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Displaying items by tag: F18

Last weekend, September 12th-13th the Carlingford Sailing Club hosted the Irish Open Multihull Championships 2015. Sailors arrived on Friday night to 40 knot winds and driving rain not deterred at all they set up tents! After a few hours the tents had been trashed, so several competitors had to take to the race office shed…. a very cosy welcome to Ireland. Simon Flack was over to defend his title won last year at Lough Neagh, sailing this year with multi-Irish champion crew Barry Swanston. A wrap up by Richard Swanston.

Download results below as a jpeg file.

The open fleet format with all types of catamarans from a catapult to an F18 rated under SCHRS and racing an equal number of windward – leeward and triangular courses (to balance performance strengths) was used with all boats starting off the same start line. Classes were also subdivided into C1 and C2 fleets for individual fleet prizes. Saturdays forecast was gloomy to say the least. Rain and 25 knot baseline gusting to 40 knots from the S.W. To this, add the infamous Carlingford Kettles roaring off the top of the hills at all angles ripping up mini tornadoes of water that march and meander across the Lough ….not to be missed!! After much head scratching and nervous looks to the broken water in the lough and vicious squalls rolling down off the hills, it was decided (after a postponement) to ‘ give it a rattle sure’! We were treated to an unexpected two races in variable but safe conditions.

Saturday – Race 1 & 2
pre startSwannie and Jenni executed a perfect port tack start only to fall into the pack mid first beat. The fleet then had several place changes throughout the race with Simon Flack & Barry Swanston quickly getting used to the Cirrus and had a great race with Wyatt Orsmond & Patrick Billlington in their new Goodall C2. With an increase to the breeze, the Hurricane 5.9 sx with it’s Irish Aussie pair were flying. Wyatt pipped them at the post to secure his first bullet. Swannie and Jenni Brittain were 3rd. Again in Race 2, the pattern was set with the Orsmond/Billlington and Flack/Swanston leading the way with very competitive sailing throughout the race. Simon Flack settled to the Cirrus and pulled off a great first place.

Sunday – Race 3, 4, 5 & 6
Sunday sore heads woke to a much more benign weather picture with Carlingford looking its glorious best: a gentle southerly 4knots to 8knots the forecast. We all sailed out in sparkling 10-12 knots kites up in bright sunshine!

With the wind freshening racing was tight in both the C1 and C2 fleets. Flack/Swanston again came out on top with Orsmond/Billlington in 2nd place and Shane & Matthew Hatton coming in 3rd again. Race 4 (triangle course again) the wind was now a steadyish 15- 18 knots, with the tidal influences beginning to take effect. The judging of lay line was proving critical both upwind and downwind. Swanston was boxed out whilst leading at the start finish gate and the leaders then misjudging the downwind gybing angles to allow the fleet to group together for a frantic last high speed lap! David Biddulf sailing with newbie to cats Stephen Magee had an incredibly close race with Si and Baz to win by 1 second with Wyatt in the C2 snapping at their heels 19 secs behind. Race 5 (windward–leeward) the Flack/Swanston and Orsmond/Billlington flew away in this race with only seconds separating them, throughout Flack/Swanston winning by only 11 seconds! The Aussi Hurricane 5.9SX showing some blistering pace up wind and down unfortunately having some gear failure lead to a clearing of the heads! The Shockwave in third place again. Race 6 belonged to Wyatt and Paddy in their C2 leading from start to finish. Swannie and Jenni showed some great pace in the breeze to have a dingdong battle with Si and Baz the battling Jenni (girlfriend) beating the master of the hoist baz (boyfriend) to the fill the kite and powered over the Cirrus at the spreader mark. The battle continued to the last beat when just as the Shocker rolled the Cirrus Swannie’s mainsheet broke!

The white sail boats had close racing between Dermott Mangan (dad) in his amazing Catapult and Neil Mangan (son) with Simon Griffin as crew on their Dart16. Both gaining excellent overall placing under S.C.H.R.S. They may have done even better with a longer second leg to the gybe mark improving the angle between the marks. So overall went to Simon Flack and Barry Swanston by one point. Great racing! C2 fleet was won by Neil Mangan from the evergreen Dermot Mangan. Travellers Trophy was won by Wyatt.

Published in Racing

#f18 – The F18 Catamaran podium may have looked settled even if the positions had not been agreed with 3 races to go. Belfast Lough offered a minefield today for the competitors to make their way through in light variable wind, and unfortunately the young Americans were the first to falter.

