Sails : Sails 28 October November 2014
aperture 074 now has an engine and there is an extra ten centimetres of freeboard to allow for all the systems and interior – all the stuff that they didn’t have in the ‘30s. additionally, there are powered winches, there is a deck house, the rig is taller and there is more sail area, so while it looks the same from a distance, the way the boats are sailed is completely different from the old days.” the similarities in design of the J-Class yachts ensure close competition in the Class, rewarding who sails best on a given day. whereas the 1930s america’s Cup races between the mighty J’s were based on elapsed time, today’s regattas see the born-again J Class vying for position based on vPP (velocity prediction program) ratings and a handicap system that facilitates genuine competition between ‘old’ and ‘new’ members of the Class. they are challenging boats to race – loads are enormous, they weigh in excess of 170 tonnes and the sail area can cover up to 1,000m2 . So, the crew of 35 plus skilled sailors on board need to plan well in advance and communicate efficiently (by radio), so as to execute every manoeuvre with perfect timing. i had to pinch myself. was i really there in Sardinia as one of the 40- crew racing the J Class Rainbow? For a sailor whose first yacht was a J24, the opportunity to race aboard a “J” of an entirely different scale andclass–andtodosoattheMaxi Yacht rolex Cup no less – was a very special occasion indeed. one of those experiences that serve to remind us that life is not measured in the number of breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away. a comparison oft expressed about J’s of then and now is it’s said that harold vanderbilt chose the name Rainbow in 1934 as an expression of his hope of better times after the Great Depression. there are parallels today, though less desperate, to the global economics of more recent times and it would be gratifying to think this new Rainbow and the growing fleet of J Class may shine upon a bigger and brighter future for the sport of yachting and our industry alike. heaD turNer Carlo Borlenghi Right: J Class boats are challenging to race weighing in excess of 170 tonnes and with a sail area of up to 1,000m2.
Sails 29 December January 2015
Sails 27 August September 2014