With 52 days to the start, International Rule boat sailors from Annapolis to Ottawa, Concord to Cambridge and Seattle to Sarasota have already registered to compete at Newport MetreFest 2017!
Among the earliest entries in the historic fleet are Nefertiti, US-19, the first 12mR designed by Frederick “Ted” Hood for the 1962 America’s Cup Defender Trials and the innovative American Eagle, US-21, Ted Turner’s 1964 Cup hopeful.
Cherokee, US-53, the “newest” 6mR, a rebuild of Olin Stephens famous 1930 design launched in 2009, is ready to represent the local (Newport, RI) fleet, while the “modern” Discovery, US-109, prepares for her return to Narragansett Bay.
The 2.4mR fleet is expected to be the most populace with entries already received from both coasts of the United States and Canada.
If you are ready to join this historic fleet of International Rule yachts register here.
Stay tuned for more entry updates in the days and weeks ahead!
We have made tremendous progress with plans for Newport MetreFest 2017, now just 3 months away! The racing schedule is set with 3 days of sailing (June 9–11) for all classes with the New York Yacht Club running races for the 12s, 8s and 6s and Ida Lewis Yacht Club officiating for the large 2.4 Metre fleet.
Docking arrangements are in place for all competitors at Sail Newport’s Fort Adams facilities. The primary objective of MetreFest is to promote all International Rule boats. By having our historic Metre yachts docked en masse we hope to create a powerful impression and garner exposure benefiting all of our Classes. We also envision a fun festival atmosphere among the competitors and an opportunity to engage the public with an up-close look at our historic metre boats before and after racing.
The fun begins on Thursday night with a Welcome part at Ida Lewis Yacht Club, on Friday evening Sail Newport will be our host with a cocktail party adjacent to our docked racing fleet. All MetreFest participants are invited to New York Yacht Club’s Annual Regatta party on Saturday night and again for Sunday’s prize-giving, both held at Harbour Court. All in all, a robust but convenient social schedule for participants and their guests.
We continue to field inquires through our MetreFest website and Facebook page. Please help us continue to spread the word by sharing our links with your sailing friends and social outlets. And if you are able to volunteer prior to or during the event, please contact me. With your help, we’ll kick off the 2017 sailing season with a spectacular showing at Newport MetreFest! — Jamie Hilton
New Owner Preparing Historic Racing Yacht for Competition
NEWPORT, R.I. (February 16, 2017) – The 12 Metre yacht Freedom has been purchased by Charles A. Robertson (Guilford, Conn.), a well-known East Coast sailor who has been active in a number of America’s Cup and 12-Metre campaigns and is well known for skippering his Frers 75 Maxi Cannonball and a series of other like-named boats to victory in various one-design and offshore racing events.
Robertson, a former trustee of the New York Yacht Club, plans to race Freedom in the boat’s home waters of Newport, R.I. starting in June. He will participate in the International 12 Metre Class’s recently announced “Road to the Worlds” series that culminates in the 2019 12-Metre World Championship, which is scheduled to coincide with celebrations marking the 175th anniversary of the New York Yacht Club.
Designed by Olin Stephens and constructed at Minneford Yacht Yard in City Island, NY, Freedom was the last yacht to successfully defend the America’s Cup for the New York Yacht Club by defeating Australia in 1980 in four out of five races. After the 1983 America’s Cup, she was sold to France where she stayed for many years before returning to the U.S. in 1999. Currently, Freedom is at Pilot’s Point Marina in Westbrook, Conn. where she is undergoing substantial work. Along with getting new sails, instruments and electronics, she will be newly painted to look similar to how she did in 1980.
“Olin was a dear friend of mine, and Freedom was the last 12 Metre he designed,” said Robertson. “He had a special affection for this boat, and so do I.” Robertson added that – like his past Cannonball campaigns – this one will involve a contingent of “young, enthusiastic sailors who are predominantly amateur.”
In the Road to the Worlds series, Freedom will sail in Modern Division (for 12 Metres built between 1968 and 1983) against Victory 83, Challenge 12, Lionheart and the only two America’s Cup yachts to win the Cup twice, Intrepid* and Courageous.
The Road to the Worlds schedule for 2017 starts with the Newport MetreFest, June 9-11, which coincides with the New York Yacht Club 163rd Annual Regatta.
Welcome to MetreFest, an exciting new regatta for International Rule sailing yachts including 2.4mR, 6mR, 8mR and 12mRs. Three days of racing, hosted by New York Yacht Club, with support from Ida Lewis Yacht Club and Sail Newport, will be run in conjunction with NYYC’s Annual Regatta from June 9-11, 2017. Sail Newport will provide dockage for all of the boats at their Fort Adams facility, enabling both sailors and spectators to walk the docks and appreciate the formula designs from vintage through more modern boats up close. An opening social event, proximate to the docked fleet at Fort Adams, is scheduled for the evening of June 8. Regatta and Social event registration details for participants will follow. Admission for the public to walk the docks (before and after racing daily) will be free of charge.