Race 1 (13) saw Glenn Ashby and Brett Goodall power away from the pin end of the line while the committee boat side had little breeze. Those that tacked off to clear air or try the right hand side of the course got left behind and this included USA team Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead. Girvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot rounded the windward mark in the top 5 while Gunnar Larsen and Ferdinand van West got caught up in the traffic behind.

Ashby/Goodall went on to secure the first of three bullets for the final day. Who know's what their overall position might have been without the hull damage on Day 3. Bontemps/ Amiot closed the gap on Larsen/ van West but Reiss/ Whitehead were now looking at third place.

Race 2 (14) saw Bontemps/ Amiot again get in front of Larsen/ van West until the last downward leg but Gunnar somehow got in front before the finish.

In the final race (15), a shift at the start and light winds on the left hand course stranded half of the fleet. Simon (Nobby) Northrop/Josh O'Brien and Grant Piggot/Simon Farren restored a bit of pride for GBR leading into the windward mark. Larsen/ van West emerged from the middle of the fleet and worked their way into 2nd place behind Ashby/Goodall with Bontemps/ Amiot back in the fleet with Reiss/ Whitehead.

After 14 years of competing in F18s, Gunnar Larsen was finally World Champion with Ferdinand van West.

At the prize giving, Gunnar thanked the sponsors North Down Tourism and Northern Ireland Tourist Board for a great event. He also congratulated Event Chairman David Taylor and Race Officer Bill O'Hara and all 160 volunteers. This was the first time all 15 races were sailed in the World Championship with great racing, weather and race management, the hospitality was second to none and the welcome from Northern Ireland surpassed previous World Championships. It may be a long time before Ballyholme YC see another F18 World Championship but he recommended any class to come here and enjoy the craic.

F18 Results:
1. Gunnar Larsen and Ferdinand van West NED
2. Girvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot FRA
3. Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead USA (1st Junior)
4. Morgan La Graviere and Armaud Jarlegan FRA
5. Tim Mourniac and Jean Christophe Mourniac FRA

6. Lois Berrehar and Hugo el Pomellac FRA (2nd Junior)
9. Robert Solune and Riwan Perron FRA (3rd Junior)
10. Helge and Christian Sach GER (1st Master)
20. William Sunnucks and Freddie White GBR (2nd Master)
21. Grant Piggott and Simon Farren GBR (3rd Master)
22. Sven Lindstadt and Marne Odefey GER (1st Mixed)

Published in Racing

#f18 - After the heroics of the last two days, the crews of the F18 breathed a sigh of relief when they woke up. Day 4 of the F18 World Championship at Ballyholme Yacht Club, Northern Ireland offered light winds and sunshine and the Race Committee managed to squeeze in three races before the wind died.

In the first race of the day (Race 10), Lois Breeder/Hugo Pomellac and Robert Solune/Riwan Perron showed that the French Junior teams also have plenty of boat speed, with the American Junior team of Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead coming in third.

After swapping hulls over night with the damage yesterday, Glenn Ashby and Brett Goodall returned to form in the second race (Race 11) winning in front of France's Thomas Normand and Antoine Jalbert. Tim and Jean Christophe Mourniac came in third and also again in the last race of the day, moving up to 5th overall.

Normand/Jalbert were a little too keen to repeat their new-found success and were the only boat OCS in Race 12. Emeric Dary and David Fanouillere came in second instead, but it was Gunnar Larsen and Ferdinand van West who lead the way home and moved into first place overall.

For others, the dying wind proved a little tricky and English crew Ben Lodge and Niall McLoughlin decided to park on one of the gate marks, hulls either side, while the rest of the fleet sailed past.

The F18 World Championship comes to a climax tomorrow with 3 more races scheduled and light winds forecast again. With only 10 points separating the top 3, everything is still up for grabs.

1. Gunnar Larsen and Ferdinand van West NED 38pts
2. Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead (Junior) USA 42pts
3. Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot (FRA) 49pts
4. Morgan La Graviere and Armaud Jarlegan (FRA) 78pts
5. Tim and Jean Christophe Mourniac (FRA) 81pts
6. Robert Solune and Riwan Perron (Junior) FRA 89pts

Published in Racing

#F18worlds – As promised, Northern Ireland offered glorious sunshine, waves and a steady 16-18 knots on Day 3 of the 2014 F18 World Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club. With only 1 minor course change all day, the Ballyholme Yacht Club Committee Boat was able to run another 4 races to be on schedule writes Mark Mackey.

