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North Sails Ireland Clients Dominate Half Ton Cup

29th August 2018
Dave Cullen and the Checkmate XV crew Dave Cullen and the Checkmate XV crew Credit: Fiona Brown

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 Teams for the last number of years and 2018 was no different. The week started with light winds and flat water and the breeze and waves slowly built throughout the week until the final two days saw some gusts of over 20 knots to test the crews.

Dave Cullen and his experienced team were a little slow out of the blocks in results terms early in the week but once the breeze came in there was no stopping them. Congratulations to Dave and all the crew for a great performance and dominating the racing as the regatta unfolded.

Harmony North SailsJonny Swan's Harmony Photo: Fiona Brown

I was lucky enough to be sailing with our latest Half-Ton client Jonny Swan who recently made the step up to North Sails. Jonny sailing with his regular Team from Howth with the addition of yours truly mirrored the performance of his club mates starting off a bit shaky in the light airs but again showing great form when the breeze was up.

Second overall Jonny's best HTC result to date since purchasing Harmony and his first major Half-Ton class regatta using North Sails.

Only three and a half points separated the top two boats in the end but to be fair we never really felt like we could beat Dave as he often had a tiny edge we struggled to match.

Both boats were sailing with 100% 3Di upwind sails and V-Series Symmetrical spinnakers downwind.

For more information about North Sails 3Di please take a look at the link here

Published in Half Tonners
Nigel Young

About The Author

Nigel Young

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Loft Manager and One Design Expert, Nigel Young started sailmaking in 1981 in Cowes and opened North Sails Ireland in 2004. He races regularly with Irish clients and has competed in Melges 24s since their introduction into Europe in 1994 and has competed in 18 of 20 World Championships, with his best result of a third overall. Nigel also races Dragons Internationally, RS200s and Yachting World Dayboats.

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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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