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#quarterton – Corinthian Division overall victory at the Quarter Ton Cup by a clear five points has gone to Cobh sailors Jason and Dominic Losty's Illes Pitiuses (1983 Fauroux), crewed by Mark Mansfield, Jack Trigger and Adam Mundy, who also finished in fifth place overall.

The Cork Harbour sailors finished the series with an impressive 1, (3), 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1.

In second was Pierre Paris's Pinguin Playboy (1986 Castro), crewed by Glen Hilquin, Basile Geron, Benois Duchemin and Pascal Rousselin, and Phil Cook's Purple Haze (1997 Thomas), crewed by Steve Rowan, Mark Lewis and Adrian Mountjoy, completed the podium. In celebrating their victory Jason and Dominic, who hail from Cove, Co Cork, Ireland and have attended the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup twice before, paid tribute to their tactician Mark Mansfield, who they credited with giving them the confidence and skills to make a serious challenge at this year's event.

Epic is without doubt the best way to describe the concluding day of the tenth anniversary Coutts Quarter Ton Cup. From the opening race where places eight to twenty three were separated by less than a minute on corrected time, via the day's five dead heats, to the final race showdown where second to sixth place were separated by only six seconds, it was a drama of Wagnerian proportions. Warm sunshine and a southwesterly breeze that built from just below ten knots to over fifteen, ensured perfect conditions and Race Officer Rob Lamb took full advantage to get the final three races of the series completed in rapid order, much to the delight of the competitors.

The podium positions all went down to the final race and on the line is was so close that it wasn't until the teams were back ashore and the results had been formally calculated that the top three could be confirmed. Ultimately Peter Morton's Bullit (1979 Jacques Fauroux), crewed by Kelvin Rawlings, Jules Salter, Anthony Haines and Jason Carrington, claimed victory by 6.5 points from Rickard Melander's Alice II (1990 Phil Morrison), crewed by Fredrik Brotell, James Hynes, David Lenz and Tom Wilson, with Willie McNeil's Illegal Immigrant (1991 Ceccarelli), crewed by Willie McNeil, Nigel Young, Toby Mumford, Duncan and Mark Yeabsley, third.

A delighted Peter Morton summed up his love for the class and the event saying; "It was really close, we were behind after day one, then we got one point ahead after day two and then today we had a couple of reasonable races, but you miss a shift or you miss a mark and you drop five places just like that, its very close. The boats have got character, there were 20 different designers out there today and you just don't get that in any fleet any more. When you look at the names of the designers of the boats and the provenance of those boats and the history that they've all got, you know the current King of Spain's boat is here and all sorts, they are just wonderful little classic boat. There was a lot of good people out sailing from lots of classes and a lot of people have come up and said it's just the best sailing in the Solent. I mean you look at the results and there were half a dozen dead heats, and today there were four seconds between five boats, so it probably is. You've got some world-class yachtsmen out there."

Joining the press team on the water for the day was legendary yachting journalist and Quarter Ton Class Patron Bob Fisher, who was delighted to be out with the fleet once again. Asked how he felt watching the Quarter Tonners race Bob replied; "I had a deep feeling of jealousy! Perhaps I should devote the energies that I spend elsewhere in restoration looking for a Quarter Tonner to satisfy my urges.... They may be old and have, to some, strange shapes, even bumps, but they have a beauty all their own that no doubt attracts a certain type of sailor. He will be the one with a hankering to regain the glories of his youth and the boats, these wonderful Quarter Tonners, provide these not unusual sailors with the most delightful craft in which to pursue their aims."

Bob was also guest of honour at this evening's Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Gala Dinner and Prize Giving where he proudly wore the tie of the 1978 Quarter Ton Cup at Sahima, Japan, in which he had finished fifth overall aboard Wings. Other special guests included America's Cup legend Harold Cudmore and double Olympic Gold Medallist Shirley Robertson. The Gala Dinner is a much-loved tradition of the regatta and as always the craic was mighty. This year it was the turn of Jamie McWilliam to lead the official heckling and a fantastic job he did of it too. A great sailing dinner is never complete until Swing Low Sweet Chariot and Sloop John B have been sung and Jamie ensured the audience gave a lively rendition of both. As I complete this report The Wild Rover is being delivered with gusto in the bar!

