Displaying items by tag: Anthony O'Leary
Anthony O'Leary and his Cork Harbour crew of David Hassett and Niall Rafferty in Antix have finished seventh overall at the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta in Miami at the weekend in the 19-boat Viper 640 class. His sons Nicholas and Robert, sailing 'Brotherly Love' under the burgee of Baltimore Sailing Club and competing in the Star class, finished 12th overall in their 64-boat fleet.
Overall results are here.
Biscayne Bay showcased the best day of racing as this iconic racing venue said good-bye to the 500 sailors who competed. A great Easterly breeze of around 10 knots, sun shining warm and wave chop a lot less than the previous days made for a perfect race day. All of the classes finished their scheduled races at this the best spring sailing yacht racing event in the North Hemisphere.
In the Star Class, the charge for the 92nd Bacardi Cup victory came down to an American Gold Star battle. Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise (USA) presented a flawless scorecard with results always in the top 4, but Paul Cayard/Magnus Liljedahl (USA) managed a brilliant come back from a 27th in race 1 and earned a chance to steal the win from Doyle/Infelise. But only if they could maintain the momentum that gave them wins in Race 4 and 5. Both teams started on the right side, with Doyle keeping an eagle eye on Cayard who was almost on pin end and kept following that track. The Southern California partnership of Doyle/Infelise were first to the windward mark, whilst in a surprise turn of form North California legend Paul Cayard rounded at the back, in about 20th position.
The order of play continued at the downwind gate and up the second windward leg. At this point, Doyle/Infelise realized they were safely ensconced as winners of the 92nd Bacardi Cup and could abandon the race and head ashore! Even though Paul Cayard/Magnus Liljedal were slowly climbing back through the fleet, there was no hope of them overhauling Doyle/Infelise’s points advantage. Then, on the second downwind, they broke their mast and were forced to be towed back in. Scoring a DNF penalty, they had to re-count their 27th from day 1 and plummeted down the leaderboard to finish in 7th overall.
Standing alongside Doyle/Infelise on the podium were Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Firithjof Kleen (GER), who also gave themselves an uphill start after a UFD in race 1, but won two races from the remaining five and finished only 2 points behind the winners. Another two points back were bronze medalists Eivind Melleby (NOR) and Joshua Revkin (USA). In fourth were defending champions Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi of Italy and in fifth the French Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot.
“It’s been great, fun, fabulous weather, it all came together nicely, we had great speed, a fantastic team work, good starts and it’s great to be in this excellent field with incredible champions,” smiled a very satisfied Eric Doyle. “It is our first win even though I have sailed here for 20 times. One time we had a big fight then Ross McDonald came ahead I lost my points; it doesn’t matter now, it’s great we won it! And we are happy to win 2500 points of the Star Sailors League. We plan to go to the Europeans/SSL Breeze Grand Slam in May and then to the Worlds in Porto Cervo in June, so plenty of racing coming ahead!”
On the race courses closer to shore, action was unfolding for the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640 and the Flying Tigers 7.5 who contested their last two races of the series.
In the J/70, the winners were the team on Catapult (USA), featuring Joel Ronning, Victor Diaz del Leon, Patrick Wilson and Chris Stoke. They were the most solid and consistent of the fleet with every score inside the top 3, after discarding their 11th in race 3. They racked up a 16 point advantage over second placed Americans onboard Surge with Mark Mendelblatt calling tactics, and in third was Italy’s Calvi Network with Carlo Alberini driving.
“This was a very fun team to sail with we all got along very well,” commented Joel Ronning of Catapult. “This group of people are very good at what they do. We had tremendous fun, we were able to minimize mistakes by keeping the dialogue open and if there were any issues they were taken care of right away. It’s a phenomenal event and one of the premier series in the world. It’s very well organized. We love Shake A Leg, we love Bacardi, everybody is so welcoming and we will definitely be coming back.”
A big fight in the Melges 24, where, despite domination from a 19 boat American team line-up, it was the Italians on Italian Bombarda who claimed the win. Their super crew was all home-made in Italy: Andrea Pozzi, Carlo Zermin, Matteo Ivaldi, Nicholas Dal Ferro and Stefano Ciampalini. Full Throttle (USA) with Olympic tactician Jonathan McKee finished in second and Monsoon (USA) in third, with just 1 point between each of the top three teams.
“We loved the conditions here,” said Andrea Pozzi of Bombarda. “It’s the ones we love and perform better with. The crew has been working together for a long time, even though we are coming back together after a year’s break. Miami is a fantastic spot, we love it and we loved the event. It combined the sport of sailing to the fun in the after sail, we want to thank Bacardi for this!”
Evil Hiss stepped up today to win the super competitive Viper 640 class: Mary and Geoff Ewenson with Star Olympian Tyler Bjorn won the last three races of the series leaving no doubts as to who was the best in the fleet. Great Scott!slang (USA) came in 6 points behind in second place, and first Corinthian team, and Choppy Seas (USA) completed the podium in third.
“We got better as the days progressed. Choreography on the boat was just perfect,” said Geoff Ewenson. “The crew was very experienced and we were able to make good decisions. I’ve sailed in Miami enough so that it almost feels like sailing in my home waters. I remember coming down to Miami to sail the Bacardi Cup in Stars and now, the last three times as part of the Bacardi Invitational in Vipers. Love the organization, love Biscayne Bay and I can’t wait to come back next year.”
The best of the Flying Tigers 7.5 was Neun (CAN) with Geoff Becker, Richard Griffin, Sabine Griffin, Joe Mele and Adam Spiegel onboard. Finishing in style, they won the last race of the series. Just one point behind, Grassy Manatee (CAN) finished in second, with J.A.C.K.ed (USA) is third.
