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Displaying items by tag: Anthony O'Leary

Royal Cork Yacht Club's Peter and Robert O'Leary are seventh overall after four races sailed at the 93rd Star Bacardi Cup in Miami, USA yesterday. The Cork Harbour duo scored an eighth in race four, their third top ten of the series so far. Meanwhile, the O'Leary's father, Anthony along with third brother Nicholas, have started racing in another fleet at the Cup and they are currently third overall in the Viper 640 class.

On Thursday, the Star Class was joined by the complete line-up of one-design classes racing at the Bacardi Invitational Regatta. Taking on their first day of racing were the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640, and, brand new for the race track this year, the VX One sports boat, AV8 and Windfoil classes. The blend of sailors battling it out for glory on Biscayne Bay is phenomenal, with a mix of professional rock stars and super-talented Corinthian teams.

For 2020, the Bacardi Cup and Bacardi Invitational Regatta have welcomed a record-breaking 175 entries and well over 500 sailors representing 19 nations, proving its status as the sport’s most popular Spring regatta. Racing is across four-course areas, with the Star Class on a dedicated track and course sharing for the Melges 24 and J70, Viper 640 and VX One and AV8 with the Windfoil.

The Bacardi Invitational Regatta was in full swing today and all of the classes were able to get a taste of the joy of racing on Biscayne Bay as Miami showcased its Caribbean genes of heat, humidity and a steady 9-10 knot breeze to sailors from around the world.

Mateusz Kusnierewicz (POL)/Bruno Prada (BRA) made it another big day in the Star Class, as they seized the bullet to make it three wins in a row and lead the fleet on a perfect scorecard of 3 points. The pair have shown classy form and today secured a critical points edge with just two races to go to crown the 93rd Bacardi Cup champions. Behind the order of play remains the same at the end of the day as at the beginning with Eivind Melleby/Joshua Revkin (NOR) and Augie Diaz/Henry Boening (USA) pushing hard in second and third. It will now take an epic assault to unseat the reigning Star Class World Champions Kusnierewicz and Prada from their top billing, but one the chasing teams are willing to try. Among them are Paul Cayard (USA)/Pedro Trouche (BRA), who sit in fifth overall after a disappointing 17th finish yesterday. But they rebounded to deliver their best day, a 2nd place, and proved they can still fight amongst the best.

“This might be my 25th Bacardi Cup, surely the first one was in 1980,” commented Olympian, multiple World Champion, Louis Vuitton Cup and Whitbread Round the World winner Paul Cayard. “We had a very bad day yesterday when I could not put us in a good position at the start, but I am happy about today, our best result so far. It’s just that Mateusz and Bruno are so fast, and with three wins, we can all just fight to be second best.” 

Out on the track first were the Melges 24 and J70 who raced in the south of the bay, starting out in a fluky 5-6 knots before the breeze steadied to 9-10 knots. Three races in the Melges 24 saw the big hitters out front early on, with Bora Gulari and his team of Kyle Navin/Norman Berg/Ian Liberty and match racing superstar Taylor Canfield setting the pace to secure two wins and a second place to lead overall. They know what it takes to win, having wrapped up victory in one of the Bacardi Winter Series warm-up events in January 2020. Just 2 points behind are KC Shannon/Jackson Benvenutti/Ben Lynchi/Tom Sawchuk/Elizabeth Whitener, with Peter Duncan/ Victor Diaz de Leon/Mattero Ramian/Carlos Robles/Willem Van Waay in third. Duncan and crew race in Miami fresh from their Melges 24 victory at last month’s 2020 NOOD Regatta where they nailed an all-win scorecard.

The aptly named ‘Eat Sleep J Repeat’ helmed by reigning J/70 World Champion Paul Ward (GBR) with crew of Ruairidh Scott/Ben Saxton/Mario Trindade were the pace setters in the J70 fleet, stamping their authority on the chasing pack with a 2,2,1 scorecard, but it was no easy racing. Ward’s crew boasts plenty of successes, but so do the other teams with World Champions and Olympians aplenty. Second to Ryan McKillen/John Wallace/Sam Loughborough/Mark Mendelblatt (USA) and third to Chile’s Pablo Herman/Luis Felipe/Felipe Echenique/Will Welles.

“It was a really, really good day and we finally started to work out how to sail out here,” grinned Paul Ward. “We always love coming to Bacardi Cup because it is cold, wet and miserable at home and the sun is shining here and we have some fantastic racing.”

Anticipating the races ahead, Ward continued, “There are two more days and there are a lot of fast boats, which is why we love coming out here as the competition is great. We’ve just got to see how we go and the boys are going well, everyone’s enjoying themselves and the bar is open, so life is good!”

Viper 640

In the Viper 640 fleet, it was Will Graves/Ryan Cox/Greg Dair who set the early running, with results of 1,2,3, but the defending Bacardi Invitational Champions Geoff Ewenson/Mary Ewenson/Tyler Bjorn soon settled into their groove to claim wins in races 2 and 3. This fleet is renowned for its camaraderie, so plenty of post-race analysis chat flows helped along with the Bacardi hospitality.

“Today was nice, a beautiful building breeze out of the east which took a bit longer than expected, but eventually it came in,” commented Geoff Ewenson who is a familiar face in Miami, counting fifteen appearances at the Bacardi Cup. “We were caught a little bit out of tune in the first race, but we figured it out throughout the race. We knew the boat didn’t feel quite right, so we worked hard after the first race and made some adjustments to the rig tune and were able to find our speed and were particularly fast downwind.” 

An all-American line up is contesting the VX One fleet, and reflecting the closeness of racing a different team won each of the three races. Matching scorecards to Ched Proctor/David Guggenheim/Monica Morgan and Sandra Askew/Kyle Kandt/Jason Curvie (USA) in the first two races was ultimately settled by a 2nd place finish for Proctor and crew in race 3 to give them the series lead. Second to Askew/Kandt/Curvie on tiebreak advantage over Bill Wiggins/Jeff Eiber/Farby Cappellin.

“Miami is my favourite place to go sailing,” smiled Proctor, before Guggenheim chipped in, “The water is warm, the breeze is strong!”

“It was pretty nice today, as the first two races were fully powered up,” continued Proctor, “although the last race we were a little depowering. It was a pretty perfect day for sailboat racing. This is the best place in North America to sail in the winter.”

Brazil’s Gabriel Browne produced a punishingly accurate performance to claim four back to back race wins in the Windfoil Class. Hunting him down in each race with four second places was Alexander Temko (USA) with Justin Ahearn (USA) in third overall.

