Saturday, 8 October 2011

Endeavour JK4 Launched



Yachting Developments proudly launched the iconic J Boat Endeavour on Saturday 8th October 2011, the launching marks the completion of an extensive 18 month refit at Yachting Developments yard based in Hobsonville, Auckland.

Endeavour touched the water at 8am, onboard systems were commissioned and checked, the new mast was stepped at 11am, the boom was fitted at 1.00pm, Endeavour then moved to her berth at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour on schedule at 2.30pm.

Absolute care has been taken throughout the refit to preserve as much of the vessel as practical while taking advantage of twenty first century sailing systems, enhanced performance and improved functionality.

The comprehensive refit includes removal and replacement of the complete weather deck including all deck equipment. Steel deck framing has also been relocated to accommodate the new load paths of the new deck layout.

There has been a long term philosophy of longevity and serviceability throughout the refit ensuring Endeavour will remain the historic Icon she is today for future generations.

Dykstra & Partners, Naval Architects, have been instrumental in the design of the new sail plan, deck layout, and structural engineering.

The main engine, generators, hydraulic systems, winches, electrical system, electronics, bow thruster and air conditioning have been replaced or upgraded.

The new carbon fibre mast was built by Southern Spars Auckland, the mast features carbon standing rigging.

Accommodation forward of the mast has been reconfigured by John Munford and Adam Lay, the new interior has been built in-house by Yachting Developments tradesmen.

The owner’s project management is by Jon Barrett Associates whom have had over 25 years experience in this role with Endeavour.

Yachting Developments Managing Director Ian Cook describes working on Endeavour as “an honor, she is something special, everyone involved has put their heart and soul into the refit, I think the care, and passion is very evident in the end result”.

Yachting Developments, Jon Barrett Associates, Dykstra & Partners will be attending this years Fort Lauderdale International Boat show.

Monday, 20 June 2011


The last race was held in light northerly breezes, and the Race officer bravely issued a course with a downwind start, passing the crowded spectator fleet off Fort Adams and Castle Hill.

Both yachts got away cleanly but Velsheda elected the pin end, closer to the next gate and gained a quick advantage. A gybing duel followed, but after a few inside gybes, Ranger caught her spinnaker high in the rigging and it quickly split, loosing them more ground for the recovery.

At the bottom mark Velsheda had gained a 2 minute lead, enough for them to command the windward berth on the long slow upwind leg back to the shortened course finish line, right in front of the many spectators at Castle Hill.

The exciting tactical race was a fitting end to a great regatta,  where many thousands of spectators were enthralled by these great yachts.  Just a few of the comments included
" It was wonderful to see these boats from a pas era"
"we could not believe the size and power of the se yachts"
"and the teamwork on these boats is astounding"
"we can't believe that they were designed and built in the 1930's

CORUM WATCHES  presented a wonderful perpetual trophy to Ranger, the overal winner, who also won a unique timepiece - a CORUM TIDE WATCH

The legend lives on and the J's will be back in Newport in the future!


With Friday's race postponed, two were held on Saturday, in bright sky's with a strong 15 know South Easterly into the Newport harbour entrance.

the first race got away with Ranger holding a short, five boat length lead and the distance never really changed on the subsequent top spinnaker reach, and run to the finish. With a small time correction factor , RANGER won by 25 seconds, and winning the event overall at that point with a 3:0 score.

The start of race four saw a repeat of the first start where RANGER managed to push VELSHEDA above the committee boat, then bear away to cross on time, leaving VELSHEDA to complete a slow gybe before crossing the line.

RANGER had pulled out a massive 4 minute lead by the top mark. The two yachts headed off with spinnakers pulling, into a bank of famous Newport fog before piping out later on the downwind leg, past the Castle Hill headland and New York Yacht Club, packed with spectators.

VELSHEDA slowly ground down the distance but was never to be in contention, finishing a creditable 2 minutes 40 seconds behind.

One more race completes the series, already now won by RANGER.


After a long and frustrating wait at the dock, the third and critical race in the Newport J Class Regatta, was postponed to be raced another day.  A deep depression covered the area and with strong wind and torrential rain it was decided to re-run the race, if possible, on Saturday 18th June.

The next race is critical for Velsheda, as Ranger has a 2-0 lead in the 5 race series.  If weather permits, many thousands of spectators, both on the shore and on the water are expected for the weekend.

Friday, 17 June 2011


A simply stunning day of racing was experienced by the thousands of spectators who took to the waters to see RANGER and VELSHEDA battle in the near perfect conditions of Newport Harbour - 16 knots southerly with sunshine.

The two yachts circled and manouvred for best position to cross the start line , laid across the bay from Fort Adams. Both got away cleanly, but RANGER quickly got the advantage and covered VELSHEDA most of the way up to the first mark, laid well out into the bay. nly several boat lenghts seperated them along the next four mile power reach with their massive spinnakers driving them at around 16 knots.