“We just had awesome team work,” explained Geoff Backer of Neun about their win. “Beautiful clear conditions, warm water, warm air, everything was fantastic. We had such great fun and we’ll definitely come back next year!”
As the curtains prepare to drop on the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta, tonight it is all about the big Prize Giving Ceremony and dinner party at Shake-A-Leg Miami to officially close the 2019 edition. Bacardi is already planning the 2020 edition with the 93rd Bacardi Cup for the Star class, the event that launched this all in 1927 in Havana, Cuba.
Two separate O'Leary teams both sailing under the burgee of Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork are in action in Florida next week at the Bacardi Cup in Miami.
Former Irish Sailor of the Year Anthony O'Leary sailing with David Hassett, Niall Rafferty and Tom Durcan will sail in the Viper class while O'Leary's sons Robert and Nicholas, (Robert was a recent bronze medalist in the Star Junior Championships) will compete in the Star Class. The brothers' boat, the aptly named Star 'Brotherly Love' has been based in Miami for a string of regattas this winter.
Ninety-two years of history is a record that not many sports competitions can match. With the number of teams and the unparalleled talent on the water increasing each year, the Bacardi Cup Regatta is among the world’s most iconic sporting events. For 56 years, this event has had the pleasure of calling the beautiful warm waters of Biscayne Bay its home.
This year, the Organising Committee decided to extend an invitation not only to the Star Class, but also to other one-design fleets, making the 2019 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta the most attended spring sailing event. The J/70 class, the fastest-growing one-design fleet in the world, has been invited for the second year in a row, while the successful long-lived Melges 24 class will make its return to Biscayne Bay along with the high-performance classes represented by the Viper 640 and Flying Tiger 7.5!
Racing gets underway in Biscayne Bay on Monday, March 4 for the Star Class. Racing for the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640 and Flying Tiger 7.5 classes starts Thursday, March 7. The Star fleet will compete in a single daily race of proper endurance racing, which is the traditional format that the more than 100-year-old class dictates and exactly what the sailors relish. The other four fleets will sail 8 races scheduled across three days.
Teams from across the U.S. will be joined in every class by an international line-up of 23 different countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Ukraine.
The 2019 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta has a recording-breaking 166 entries, with more than 500 sailors attending. World champions, Olympians and America’s Cup legends will be on the starting line. The most shining one will traditionally be the Star Class, with the many heroes that still competitively race in it and sport the Gold star on their main sail for winning at least one Star World Championship. We are excited to have competitors include the very eclectic Paul Cayard (USA), who has been sailing Stars for 40 years alongside his successful career in the America’s Cup and big yacht racing; Xavier Rohart (FRA), the Bronze Olympic medalist in the class in Athens; Lars Grael (BRA), a two times Bronze Olympic medalist in the Tornado class; and Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), the Gold and Bronze winner at the Olympics in Atlanta and Athens in the Finn class.
Amongst those targeting victory in the J70 fleet is Brian Keane (USA), who has raced the J/70 since the start; Vincenzo Onorato (ITA), who holds World titles in the Farr 40 and M32; Will Welles (USA) who is at the top of the leader board at just about every major J/24 regatta and Joel Ronning (USA) who finished first in the 2016 J/70 World Championships held in the San Francisco Bay.
A robust Melges 24 fleet of 26 entries are present in Miami to kick-off the U.S. class’ 2019 National Ranking Series, an eight-part regatta circuit that spans the North American continent. Returning to the impeccable Biscayne Bay racing stage is current Winter Series overall ranking leader Bruce Ayres (USA), and Megan Ratliff (USA) who is in charge of the Corinthian division. Other major players include 2013 World Champion and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Brian Porter (USA), Travis Weisleder (USA) and KC Shannon’s (USA).
In the Viper 640 Fleet, we are welcoming back Steve Chapman (CAN) – Viper Class North American President, Geoff Fargo (USA) - West Cost Class President, Anthony O’Leary (IRL) and Mary and Jeff Eweson (USA). The Gulf Performance Sailing Foundation, a 501(c)3 from Gulfport, LA, with the purpose to promote sailing, will be sailing with all-junior crews.
The Flying Tiger Class will provide a “hassle free” regatta experience on fully rigged- and ready-to-sail boats, offering a three-day North-U Clinic where competitors can master their skills on the water.
Both Star and J/70 reigning champions will participate at the 2019 event: Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) will try to replicate their success in the huge Star fleet of almost 70 boats. Joel Ronning (USA), with his Catapult team, will try to be the fastest in the J/70 40-teams fleet.
Full results are available here
If you were putting together a pub quiz about classic yachts, “Who was Sandy Balfour?” would be a very handy question to get the elementary section going writes W M Nixon.
Dyed-in-the-wool classics aficionados would roll their eyes in amusement at being asked something to which surely everyone knows the answer, contemptuously regarding it as an ignorant query about someone who, while not prolific, was an important creator of significant yachts with their own signature style.
But for those whose knowledge of the great classic designers is limited to the headline figures such as Watson, Fife, Herreshoff, Nicholson, Mylne, Reimers, Anker, Stephens and Rhodes, A K “Sandy” Balfour is probably off the screen.
Yet those who do have classic yachts from Balfour’s design board develop a very special fondness for their pride-and-joy. And this season, top Crosshaven racing campaigner Anthony O’Leary has become one of them with the acquisition of the 50ft Northele, a Balfour design of 1949 vintage.
She has been around Cork Harbour for some years now, but it was no secret, when she was put on the market, that a long winter of TLC in a skilled yard would in time be required to restore her complete and glorious classic potential. That particular project is going to be undertaken this winter in Castle Point Boatyard. But for now, Northele sits elegantly in style in full commission in Crosshaven, dressed overall in honour of Volvo Cork Week while her owner goes at it hammer and tongs in the 1720 racing.