We're not sure if Florida offers similar conditions to Bangor but the USA Youth team of Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead excelled today with 5,2,2,1 and moved into first place overall with a small lead over Gunnar Larsen and Ferdinand van West.

The French crews also showed their pedigree through the day filling the top 4 places in Race 6. Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot have menacingly appeared on the leaderboard with 1,3,3,3 today.

After looking forward to today's action, title contenders Glenn Ashby and Brett Goodall unfortunately hit a floating object (suspected plank of wood) at full speed on the first race of the day and damaged their port hull. With only 6 races to go but their boat fixed (it helps that the crew is the boat builder), it will take a superhuman effort to get back to a respectable score.

Meanwhile at the other end of the fleet there was lots of action - local crew Richard Swanston and Matt McNicholl pitchpoled in front of the finish line (ala Devon Loch), Gislain Melanie fell out of the boat crossing the finish line and Chris Brooks had to convince his new crew member "English" Dave Anderson to let go of the bow as he was dragged up the beat. Thankfully Dave missed the Dolphin striker between the hulls and was picked up behind by the Safety Boat.

There are two days of racing left but the wind looks to drop a little tomorrow. We will see whether the young Americans can keep their form.

1. Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead
2. Gunnar Larsen and Ferdinand van West
3. Grumman Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot
4. Morgan La Graviere and Armaud Jarlegan
5. Patrick Demesmaeker and Klass Victor

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#f18s– The F18's experienced 3 seasons today in Bangor, Northern Ireland at the 2014 F18 World Championships. After last night's Ballyholme Yacht Club "home hospitality" and with a few sore heads, the day started off with little wind and vertical rain. Thankfully the forecasted breeze and sunshine started to set in just as the fleet went afloat, and the day finished with 20 knots, sunshine and rolling waves.

After only 1 race yesterday, the fleet were a little eager resulting in 2 general recalls and the resultant black flag start when everyone got away clean in just 6 knots of breeze.

Despite the delay and being ferried out to the start in a high powered Rib, local helm Adrian Allen was still four minutes late for the start having had to go to his daughter's graduation this morning at Queens University. 

Most of the fleet plumped for the right side of the course and GBR's Grant Piggot and Simon Farren found themselves first at the windward mark with a large lead over FRA Rouges/Souben and GER Tonne/Sunnocks. With a 20 degree shift to the right, a mark boat was positioned below the gate to signal a course change starboard and shortened.

Unfortunately Grant mistook this for a shortened course and proceeded to the finish line under spinnaker where he dropped it and turned to watch the others off up the beat. He somehow managed to regain first place by the next windward but had lost the lead and on the run was passed by Patrick Demesmaeker and Klass Victor from Royal Belgium Sailing Club followed by the French Mourniac's and the German Sach brothers.

Thankfully by Race 3, the fleet decided that they were fed up with general recalls and everyone got away cleanly. Still in light winds, it was the turn of the a clean youth team from Florida - Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead - to show the rest of fleet a clean pair of hulls and lead the way home from the first mark. The Sachs brothers backed up their earlier light wind showing to take second and the overall lead.

A little more wind for Race 4 got things a bit excited. Gunnar Larsen and Ferdinand van West were clean first off the start line followed out by Reiss/Whitehead over to the left.

Unfortunately for Glenn Asby and Brett Goodall, a Dutch boat barged in below them forcing them head to wind at the Committee Boat and having to gybe off and find clean air behind the rest of the fleet. At the other end two French boats bounced off the pin end mark boat onto port and then took out the Irish crew of Dermot McHugh and Siobhan Keogh. More wind on the left saw many of the boats coming into the windward mark on port although the extra power made "threading the needle" and finding a gap more easy than normal. As the breeze started to build there were a few flogging kites on the downwind legs but Larsen/ van West showed their pedigree to finish ahead of the French crews of Lois Breeder and Hugo le Pomellec, followed the Mourniac family.

First Irish boat home in Race 4 was local crew Andrew Gallagher and Michael Gunning despite being squeezed out at the final mark by a boat coming in on port and having to crash gybe on the wong side of the course. Unfortunately the protest committee didn't agree that their shout of protest was within the allotted 3 seconds - something to learn for next time. Another visit to the protest room saw the Finnish crew first withdraw their original protest and then be told that they hand't completed the course properly as they had capsized at the bottom mark and drifted past it rounding the other "gate" mark instead of rerounding the original one. More learning points.

