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Topaz is derived from an original Frank C Paine design and was launched in June 2015. Paine is known as the designer of JH3 Yankee which was ultimately beaten in the defender trials by the mighty Ranger by one single second, but went on to twice defeat Ranger in subsequent races.

After extensive research and testing, Hoek Design drew the lines for Topaz from an unbuilt 1935 Paine boat which was designed to take on the Super Js using the maximum waterline length at 88ft, one foot longer than any other J of the time. Paine’s design preference, under the rule, was to accept slightly less sail area in order to maximise waterline length.

On Topaz, Hoek aligned this with a high aspect – narrower and deeper – keel and low wetted surface area. This produced a hull which is fast in light airs and downwind.

Mast position, stability and sail areas were optimised to the J Class Association handicap system and the hull structure designed to accept maximum running backstay loads. Topaz is unique among the modern replica Js having a low bulwark around the deck edge which adds extra stiffness. And Topaz, Lionheart and Svea are all built with longitudinal framing which maximises fore and aft stiffness.

Besides being azure blue underwater, Topaz is recognisable in having a double cockpit, double deckhouse layout. The helm position is in front of the aft deckhouse and behind the main cockpit. This means all the key positions are relatively close to each other, and the primary winches as well as the mainsheet winches are close to the helm.

Topaz’s core crew have been together pretty much since the boat was launched. America’s Cup winner and Olympic silver medallist Peter Holmberg steers Topaz with Nacho Postigo as navigator and Italian Louis Vuitton Cup winner Francesco de Angelis is tactician.