So who was Sandy Balfour? Born in Glasgow, after a boat-building apprenticeship with Harland & Wolff’s Scottish subsidiary, his latent design talent was able to manifest itself by working with designer David Boyd at Roberston’s Yard at Sandbank on the Clyde. Boyd may later have been associated with the unsuccessful America’s Cup 12 Metre Sceptre, but when Balfour was with him, his boats for the International 6 Metre Class were very highly regarded
Yet by that time the mighty Scottish yacht design and building industry – at its height around the turn of the Century – was in marked decline, and in 1947 Balfour headed south to take up the job as manager and in-house yacht designer at Berthon Boat Company in Lymington in Hampshire. The yacht design profession – particularly in the depressed post-World War II era - was a precarious career for a sole trader, so a permanent job as yard manager, in tandem with whatever design challenges came along, provided a reasonably secure position.
But the Berthon Boat Company were noted for their possessiveness towards any yacht designs which their employees produced, and when the new 50ft Northele was launched in 1949, her design was clearly registered in Lloyds as being by “Builders”. The name of A K Balfour did not appear at all, but he was undoubtedly the designer of each and every aspect of the handsome new yacht.
Everything about her was interesting, for not only did she reveal the designer’s classic style, but the experienced commissioning owner was Ronald R Burton who lived on the River Hamble - also in the Solent area, but at some distance from Lymington.
His previous boat had been the Sparkman & Stephens-designed International 8 Metre Iskareen, built in Sweden in 1939. But after World War II, the International 8 Metre Class, which had been a feature of the Solent in the 1930s, had melted away. So for a more suitable boat for the times, Burton decided to go to a place which wasn’t his home port despite the local proliferation of boatyards and designers on the Hamble, and get a boat from the new man just down from Scotland and working in Lymington.
The result was a fine yacht for which Berthon Boat Company were more than happy to claim all the credit, particularly as it was their careful saving of good timber which enabled Northele to be built at a time of post-war shortages, when quality seasoned timber was very scarce. In fact, in order to guarantee quality of construction, Northele was built to the detailed specification of the International 10 Metre Class. A proper racing 10 Metre would be approaching 60ft LOA, so when you build a cruiser-racer of 50 feet to the same spec, you get real strength and quality.
Sandy Balfour designed some other notable craft while he was with Berthon’s, but it was a busy yard in all areas and much of his energy was taken up with the day-to-day work this involved, while he was also an accredited Lloyds Surveyor. You sense a frustrated design talent. But a move to the Norfolk Broads to take over management of the J.Loynes & Son boatyard at Wroxham in the late 1950s was scarcely a step in the right direction, yet deep in the heart of Norfolk, and far from his native Scotland, there came an unexpected breakthrough.
In 1958, the Clyde Cruising Club, in association with the Glasgow Herald newspaper, launched a competition for an able sailing cruiser to cost not more than £1,000, a boat around 28ft which could comfortably take four people cruising at reasonable speeds and better off Scotland’s West Coast and through the Hebrides.
In the end, two transom-sterned designs – one by Sandy Balfour and the other by leading Burnham-on-Crouch-based independent designer Alan Buchanan – were assessed as being more or less equal on merit. But it was reckoned that Balfour’s Honeybee design would have difficulty staying within budget, so the result was Buchanan first, Balfour second.
Yet very few boats were to be built to the Buchanan design, but the Honeybee took off, with several builders producing many, the most prolific being a German company. And with each boat, A K Balfour was the properly accredited designer.
The Honeybee’s success makes you wonder how many other yachts of all sizes Sandy Balfour might have created, had circumstances been different. So as you cast an eye over the elegant and highly individual Northele sitting so gracefully in Crosshaven, remember that she is doubly precious – she is one of the few creations of a designer of a great but largely unfulfilled talent.
There was both disapppointment and excitement for Irish Sailing fans at the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup on Sunday when the Royal Cork Yacht Club team headed by Anthony O'Leary failed to make the top ten of the 14–boat fleet overall but confirmation from New York that a County Wicklow design is to be used for future Cup competitions might give the rub–of–the green to future Cork – or indeed Irish– campaigns.
O'Leary finished the series in 11th but previously finished as high as fifth in 2009.
The weekend event brings to a close the involvement of the Swan 42 one-design, which was instrumental in getting the regatta off the ground eight years ago. The foundation laid by the Swan 42 class will be carried forward in 2019 with the IC37. As Afloat.ie reported in May, The Club has committed to purchase a fleet of 20 identical keel boats built by Westerly Marine to a design by County Wicklow's Mark Mills (the 2009 Afloat Sailor of the Year). New York Yacht Club say this 'will ensure that the world's premiere Corinthian one-design keelboat regatta remains a must-do event for sailors around the world'.
More information on the 2019 edition will be released before the end of 2017.
In Saturday's single race, the Southern Yacht Club was as sharp as they had been in the previous 11 races, starting strongly and never wavering. SYC eventually finished second to Royal Thames in the race, and four places ahead of their only remaining competition for the overall trophy, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron from Australia. In 12 races, the Southern Yacht Club team accumulated just 34 points, the lowest winning total for a Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup by 10 points.
With a margin of 8 points over second-placed Royal Sydney to start the day, and only one race remaining, Southern Yacht Club was in a comfortable position. But light air and fog can dampen the confidence of even the most credentialed sailor. A long delay only added to the anxiety.
Southern Yacht Club was the first rookie competitor to win the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup since the host New York Yacht Club won the inaugural competition in 2009. But the team, which was composed of veteran sailors with many significant campaigns under their collective belt, approached the regatta with the appropriate commitment. Buoyed by the membership, and especially crew member Stephen Murray Jr., the team was able to purchase a boat to train on all summer and sail in regatta.
