This July 8-13, Newport, Rhode Island, will be reliving its storied history when the Ida Lewis Yacht Clubs hosts the 12-Metre World Championships. For two and a half decades, from 1968 to 1983, Newport hosted the America’s Cup back when it was sailed aboard these iconic boats, and their return is sure to be one of the most celebrated events of this season. Spectators will have the chance to see a number of legendary participants, including America’s Cup champions Intrepid (1967, 1970), Courageous (1974, 1977) and Freedom (1980).
The fleet will be gathering from all across the world, with competitors coming from as far away as Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Norway. The 112-year-old class will be split into four divisions, Grand Prix, Modern, Traditional and Vintage. Racing will be held over five days on courses reminiscent of those sailed during the Cup era, 24 miles in length off Brenton Reef.
Whether remembering them from their Cup days or (if you’re on the younger side) having heard old salts wax nostalgic about the glory days of American sailing, every sailor knows that 12-Metres are in a league of their own and seeing them race on Newport’s storied waters is not to be missed. Spectators will be able to watch the boats from the shore in such locations as Fort Adams, Castle Hill and Brenton Point, as well as from Jamestown at the Beavertail Lighthouse. Race organizers have also been discussing how best to organize the spectator fleet that is sure to attend, although details were not available at press time.
For more information, visit 12mrworlds.com.