“We have a lot of participation at this event, as it is our first time with the big boat fleet,” commented Alex Morales, representative of the Windfoil Class. “We have some of the top guys from Brazil and the USA, plus some juniors from the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club who are doing their first event in this Olympic windsurfing class. We are super excited, we feel really welcome and are really pleased to be part of the Bacardi Invitational Regatta.”

Plenty of kite racing pedigree in the hydrofoil Cabrinha AV8 Class and joining the AV8 are legends Damien Leroy and Jon Modica, who make their AV8 racing debuts amongst the normal class veterans. Leroy was fast off the start and superbly foiled his way to knock out four race wins. Second to Brendan Healy (USA) with Kent Marcovich (USA) in third.

The Bacardi Invitational Regatta marks the third major event of the season for the Cabrinha AV8 class. The AV8 is a strict one-design hydrofoil racer, positioned as an affordable and accessible form of hydrofoil kite racing. Racing is tight, tactical and fast with speeds easily reaching the 30-knot range in as little as 10 knots of wind speed.

Tonight teams will enjoy another memorable party night hosted by Bacardi at Shake a Leg Miami. Racing continues on Friday 6 March, with one race for the Star Classes and three to four races for all other fleets.

Bacardi Cup 2020 – Star Class Top 3 – After 4 races

Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 8548) – 5 pts
Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin (NOR 8234) – 10 pts
Augie Diaz /Henry Boening (USA 8509) – 14 pts

J70 – Top 3 – After 3 races
Eat Slepp J Repeat (GBR 1127) – Paul Ward / Ruairidh Scott / Ben Saxton / Mario Trindade – 5 pts
Surge (USA 179) – Ryan McKillen / John Wallace / Sam Loughborough / Mark Mendelblatt – 12 pts
New Wave (USA 456) – Pablo Herman / Luis Felipe / Felipe Echenique / Will Welles – 17 pts

Melges 24 – Top 3 – After 3 races
USA 420 (USA 420) – Bora Gulari / Kyle Navin / Norman Berg / ian Liberty / Taylor Canfield – 4 pts
Shaka (USA 801) – KC Shannon / Jackson Benvenutti / Ben Lynchi / Tom Sawchuk / Elizabeth Whitener – 6 pts
Raza Mixta (USA 820) – Peter Duncan / Victor Diaz de Leon / Mattero Ramian / Carlos Robles / Willem Van Waay – 15 pts

Viper 640 – Top 3 – After 3 races
USA 293 (USA 293) – Will Graves / Ryan Cox / Greg Dair – 6 pts
Evil Hiss (USA 297) – Geoff Ewenson / Mary Ewenson / Tyler Bjorn – 8 pts
Antix (USA 296) – Anthony O’Leary / Ben Field / Nicholas O'Leary – 17 pts

VXOne – Top 3 – After 3 races
VX1 – (USA 187) – Ched Proctor / David Guggenheim / Monica Morgan – 6 pts
Flying Jenny(USA 277) – Sandra Askew / Kyle Kandt / Jason Curvie – 10 pts
Send it (USA 160) – Bill Wiggins / Jeff Eiber / Darby Cappellin – 10 pts

Cabrinha AV8 – Top 3 – After 4 races
Damien Le Roy – 4 pts
Brendan Healy – 10 pts
Kent Marcovich – 14 pts

Open Windfoil – Top 3 – After 4 races
Gabriel Browne – 3 pts
Alexander Temko – 6 pts
Justin Ahearn – 9 pts

Published in Star

Cork Harbour sailors will be part of a record-breaking Bacardi Cup Regatta in Miami next week when more than 500 sailors from around the world will race in Biscayne Bay Florida at the 93rd edition of the Cup and Bacardi Invitational Regatta from March 1-7, 2020. 

Ireland's Commodore's Cup-winning captain Anthony O'Leary will race a Viper 640 (named Antix) while sons Peter and Robert are back in their Star boat Archie for the week of competition.

From Myrtleville, North Sails Ireland boss Nigel Young is also Miami bound. Racing under the burgee of Guernsey Yacht Club, Young is racing the Melges 24 Black Seal with Richard Thompson, Mike Claxton, Catherine Alton and William Goldsmith.

See the entry list here.

The O'Leary family are, of course, Bacardi Cup regulars with the brothers coming very close to lifting the prestigious Cup on a race track where they have enjoyed notable previous success.

Offering a unique blend of world-class racing, atmosphere and social events, the Bacardi Cup and Bacardi Invitational Regatta is undoubtedly one of the world’s most prestigious regattas that, in 2020, will welcome a record-breaking 196 entries, attracting an international entry list of professional rock star racers and super-talented Corinthian teams.

The goal is to build on the long tradition of the Star Class and maintain and champion performance in other popular classes, whilst retaining the mix of outstanding racing on Biscayne Bay and superb shore side atmosphere and socials for which the event is renowned.

Across the fleets, sailors from around the USA will be joined by teams representing nineteen countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Thailand. Four courses will operate simultaneously and this year, the iconic Star Class will be joined by the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640, and brand new for the race track this year are the VXOne sports boat and AV8 and Windfoil classes.

Racing for the Star Class gets underway in Biscayne Bay on Monday 2 March, with the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640, VXOne and windfoils taking to the track on Thursday 5 March. The Star fleet will contest their traditional one race per day in a true test of endurance relished by the sailors, whilst all other fleets will sail eight races across three days. 

“We have an outstanding race management team who join us for the event and ensure scrupulous attention to detail,” commented Mark Pincus, Regatta Chairman. “We are super pleased to continue our path of innovation by embracing the latest technology and new for this year will be the MarkSetBot robotic mark laying system. These self-propelled marks are controlled by a smartphone and will help us deliver fast mark laying whatever the weather throws at us. The race tracks are complex and unpredictable, ensuring lots of opportunities for teams to really test themselves and guarantee some intense action.”

