Article Recalls Newport J-Boat Race
October 18, 2011
A recent article in the Block Island Times by J.V. Houlihan, Jr. recalls the author’s experience when he stumbled upon the J-Class races off Newport this past June:
Here’s an excerpt:
“One of the more impressive sailing events I’ve ever witnessed happened at Castle Hill Lighthouse this past June. I happened to be going for a sail one day and saw the J-Class Boats Ranger and Valsheda preparing to begin racing out of Newport Harbor.
“There was a sizable spectator fleet of perhaps 50 boats at the starting line. I decided to head out to the Castle Hill Lighthouse to get a better view of the race and dodge the crowds. Over the years, I’d seen the J Boats Shamrock and Endeavor sailing in Narragansett Bay; however, I’d never seen these amazing things racing. This day, I would see what these boats were designed to do.
“The shorthand history of these boats is the J-Class was adopted in 1928 and the first Regatta was in 1930. Only 10 of these boats were designed and built for a race called The America’s Cup. At 140’ with an enormous sail plan, these boats would require 30 professional crew members to sail them. This was a sport for people with very deep pockets; it still is today.”