Another tradition of the event is the fun prizes. This year's recipients included 60-year-old Willem Bosland of the Itch who won the Oldest Bowman Trophy. George and Jim Webb, Jeff Dakin, George Jubb and Tony Dodd of Flashheart who claimed the Oldest Crew Trophy with a combined age of 276 despite the fact that bowman George is only 22. The Marineware Concours D'elegance Trophy, for the best-presented boat as judged by the Race Committee, went to Geoff Gritton's Panic. The Kemp Trophy, which is awarded annually by Coutts in memory of Stephen Kemp, who masterminded the Coutts sponsorship of the Quarter Ton Cup and who sadly lost his battle with cancer last year, was presented to Berry Aarts and his team aboard The Itch, who had gone to extraordinary lengths to be here this week after their boat and mast were damaged when the trailer became unhitched and tipped over on the Belgian motorway. Whilst others would have said all was lost, Berry, in true Quarter Ton style, simple saw the situation as a small challenge and two weeks later the boat was here and ready to race. There were also special awards made to Tim Rees, Derek Morland and Kelvin Rawlings who have raced in all ten revival Quarter Ton Cups.

One of the most amazing things about the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup is the calibre of sailors it attracts. In addition to those already listed above this year's crew lists include names like Matt Sheahan, Jonty Sherwill, Kate MacGregor, Annabel Vose, Julian Everitt, Ian Southworth, Led Pritchard, Ollie Orphaus, Robbie Stewart, George and Jim Webb, Jeff Dakin, Tony Dodd, Liz Rushall, Neil Mackley, John Welch, Jeremy Robinson, Dick Parker, Pip Hare, Tom McWilliam and Jamie Boag to name but a few!

And so the sun has set on the tenth anniversary Coutts Quarter Ton Cup. Its been a wonderful regatta and special thanks must go to the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Race Officer Rob Lamb and his team, sponsors Coutts, all the volunteers and helpers who give up their valuable time to make the regatta possible and last but not least to the owners and sailors of the Quarter Ton Class. Who knew ten years ago that pulling a bunch of little old IOR boats out of the shed and sprucing them up to go racing would turn into this incredible phenomenon? Bring on the next ten years say all of us!

Final Results

Overall Top Five

1. FRA7891 Bullit - Peter Morton - (7), 3.5, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 4.5 =15
2. SWE744 Alice II - Rickard Melander - 2, 2, 3, 1, (7), 2, 7, 3.5, 1 = 21.5
3. GBR501 Illegal Immigrant - William McNeil - 11, 1, 2, 7, 4, 5, (14), 2, 2 = 34
4. GBR8414R Aquila - Sam Laidlaw - 5, 5, 7, 4, 3, (13), 4, 6, 4.5 = 38.5
5. IRL1392 Illes Pitiuses - Jason & Dominic Losty - 1, (17), 4, 6, 6, 4, 2, 7, 11 = 41

Corinthian Top Three

1. IRL1392 Illes Pitiuses - Jason and Dominic Losty - 1, (3), 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1 = 9
2. FRA12130 Pinguin Playboy - Pierre Paris - 2, 1, 2, (3), 2, 1, 2, 2, 2 = 14
3. GBR7070 Purple Haze - Phil Cook - 3, 3, 3, (8), 5, 4, 3, 4, 7 = 33

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#quarterton – Day two of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2014 brought stronger winds and some thrilling racing for the 31 competing teams. Quarter Ton racing is always close but today's three races were particularly tight with fast and furious action at every mark and a few classic IOR broaches to keep the spectators entertained.

With the wind in the mid teens from the southeast, Race Officer Rob Lamb took his charges up onto the Solent's Hill Head plateau and was able to confidently complete races four to six of the planned nine race series. The increase in wind strength was an advantage for some and a disadvantage for others.

Overnight leader Rickard Melander and his team of Fredrik Brotell, James Hynes, David Lenz and Tom Wilson aboard Alice II got off to a great start by winning race four but then struggled to gain traction in race five finishing seventh, their worst result of the regatta so far. They came back strongly in race six with a second but it wasn't enough to hang onto the lead which has been snatched from them by Peter Morton's Bullit. Bullit was able to discard a seventh now six races have been completed and added 2, 1, 1 to their card. Crewed by Kelvin Rawlings, Jules Salter, Anthony Haines and Jason Carrington they now lead the overall standings by 1.5 points with Alice II second. Willie McNeill and the Illegal Immigrant crew retain third place overall, nine points behind Alice II and three points ahead of Jason and Dominic Losty's Illes Pitiuses in fourth.

