Classic Boat — November 2017

(Barré) #1
PHOTOGRAPH Onne van der Wal

Thousands stood along Newport harbour shores and watched on spectator boats as the J-Class returned to its spiritual home in August, for the first
ever J-Class Worlds. The Js raced for the America’s Cup from Newport in the 1930s and history repeated itself in 2017 as the modern-day Js Lionheart
and Hanuman battled for the top spot. Eighty years previously, the same two designs had gone head to head in the last America’s Cup raced in Js.
Lionheart is a modern-day equivalent of one of the designs drawn for the all-conquering Ranger, which won at Newport in 1937, while Hanuman is a
modern-day equivalent of Endeavour II. Lionheart, originally designed by Starling Burgess and Olin Stephens, was optimised by Hoek Design and
launched in 2011. Those watching in Newport were treated to a spectacle as good as any in the J-Class’ extraordinary history, with six yachts –
Hanuman, Lionheart, Ranger, Svea, Topaz, and Velsheda – competing over five days of racing for the world title and the season-long points trophy,
the Kohler Cup. As ever in the J fleet, thanks to its e“ective modern handicapping system, competition was tight, with frequent lead changes
throughout on Narragansett Bay. Lionheart, with her owner helming, won the title by three points ahead of Hanuman, but the final leaderboard
showed seven points between first and third place and only a 13-point di“erence from top to bottom. Ranger, the 2003 replica of the Burgess/
Stephens original, was third overall. The win topped a great summer for Hoek, after Lionheart won the overall prize in the America’s Cup Superyacht
Regatta and the special America’s Cup J-Class Regatta, held in Bermuda as part of the America’s Cup celebrations in June. The wins meant
Lionheart also won the Kohler Trophy for the J-Class season.

J-Class Worlds

CB353 Big pic J's_Worlds.indd 15 26/09/2017 14:

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