Racing a 12 Metre
My next blog entry seems appropriate for the 2013 America's Cup in now in progress.
As a lifelong lover of boats, I have always been fascinated with the various sailing vessels that competed for this trophy. By sheer coincidence in 2006, I found myself in Sag Harbor, Long Island, NY, where I had an opportunity to crew aboard American Eagle, the 12 Meter Ted Turner skippered to win the 1964 America's Cup, and for 15 glorious minutes I actually took a turn at her wheel steering her upwind during one of the light air races that day. (I will add the story about how this all happened later.)
While I wished there had been a stronger breeze that summer day, the experience was nevertheless incredible. By the end of the races I had a much better feel for what it must have been like to crew on a 12 Meter in the world's most famous sailboat race. It's not every day one gets the opportunity to imagine almost first hand what it was like competing for the Cup or becoming part of American sailboat racing history. So I felt giddy with excitement the whole day. (I will soon add more about my experience sailing on board American Eagle.)
Each boat has its own web page and I have included those links under my photos of the boats below.
New York Yacht Club's yacht Columbia who the America's Cup in September 195 is here docked at the Sag Harbor YC. Karen speaks with the club member whose boat was going to act as the race committee boat for the day's competition.
While my friend Karen and I were waiting for the American Eagle crew to arrive, the club member whose boat was going to be used as the race committee boat for the day's competition told us an interesting story. He described how he had always wanted to sail to South America and almost twenty years ago he made it happen. Amazingly, despite the blaring fact he did not know how to sail at the time and had never owned a sailboat, he bought a 35' sloop anyway, and then proceeded to post a Help-Wanted advertisement in a newspaper for an experienced woman sailor. Very soon thereafter a woman answered his ad and invited him over to her house where she impressed him with her sailing knowledge and expertise. She apparently had a similar dream and had been sailing her whole life. She and he scheduled a couple of practice sails on his sailboat on Long Island Sound, and he subsequently announced he was prepared to sail south and he invited her to join him.
Before their voyage, she asked him that if any sensitive issues ever arise between the two of them during their interactions with one another, that they would discuss the issue and resolve their differences. They knew that they could not escape dealing each other while at sea on a boat, so both of them made a pact and agreed. The man said they eventually differed on many issues and frequently argued about them, but they kept their word. Despite their frequent friction between them during their month-long sail, they always found a way to resolve their differences.
The man said he learned more about himself and his companion than he had ever learned in 10 previous years of marriage. He imagined that by the end of the trip when they sold the boat in Venezuela, that both of them might simply go their separate ways, but instead they got married, have lived as husband and wife for 20 years and bought a sailboat to sail on Long Island Sound. Her determination and her willingness to work out problems between them no matter what, convinced him she was who he needed to be with in his life. He concluded his story by saying that if he had been able to escape or avoid confronting his own "issues" during their sailing trip, he knew he wouldn't have fallen in love with her and they would never have been so happy to stay together this long.
Not all of Corcoran Realty is decked out in their white Corcoran Realty and American Eagle team shirts and black hats.
Winch to left probably needed a strong grinder in a stiff breeze.
Each boat has at least three professional crew members
Folding sails can be exhausting.
With the jib folded, this crew member catches some rays
and some rest while other crew fold the mainsail.
The following has been copied from http://www.americascupcharters.com/
Newport, RI's winning fleet of America's Cup defenders & contenders
America's Cup Charters offers the largest fleet of legendary America's Cup 12 Meters in the world. We give our clients a unique
Newport experience- sailing their own America’s Cup 12 Meter regatta. For 53 years Newport, Rhode Island was home of the infamous America's Cup – the oldest active trophy in international sport. The history and prestige associated with the America’s Cup are reflected in the fleet of 12 Meter yachts we have available for charter. All of the 12 Meters in our fleet were designed and built specifically for the world's most prestigious sailing event. The America’s Cup attracts the world’s top sailors and yacht designers and is a test not only of sailing skill but also boat design. These yachts were skippered by sailing legends such as Arthur Knapp, Bus Mosbacher, Ted Hood, Bill Ficker, Ted Turner, Lowell North, and Dennis Conner. You too can follow in the footsteps of these infamous sailors and take part in an amazing sailing experience. These 68' 12 Meter class yachts have all been meticulously and lovingly restored, are Coast Guard Certified, and are available for charter. They are centrally located in Newport, RI at our own docks at the Newport Harbor Hotel Marina.
For over 27 years, owners George Hill and Herb Marshall have provided 12 Meter sailing to thousands of people. Their expertise and guidance ensures a "great ride" by all who step on board. For sailing enthusiasts or novices, it's sailing Newport style at its best. Though we specialize in America's Cup 12 Meter yachts, we also offer other classic sail and power yachts. These classics are perfect client entertaining or family celebrations or to accompany a regatta with the Twelves as spectator boats. Chartering with us is a beautiful way to spend time with friends and family while taking in the sights of scenic Narragansett Bay.
Our fleet is based in Newport, RI, but available for charter along the New England Coast and Long Island Sound to the waters of New York Harbor upon special request. America’s Cup Charters is 12 Meter sailing at its best!