The 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup took place September 9 to 16 at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport, R.I. Amateur sailors representing 14 yacht clubs from around the globe converged on Newport to race in the ultimate one-design, big-boat competition. The boats and sails are provided and the rig tune is standardised across the fleet. The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is sponsored by Rolex, Porsche, Nautor's Swan, AIG and Helly Hansen.
1. Southern YC, USA, 34
2. Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, AUS, 46
3. Eastern Yacht Club, USA, 67
4. New York Yacht Club, USA, 74
5. Royal Thames Yacht Club, UK, 77
6. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, HKG, 85
7. Japan Sailing Federation , JPN, 88
8. Yacht Club Argentino, ARG, 92
9. Itchenor Sailing Club, UK, 96
10. New Bedford Yacht Club, USA, 114
11. Royal Cork YC, IRL, 114
12. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, SWE, 121
13. Shelter Island Yacht Club, USA, 121
14. Royal Yacht Squadron, UK, 134
Anthony O'Leary's fifth time a the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup at Newport, R.I has opened with a fourth overall position for the Royal Cork Yacht Club entry. After three races in a fresh southwesterly breeze, Southern Yacht Club and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron stand first and second in the regatta, with five and seven points, respectively.
Click here for the overall results.
Amateur sailors representing 14 yacht clubs from eight countries from around the globe have converged on Newport to race in the ultimate one-design, big-boat competition. The boats and sails are provided and the rig tune is standardized across the fleet.
After qualifying by winning last September's Resolute Cup, Southern Yacht Club has spared no expense nor effort to prepare its team for the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup. The Club syndicate purchased a Swan 42 and competed in a number of regattas this past summer. The results of this hard work were immediately obvious today as Southern Yacht Club, with Marcus Eagan at the helm and 2004 Olympic silver medalists John Lovell calling tactics, took second in the first race, second in the second and then added a first in a third.
"We have a good team," said Lovell, a four-time Olympian in the Tornado class. "We’ve been practicing. Andrew [Eagan]’s trimming the jib really well. We’re really excited and hoping to stay in that top group. I’m sure we’re going to have one of those days where we get in the back a couple times. We had a couple crosses where we barely made it, and if we hadn’t we would have been pack in the pack. So everything just seemed to go right today."
On the other hand, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, the helmsman for the Royal Sydney team, hadn't laid a hand on the wheel of the Swan 42 for two years when he showed up for the first day of practice on Saturday. And his team hasn't spent a lot of time sailing together. But that didn't stop them from winning the first race and then adding a pair of thirds for a comfortable second place in the overall standings.
"It’s so nice to have a group of guys to come together," said Belgiorno-Nettis. "They were all sailors for a long time, but we had hadn’t actually sailed together as a team. They just dug deep, and we figured out the way pretty quickly by the looks of things."
But the wiry Australian—of Italian descent—was quick point out that prior success is no indication of future performance. And that there are four days left in this event.
"I'm sure we’re going to go backwards in other races because it’s natural," he added. "You can’t do great work every day in every regatta. I've been to too many. I think for us it was a good moral lift to be able to be successful today, we’re happy to end out in the front end. The guys are enjoying it. The New York Yacht Club puts on one of the best regattas in the world, if not the best."
Eastern Yacht Club finished strong with a second in the the third race and currently sits third, with 13 points. Rounding out the top five are Royal Cork Yacht Club—a five-time Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup competitor—and the defending champions from Royal Thames Yacht Club.
The biggest cheer in the tent today, however, went to a team that currently sits sixth. After 45 races over four regattas, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club team finally won its first Invitational Cup race in the day's second contest. Few teams have matched the passion of the RHKYC, which always shows up determined to have a good time and has succeeded each time, no matter the final results.
For Anthony O'Leary from Ireland's Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is something of a family tradition. O'Leary represented the Royal Cork at the first regatta in 2009 and has returned to each event since, accompanied by one or more of his sons on the crew, along with his wife Sally.
"The Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup offers brilliant racing in very equally matched boats," said Robert O'Leary, who sailed in 2011 and 2013 and will be serving as tactician for his father this year. "The minor speed differentials upwind and downwind mean that racing is always extremely tight. The variety of amateur teams racing at such a high level is what entices us back every time."
The elder O'Leary is a tireless campaigner who has twice been named the Irish Sailor of the Year and regularly competes in both small planing one-designs and larger offshore events. While the crew doesn't have the opportunity to sail the Swan 42 except at this event, Robert O'Leary thinks their collective experience in four previous editions of Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup will allow them to get up to speed quickly during the three days of pre-regatta practice.
"Every bit of boatspeed helps, be it a quarter knot of straight-line speed or having good speed out of a tack or jibe," Robert O'Leary said. "For the helms and crews that sail these boats on a regular basis, they certainly have spent the time to perfect their tuning and maneuvers. Luckily we have a fantastic crew who have all sailed a variety of boats over the years and will adapt quickly to the 42 for the event."
If experience in the event itself is the key to success in the fifth edition of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, then the list of favorites has to start with the three teams helmed by sailors who have competed in each edition of this biennial Corinthian challenge. The teams representing the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Cork Yacht Club and the defending champions from the Royal Thames Yacht Club will be led by sailors who have sailed in every single race in the history of Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup.
The 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup will take place September 9 to 16 at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport, R.I. Amateur sailors representing 14 yacht clubs from around the globe will converge on Newport to race in the ultimate one-design, big-boat competition. The boats and sails are provided and the rig tune is standardized across the fleet. The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is sponsored by Rolex, Porsche, AIG, Nautor’s Swan, and Helly Hansen and will be broadcast live via the web.
In 2009, John Greenland skippered the Royal Thames Yacht Club team to 13th place in the inaugural running of the event. While it was hardly an auspicious start for the storied British club, it exposed the club to the commitment required to win. In 2011, Greenland called tactics for the Royal Ocean Racing Club, finishing seventh. When the Royal Thames returned to the competition, in 2013, the team committed to a summer of training in Newport and was rewarded with a third-place finish. Finally, in 2015, Royal Thames YC became the first European team to take home the prized trophy.
