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A team from Royal Cork Yacht Club made a strong showing in Cowes at the second annual Global Team Racing Regatta over the weekend.

Extreme conditions beset the 12-team fleet hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron, all racing in matched J70s that faced winds rarely less than 18 knots.

Each day saw a similar pattern of fresh breeze mounting to gale force by early afternoon resulting in racing being abandoned.

Despite this, the race management team delivered a full round robin that was fought hard to the very end, with a thrilling climax that saw St Francis Yacht Club from San Francisco awarded the title after two late errors by last year’s winners, the contingent from Royal Thames.

The Global Team Racing Regatta, of which the Royal Cork was a part in its debut last year, will move to Italy for its third edition in 2020 where it will be hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

Final Standings

  1. St Francis Yacht Club (USA)
  2. Royal Thames Yacht Club (GBR)
  3. New York Yacht Club (USA)
  4. Newport Harbor Yacht Club (USA)
  5. Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL)
  6. Dutch Match and Team Race Association
  7. Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR)
  8. Bayerischer Yacht Club (GER)
  9. Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club (AUS)
  10. Yacht Club Argentino (ARG)
  11. Japanese Sailing Federation (JAP)
  12. Royal Bombay Yacht Club (IND)
Published in Team Racing

Enda Kenny can add his name to the list of Irish yachting politicians as he crewed adventurer Bear Grylls’ regatta winning boat Tusk in Cowes yesterday (Thursday 8 August), as TheJournal.ie reports.

The former Taoiseach was taking part in the charity event for The King’s Cup that also saw the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, go head to head in competing vessels along the eight-boat fleet.

It’s not clear whether Fine Gael colleague Simon Coveney, whose family has long been a part of the Cork sailing community, gave his erstwhile boss any pointers for the event — nor whether the sailing bug has bitten him like it did the late Charlie Haughey in the 1980s.

“TuskTusk crosses the finish line with Bear Grylls at the helm to win The King’s Cup | Ian Roman/King's Cup

The King’s Cup heralds 2019’s Cowes Week, which will have a delayed start as the opening day’s racing tomorrow (Saturday 10 August) has been suspended due to the poor weather forecast.

Published in Cowes Week

#Ferry - A passenger ferry has been involved in a collision with a number of yachts amid foggy conditions in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, as RTÉ News reports.

The UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency has confirmed that no one entered the water or went missing in the incident, which occurred when the ferry was trying to berth at the entrance of the harbour just after 8am this morning (Sunday 21 October).

The Red Falcon car ferry from Southampton, which had 40 passengers on board, ran aground but has since been refloated.

Published in Ferry
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It was sun and fun all the way on day five of Panerai British Classic Week 2017 in Cowes, where not only did the participants enjoy some fiendishly tricky racing, but they also finally came together for the traditional Open Yachts Pontoon Party, sponsored by Spirit Yachts and Classic Boat, which had to be postponed from Tuesday because of torrential rain.

On the water the Solent delivered some exceptionally testing conditions as Classes 1 to 4 took part in the Long Inshore Race sponsored by Classic Boat (race six of their series) and the 6 and 8 Metres did two further round the cans races (races six and seven). Conditions were somewhat mixed with a shifty but established south easterly early on in the day. The boats went off the line to the east on a Central Solent course and made good progress until the final reach past Gurnard and along Cowes Green to the finish. By this time the wind was dying and many of the boats seriously struggled to make the line over the strongly ebbing tide. When they eventually did cross, each boat received a rousing cheer from the Squadron Platform to honour their efforts.

Back ashore the Panerai Lounge was buzzing with its usual post racing hospitality, and then at 18.30 everyone moved down onto the pontoons to view and visit the yachts, enjoy free flowing cocktails, delicious food, and live music while they talk classics and generally soak up the amazing atmosphere.

With just one more race to be sailed, a number of the classes have already been decided. In Class 1 Irvine Laidlaw’s Spirit 52 Oui Fling took second place in race six, a mere eight seconds behind Sean McMillan’s Spirit 52 Flight of Ufford with Michael Hough’s Chloe Giselle third. In the overall standings Oui Fling cannot now be beaten and Flight of Ufford is certain of second, but there will be a final race showdown for third place between David Grylls Spirit 46 Helen of Durgan and Chloe Giselle, who are only one point apart.


