Three amazing Dykstra Naval Architects designed and refitted J-Class Yachts participated in the J-Class races at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2013 in Sardinia‘s beautiful yacht charter destination – Porto Cervo: Dykstra-refitted sailing yacht Velsheda, Dykstra-designed new built superyacht Rainbow, as well as Dykstra-refitted charter yacht Ranger.
Saturday September the 7th saw the grand finale of the battle of the J’s at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, with luxury yacht Rainbow ahead of Velsheda yacht by only one point on this last day of racing, tensions were high. Conditions throughout this week have been light and ‘challenging’, a little unusual for regattas hosted out of the Porto Cervo Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with it’s infamous ‘bomb alley’ – the natural channel that runs through the Maddalena archipelago known for big barrelling puffs of wind.
The big difference Saturday was that it was a downwind start – “positioning is key, you aim to hoist before the start and hit the line at full speed. “Velsheda seemed to nail it, “We executed the start perfectly,” explained Jeff Reynolds, Velsheda yacht’s bowman, “We hoisted at the right time and were in the right position.”
They were able to take off in clean air and reached the narrow gate at the Isle of Bisce ahead of the competition. After putting the minimal gybes required to pass through the narrow channel, the rest as they say was history.
“Once in the lead in this light air, you should have it sewn up as there are not many passing lanes out there,” continued Jeff, “winning the race today came down to not only the start and tactics, but also to our awesome crew work – manoeuvres in the light stuff can be tricky, but everything went up and came down smoothly. Most of our team have been racing together for over 5 years and we have got it all down to a fine science. “Rainbow were not so lucky, “We didn’t get a proper leg up at the start,” described Mark Neelemen who helms the up wind legs, “we were too low, and couldn’t speed up as we were in the bad wind of Ranger”.
Luxury yacht Rainbow was forced to hold out for sailing yacht Inoui – the new sloop from Vitters – to gybe over before they could, and to compound the issue then had to dip Inoui on the next cross. Finally they came into the Straits of Bisce too high and had to do a couple more gybes than Velsheda who were only just in the lead at that point, “it may not seem so much, but lots of little things make a lot.”
The race was over in that first 10 minutes. Charter yacht Ranger pretty much sailed her own race on Saturday, without the stronger winds that she needs to get up and fly, she had to be content with sailing a solid race with no tactical or crew work errors – Ranger scored on both points today.
Back on the dock there was a short prize giving for the J Class Owners, guests and crew with a new ‘keeper’ trophy awarded to the Owner of superyacht Velsheda for the 1st place, Rainbow 2nd and Ranger 3rd.
The J’s are currently competing in Les Voiles de St Tropez, running until October 6. Dykstra Naval Architects designed and refitted entries include superyacht Hanuman, Velsheda and the oldest surviving yacht in the class, charter yacht Shamrock V.