The largest entry goes to the Star Class where World Champions, Olympians and America’s Cup legends will crowd out the fleet in the pressure battle for the elusive Bacardi Cup title. The Star Class competed at eighteen Olympic Games over eighty years and holds a pedigree for producing legends of the sport and plenty of them will be in Miami. Numerous mainsails will feature the golden Star logo, awarded only to Star Class World Champions, including the renowned Paul Cayard (USA), who has been sailing the Star for over 40 years alongside his successful career in the America’s Cup and big yacht racing. Gold stars on the track will also be carried by two-time World Champion Xavier Rohart (FRA), and 2004 Olympic Bronze medalist and reigning World Champion Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), who will be racing with his record five-time Star World Champion crew Bruno Prada (BRA). Kusznierewicz is also a Gold and Bronze Olympic medalist in the Finn class, and Prada is an Olympic Silver and Bronze medalist in the Star. The 2016 Star World Champion and runner up at the 2019 Worlds Augie Diaz (USA) will be racing, as will Diego Negri (ITA) who won the 2018 Bacardi Cup and this year is crewed by the renowned Frithjof Kleen (GER). Looking to trump them all however and keep a tight hold of their title will be the 2019 Bacardi Cup winners, Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise (USA), who will once again hope to enjoy the sweet taste of victory and retain the honour of drinking Bacardi rum from the winner’s trophy come Sunday 7 March.

The J/70 fleet has a compelling line-up of forty teams with the potential to seize the crown, as demonstrated at the two winter warm-up events where different faces claimed the top three standings. Those likely to feature up front include the USA teams headed up by Joel Ronning, Ryan McKillen, John Heaton, Trey Sheehan and Pamela Rose. But equally, some of the newer teams such as Great Britain’s JOLT, which includes plenty of Olympic talent, could pack a punch and change the leaderboard guard. Of course, the reigning J/70 World Champion, Paul Ward (GBR), will no doubt also set the race track rivalry stakes.

Plenty of twists and turns will unfold in the fully-primed Melges 24 fleet, where both the reigning silver and bronze World Championship medalists, Bruce Ayres (USA) and Andrea Pozzi (ITA), will be on the starting line. Amongst those also up for the challenge in the twenty-eight boat fleet will be the best two overall finishers from the two warm-up events here in Miami over the winter, Bora Gulari (USA) and Travis Weisleder (USA), who will resume their neck and neck performance.

Last year’s champion in the Viper 640, Mary Ewenson, returns to defend her title but will have to go through some tough opposition to be on top of the twenty-two other teams on the track. Plenty of talent will join the action across the VXOne, AV8 and Windfoil classes and new heroes will be born.

Published in Star

Anthony O'Leary and his Cork Harbour crew of David Hassett and Niall Rafferty in Antix have finished seventh overall at the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta in Miami at the weekend in the 19-boat Viper 640 class. His sons Nicholas and Robert, sailing 'Brotherly Love' under the burgee of Baltimore Sailing Club and competing in the Star class, finished 12th overall in their 64-boat fleet.

Overall results are here.

Biscayne Bay showcased the best day of racing as this iconic racing venue said good-bye to the 500 sailors who competed. A great Easterly breeze of around 10 knots, sun shining warm and wave chop a lot less than the previous days made for a perfect race day. All of the classes finished their scheduled races at this the best spring sailing yacht racing event in the North Hemisphere.

In the Star Class, the charge for the 92nd Bacardi Cup victory came down to an American Gold Star battle. Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise (USA) presented a flawless scorecard with results always in the top 4, but Paul Cayard/Magnus Liljedahl (USA) managed a brilliant come back from a 27th in race 1 and earned a chance to steal the win from Doyle/Infelise. But only if they could maintain the momentum that gave them wins in Race 4 and 5. Both teams started on the right side, with Doyle keeping an eagle eye on Cayard who was almost on pin end and kept following that track. The Southern California partnership of Doyle/Infelise were first to the windward mark, whilst in a surprise turn of form North California legend Paul Cayard rounded at the back, in about 20th position.

The order of play continued at the downwind gate and up the second windward leg. At this point, Doyle/Infelise realized they were safely ensconced as winners of the 92nd Bacardi Cup and could abandon the race and head ashore! Even though Paul Cayard/Magnus Liljedal were slowly climbing back through the fleet, there was no hope of them overhauling Doyle/Infelise’s points advantage. Then, on the second downwind, they broke their mast and were forced to be towed back in. Scoring a DNF penalty, they had to re-count their 27th from day 1 and plummeted down the leaderboard to finish in 7th overall.

Standing alongside Doyle/Infelise on the podium were Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Firithjof Kleen (GER), who also gave themselves an uphill start after a UFD in race 1, but won two races from the remaining five and finished only 2 points behind the winners. Another two points back were bronze medalists Eivind Melleby (NOR) and Joshua Revkin (USA). In fourth were defending champions Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi of Italy and in fifth the French Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot.

“It’s been great, fun, fabulous weather, it all came together nicely, we had great speed, a fantastic team work, good starts and it’s great to be in this excellent field with incredible champions,” smiled a very satisfied Eric Doyle. “It is our first win even though I have sailed here for 20 times. One time we had a big fight then Ross McDonald came ahead I lost my points; it doesn’t matter now, it’s great we won it! And we are happy to win 2500 points of the Star Sailors League. We plan to go to the Europeans/SSL Breeze Grand Slam in May and then to the Worlds in Porto Cervo in June, so plenty of racing coming ahead!”

On the race courses closer to shore, action was unfolding for the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640 and the Flying Tigers 7.5 who contested their last two races of the series.

In the J/70, the winners were the team on Catapult (USA), featuring Joel Ronning, Victor Diaz del Leon, Patrick Wilson and Chris Stoke. They were the most solid and consistent of the fleet with every score inside the top 3, after discarding their 11th in race 3. They racked up a 16 point advantage over second placed Americans onboard Surge with Mark Mendelblatt calling tactics, and in third was Italy’s Calvi Network with Carlo Alberini driving.

“This was a very fun team to sail with we all got along very well,” commented Joel Ronning of Catapult. “This group of people are very good at what they do. We had tremendous fun, we were able to minimize mistakes by keeping the dialogue open and if there were any issues they were taken care of right away. It’s a phenomenal event and one of the premier series in the world. It’s very well organized. We love Shake A Leg, we love Bacardi, everybody is so welcoming and we will definitely be coming back.”

A big fight in the Melges 24, where, despite domination from a 19 boat American team line-up, it was the Italians on Italian Bombarda who claimed the win. Their super crew was all home-made in Italy: Andrea Pozzi, Carlo Zermin, Matteo Ivaldi, Nicholas Dal Ferro and Stefano Ciampalini. Full Throttle (USA) with Olympic tactician Jonathan McKee finished in second and Monsoon (USA) in third, with just 1 point between each of the top three teams.

“We loved the conditions here,” said Andrea Pozzi of Bombarda. “It’s the ones we love and perform better with. The crew has been working together for a long time, even though we are coming back together after a year’s break. Miami is a fantastic spot, we love it and we loved the event. It combined the sport of sailing to the fun in the after sail, we want to thank Bacardi for this!”