Giovanni Belgrano’s 1939 Laurent Giles sloop Whooper vanquished her rivals in Class 2 with a fifth win today, but whilst she is assured of victory, Gildas Rostain’s Olin Stephens One Tonner Volonte, Andrew Pearson’s 1937Johans Anker Bermudan cutter Bojar and David Murrin’s 1955 Laurent Giles sloop Cetewayo will take the battle for second and third down to the wire.

A very happy Giovanni Belgrano said of their day, “It was actually a really nice day, a beautiful day. My crew were amazing, we made massive gains through crew work. There were lots of [mark] roundings, and I think we were taking close to a minute per lap out of the boat behind us, mostly through the roundings, and that was purely crew work. I’m very, very happy”

Richard Matthews’ 1963 Stella Scorpio took another win in Class 4, securing overall victory from Simon Payne’s 1961 Nicholson Jolina Damian B, who finished second. Third in Class 4 will be decided tomorrow, as John Mulcahy’s 1963 Stella Estrella and Rufus Gilday’s 40sqm Spidsgatter Venya are tied on 24 points apiece.

Class 3 is still wide open. Michael Briggs’ 1904 Fife 30 Linear Rater Mikado won her fourth race of the regatta today, but Jonathan and Scilla Dyke’s 1938 Robert Clark 10 Tonner Cereste continues to snap at her heels, finishing second today and lying just two points behind Mikado overall. There’s then a thirteen point gap back to Scot Yeates’ 1961 Kim Holman 32 footer Stiletto, but Robert Veale’s 1958 Cheverton designed Danegeld and Tim Yetman’s West Solent One Design Suvretta are both still within striking distance of third.

For the 6 and 8 Meters it was a two race day. Robin Richardson’s 1987 Ian Howlett designed St Kitts won both of the 6 Metre races, putting her onto twenty-five points overall and firmly in striking distance of not only second placed Thistle, ownedy by Tom Richardson, on twenty-three points, but also current leader Sioma, owned by Fenton Burgin, who is on twenty points.

In the 8 Metres Murdoch McKillop’s beautiful 1931 William Fife III designed Saskia claimed both races with Christopher Courage’s 1936 Alfred Mylne designed Helen second in both. The only way in which Helen can now beat Saskia is if Saskia is unable to complete the last race for some reason, so although both boats will race tomorrow, Saskia’s victory is very nearly assured.

You meet a wonderful cross section of sailors at this regatta and amongst this year’s competitors has been Annabel Vose, a member of BAR Racing’s Junior America’s Cup winning team, who has been sailing with Sam Laidlaw aboard the 1966 Sparkman & Stephens 37 footer Clarionet. “It’s definitely a change of pace, but I’ve done the week with Rob and Sam a couple of times already, so it’s fun to be back in the fleet. It’s very different to go from 12 minute races to this one which was nearly five hours, but I’m enjoying it definitely. I’m loving it.” Said Annabel after today’s long inshore race.

Tomorrow’s final races will get underway from the Royal Yacht Squadron start line at 10.00 and the regatta will conclude with the Panerai British Classic Week Prize Giving Dinner and Dance at the Haven Events Centre.

Published in Historic Boats
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The opening race day of Panerai British Classic Boat Week 2017 was an absolute scorcher with barely a cloud in the sky and glorious sunshine showing the fifty-one participating classic yachts off to absolute perfection.

The regatta opened with a Parade of Yachts past the Royal Yacht Squadron. Each of the classes and several of the supporting classic motor yachts lined up to parade past Royal Yacht Squadron Rear Commodore Yachting Jonathan Perry who took the salute as the canons fired, much to the delight of the spectators lining Cowes Green.

Unfortunately, the wind was not quite as reliable as the sunshine and a fickle breeze and strong tide gave the navigators and tacticians a lot to think about. The first challenge was getting over the start line safely. The tide was pushing the boats onto the wrong side of the line and the light south westerly was only just sufficient for them to make way against it. Several boats found themselves over the line as the gun went and had to make the slow and painful crawl back up tide to restart correctly.

