Lionheart seals J Class hat-trick

Following an ongoing refit and maintenance programme with Pendennis Shipyard (in both Falmouth and Palma), the 2010 modern 43.4m J Class Lionheart sailed to victory twice at the America’s Cup in Bermuda, and then again at the World Championships in Newport!

Lionheart’s first win was in the second America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta, hosted by Boat International. She competed against a fleet of twenty superyachts, which included Pendennis-built Rebecca and six J Class yachts, over three days.

A fleet of seven Js came together the following week for the first ever America’s Cup J Class Regatta, managed by the J Class Association. Tight competition between the Js continued throughout a further three race days, with Ranger, Hanuman, Velsheda and Lionheart all in the running at the beginning of the final race. Despite light, unpredictable winds, the Lionheart crew were able to capitalise on the conditions, clinching a win at the final buoy. Lionheart defended her winning streak at the J Class World Championships in Newport, 21-26 August, and was once again vistorious, despite a tough fight against Hanuman once more.

All results were well-earned, with weeks of intensive training, as well as years of fine-tuning the vessel, paying dividends. Captain, Toby Brand, obviously enjoyed the experience: “Although it’s my first time racing in Bermuda, I’ve been here lots of time and always enjoyed it. The flat water provides good closer racing compared to other race tracks. Clean water and beautiful surroundings, and it’s always nice when you’re winning!”

Modelled on one of the original 1930s J Class designs by Stevens and Burgess Design, Lionheart was redeveloped in 2005 by André Hoek using modern performance-testing technology. Since being launched in 2010 she has visited Pendennis three times, for refit works (2012, 2014 and 2016). We are proud of her links to the yard and to Cornwall, with many crew having homes here in Falmouth, and a Pendennis employee recruited as one of the permanent race team!