"Last time, we were rolling from 2013 straight into 2015," says Greenland. "This time around the team has had a bit more of a break; but we’ve been more focused in our approach. We sailed both the Annual Regatta presented by Rolex and the Swan 42 U.S. Nationals this year, in Mutiny, which we also have for the Rolex Invitational Cup. Because we’ve had the opportunity, largely thanks to William Edwards with the support of other Royal Thames members, to focus our efforts over the years, we’ve got a better feel for what is working and isn’t working. We also have eight of the 11 teammates from the 2015 event [returning this year]."
The team seems to have checked nearly every box. However, they are not alone in that regard.
John Hele (left, at helm) knows better than anyone in this event what it takes to win. Hele was a part of the team representing the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, which finished second in the inaugural event in 2009, won it in 2011 and 2013, and finished 10th in 2015. This September, however, Hele will be representing the New York Yacht Club, where he's been a member for more than 25 years. And while he served as the tactician for all four RCYC efforts—Olympic silver medalist Terry McLaughlin was the helmsman—he'll be steering the boat for the NYYC team.
"As a NYYC Member since 1991, I have always held a strong interest in representing the host club, and so I decided to try for the berth this time, especially since I became a United States Citizen in 2016," said Hele. "It is an exceptional feeling and tremendous privilege to sail under the New York Yacht Club burgee and be helming for the event."
The strict eligibility requirements for the crew, which require that all but two be members of the represented yacht club, means that Hele had to almost completely rebuild his crew for this challenge. Fortunately, the New York Yacht Club is stocked with plenty of talented amateur sailors, including tactician Brad Read, a former J/24 world champion, and main trimmer Chip Whipple, who sailed for the Club in 2011 and 2013, finishing second and ninth, respectively. Hele and his crew have left no stone unturned in their preparation for the event, training numerous days under the watchful eye of America's Cup veteran Tom Burnham, who coached the Artemis team during the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda.
"It’s a game of inches out there," said Whipple. "You know everyone's going to show up at the windward mark at the same time. If we have any advantage at all, it’s going to be because we've been training so much and working so hard. It may only be a difference of a half a boatlength, but that half boatlength will get you around the mark before the bulk of the fleet."
Because the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup uses supplied sails and standardized rig tune, the boat is a little different from the Swan 42 that is sailed in every other event. Mastering those subtle differences has been a focus of the team's training.
"In this event, the whole playing field has been completely leveled," said Whipple. "There’s only going to be a few times when we're in the sweet spot of the sails and rig tune we’re given. Other times we’ll be overpowered or underpowered, that’s where the experience of the boathandling and sail control will show up and start to make a difference. We've practiced with old sails, smaller sails, we’ve tried to simulate how the boat will behave given the equipment we're using."
Perhaps the best advice, however, has nothing to do with the boat, rig or sails. These three teams may be favorites on paper, but everyone starts with the same score on Tuesday, and the same ultimate goal.
"Never underestimate the other teams," said Robert O'Leary. "They are extremely competitive and we are all out there with one goal in mind, to take home the trophy."
Having done the last two versions of this event I feel I have a decent level of knowledge to comment on the racing and the classes progression. Firstly well done to the organisers for staging a great event at Kinsale Yacht Club and well done to the Principal Race Officer Anthony O'Leary for running it so well. Finally, well done to Phil Plumtree and the Swuzzlebubble team for winning the regatta with a race to spare. This is the third win for Swuzzlebubble in three events, each with a different owner. More about this later.
Day One—Nigel Biggs' new Checkmate XV111 just led from Paul Pullen's Miss Whiplash on countback. Swuzzlebubble lay one point back and Mike and Richie Evans,The Big Picture, lay a further point behind. David Cullen's Checkmate XV was a few points further back and it seemed likely that these five boats would be the feature boats in the event. All had professional sailors aboard and one of these boats had three professional sailors. Swuzzlebubble had an eighth place on this day which she would eventually discard but it was clear that she would be the one to watch as she was the top rating boat by some margin and was using that extra speed to get out in front allowing her to sail her own race.
Day Two—Strong Southerly winds were forecasted for the following few days and so the organisers took the decision to delay the coastal race until later in the week and use day two to get in as many short WL races as possible. In the end four good races were sailed in moderate to fresh testing conditions. Swuzzlebubble counted two wins and two second places to shoot into a large lead over David Cullen's Checkmate who also scored two firsts. One point back was Checkmate XVIII and The Big Picture lay in fourth, a few points back. Big loser of the Day was Paul Pullen's Miss Whiplash who had four very average results and fell out of the running. It was now clear that the first four boats (Swuzzlebubble, Checkmate XV, Checkmate XVIII and the Big Picture) were pulling well clear of the pack and the winner would be from this group. Occasionally, other boats such as Paul Wayte's beautiful newly optimised Headhunter, Johnny Swan's Harmony and Philippe Pilatte's General Tapioca would come to the fore, but it was the first four that generally filled the top three results in each race and were pulling well clear.
Day Three—Wednesday was postponed due to excess wind and many enjoyed a long lunch in Kinsale's Fishy Fishy restaurant accompanied by some very nice wines.
Day Four—Strong Southerly winds greeted the competitors and three races were planned including the none–discard coastal race. Swuzzlebubble took a first and a second in the earlier Windward Leeward races to extend her lead and the two closest followers, the two Checkmates each counted a poorish race to allow Swuzzlebubble be on the cusp of winning the regatta outright if she had a decent last coastal race. The Big Picture had consistent top results to lie in fourth. The final race of the day, the coastal race, ended in Swuzzlebubble taking a fifth, though a relatively poor result for her, it was enough to ensure Swuzzlebubble could not now be caught and did not need to sail the final race on the Friday. 1.5 points now separated the Two Checkmates with Dave Cullen in the marginal lead. Big Picture finished the Coastal race in second place and lay in fourth overall and could neither fall to fifth in the last race on Friday, nor get up to third. There was then a large points gap to General Tapioca and Headhunter.
