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Hanuman leads hunt in competitive J Class

Hanuman leads a record field of seven (Photograph by Ricardo Pinto/&Copy; ACEA 2017)

The America’s Cup J Class Regatta has reached an exciting climax with only one point separating the top three entries heading into today’s final day of the six-race series at Murray’s Anchorage.

Racing finally got underway in yesterday’s medium east, southeasterly breezes after Friday’s original start to the offshore regatta was postponed because of a lack of wind.

After all was said and done, it was the 42-metre J Class yacht Hanuman leading a record fleet of seven by a whisker.

Originally christened Endeavour II and built in 1937 to contest for the “Auld Mug” that same year, Hanuman finished day one level on points with nearest rival Ranger but topped the leaderboard on a countback having won yesterday’s third and final race.

The lead boat posted a combined score of 2-4-1 while Ranger returned ashore with a 3-2-2 record to keep the pressure on their rivals.

In third, just one point adrift of the lead pace, is Lionheart, which is gunning for a third title in Bermuda’s waters having secured class and overall honours at last week’s America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta.

Lionheart posted a score of 1-3-4 to also remain thick in the hunt for honours.

The crew of Hanuman are bidding for a second title this year having won St Barths Bucket on a countback from Velsheda who, along with Topaz, rounded off the top five entries on the penultimate day of the America’s Cup J Class Regatta.

Svea, the newest member of the J Class fleet, sits in sixth having endured a tough day at the office after retiring from the second race and not making it to the starting line for the third. In seventh is the original Shamrock, the first J Class yacht built for the America’s Cup.

The J Class yachts featured in the America’s Cup in the 1930s and are still regarded by many as some of the most majestic and famous yachts afloat.

“The J Class era of the America’s Cup is widely recognised as being among the high points in Cup history,” Russell Coutts, the America’s Cup Event Authority CEO, said.

“The Js still epitomise grace and power with cutting-edge design and engineering.”

Only ten J Class yachts were ever built, of which three originals survive today.