Once underway the fleet streamed west and into a developing south-westerly sea breeze. The first few legs saw them making good progress, but as they turned back towards the central Solent a competing south-easterly sea breeze tried to fill in too and the net result was a classic Mexican stand-off between the two directions. The resulting game of snakes and ladders was painful for some, but rewarding for others.

In Class 4 former International Moth World Champion Simon Payne, sailing his 1961 Nicholson designed Damian B found both a ladder and a snake, ironically noting, “We led by a country mile at the first mark, but then it all went wrong. We really need more wind.” Whilst Damian B lost out it was a pair of 1963 Kim Holman designed Stellas that showed the fleet the way. On the line Richard Matthew’s Scorpio led John Mulcahy’s Estrella, with Rufus Gilday’s Venya, a 1939 40 square metre Spidsgatter designed by Jac M Iversen, taking third.

In Class 3 Peter Robinson’s lovely Kim Holman Rummer yawl Tinkatoo, built by Stanilands & Co of Yorkshire in 1960, never put a foot wrong. Following them home for second was Tim Yetman’s 1924 West Solent One Design Suvretta, with Robert Veale’s 1958 David Cheverton sloop Danegeld third, and Michael Briggs’ Mikado, a 1904 Fife designed 30 Linear Rater and the oldest boat in the regatta, fourth.

Jonathan & Scilla Dyke’s Robert Clark 10 Tonner Cereste finished the race with high hopes of a second place in Class 3, but unfortunately they had touched two marks during the race and by the time the appropriate penalties had been applied they found themselves down in eighth instead. “I’ve never hit a mark before in my life and I’ve managed to hit two in one race!” Said the slightly embarrassed Jonathan after racing.

Guy O’Bierne, co-owner of Tinkertoo, was delighted with their win, “Today was an interesting day, we’ve not raced since last year, so we just threw ourselves together and went out to see what would happen. The day turned out quite well in the end, we thought we would be around mid-fleet finish!”
Giovanni Belgrano’s 1939 Laurent Giles sloop proved that she hasn’t lost her Class 2 winning ways by beating Lawrence Wride’s Sparkman & Stephens’ One Tonner of 1967 Sunmaid V into second place, with Gildas Rostain’s 1968 Olin Stephens One Tonner Volonte in third.

The racing in the metre boat classes was as tight as ever. In the Sixes, victory went to Charlie Hatfield’s 1946 Nicholson designed Mena with Tom Richardson’s Thistle second and Robert Owen’s Valdai third. In the Eights, Christopher Courage sailing the 1939 Alfred Milne designed Helen took the victor’s laurels from Murdoch McKillop’s Saskia, with Richard Bendy’s Osborne third.

Amongst Mena’s crew is British Double Olympic Medallist Saskia Clark who is finding the transition to big boats interesting. “I’ve retired from Olympic sailing now, and am just finding my way in the big boat world. We’re doing the 6m Worlds in Vancouver in September so this is part of our training for that. Today was our first day racing as a five, and I’m on the foredeck. We had a few little issues, things that didn’t work in terms of equipment that weren’t so smooth. With three Spanish speakers and two English speakers there’s a lot going on to get to grips with. The calmness of my Olympic 470 sailing is a distant memory now, but that’s what we’re aspiring to get to. We’re going to be calm, organised and have routines, it’s going to be good!”

Back ashore the crews took the opportunity to wind down in the sunshine as they enjoyed the post racing hospitality of the Panerai Lounge and the daily prize giving, before moving onto the Panerai British Classic Week 2017 Welcome Reception at the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Tomorrow will see the fleet take on the Around the Island Race sponsored by EFG which will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron at 08.00. For those yachts who elect not to race around the Island there will be an inshore race starting at 10am.

Published in Historic Boats
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Hibernia Racing, The International Irish Marathon Offshore Powerboat Racing Team headed by driver and throttle man John Ryan are set to take on their toughest challenge to date; the Cowes Classic 2016 Offshore Powerboat Race. The race takes place this Sunday, September 4th, starting at Cowes on the Isle of Wight with 'Hibernia Racing' being the first Irish boat to ever enter the race.

