Why J8 Topaz might be the fastest J class...
Trading sail area for waterline length - the mysterious design now launched as 'J8, Topaz' races for the first time today at the Saint Barths Bucket against Velsheda & Ranger.
Photo: © Emily Harris / www.emilyharrisphotography.co.uk
Beautiful St Barths is hosting 'the Bucket' and the race for the historical King's Hundred Guinea Cup; with ENE direction at 10 knots predicted, today, the wind looks stable but with 1m wave height - Friday and Saturday look as if the breeze will build to 15 knots max. the sea state will stabilise and the the wind shifts round to ESE.
Good news for the newest J to be launched, Topaz (J8), who with the longest waterline of any J built, the lowest wetted surface and highest keel aspect ratio she should be debuting in (hopefully) kind conditions. There is much anticipation for J8 who will be racing for the first time against Velsheda and Ranger - two veteran J Class yachts who's experience in key racing grounds, including St Barths will be their advantage. The anticipation surrounds her design which was drawn in 1934 by American John C. Paine, who traded sail area for waterline length - she had the longest waterline length at 88ft which meant in those days, under handicap, she would need to suffer loosing sail area by design in order to compete.
J8, 'Topaz' SPECIFICATIONS
LOA 140ft / 42.7 m
LWL 87.9ft / 26.8 m
Beam 21.9ft / 6.7 m
Draft 15ft / 4.6 m
Yard Holland Jachtbouw
Specifically selected as an elite design out of three different lines plans of J class yachts by means of tank testing; running Computational Fluid Dynamics and Velocity Prediction Program tests, Andre Hoek (designer) and Holland JachtBouw launched TOPAZ last summer. In the photograph above you see her in cruising mode undertaking sea trials in the waters off Lanzarote, the Canary Islands (Photo: Emily Harris).
The 140ft yacht will grace the waters off Saint Barths for the bucket today, in race mode. We look forward to the results and for the season ahead to see if J8 Topaz, the eighth yacht to join the class, really is the fastest of them all.
King’s Hundred Guinea Cup – 1937
This wonderful Gilt trophy was originally presented by King George VI at the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club in 1937. This is now known as the “King’s Hundred Guinea Cup” and presented to the winning yacht for the J Class race during the St Barths Bucket.