As It Happened | J Class Regatta

While Michael was off gallivanting in Europe we headed down to Newport at the behest of Bentley to check out the J Class Regatta. Our whirlwind tour included a day on the water watching the yacht races, dinner and drinks at the historic Castle Hill Inn and some time behind the wheel of the new Bentley Continental GT the next day. The sleek J Class yachts, ranging from 119 – 135 ft., were constructed between 1930 – 1937 to compete in the America’s Cup; this was the first competitive J Class regatta in the U.S. since the ’37 Cup, when Ranger (funded by Harold S. Vanderbilt) successfully defended the trophy against the British challenger Endeavour II.

This time around a replica of Ranger built in 2003 competed against Velsheda (above), built in 1933, winning four races to Velsheda’s one. The shipyard at Newport was crowded with dozens of other yachts as well, including the 289-ft., $100 million Maltese Falcon which was preparing for the Transatlantic Race, but none rivaled the J Class craft on points of style. We got some photos both out on the water aboard the Pam, a 62-ft. mahogany motor launch from the 1920s, and out and about, picking up on details that caught our eye. Enjoy.

Jared Paul Stern is the editor of DRIVEN.

Gauges on Pam, Great Lakes Boat Building Company, 1921
Maltese Falcon, built by Perini Navi in 2006
Spectators in full tribal regalia
Flying the stars & stripes
Velsheda on course
Ranger and Velsheda rounding the mark
The local brew
Castle Hill from the water
Rose Island Lighthouse
Bean bags in a Ferrari Daytona dockside
Bentley Continental GT
At the wheel of the Bentley (photo by John Walder)
Sunset sail off Castle Hill

Comments on “As It Happened | J Class Regatta

    Paulon July 7, 2011 @ 9:52 AM:

    WOW – what a great post. Terrific photography.

    Crison July 7, 2011 @ 10:19 AM:

    Pam has a Stewart-Warner gauge panel…fabulous.
    Must be from a later re-power of the boat though.


    Ramalhonion July 7, 2011 @ 11:50 AM:

    Old wood sale boats are the epitome of elegance. I just can’t get enough….

    design elementson July 7, 2011 @ 12:17 PM:

    great! i can feel the freedom and the sea just looking at these photos…….

    Daniel Newmanon July 7, 2011 @ 3:06 PM:

    Great pics! Did you get any more of that Ferrari Daytona?

    JPSon July 7, 2011 @ 4:02 PM:

    Thanks. It was very crowded and also extremely harsh sunlight at the dock so was hard to get great pix of the Daytona; this all taxed my far from professional skills and equipment as it is.

    Ray Hullon July 7, 2011 @ 4:15 PM:

    The tribal regalia shot appears to be aboard a Thompson 22, ca. 1960.

    borkon July 7, 2011 @ 7:24 PM:

    How the other 1% live…

    Old Manon July 7, 2011 @ 11:02 PM:

    If God intended us to have fiberglass boats he would have made fiberglass trees

    TMHon July 7, 2011 @ 11:58 PM:

    About as good as it gets. Except the Inn at Castle Hill. Got pie faced
    there at a family wedding about a decade ago and the drive of shame the
    next day was brutal. Thanks for the memory. Beautiful shots.

    Helmstyleon July 8, 2011 @ 3:42 PM:

    Can anyone shed any light on how the ‘Newport Storm Hurricane Amber Ale’ goes down? We’re intrigued! Great article.

    oldpoloon July 9, 2011 @ 6:39 PM:

    Great photos of great subjects. Love the Ferrari and the Bentley. The boats are pretty cool also.

    David J. Cooperon July 13, 2011 @ 4:57 PM:

    This is all good except for that hideous Maltese Falcon shot.

    Green and Goldenon July 15, 2011 @ 8:28 AM:

    Gawd, long live plutocracy!

Comments are closed.