Evil Hiss stepped up today to win the super competitive Viper 640 class: Mary and Geoff Ewenson with Star Olympian Tyler Bjorn won the last three races of the series leaving no doubts as to who was the best in the fleet. Great Scott!slang (USA) came in 6 points behind in second place, and first Corinthian team, and Choppy Seas (USA) completed the podium in third.

“We got better as the days progressed. Choreography on the boat was just perfect,” said Geoff Ewenson. “The crew was very experienced and we were able to make good decisions. I’ve sailed in Miami enough so that it almost feels like sailing in my home waters. I remember coming down to Miami to sail the Bacardi Cup in Stars and now, the last three times as part of the Bacardi Invitational in Vipers. Love the organization, love Biscayne Bay and I can’t wait to come back next year.”

The best of the Flying Tigers 7.5 was Neun (CAN) with Geoff Becker, Richard Griffin, Sabine Griffin, Joe Mele and Adam Spiegel onboard. Finishing in style, they won the last race of the series. Just one point behind, Grassy Manatee (CAN) finished in second, with J.A.C.K.ed (USA) is third.

“We just had awesome team work,” explained Geoff Backer of Neun about their win. “Beautiful clear conditions, warm water, warm air, everything was fantastic. We had such great fun and we’ll definitely come back next year!”

As the curtains prepare to drop on the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta, tonight it is all about the big Prize Giving Ceremony and dinner party at Shake-A-Leg Miami to officially close the 2019 edition. Bacardi is already planning the 2020 edition with the 93rd Bacardi Cup for the Star class, the event that launched this all in 1927 in Havana, Cuba.

Published in Star

Two separate O'Leary teams both sailing under the burgee of Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork are in action in Florida next week at the Bacardi Cup in Miami.

Former Irish Sailor of the Year Anthony O'Leary sailing with David Hassett, Niall Rafferty and Tom Durcan will sail in the Viper class while O'Leary's sons Robert and Nicholas, (Robert was a recent bronze medalist in the Star Junior Championships) will compete in the Star Class. The brothers' boat, the aptly named Star 'Brotherly Love' has been based in Miami for a string of regattas this winter. 

Ninety-two years of history is a record that not many sports competitions can match. With the number of teams and the unparalleled talent on the water increasing each year, the Bacardi Cup Regatta is among the world’s most iconic sporting events. For 56 years, this event has had the pleasure of calling the beautiful warm waters of Biscayne Bay its home.

This year, the Organising Committee decided to extend an invitation not only to the Star Class, but also to other one-design fleets, making the 2019 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta the most attended spring sailing event. The J/70 class, the fastest-growing one-design fleet in the world, has been invited for the second year in a row, while the successful long-lived Melges 24 class will make its return to Biscayne Bay along with the high-performance classes represented by the Viper 640 and Flying Tiger 7.5!

Racing gets underway in Biscayne Bay on Monday, March 4 for the Star Class. Racing for the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640 and Flying Tiger 7.5 classes starts Thursday, March 7. The Star fleet will compete in a single daily race of proper endurance racing, which is the traditional format that the more than 100-year-old class dictates and exactly what the sailors relish. The other four fleets will sail 8 races scheduled across three days.

Teams from across the U.S. will be joined in every class by an international line-up of 23 different countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Ukraine.

The 2019 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta has a recording-breaking 166 entries, with more than 500 sailors attending. World champions, Olympians and America’s Cup legends will be on the starting line. The most shining one will traditionally be the Star Class, with the many heroes that still competitively race in it and sport the Gold star on their main sail for winning at least one Star World Championship. We are excited to have competitors include the very eclectic Paul Cayard (USA), who has been sailing Stars for 40 years alongside his successful career in the America’s Cup and big yacht racing; Xavier Rohart (FRA), the Bronze Olympic medalist in the class in Athens; Lars Grael (BRA), a two times Bronze Olympic medalist in the Tornado class; and Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), the Gold and Bronze winner at the Olympics in Atlanta and Athens in the Finn class.

Amongst those targeting victory in the J70 fleet is Brian Keane (USA), who has raced the J/70 since the start; Vincenzo Onorato (ITA), who holds World titles in the Farr 40 and M32; Will Welles (USA) who is at the top of the leader board at just about every major J/24 regatta and Joel Ronning (USA) who finished first in the 2016 J/70 World Championships held in the San Francisco Bay.

A robust Melges 24 fleet of 26 entries are present in Miami to kick-off the U.S. class’ 2019 National Ranking Series, an eight-part regatta circuit that spans the North American continent. Returning to the impeccable Biscayne Bay racing stage is current Winter Series overall ranking leader Bruce Ayres (USA), and Megan Ratliff (USA) who is in charge of the Corinthian division. Other major players include 2013 World Champion and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Brian Porter (USA), Travis Weisleder (USA) and KC Shannon’s (USA).

In the Viper 640 Fleet, we are welcoming back Steve Chapman (CAN) – Viper Class North American President, Geoff Fargo (USA) - West Cost Class President, Anthony O’Leary (IRL) and Mary and Jeff Eweson (USA). The Gulf Performance Sailing Foundation, a 501(c)3 from Gulfport, LA, with the purpose to promote sailing, will be sailing with all-junior crews.

The Flying Tiger Class will provide a “hassle free” regatta experience on fully rigged- and ready-to-sail boats, offering a three-day North-U Clinic where competitors can master their skills on the water.

Both Star and J/70 reigning champions will participate at the 2019 event: Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) will try to replicate their success in the huge Star fleet of almost 70 boats. Joel Ronning (USA), with his Catapult team, will try to be the fastest in the J/70 40-teams fleet.

Full results are available here

Published in Star

If you were putting together a pub quiz about classic yachts, “Who was Sandy Balfour?” would be a very handy question to get the elementary section going writes W M Nixon.

Dyed-in-the-wool classics aficionados would roll their eyes in amusement at being asked something to which surely everyone knows the answer, contemptuously regarding it as an ignorant query about someone who, while not prolific, was an important creator of significant yachts with their own signature style.

But for those whose knowledge of the great classic designers is limited to the headline figures such as Watson, Fife, Herreshoff, Nicholson, Mylne, Reimers, Anker, Stephens and Rhodes, A K “Sandy” Balfour is probably off the screen.

Yet those who do have classic yachts from Balfour’s design board develop a very special fondness for their pride-and-joy. And this season, top Crosshaven racing campaigner Anthony O’Leary has become one of them with the acquisition of the 50ft Northele, a Balfour design of 1949 vintage.

