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Thread: Svea Joins The Ranks

  1. #1
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Svea Joins The Ranks




    The world's newest J Class yacht has completed a race against time and has taken her place at Bermuda's Hamilton Princess Marina lined up among the historic seven-strong J Class fleet which is preparing to compete at next week's America's Cup Superyacht Regatta and the subsequent America's Cup J Class Regatta.

    The mighty Svea, the largest J Class ever built, was first sea trialled in Palma this spring. The race crew for her has just arrived in Bermuda to start its final training and preparations before the first regatta - fleet racing in the white heat of battle with the other J Class yachts.

    When Svea takes the starting line next week with its owner at the helm, it will realise the first part of the owner's dream. After falling head over heels with J Class yachting after he sailed Endeavour and Lionheart, the multiple trophy and title-winning successful yachtsman took the plunge and commissioned a new J Class yacht which is described as the largest and potentially the most powerful design ever built.




    Svea was built from designs drawn by Swedish naval architect and boat builder Tore Holm, a noted designer of Six and Eight Metre yachts. The 1937 drawings which were unearthed in a drawer by a well-known Dutch Metre class aficionado and after analysis, her potential was immediately evident.

    The new J Class Svea was built in some 14 months. The fact that she has made it to Bermuda on time is a testament to a huge amount of work by a large, dedicated, and talented team of people.

    "When we set out two years ago to be here, we knew the chances of making it were limited. In December of last year, I would say that those chances were halved," grins Charlie Ogletree, the USA's 2004 Olympic silver medallist, Svea's program manager and tactician. "There were some pitfalls, but the team really pulled together in an impressive way and thanks to the boat builders, architect, riggers, sailmakers, and everyone involved that we are here today and ready to race."



    All images © carlo borlenghi/ borlenghi studios.com

    Svea had only 10 or 11 days of sea trials and race practice in Palma, Mallorca before being sailed across the Atlantic to Bermuda.

    "Initially it was just about getting everything up to pressure and making sure it works; breaking things that were going to break and fixing them. The loads are so high on these boats it takes time, so at first of we were gradually working things up to max load. Then we had a look at all the sails. Finally, in the second phase of our sessions we put some marks in the water and sailed around them," Ogletree reports.




    "We have been warmly welcomed by the other J Class crews in Bermuda and now we have a few days to practice with whoever is out there. To date, we have not lined up against another J Class yacht, so it is very exciting for us. "Ogletree adds, "There is no place better to learn than on the race course, and we will be out to learn as much as we can from the fabulous sailors who compete in the fleet, seeing how they do things, and simply getting comfortable being close to other J Class yachts. They weigh 180 tonnes each and so take a bit of learning. Of course, we want to be competitive, but the reality is that these first two events, the America's Cup Superyacht Regatta and America's Cup J Class Regatta, are learning events for us. We hope to get better and do better each day."

    The core of the Svea crew have sailed together for many years on a number of different racing yachts, most recently a Swan 90 and MOD70. Ogletree calls tactics and has double America's Cup winner Peter Isler as navigator, three times America's Cup winner Tom Whidden, as strategist, and three times America's Cup winner Andrew Taylor in the pit as crew boss.

    With the crew of the other six J Class yachts, Hanuman, Lionheart, Ranger, Shamrock, Topaz, and Velsheda that collectively will comprise the largest and most competitive J Class fleet ever assembled. They are all arriving in Bermuda and starting their final days of training for the big, back-to-back competitive events.


    image © anna boulton



    America's Cup Superyacht Regatta:

    JK6 Hanuman
    JH1 Lionheart
    J5 Ranger
    JS1 Svea
    J8 Topaz
    JK7 Velsheda

    To follow the racing, we have live tracking from this link:
    http://www.tractrac.com/web/event-page/event_20170...

    America's Cup J Class Regatta:

    JK6 Hanuman
    JH1 Lionheart
    J5 Ranger
    JK3 Shamrock
    JS1 Svea
    J8 Topaz
    JK7 Velsheda

    To follow the racing, we have live tracking from this link:
    http://www.tractrac.com/web/event-page/event_20170...


    Also on the dock at the Hamilton Princess Marina is JH2 Rainbow
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  2. #2
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    National Heroes Day Brings Wind To J-Class Fleet In Bermuda




    In the historic first ever America's Cup J Class Regatta in Bermuda three different crews won races on the opening day. Just one point separates the top two boats, Hanuman and Ranger on seven apiece with Lionheart poised for three way final day showdown on eight.

    The record fleet of seven J Class yachts, the biggest ever mustered in the 87 year history of the class, may have been forced to wait an extra few days after Friday's opening races fell victim to winds which were too light and fickle, but on National Heroes Day, Bermuda rewarded the magnificent gathering with just the most perfect conditions for the first three races of the first ever America's Cup J Class Regatta.

    Every one of the seven teams have brought their A Game to this pinnacle event – planning, optimising and preparing since the event was announced two years ago – and today the island's weather and winds responded accordingly. The result was a truly memorable day of close, exciting racing on Murray's Anchorage, off St Georges to the NE of the Island.

    Just because it is the biggest fleet ever gathered it does not necessarily follow that it is the most competitive. But if evidence is needed witness the facts that different teams won each of the three fabulous races. There was place changing through every contest, enough breathtaking crosses and ducks to keep the spectator fleet on the edge of their cockpit seats , almost unfeasibly busy first mark roundings and finish deltas measured in seconds rather than minutes.

