J Class Events

2011 J Class Newport Regatta

  June 14 - 18, 2011


Series win by Ranger 3:0

18 June 2011: 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.



17 June 2011: 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.



16 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 manoeuvred 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. Only several boat lengths separated 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 boat length ahead, giving them the advantage to hold a cover up to the finish. RANGER, the bigger 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.



15 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.



14 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.



J5: Ranger
JK7: Velsheda


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