A fouth race of the day, Race 5 saw gust of up to 20 knots and everyone twin wiring. The Finnish crew found themselves on the wrong side of the start line but everyone else got away clean. Morgan La Graviere and Armaud Jarlegan from Nantes found themselves first in front of Glenn Ashby and Brett Goodall at the windward mark. By the downwind gate Larsen/Van West squeezed ahead of the Australians. Adrian Allen and Barry Swanston were leading the local fleet while many were pitchpoling and capsizing. Others were breaking rudders while one unfortunate crew discovered the "salami slicer" with a suspected broken arm.

At the end of the second day with 5 races, Larsen/ van West leads from Ashby/Goodall and the young Americans Reiss/ Whitehead. Tomorrow's forecast looks set for more of the final conditions with 15-20 knots, rolling seas and sunshine. America's Cup sailor Glenn Ashby was heard to bemoan the length of the course today hoping for something a bit shorter tomorrow. Unusually for a crew, Brett however is "loving it' and just can't wait!

Published in Racing

#f18worlds – Ballyholme Yacht Club woke up to champagne conditions on Day 1 of the 55–boat F18 World Championship this morning. As the fleet took to the water, however, the wind began to drop and swing around, providing a challenge for the race committee.

Full results downloadable below.

A couple of attempted starts had to be postponed as the wind swung around. The Committee boat moved positions several times as local winds filled in from different directions. After a delay of 3 hours and a general recall, the race finally got underway with a black flag to keep the eager competitors away from the line. The Argeninian crew Ian Rodger and Pablo Volker got squeezed at the starboard (right hand) end of the line almost colliding with the committee boat.

It was the French son and father team of Tim and Jean Christophe Mourniac who managed to work their way up to the windward mark first followed by fellow countrymen Morgan La Graviere and Arnaud Jarlegan. Jean Christophe is a long time professional catamaran sailor but had given the helm this week to his son. Close behind were the Dutch team of Gunnar Larson and Ferdinand van West followed by Australia's Glenn Ashby and Brett Goodall. Local crew Adrian Allen and Barry Swanston rounded in a very credible 6th position but struggled in the second downwind leg in light and patchy conditions to finish 40th. The top teams had their problems as well and the second round saw the fight for first place with Larsen/ van West taking pole position into the second windward mark, followed closely by Ashby/Goodall.

The breeze started to die as they made their way into the finish but Larson/Van West held their first place through the line, followed by Ashby/Goodall in second and the German team of Helge and Christian Sachs in third.

The Committee boat tried to squeeze in the second of three races scheduled as the wind started to fill in. A 30 degree windshift however persuaded them to abandon racing for the day. Hopefully we will have steadier breezes tomorrow.

The first start is scheduled for 11:30 tomorrow with 3 races planned. The public are invited to come down to Bangor and watch the racing.

Published in Racing

#f18 – After 4 years of preparation, the F18 World Championships are finally here. The dinghy parks at Ballyholme Yacht Club are full of International sailors with their catamarans getting measured and weighed for registration. This morning we had the Radio Ulster team down for a broadcast on the Good Morning Ulster radio program with Irish F18 representative Adrian Allen and F18 Competitor and America's Cup sailor Glenn Ashby telling the locals to come down and watch the event. They were also asked for their predictions on the World Cup match later on this afternoon which will be screened in the club - Glenn favoured France while Adrian pitched for Germany. We'll see later.

The Opening Ceremony will be held in Ward Park on Sunday 6th July at 6.00pm with a procession of flags from the 14 visiting countries, a welcome from North Down Mayor Peter Martin and F18 President Olivier Boyvn and some Irish dancing. There is live music in the afternoon at the Ward Park Bandstand from 4.00 - 6.00pm. Everyone is very welcome to attend.

It has been a quick twelve months since Alison Stobie from North Down Tourism travelled with Adrian, crew Barry Swanston and BYC Rear Commodore Mark Mackey to Marina di Grossetto, Italy to launch the 2014 event and "collect the baton" from the 2013 event team. Their Opening Ceremony was great craic with thousands of spectators, and as always we hope to increase the fun here in Bangor. North Down Tourism had a great display at the 2013 Worlds, giving out 300 T shirts to competitors from across the world who all now know of Bangor and our hospitality. Alison even managed to get on local TV on the water with one of the local Italian celebrities.