    "We are lucky people. It was an unbelievable day." Hanuman's Kenny Read remarked on the dock at the Hamilton Princess Marina with a grin, "The boat is going well. This is what we have been working towards, what we have been set up for. We made a couple of mistakes in the first couple of races, we could have done better, but it is hard racing out there with such good people. You can't expect to win every race. It is an honour to be part of this with seven really cool owners who have put all this together."



    All images © Borlenghi Studio







    In 10-11kts of wind from the SE and beautiful flat water, Lionheart, winners of last week's America's Cup Superyacht regatta, opened with a well earned victory. Early leaders were Hanuman who had already earned a 45m margin at the first turn of the 2.2 mile upwind-downwind circuit. Ranger rounded second with Lionheart third. They managed to pass Ranger on the second beat and proved quick downwind to get to close enough to Hanuman. When the leaders messed their final gybe - slow to sheet on and accelerate - the preying Lionheart pounced and were able to steal first gun.

    With the breeze built to 11-12kts for the start of the second race Velsheda started well and were able to power out to the left side of the upwind and lead all the way around with the very fast and slippery looking brand new Svea in second. The newest yacht in the fleet, JS1, worked left down the first run and looked like she might threaten Velsheda when the top swivel of the furling headstay failed with a bang. The Svea crew reacted swiftly to secure the rig, but unfortunately it is understood they will not be able to race again at this regatta.

    Velsheda crossed first with Ranger profiting from Svea's problem to get second and Lionheart beating Hanuman on corrected time by only one single second to get third. After two races Lionheart, with Bouwe Bekking calling tactics, lead by one point ahead of Ranger which had gone 3,2.

    But in the final seconds before the gun went for the third race start Lionheart had the door closed on them by Peter Holmberg on the helm of Topaz right at the signal boat. They had to dip back across the start line, losing time on the fleet, most particularly nearest rivals Hanuman and Ranger which were both pin sharp off the start line.












    With Kenny Read on the helm and an afterguard comprising tactician Kelvin Harrap, strategist Simon Fisher and navigator Stan Honey, Hanuman were able to lead at the first turn, narrowly ahead of the omnipresent, consistent Ranger. Around the leeward gate Ranger, which has Brad Butterworth as tactician actually lead, but Read stayed patient on the turn at the buoy got back inside the Ranger line. After Hanuman tacked away they extended progressively to secure a comfortable win over Ranger with Topaz sailing a good final run to take third from Lionheart.

    The skipper-helm of Hanuman reported, "The first race we blew it. We made a couple of mistakes boat handling wise. Tactically we made a couple of mistakes and driving wise. We could have been fully launched. We just kept making it close and paid for it in the end. You always pay for mistakes. We made a bad gybe. But you can't complain about second."
    "We lost Lionheart again on the second run. Only by a couple of seconds or so. Upwind we love how we are going. Downwind we still have some work to do. We will have a look at everything, stills video and see how we are sailing the boat and try to change our downwind mode. But it's going to be a big day tomorrow."

    On Ranger Butterworth's modus operandi is starting off the pin end of the line and staying in a clear lane of breeze, letting the boat do the work. In the 10-12kt range, especially in this flat water Ranger can mostly match the newer boats except when they go into high mode. But the astute, low risk tactics, clean sailing and slick crew work have all contributed to Ranger's share of the lead, as the most consistent team of the day sailing 3,2,2 Hanuman's 2,4,1. Lionheart appear especially quick downwind as are Topaz.

    Erle Williams skipper-helm of Ranger explained "We wanted to get out to the left, to have no one underneath us and let to the boat get rolling. There was usually a little more wind pressure on the left. We fought hard to be in the top three at the top mark and Brad did a really good job of positioning us and keeping our wind clear. That really was the secret and not get pushed around. We have to be consistent tomorrow to and whoever does that might come out with the win."











    Bouwe Bekking may have been ruing the third start, but he is looking forward to the final day scrap,

    "It was an exciting day. Today for us was about chipping away and making gains when we could. It was good to win that first one. I think our gybes are slick and our mark roundings I think we are doing the best job getting the kite down. The last start was a shocker. I tacked to late and was over the lay line and they got the classic hook on us and that was it." "Everybody can win. We are doing a nice job and the owner is steering really well."

    Shamrock had the popular support as the oldest, original J Class yacht at this historic event and the crew pushed as hard as they could. Stu Bannatyne, helmsman, said:
    "We were excited to see how the boat would go. We had it going nicely and had some nice starts, got round the track quite well. We sailed out of our skins in the second race, got some nice shifts and the crew work was really good. So to still be at the back of the fleet is disappointing. So we still have some work to do on our rating. We are happy, we are sailing the boat well. We are loving being out there and being part of it."

    Racing concludes Tuesday with two windward-leewards planned, starting 1100hrs local time (-3hrs UTC)
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  3. #3
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    A Peak Down Below



    Curious as to what lies below the deck of the latest addition to the J-Class?

    Carlo Borlenghi provides a glimpse the comfort level that is the current standard for
    those that like their yachts large and elegant inside and out. No shots of the steerage
    area for crew, wet gear and sails was provided!


























    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  4. #4
    Gorgeous inside and out. Hope nobody got whacked when the swivel parted!

  5. #5
    30 Knot Maniac ShanaCruz50's Avatar
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    I am guessing there is no kite repacking down below... beautiful boat. I hope they televise the J class racing.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Peace Out, Bags[/FONT]

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