Backbone of the 12 Metre Class

Published on August 23rd, 2021

While today’s modern America’s Cup boats have little future beyond the landfill, J-Class and IACC yachts continue to ply the waters for recreation and competition, but it is the 12 Metre organization that thumps its drum the loudest.

After navigating two years of shifting circumstances caused by COVID-19, racing at the 2021 Evli 12 Metre World Championship (postponed from 2020) was held August 16-21 in Helsinki, Finland.

The region’s capricious weather presented a wide range of wind speeds and sea states to challenge the fortitude, skill and patience of the nine teams who had arrived at the regatta from Denmark, Germany and Norway

All the boats arrived on their own keels after traversing hundreds of nautical miles on the Baltic Sea. This in itself was a rare and impressive achievement for the fleet of Vintage yachts that range in age from 82 to 103 years old.

But no matter the conditions the competition, camaraderie and Finnish hospitality could not be dampened at the tremendously successful event that also celebrated a milestone anniversary for event host Nyländska Jaktklubben (NJK), the oldest registered sports club and largest yacht club in Finland.

After a third in the first race, Vim (US-15) won the next four races to take control of the lead, and when the final scores were tallied, Patrick Howaldt’s team reigned supreme completing the series with a total score of just 8 points over the 7-race series to claim the 12mR World Championship crown.

The event proved that the Vintage 12mR Class is absolutely thriving in the Baltic. The boats and crews compete at the highest levels while the owners and caretakers preserve the iconic heritage of these breath-taking and legendary sailing yachts.

“This Vintage 12mR fleet is the most widely-traveled and every boat has a fascinating history,” observed Class President Paul Buttrose. “Adding meticulous preparation and such a high standard of competition secures their recognition as ‘the backbone of our Class’.”

The 2022 World Championships returns to the USA when it is held September 19-24 in Newport, RI. “We expect an enthusiastic response and a strong turnout by our dedicated 12mR fleet members who always relish sailing out of Newport,” said Buttrose.

For additional details and photos, click here.

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