When she was completed by Claasen in 2010, the 43.40-metre Lionheart was the largest J-Class yacht ever built. Lionheart was the first of her kind with an aluminium hull and incorporated lots of research gleaned from previous Js: no expense was spared to make her as competitive as possible in the regatta circuit.
As one of the finest examples of a J-Class yacht today, Lionheart is a striking presence at any regatta, all the more so when she competes against other boats in the same category. Fittingly, she has already won several races this year in what is perhaps already the greatest season of Lionheart’s four-year racing history: she came first in both J-Class race events and the Superyacht Cup held in Bermuda in June as part of the America's Cup celebrations. This is reminiscent of Lionheart’s three major titles in 2014, when the crew won the Menorca Maxi J-Class, Palma's Superyacht Cup and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup for the Js.
And now for Newport
Now, following hard on the heels of these triumphs, Lionheart is gearing up for her next challenge: the first-ever J-Class World Championship, organised in Newport on 21-26 August. This race will take place in Newport’s Narragansett Bay, where the J-Class boats originally fought it out for the America’s Cup in the 1930s, and will pit almost all of the existing Js against each other.
“Our inaugural World Championship in Newport will be hosted by the New York Yacht Club and contested on the same waters where these magnificent yachts battled for the America’s Cup,” says Louise Morton, J-Class Association Secretary. “Unlike the match racing duels of 80 years ago, seven J-Class yachts are expected to compete off Newport, making a magnificent starting-line spectacle for spectators on the water.”
Even if you cannot join the many thousands of spectators along Narragansett Bay, you can follow the action at the World Championship on TracTrac, which offers live GPS tracking for regattas. No matter where fans will be, the racing is sure to be super exciting and incredibly close. Fair winds to the Lionheart team and all the other crews.