A successful Class dinner was held in Actons Hotel on Thursday night which went on late into the night, for some.
Day Five—Swuzzlebubble decided not to sail on the Friday. First and fourth places were already finalised (Swuzzlebubble and The Big Picture). Nigel Biggs needed to finish ahead of Dave Cullen and have a boat between them to finish in second overall. 17 to 20 knots greeted the fleet and PRO O'Leary signalled an around the buoys race consisting of two rounds and a finish off Charles Fort in Kinsale. Nigel Biggs got the best of the start and was ahead most of the race. However, Dave Cullen was in a bunch close behind that included the Big Picture. By the last mark Nigel Biggs rounded in the lead, followed by three other boats flowed by Big Picture with Checkmate XV behind her. Big Picture pulled through to second and Checkmate XV to third across the line. Big Picture with her lower handicap had a chance to snatch the win and deny Checkmate XVIII second overall but fell short by nine seconds and so the race finished with Checkmate XVIII winning followed by The Big Picture, followed by Checkmate XV, thus giving second overall to Nigel Biggs and Third overall to David Cullen. Fourth overall went to the Big Picture, fifth to General Tapioca and sixth to Miss Whiplash.
Progression of the class – Three newly optimised boats were among the 21 entries this year. The larger fleets of Half–Tonners are based in France, the UK and Belgium and if the event were in one of these locations it is likely entries would be closer to 30. During the regatta an agm was held to discuss some important points that appear to be affecting the class. These were;
1 Should the class limit the number of professionals on each boat
2 Should the class, like they do in the Quarter ton Class, put an upper handicap limit on yachts taking part.
3 Should the class allow asymmetrical spinnakers.
1—Limiting professionals. A poll of Half Ton members will likely be done to either limit the professionals on each boat to either one or Two. It was felt generally that professionals help to coach the crew and generally are good for the class, but too many and the professionals can effectively sail the boat themselves, thus little improvement happens when the pros depart.
2—Limiting the upper Handicap limit. Swuzzlebubble has been a problem child in this class since Peter Morton did a no–expenses spared restoration of this very long half tonner. This included a taller, ultra high Modulus Carbon Rig with more sail, a deeper keel and other top mods. This led to her being approx. 25–points higher rating than most. Consequently she can go for a conservative start, sail for a few minutes and then her speed allows her to cross the fleet and sail the remainder of the race without other interference. The remainder of the fleet are close on rating and end up very close to each other at all marks, taking wind on downwinds, etc. This is costing the bulk of the fleet a minute or more per race, and often that is about the margin that Swuzzlebubble wins by. She is being well sailed, but she has a great advantage. In the Quarter ton class they stopped this issue early and now most quarter tonners are within 10 points of rating of each other. It is being suggested that an upper limit of .965 be introduced. Swuzzlebubble would be able to get to this by reducing sail area and adding some weight which would lessen the advantage she currently enjoys, especially in light to medium conditions. A proposed poll of the class is being organised on this.
3—Allowing Asymmetric sails. This appeared not to be so straight forward. Some owners already have them (but can't use them at the Half Ton Cup). Allowing them might mean owners have to buy one or two asymmetric kites, perhaps add a sprit and in the end may not even use them at a Half Ton cup. Others would prefer to stay without them as most of the racing is windward leeward anyway. This will also be balloted.
Summary – Having sailed four Quarter Ton Cups and now two Half Ton cups, The Half Ton class is now easily as competitive as the quarter tonners. The racing is excellent, very close. The camaraderie within the class is very strong. I can see more restorations being done in this class and numbers rising for their Half Ton Cups. Next years event will be in Nieuwpoort in Belgium in mid–August and I suspect that there may be up to 30–boats will arrive for that. The inaugural IRC World Championships is being held just up the road in The Hague in Holland a month before the Half Ton worlds so there are many half–tonners considering doing that as well as a warm up event. The boats are of a size that they can, if required, be transported by water, though most will trail behind jeeps.
Mark Mansfield is a four–time Irish Olympian, a helmsman in the Star Class from 1992–2004. He is a World Sailing 'Group 3' Sailor.
It was fifth time lucky for Morty, but the wait is now over. Peter Morton's Carkeek 40+ Girls on Film has won the 2016 One Ton Cup. The Cowes based team that included Ireland's Justin Slattery were worthy winners having scored no worse than a fourth in nine races. Peter Morton has come second in the One Ton Cup on two occasions and the attempts to win the prestigious trophy span over three generations.
Royal Cork's Antx skippered by Anthony O'Leary finished eighth in the 13–boat fleet
“It has been unfinished business.” smiled Peter Morton, rinsed in champagne. “The team on Girls on Film have ben absolutely fabulous. I would also like to thank the Royal Southern Yacht Club and Principal Race Officer , Stuart Childerley and his team for outstanding race management. Also Rob Greenhalgh for coming up with the idea of the FAST40+ Class and putting it together. For those of you that haven't won, I would say just be patient, your time will come.”
Girls on Film: Peter Morton, Darren Marston, Phil Pafford, Nat Ives, Justin Slattery, Ash Curtis, Toby Mumford, Duncan Yeabsley, Nick Butt, Dirk de Ridder and Dave Lenz.
