We came across Endeavour in Auckland plus some more intriguing J Class news

Here’s a picture of the J Class yacht Endeavour, currently undergoing running repairs at Craig Park’s Orams Marine Services in Auckland. There’s a lot of work being done to her dorades, which have been letting in water, and Orams have pulled her rig for a major overhaul.

But any prospect of the Charles Nicholson-designed J returning to Europe and the Caribbean in the near future to engage with the likes of Velsheda and Ranger looks remote as skipper Lars Christensen tells us he may be taking her to Qingdao for the Olympics this summer. Nothing’s certain though.

There is other intriguing J Class news circulating in Auckland where delegates have arrived for the Yacht Vision 08 symposium, a gathering of leading lights in the industry.

A visit to Southern Spars revealed that Velsheda has ordered a new carbon spar, to replace her reliable but heavy Carbospars tube, and that this should be in the yacht and tuned in time for the Maxi Rolex Regatta in Sardinia in September. This is partly in response to the enormous amount of work carried out by John Williams on Ranger which got the better of Velsheda in clashes last season, although the competition between the yachts remains extremely tight.

But it looks as though Williams might be planning the ultimate move in the current arms race – by building a completely new Ranger. Suppliers and builders have clearly been sounded out for a Ranger Mk2 and we hear unconfirmed reports that the existing Ranger is seriously on the market.