Recent J Class AGM signalled an upturn in interest and intention to develop a two to three year racing programme.
The new 2022 calendar will include:
- Saint Barth’s Bucket – 17 – 20 March
- Superyacht Cup Palma, Mallorca – 29 June – 2 July
- Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – 4 – 10 September
Three J Class teams are already signed up for Saint Barth’s Bucket . . . JK6 Hanuman, J5 Ranger and JK7 Velsheda.
All three are expected to be joined by J8 Topaz at the European regattas.
J5 Ranger now in new ownership . . .
J5 Ranger has undergone a major refit and shed a significant amount of weight, including removing all equipment from the engine room and modernising much of it before reinstallation.
The hydraulics have been updated to deliver a very competitive system for racing and the displacement has been reduced whilst maintaining the same righting moment.
Greg Sloat, the owner’s representative explained: “We did a full paint job and new teak decks as well as simplifying the deck layout. We built a new cockpit and can store life rafts below so not just mounted on deck anymore.”
“Overall, the changes should improve the performance but to what degree we won’t really know until we line up against other boats and so we are really looking forwards to that. Not a single boat really knows this new rule and so this new cycle is going to be very interesting.”
The Saint Barth’s Bucket will be the first regatta for Ranger’s new owner who first saw and fell in love with the J5 at the NYYC America’s Cup World Series event in 2016 and so this will fulfil the first part of his dream.
Among the new Ranger crew will be navigator Jules Salter, Mainsail Trimmer Dirk De Ridder, tactician John Kostecki and trimmers Ross Halcrow, Warwick Fleury, Mo Gray and Jordi Calafat.
JK6 Hanuman also have some new crew and are fired up to go racing:
The Hanuman team are planning is to do the full season after warming up at the Antigua Superyacht Challenge.
Kenny Read will sail as tactician with Gavin Brady driving, Stan Honey is navigating and Richard Clarke strategist.
Chris Hosking will be on main trim, Tony Mutter and Phil Harmer on jib and spinnaker trim respectively, Greg Gendell on the bow, and Tom Burnham is Hanuman’s Coach.
Louise Morton, acting J Class Secretary commented:
“We are proceeding relatively cautiously but it is great to report that owners and their teams seem keen to go J Class racing together again.”
“It is pleasing to have these plans in place and teams committing. It is great too to hear there is also still some solid activity in the J Class market with boats changing hands. So, we are hopeful that we will see other boats returning to join the racing in 2002.”