Downwind the yachts had to pass a gate at Fort Adams, where many spectators had lined the shore to see these yachts glide past with more than 16,000 square feet of area in the mainsail and spinnaker. Sailing through the gate, the gap was down to half a boat length. Both gybed simultaneously in true America's Cup style and trimmed sails for every inch of advantage, continuing alongside each other under the Newport bridge and down to the leeward turning mark.

RANGER, just managed to turn the leeward island one boatlength ahead, giving them the advantage to hold a cover up to the finish. RANGER, the bgger boay, gives VELSHEDA a small handicap in these conditions, but won by 27 seconds on corrected time. RANGER now has a 2:0 win with three races to go in the series.

Thursday, 16 June 2011


In a stunning text book manoeuvre, RANGER locked out VELSHEDA at the start of the First race of the Newport J Class Regatta. both boats lined up in perfect conditions - 16 knots northerly and sunny - to give them a beat away from the spectator start area off Fort Adams, and up into the harbour under the famous Newport bridge.

RANGER crossed on the gun leaving VELSHEDA to gybe back and return to the line, leaving her 40 seconds behind from the very start. Both yacht held the same distance as they turned the island mark to run back down the harbour under spinnaker, creating a superb sight for the shoreline spectators at Fort Adams and Castle Hill.

Having rounded marks in the bay, the two yachts worked back to windward into the harbour entrance, each trying to gain best advantage. At the finish it was RANGER clear ahead with a 79 second lead, winning the first race by just one second on handicap from her rival.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Two of the most competitive yachts in the world are coming together for the first race of the Newport J Class Regatta, R.I. USA - a series of five races from 15-19 June. The yachts, their entourage of support boats, containers and Crew have been arriving over the last few weeks in preparation for this event: bringing the famous J Class yachts back to sail on Newport waters.

Both yachts have been practising on the proposed course around the harbour and under the famous Newport Harbour bridge. With 175 feet of mast above the deck there is little clearance for these yachts, making sailing under the bridge truly spectacular. Racing is due to start at 1.00pm local time on a start line near Fort Adams, allowing spectators stunning views of these wonderful classic yachts.

VELSHEDA dates back to 1933 when she was owned and built by Mr Stephenson, to spar against the UK yacht ENDEAVOUR. RANGER is a replica build of the famous original, launched in 2002. The original successfully defended the America's Cup against ENDEAVOUR II in 1937.

This has been a big commitment by the J Class Association to bring these wonderful yachts back to the home waters of the 1930s era of America's Cup sailing. It had been hoped that more would be competing, but SHAMROCK V could not make the Atlantic crossing due to European commitments and HANUMAN (a replica of the 1937 ENDEAVOUR II) declined to race.

This event starts the run-in to the 2012 series of J Class regattas in the UK planned for Falmouth, June 2012, The Solent, July 2012, and the final "Hundred Guinea Cup Race" around the Isle of Wight on the original 1851 America's Cup course.

Thursday, 27 January 2011


click here to view the Newport Regatta page...

The J Class yachts VELSHEDA, RANGER and SHAMROCK V will be participating in the J CLASS NEWPORT REGATTA, the first of a series of global J Class events, culminating in the Hundred Guinea Cup race, Cowes 2012.

JANUARY 27, 2011, Newport, RI – David Pitman, Secretary of the J Class Association announced that the first event in the J Class Global Calendar of events will be staged in Newport, RI. Racing in the famous waters of the America’s Cup, the J Class will use this regatta to kick off a four regatta programme culminating in a race around the Isle of Wight in July of 2012 on the original 1851 America’s Cup course, for the HUNDRED GUINEA CUP.

In 1930, Newport was the venue for the start of the remarkable J Class era. Between 1930 and 1937 there were just 10 of these stunning yachts constructed for the purpose of winning the America’s Cup. Two of the originals (Shamrock V and Velsheda) will participate in Newport, together with Ranger, a true replica of the original. Negotiations continue with other new J yachts for them join the regatta.

Sail Newport and the J Class Association are responsible for the on water race management of the regatta. The yachts and their teams will be based at the Newport Shipyard with crews staying at the Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina.

The regatta series of 5 races will be run from June 15th to 19th, 2011 with starts and finishes off of Fort Adams. Viewing stands will be set up on the Northwestern corner of Fort Adams and other excellent viewing options will be at Castle Hill Inn and various spots in Jamestown.

Working with the US Coast Guard, Sail Newport will establish safe water viewing areas along the entire course.

Mr. Pitman closed the announcement by saying, “We hope to provide five days of spectacular racing and with the continued support of the State and the city of Newport we look forward to planning arrangements for a major regatta in Newport during 2014, featuring up to 10 yachts.”