Wednesday, 2 December 2009


Capture some of the J Class magic, both original 1930s and the new projects in the new desktop J Class calendar for 2010.

Each of the twelve pages features one of the yachts, offering a comprehensive view of the J Class fleet and the rebirth of the Class.

The three original yachts, Shamrock V, Velsheda and Endeavour are all featured, along with the replica new builds currently on the water, Ranger and Hanuman. There are further photographs and information on J Class yachts currently in build, as well as Svea, who has already had her lines plans approved by the J Class Association.

The history of the J Class is summarised within the calendar and many of the photographs will be seen for the first time.

The calendar costs £10.99 excluding postage, or it can be obtained at an introductory offer for those who wish to join the J Class Supporters’ Club.

This calendar or membership to the J Class Supporters’ Club would make an ideal gift for friends or family who are followers and enthusiasts of this iconic class.


Monday, 26 October 2009

RAINBOW UPDATE - Building has started

A replica of the J-Class RAINBOW, the famous American yacht which won the 1934 America’s Cup, has started building at Bloemsma Aluminiumbouw at Makkum in Holland. It is no surprise that Bloemsma should be selected to produce the hull as the yard has previously built “Windrose of Amsterdam” for the owner of Rainbow.

The replica re-build of this original design by William Starling Burgess will be under the supervision of Dykstra & Partners, who have more than 20 years’ experience with J Class and have been responsible for the re-builds and refits of: SHAMROCK V, ENDEAVOUR, VELSHEDA, RANGER and the new HANUMAN (Endeavour II Project).

The new RAINBOW will be constructed in aluminium, combining lightweight construction with high overall stiffness to improve sailing performance. Below deck the interior will represent 1930s styling,yet with all modern comforts for 8 guests and 8 crew.

The superstructure will have clear flush decks and the rig and sail handling systems will be similar to other Js - high modulus carbon spars, carbon rigging, 3DL sails and hydraulic winches in accordance with the JCA (J Class Association) Rules.

When the hull is complete, RAINBOW will be transported by barge, to Holland Jachtbouw where she will be finished. She will be campaigned by an experienced, proven team of sailors from Holland.

RAINBOW has a well respected pedigree. The original W. Starling Burgess design was launched on 15th May 1934, at the Herreshoff Yard in Bristol, Rhode Island, USA. She was built to defend the America’s Cup against “ENDEAVOUR”. The first 2 races were tough for RAINBOW, yet she beat ENDEAVOUR in the last four races to win. In 1937 she was sold and then challenged for the Cup defence. Sadly for her, RANGER won and RAINBOW was sold for scrap in 1940.

J Class enthusiasts and fans of these iconic racing yachts can look forward to the prospect of a re-run of the 1934 America’s Cup races between the original ENDEAVOUR and the new replica RAINBOW when she is launched.

Specification: RAINBOW
LOA: 39.95 m
LWL: 27.10 m
Hull material: Aluminum
Displacement: Approx. 176 tons
Naval Architect: Dykstra & Partners
Interior design: Dykstra & Partners
Hull construction: Bloemsma Aluminiumbouw
Shipyard: Holland Jachtbouw

Monday, 5 October 2009


SHAMROCK V sailed for the first time in the ‘Modern” fleet at the Voiles de St Tropez and with very good results bearing in mind that she was packed with charter guests. She finished a very creditable 11th out of a fleet of 36 yachts.

Her new genoa certainly seems to have transformed her performance. In two of the races she finished 7th against smaller modern race yachts, proving once again that the J’s can sail well against modern race yachts with an IRC handicap.

Monday, 14 September 2009


VELSHEDA was the overall winner of  Class 1 at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Regatta 2009, Sardinia.

It was a great result for her, against the best of the superyachts.

She won with five straight 1st places sailed over a range of wind strengths from light up to 25 knots.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Newport Bucket Regatta - Race Summary

History was made today when the replicas of both Ranger and Endeavour II (Hanuman) lined up together, 72 years after these designs first raced each other in the America’s Cup, Newport, R.I. in 1937. In that event, the British challenger Endeavour II lost to the US Cup defender, Ranger.

Today’s historic sail in the waters just off Newport, home for the America’s Cup throughout the J Class era, confirms the promise of breathtaking sailing in what are acknowledged to be the most beautiful yachts in the world.

With a soft 10mph wind and difficult sloppy sea conditions, Hanuman lined up with Ranger for a first beat to weather. Hanuman started with around a 300 metre lead and hung on to it for around one hour, suggesting that the two yachts were very evenly matched, although Hanuman is just ‘out of the box’ and Ranger is now fully race prepared.

Both yachts agreed to the same sail configuration - double headsail, cruising mainsail and asymmetric spinnaker with no pole; Ranger’s cruising mainsail was clearly well used.

