Two of the three remaining J Class Yachts will be making the long trip to New Zealand this coming winter. Both Shamrock V (K3) and Endeavour (K4) are booked aboard freight ships for arrival in Auckland December 2002.
This will be a rare treat for the thousands of spectators who are in Auckland for the Americas Cup contest. These massive J Class yachts were the first true Class to compete in the Americas Cup and are in immaculate racing condition today. Their sleek lines have rightly earned them the reputation of the most beautiful yachts in the world.
Weighing in at around 170 tons, their masts tower 170 feet above deck, with booms more than 60 feet long, and keels drawing 16 feet. 10,000 square feet of sail area can be set in the mainsail and headsails when sailing to windward. Spinnakers are just as enormous, some being as much as 8000 square feet set on poles 50 feet long.
The creation of a new J Class Association just two years ago promotes, protects and develops the interests of the existing J Class Yachts and represents new yachts built to the original line plans. In keeping with the spirit of the Class from the 1930's, Shamrock V and Endeavour are fitted with state of the art rigs, deck equipment and sails. The J Class yachts remain highly competitive, as the many modern performance yachts will find out.
It is anticipated that Shamrock V and Endeavour will compete in the International Classic Yacht Regatta, Auckland, from the 6th to the 9th February 2003, organised by the The Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand. This regatta will take place between the Final of the Louis Vuitton Cup, and New Zealand's defence of the America's Cup.
This visit of two J Class yachts follows the successful Classic event in February 2000, when the other remaining J Class yacht Velsheda visited Auckland to compete in the Logan Classic Regatta and Super yacht Regatta.
During late 2003, the replica rebuild of Ranger is expected to be launched in Europe.