An Epic Worldwide Racing Weekend in the International 12mR Class

Last weekend the International Twelve Metre Class kicked off its 2023 sailing season in earnest with a total of twenty-six 12mRs sailing in 3 iconic regattas worldwide. ITMA President, Chris Winter said: “We couldn’t be more pleased than to see such strong participation and high-level competition among all three of our international fleets—based in Northern Europe, Southern Europe and the Americas respectively.”

CONTACT: SallyAnne Santos, ITMA Communications Director; +1 917-330-1730

JUNE 14, 2023 (Newport, RI) Last weekend the International Twelve Metre Class kicked off its 2023 sailing season in earnest with a total of twenty-six 12mRs sailing in 3 iconic regattas worldwide. ITMA President, Chris Winter said: “We couldn’t be more pleased than to see such strong participation and high-level competition among all three of our international fleets—based in Northern Europe, Southern Europe and the Americas respectively.” Among the motivating factors for the strong turnout is the Class-wide competition for the prestigious Coupe de France (2 of the weekend’s regattas will be also be scored toward that series) and in preparation for the 2023 12mR World Championship to be held in Newport (RI) next month.

In addition to the 169th NYYC Annual Regatta, where eleven 12mRs sailed in 3 groups for the Americas fleet, the Robbe & Berking Classic organized by the Flensburger Segel-Club hosted nine Vintage 12mRs of the Northern European fleet. At the 20th edition of the Porquerolles Classic at Hyères, France six 12mRs were on the starting line last weekend— a Mediterranean 12mR turnout not seen in recent history. Please scroll for regatta wrap-ups, results and photos from all three 12mR fleets below.


The 20th edition of the Porquerolles Classic was held at the Yacht Club de Porquerolles (Hyères, FRA) from June 8 – 11, 2023. Six twelve metres built between 1929- 1986 represented a 57-year cross-section of 12mR development. They were, Vintage: La Spina (I-1); Traditional: Ikra (K-3); Modern: France (F-1); and Grand Prix: South Australia (KA-8), French Kiss (F-7) and Kiwi Magic (KZ-7).

Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget / YC de Porquerolles
Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget / YC de Porquerolles

On this occasion, Johan Blach Petersen’s Kiwi Magic (KZ-7)—of the Baltic fleet– claimed the podium position by sailing a perfect regatta over 3 races and set a new record for finish time in the Around the Island Race! France1 (F-1), skippered by Paul Ayasse took second with 6 points and South Australia (KA-8) skippered by Paola Amar claimed 3rd place at her first 12mR event.

A breeze from the east, bright sunshine, blue skies… the conditions were ideal for this final day of the Porquerolle’s. The 50 sailboats set off at 11 a.m. for a superb 11.3-mile course around the island of Porquerolles… By crossing the finish line in 01h 56min Kiwi Magic set a new record for the lap of the Island on the Porquerolle’s Classic.

YC de Porquerolle Organizers

This regatta is an opportunity to get acquainted with the body of water of the 2024 12mR World Championship. The chance also to discover the beauty of the landscape, the idyllic conditions of navigation and the hosting quality. Six boats responded positively to the invitation and put on a great show on the water… The Yacht Club de Porquerolles, Club Allié of the Yacht Club de France, is very involved in the 55th Coupe de France, notably by organizing two events of Act 2 in June 2024. These were the first regattas for South Australia (KA-8) since her arrival in France and the first 12 mJI races for her young helmswoman Paola Amar.

Coupe de France Organizers
2023 Porquerolles Classic 12mR Scoring

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Yacht Club de Porquerolles

ABOUT: The Porquerolles Classique was born from the celebration of the centenary of MoonBeam of Fife in 2003. Building on its success, it has now become a key stop on the circuit of the Association Française des Yachts de Tradition. The Porquerolles Yacht Club continues to develop in a friendly and convivial atmosphere. It now has nearly 200 members who continue to share the same objective of promoting the body of water and this magnificent site that surrounds it. Aware of the challenges for the life of the sea and the coast, they are also committed to an approach to preserving the environment and contributing to the sustainable development of the island.


Nine Vintage Twelves raced at a perennial Baltic fleet favorite; the Robbe & Berking Classic organized by the Flensburger Segel-Club e.V. from June 7-11, 2023. The R&B venue is special place for 12mR yachts, many of them having enjoyed restorations and refits at the world-class Robbe & Berking Shipyard. In all, 9 races were sailed over 4 days by teams representing Sweden, Germany and Denmark..

Northern Light (US-14), skippered by Magnus Holmberg (Sweden) won the regatta handily with 5 firsts scoring just 13* points over the 9-race regatta, but not without stiff competition. Christopher Avenarius’ Nini Anker (N-15) finished second overall with 15* points including 2 firsts. Vim (US-15), skippered by Patrick Howaldt claimed third place with 20* points. (* w/ one throw out race)

photo: Haiko Gruerich, 2023 Robbe & Berking Classic
photo: Haiko Gruerich, 2023 Robbe & Berking Classic

The new projects in the Baltic fleet demonstrated their enormous commitment to the Class with very well-prepared yachts crewed by extremely high-level sailors. Northern Light was sailed without any mistakes and was the clear winner of the RBC Sterling Cup! Sailed by a high-caliber Corinthian crew under the leadership of its owner Hans Eliasson with Magnus Holmberg on the helm and World Match Race Tour winner, Bjørn Hansen, demonstrated the enormous potential of US-14 optimized for top performance!

