Herreshoff Twelves: 100 Years on Buzzard’s Bay

Herreshoff Twelves: 100 Years on Buzzard’s Bay

Published on August 5th, 2015

H12_Start (1 of 1)
by Deborah Bennett Elfers
The Herreshoff Twelve was designed by Nathanael Herreshoff in 1914, and delivered to Massachusetts clubs in Buzzard’s Bay for racing during the summer of 1915. One hundred years later, the tradition lives on.

Beverly Yacht Club (Marion, MA) hosted the 2015 H Class Championship, attracting 36 Herreshoff Twelves to race together July 31-August 2 in classic Buzzard’s Bay tradition. With winds reaching 20 knots – gusting higher – and generous swells, it provided a familiar test for these little boats with their giant mainsails.

In the Beverly Yacht Club’s 1915 yearbook, the names of some of these first Twelve-footers were penciled in, the modest beginnings of a fabled fleet which would grow to more than 70 boats in the 1930s. Today the fleet continues to flourish.

During the Championship weekend, the Beverly, Buzzards, Quissett, Edgartown and Shelter Island fleets compete to win the Quissett Yacht Club H Class Championship Team Trophy, created in honor of Constance Prosser Mellon Burrell. This award is given to the fleet with the best ‘team’ aggregate score, and is a much-coveted prize.

This year, Team Beverly won the trophy back after several years of its having resided in the hallowed halls of the Buzzard’s Yacht Club. The Beverly, Buzzard’s and Quissett Clubs have enjoyed a fierce but friendly rivalry over many long years… with hopefully many more years to come.

Photos by Emily L. Ferguson.

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