It wasn't such a good day for Sam Laidlaw's Aquila. Having gone into the day in fourth they put in a good showing in the first two races with a fourth and a third, but a thirteenth in race six was their worst result of the regatta and they have dropped down into fifth, three points behind Illes Pitiuses and five ahead of Ian Southworth's Whiskers. Reigning Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Champion Louise Morton in Espada has been unable to replicate her 2013 form and having gone into the day in fifth overall she has dropped down to eighth, two points behind Whiskers.

In the Corinthian Division Jason and Dominic Losty's Illes Pitiuses, crewed by Jack Trigger, Adam Munday and Mark Mansfield, continues to lead and has a two point advantage over Pierre Paris's Pinguin Playboy, crewed by Glen Hiliquin, Basile Geron, Benois Cuchemin and Pascal Rousselin, who in turn has a comfortable eleven point margin on Purple Haze, owned by Phil Cook. Whilst the leading pair will be hard to pass, the battle for third Corinthian is going to be close with Geoff Gritton's Panic, the Brady/McCormack & Lawless syndicate's Cartoon, the Stewart, Young, Smith partnership's Engima and Bad Toad, owned by Paul Roberts and Jo and Sarah Assael, all still within striking distance of Purple Haze and that final podium position.

One team for whom the Quarter Ton craic is definitely mighty is Sai Kung Bell. Owner Jamie McWilliam shipped the boat to the UK especially for the event and has taken the opportunity to bring together a team he first raced with 23 years ago in One Tonners. Although Jamie has raced with his brother Tom McWilliam, Jamie Boag, David Hassett and Peter Austin in the intervening years, it's the first time they have all come together on the same boat since and they are making the most of the opportunity to celebrate their reunion. Afloat they are laughing their way around the course and ashore they are leading the social charge and helping to ensure the bars of Cowes achieve good profits this season!

Today's stronger winds sadly produced a significant gear failure for Lucy Wood and Tara Stone's Rum Bleu. During the second race of they day they were lucky to spot a crack appearing in their mast at the gooseneck and were able to rapidly drop sail before the entire rig went over the side. Back ashore inspection of the damage has revealed that repairs will not be possible before the start of tomorrow's racing. Although very disappointed not to be able to complete the regatta the girls were philosophical and just glad they had avoided a dismasting.

The forecast for tomorrow's final day is for southwesterlies in the mid to high teens and sunny spells with showers so there is every chance that the final three races of the series will be completed. Tomorrow evening competitors will come together for the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Tenth Anniversary Gala Dinner and Prize Giving. Joining the sailors will be representatives of event sponsor Coutts and Quarter Ton Class Patron Bob Fisher.

Provisional Overall Top Five After Three Races

1. FRA7891 Bullit - Peter Morton - (7), 3.5, 1, 2, 1, 1 = 8.5
2. SWE744 Alice II - Rickard Melander - 2, 2, 3, 1, (7), 2 = 10
3. GBR501 Illegal Immigrant - William McNeil - (11), 1, 2, 7, 4, 5 = 19
4. IRL1392 Illes Pitiuses - Jason & Dominic Losty - 1, (17), 4, 6, 6, 4 = 21
5. GBR8414R Aquila - Sam Laidlaw - 5, 5, 7, 4, 3, (13) = 24

Provisional Corinthian Top Three After Three Races

1. IRL1392 Illes Pitiuses - Jason and Dominic Losty - 1, (3), 1, 1, 1, 2 = 6
2. FRA12130 Pinguin Playboy - Pierre Paris - 2, 1, 2, (3), 2, 1 = 8
3. GBR7070 Purple Haze - Phil Cook - 3, 3, 3, (8), 5, 4 = 19

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#quarterton – The success of the revived Quarter Ton Class has been nothing short of remarkable and the class continues to go from strength to strength. To mark the tenth anniversary of the revival a special edition of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup will be hosted by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Cowes, from 25 to 27 June 2014. To mark the occasion the organisers are planning a memorable regatta, which will combine competitive racing with an expanded après sailing schedule. There will also be a specially commissioned souvenir programme with contributions from several key figures from the Quarter Ton Class past and present, as well as information on the competitors and the event. 40 boats are expected with teams travelling from as far afield as Hong Kong.

