NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND (December 8, 2016) – 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 what will arguably be one of the most highly anticipated Metre yachting events since the America’s Cup Jubilee in 2001: the 2019 12 Metre World Championship in Newport, R.I.
Scheduled for July 15-21, 2019, 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 other America’s Cup-era Twelves from around the U.S.; the Northern and Southern Europe Fleets, which consist primarily of Vintage and Antique Twelves; and the southern continents.
“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, noting that the last 12 Metre World Championship was held in 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.
The ROAD TO THE WORLDS is a series of competitions, global in nature, that will be a constant “work in progress,” revolving around mainstay events in Europe and at least 16 major regattas in North America.
“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,” said Gerard. “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 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.
The 2019 12 Metre World Championship will revisit those halcyon days of the America’s Cup when glamorous social events, the traditions of sailing, and the visions of Twelves cutting a swath on Narragansett Bay earned the class an unrivaled place in both the history of the City by the Sea and the America’s Cup, still the sport’s most illustrious event.
“The Twelves have played an important part in yachting history, and no place appreciates them more than Newport and the New York Yacht Club,” said Gerard. “The ROAD TO THE WORLDS and the 2019 12 Metre World Championship are the best ways we know to commemorate that appreciation and present a memorable celebration of the class.”
The ROAD TO THE WORLDS schedule in 2017 starts with the Newport Metre Fest, June 9-11, scheduled to coincide with the New York Yacht Club 163rd Annual Regatta.