5 J Class yachts will line up against each other tomorrow (thursday) for the first time since 1937

Gustavia, St Barths is buzzing as a fleet of superyachts arrive for this year’s St Barths Bucket, with the first of three races starting on Friday 29 March. But tomorrow (Thursday) promises to be an incredible showcase event as five J-Class yachts square up against each other at noon (local time) for the first of their four race days under their own class. It is believed that this will be only the second time five Js have raced against each other, and the first time in 76 years.

Velsheda, the only original J-Class here will be racing against her arch adversary for the last decade, Ranger, plus modern replica upstarts (in chronological order) Hanuman, Lionheart and Rainbow. After last summer’s unbelievable UK spectacle which involved all bar Hanuman, the two new Dutch boats certainly threatened the most promise, with Rainbow looking highly slippery despite her comparatively smaller length and displacement, and Lionheart exercising her power as the longest and highest J overall.

Although the Bucket is renowned for its pursuit racing format, the J Class will have their own fleet start prior to the pursuit class yachts for the following three days. “In the interest of safety and fair racing, we intended on having a fleet start for the racing oriented superyachts this year,” said Race Chairman Peter Craig.
The coastal courses planned use islands, rocks and buoys to set a variety of exciting racing formats. For those interested in following the race, trackers have been fitted on all boats. J Class yachts can be followed at tractrac.com with more information at the J-Class Association website here or for the rest of the Bucket, the official website is here

Picture shows J-Class Yachts Velsheda, Ranger and Hanuman at last year’s Bucket. Picture by Cory Silken www.corysilken.com