The Quarter Ton Class is without doubt one of the quirkiest, most diverse and eccentric in the world. With boats built to three very different iterations of the Quarter Ton rule over three decades from the mid '60s to the mid '90s, the boats range in size from the diminutive Waarschip, designed to the original 16' RORC Rating Rule to the 1992 Per Elisa, designed to the last 18.5 IOR rule. The Quarter Ton Class was the scene of some of the most daring and extreme design development the marine industry has ever seen, with designers using the class as a test bed for innovation. The net result is a delightful mix of boats with something to appeal to everyone in a fleet that now races as one under IRC.

The Quarter Tonners were also the proving ground for many of the biggest names in yachting and thousands of sailors around the globe have a special place in their heart for these funny little boats. When you look around a typical Quarter Ton Cup fleet there are plenty of great names to conjure with such as Jules Salter, Jason Carrington, Peter Morton, Rob Gray, Ed Dubois, David Howlett, John Welch, Ian Southworth, Kelvin Rawlings, Dave Lenz, Eric Williams and more recently the class has seen appearances from world Champions such as Stuart Childerley, Ian Williams, Andy Beadsworth, Annabel Vose and Kate Macgregor, to name but a few.

Part of the appeal of the revival class is that it is possible to get involved at very low cost. Whilst some owners have elected to put their boats into professional yards for restoration, many have found good boats at very low cost and have then restored them personally with help from friends and family. The class is always keen to encourage new members and in particular young sailors and the fleet is hugely welcoming, offering advice to any who seek it and good second hand equipment to incoming teams at little or no cost to help them get started.

Alongside the all too familiar faces, this year's event will see a number of teams making their maiden appearance at the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup. Ian Gibb's Laurent Giles designed Doom Bar andRoen Foolen's 1983 Fauroux designed Foolproof, will all be making their first appearance.

The organisers are delighted to once again welcome Coutts as title sponsor for the regatta. This is the eighth edition of the regatta run in partnership with Coutts whose support has been an integral part of the event's success.

Coutts Wealth Manager, Peter Burke said, "We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of this magnificent event. The organisation is outstanding, and the quality of the racing first class. The regatta provides an exciting backdrop to provide our clients and prospective clients with an unforgettable day on the water. Over the years we have got to know some of the owners and crew very well and are looking forward to meeting them and hopefully some new faces this year.

The regatta will commence with registration on the afternoon of Tuesday 24June with racing taking place over three days from Wednesday 25 to Friday 27 June. International Race Officer Rob Lamb will once again be in charge of proceedings on the water, where the fleet will sail a mixture of windward leeward and round the cans courses in the central Solent area. The social programme will start with a welcome party on the Tuesday evening and will conclude with a very special edition of the traditional Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Gala Dinner incorporating the prize giving on the Friday evening. There will be a daily prize giving and further social fun on the other two evenings at the Royal Corinthian's delightful Cowes waterfront clubhouse.

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#quarterton – Hot on the heels of its Sportsboat Cup announcement for June, busy Howth Yacht Club in North Dublin has today announced that its Class 2 and 3 East Coast Championships scheduled for August will incorporate the Irish Quarter Ton Cup.  Running over the 16th and 17th August, the two day event is sponsored by Euro Car Parks.

The Quarter tonners are looking forward to a busy season with participation at Dublin's ICRA Nationals in June from June 13–15  in Dun Laoghaire before heading across the bay to Howth for the Sportsboat Cup from June 20 to 22 and then the Quarter Ton Championships itself in August. 

A class event poster and the notice of race is available to download below.

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#quarterton – Both Irish entries at this years Quarter Ton Cup 2013 at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club finished in the top half of the fleet after a sunshine filled series on the Solent. Jason and Dominic Losty Illes Pitiuses from Cove Sailing Club finished in 11th and Cork Harbour neighbour, Anchor Challenge skippered by Diarmuid Foley from Royal Cork finished eighth in a fleet of 26. Results here.