The Hibernia team includes Phillip Fitzgibbon navigating, Denis Dillon dealing with logistics and on-board hydraulic monitoring. Jonathan Napier is co–driver, Jonathan was famously the last Concorde flight pilot.
The mechanics include Christoff, Piotr and Mark Soper from the boats engine manufacturer FPT. 

John Ryan team HiberniaJohn Ryan driver and throttle man of Team Hibernia – realistic about chances in Cowes Photo: Afloat.ie

The team is also supported by Dingle's Tom Crean's lager, the Isle of Wight Distillery's Mermaid Gin and Henri Lloyd clothing.

The 200–mile classic has long been recognised as one of powerboating’s toughest challenges, it's the longest running offshore powerboat event in the world and comparisons have been made with motorsport events such as Le Mans and the Indy 500.

Around 20 boats are expected to be in the line-up for this high speed challenge including some boats with over 3000 hp available to drive their boats at speeds in excess of 210 km per hour.

Ryan is realistic about the teams chances saying that "we're in this to genuinely compete against the best teams and boats in the world, we know that our boat doesn't have the top speed or power of a lot of the other competitors but we have proven our overall reliability and high performance with our recent Round Ireland World record so hopefully at the end of the race we'll be up there with the best, remember to win you first have to finish!

Published in Powerboat Racing

Howth's Bedrock skippered by Richard Burrows was the sole Irish Etchells competing at a star studded Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy fleet at the Royal Yacht Squadron at the weekend. The HYC boat finished 19th from 28 in a fleet that included former Volvo Round the World racer Lawrie Smith. The regatta attracted one of the largest fleets of Etchells seen in the Solent for many years. Bolstered by the forthcoming 2016 Etchells World Championship, to be held in the Solent 31 August – 10 September. 

The Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy was first competed for in 1995, after Sir Kenneth Preston, who had led the British sailing team in the 1960 Olympics, presented it to the Royal Yacht Squadron shortly prior to his death. Sir Kenneth wished that the trophy be competed for by a deserving one design fleet that had the spirit of one design and involves young sailors. It is a feather in the cap for the Cowes Etchells fleet to have retained it for so many years.

28 teams with sailors from Australia, Great Britain, Hong Kong and the United States of America, raced for the Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy. Three Royal London Etchells Youth Academy Teams took part, skippered by Anna Watkins, Owen Bannerman and Martin Evans.

The eight race programme over three days produced thrilling racing, with 11 teams achieving podium results. Peter Duncan was the winner of the Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy, Ante Razmilovic was second with Lawrie Smith third.

Commodore of the America Yacht Club, Peter Duncan and Tom Blackwell have campaigned Etchells for many years with top finishes including second, third, fourth, and fifth in world championships. Both grew up sailing in the JAYC (Junior American Yacht Club) program. Jud Smith, a Sonar, Mumm30 and Etchells World Champion, has been sailing with the team since 2013.

“We found the racing very tight with a solid mix of local and visitors trying to get ready for the Worlds.” commented Peter Duncan. “Throughout the regatta we had a lot of boats arriving at the weather mark together and there were some exciting leeward gate roundings. Cowes is a very interesting place to sail, as you not only have to be on your toes for shifts in the breeze, the current has to minded at all times. We saw a bit of everything this past weekend, which made it a great warm up event to the Worlds. In 2007 and since, we have not sailed in the breeze direction we had on Saturday so that was good to experience.

Our stay as always in Cowes was wonderful as there are so many fun places to go. The Royal Yacht Squadron did an outstanding job running the races in the varied conditions and especially setting up the starting lines. As always, David Franks and team did a wonderful job on the social side of the event with the dinner event at RYS being awesome. Not too many of us from overseas have ever been there so what a treat.”

David Franks, Cowes Etchells fleet captain. "We have been delighted that the interest in the Cowes Etchells Fleet continues to grow."
David Franks, the Cowes Etchells fleet captain commented: "We have been delighted that the interest in the Cowes Etchells Fleet continues to grow with record numbers competing for the Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy. This is the 22nd year that this Trophy has been awarded by the Royal Yacht Squadron; they ran eight excellent races and provided a superb supper on the Platform in the Castle for 94 competitors and their guests. Wonderful racing; wonderful food."

