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 past era”
“we could not believe the size and power of these 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 overall winner, who also won a unique timepiece – a Corum Tide Watch
Challenge and Adventure would like to thank Jock West and David Pittman for coordinating a spectacular event. Special thanks go out to Brian Rochelle and Vicki Bray for making it happen smoothly. Nick Innacone we thank you for going above and beyond helping us out. We look forward to the next J-Class Regatta.
For more images of the action from all five races by George Bekris click HERE
More Images of the J-Class regatta are available on our Photo Gallery Page.
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.
There is plenty more to see this weekend as the J-Classes take to the waters off Newport this weekend for racing. The racing starts at 1:00 pm Saturday and Sunday off Fort Adams.
For More Images by George Bekris of the J-Class action click HERE
The J Class yachts Velsheda and Ranger will be participating in the J Class Newport Regatta, the first of a series of global J Class events, cultimating in the Hundred Guinea Cup race, Cowes 2012.
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.
A 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.
This will be the first competitive J Class regatta in the USA since the America’s Cup event of 1937 between the Defender Ranger, and the Challenger Endeavour II.”?:7