J Class to be part of the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda

The organisers of the 2017 America’s Cup being held in Bermuda have invited the J Class Association to participate in a J Class Regatta. Announcing they have accepted the invitation, the event will involve all eight J Class yachts, with a minimum of six anticipated to compete in the regatta. This will mark the first time in history that more than five J Class yachts have ever raced against each other.

Director of the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA), Russell Coutts, commented, "The J Class era of the America's Cup is widely recognised as being among the high points in Cup history. When racing for the America's Cup in the 1930s, the J Class boats embodied grace and power with cutting-edge design and engineering. Having the J Class join us in Bermuda will create a spectacular blend between the old and new."

Berthed at the centre of the Race Village, the J Class fleet will showcase the heritage and tradition of the America's Cup. The yachts will also be at the heart of the action with their own exclusive four day regatta.

Louise Morton, Secretary of the J Class Association (JCA) commented, "The America's Cup Organisers have offered the J Class a unique opportunity to be part of the America's Cup for the first time in 80 years. On behalf of the Owners, Captains and Crew, we are delighted to accept their kind invitation and look forward to being part of this spectacular event."

The current J Class fleet comprises seven yachts, including two of the original Js that raced for the America's Cup; Endeavour, Hanuman, Lionheart, Rainbow, Ranger, Shamrock V and Velsheda. J8 is due to be launched in May 2015, and once in the water, will mark the first time that eight Js have been sailing since 1934.

By Gemma Fottles

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