The Saida Cup 11-12 June, organised by the Royal Thames Yacht Club, is the next event in a busy season for the Cowes Etchells Fleet. The Etchells UK National Championship, organised by the Royal London Yacht Club, from 24-26 June, is an Etchells World Championship qualifying event.

Full results of the Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy are downloadable below.

Published in Etchells

The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) has appointed Andrew Overton as the new General Manager of RORC Cowes. He has an extensive background in the hospitality industry with experience across a range of unique high quality new business ventures, acquisitions and integrations.

Andrew has built his experience from the bottom up, learning the trade at the Marriott Hotel group, developing his knowledge at the Pomme d'Or Hotel in Jersey, the Marine Hotel in Troon and more recently as the General Manager of the U.K. Trains operation for the Orient-Express company. He is delighted to have the opportunity to bring his experience to the benefit of RORC's clubhouse in Cowes:

"This will be an exciting challenge and one that I am very much looking forward to. The elevated position of the club with its stunning views over the Solent is hugely attractive and the open nature of the club in Cowes to welcome all sailors is something I am excited to develop. I understand the seasonal nature of the leisure boating market and, in particular on the Isle of Wight,but I do not see that as a barrier in developing fun and exciting activities during the winter months."

Michael Boyd, the Commodore of the RORC is delighted with Andrew's appointment, commenting:

"Andrew has huge experience in the hotel, food and beverage sector having worked in a variety of high profile businesses where the quality of the product and the quality of service are required at a very high standard. We know he will develop and maintain those standards at the club in Cowes giving his own brand of welcome to RORC's members and visitors."

Published in RORC

A fire at a boatyard in Cowes on the Isle of Wight yesterday has seen the destruction of around 30 yachts and one-design dayboats, including many irreplaceable classics.

Vintage boats, including a World War Two rescue vessel, are among those feared to have been destroyed in a fire on an Isle of Wight industrial estate.

Thick black smoke billowed over Cowes when the major blaze broke out at Medina Village on Monday.

Classic vessels, including the Dunkirk "little ship" Vere, and racing yachts are believed to be among the wreckage.
Boat building firm owner David Heritage said they were "irreplaceable".

XOD class captain Mike Till reported that seven XOD one-designs were among the boats destroyed in the blaze, which ripped through an industrial unit off Bridge Road known as Samuel White's, formerly Souter's yard. Till described it as 'an unmitigated disaster'.

"It's probably the greatest single loss of boats ever recorded in one place. They were all top-class XODs, old obviously, but in beautiful condition. Three of those boats are the core of the Cowes Division, so it's a huge loss. The Vice-Captain lost his boat, and I am now Class Captain of the whole fleet without an XOD.

"You can't buy a replacement. You could buy another XOD, it's never going to be the boat you've lost. You can't just walk out and buy something off the shelf. My boat was built in 1938, called 'Delight' X75, many of the others were post-war. The point about these boats, we're just guardians of them. There's a heritage here and in the XOD fleet there's a finite number of boats, there are no new ones being built at the moment. They've been around since 1911 and they've never had a loss like this in the XOD fleet before."

Fifteen Etchells keelboats were also destroyed. More from the Yachts and Yachting website here

The Solent's XOD fleet were featured in WM Nixon's blog here

Published in Historic Boats
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#quarterton – Three Irish entries are among the line up for this week's Coutts Quarter Ton Cup at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, in Cowes. IRL 8164 Enigma R Stewart, (N Young & S Smith), IRL 3087 Anchor Challenge (Paul Gibbons) and the renamed 2014 Corinthian champion Illes Pitiuses IRL 1392 Cobh Pirate (Ben Daly) will be in action this morning after yesterday's first races were scrubbed.

Sadly strong winds and big seas stopped racing on the opening day yesterday. The event, which runs from 8 to 11 July, has attracted an entry of 21 boats from across the UK, Ireland and France. At the opening skipper's briefing Race Officer Rob Lamb warned the competitors of the impending strong winds, but declared his intention to run racing if at all possible with a first planned start time of 11.00.

