypoints Series Trophy; Awards Ceremony at the International Yacht Restoration School.
(Courtesy of Ian Roman)