Hanuman also showed great promise downwind. Whilst she had some difficulty through the gybes, she was able to stay in contact with the polished downwind performance from Ranger. This historic meeting of the two yachts takes the J Class fleet into an exciting new era with the boats evenly matched in performance, offering competitors and spectators the promise of great fleet racing.

Hanuman was built at the Royal Huisman shipyard to the original lines of Endeavour II and is a maximum size ‘Super J’, along with Ranger and the Swedish design Svea (also designed in 1937 and yet to be built).

Whilst legal battles between America’s Cup syndicates continue to exasperate onlookers, the rebirth of the great J Class yachts slowly continues.

Newport Bucket Regatta - Race 2

With clear skies and a building wind from the South, the yachts got underway for this second and last race. Handicaps were reversed and Ranger was awarded a one minute earlier start on Hanuman.

With steady performance and positive tactical decisions, Hanuman overhauled Ranger to finish ahead of her by one minute.

All credit must go to Jim Clark, who not only commissioned Hanuman, based on such a great historical background, but also got behind the wheel and sailed her to success on this first outing.

Newport Bucket Regatta - Race 1

Shrouded in sea fog, the NEWPORT BUCKET, an annual Pursuit Race around Newport Bay, got underway with a 10 mph Southerly breeze but by the time Hanuman and Ranger were starting, the skies had cleared to a perfect, sunny 12-15 mph breeze.

Hanuman was awarded a one minute advantage and made the best of this, crossing the line at full speed. Ranger followed in spectacular style just a few hundred metres behind. Both yachts quickly accelerated away from the spectator fleet to concentrate on their battle within the Bucket regatta fleet.

After more than two and a half hours of close racing, it was the new Hanuman who crossed the line just ahead of Ranger by 38 seconds. Hanuman had been helmed by owner Jim Clark, assisted by the experienced America’s Cup tactician and sailmaker, Tom Whidden.

Ranger, helmed by New Zealander Erle Williams (fresh from racing the Volvo Ocean Race on board Puma) closed the gap in the last few minutes of the race by setting a kite for the last sprint to the finish.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Hanuman Carries out Sail Trials

Hanuman, the replica new build of Endeavour II, undergoing sail trials from the fishing port of Harlingen, Holland.

Thursday, 23 April 2009


23 April 2009 - Velsheda triumphs at Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

Once again the ever popular Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, which ran from April 16 - 21, enjoyed another fantastic year of competitive sailing and lively social gatherings. Among the 30 metre plus yachts entered this year were the J class yachts Ranger and Velsheda, the 42 metre ketch Rebecca and the 46 metre staysail schooner Windrose of Amsterdam. All eyes were on the two Js with sailors bracing themselves for some fierce rivalry and close competition.

The weather on day one was delightful with sunshine, gentle seas and just enough winds to satisfy the needs of the 62 classic yachts entered. The fleet were well spread out as they rounded the first mark, unsurprising given the range of the LOAs of the competing yachts. The larger yachts were started an hour and a quarter after the first class but swiftly caught up with the smaller yachts in the fleet. Velsheda took the Spirit of Tradition class A finishing the twenty nautical mile course in 2 hours 33 minutes of corrected time.

There were more light winds on day two as the yachts set off to tackle the twenty mile, six-leg Butterfly course, designed to get contestants to use all their sail configurations. Velsheda triumphed for a second time showcasing her crews' nifty sail changes and trimming skills. The pimms party served on the lawn of the Antigua Yacht Club went down a treat as the competitors waited for the day's race results. As the evening worn on and crew wound down there was singing and merriment to the sounds of local band Time Machine.

Day three dawned grey and gloomy with a feeble nine knots of wind, prompting the organisers to delay the start of the race by fifteen minutes. This turned out to be a prudent decision as the trades gradually picked up throughout the day to a pleasant 12 - 15 knots, providing the majority of the fleet with a faster third leg. The yachts stretched their legs over the 24 mile course before heading back to English Harbour for the much anticipated Parade of the Classics. Then it was back to the yacht club for the famous Maine lobster bisque and champagne night. Local band the Hot Doggers provided a great soundtrack to the fun atmosphere.

On day four, the last day of racing, the fleet experienced a fair wind start with an exciting reach for the last leg with gusts of over 20 knots. The organisers reported that an unfortunate "incident" occurred between the two J Class entrants on the beat to windward forcing them both to retire. The heat of the rivalry between them had apparently caused them to crash causing minor damage to both hulls and rigs. This, however, gave Windrose of Amsterdam a chance to show her true colours as she took the class in just over three hours of corrected time. The evening was dedicated to individual crew dinners at the local restaurants as team work was celebrated before tuesday's cream team party and prize giving ceremony.

The overall regatta result for the Spirit of Tradition class A were:

1. Velsheda
2. Ranger
3. Windrose of Amsterdam
4. Rebecca

For all class results visit the regatta website.


