Velsheda

Timeless beauty of the seas

How long will it take until we can go back to the Mediterranean and enjoy our passion for these yachts?

In the meantime, let’s dream a bit.
We were in Saint Tropez in September 2019. The world was “normal,” nobody expected anything to happen after a beautiful day out on the sea on the way back in the Gulf of Saint Tropez.
The light is fantastic; everybody was relaxed, even the crews on the boats, a magic moment.

J Class Yacht Velsheda in Saint Tropez

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Who is Velshed and here story:
Designed by Charles Nicholson and built by Camper & Nicholson in 1933 for Mr W.L. Stephenson, Owner of Woolworth chain of shops, she was built in 1933 at Gosport. She was Nicholson’s second design for a J Class and Stephenson’s second big yacht. “Velsheda” was named after Stephenson’s three daughters, Velma, Sheila and Daphne. Stephenson never planned to compete for the America’s Cup but rather her raced with the greatest names in classic yachting including “Britannia”, “Endeavour” and “Shamrock” between 1933 and 1936.In her second season she won more than 40 races and achieved an outstanding record of success at Regattas from Southend to Dartmouth. Other venues included Torbay, Swanage and the Solent, all under the famous Captain Mountifield.In her day – around the late 1930’s, she represented the most advanced technical design for spars, rigging, sails, deck gear and ropes. Her masts were aluminum, made by bending plates and riveting them together. Sails were made from the new Terylene threads and deck gear now included winches for easier handling of sheets. The standing rigging in the 30s was solid rod.Below decks accommodation was limited to just the main saloon, owners quarters aft, and storage for sails and equipment forward.By 1937 she was laid up in a mud berth on the Hamble and became derelict. Many sailors remember visiting her – one recalls sailing in the annual Warming Pan race at Hamble River Sailing Club, and all the visiting crew being taken up the river to their overnight accommodation – Velsheda!This unique yacht was rescued in 1984 by Terry Brabant, who economically refitted her for charter work with a new steel mast and limited interior. Still without an engine she sailed regularly along the UK South Coast on charter and occasionally ventured to the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

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