Alex Mills at the helm of Ker40+ Invictus was runner-up, Invictus tactician and FAST40+ Class President, Robert Greenhalgh, congratulated Peter Morton and the Girls on Film crew. “At the beginning of the season, we didn't really know what to expect. The class has grown far quicker than we expected and it is continuing to attract more owners and sailors. The FAST40+ is an ideal boat for the Solent and during the season, the racing has got tighter and tighter. The One Ton Cup is our biggest event and to have nine boats make the podium just shows how competitive the FAST40+ Class is.”
On the final day of racing, Mike Bartholomew's South African GP42 Tokoloshe was the winner of the penultimate race of the regatta and Bill Coates Texan Ker 43 Otra Vez finished the One Ton Cup in style winning the final race.
The One Ton Cup owned by the Cercle de la Voile de Paris, presented by Hamble Yacht Services and organised by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, took place between 16-18th September in the Solent, UK. Nine races completed with a mixture of windward-leeward and weighted points factor longer races.
Full Results from the One Ton Cup here
The FAST40+ Class announcement of a One Ton Cup (OTC) event in September has been given the thumbs up from Irish skipper Anthony O'Leary who competes in the new class in the Royal Cork Yacht Club entry, Antix.
The first Cup event will by hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble between 16-18th September 2016. O'Leary hopes the Cup could even come to Ireland at some point in the future.
'It is a fantastic move by the Fast 40+ Class Assoc. It is most appropriate that the OTC be awarded to the leading team in this class', O'Leary told Afloat.ie 'It will make what is already a most competitive class all the more challenging', he added.
The ONE TON CUP is steeped in history and reputation in the world of yacht racing. Created by the Cercle de la Voile de Paris (CVP – Paris Yacht Club) back in 1899 and widely recognised as a masterpiece of art nouveau style, initially raced for in regattas between one tonner sailing yachts. The trophy itself was designed in 1897 by the jeweler Robert Linzeler and was made by Bratiau in 1898. It is made of solid silver and weighs 10 kgs standing at 57cm high and 58cm wide.
The One Ton Cup has been raced for in International 6 Metre yachts, and for a short time on 6.5m SIs. In 1965 this trophy moved into the world of ocean racing, and from there into the RORC and IOR ruled racing circuits. Most recently, in 1999, the Cup was presented to the Corel 45 Class. Winners of the Cup include many legends in our sport such as Syd Fischer, Royal Cork's Harold Cudmore, Henrik Soderlund, King Harald V of Norway, Paul Cayard and Russell Coutts.
The hosting of this event and the realisation of getting the magnificent One Ton Cup trophy to the UK has been made possible through the support of a number of organisations and individuals, especially Cercle de la Voile de Paris for recognizing the profile of this growing class and agreeing that this is an event worthy of such a trophy, and Hamble Yacht Services who will be the Presenting Partner for the event.
Francois Laborde (President of the Cercle de la Voile de Paris – Paris Yacht Club), commented:
"We are excited to announce this partnership with the Fast40+ Class for the 2016 edition of the One Ton Cup. The boats have amazing performance characteristics, are fun to race, and are attracting top sailing talents. Those characteristics are exactly in line with the tradition and objectives of our Cup."
The FAST40+ CLASS represents the modern day One Ton race yacht, light displacement race boats, with IRC TCCs of between 1.210 and 1.270. This narrow band of high performance race yachts is designed to deliver fast, close inshore racing.
Robert Greenhalgh, Class President, came up with the concept in 2014 and, after engaging the commitment of a number of interested owners and sailors, this year the class will host a fleet of 14 race boats competing at the highest level over a circuit of 5 UK based events. The boats hail from 7 countries – UK, Ireland, Scotland, USA, South Africa, New Zealand and Germany – and the fleet is growing quickly in competitor numbers and profile.
Robert commented, “The owners of this exciting class take their racing seriously – we are already experiencing incredibly close and exciting inshore racing and it seems to be ticking all the boxes. To secure such a significant trophy as the One Ton Cup to be our showcase trophy for 2016 is sure to add pressure and focus to the racing – this is THE trophy to win this year.”
Traditionally the One Ton Cup regattas consisted of inshore racing, a coastal race and a proper offshore race. Reflecting the changing times and demands of race circuits today, the Fast40+ One Ton Cup will be raced between 16th and 18th September hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club and will consist of 8 scheduled races over the 3 days with event rankings for each boat being multiplied by 2 for the overall 2016 Race circuit results. The courses will be a mixture of windward – leeward and coastal courses sailed in Solent Waters, each race lasting between 45-180 minutes.
Peter Morton , owner of Girls on Film, added his thoughts, “I have seen a new lease of life injected back into the Solent racing scene through the Fast40+ Class since 2015. Close racing, passionate owners and competitors who reveling in the competitive scene, a good onshore social scene and all run by a professional organisation – and now with the addition of this slice of history to win, what more could we want!”
In a well-lived life in Cork in which he was exuberantly involved in several sports and long active in a pioneering role in business, he was known to everyone as Archie O’Leary. Yet properly speaking he was Arthur O’Leary, sharing his name with the historic and heroic figure of Art O’Leary (1746-1773). But this modern Arthur O’Leary, who has now gone from among us at the age of 86, was of more than enough significance to merit his own distinctive name.
It was as Archie O’Leary that he played rugby for Ireland, rising through the ranks of Cork Con (where he was Captain) and Munster, to win three caps in the national side in 1952. It was Mr & Mrs Archie O’Leary who became well known in racing circles, their most famous and successful horse being Florida Pearl. And it was as Archie O’Leary that he served as Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club from 1977 to 1980, crowning a very long sailing career which was to continue until the1990s, when he changed his perspective afloat by moving into a Nelson 42 powercruiser, the kind of motoryacht which was designed with senior sailing people in mind.
