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The ultimate America's Cup J Class yachtspotter’s guide

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Velsheda

JK7

Do you know your Js apart? Can you identify which J Class yacht is which by its sail number? And do you know whether it’s one of the originals or a more recently built replica? In this guide we highlight the six Js that will be racing in Bermuda this summer at the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta.

Our round-up starts with 38.5 metre Velsheda, which was built in steel in 1933 for WL Stephenson, the chairman of Woolworths in Britain, and named after his three daughters Velma, Sheila and Daphne. She was the only original J not to have been built for the America's Cup.

Between 1937 and 1984 she languished in a mud berth on the Hamble River before scrap-metal merchant Terry Brabant rescued her and chartered her on a shoestring budget with no engine, mostly in the Solent but also in the Caribbean.

In 1996 she was purchased by Dutch fashion entrepreneur Ronald de Waal who commissioned Southampton Yacht Services to rebuild her. Since then de Waal has raced her extensively, always taking the helm himself, and she has been regularly maintained, include a 2016 refit at the Pendennis yard in Falmouth.

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