Having sailed some racing classes for several entire seasons, some others incidentally, and having met sailors with experience in classes I never sailed, I tend to think there is something special in sailing the International 12 Friendship Series, and that something is why this has become my way to enjoy racing. What is it? Is it the total absence of nervous concentration and relaxed common joy while preparing for the race? Is it that falling short of right-of-way rules one apologizes and patiently bears any wit the victim manages to produce? Never a protest? No disappointed losers complaining about a skewed playfield due to differences in boat quality? That if wind requires more live weight, you join the race with two? Is it the recognition of sailors finishing in the fore-field with very old dinghies? The quality of jokes cracked and songs sung on the after-race parties? We all like to win, we all run to the news-board if results are said to hang. But joking that you want to “beat bloody Pieter Bleeker” does not go with low voice claims that his boat has illegal features that make it faster and what else you hear in more pretentious racing events. That is because we are no ape rock crammed with low intelligent ego’s, you know, the kinds that keep up their social ranking by barking like bloodhounds. This is also reflected in how we organise our races. Everybody can take an initiative and we don’t have an official organisation with officially defined official officers. We just have each other’s emails and phone numbers. And it works. Yes! That’s it. We are no longer an Olympic class, we are even kicked off the IYRU list in 1963 and we’re proud to still, half a century later, flourish. We love to win, but even more we love our old boats, that played such a glorious role in the history of racing. And we love our company. It may have been of help that we chose for international sailing. This attracts sailors interested to meet people different from their home neighbours, see venues different from their home race waters and not afraid to stutter and gesture in foreign speech, although I admit the Irish and the Frisians do not work enough on each other’s language. I hate to say that especially the Gaelic of the Frisians is as yet substandard. Nowadays many Frisians resist the use of Dutch, so they have enough spare time to learn a decent language. Hearing their own, you know they have the talent, so our future is bright!
woensdag 12 mei 2021
Written by Bert Bos
We are living in a time that is constrained and missing many ‘normal things’. Because of COVID-19 we miss the sailing and socialising that our regattas across Europe and other continents gave us. Socializing in the Yacht Clubs is important to us. The discussions, the help, the sharing and the information and the friendship were difficult in the last year but we managed. We kept in touch with nearly everybody becoming more reliant and dependent upon digital alternatives; Facebook, Whatsapp, websites, blogs, mail, newsletters and telephone.To give you an oversight of our multi-media channels:
Facebook: We have two facebook pages; “Twaalfvoetsjollenclub” and “The Fleet" that focus upon the International 12 Foot Dinghy.
The founder of the Facebook group “ Twaalfvoetsjollenclub” on the 19th of September 2012 was Pieter Bleeker as a private person. Its popularity can be measured by the number of members all over the world ( 310-320). It is an unofficial FB group with just one goal, ‘ Strengthening the contact of ALL owners of a 12 foot dinghy’. Anyone can become a member who is fond of the classic wooden 12 Foot Dinghy. It caters to competitive sailor and the very important recreational sailor. Foreign dinghy friends are also invited for a membership in combination with a membership of the International 12 Association.
“The Fleet”; the international 12 Foot Dinghy Fleet, founded on 21 October 2018 by Bert Hamminga is the Facebook group of the International 12 Association. It deals exclusively with the Cockshott BRA 1913 “A” Class alias International 12 Foot Dinghy. Also a popular Facebook page with 150 members world wide. Unfortunately Bert Hamminga passed away 16 April 2021. It is not clear whether the “Fleet” Facebook page can stay active because Bert was the only administrator of this Facebook group. How will it continue? The Facebook group “Twaalfvoetsjollenclub” remains as a platform for current members. Should we think about integrating both Facebook pages into one with a new name? We probably have to make a decision quickly. We will keep you all informed but please be aware that changes will occur and soon. To stay in contact with the other members please sign up asap to the facebook group “Twaalfvoetsjollenclub” to ensure our data base is complete. "Twaalfvoetsjollenclub" will get a new name this year. See facebook twaalfvoetsjollenclub
Website: The official website of the International 12 Association was also founded by Bert Hamminga. We are trying to keep this website on air and alive. The International 12 Association is an informal group of personal members who want to engage in recreational competition sailing the International 12 Foot Dinghy as an historical class. See international 12 association
Blog: a blog started by Pieter Bleeker, 6 september 2010. In this blog articles about everything concerning international 12 foot dinghies. See 12footnews
WhatsApp group Friendship series: The WhatsApp group for the international 12 foot dinghy community, founded in February 2016 by Pieter Bleeker.
Newsletter The Fleet: a digital newsletter with background information and the latest news. Every 2 months a new edition is the idea. See The Fleet
MS-Team meetings: In 2020, due to the Corona restrictions, we started to facilitate the possibility of meeting each other digitally. We called it webinars for International 12 Foot Dinghies. Members of the WhatsAppgroup mentioned above are invited to participate in these webinars. Members can give a presentation about an interesting subject concerning the sailing of an International 12 Foot Dinghy. To date there were 8 webinars, one of which was international. The webinars are intended for the winter season, normally on the second Monday of the month. The webinars were started by Pieter Bleeker and Bert Bos in September 2020. Members are invited to submit an idea or a topic for presentation and Webinar discussion.
Youtube: The official youtube channel of the International 12 association, in 2021 founded by Reinhard Schroeder. See youtube channel
12footdata: A starting page with a lot of URL's made in YURLS by Geja van Ommen in 2012. All the information you need, if you are new in the class. See 12footdata
Questions, suggestions, content ? Mail Editors The Fleet