Exciting news as the J Class is invited to return to the America's Cup to participate at a regatta at n Bermuda in 2017


After 80 years, the magnificent J Class is to return to the America’s Cup to race in a parallel regatta during the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017. This is hugely exciting news, and will brings together two facets of yachting: the high-tech and fast-paced AC72 foiling catamarans and the beauty and power of the mighty Js, still so redolent of their glamorous 1930s heyday.

J Class Velsheda

J Class Velsheda

The press release says: ‘The J Class Association has accepted an invitation from the organisers of the 2017 America’s Cup to participate in a J Class regatta during the AC35 event. All eight J Class yachts are expected in Bermuda, with a minimum of six anticipated to compete in the J Class regatta – the first time in history more than five J Class yachts have ever raced against each other.

“The J Class era of the America’s Cup is widely recognised as being among the high points in Cup history,” said Russell Coutts, director of the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA).

“When racing for the America’s Cup in the 1930s, the J Class boats embodied grace and power with cutting-edge design and engineering. Having the J Class join us in Bermuda will create a spectacular blend between the old and new.”

On board action J Class Ranger

On board action J Class Ranger

Berthed at the centre of the race village, the J Class fleet will showcase the heritage and tradition of the America’s Cup. The yachts will also be at the heart of the action with their own exclusive four day regatta.

Racing in the J Class regatta will be organised by the America’s Cup race management team with the final two days of racing expected to straddle the opening weekend of the America’s Cup Match.

The current J Class fleet comprises seven yachts, including two of the original Js that raced for the America’s Cup, Shamrock V and Endeavour. The seven J Class yachts sailing today are: Endeavour, Hanuman, Lionheart, Rainbow, Ranger, Shamrock V and Velsheda.

Rainbow, one of the majestic J class fleet, built by Holland Jachtbouw.

Rainbow, one of the majestic J class fleet, built by Holland Jachtbouw.

The Js have been undergoing a huge resurgence, and there are more builds and designs in progress. J8, a new build from a 1935 Frank Paine design, is due to be launched in May 2015. Svea, taken from the plans of an unbuilt Swedish J design from 1937 (J Class rules stipulate that all new yachts must be built from original era designs), is also in build, with aluminium hull complete.

There are also plans for J9, recently commissioned by Holland Jachtbouw, from a Frank Paine design. This design has benefited from extensive CFD research by Hoek Design and is waiting for a new client –  this is effectively a stock design and would cut down the time needed should an owner decide to buy a new J and to race at the America’s Cup regatta. This means that in future it is possible ten Js could race together.

But if you’re to impatient to wait, the great Endeavour is up for sale. Here’s the story.

To read more about the huge leap up in technology in the Js and the intense racing they have been enjoying in the last years, some of the closest in the class’s fabled history, read Elaine Bunting’s great on board feature report.

And find out about the regatta some of the J Class will be racing in the UK this summer.

And more information on the class from www.jclassyachts.com