Fleet to gather in Olympic year
The J Class Association has announced outline plans for a series of regattas in England during 2012 – the Olympic Year. This will be the first time in history that more than four of these imposing yachts will race together in a fleet.
The outline plan has received a positive response from J Class owners and
event planning is now proceeding. Many yachts in the fleet are now preparing to be on the start line for these 2012 events.
The first regatta will be based in Falmouth, Cornwall, hosted by the Royal
Cornwall Yacht Club. Races will be held in the bay and along the coastline.
The second regatta will be based in the Solent, the traditional home of J Class racing in the UK during the 1930s.
The last race will be held over the original course around the Isle of
Wight, for the 1851 Hundred Guinea Cup Race, which is now known as the
The 1930s era saw the birth of the Js – the greatest sailing Class ever
created. Just 10 yachts were constructed, six in the USA and four in
England. There were other designs produced but not built. During this period there were never more than four J yachts racing together.
Only three originals survived the Second World War – Shamrock V, Endeavour
and Velsheda. They rested and rotted in mud berths, until their rebuild and
rebirth as 21st Century racing superyachts.
With the formation of the J Class Association (JCA) in 2000, the possibility existed for replicas from history to be built and race again. New yachts have been launched and some are under construction. Most of these projects are expected to be completed by 2012, creating a fleet of the biggest,finest racing yachts the world has ever seen.
Rainbow is expected to launch in 2011 and could line up against Endeavour,
repeating the historic races for the America’s Cup of 1934.Hanuman (Endeavour 11) could sail against Ranger in the classic repeat of
the 1937 America’s Cup. Svea, a Swedish design dating from 1937 was never
built but is expected to start construction this year, 73 years after being
The potential exists to have up to nine J Class yachts completed in time for the regatta, although nine is probably a dream too far, but five yachts sailing together would be magnificent. Shamrock V – Sir Thomas Lipton’s last yacht to compete for the America’s Cup. Launched: 1930
Velsheda – Built by W.Stephenson to compete alongside Endeavour. 1933
Endeavour – T.O.M Sopwith’s first America’s Cup challenger. 1934
Ranger – Replica of H. Vanderbildt’s 1936 America’s Cup defender. 2002
Hanumann – Replica of T.O.M. Sopwith’s second challenger Endeavour II. 2009
Lionheart – An original build of a 1936 Ranger design. 2010
Rainbos – Replica of Rainbow built in 1934 to defend the America’s Cup. 2011 Svea – An original build of a 1937 Swedish design by Tore Holm. 2011
Atlantis – An original build of a 1936 Frank Paine design. 2011
The history of the Class is on the official website: www.jclassyachts.com . Pic by Rick Tomlinson