The closing day of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2013 produced one final stunning race in perfect conditions for the 26-strong fleet. Again the boats had to wait for wind and several of the teams will have been hoping that it would fill in early enough to run multiple races, but it was not to be and only one start was possible before the 14.30 cut off time.

With an eight point lead going into the day and a worst result of seventh Louise Morton and her crew aboard the 1980 Bruce Farr designed Espada had the regatta in the bag with a race to spare, although they still chose to come out and sail regardless.

Espada's position might have been secure, but the battle for the remaining podium places was wide open. Rickard Melander's Alice II, Bullit, helmed by Ashley Curtis, Ian Southworth in Whiskers and Willy McNeil & Mike Pascall's Illegal Immigrant went into the day separated by just 6.5 points so it was game on.

Coutts' Executive Director Peter Burke announced a new trophy called the Kemp Trophy, presented by Coutts in honour of Stephen Kemp, the Coutts' Director who initiated their sponsorship of this event and who sadly lost his battle with cancer earlier this year. Stephen loved how welcoming the class is and how the event encourages people to get involved and the trophy will be presented annually to a boat which the organisers feel most embodies that spirit. The inaugural winner of the Kemp Trophy was Eric Reynolds' Magnum Evolution which was taking part in her first ever Coutts Quarter Ton Cup and the presentation was made by Stephen's young sons Samuel and Joseph.

Final Top Five
1. Espada, Louise Morton, GBR, 17 points
2. Alice II, Rickard Melander, SWE, 21
3. Illegal Immigrant, W McNeill & M Pascall, GBR, 25.5
4. Bullit, Ashley Curtis, FRA, 25.5
5. Whiskers, Ian Southworth, GBR, 29.5

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#quarterton – Both Irish entries at this years Quarter Ton Cup 2013 at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club lie in the top ten after the first day's racing on the Solent. Jason and Dominic Losty Illes Pitiuses from Coves Sailing Club lie ninth and Cork Harbour neighbour, Anchor Challenge skippered by Diarmuid Foley from Royal Cork is tenth in a fleet of 26. Results here.

There are more glamorous classes, there are more modern classes, and there are undoubtedly more expensive classes, but you would have to go a long way to find a class that offers more spectacularly close racing and bang for your buck than the Quarter Ton Class. This proved true once again on the opening day of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2013 where the pace was fast and furious and four different boats claimed a race victory.

Daybreak brought hot sun, but not a breath of air and wisely Race Officer Rob Lamb promptly announced a three hour postponement giving the 26 teams time to relax, drink coffee, bimble on their boats and top up their tans. Right on time the breeze filled in and racing got underway at 14.00, as anticipated, in a relatively stable west-south-westerly breeze of 8 to 12 knots.

Louise Morton's Espada drew first blood with an excellent start and first beat to lead the fleet around mark 1. Despite plenty of challengers she sailed a text-book race to win by 51 seconds on corrected time from Willy McNeill and Mike Pascall's Illegal Immigrant with Rickard Melander's Alice II in third. Peter Morton's Bullit, helmed this week by Morty's son-in-law Ashley Curtis as Peter is unable to race due to pressure of work, took fourth, and Ian Southworth's Whiskers fifth.

Race two took three attempts to start with the first being postponed in the closing moments of the sequence due to a wind shift. On the second attempt the fleet misjudged the tide and were recalled so the race officer went to black flag for the third attempt, which kept everyone behind the line. This time it was Rob Gray and his team aboard Blackfun who took an early lead and again successfully defended to the finish. It was a tough battle though with the top nine boats all finishing within a minute of each other on corrected time with Bullit second by just seven seconds, Espada third, Illegal Immigrant fourth and Alice II fifth.

After another recall the black flag came out of its holster once again for race three, but even that wasn't sufficient to hold everyone back and Blackfun, Edward White's Joker, Jan Thirkettle's Olivia Anne VI and Paul Roberts and Jo and Sarah Assael's Bad Toad all found themselves forced to wait it out on the sidelines as the fleet raced away from them. Now it was Whiskers who rose to the top of the heap with Alice II second. Bullit and Pierre Paris' Pinguin Playboy tied for fourth place on corrected time and Diamund Foley's Anchor Challenge took fifth.