Racing got too close for comfort yesterday at the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta when the two J Class yachts Velsheda and Ranger collided in a port and starboard incident in the fourth and last race of the regatta.

According to a source in Falmouth Harbour John Williams's Ranger was on starboard when the two Js clashed with minor damage to both hulls and rigs. Velsheda, owned and steered by Ronald de Waal immediately retired while Ranger recorded a RDG - redress given.

However, that wasn't enough to bring her to the top of the table in a regatta in which Velsheda scored three 1sts and a 5th and Ranger four 2nds. Velsheda has a more advantageous rating than Ranger who was unable to overcome her handicap. She also lost a headsail during race one which ended her chances that day. On day two Ranger beat Velsheda on the water by 15 seconds but was beaten by more than three minutes on the water in race three. -- David Glenn, Yachting World,

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Following her launch and rig set up, at the Royal Huisman yard in Vollenhove, Holland recently, Hanuman is on her way to the coast today (Tuesday 7th April). Her destination is the fishing port of Harlingen in Friesland on the edge of the Wadden Sea, where she will now complete her sea trials and commissioning.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Hanuman Launched

Hanuman, the replica new build of Endeavour II, was launched over the weekend at the Royal Huisman yard in The Netherlands. Designed by Dykstra and Partners, and with an interior by Pieter Beeldsnijder; she made a dramatic appearance as she was lowered into the water yesterday.

She was launched alongside the shipyard to step the mast and check all the rigging systems, prior to moving the yacht to the North Sea for commissioning and sea trials.

In 1937 the original Endeavour II was built in steel at Camper & Nicholson's yard in Gosport, for T.O.M. Sopwith, to designs by Charles E Nicholson. She was built to challenge for the America's Cup, against the defender 'Ranger'. click here to view the latest pics.

Friday, 20 February 2009

J Class Association Approve Lines Plans for “SVEA”

J Class Association Approve Lines Plans for “SVEA” - One of the longest yacht construction projects - 74 years from design in 1937 to expected completion in 2011.

During 1999, whilst researching International 8 Metre plans by designer Tore Holm, John Lammerts van Bueren discovered plans for a Swedish J Class yacht dating from 1937. The fragile paper plans were close to disintegration but were thankfully saved and carefully copied.

Since the set up of the J Class Association (JCA) back in 2000 there have been several possible projects for the build of this outstanding design, but recently copyright of the original plans came into new ownership.

New lines plans for the original design of the hull have now been completed by Hoek Design and following a meeting on 17th February 2009, were fully approved by the JCA.

“SVEA” was designed to be the longest of all the Js - a racing Super J. Detailed research by the Hoek design office and other experts in the field, suggests that this will be one of the fastest of all the J Class designs. She will certainly be one of the longest at 41.50 metres overall. Current plans are to build the yacht with a flush deck as per the original design.

Building of the aluminium hull is planned to start in May 2009 at the Bloemsma Shipyard, Holland. From there it will be barged to the Claasen Jachtbouw for finishing.

Completion is due for 2011, making this one of the longest yacht construction projects - 74 years from Tore Holm’s drawing board to expected comissioning in 2011.

LOA 41.50 m
LWL 26.55 m
Beam 6.40 m
Draft 4.57 m
Upwind Sail area 704 m2
Project designers: Hoek design
Hull and deck construction - Freddie Bloemsma Shipyard
Finishing: Claasen Jachtbouw

Download Press release .pdf here

Monday, 2 February 2009


The aluminium hull construction is almost complete at Bloemsma Aluminiumbouw, Holland. view pics

Now well under way at Claasen Jachtbouw, Holland and due for completion in the spring 2010. view pics

Almost complete at Royal Huisman Shipyard, Holland and due to launch in the next few months.

Monday, 26 January 2009


Both RANGER and VELSHEDA will compete at this major sailing event in April 2009. Over the seasons each yacht has been a winner here, and this will again be a real test of performance and determination by each yacht in the big waves and strong wind conditions.
Reports and pictures will be posted here.


Tuesday, 20 January 2009


Following misleading reports in recent weeks, we wish to clarify plans for some of the yachts this season.

Will compete in Caribbean regattas, including Antigua Classic Regatta, April 2009. She will then be based on the Eastern seaboard of the USA for the rest of the season, She is not intending to participate in European regattas during 2009.

Will also compete at the Antigua Classic Regatta, April 2009.
She is also planning to compete at the Rolex Maxi Yacht Regatta, Sardinia, September and the St Tropez Regatta, October. She will not be competing at the Superyacht Cup, Palma, June 2009.

(the new replica rebuild of ENDEAVOUR II) will on completion, depart for the USA East Coast.

Is available for Charter during the season, including European based regattas.

Will be refitting during 2009.