She has been around Cork Harbour for some years now, but it was no secret, when she was put on the market, that a long winter of TLC in a skilled yard would in time be required to restore her complete and glorious classic potential. That particular project is going to be undertaken this winter in Castle Point Boatyard. But for now, Northele sits elegantly in style in full commission in Crosshaven, dressed overall in honour of Volvo Cork Week while her owner goes at it hammer and tongs in the 1720 racing.

northele sailing2New owner Anthony O’Leary finds Northele is the kind of boat that restores your joy in sailing. Photo: Robert Bateman

So who was Sandy Balfour? Born in Glasgow, after a boat-building apprenticeship with Harland & Wolff’s Scottish subsidiary, his latent design talent was able to manifest itself by working with designer David Boyd at Roberston’s Yard at Sandbank on the Clyde. Boyd may later have been associated with the unsuccessful America’s Cup 12 Metre Sceptre, but when Balfour was with him, his boats for the International 6 Metre Class were very highly regarded

Yet by that time the mighty Scottish yacht design and building industry – at its height around the turn of the Century – was in marked decline, and in 1947 Balfour headed south to take up the job as manager and in-house yacht designer at Berthon Boat Company in Lymington in Hampshire. The yacht design profession – particularly in the depressed post-World War II era - was a precarious career for a sole trader, so a permanent job as yard manager, in tandem with whatever design challenges came along, provided a reasonably secure position.

But the Berthon Boat Company were noted for their possessiveness towards any yacht designs which their employees produced, and when the new 50ft Northele was launched in 1949, her design was clearly registered in Lloyds as being by “Builders”. The name of A K Balfour did not appear at all, but he was undoubtedly the designer of each and every aspect of the handsome new yacht.

northele sailing3The sensibly wide and only very slightly cambered side decks (above and below) are a positive user-friendly feature of Northele’s design. Photos: Robert Bateman

northele sailing4

Everything about her was interesting, for not only did she reveal the designer’s classic style, but the experienced commissioning owner was Ronald R Burton who lived on the River Hamble - also in the Solent area, but at some distance from Lymington.

His previous boat had been the Sparkman & Stephens-designed International 8 Metre Iskareen, built in Sweden in 1939. But after World War II, the International 8 Metre Class, which had been a feature of the Solent in the 1930s, had melted away. So for a more suitable boat for the times, Burton decided to go to a place which wasn’t his home port despite the local proliferation of boatyards and designers on the Hamble, and get a boat from the new man just down from Scotland and working in Lymington.

The result was a fine yacht for which Berthon Boat Company were more than happy to claim all the credit, particularly as it was their careful saving of good timber which enabled Northele to be built at a time of post-war shortages, when quality seasoned timber was very scarce. In fact, in order to guarantee quality of construction, Northele was built to the detailed specification of the International 10 Metre Class. A proper racing 10 Metre would be approaching 60ft LOA, so when you build a cruiser-racer of 50 feet to the same spec, you get real strength and quality.

northele sailing5Even in a fleet of newer boats, Northele soon shows ahead of the pack. Photo: Robert Bateman

Sandy Balfour designed some other notable craft while he was with Berthon’s, but it was a busy yard in all areas and much of his energy was taken up with the day-to-day work this involved, while he was also an accredited Lloyds Surveyor. You sense a frustrated design talent. But a move to the Norfolk Broads to take over management of the J.Loynes & Son boatyard at Wroxham in the late 1950s was scarcely a step in the right direction, yet deep in the heart of Norfolk, and far from his native Scotland, there came an unexpected breakthrough.

In 1958, the Clyde Cruising Club, in association with the Glasgow Herald newspaper, launched a competition for an able sailing cruiser to cost not more than £1,000, a boat around 28ft which could comfortably take four people cruising at reasonable speeds and better off Scotland’s West Coast and through the Hebrides.

In the end, two transom-sterned designs – one by Sandy Balfour and the other by leading Burnham-on-Crouch-based independent designer Alan Buchanan – were assessed as being more or less equal on merit. But it was reckoned that Balfour’s Honeybee design would have difficulty staying within budget, so the result was Buchanan first, Balfour second.

Yet very few boats were to be built to the Buchanan design, but the Honeybee took off, with several builders producing many, the most prolific being a German company. And with each boat, A K Balfour was the properly accredited designer.

The Honeybee’s success makes you wonder how many other yachts of all sizes Sandy Balfour might have created, had circumstances been different. So as you cast an eye over the elegant and highly individual Northele sitting so gracefully in Crosshaven, remember that she is doubly precious – she is one of the few creations of a designer of a great but largely unfulfilled talent.

honeybee sailing6The Sandy Balfour-designed Honeybee Ragdoll on her way to a class victory in the Panerai British Classics Regatta. This successful design of 1958 proved to be particularly popular in Germany. Photo Fiona Brown

Published in Historic Boats
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There was both disapppointment and excitement for Irish Sailing fans at the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup on Sunday when the Royal Cork Yacht Club team headed by Anthony O'Leary failed to make the top ten of the 14–boat fleet overall but confirmation from New York that a County Wicklow design is to be used for future Cup competitions might give the rub–of–the green to future Cork – or indeed Irish– campaigns.

O'Leary finished the series in 11th but previously finished as high as fifth in 2009.

The weekend event brings to a close the involvement of the Swan 42 one-design, which was instrumental in getting the regatta off the ground eight years ago. The foundation laid by the Swan 42 class will be carried forward in 2019 with the IC37. As Afloat.ie reported in May, The Club has committed to purchase a fleet of 20 identical keel boats built by Westerly Marine to a design by County Wicklow's Mark Mills (the 2009 Afloat Sailor of the Year). New York Yacht Club say this 'will ensure that the world's premiere Corinthian one-design keelboat regatta remains a must-do event for sailors around the world'.

More information on the 2019 edition will be released before the end of 2017.

In Saturday's single race, the Southern Yacht Club was as sharp as they had been in the previous 11 races, starting strongly and never wavering. SYC eventually finished second to Royal Thames in the race, and four places ahead of their only remaining competition for the overall trophy, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron from Australia. In 12 races, the Southern Yacht Club team accumulated just 34 points, the lowest winning total for a Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup by 10 points.

With a margin of 8 points over second-placed Royal Sydney to start the day, and only one race remaining, Southern Yacht Club was in a comfortable position. But light air and fog can dampen the confidence of even the most credentialed sailor. A long delay only added to the anxiety.