His energies afloat and on the sports field were matched by his energy in business – in 1961 he founded the O’Leary Insurance Group which today, under the Chairmanship of his son Anthony, has expanded to become an all-Ireland force in the industry. The strength of family values within the O’Leary clan is also reflected by the fact that Anthony took on the demanding role of Admiral RCYC at a young age in 2000, just twenty years after his father had headed the club. And Anthony has of course carved his own distinctive and successful career in sailing (he’s currently the Irish Champion Helmsman), while his own sons in turn – Archie’s grandsons – include Olympic sailor Peter, Student World Sailing Champion Nicholas, and Irish Student Champion Robert.
Archie O’Leary, Admiral RCYC 1977 to 1980
Today, we honour the memory of the Patriarch of this remarkable family of sailing high achievers, for Archie O’Leary was an extremely successful owner-skipper in his own right. Like many of Cork sailing’s racing aristocracy, his first proper taste of the sport was with the National 18s. But by the early 1970s he found that offshore racers best suited his tastes, and he campaigned an S&S 34 for a couple of seasons, starting to build up friendships at home and abroad which well withstood the test of time.
By late 1973, the new blossoming of Cork sailing was becoming very apparent, and while the most active campaigner Hugh Coveney went for the peak challenge of the International One Ton Cup with the state-of-the-art one-off Ron Holland-designed, George & Killian Bushe-built 36ft Golden Apple, Archie O’Leary took a different tack by commissioning a new though standard Carter 37 from the board of Dick Carter. Carter had burst upon the scene in 1965 when his innovative 34-footer Rabbit won the Fastnet Race overall, and had subsequently won the One Ton Worlds with the Dutch-American owned Tina in 1966, Optimist of Germany in 1967 and 1968, and the Italian entry Ydra in 1973.
From today’s perspective, it is difficult to grasp the scale and enthusiasm of the One Ton Worlds at Torquay in 1974. Here were more than forty red hot boats around the 36ft mark from all over the world, and all competing absolutely level, sailed in many instances by Olympic-standard crews. Many were expensive purpose-built one-offs, yet there was also a small but significant group of production boats, tuned to the One Ton rating, which were expected to be little more than cannon fodder in a field of this standard.
The first Irish Mist of 1974 was a standard Carter 37, and she was clear winner of the Production Boat prize at the One Ton Worlds that year
But Archie O’Leary’s standard Carter 37 Irish Mist was definitely not cannon fodder. With the young Anthony O’Leary now very much an active member of his father’s crew, Irish Mist was at the races, and then some. She won the Production Boat prize by a very clear margin, and placed tenth overall with an entire host of extremely hot one-offs astern of her.
As his sailing career progressed and developed, Archie O’Leary was to win many other major prizes, both offshore and on the championship circuit. But in later life there was no trophy he cherished more than the fine cup he’d been given in perpetuity for that Production Boat win at Torquay, for he reckoned that was purer sport than the competition he was soon to experience at the very sharpest end of international sailing.
Yet the pace was now inevitably set, and for 1975 the O’Learys commissioned a one-off Ron Holland Two Tonner, the 40ft Irish Mist II, built at Rochestown by George and Killian Bushe. This superboat really did have all the bells and whistles, complete with a Bergstrom Ridder hyper-light mast. She lived up to all her billings, winning the 1975 RORC Channel Race as a member of the Irish Admirals Cup team, in addition to many other podium places, while the following year she was overall winner of the RORC Irish Sea Race and was also top boat in the biggest regatta in Ireland that year, ISORA Week 1976 at Cork.
In the mid-1970s, the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association was at its most numerous, and if they brought their Race Week to some venue, it guaranteed big turnouts. But ISORA had at least half a dozen and more locations to choose between – they mightn’t be back for another ten years. However, by this stage Archie O’Leary was rising through the officer ranks in the Royal Cork, and by the time he became Admiral in 1977, he’d realized that a more regular regatta week was essential for the good health of Crosshaven, and he’d plans in shape for what would become Cork Week, run on a biennial basis with the first one in 1978.
To make it all happen, he drew on firm friendships made through his years of active campaigning on the RORC and Celtic Sea programmes, and thus people like Chris Dunning from the Solent and Rob Davies from South Wales could be relied on to beat the drum for their friend Archie and his regatta in Cork, and this was to be the start of something big.
But in the best Cork traditions, while working busily in the administration of the rapidly-expanding Royal Cork YC, Admiral O’Leary continued as a very active sailor, moving on from the timber-built Irish Mist II to the glassfibre Swan 39 Irish Mist III, the production version of the fabulously successful Ron Holland-designed Regardless, and from there he went on to a Lightwave 395.
Although he was best noted for his national and international achievements, Archie O’Leary was never happier than when involved in the notably high standard of club racing against old friends at Crosshaven, when the finest traditions of the world’s oldest yacht club are given a contemporary twist.
In fact for decades – with his actively sailing family spreading onto three generations – Archie O’Leary was the very expression of the Cork sailing spirit. And even when he’d reduced the pace by changing to the Nelson powercruiser, his taste for a spot of sport afloat was undiminished. My most abiding recent memory of Archie O’Leary was of a time one Spring some years ago when his beloved Cork Constitution Rugby Club (of which he was President in 1973-74) had won through to the Irish club final, to be played at Lansdowne Road in Dublin. Archie noted that the weather pattern was settling down nicely, so he suggested to his regular shipmates that they should go in style to Dublin with the powercruiser, and use her as a houseboat for the weekend of the match.
Then as the weekend approached, a wondrous and unseasonal calm settled over all Ireland. So what did the O’Leary crew do? They came to Dublin from the north. Bound for the rugby match, they left Cork heading west, streaked up the Atlantic seaboard, roared along the north coast, zoomed down the Irish Sea to take in the match, and then went on home by sea as though this was all part of a normal weekend away for rugby fans. That was how Archie O’Leary approached life. Our heartfelt condolences go to his family and very many friends.