"Trivia" - 12 m R
Text, Foto: Wilfried Beeck, Fotos unten aus "The 12 Metre Class" von Luigi Lang und Dyer Jones
TRIVIA is a classic racing yacht of the 12mR class. These yachts are often referred to as "Twelves" or "Metre Boats". The 12mR class rule was created in 1906 and was used until 1987 to create some of the most competitive racing yachts of their times. The boats are actually not 12 meters in size, but rather between 19 and 22 meters. 12 is the result of a formula, that limits the most important components of a racing yacht, like length in the water line and sail area. A good description of the metre class formula and its history can be found on the 8mR class website.
Between 1958 and 1987 the 12mR class was used for the America's Cup , the oldest and most prestigious trophy in sports. But even before that, the Twelves had been quite popular among the rich and famous racing yacht owners of the late thirties, especially in Great Britain, Scandinavia, the United States and Germany.
TRIVIA was built by Camper & Nicholson for Mr. Vernon W. MacAndrew in 1937 and in the same year began to compete with the other Twelve meters obtaining excellent results; with 13 first, 11 second and 6 third places out of 41 starts she was classified at first place in her class. In 1938 MacAndrew steered her so successfully that at Cowes Week he won 21 prices, including the King's Cup. Even in 1939, she found only two other Twelve meters to challenge, that is, the new boats TOMAHAWK and VIM.
The Second World War brought an end to the regattas for the Twelve metres in Great Britain. Vernon MacAndrew died on June 22nd 1940 as a german magnetic mine sank his yacht Campeador, which had been converted to a patrol vessel.
After the war TRIVIA was sold to Charles Ulrick Bay, an American industrialist and then the U.S. ambassador of Norway, where she sailed during the 50s under her new name NORSAGA. When she was brought back to England in 1959, she once again showed her competitiveness as the trainer yacht for SOVEREIGN, the UK contender for the 1964 America's Cup, winning all three races of the Milkweek Twelve meters series in America.
In the 1968 Chicago-Mackinac race TRIVIA proved what she could do under the most formidable weather conditions in fifty-seven years. A record fleet of 185 yachts, cream of the Great Lakes deep-water fleet, started the 333-mile dash to Mackinac Island. But only 157 yachts finished in the roughest event since 1911. Twenty-eight yachts were forced to abandon the race as casualties of 50- to 60-knot squalls. TRIVIA was the first boat across, followed by another Twelve-Meter MITENA. TRIVIA actually sailed the fifth fastest time in history: 37 hours, 40 minutes.
During the 60s and 70s, TRIVIA still sailed in America under the name NORSAGA, until she sank after an accident. The wreck was brought back to England in the mid 80s and was kept there several years to be restored. In 1991 TRIVIA was finally undertaken a complete restoration at Camper & Nicholson for a new Italian owner. Between 1991 and 2000 she took part in the European Championship for Twelve Metres, obtaining good results. In particular, she won the Porto Cervo Regatta and the Coupe des Yacht Club de France in 1993, and the Voiles de Saint Tropez in 2000.
Vanity V und Trivia
In August 2001 TRIVIA participated in the 150-year America's Cup Jubilee in Cowes. So she was back in the waters of the Solent, where she was originally built and also restored. 36 Twelve Metres from across the world joint for this unique event which brought back an era of truly exceptional yacht racing.
In June 2002 TRIVIA joined the nordic fleet of Twelves for the Robbe & Berking Classics in Flensburg, Europe's biggest annual gathering of 12 metre yachts. With the upcoming Europe Week in Svendborg, we're looking ahead to another great season for Twelves in 2003.