The J-Class was developed by Nathanael Herreshoff” as Universal Rule for racing boats. Two years after it was agreed between Britain and America that the Universal Rule would be used for large boats, where the International Rule would be used for 12mR boats and smaller. As a result, the 1930s America’s Cup races were all fought in the J-Class.
The J-Class was adopted for America’s Cup competition in 1928, looking forward to the next regatta in 1930. The Class itself, though, dated back to the turn of the century when the Universal Rule was adopted.
The Rule used a yacht’s various dimensions to calculate an equivalent rating in feet. Boats of equal rated lengths could then race against each other directly without making other allowances for time or distance sailed. Even though one yacht might have a longer length or another yacht a larger sail area, their overall configurations had…
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