Southern Yacht Club was the first rookie competitor to win the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup since the host New York Yacht Club won the inaugural competition in 2009. But the team, which was composed of veteran sailors with many significant campaigns under their collective belt, approached the regatta with the appropriate commitment. Buoyed by the membership, and especially crew member Stephen Murray Jr., the team was able to purchase a boat to train on all summer and sail in regatta.

The 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup took place September 9 to 16 at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport, R.I. Amateur sailors representing 14 yacht clubs from around the globe converged on Newport to race in the ultimate one-design, big-boat competition. The boats and sails are provided and the rig tune is standardised across the fleet. The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is sponsored by Rolex, Porsche, Nautor's Swan, AIG and Helly Hansen.

Final results

1. Southern YC, USA, 34
2. Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, AUS, 46
3. Eastern Yacht Club, USA, 67
4. New York Yacht Club, USA, 74
5. Royal Thames Yacht Club, UK, 77
6. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, HKG, 85
7. Japan Sailing Federation , JPN, 88
8. Yacht Club Argentino, ARG, 92
9. Itchenor Sailing Club, UK, 96
10. New Bedford Yacht Club, USA, 114
11. Royal Cork YC, IRL, 114
12. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, SWE, 121
13. Shelter Island Yacht Club, USA, 121
14. Royal Yacht Squadron, UK, 134

Published in Royal Cork YC

Anthony O'Leary's fifth time a the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup at Newport, R.I has opened with a fourth overall position for the Royal Cork Yacht Club entry. After three races in a fresh southwesterly breeze, Southern Yacht Club and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron stand first and second in the regatta, with five and seven points, respectively.

Click here for the overall results.

Amateur sailors representing 14 yacht clubs from eight countries from around the globe have converged on Newport to race in the ultimate one-design, big-boat competition. The boats and sails are provided and the rig tune is standardized across the fleet. 

After qualifying by winning last September's Resolute Cup, Southern Yacht Club has spared no expense nor effort to prepare its team for the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup. The Club syndicate purchased a Swan 42 and competed in a number of regattas this past summer. The results of this hard work were immediately obvious today as Southern Yacht Club, with Marcus Eagan at the helm and 2004 Olympic silver medalists John Lovell calling tactics, took second in the first race, second in the second and then added a first in a third.

"We have a good team," said Lovell, a four-time Olympian in the Tornado class. "We’ve been practicing. Andrew [Eagan]’s trimming the jib really well. We’re really excited and hoping to stay in that top group. I’m sure we’re going to have one of those days where we get in the back a couple times. We had a couple crosses where we barely made it, and if we hadn’t we would have been pack in the pack. So everything just seemed to go right today."

On the other hand, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, the helmsman for the Royal Sydney team, hadn't laid a hand on the wheel of the Swan 42 for two years when he showed up for the first day of practice on Saturday. And his team hasn't spent a lot of time sailing together. But that didn't stop them from winning the first race and then adding a pair of thirds for a comfortable second place in the overall standings.

"It’s so nice to have a group of guys to come together," said Belgiorno-Nettis. "They were all sailors for a long time, but we had hadn’t actually sailed together as a team. They just dug deep, and we figured out the way pretty quickly by the looks of things."

But the wiry Australian—of Italian descent—was quick point out that prior success is no indication of future performance. And that there are four days left in this event.

"I'm sure we’re going to go backwards in other races because it’s natural," he added. "You can’t do great work every day in every regatta. I've been to too many. I think for us it was a good moral lift to be able to be successful today, we’re happy to end out in the front end. The guys are enjoying it. The New York Yacht Club puts on one of the best regattas in the world, if not the best."

Eastern Yacht Club finished strong with a second in the the third race and currently sits third, with 13 points. Rounding out the top five are Royal Cork Yacht Club—a five-time Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup competitor—and the defending champions from Royal Thames Yacht Club.

The biggest cheer in the tent today, however, went to a team that currently sits sixth. After 45 races over four regattas, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club team finally won its first Invitational Cup race in the day's second contest. Few teams have matched the passion of the RHKYC, which always shows up determined to have a good time and has succeeded each time, no matter the final results.

Published in Royal Cork YC

For Anthony O'Leary from Ireland's Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is something of a family tradition. O'Leary represented the Royal Cork at the first regatta in 2009 and has returned to each event since, accompanied by one or more of his sons on the crew, along with his wife Sally.

"The Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup offers brilliant racing in very equally matched boats," said Robert O'Leary, who sailed in 2011 and 2013 and will be serving as tactician for his father this year. "The minor speed differentials upwind and downwind mean that racing is always extremely tight. The variety of amateur teams racing at such a high level is what entices us back every time."

The elder O'Leary is a tireless campaigner who has twice been named the Irish Sailor of the Year and regularly competes in both small planing one-designs and larger offshore events. While the crew doesn't have the opportunity to sail the Swan 42 except at this event, Robert O'Leary thinks their collective experience in four previous editions of Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup will allow them to get up to speed quickly during the three days of pre-regatta practice.

"Every bit of boatspeed helps, be it a quarter knot of straight-line speed or having good speed out of a tack or jibe," Robert O'Leary said. "For the helms and crews that sail these boats on a regular basis, they certainly have spent the time to perfect their tuning and maneuvers. Luckily we have a fantastic crew who have all sailed a variety of boats over the years and will adapt quickly to the 42 for the event."

If experience in the event itself is the key to success in the fifth edition of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, then the list of favorites has to start with the three teams helmed by sailors who have competed in each edition of this biennial Corinthian challenge. The teams representing the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Cork Yacht Club and the defending champions from the Royal Thames Yacht Club will be led by sailors who have sailed in every single race in the history of Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup.

The 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup will take place September 9 to 16 at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport, R.I. Amateur sailors representing 14 yacht clubs from around the globe will converge on Newport to race in the ultimate one-design, big-boat competition. The boats and sails are provided and the rig tune is standardized across the fleet. The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is sponsored by Rolex, Porsche, AIG, Nautor’s Swan, and Helly Hansen and will be broadcast live via the web.

In 2009, John Greenland skippered the Royal Thames Yacht Club team to 13th place in the inaugural running of the event. While it was hardly an auspicious start for the storied British club, it exposed the club to the commitment required to win. In 2011, Greenland called tactics for the Royal Ocean Racing Club, finishing seventh. When the Royal Thames returned to the competition, in 2013, the team committed to a summer of training in Newport and was rewarded with a third-place finish. Finally, in 2015, Royal Thames YC became the first European team to take home the prized trophy.