Whilst Quarter Ton racing is always incredibly close the quality of the sailing is truly exceptional and it's rare to see significant contact. Unfortunately a relatively short fair tide first beat in race four meant that the bulk of the fleet arrived at the weather mark together and mayhem ensued. Blackfun led in from the port layline while Phoenix, owned by the Welch, Fulford, Manser & Fleming partnership, came in on starboard with Bullit hard on her heels. Blackfun clearly thought they had room to squeeze in, but sadly they misjudged it and, with nowhere to go, Blackfun sailed full tilt into her transom, breaking the carbon spinnaker pole and gouging a hole in the stem. Behind them Bullit luffed hard to avoid ramming Phoenix, but unfortunately the force of the impact had caused Blackfun to spin to weather and Bullit was unable to avoid them too, making the second contact of the day. Initially Blackfun did turns but on realising later that serious damage had occurred they retired from the race.

The bumper cars theme continued at the second mark although fortunately with less serious consequences. Phoenix initially held their lead but without a spinnaker pole it was tricky to hold off the pack and on the second run they dropped back. The fleet was spread across the course on the final run, but it was Alice II, Espada, Whiskers and Illegal Immigrant that got the best of the leg by sticking to the middle of the course. The four boats rounded within seconds of each other for the final short beat to the finish. On corrected time Alice II claimed victory by seven seconds with Whiskers snatching second from Espada by a single second. Illegal Immigrant and Phoenix crossed the line seven seconds apart, correcting out to a dead heat to share fourth place.

In the overall standings Rickard Melander's Alice II, a 1990 Phil Morrison design, now has a three-point lead over Ian Southworth's Whiskers, a 1979 Joubert Nivelt, and Louise Morton's Espada, designed by Bruce Farr in 1980, who both count fourteen points. There is also a tie for fourth place with Ashley Curtis aboard Bullit, a 1979 Faroux design which won the 1979 and 80 Quarter Ton Cups, and Willy McNeil and Mike Pascall's Illegal Immigrant, designed by Ceccarelli in 1991, tied on 18.5 points.

After racing the exhausted but happy crews enjoyed sundowners, a delicious bar-b-que and a spectacular Solent sunset from the Royal Corinthian's terrace.

Today's forecast indicates we can expect another sunny morning with little wind until early afternoon when a decent sea breeze if anticipated. Up to four further races may be sailed tomorrow and the regatta continues until Wednesday 17 July. Tomorrow evening the crews will gather for the legendary Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Gala Dinner at which Paul Larsen of Vestas Sailrocket will be the guest speaker.

Top Five After Four Races

1. SWE7744, Alice II, Rickard Melander - 3,5,2,1 = 11 pts
2. GBR902R, Whiskers, Ian Southworth - 5,6,1,2 - 14 pts
3. GBR50R, Espada, Louise Morton - 1,3,7,3 = 14 pts
4. FRA7891, Bullit, Ashley Curtis - 4,2,3.5,9 - 18.5 pts
5. GBR501, Illegal Immigrant, W McNeill & M Pascall - 2,4,8,4.5 = 18.5 pts

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#QUARTER TON – Diarmuid Foley boosted Irish Quarter ton interests in the UK in April when he steered Anchor Challenge (with Mark Mansfield as tactician) to victory, winning five of 11 races at the Warash Spring series on the Hamble sailed over two weekends.

The Cork harbour crew for the event were Foley and Mansfield along with Paul Gibbons and Killian Collins.

Diarmuid previously owned a Mumm 30 called Mammy and competed at a high level for a number of years on the Mumm 30 circuit.  

The next event for the quarter tonners will be the Vice Admirals Cup in Cowes on the 18th May.

Anchor Challenge will be joined in Cowes by two more Irish Quarter Tonners which are in the final process of major revamps. Both Ian Travers and Eamonn Rohan's "Per Elisa" and Dominic and Jason Losty from Cork are making the journey to the Solent.

After the Vice Admirals Cup, the big event of the season is the Quarter Ton Cup, also held in Cowes at the end of June and three other Irish Boats, including Neil Keneficks' Tiger will compete, There are at least 35 boats expected from all over Europe for that event.

Results from the Hamble events on

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#SAILOR OF THE YEARGeorge Kenefick of Cork is the new Independent "Sailor of the Year" after an exceptionally diverse and successful season in which the 23-year-old Crosshaven skipper logged major successes at a wide variety of venues in an almost bewildering array of boat types.

