NEWPORT, R.I. (June 30, 2019) — The Newport Trophy Regatta, hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club and held this weekend (June 29-30) for ten 12 Metres, gave a sneak preview of the intense racing to come in July’s 12 Metre World Championship, where 21 of the historic boats will compete. The regatta was started by Ida Lewis Yacht Club during Newport’s America’s Cup days as a fleet-racing competition for all eliminated would-be defenders and challengers for the America’s Cup. The event has been held annually since, typically hosting the 12 Metres in the Americas fleet that make Newport their home.

This year’s regatta was comprised of three ‘round-the-buoy races – held on Saturday in medium air and lumpy wave conditions on Rhode Island Sound – followed on Sunday by a race around Conanicut Island that was part of the International Yacht and Athletic Club’s Newport Cup regatta.

The team of Traditional Division winner Columbia  (US-16) at the Newport Trophy Regatta Prizegiving at Ida Lewis Yacht Club. The team also won overall honors in the IYAC Newport Cup regatta.  (Photo Credit: SallyAnne Santos)

Columbia (US-16) won its Traditional Division in a tie-breaker over American Eagle (US-21) but also won the IYAC Newport Cup overall when it was dual-scored for that race under PHRF handicap. Columbia has been chartered for the Worlds by Anthony Chiurco (Princeton, N.J.) who helmed the boat while owner Kevin Hegarty (Newport, R.I.) and his crew of 15 years sailed it. “Columbia is faster now than she has ever been,” said Hegerty. “Every year we tweak her to make her quicker, and we’ve done a few things this year to really step it up.

In the knife fight that was the Modern Division competition, Jack LeFort’s (Jamestown, R.I.) Challenge XII (KA-10) led by only two points over Dennis Williams’ (Hobe Sound, Fla./Newport, R.I.) Victory ’83 (K-22)Challenge XII and Victory ’83 both won two races in their series. (Victory counted the around-the-island race as one of its two.)

The team of Modern Division winner Challenge XII (KA-10) at the Newport Trophy Regatta Prizegiving at Ida Lewis Yacht Club. (Photo Credit: SallyAnne Santos) 

Johan Black Petersen’s Kiwi Magic (KZ-7), here for the Worlds from Denmark, joined Gunther and Maggie Buerman’s (Highland Beach, Fla./Newport, R.I.) New Zealand (KZ-3) for Saturday’s races in Grand Prix Division while Legacy (KZ-5), chartered by Danes Jesper Bank and Thomas Anderson for the Worlds, made a last-minute decision to sail in the around-the-island race. New Zealand, which won the division, won all the buoy races but succumbed to Legacy in Sunday’s race, finishing second to Legacy’s first. 

“It was great to have three of the ‘plastic fantastics’ out there, and today showed that the boat handling of all three was phenomenal,” said New Zealand’s tactician Brad Read, adding that a total of four Grand Prix Division 12 Metres will sail at the Worlds. “In general, it’s really amazing that you have these boats from so many generations competing 30 to 50 years after they were originally built. We’re just so fortunate that we have these great weapons to go sailing on.”

Brad Read, tactician for New Zealand (KZ-3), accepts the first-place trophy for Grand Prix Division. 
(Photo Credit: SallyAnne Santos) 

Place, Yacht Name, Type, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points
12m – Grand Prix (One Design – 3 Boats)
1. New Zealand, Gunther and Maggie Buerman, Highland Beach, FL/Newport, RI, USA – 1 -1 -1 -2; 5
2. Kiwi Magic, Johan Blach Petersen, Aarhus C, DEN – 2 -2 -2 -4; 10
3. Legacy, Jesper Bank / Thomas Anderson, Munkebo Fyn, DEN – 4 -4 -4 -1; 1312m – Modern (One Design – 5 Boats)
1. Challenge 12, Jack LeFort, Jamestown, RI, USA – 2 -1 -1 -2; 6
2. Victory 83, Dennis Williams, Hobe Sound, FL./Newport, RI, USA – 1 -4 -2 -1; 8
3. Courageous, Ralph Isham / Alexander Auersperg / Arthur Santry, Newport, RI, USA – 5 -2 -3 -3; 1312m – Traditional (One Design – 2 Boats)
1. Columbia, Anthony Chiurco / Kevin Hegarty, Newport, RI, USA – 2 -1 -2 -1; 6
2. American Eagle, Eagle 2019 Syndicate, Middletown, RI, USA – 1 -2 -1 -2; 6

For more information on the Newport Trophy Regatta or the 12 Metre Worlds visit or contact Peter Gerard at

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The International 12 Metre Class’ 2019 World Championship will be held in Newport, Rhode Island (USA) from July 8-13 and hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the International Twelve Metre Association (ITMA) America’s Fleet and the 12 Metre Yacht Club. It will be the largest-ever gathering of 12 Metre yachts in the United States with 21 boats from six countries expected. International teams comprised of elite sailors, including America’s Cup veterans and Olympic medalists, will represent Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway and the United States. The 2019 12 Metre World Championship fleet will span the years 1928 -1987, include seven America’s Cup defenders and challengers, and be sailed on Rhode Island Sound, the site of nine America’s Cup competitions from 1958-1983.

The 2019 12 Metre World Championship is sponsored by Château d’Esclans -Whispering Angel, Grand Banks Yachts,Gurney’s Marina and ResortMJM YachtsNorth Sails and Vhernier Milano. Official suppliers include BacardiBarton & Gray Mariners ClubCode ZeroHarborside MarinaHelly Hansen NewportMcMillen YachtsQuantum SailsRobbe & Berking ClassicsSevenstar Yacht TransportStella Artois and Trident Studio. Event venue partners are Clarke Cooke HouseIda Lewis Yacht ClubInternational Yacht Restoration SchoolNewport ShipyardSail Newport and Seamen’s Church Institute. For more information please visit:

The 112 year-old International 12 Metre Class encompasses a living history of racing yacht design by the world’s foremost naval architects including Olin Stephens, Clinton Crane, William Fife III, Philip Rhodes, Johan Anker, Ben Lexcen and more who pushed their designs to the very limits of innovation. The resulting boats represented the pinnacle of yacht development from 1907-1987 for the highest levels of international sailing competition– the Olympic Games (1908-1920) and the America’s Cup (1958-1987).


Event Chairman
Peter Gerard 
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Manuka Sports
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Media Pro Int’l
Barby MacGowan
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International 12 Metre Class
SallyAnne Santos
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