Centennial celebration for 12 Metre Class

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The International 12 Metre Class recently celebrated its 100th birthday with a four-regatta 2007 Centennial Tour where 18 boats competed.

The International 12 Metre Class recently celebrated its 100th birthday with a four-regatta 2007 Centennial Tour where 18 boats competed.

Winners in the Grand Prix division were Wright on White, owned by Brazilian Roger Wright; in the Modern division, American Ernest K. Jacquet’s Freedom; in the Classic Traditional division, Ikra, owned by Yves-Marie Morault of France, and in the Classic Vintage division, Trivia, owned by Germany’s Wilfried Beeck.

The regattas were hosted by Valencia, Spain’s Federacion Vela de la Comunidad Valenciana; Porto Cervo’s Yacht Club, Costa Smeralda, in Sardinia, Italy; France’s Yacht Club de Cannes, and the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, France. More results as well as a searchable database, photos and an international racing schedule are at www.12mrclass.com.

Trivia, built in 1939 by Camper & Nicholson and designed by Charles Nicholson, was the oldest winning 12 Metre.Her owner, Wilfried Beeck, is the 12 Metre Class vice president for the northern Europe fleet. According to Wilfried, “When Trivia was built in 1937, few people could have imagined that 70 years later she would still be racing in top condition with almost the same fleet. For me, that’s part of the joy of sailing a 12 Metre. That these boats bring a beauty and history to the race course that can only be compared to the J-Class yachts. Winning the Centennial Tour in 2007 makes me just as proud as the original owner must have been when he won the King’s Cup in 1937.”

Of the 185 12 Metres named since 1907, 73 still sail and 40 were certified to race in 2008. Newport, R.I., has 18, and there is a large group in northern Europe. Known for their America’s Cup participation from 1958 to 1983, the 12 Metres are split into five divisions in four geographic fleets.