Restricted Class, yet a hotbed of development since
its formation in 1936. It ought to be called a Development
or perhaps Progressive
this is what it really is. Sail area, weight, length, plank width,
hull depth and rise of floor
to discourage undesirable designs, but within the broad limitations
of the rules you can build more or less what you like.
Steady improvement of hull shape and gear
over the years has kept the class in the public eye and no-one
could deny that the modern Twelve is an extremely beautiful boat.
Quite naturally, the development of hull shape tended to out-date
the earlier boats, as far as sea racing was concerned, but there has,
in the history of the Class, only been one occasion when a designer
outdated all previous designs in one major breakthrough. This
was Ian Proctors Mark 8, a hull more powerful than its
contemporaries and able to make use of the additional drive provided
by the Terylene sails introduced a year or two before. The Mark
8 won the Burton Cup in 1959 and swept the board in 1960. Since
1959, design progress has been made, but between 1962
and 1964 the Class reached a design plateau, similar to that
currently existing in International 14s. Designers are now striving
for better all-round performance, but although the latest shapes
are very sophisticated there are several very well-proven types
which provide top-class racing and which can be had at less than
you wanted to buy a National 12 and are based on an estuary,
you would do well to consider the following designs, not necessarily
in the order mentioned: Proctor Mark 12, March Hare, Lucky Number,
Proctor Mark 11a, Proctor Mark 14
choice of one of the above pre-supposes a willingness to spend.
say £140 to £180. It is generally best to buy a boat
that has a reasonable racing record. It is very important to
inspect boats in the company of an experienced National 12 ft.
sail, Nationals are thoroughbreds, which require delicate handling
if they are to give their very best performance. Their windward
ability is phenomenal for a twelve-foot boat and they will stand
severe conditions of wind and sea. They are light to lift and
transport and a girl can crew without excessive strain.
are open meetings all the year round in all parts of the country.
The championships attract around 150 boats and there are many
weeks in which Nationals can take part. Notably North
Norfolk Week, Salcombe Week and Bassenthwaite Week, each have
25 to 40 entries at least.
Glass-fibre is to be adopted as an alternative method of construction, but the clinker shape will remain and the rules will ensure that the glass boats have no advantage other than reduced maintenance. Transom flaps are being introduced in spring. 1968.
Class has led the way in organising open meetings abroad and
two series have taken place, one at La Baule and one at La Rochelle
(each with approx. 50 entries). In 1968 the Class again visits
Brittany for a weeks racing, at Whitsun.
The standard of racing in Nationals is extremely high, and such well-known helmsmen as Mike Jackson, Cliff Norbury, Mike Evans, John Oakeley, Barrie Perry, Keith Musto, Charles Currey, Alec Stone, Patrick Pym and Robin Steavenson, have spent much of their racing careers with the Twelves. Some of these big names now figure at the top of international competition in the Olympic Classes