"Last time, we were rolling from 2013 straight into 2015," says Greenland. "This time around the team has had a bit more of a break; but we’ve been more focused in our approach. We sailed both the Annual Regatta presented by Rolex and the Swan 42 U.S. Nationals this year, in Mutiny, which we also have for the Rolex Invitational Cup. Because we’ve had the opportunity, largely thanks to William Edwards with the support of other Royal Thames members, to focus our efforts over the years, we’ve got a better feel for what is working and isn’t working. We also have eight of the 11 teammates from the 2015 event [returning this year]."

The team seems to have checked nearly every box. However, they are not alone in that regard.

John Hele (left, at helm) knows better than anyone in this event what it takes to win. Hele was a part of the team representing the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, which finished second in the inaugural event in 2009, won it in 2011 and 2013, and finished 10th in 2015. This September, however, Hele will be representing the New York Yacht Club, where he's been a member for more than 25 years. And while he served as the tactician for all four RCYC efforts—Olympic silver medalist Terry McLaughlin was the helmsman—he'll be steering the boat for the NYYC team.

"As a NYYC Member since 1991, I have always held a strong interest in representing the host club, and so I decided to try for the berth this time, especially since I became a United States Citizen in 2016," said Hele. "It is an exceptional feeling and tremendous privilege to sail under the New York Yacht Club burgee and be helming for the event."

The strict eligibility requirements for the crew, which require that all but two be members of the represented yacht club, means that Hele had to almost completely rebuild his crew for this challenge. Fortunately, the New York Yacht Club is stocked with plenty of talented amateur sailors, including tactician Brad Read, a former J/24 world champion, and main trimmer Chip Whipple, who sailed for the Club in 2011 and 2013, finishing second and ninth, respectively. Hele and his crew have left no stone unturned in their preparation for the event, training numerous days under the watchful eye of America's Cup veteran Tom Burnham, who coached the Artemis team during the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda.

"It’s a game of inches out there," said Whipple. "You know everyone's going to show up at the windward mark at the same time. If we have any advantage at all, it’s going to be because we've been training so much and working so hard. It may only be a difference of a half a boatlength, but that half boatlength will get you around the mark before the bulk of the fleet."

Because the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup uses supplied sails and standardized rig tune, the boat is a little different from the Swan 42 that is sailed in every other event. Mastering those subtle differences has been a focus of the team's training.

"In this event, the whole playing field has been completely leveled," said Whipple. "There’s only going to be a few times when we're in the sweet spot of the sails and rig tune we’re given. Other times we’ll be overpowered or underpowered, that’s where the experience of the boathandling and sail control will show up and start to make a difference. We've practiced with old sails, smaller sails, we’ve tried to simulate how the boat will behave given the equipment we're using."

Perhaps the best advice, however, has nothing to do with the boat, rig or sails. These three teams may be favorites on paper, but everyone starts with the same score on Tuesday, and the same ultimate goal.

"Never underestimate the other teams," said Robert O'Leary. "They are extremely competitive and we are all out there with one goal in mind, to take home the trophy."

Published in Royal Cork YC
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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 feel I have a decent level of knowledge to comment on the racing and the classes progression. Firstly well done to the organisers for staging a great event at Kinsale Yacht Club and well done to the Principal Race Officer Anthony O'Leary for running it so well. Finally, well done to Phil Plumtree and the Swuzzlebubble team for winning the regatta with a race to spare. This is the third win for Swuzzlebubble in three events, each with a different owner. More about this later.

The Big picture MansfieldMike and Richie Evans's The Big Picture, from Howth Yacht Club was fourth overall. Tactician and article author Mark Mansfield is wearing the white cap Photo: Bob Bateman

Day One—Nigel Biggs' new Checkmate XV111 just led from Paul Pullen's Miss Whiplash on countback. Swuzzlebubble lay one point back and Mike and Richie Evans,The Big Picture, lay a further point behind. David Cullen's Checkmate XV was a few points further back and it seemed likely that these five boats would be the feature boats in the event. All had professional sailors aboard and one of these boats had three professional sailors. Swuzzlebubble had an eighth place on this day which she would eventually discard but it was clear that she would be the one to watch as she was the top rating boat by some margin and was using that extra speed to get out in front allowing her to sail her own race.

Halfton classic cup 17 5267Phil Plumtree's Swuzzlebubble had an eighth place on day one but it was clear that she would be the one to watch as she was the top rating boat by some margin Photo: Bob Bateman

Day Two—Strong Southerly winds were forecasted for the following few days and so the organisers took the decision to delay the coastal race until later in the week and use day two to get in as many short WL races as possible. In the end four good races were sailed in moderate to fresh testing conditions. Swuzzlebubble counted two wins and two second places to shoot into a large lead over David Cullen's Checkmate who also scored two firsts. One point back was Checkmate XVIII and The Big Picture lay in fourth, a few points back. Big loser of the Day was Paul Pullen's Miss Whiplash who had four very average results and fell out of the running. It was now clear that the first four boats (Swuzzlebubble, Checkmate XV, Checkmate XVIII and the Big Picture) were pulling well clear of the pack and the winner would be from this group. Occasionally, other boats such as Paul Wayte's beautiful newly optimised Headhunter, Johnny Swan's Harmony and Philippe Pilatte's General Tapioca would come to the fore, but it was the first four that generally filled the top three results in each race and were pulling well clear.

Halfton classic cup 17 5359Paul Pullen's Miss Whiplash had four very average results on day two and fell out of the running Photo: Bob Bateman

Day Three—Wednesday was postponed due to excess wind and many enjoyed a long lunch in Kinsale's Fishy Fishy restaurant accompanied by some very nice wines.

Day Four—Strong Southerly winds greeted the competitors and three races were planned including the none–discard coastal race. Swuzzlebubble took a first and a second in the earlier Windward Leeward races to extend her lead and the two closest followers, the two Checkmates each counted a poorish race to allow Swuzzlebubble be on the cusp of winning the regatta outright if she had a decent last coastal race. The Big Picture had consistent top results to lie in fourth. The final race of the day, the coastal race, ended in Swuzzlebubble taking a fifth, though a relatively poor result for her, it was enough to ensure Swuzzlebubble could not now be caught and did not need to sail the final race on the Friday.  1.5 points now separated the Two Checkmates with Dave Cullen in the marginal lead. Big Picture finished the Coastal race in second place and lay in fourth overall and could neither fall to fifth in the last race on Friday, nor get up to third. There was then a large points gap to General Tapioca and Headhunter.

Halfton classic cup 17 5274Only 1.5 points separated the two Checkmates with Dave Cullen's Checkmate XV (below) in the marginal lead. Photos Bob BatemanHalfton classic cup 17 5274

A successful Class dinner was held in Actons Hotel on Thursday night which went on late into the night, for some.

