Cruising J Class style aboard Lionheart
- Thu, 9 Sep 2010
We've been sailing the brand new J Class Lionheart off Majorca recently and the signs are she's fast although without her racing sails and another J alongside there was no opportunity to undertake the acid test.
But on Monday we managed to top l3.7 knots in a healthy 25 knots of true breeze off the west coast of Majorca. The 44m metre J has just launched from Claasen Jachtbouw in Holland and was on her way to the Monaco Yacht Show where she will be exhibited from the 22-25 September.
Lionheart is the first modern J to be built based on plans of a yacht that was never actually built. When Ranger was designed in the 1930s tank test models were used to determine performance and Model C was eventually chosen from the Starling Burgess/Olin Stephens variations.
Lionheart is based on Model F and Andre Hoek's office has developed the lines to suit the modern rule. Hoek looked at all the J designs and using a special velocity prediction programme established Ranger Model F as potentially the fastest of all the Js.
We'll be looking at this great looking yacht in more detail in an upcoming issue.
The Dutch owner of Lionheart at the helm on a broad reach off the west coast of Palma on Tuesday. The breeze topped out at about 25 knots true and the yacht managed just over 13 knots with a full main and a working jib, both cut for cruising.
Lionheart's Australian mate Jake Foale tends to a runner while skipper Toby Brand gets to grips with the big J as she reaches at 11-12 knots off Majorca on Monday.
Cruising J Class style! With just six crew Lionheat even at 160 tons and 44 metres overall was surprisingly easy to handle in a reasonable breeze. We sailed with no lifelines or stanchions (for the publicity shots!) but they can be fitted in about 30 minutes.
We really didn't want it to end this way....but as we hardened up on the breeze and Lionheart punched into the first few waves the Spectra tack line gave way and the jib was left thrashing around connected by head and clew alone. It took a bit of fighting to get it to the deck with no injuries and minimal damage. Early days of working up a big yacht.