The three remaining J-Class yachts, originally built to race for the America’s Cup and other events in the 1930s, came together in the summer of 2001 for the Jubilee Regatta, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the original race.
I particularly wanted to see and photograph the three J-Class yachts as I worked for a time in the yacht design office at Camper and Nicholsons, the firm that designed and built these and many of this century’s finest yachts. These fabulous yachts are now fully restored to a very high standard and are breathtakingly beautiful in port or at sea.
Shamrock (top) dates from 1930 and is probably my favourite. I was at C&N when she returned for a refit in 1974, having emerged from a reclusive past in Italy, including being hidden in a barn during the war years. She has a wooden hull and is probably the most authentic J-Class yacht.
Velsheda, (centre) was built in 1933, and also has an interesting history, which includes being abandoned in a River Hamble mud berth for many years, before being rescued and restored to a basic sailing condition. After further work, she is now fully restored and updated.
Endeavour (bottom) has also been fully restored, but in the American way. Her decks bristle with efficient winches mounted beside exquisite joinery. She was built in steel in 1934 and was the fastest of the British J-Class Yachts in the 1930s and, judging by her performance in the Jubilee Regatta in 2001, she still remains so.