Edgar Cato wins 12-Metre World Championship in Newport Rhode Island
It was a sight for sore eyes as the largest-ever collection of 12-Metres to assembled in Newport Rhode Island for the International 12-Metre Association’s 2005 World Championships sponsored by The Jibe.
The 16 entrants were divided into four divisions – Grand Prix, Modern, Classic Traditional and Classic Vintage – which define the 12-Metres not only year of build, but also by keel and rudder configuration. Only the Grand Prix division, consisting of the last 12-Metres ever built, were eligible for the world championship title under the current class rules.
Winning seven races and thus the North American Championship Grand Prix also earned Edgar Cato the Chandler Hovey Memorial Trophy as winner of the 2005 12-Metre World Championships aboard Hissar. Host for the event, the New York Yacht Club, accepted the stunning Azzurra Trophy as the club of the world champion. Hissar’s crew included Mike Toppa and Chris Cantrick, Bob Slattery, Crayton, John Moran David Calverly along with Brad Read, Mick Harvey, Jason Carr, John Von Swartz, Todd Myer and Rome Kirby. Finishing second overall was the Brazilian team aboard Wright on White driven by Roger Wright; third was Kiwi Magic with Bill Koch at the helm.
Among the six-strong Modern division – the biggest division of these championships – competition was notably close among these 12-Metres that were built between 1967-1980. Winning both races on the final day of the championship brought Jack Curtin’s Intrepid up to third place overall, just one point shy of second which was claimed by the French team aboard Challenge 12 under William Borel.
Courageous, sailed under Craig Millard, jumped to the top of the leader board on day one and never relinquished that position, ultimately claiming the North American Championship Modern division title. Courageous is noteworthy as not only the first of the class to be built of aluminum, but also the 12-Metre which raced in more America’s Cup campaigns than any other. Millard’s division-winning crew included Jamie Hilton, Steve Glascock, Chris Greenman, Bill Leatherman, Richie Sayre, David Sayre and Chris Upton, Alex von Auersberg, John Bohan and Chris Meigher, Larry Suter, and Jim Gubelman, Jeff Phillips and Matt Szala.
Winning eight races of nine aboard Weatherly, Clay Deutsch took the North American Championship Classic Traditional. In addition, Deutsch was presented with a Rolex timepiece for the outstanding performance of the regatta based on a championship formula. Weatherly sported a team that included several Newport residents: Louie Backe, Grayson Bryant, Blythe Daly, George Hill, Nancy Hood, and Tom Loughborough.
The North American Championship Classic Vintage division was won by Onawa, sailed by the Parrish/McMillen/Keilland/Fremont-Smith Syndicate.
Over four days of racing, the competitors were treated to the full spectrum of late summer weather in New England. Racing offshore on day one of the championships, they successfully avoided the torrential rain that flooded streets in coastal Rhode Island; while an hour delay on day three allowed tropical storm Ophelia take her high winds out to sea. Saving the best for last, racers were rewarded with abundant sunshine, albeit shifty winds, for a spectacular final day of racing.