When the international sailing season started, the focus was on Keneficks's campaigns with his family's little Quarter Tonner Tiger. But by the time he became "Sailor of the Month" in October, it was in honour of achievements as diverse as helming the 2012 Half Ton World Champion, and winning the Helmsman's Championship.

It might be over-stating it to assert that his 2011 record with Tiger ranked among the least of his year's achievements. After all, he did win the class in the ICRA Nationals 2011 at Crosshaven in June with six firsts and one second. But at the Sovereigns Cup in Kinsale which was staged a few days later, he seemed to have lost his mojo – Tiger was off the pace, even if they did finish in the top three.

Next up was the Quarter Ton Worlds in the Solent. It was serious business. So many boats carried at least one professional that a division for Corinthians was created. That was won by Kenefick, but as Tiger had been in contention in many races, we had dared to hope he might win overall.

However, while there he was recruited to helm a boat for an English owner in the Half Ton Worlds, due at the same venue in late August. It was a case of being dropped in at the deep end with a crew initially of strangers, and a huge fleet. But Kenefick kept his cool and there was no need to avail of any Corinthian clause – he won overall, first time an Irish helm has done so since Harold Cudmore in 1976.


George Kenefick and his Royal Cork crew in winning form. Photo: Bob Bateman

Then came the all-Ireland championship on Lough Derg, racing the SailFleet J/80s. He scraped through to win by a whisker. But a win is a win, and it should be remembered that for much of 2011, Kenefick's sporting energies were taken up with his position as Chairman of the Irish University Sailing Association. He is much in demand to coach youngsters training in Optimist dinghies at Crosshaven, where his father Neil introduced him to skippering at the age of three by letting him out in an Optimist at the end of a very long rope.

champions BFP43871

George celebrates the all Ireland win with crew men Mel Collins and John Downey. Photo: Brendan Fogarty

In this case, it has worked very well. At the end of October, Kenefick rallied his crew yet again to take the Cork team as Ireland's representatives to the Student Yachting Worlds in south Brittany. The only preparation they couldn't plan against was a draw for the boats – they were one of four international teams assigned to boats that were well past their sell-by date. Despite that, they tuned it to the utter most and gave it their very best, getting the Bronze Medal in this increasingly important event against a global lineup.

In all, a great year for George Kenefick. And good for Irish sailing too, as he has shown what can be done with the right attitude even if we are all in the midst of financial cutbacks.

Published in Sailor of the Year

#QUARTER TON CLASS – With a decline in big boat sailing here (some say we will be lucky to even field a Commodore's Cup team this year), people are turning to what other classes that are around for competitive and cost effective sailing.

Some one design classes like the 1720 are flourishing again, but some sailors prefer a class that alterations can be made to the boats to suit their sailing styles and weight and the Quarter ton class fits that bill.


Quarter Tonner  action on the South coast. Photo: Bob Bateman

The retro class of sailing boats gave a shot in the arm to the two major south-coast regattas last June. Although its heyday was 30 years ago, the revitalised Quarter Ton class in Britain and Ireland, is experiencing a new lease of life. The class competed at both the ICRA Nationals and the Sovereign's Cup.

Up until recently the Quarter tonner Tiger, owned by Neil Kenefick (it made the cover of the Irish Sailing Annual 2012) was the only boat making the running but last year Eamonn Rohan bought "Anchor Challenge" and campaigned it well.  At the end of the year he sold it to another Cork sailor Diarmuid Foley.

The budget-minded class has been back building numbers steadily since 2001 when Peter Morton revived the class on the south coast of England.

Representing good value for money there has been a lot of movement in Quarter Ton boat sales. A further two Quarter Tonners have been bought during last summer and are currently in Cowes having a full reconfiguration and updrade. The first is owned by Ian Travers and the second by Jason Losty from Cobh.

In the UK there are a further three boats going through full ugrades and others are changing keels and masts.

The highlight of racing for the class is the Quarter Ton Cup held annually in Cowes. This year's event will be held from June 24th to 27th. These boats are very competitive under IRC as can be seen by Tiger winning class 3 at last year's IRC nationals.

There will be 30 to 35 boats expected for this years Quarter Ton Cup.

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