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May 23rd 2014. By Staff.

J-Class yacht Hanuman at Menorca Maxi

One of three J-Class yachts competing at the inaugural Menorca Maxi regatta, Hanuman is a high-tech racing machine crewed by expert sailors.

On Monday, May 19, two days before the official training races of the inaugural Menorca Maxi, Ken Read and his crew aboard J-Class yacht Hanuman, trained off Port Mahón, under relatively flat seas and moderate breeze. Official photographer Jesús Renedo went onboard and captured the beauty and excitement of the J-Class.

Loading up the winches

Despite the classic lines, J-Class yachts are high-tech racing machines featuring the latest carbon winches, super-strength lightweight sheets and lines and some terrifying rigging loads – it’s a high-stakes sailing experience. The inaugural Menorca Maxi takes place 22-25 May and features nine Wally yachts and three J-Class racers.

Trimmer's view, Hanuman

Trimmer’s view: The Hanuman logo is an image of the Hindu monkey god, for which the boat is named. Dykstra & Partners from Amsterdam took on the job to design Hanuman, which is a replica of Endeavour II, the biggest J ever built. Hanuman was built in Alustar with a carbon mast at Royal Huisman Shipyard, no stranger to the J Class yachts. She was the first new J to be built in the Netherlands and launched in 2009.

Weight to windward

Reducing windage while keeping weight high on the rail. In a stronger wind, crew can be seen half-hanging over the windward side with one arm and one leg dangling down the topsides. Menorca Maxi is an initiative of the Island Council of Menorca and is organized by Club Marítimo de Mahón, with the support of Port of Mahón, one of the Mediterranean’s biggest and most beautiful ports.

Dropping and flaking foresail

Looking after the sails: Man-power is essential to coordinate sail lowering without causing expensive damage to boat or sails.

Jockey pole

Manning the jockey pole: The loads running through this short strut are ferocious.

Afterguard in cockpit

The afterguard perches around the cockpit well: the grippy deck under foot is all that’s keeping some of the sailors on board.

Spinnaker pole hoist

Multiple bowmen: J-Class crews require many hands on the very narrow bow – in this instance to hoist the enormous traditional spinnaker pole.

Preparing to douse the chute

The bowman climbs to the outboard end of the spinnaker pole to ‘blow’ or release the guy: an essential part of the spinnaker drop that takes place around two or three minutes before rounding the leeward mark.

Dropping the Spinnaker

Many hands make light work: it takes over half the crew about five minutes to drop the spinnaker and round the leeward mark.

Ken read

Two-time America’s Cup helm and Volvo Ocean race veteran, Ken Read, one of America’s most accomplished sailors, will skipper and helm Hanuman at Menorca Maxi 2014.


How to follow the Menorca Maxi regatta

The event’s official website, www.menorcamaxi.com, is your comprehensive source of information, with daily updates, official results and plenty of high-quality photos and videos. You can also follow Menorca Maxi through its social media on Facebook, www.facebook.com/menorcamaxi, and Twitter, @MenorcaMaxi.


J-Class Yacht, Hanuman Specifications
LOA: 42.1m • LWL: 27.68m • Beam: 6.60m • Draught: 4.72m • Displacement: 183 tons • Design: Dykstra Naval Architects • Interior Design: Pieter Beeldsnijder Design

For more J-Class beauties, see: J-Class Spectacle as Five Yachts Compete at St Barths and Rainbow, Newest J-Class Sailing Yacht.