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.