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Irish Half Tonners All In Top Third of Fleet, Swuzzlebubble Wins Classic Cup

11th July 2014
Irish Half Tonners All In Top Third of Fleet, Swuzzlebubble Wins Classic Cup

#halfton – Saint Quay Portrieux - 10 July 2014 -Ireland's Half Ton Classic Cup contenders lie 5, 7 and 8 overall after seven races in France. It was the bravura performance of three straight wins on yesterday's penultimate day, the stunningly restored 1978 Farr designed Swuzzlebubble, owned and helmed by Peter Morton and crewed by Kelvin Rawlings, Anthony Haines, Eouard Lynch, John Kemp, David Lenz and Martin Calmon, claimed the 2014 Half Ton Classics Cup with a day to spare. Behind them the battle for second and third continues to rage, but tonight the delighted Swuzzlebubble crew can relax and enjoy the Half Ton Classics Cup Crew Dinner at the Saint-Quay-Portreiux Casino safe in the knowledge that tomorrow's race is just for fun. And they do intend to race, as Kelvin confirmed after sailing today; "Of course we're going to sail tomorrow. It's been a fantastic week, perfect weather, stunning scenery, great competition: we wouldn't miss it for the world."

For Peter this win completes an extraordinary hat trick of Ton Cup victories. His first was the Three Quarter Ton Cup of 1986 in Torquay aboard Graham Walker's Indulgence. Ten years ago Peter was one of the driving forces behind the revival of the Quarter Tonners and he has gone on to win the Quarter Ton Cup no less than four times in three different boats, most recently just two weeks ago. Adding the Half Ton Cup to his trophy cabinet fulfills a long held dream for the man who has been a driving force in yacht racing for the past three decades.

Speaking after sailing, Peter was full of praise for the race management; "The race office has done an absolutely fantastic job. The start lines were spot on and it was almost impossible to pick the bias." the venue; "Today the racing was just stunning, we had 16-20 knots with not a cloud in the sky and its just such a lovely part of the world, Brittany." and his crew; "I've had some of the guys who sail with me in the Quarter Tonners. Kelvin Rawlings who I've been sailing with for probably 35 years now. Kelvin and I have done Admiral's Cups, One Ton Cups, Three Quarter Ton Cups and Quarter Ton Cups before. Antony Haines who did a lot of work on the boat over the winter. Dave Lenz from North Sails who's done a fantastic job as he stepped in for my normal tactician Jules Salter who couldn't make it this week. And a lot of the guys that I've sailed with quite a lot before, which I think has helped us a lot as we've worked together before and we understand each other, and I think that's been quite an important part of it." (An extended interview with Peter Morton will be published at the Half Ton Classics Cup Blog shortly)

Although Swuzzlebubble's victory is confirmed, the remainder of the podium is going down to the wire. Today, two ferociously competitive windward leeward races and a coastal course, around the rocky Iles de Saint-Quay, were run in glorious hot sunshine and a northwesterly wind of around 16-20 knots.

Going into the day Brittany Drizzle, Bernard Fornier Le Ray's 1978 Berret, held a narrow two point lead over her sister ship, Philippe Pilate's General Tapioca with Claude Charbonnier's Sibelius (1980 Joubert-Nivelt) and Toni Stoschek's Superhero (1988 Andrieu) both just seven points behind in fourth and fifth.

Brittany Drizzle and General Tapioca continued to be at each other's throats all day and were never separated by more than a few second on corrected time. Brittany Drizzle added two seconds and a third to her card and she now holds second place with seventeen points. General Tapioca took second in race five, fourth in race six and third in race seven and hangs onto third place with twenty-one points, still in striking distance of the second step on the podium.

Sibelius initially held her own with a fourth and third, but she struggled to maintain her form in the longer coastal race, finishing eighth. Although she remains in fourth place overall, with only one more race to sail tomorrow her thirteen-point delta on General Tapioca means she is no longer able to make the podium. Sadly Superhero had a day of mixed fortunes so she has dropped down the ranking to sixth place, allowing Nigel Biggs' Checkmate XV (1985 Humphries) to move up into fifth overall.

At this evening's daily prize giving ceremony several special prizes were handed out including the Furthest Sailed To Take Part Prize, which went to David Evans and his crew of family and friends aboard Hullabaloo VX, who sailed 340 miles from the UKs east coast; and the Gentleman's Prize, for the team felt to best embody the true spirit of the class, which was presented to Richard and Ursula Hollis of Crakajax and from Cowes.

Tomorrow one single race remains to be sailed as the Sailing Instructions call for no starts to be made after 11.00. That single start is scheduled for 10.00 and with a forecast for more great weather we look forward to the event going out on a high note as Swuzzlebubble enjoys a lap of honour and Brittany Drizzle and General Tapioca fight it out for second place.

Overall after 7 races:

1: "Swuzzlebubble", Peter Morton, 8 points
2: "Brittany Drizzle", Bernard Fournier Le Ray, 17 points
3: "General Tapioca", Philippe Pilate, 21 points
4: "Sibelius", Claude Charbonnier, 34 points
5: "Checkmate XV", Nigel Biggs, 45 points
6: "Superhero", Toni Stoschek, 46 points
7: "Hullabaloo Xv", David Evans, 52 points
8: "King One", David Cullen, 52 points
9: "Miss Whiplash", Paul Pullen, 63 points
10: "Concorde", Francis Marshall, 65 points
11: "Port de Perros Guirec", Nicolas Nadaud, 66 points
12: "The Big Picture", Richard Mickael Evans, 70 points
13: "Maeva", Frederic Waniart, 80 points
14: "Scorpion", Geoff Davies, 94 points
15: "Per Elisa", Robert Tregear, 96 points
16: "Harmony", Jonny Swan, 102 points
17: "Trastada", Angus Roddy, 122 points
18: "Crakajax", Richard Hollis, 123 points
19: "Fantasy", Ian Van Burm, 125 points
20: "Turbidite", Alexandre Neuilly, 134 points
21: "Melchonenn", Pierre Emmanuel Guillerm, 134 points
22: "Spip", Thibault Martin, 137 points

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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