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Half Tonners
Mata, the new Howth Yacht Club Half Tonner campaign has won class two of the ICRA National Championships on Dublin Bay
The Wright Brothers from Howth completed a consistent series of seven races with six top three results to become Division Two National Champions in their first ICRA outing with their new Half Tonner in Dun Laoghaire. Half Tonners took the top five…
Royal Irish Yacht Club's Nigel Biggs has a four point lead of Division Two of the ICRA National Championships in Checkmate XVIII
There is a  new half-ton leader in division two of the ICRA national championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club as overnight leader Johnny Swan's Harmony from Howth Yacht Club drops to fourth overall but optimised Irish Half Tonners continue to…
Howth Yacht Club Half Tonner 'Harmony' (Jonny Swan) returns to her home port for Lambay Race action on Saturday having already been a class winner at this week's Scottish Series on the Clyde
It’s party time afloat and ashore this weekend at Howth Yacht Club, with the two-day Lambay Regatta – sponsored by Provident – featuring the historic Lambay Race itself on Saturday, while Sunday continues with a Family Day and Fun Race.…
The Checkmate crew racing Gunboat Rangiri in Italy
With the difficulty in towing in Italy for wide loads and the fact that there is no Half Ton Cup this year in Europe, Dave Cullen chartered the legendary Farr 1977 Half Tonner “Gunboat Rangiri” for the Italian Half Ton…
A Class One start at the 2017 Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay
With three months to go to the first gun off Dun Laoghaire’s famous harbour, 410 boats are already entered — and more than half the entries are visiting craft to Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019. It is an early-season marine…
There looks like there's going to be another season of great racing in the eight boat Irish Half Tonner fleet this season
Dave Cullen on where the growing vintage Irish Half Tonner fleet is racing this year Last year it was decided in Nieuwpoort to revert to a biennial format for the Half Ton Classic Cup so there is no event this…
Dave Cullen (right) on his way to victory in the Royal Irish Yacht Club Regatta on Dublin Bay in the 2018 ICRA Boat of the Year, the 1985 Humphrey's Checkmate XV
Howth Yacht Club's all-conquering vintage Half Tonner Checkmate XV was the winner of the ICRA Boat of the Year Award at the association's agm held at Lough Derg Yacht Club yesterday. The cruiser-racer award completes a stellar season for the North Dublin…
Dave Cullen and the Checkmate XV crew
North Sails Ireland congratulate clients Dave Cullen, Jonny Swan and both teams crews for taking first and second overall at the Half Ton Cup last week in Belgium writes sailmaker Nigel Young. The Half Ton Cup has been well supported by Irish…
2018 Half Ton Classics Cup winners David Cullen and the Checkmate XV team Darragh O'Connor, Nin O'Leary, Jonathan Sargent, Aidan Beggan, Niki Potterton and Franz Rothschild of the Howth Yacht Club
With a convincing win in the final spectacular race run in glorious sunshine and big seas off Nieuwpoort, Checkmate XV (1985 Humphreys) and her crew of owner David Cullen, Darragh O'Connor, Nin O'Leary, Jonathan Sargent, Aidan Beggan, Niki Potterton and…
Howth Yacht Club's Dave Cullen has clinched the overall lead of the Half Ton Classics Cup
Howth Yacht Club's Dave Cullen has clinched the overall lead of the Half Ton Classics Cup 2018 in Nieuwpoort, Belgium going into the final day of the competition. Day four's Long Inshore Race proved to be both an incredibly closely fought…
Jonny Swan's Harmony hit the front up the first beat of race four and then hung onto her lead all the way to win by forty-seven seconds on corrected time
Both Howth Yacht Club Half Tonners are in the top five overall of the Half Ton Classics Cup in Belgium after six races sailed. What a difference a day makes! After the grey skies and light winds of the first…
Howth Yacht Club's Checkmate XV, skippered by Dave Cullen, in light airs racing yesterday
Light airs continued to plague the Half Ton Classics Cup 2018 on day two of the regatta where, in spite of the often extremely fickle conditions, Race Officer Paul Charlier and his team did a superb job to achieve races…
Dave Cullen's Checkmate XV (blue hull second from left) from Howth Yacht Club emerges in clear air in the light-wind start of yesterday’s opening race in the Half Ton Classics in Belgium
Dave Cullen's Checkmate XV from Howth Yacht Club lies second after the opening day of the Half Ton Classics Cup in Nieuwpoort, Belgium brought overcast skies, fickle light winds and a big challenge for both the competitors and the Koninklijke…
Howth's Jonny Swan in Harmony, a Humphreys' design from 1980, is heading for the 2018 Half Ton Classics Cup at Nieuwpoort in Belgium next week
Howth Yacht Club's Dave Cullen in the 1985 Humphreys designed Checkmate XV and Jonny Swan in Harmony, an earlier Humphreys' design from 1980, are both heading for the 2018 Half Ton Classics Cup at Nieuwpoort in Belgium next week. The…
With a crew of friends and family very much in mind, Conor Fogerty's Silver Shamrock competes in the first ISORA race off Dalkey, County Dublin
The latest addition to Howth’s vintage fleet, Conor Fogerty’s ‘new’ boat is something of an old favourite and one that should be very familiar to Afloat.ie readers. Silver Shamrock, the Ron Holland-designed and Cork-built Half Tonner that took its class…
Phil Plumtree's Swuzzlebubble, the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classic Cup winner at Kinsale. This is the third win for Swuzzlebubble in three events, each with a different owner
Mark Mansfield, tactician on The Big Picture, fourth overall at August's Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classic Cup 2017, reviews progress in the Class and the Kinsale Yacht Club event. Having done the last two versions of this event I…

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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