Nini Anker (N-15)–the Johan Anker designed yacht built in 2015– proved to be in perfect balance and fast in both light and heavy conditions. It is fantastic to see the level of commitment the teams are putting into the yachts; they are all fast and very well sailed.

Patrick Howaldt, ITMA VP, Northern European fleet

In Baltic Handicap scoring results, Thomas Müller’s Jenetta (K-1) finished in first place followed by Joachim Arndt’s Anita (G-2) and Christopher Avinarius’ Nini Anker (N-15) Rounding out the fleet, adding to the extremely competitive mix were: Anitra (US-5), Thea (D-1), Sphinx (G-4) and Flica II (K-14).

2023 Robbe & Berking Classic - 12mR Cumulative Results
2023 Robbe & Berking Classic – 12mR Cumulative Results

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ABOUT: Formed in 1890, The Flensburg Sailing Club is one of the most renowned organizers of international regattas, European and World Championships.


In Newport (RI), eleven 12mRs were split among 3 racing groups (Traditional, Modern and “Classics 1”) at the New York Yacht Club’s 169th Anniversary Regatta from June 8 – 11, 2023. In Friday’s Around the Island Race, Peter Askew’s Enterprise (US-27), Takashi Okura’s Freedom (US-30), and Courageous (US-26), sailed by Dawn Riley’s Oakcliff Sailing Team finished 1-2-3 in the Modern fleet.. In the Traditional fleet, Friday’s winner was Columbia (US-16,) helmed by Anthony Chiruco, followed by American Eagle. (US-21), skippered by Robert Morton. Steve Eddleston’s Weatherly (US-19) grabbed third place and Jack Klinck’s Nefertiti (US-19) rounded out this Division.

Three of the 12mRs, Gleam (US-11), Onawa (US-6) and Intrepid (US-22) raced in Class 1 under CRF handicap ratings. In Friday’s Around the Island race Jack Curtin’s Intrepid captured first place; US-6 and US-11 finished in third and fourth places respectively. Over the two-day series Chris Culver skippered Onawa to first place in the Classics 1 Division. Tied with 7 points, Andy Tyska’s Gleam claimed third overall followed by Intrepid in fourth position.

Photo: Daniel Forster / NYYC, 2023 Annual Regatta
Photo: Daniel Forster / NYYC, 2023 Annual Regatta

According to ITMA’s Americas VP and Weatherly (US-19) owner, Steve Eddleston: “Both days of racing in the Traditional Division were exhilarating, exhausting and fun.” On Saturday, Weatherly (US-17) and American Eagle (US-21) each won one race— resulting in a 3-way, 4-point tie with Columbia (US-16). On Sunday, Columbia (US-16) claimed line honors in both races while Jack Klink’s Nefertiti (US-19) took a second. Eddleston added, “Overall the finish times were very close, this underscores a competitive fleet preparing for the 2023 12mRWorlds in Newport next month.”

In the 2-Day series, finish position mirrored Friday’s results throughout the Traditional Division. In the Modern Division, Saturday-Sunday cumulative results were also consistent with Friday’s scoring above with the addition of Defender (US-33), sailed by Andrew Rose, who finished in fourth place.

What the 12-Metre Modern class lacked in numbers, it made up for in star power. Among the four entries were two former America’s Cup-winning yachts and some of the top professional sailors in the world.
This weekend, Peter Askew’s Enterprise (US-27) team was the class of this elite group, winning Friday’s Round the Island Race and then taking the first three races of the weekend series before showing a hint of mortality with a second in the regatta’s final race. Takashi Okura’s Freedom (US-30) team, which included America’s Cup legends Murray Jones and Grant Simmer in the afterguard, was second. Sailing the heavy, historic 12 Metres represents a significant course change for Askew, who until a few years ago was involved with his brother David in an ocean-racing campaign onboard a terrifically fast Volvo 70. A short race was measured in hundreds of miles. “[Sailing 12 Metres] kind of takes me back to how I learned how to sail as a kid, things were a lot slower and moved a bit differently back then,” he says. “We got together with some of the guys I’ve been sailing with regularly and put a team together and started to develop the boat. We made some changes, it’s been very fun. It’s very technical and I like that part of it.”The true test for both teams will come later this summer as the 12 Metre class will host its world championship in July in Newport. Askew and his Enterprise team has won the initial battle, but the Freedom team will be gunning for revenge in a little over a month.

New York Yacht Club Press Release

See all FRIDAY Results

See all 2- DAY Cumulative Results

2023 NYYC 169th Annual Regatta logo

ABOUT: The New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta was first run on July 17, 1845, on the Hudson River. Nine yachts started the 40-mile race with the 45-ton Cygnet winning with an elapsed time of 5 hour and 26 minutes. The race was run in or near New York City until 1988 when the purchase of Harbour Court in Newport, R.I., gave the Club a waterfront clubhouse from which to run all its regattas. The current format, featuring a round-the-island race on Friday and two days of buoy or navigator-course racing has been in place for more than a decade.