So many beautiful boats, including classics and lovingly restored personal projects, compete annually in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. Four boats are looked at in more detail with three having a link with the America’s Cup.
Caronade (GBR6976R) is a Polish-built, mahogany on oak frames, Vega 40. It has been restored over the course of a decade by her Dutch owner Caspar (Caap) Coolhaas.
This boat was found abandoned on 11th September 2001 and it took six months to track down the then owner. She was shipped to Beaulieu where she was dismantled, rebuilt and re-launched in 2010.
Caap having sailed many Atlantic crossings raced with Alan Bond when he won the Challenger trials in Newport, Rhode Island, on Southern Cross in the 1974 America’s Cup
Whooper (GBR363R) Is a 1939 Laurent Giles one-off design and a winner of the Gold Roman Bowl when helmed to glory in 2004 by her owner/skipper Giovanni Belgrano from the Isle of Wight. This year he is back on the start line with Whooper and many of the same crew ten years on after returning from living and working with the America’s Cup Team NZ for nine years.
Paean (41), a Cheverton Caravel MK 2 was purchased byPhill McGowan from Eastleigh as a project in 2010. She was built in Cowes in 1961 and has been completely refurbished and, with advice and guidance from the original builder, David Cheverton, has been restored to almost her original form.
Sceptre (12-K17), an exquisite 12m, is joining the Race this year. Chartered from the Sceptre Preservation Society she raced in the 1958 America’s Cup in Newport, Rhode Island, the spiritual home of USA Sailing, where she was defeated by the USA 12m yacht Columbia. In Newport, RI’s 1958 America’s Cup finals it was immediately obvious that Sceptre was no match for Columbia. Columbia, prepared by her hard fought trials victory, never once trailed Sceptre and won four straight races by margins ranging from 7 to 12 minutes sweeping the first 12 Metre America’s Cup and making her the first 12 Metre to win the America’s Cup.
In 2011, Clive Hassett and a group of friends chartered Columbia in Newport for the annual New York Yacht Club Regatta winning their class and defeating several other 12m yachts from that era.
They thought it would be a fitting sequel for their group to track down Columbia’s British challenger from 1958 and race her in the Round the Island Race which starts in Cowes.
Thanks to the amazing efforts of the Sceptre Preservation Society, Sceptre is very afloat and the team is delighted that they will be able to achieve their ambition of racing both yachts from the 1958 America’s Cup. We believe this to be a unique arrangement. Their group is known as the ‘International Gentlemen’s Sailing Club’ and comprises friends from the UK, USA, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. They have raced in the RTI for many years, often under the burgee of Lloyd’s Yacht Club, as several of them are members.
The yacht will be berthed at the Royal Yacht Squadron, the challenging Yacht Club in the 1958 race. This group of friends will be joined for dinner one night by a member of the British crew who took part in that race on Sceptre back in 1958.