Thrilling finish to the Newport Regatta
The J Class Newport Regatta finished on Sunday 19th June with a thrilling final race, a wonderful tactical exhibition that showcased the very best of the J Class yachts and the very best of sailing. Thousands of enthralled spectators gathered at Fort Adams, Castle Hill, and the headlands around Newport Bay over five days, as Ranger won four races to Velsheda’s one.
The results, however, do not reflect the closeness of many of the races themselves, the first of which Ranger won by just one second on corrected time based on the new J Class Association handicap system. The regatta itself was superb, facilities were excellent and charming Newport was a perfect venue for this event.
With such a rich maritime history and the location of the firstAmerica’s Cup event in Js, Newport R.I. was the perfect venue for this regatta. The welcome from locals was overwhelming and many Newport sailors turned out to help manage and assist. It is hoped that the fleetwill return to Newport for further regattas in 2014.
The Newport Regatta was the firstshowcase of the JCA handicap system, created by the Wolfson Unit at Southampton University. This new system is based on VPP calculations and was validated from towing tank results achieved from the 1930s prepared for Harold S Vanderbilt, who went on to commission the 1937 Ranger. Sparkman and Stephens USA officemade this comprehensive document available to the JCA and the information provided the vital cross-check required for the Wolfson Unit to complete the figuresfor accurate handicapping of the Js in the interests of fair racing and good sportsmanship on the race course.
Ratings are issued for three wind bands, 0-9 Knots, 10-14 Knots, plus14 Knots above, and two types of courses, Circular Random and Windward Leeward. This set of ratings offers the fairest measure of boat on boat performance.
Corum Watches presented a wonderful perpetual trophy to Ranger, the overall winner, who also won a unique timepiece - a Corum Tide Watch.
The next big J Class event is in Falmouth in June 2012 followed by The Solent in July 2012, finishingwith the ‘Hundred Guinea Cup’ race around the Isle of Wight on the original America’s cup course.