Just back from the first ever J Class World Championships, in Newport, RI. Absolutely one of the most incredible experiences of my sailing career. These are rebuilt originals or newly built replicas of the majestic 130ft J boats that were raced in the 1930’s Americas Cups. There has been a revival of the class, with up to eight of these boats now being actively raced. The class rules allow you only to build to original hull design plans, but you can use all modern technology for rigs and sails. So we now have this beautiful blend of old world design, mixed with the latest modern technology, and being raced as hard as you possibly can by some of the sports best sailors. It is an experience like no other. Absolutely the most challenging/scary/pleasurable driving role I have ever had, and some of the closest racing ever. All in some of the most beautiful sailboats ever designed. Quite the combination.
I sail onboard TOPAZ with a crew of over 30. This is only our third event together, and we still have hundreds of small steps to get this complicated boat even close to it’s full potential. LIONHEART from Holland has been racing for 5 years and have a very complete package of boat and team, and they sailed very well to win the event. We finished fourth, but managed to win 2 of the seven races, so we had our moments of joy.
Some of the photos from the event are truly incredible. To read more about the event and see some great photos, visit the J Class website at http://www.jclassyachts.com/events/j-class-world-championship-1
Up next for me is the final 52 Super Series event of the year onboard PROVEZZA in Mahon, Menorca, Spain in late September. We won our last event and so are hoping to continue the momentum and finish the year strong.