After a lengthy and for the most part successful corporate and startup career in computer engineering, working for the likes of Digital Equipment, Aspect and BEA, Steve’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and he successfully developed and operated 17 fitness centers for Planet Fitness in Rhode Island and Southern Mass commencing in 2008. Having sold those locations in 2019, Steve is now an angel investor with Launchpad Venture Group and sails and charters Weatherly (US-17) out of Newport, Rhode Island.
Jack Klinck, 12 MYC Treasurer
Jack has enjoyed a career in financial services from NewYork to London to Boston. His recent activities include venture capital and board work focused on global FinTech firms. Jack purchased Nefertiti in 2020 and currently sails and charters her out of Newport Rhode Island.
Jack LeFort, Immediate Past Commodore
Jack’s life-long love of sailing began when at 5 years old, he
started racing his first moth boat. Over the course of his accomplished racing
career he has claimed numerous North American and International Championships
in a variety of boats– most recently as Modern division champion with Challenge XII (KA-10) at the 2019 12mR Worlds at Newport. An impressive
result as Jack has only been sailing 12mRs since 2015 when he purchased and
Jack recalls admiring the 12s sailing on Narragansett Bay when
he was young, and now owning Challenge XII he says is “a dream
come true.” Racing KA-10 is a family affair for the LeForts who reside in
Jamestown, RI. Jack’s wife Lisa, also an accomplished sailor serves as
navigator and their two sons Bryce and Alec fill key positions on the KA-10
Among his other
philanthropic projects, Jack has been an strong advocate for the growth of
community sailing and was among the founders of US Sailing’s Center in Stuart,
Florida. Now as an International Twelve Metre Association Vice President and
Americas Fleet Captain, Jack is determined to build participation in the 12mR
class by getting as many 12mRs racing together on Narragansett Bay as possible.
“The Newport 12mR fleet has been building tremendous momentum up to and through
last summer’s World Championship season. The boats are in fighting form and the
teams are among the most competitive in all yacht racing. It’s a great time to
be racing Twelves- and I am committed to continuing to build participation and
world-class competition in Newport’s 12mR fleet.”
Michael (Mike) Patterson
A graduate of the Maine Maritime Academy with a degree in Yacht Management and Small Vessel Operations, Mike has been sailing, racing and managing 12mR yachts for more than 2 decades. First as captain and manager of Intrepid (US-22) for 22 years and for the past 8 years concurrently managing operations for New Zealand (KZ-3). Since 2009, he has also made time to manage several private racing teams.
Mike has specialized in charter operations with America’s Cup Charters and has recently stepped into a principal role with the long-standing company. His depth of knowledge and experience paired with his approachable and helpful demeanor have made Mike a well-known, respected and friendly fixture of Newport’s 12mR fleet.
A resident of Middletown, when not working with the 12mR fleet, he can be found providing support boat services for his three daughters’ Opti and Laser campaigns.
Peter has 50+ years of racing experience, campaigning J/24s, Shields, and tactician and navigator on various 12 Metres. He has served as the Shields Class president and is a US Sailing National Judge and Regional Race Officer. Peter has devoted an enormous amount of time to the 12 Metre class as the International 12 Metre Association Vice President America's Fleet as well as Fleet Captain of the 12 Metre Fleet, Newport. Peter was the chairman of the highy successful 2019 12 Metre World Championships in Newport. He is a member of the New York Yacht Club, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, and the Storm Trysail Club. He resides in Dallas and Newport.
Twice nominated as Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Brad is an avid sailor and an afterguard member on a variety of racing yachts including his current position onboard 12mR New Zealand (KZ-3). Additional significant 12mR positions include his role as tactician / helmsman on Legacy (KZ-5) –then Edgar Cato’s Hissar from 2004-2008. A collegiate All-American Sailor from Boston University, Brad was selected as Collegiate Sailor of the Year for 1986. Among his many sailing achievements are eight World or North American championships as helmsman.
As Executive Director of Sail Newport, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to public access to the sport of sailing, Brad also directs local, regional, national and international regattas. Among them have been the highly-acclaimed 2012 America’s Cup World Series and Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopovers in 2015 and 2018. Through fostering education, outreach and community sailing as well as producing world-class events, Brad has been instrumental in continuing Newport’s legacy as the Sailing Capital of the United States.
“Watching the resurgence of the 12mR fleet in Newport has been an extraordinary experience. With folks like Herb Marshall, George Hill, Kevin Hegarty and Jack Curtin leading the way in the charter fleet and the reclamation and restoration of a dozen or more privately-owned 12s, scores of sailors now have the opportunity to sail in one of the most iconic Classes in the history of yacht racing.” –BR
A member of various sailing clubs and boards of directors throughout Newport County, he is often called upon as a guest speaker and interviewee and has been a guest editor of Sailing World magazine since 1994. Brad is also coach to a high school hockey team and resides in Middletown, RI with his wife Cara, son Brendan and daughter, Rebecca.
