Magnificent, Historic J Class Yachts Race in Newport

Americas Cup Legends Josh Belsky, Warwick Fleury & Brad Butterworth

who were crew aboard Ranger

Under Sail


Newport, Rhode Island was the only place to be June 15th thru the 19th as nearly everyone who ever set foot on a yacht or dreamed of the wind in their face going round a mark knows by now as the first ever J Class Regatta in held in historic Newport Harbor.


Organized by the J Class Owners Association and run out of the very chic and substantial American Shipyard, this was a valiant first trial at what could become an annual and very competitive international tradition. According to David Pitman who organized the boats and serves as the J Class secretary, hopes are high for all six J Class beauties to be on the line in future, not only here in the historically important waters of Narragansett Bay, but also abroad.


Mike Toppa of Newport smiles from Velsheda before the racing

Last week's races between Velsheda and Ranger were a sight to behold. Few would disagree that the J Class represents the most beautiful yachts ever to
sail for the Americas Cup. As competing yacht clubs took up the challenge implicit in the Americas Cup "Deed of Gift" to present yachts that represented the best technology on offer, boats became leaner, faster and were ultimately made of materials only dreamt of in the nineteen thirties. But the J Class still impresses and manages to take the breath away of even the most experienced on the water eye. They are magnificent.


The official J Class Regatta trophy, designed by Will Drake and presented by Three Golden Apples, could not have expressed this ideal better. A sterling silver J boat is depicted, cutting through dynamic waves as wind fills the spinnaker atop a tiger maple base carved by Glenn Sherman from a tree taken from Miramar, a home that housed many an Americas Cup crew member during the Corinthian era of the 12 Metre Class.

Isabella Dana & son Charlie

Dan MacDonald of Three Golden Apples was not only a major sponsor of the event, but also encouraged his very dear friend Steve Shonebarger, president of Corum watches to be the official timekeeper, sponsor and presenter of one very beautiful watch to the winning boat which in this case was Ranger.


Private yachts were thick in the harbor to watch with friends, fans and lovers of a good time on board. For most of the races the weather held, and a good time was had by all.


American Shipyard was the hub and host the wonderful, historic J Class Regatta.

                                                         --Kimberly Skeen-Jones, Sailing Correspondent



Tucker Thompson interviewing O.L.Pitts, legendary syndicate member of

America II from the Ft. Worth  Boat Club and former owner of

the White Horse tavern

Dan MacDonald of Three Golden Apples with guests Carol Hopkins,

Chris Cannon & Kevin Cannon aboard M/Y Belle

Author Ray Bechard and Corinne Giarnella

Beau, Susie, and Buddy Hill


Racing in the harbor

Beautiful boats!


To purchase a high-res print of an image, contact
Linda (a)  All images copyrighted











Past Headlines

Jessica Hagen Gallery Heralds Spring with James Coe Exhibit

Brenda Nienh ... more »

Two Private Soirées in Elegant, Historic Newport Homes

Allison Vare ... more »

Fifth Annual Daffodillion a Blooming Success: Spring Fling a Sellout

“So when you see clouds upon the hill, there soon will be crowds ... more »




NEWPORT SEEN:  "Best Online Media Creation"


"Best Online Writing" 

                         -- CT Press club & National League of Press Women