HJB strengthens partnership with J Class yachts
by Risa Merl
Dutch builder Holland Jachtbouw (HJB) is now an official partner with the J Class Association.
HJB already has a close connection with the J Class, having launched the replica J Class Rainbow in 2012. The next modern J Class build to emerge will be from HJB, with J8 currently in construction at the yard and due to launch spring 2015, and the yard has exclusive ownership of the rights to build two more J Class yachts - J9 and Yankee.
Founded in 2000, the J Class Association works to protect the interests of the class of yachts past and present. This has included establishing J Class rules and ensuring safe racing for the classic and new build J Class Yachts.
The timing of Holland Jachtbouw signing on as a J Class Association member coincides with the recent announcement that J Class yachts will make triumphant return to America's Cup in 2017, racing in their own class. J Class Association hopes to have all the J Class yachts in attendance for this race, including the new J8 to be launched from HJB.
The 46.2-metre, all-aluminium J8 features naval architecture and exterior styling from Hoek Design Naval Architects. The above photo shows the mast of J8 arriving for installation. Andre Hoek describes J8's predicted performance, "When Frank Paine originally drew this vessel in 1935, he was prepared to take a sail area to displacement penalty in order to gain the extra length required. By optimising the design for the modern handicap rules of the JCA, we paid enormous attention to J8’s stiffness to weight ratio and lightweight aluminium hull.”
If J8 does indeed compete against her brethren at the J Class regatta during the next America's Cup, this performance brief will surely be put to the test.