Four J-Class yachts prepare to race this week in Falmouth, UK, for the inaugural J-Class UK Regattas
Lionheart, Rainbow, Ranger, and Velsheda are in Falmouth Harbour, crewed by a mix of some of the world’s top sailors preparing to do battle this week off the beautiful Cornish coastline. Port Pendennis marina looks more like a scene from the South of France (albeit slightly colder and damper), with three of the four Js parked stern-to, alongside a mix of beautiful classic and spirit of tradition superyachts which are gearing up for the Pendennis Cup, also held here next week (3-7 July). Rainbow meanwhile is berthed alongside her support vessel MV Holland in A&P’s dock.
While Ranger and Velsheda have been lining up against each other for the last eight years in events both sides of the Atlantic, and are both raced very competitively, the prospects of the two new Dutch boats Rainbow and Lionheart remain intriguingly unknown. The former has come literally straight from the yard of her builders Holland Jachtbouw, while the largest J afloat, Lionheart has also yet to race against the other Js here.
Their collective beauty and graceful motions make a bewitching sight and the town is already buzzing with spectators keen to see them in action. I went out to Pendennis Point today, which makes for an ideal vantage for the proposed racing area, and despite the light breeze and drizzle, the carpark was already littered with cars and spectators armed with ice-creams and binoculars. The latter make a very handy aid, as, despite these dames carrying Bermudan rigs that tower 170ft in the air, with three Js dressed in North Sail’s new dark 3Di sails, it’s a job picking them from afar.
Racing is now scheduled from Tuesday 26 June through to Saturday 30 June inclusive with no layday – and with the westcountry due to dish up some reliable sou’westers, forecasted to increase all week, this promises to be a truly spectacular event.
The first J-Class race will start at 12pm tomorrow, Tuesday 26 June.