America’s Cup history will repeat itself this week when the 2012 12 Metre North American Championships feature two of sailing’s most famous skippers,
Ted Turner and Dennis Conner, reuniting with their winning tacticians, Gary Jobson and Tom Whidden, respectively. Turner, an American media mogul and philanthropist who is also an America’s Cup Legend, will sail American Eagle, in the Traditional Division at the regatta, while Conner, affectionately known as “Mr. America’s Cup,” will sail KZ-7 (Kiwi Magic) in the Grand Prix division.
The three-day regatta takes place September 21-23 in Newport, Rhode Island, with racing starting each day at 11 a.m. on Rhode Island Sound, where the Cup races were staged from 1930 until 1983. The nine participating 12 Metres will be berthed at Bannister’s Wharf, reminiscent of the glory days when America’s Cup legends roamed the docks there after racing each day.
Turner has won the 12 Metre North Americans for the last two years here, sailing American Eagle as he did in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s to win most of the world’s greatest ocean races with her. His performance in 2011 earned him first place in the Traditional Division as well as the Pine Brothers Trophy for Best Overall Performance.
Conner, a four time America’s Cup Winner (1974, ‘80, ‘87, ‘88), will have an impressive crew aboard KZ-7 (Kiwi Magic), which is currently owned by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Foundation. Whidden, one of the most experienced America’s Cup sailors in the world, has campaigned with Conner for three of Conner’s America’s Cup victories (1980, 1987 and 1988), while three other crew members have also sailed with Conner during various America’s Cup campaigns.
In addition to American Eagle and KZ-7, Columbia, Courageous, Intrepid, KZ-5, USA, Victory ’83 and Weatherly will be racing. Other celebrity yachtsmen participating include America’s Cup veterans Jim Gretzky, Andy MacGowan, Tom O’Brien, Dave Pedrick, Scott Perry, Reggie Pierce, Richie Sayer and Bill Shore.
12m Entries - Name, Sail Number, Skipper, Hometown
Grand Prix - yachts built for the 1987 America's Cup
KZ-5 ~ KZ5, Kip Curren, Newport, R.I.
KZ-7 (Kiwi Magic) ~ KZ7, Dennis Conner, San Diego, Calif.
USA ~ US 61, Andy MacGowan, Middletown, R.I.
Modern - yachts built between 1974 and 1983
Courageous ~ US 26, Ralph Isham, New York, N.Y.
Intrepid ~ US 22, Jack Curtin, New York, N.Y.
Victory '83 ~ K 21, Dennis Williams, Hobe Sound, Fla.
Traditional - yachts built between 1958 and 1970
American Eagle/Hope for the Warriors ~ US 21, Ted Turner, Atlanta, Ga.
Columbia ~ US 16, Alain Hanover, Weston, Mass.
Weatherly ~ US 17, George Hill, Newport, R.I.
18 September 2012 20:17