The race committee went afloat at 09.00 and headed straight to the planned race area off Hill Head. Sadly conditions there were extremely rough with strong gusty winds making sailing for the historic and relatively fragile Quarter Tonners impossible. The committee then moved in towards Osborne Bay in the hope of achieving some shelter from the Island, but even there conditions were already marginal. Rob Lamb initially announced a postponement, but after an hour's wait, with gusts well up into the high 30s and the forecasting promising even more wind, the decision was made to hoist AP over A and call off racing for the day.

Whilst disappointed not the sail, the fleet were in agreement with the decision and made the most of the unexpected free day ashore. Whilst some took the opportunity to catch up on work, others created impromptu adventures including the crew of Alice II, whose owner Rickard Melander celebrated his birthday today with a delicious seafood lunch with his team at legendary Island eatery The Hut.

Four teams who perhaps were not disappointed to stay ashore were the four newest crews in the fleet, who had all be presented with a welcome bottle of Mount Gay Rum at last night's welcome reception. Julian Wetherell, new owner of Espada, Ben and Mike Daley who now own Cobh Pirate (the former Illes Pitiuses, winner of last year's Corinthian Quarter Ton Cup), Rob Mclean of Spider Pig and Paul Gibbons, new owner of Anchor Challenge, were all warmly welcomed by the assembled fleet who explained that tradition demand they drink their bottle of Mount Gay there and then.

One team that sadly cannot be here this year is Ian Southworth's Whiskers. The Whiskers crew is as famed for their sailing talent as they are notorious for their lack of organisational and planning skills. Typically they enter the event at the eleventh hour and finish preparing the boat on their way to the first start. So disappointed are they not to be here this year that Whiskers' navigator Lincoln Reading has been in contact to announce they are donating a very special prize for presentation at the final dinner. The prize will be presented to the team who in the opinion of the race committee is the most organised and prepared for the regatta - in other words a boat that is the complete antithesis of Whiskers!

This evening the crews are enjoying a BBQ at the RORC/RCYC's waterside clubhouse where the sailors remain enthusiastic to get racing underway tomorrow. "There's a very nice camaraderie around the event, but equally it's a very competitive fleet. There are probably more than half a dozen boats capable of winning this year." Noted Quarter Ton Class Secretary and past Coutts Quarter Ton Cup champion Louise Morton, who this year is racing FRA7891 Bullit, in which her husband Peter won last year's event.

Race Officer Rob Lamb has confirmed that he intends to run up to four races tomorrow and with lighter winds expected this should be achievable. The forecast anticipates a light North Westerly in the morning,which will swing South West later in the day with the promise of an afternoon sea breeze. A total of nine races are scheduled, three races are required to constitute a series and if six races or more are sailed there will be a single discard. The fleet will race together as one, but prizes will be awarded for three divisions - Open Division (for all yachts), Corinthian Division (open to all amateur crews) and Low Rating Division (for boats with an IRC rating of 0.899 and below. The regatta concludes on Friday.

You can follow the latest news from the event at the Quarter Ton Class Blog and on the RORC Facebook Page. Further information about the event can be found at www.rcyc.co.uk or by contacting Sailing Secretary Jo Chugg on [email protected] Tel 01983 293581.

Revived Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Winners

2005 - Purple Haze (1977 David Thomas design) - Tony Dodd
2006 - Enigma - (1977 Ed Dubois design) - Ed Dubois
2007 - Espada - (1980 Bruce Farr design) - Peter Morton
2008 - Tom Bombadil (1982 Doug Peterson design) - Chris Frost & Kevin George
2009 - Anchor Challenge (1978 Bruce Farr design) - Peter Morton
2010 - Cote (1990 Gonzalez design) - Darren Marston & Olly Ophaus
2011 - Overall - Espada (1980 Bruce Farr design) - Louise Morton
Corinthian - Tiger (1989 Fauroux design) - George Kenefick
2012 - Overall - Bullit - (1978 Fauroux design) - Peter Morton
Corinthian - Tiger (1989 Fauroux design) - George Kenefick
2013 - Overall - Espada - (1980 Bruce Farr design) - Louise Morton
Corinthian - Pinguin Playboy (1979 Fauroux design) - Pierre Paris
2014 - Overall - Bullit (1978 Fauroux design) - Peter Morton
Corinthain - Illes Pitiuses (1983 Fauroux) - Dominic and Jason Losty

 

Published in Racing
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Page 1 of 7

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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