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Three Howth Yacht Club Half Tonners Set Course for French Classic Cup

1st July 2014
RStGYC ICRA Winner Checkmate and current Half Ton Cup holder is heading for France with three Irish Half–Tonners from Howth YC
Three Howth Yacht Club Half Tonners Set Course for French Classic Cup

#hyc – Three well known Irish half tonners make the journey to Saint Quay Portrieux in Brittany for the Half Ton Classic Cup representing Howth Yacht Club. The Evan's brothers "The Big Picture", Jonny Swan and Jim Freyne's "Harmony" and Dave Cullen's "King One" will all head in search of trophies in this highly competitive class event which is expecting 32 entries.

Following a total refurb and optimisation and following her recent second place in the ICRAs, Michael and Richie Evan's beautiful MG30 will hope to repeat her form to try and clinch the top trophy. A sister ship to the current holder, Nigel Biggs; Checkmate, these two boats should provide some very close racing for the spectators.

Harmony, incidentally a previous Half Ton Classic Cup champion in 2007 when owned by Nigel Biggs, could be a dark horse and is still one of the fastest half tonners around. Now looking fantastic following a refit, she may suffer a little from lack of time on the water.

King One makes its third trip to the Continent in an effort to take the prize. Placing third in 2009, lying second in 2011 when she broke her mast and lying 4th last year when a black flag ruined any chances, she has some unfinished business!.

The Half Ton Classic Cup, sponsored by Euro Car Parks, kicks off with a practice race on Monday followed by 11 races to be held up to Friday next.

You can follow the event here

Published in Half Tonners
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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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