Monday, September 30, 2013

NZ3, Victory '83 and American Eagle Win 12 Metre North American Championship

In complete contrast to last week's 34th America's Cup in San Francisco, six 12 Metre America's Cup challengers took to the waters off Newport Rhode Island over the last three days to engage in a gentlemanly match racing regatta.
Photo: Rod Harris/
Gunther Buerman's New Zealand NZ-3 blitzed NZ-5, renamed Laura, in every race in the Grand Prix Division. Buerman has lovingly restored the boat to her orginal condition right down to the exact design of the Canterbury rugby shirts the crew wore in 1987. The boat is the prototype development boat of Michael Fay's Kiwi campaign where his NZ-7 was defeated by Stars and Stripes in the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Series off Fremantle,Western Australia in 1987.
Photo: Rod Harris/
"It's very interesting on the first day because we didn't know if we were going to race offshore or inside in the sound and we had an unusual wind from the north which was very shifty and very taxing for the tacticians, but it was a wonderful day. Things went back and forth and there was some great competition over the three races. People that own these boats are all excellent sailors and die hard tacticians who know how to get their boats around the race course very well," Buerman said.
Photo: Rod Harris/
The second day saw extremely light conditions offshore that gave the race committee a few extra headaches and only allowed one race to be held before the 4:00pm cut off time and racing was cancelled for the rest of the day. This didn't seem to upset the competitors too much as it allowed them extra tine to prepare for the evening's black tie gala event hosted by Sail Newport.
Photo: Rod Harris/
Sunny skies were on the menu for the final day with 5-10 knots just suitable to blow the dust off some of the crews that partied into the wee hours. New Zealand NZ-3 bowman Joey Waits stayed in his tuxedo for the three races sailed on the same offshore course that Australia II won the America's Cup from Liberty in 1983.

New Zealand NZ-3 won every race and proved they are the dominant Grand Prix 12 Metre team in North America after a season where they won every race and every regatta. Winning the North American Championships was the cherry on the cake.

In the classic division American Eagle clinched the victory while Victory 83 had a smashing regatta and claimed the kudos over the other Moderns Intrepid and Courageous.

Lulu Roseman

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