Two of the three remaining J Class Yachts will be making the long trip to New Zealand this coming Southern Hemisphere summer. Both Shamrock V (K3) and Endeavour (K4) are booked aboard yacht-freight ships for arrival in Auckland on December 2002.
This will be a rare treat for the thousands of spectators who are in Auckland for the Americas Cup competitions that begin in October. These massive J Class yachts were the first true Class to compete in the Americas Cup and are in immaculate racing condition today. Their sleek lines have rightly earned them their reputation as the most beautiful yachts in the world.
Weighing in at around 170 tons, their masts tower 170 feet above deck, with booms more than 60 feet long, and keels drawing 16 feet. About 10,000 square feet of sail area can be set in the mainsail and headsails when sailing to windward. Spinnakers, set on poles 50 feet long, are just as enormous, some boasting as much as 8,000 square feet.
The creation of a new J Class Association just two years ago promotes, protects and develops the interests of the existing J Class Yachts and represents new yachts built to the original line plans. In keeping with the spirit of the Class from the 1930s, Shamrock V and Endeavour are fitted with state-of-the-art rigs, deck equipment, and sails. The J Class yachts remain highly competitive, as the many modern performance yachts will find out.
It is anticipated that Shamrock V and Endeavour will compete in the International Classic Yacht Regatta, Auckland, from February 6-9, 2003, organized by the The Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand. This regatta will take place between the final of the Louis Vuitton Cup and New Zealands defense of the Americas Cup.
This visit of two J Class yachts follows the successful Classic event in February 2000, when the other remaining J Class yacht Velsheda visited Auckland to compete in the Logan Classic Regatta and Super Yacht Regatta. During late 2003, the replica rebuild of Ranger is expected to be launched in Europe. For more information, contact David Pitman, secretary of the J Class Association, at [email protected], or visit their website at www.jclassyachts.com. For information about The Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand Inc, e-mail [email protected]