Day Five—Swuzzlebubble decided not to sail on the Friday. First and fourth places were already finalised (Swuzzlebubble and The Big Picture). Nigel Biggs needed to finish ahead of Dave Cullen and have a boat between them to finish in second overall. 17 to 20 knots greeted the fleet and PRO O'Leary signalled an around the buoys race consisting of two rounds and a finish off Charles Fort in Kinsale. Nigel Biggs got the best of the start and was ahead most of the race. However, Dave Cullen was in a bunch close behind that included the Big Picture. By the last mark Nigel Biggs rounded in the lead, followed by three other boats flowed by Big Picture with Checkmate XV behind her. Big Picture pulled through to second and Checkmate XV to third across the line. Big Picture with her lower handicap had a chance to snatch the win and deny Checkmate XVIII second overall but fell short by nine seconds and so the race finished with Checkmate XVIII winning followed by The Big Picture, followed by Checkmate XV, thus giving second overall to Nigel Biggs and Third overall to David Cullen. Fourth overall went to the Big Picture, fifth to General Tapioca and sixth to Miss Whiplash.

Halfton classic cup 17 5211Half Ton racing is excellent, very close. The camaraderie within the class is also very strong

Progression of the class – Three newly optimised boats were among the 21 entries this year. The larger fleets of Half–Tonners are based in France, the UK and Belgium and if the event were in one of these locations it is likely entries would be closer to 30. During the regatta an agm was held to discuss some important points that appear to be affecting the class. These were;

1 Should the class limit the number of professionals on each boat
2 Should the class, like they do in the Quarter ton Class, put an upper handicap limit on yachts taking part.
3 Should the class allow asymmetrical spinnakers.

1—Limiting professionals. A poll of Half Ton members will likely be done to either limit the professionals on each boat to either one or Two. It was felt generally that professionals help to coach the crew and generally are good for the class, but too many and the professionals can effectively sail the boat themselves, thus little improvement happens when the pros depart.

2—Limiting the upper Handicap limit. Swuzzlebubble has been a problem child in this class since Peter Morton did a no–expenses spared restoration of this very long half tonner. This included a taller, ultra high Modulus Carbon Rig with more sail, a deeper keel and other top mods. This led to her being approx. 25–points higher rating than most. Consequently she can go for a conservative start, sail for a few minutes and then her speed allows her to cross the fleet and sail the remainder of the race without other interference. The remainder of the fleet are close on rating and end up very close to each other at all marks, taking wind on downwinds, etc. This is costing the bulk of the fleet a minute or more per race, and often that is about the margin that Swuzzlebubble wins by. She is being well sailed, but she has a great advantage. In the Quarter ton class they stopped this issue early and now most quarter tonners are within 10 points of rating of each other. It is being suggested that an upper limit of .965 be introduced. Swuzzlebubble would be able to get to this by reducing sail area and adding some weight which would lessen the advantage she currently enjoys, especially in light to medium conditions. A proposed poll of the class is being organised on this.

3—Allowing Asymmetric sails. This appeared not to be so straight forward. Some owners already have them (but can't use them at the Half Ton Cup). Allowing them might mean owners have to buy one or two asymmetric kites, perhaps add a sprit and in the end may not even use them at a Half Ton cup. Others would prefer to stay without them as most of the racing is windward leeward anyway. This will also be balloted.

Summary – Having sailed four Quarter Ton Cups and now two Half Ton cups, The Half Ton class is now easily as competitive as the quarter tonners. The racing is excellent, very close. The camaraderie within the class is very strong. I can see more restorations being done in this class and numbers rising for their Half Ton Cups. Next years event will be in Nieuwpoort in Belgium in mid–August and I suspect that there may be up to 30–boats will arrive for that. The inaugural IRC World Championships is being held just up the road in The Hague in Holland a month before the Half Ton worlds so there are many half–tonners considering doing that as well as a warm up event. The boats are of a size that they can, if required, be transported by water, though most will trail behind jeeps.

Mark Mansfield is a four–time Irish Olympian, a helmsman in the Star Class from 1992–2004. He is a World Sailing 'Group 3' Sailor.

Published in Half Tonners

It was fifth time lucky for Morty, but the wait is now over. Peter Morton's Carkeek 40+ Girls on Film has won the 2016 One Ton Cup. The Cowes based team that included Ireland's Justin Slattery were worthy winners having scored no worse than a fourth in nine races. Peter Morton has come second in the One Ton Cup on two occasions and the attempts to win the prestigious trophy span over three generations.

Royal Cork's Antx skippered by Anthony O'Leary finished eighth in the 13–boat fleet

“It has been unfinished business.” smiled Peter Morton, rinsed in champagne. “The team on Girls on Film have ben absolutely fabulous. I would also like to thank the Royal Southern Yacht Club and Principal Race Officer , Stuart Childerley and his team for outstanding race management. Also Rob Greenhalgh for coming up with the idea of the FAST40+ Class and putting it together. For those of you that haven't won, I would say just be patient, your time will come.”

Girls on Film: Peter Morton, Darren Marston, Phil Pafford, Nat Ives, Justin Slattery, Ash Curtis, Toby Mumford, Duncan Yeabsley, Nick Butt, Dirk de Ridder and Dave Lenz.

Alex Mills at the helm of Ker40+ Invictus was runner-up, Invictus tactician and FAST40+ Class President, Robert Greenhalgh, congratulated Peter Morton and the Girls on Film crew. “At the beginning of the season, we didn't really know what to expect. The class has grown far quicker than we expected and it is continuing to attract more owners and sailors. The FAST40+ is an ideal boat for the Solent and during the season, the racing has got tighter and tighter. The One Ton Cup is our biggest event and to have nine boats make the podium just shows how competitive the FAST40+ Class is.”

unnamed 33Anthony O'Leary's Antix competing in the One Ton Cup. Photo: Paul Wyeth

On the final day of racing, Mike Bartholomew's South African GP42 Tokoloshe was the winner of the penultimate race of the regatta and Bill Coates Texan Ker 43 Otra Vez finished the One Ton Cup in style winning the final race.

The One Ton Cup owned by the Cercle de la Voile de Paris, presented by Hamble Yacht Services and organised by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, took place between 16-18th September in the Solent, UK. Nine races completed with a mixture of windward-leeward and weighted points factor longer races.

Full Results from the One Ton Cup here

 

Published in Offshore
Page 1 of 9

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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