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The 12 Metre is back! The recent run of the 12 Metre Worlds in Porquerolles in France was in many ways the perfect medium of classic and modern racing as 14 teams took up the fight for the World title.

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The 12MR was in the America's Cup from 1958 to 1987 - and Kookaburra III was made for what became the final edition with 12MR's.

A comeback for an America's Cup Classic

Elvstrøm Sails was represented by Kookaburra III, skippered by Jesper Bank. Bank also has a previous history with the 12 Metre Worlds as he won the 2019 edition in Newport in the US, and now had the chance to follow up with Kookaburra III. In 2019 as well as now, Bank and his crew raced in the Grand Prix Division.

The Kookaburra III holds a late spot in the history of the class format. The 12 Metre originates all the way back in 1907 when it was introduced as an Olympic class. The 12 Metre was on the programme for the 1908, 1912 and 1920 Olympics, but it eventually rose to fame on its third set of ratings, which introduced it for the America’s Cup.

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A comeback with unknowns

The 12 Metre was a part of the America’s Cup from 1954 and all the way to 1987, which in term also was the edition of America’s Cup which Kookaburra III was built for.

- Kookaburra III was built for Australia to defend the America’s Cup in 1987. After the event, the boat was put in storage for many years before ending up with an Italian collector – and then, later, we had the chance to bring it back on the water. It’s in a fantastic shape, but it took lots of effort to replace anything and everything from ropes to hydraulics and electrics, Jesper Bank says.

Because of this, the crew on Kookaburra III had to find out how the boat would perform.

- In terms of performance, we had some unknowns for the World Championship. The early conclusion was that some of our competitors were a little better off as they had raced their boats for the last couple of years, but all in all, finishing third was on the cards for us. Unfortunately, we left some points out there, and those last points could have made the difference – so we finished fourth.

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Full Elvstrøm Sails support

Getting Kookaburra III back in the running for Porquerolles also meant a new wardrobe of sails. The wardrobe is made up from a main plus three different genoas and three spinnakers.

The main is made from EPEX in film/film black and it measures 149 m2. Adding to this, Kookaburra III runs a set with three different genoas and three spinnakers.

Two of the genoas are also based on EPEX film/film black measuring 107 and 116 m2, while the third and last genoa is trioptimal and made from Grand Prix SPL. This measures 120 m2.

Lastly, Kookaburra III has three different spinnakers available. The asymmetric A1 and the symmetric S1, both trioptimal, both made from Superlite 50 and measuring 188 and 217 m2 respectively. The final spinnaker is the S2, measuring 235 m2, with Superkote 80 being the material of choice here.

The team on the Kookaburra III was dressed by Elvstrøm Sailwear for the 2024 12MR Worlds – their kit consists of the fast dry shirt and t-shirts from the Poole81 and Melbourne56 collections plus the Rome60 fast dry-shorts and the classic Elvstrøm Sails Copenhagen69 cap.