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Eight Irish Half Tonners for ICRAs, Dun Laoghaire Regatta & Sovereigns Cup Tour

5th February 2019
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There looks like there's going to be another season of great racing in the eight boat Irish Half Tonner fleet this season There looks like there's going to be another season of great racing in the eight boat Irish Half Tonner fleet this season Photo: Afloat.ie

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 year. Instead, RORC will host next year’s event in Cowes and are resurrecting the original “Half Ton Cup” to present.

Locally, this means we are roaming Ireland instead with the active fleet which now comprises Checkmate XV, Harmony, King One, Miss Whiplash, Checkmate XVIII, The Big Picture, Cortegada and Mata (formerly Trastada) all lining up for ICRAs, Dun Laoghaire Week and Sovereigns Cup. We have also resurrected the Irish Half Ton Cup presented by Sean Flood and Chubb in 1988 and this will be competed for as part of Sovereigns Cup.

Harmony 4575Harmony

The Big Picture 4453The Big Picture

kingonehalftonKing One

Checkmate XV 4433Checkmate XV

Checkmate XVIII 4645Checkmate XVIII

Miss Whiplash Half TonMiss Whiplash Photo: Bob Bateman

"We have also resurrected the Irish Half Ton Cup"

The two Checkmates are also heading to Pwllheli in August for the Welsh IRC Championships.

Mata formerly Trastada 0657Mata formerly Trastada Photo: Afloat.ie

Half Tonner CortegadaCortegada Photo: Bob Bateman

For a bit of fun, I have chartered Gunboat Rangiriri to compete in the Italian Half Ton Cup in May in Fiumicino, Rome. Gunboat is in original configuration as are all the local boats with a fractional rig with runners and original centreboard!

 

Dun Laoghaire Regatta Quick Links:

Dun Laoghaire Regatta News here

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David Cullen

About The Author

David Cullen

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Howth Yacht Club sailor Dave Cullen is the 2018 Half Ton Classic Cup World Champion

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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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