Dykstra Naval Architects was responsible for the rebuild and refits of J Class JK7 Velsheda. Velsheda is still competing in a lot of races and again has many victories on her name.
Velsheda was originally 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. Velsheda 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 Regatta's from Southend to Dartmouth. Other venues included Torbay, Swanage and of course the Solent, all under the control of the very famous Captain Mountfield. Velsheda was rescued from a Hamble mud berth in 1984 by Terry Brabant, who economically refitted her for charter work with a new steel mast and limited interior. Still without an engine Velsheda sailed regularly along the UK South Coast on Charter Work and occasionally ventured to the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Occasionally she raced in the annual Round the Island Race She was later sold to a Swiss owner who started a refit programme but was unable to complete much work due to funding problems.Whilst on charter during the early 90's Velsheda visited the UK East Coast where she found herself on the beach on a falling tide. Fortunately she was recovered safely! Occasionally Velsheda raced in the annual Round the Island Race and although in poor condition, she was still an impressive site, competing the 60 mile course in quick time. She was later sold to a Swiss owner who started a refit programme but was unable to complete the work programme due to funding problems. Velsheda was then laid up and moored at Gosport until 1996 when the sale to the present owner was completed.
Velsheda was purchased in 1996 as a bare hull and following a comprehensive rebuild led by Dykstra Naval Architects she was re-launched in November 1997.
Dykstra Naval Architects have gained over 30 years of J-Class experience and where responsible for the rebuilds of the J-Class yachts: JK3 Shamrock V, JK7 Velsheda, JK4 Endeavour, performance refit of J5 Ranger, the new builds JK6 Hanuman and JH2 Rainbow and J Yankee on the drawing board. To keep the J-Class fleet and races alive and to encourage new build yachts to enter the field, new JCA maximum performance rules have been developed, including allowing aluminum as building material. The new rule is a VPP (Velocity Prediction Program) based rating system which puts limits to the performance. This new rule has been developed by the Dykstra Naval Architects office and the Wolfson Unit in Southampton. The aim of the JCA, the Dykstra team and the rule is to bring fair & close racing to the fleet and to give all designs a chance of winning (on a handicap based system). Over the years the Dykstra team gained an enormous amount of hands-on information by racing on all the Dykstra J's in the current fleet.