Yachts from America's Cup 'Golden Era' racing off Newport this week

Ten historic 12 Metres are sailing their North American Championship off Newport from Sept. 22 through 24

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Ranging in length between 65 and 75 feet, the Twelves – as they are fondly called – are best known as the America’s Cup yachts sailed during the “Golden Era” of that event, from 1958 to 1987. Since the America’s Cup was held in Newport from 1930 to 1983 and many of the Twelves now call Newport their home, these yachts are dear to the hearts of locals as well as sailing aficionados worldwide, remembered for their intriguing designs, keenly competitive teams and famous skippers, which included Americans Ted Turner and Dennis Conner.

This year’s North American Championship fleet will be hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club and docked, just like back in the day, at Bannister’s Wharf for viewing while not racing. The teams of 14 to 16 will compete in three divisions – Grand Prix, Modern and Traditional – from Friday through Sunday, and courses are planned for Rhode Island Sound and upper Narragansett Bay.

With course signals at 1055 each morning of racing, landlubbers who go to Bannister’s Wharf between 9 and 10:30 a.m. will have the best chance of seeing the 12s “docking out.”

For more information, visit 12mrclass.com.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.