The project of bringing Kiwi Magic to the Bay of Aarhus in Denmark was a dream come true for local skippers. An opportunity to sail a high-tech America’s Cup 12 Metre racing yacht.
The goal of the project is to recruit and train local crew members to sail Kiwi Magic competitively at several 12 Metre Class regattas a year in northern Europe. With an impressive racing pedigree, it will be a pleasure to see KZ7 return to the seas.
Much like classic motorsport, classic boat racing has grown rapidly in popularity. As each vessel, crew and race has an aesthetic, technical and historical meaning, sailing resonates in the minds and souls of many.
The name affectionately given to this class of racing yacht stems from the rule used for their design and construction, and is given by the formula below.
The beauty of the rule lies in its stringency to ensure competitiveness among boats while leaving enough room for clever engineering, seamanship and tactics. This means that most 12 Metres have a length of around 20 metres, a weight of 25 tons and a mast height of 26 metres. Since 1907, the rule has been revised three times.
The Twelve Metre Class was established in 1907 and the yachts were used to compete in the Olympics of 1908, 1912 and 1920. The last 12 Metre was built in 1986 for the America’s Cup in Freemantle Australia in 1987. Over this 80 year period a total of 169 vessels were built in shipyards across the world, and only 107 are known to still be sea-worthy.
Initially all 12 Metres were built out of wood, but in later decades most yachts where built in aluminium. Only three yachts have been built in fiberglass: KZ3, KZ5 and Kiwi Magic KZ7, which sailed for New Zealand in the 1987 America’s Cup Challenge. Kiwi Magic KZ7 was highly successful, but lost to the American Stars & Stripes skippered by Dennis Connors.
Kiwi Magic KZ7 has since won the World Championship for 12 Metres in 1987, 1993, 1999 and 2009. It also won a legendary victory in 2012’s North America’s Championship, where Dennis Connors and his crew from Stars & Stripes sailed her.
In the early 2000s, Kiwi Magic was completely restored and has done limited sailing since. Today she is one of the most well equipped high-tech 12 Metre yachts in the world.