Michael Fortenbaugh grew up racing at the Bay Head Yacht Club where he was a championship E-Scow sailor. After graduating from Princeton University, Michael created the Manhattan Yacht Club in 1987 to reintroduce recreational sailing to New York Harbor. The club pioneered the shared-use concept in sailing. On its 20th Anniversary, Manhattan Yacht Club became the steward of America II US 46. Then in 2015, Michael helped acquired America II’s sistership, US 42. Both 12 Meters are owned and managed by the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation, which Michael helped create in 1994 and still serves as the Executive Director. Currently Michael is working on the project to restore “Stars & Stripes,” Dennis Conner’s 12 Meter which won the Cup back for America in 1987. He looks forward to participating in the 12 Meter Worlds in 2023 and also bringing up Arabella to serve as a spectator boat.
JAMES (Jimmy) GUBELMANN, Commodore Emeritus
One of Commodore Gubelmann’s first impressive sailing credits came as a member of St. George’s undefeated 1964-5 varsity sailing team. It was there that he met future life-long friends and teammates racing Fireflies. Fast forward 43 years– together with some of these same mates, he claimed two 12mR World Championships as well as numerous North American and International titles with their Courageous (US-26) Syndicate.
Meanwhile in 1964, Jimmy’s father Walter Gubelmann was the syndicate-head for the Olin Stephens designed 12mR Constellation (US-20) — a hopeful at NYYC’s Defender Trails for the America’s Cup that summer. Jimmy’s 50+ year passion for 12mR racing started aboard Nereus (US-14) (now named Northern Light), Constellation’s trail horse where he was a full-time crew member and alternate for US-20.
Later that year he attended the University of the South, followed by service in the US Navy as an Electronics Engineer and later graduated from the Parsons School of Design with a degree in architecture. On July 4, 1976 he founded Windigo Design, where his architectural career spanned thirty-five years. Among his favorite design projects was a collaboration with naval architect David Pedrick on the trompe l’oeil (eye-fooling) waterline graphics applied to Defender (US-33) for the 1983 America’s Cup Defender Trials.
Jimmy’s very long-list of 12mR accomplishments include victories on many of the 12s including Weatherly (US-17) at the 1998 Save the Bay Regatta with team mates Charles Dana and Ralph Isham. In 1999, he formed the Columbia (US-16) Syndicate that placed 3rd overall at the 12mR Worlds held at the 2001 America’s Cup Jubilee in Cowes. The same team went on to win that season’s Prada Challenge and Grimaldi Trophy for a series of regattas held throughout the Med. The Courageous (US-26) Syndicate he formed with Criag Millard in 2002 and headed through 2012 added significantly to his trophy collection with wins at the 2005 and 2007 12mR Worlds, multiple North American Championships and too many more to list both in the US and the Med.
In 2013, Jimmy was asked by ITMA officers to take-on the leadership and revitalize the then- dormant 12 Metre Yacht Club. In his first official role as 12MYC Commodore, he attended the 2014 12mR World Championship at Barcelona where he was inspired to host the next 12mR Worlds at Newport. Here began a 5 -year mission, that with his stewardship resulted in many 12s returning to the water and several seasons of exciting 12mR racing that culminated with the spectacular 2019 World Championship at Newport featuring 22 12mR teams from around the world.
Bob “BC” Campbell is one of a very few individuals who have Won, Lost AND Won the America’s Cup with Freedom (US-30) 1980, Liberty (US-40) 1983 and America 3 in 1992 respectively. His passion for sailing began simply enough– racing Tempests and Daysailers with his father and through the racing program at the Pleon Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. He raced locally in offshore boats with Ted Hood and family — Ted a master sailmaker and designer of 1964 America’s Cup 12mR defender-contender Nefertiti (US-19) and 1974 Cup winning skipper of Courageous (US-26). The opportunity and experience gained from Hood was pivotal in launching Bob’s remarkable life-long career in yacht racing. He landed his first 12mR crew position onboard Independence (US-28) –one of the 12s vying to defend the America’s Cup in 1977. That was just the first of 8 America’s Cups now listed on his extensive sailing CV which features numerous positions with several campaigns where he developed and shared his multiple areas of expertise from Crew Member to Coach, and from Technical Advisor to Vice President of Operations.
Between Cup campaigns Bob logged thousands of offshore miles, participating in all of the major ocean races and international yacht club series. He was involved with several Maxi programs and was Captain of Kialoa III, IV. His deep portfolio of knowledge has been gleaned from decades of involvement with IOR 50s, O.D. 48s, Swan 42s and many one-off boats of various sizes spanning multiple rating rules. BC’s inshore and one-design racing credits include multiple World and National Championships in Etchells, Sonars, Lasers, Tempests, 420s, J-24s and NYYC IC-37s.
Bob’s experience at the highest levels of yacht racing have made him a uniquely qualified advisor when it comes to increasing boat speed while observing rules compliance. The 12 Metre Yacht Club is thrilled to have BC’s incomparable technical and sailing experience on board and available to our Class members.