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12' Double Handed, Double Trapeze Racing Dinghy
Design № 52
No class of dinghy in the world offers more exciting sailing, or more challenging design problems than the unrestricted 12 footers.
For over 40 years New Zealand and Australia have held annual contests where teams of 12 footers from both sides of the Tasman have competed fiercely for the converted Selasic Trophy - awarded to the winning crew.
Early 12 footers had crews of 5 or 6, and with bow sprites and bumkins measured some 26 ft overall. Bruce Farr's fascination with this class began when he saw them racing on Auckland Harbor, his home town in New Zealand. In the mid 1960's he designed and built his own yacht and campaigned it with outstanding success. It was during this period that he met Russell Bowler, who is now a structural designer and partner in the Farr Yacht Design office.
Bowler was campaigning a boat of his own design during the same period and together as skippers they dominated the class Bowler taking the Selasic Trophy in 1969, and Farr in 1970.
For the next three seasons Farr refined the hull design and timber construction detailing, producing a robust, fast, manageable 12 foot dinghy that reward an enterprising crew with great bursts of downwind speed coupled with steady, balanced on the wind performance. Both skipper and crew are on trapeze. Farr has delicately balanced massive sail areas on a hull that is light yet quite capable of carrying the powerhouse rig through seas without unkind reactions.
PHOTOS Click to enlarge.