by Ben Stack
Newport J Class Regatta. With a stunning textbook manoeuvre Ranger locked out Velsheda at the start of the first race of the Newport J Class Regatta.
The spectacular Js clear the bridge with just twenty feet to spare from the top of the mast
Both boats lined up in perfect conditions - 16 knots northerly and sunny - to give them a beat away from the spectator start area off Fort Adams and up into the harbour under the famous Newport Bridge. Ranger crossed on the gun leaving Velsheda to gybe back and return to the line, leaving her 40 seconds behind from the very start.
Both yachts held the same distance as they turned the island mark to run back down the harbour under spinnaker, creating a superb sight for the shoreline spectators at Fort Adams and Castle Hill. Having rounded marks in the bay, the two yachts worked back to windward into the harbour entrance, each trying to gain best advantage.
At the finish it was Ranger clearly ahead with a 79 second lead, winning the first race by just one second on handicap from her rival.
Racing continues until June 19th on Narragansett Bay.