There has been a huge amount of effort by Adrian Allen, Event Chairman David Taylor and his team of BYC members getting the Club and Parks ready, and the Ballyhome Yacht Club Executive in planning for this event. We must also thank North Down Borough Council for their huge support both financially and in organising this great event, as well as NITB and all of our other sponsors.

There is a practice race in the afternoon on Sunday 6th July at 13:30 before the Opening Ceremony. Racing will be held as close to the shore as practical in keeping with modern racing. Spectators should be able to watch the racing from Seacliff Road, Bangor and the "Sunken Gardens" beside Ballyholme Yacht Club. Official racing starts at 11:00 on Monday 7th July.

Published in Racing

#F18 – Ballyholme Yacht Club is the host for this summer's prestigious F18 catamaran World Championships as Afloat first reported last July. The event will be sailed on Belfast Lough and is one of the largest in Ireland this year and runs from 4th till 11th July.

The Worlds will attract 120 multihulls and crew and this contingent, together with their managers, trainers, friends and family will bring over 500 visitors to North Down. Local competitors include Adrian Allen and Richard Swanston.

The F18 is a fast catamaran with a spinnaker and double trapeze crewed by two people and is a fully International Sailing Federation (ISAF) recognised class with large fleets all over the world. The class is made up of over 50% professional and semi-professional sailors including World Champions, Olympians and major event winners.

Ballyholme Yacht Club is highly experienced in running events of this magnitude and is delighted to have club member Bill O'Hara as Principal Race Officer. Bill is an Independent Sports Professional and an Olympian, who is currently Rules Coach for the Irish Sailing Association and Principal Race Officer for the Volvo Ocean Race. The club has among its members three World Champions and 11 Olympic sailors.

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#F18 – Adrian Allen and Barry Swanston from Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough competed last week at the F18 Worlds in Marina di Grosseto on the west coast of Tuscany, Italy. They travelled as top ranking boat in Ireland with great expectations but little experience recently of large start lines and competing against large numbers of other F18 catamarans. Ballyholme Yacht Club will host the 2014 World Championship in July 2014, and the team plus Mark Mackey, Rear Commodore at Ballyholme Yacht Club, were looking at every detail of the organisation, planning for this huge event next year.

F18 catamarans are a level formula of dinghy catamarans bringing together up to 10 different makes and designs sailed by a number of profession teams including Olympian (silver and bronze medallist) and America's Cup helmsman Mitch Booth, the recent Vendee Globe winner Francois Gabart (who finished here in 4th) and many other world champions. The fleet is dominated by the French, German, Dutch and Italian fleets through there were 26 countries competing with a large number from South America and Australia and a first entrant from Oman who have started their own professional team in a bid to host the event in several years and also to use sailing to promote female equality. The fleets are sailed by male teams - young and old, female teams and mixed crews with a minimum weight for the larger sail plan or a lighter weight with a smaller jib and spinnaker.

180 boats were expected although a few may not have got through the Mont Blanc tunnel and only 161 arrived. Most were through qualification in their various countries though the event was eventually opened out and a number of extra English teams took the opportunity to join the fun. Races were to be sailed over 5 days with the plan for 2 days of qualification before the fleet was split into gold and silver fleets with 3 races per day.

After three days of boat measurement and scrutiny at the yacht club and a practice race, the competitors got together on Sunday evening for the opening ceremony with a flag procession through the town enthusiastically applauded by hundreds if not thousands of local spectators to the Marina. The other Irish team's - Dermot and Siobhan - daughter Emma took the mantle of carrying the Irish flag although by the end Barry had to take over and carried it into the arena. Speehes followed from the town mayor, main sponsors - Bank of Maremma and a local wine supplier owned by Ernesto Bertarelli's sister in law, many other dignateries and the Compagnia della Vela Grosseto yacht club "president" Marco Borioni.

Racing was held close to the shore of Marina di Grosseto so that spectators could get a great view of the action. The wind continually shifted throughout the week with an offshore breeze competing against the sea breeze and the first day got off to a slow start with racing postponed at the start due to competitors getting to grips with getting afloat on a sandy beach. Racing at Marina di Grosseto ensures warm weather, mainly great breeze of 15 knots or more, sunshine but also fantastic thunderstorms and lightning at 5 o'clock for a couple of days every two weeks which clashed with the start of the competition, and only allowed 1 race on the first day, 3 on the second and qualifying finally finished with 2 races on the third day. By then the Irish boats had realised how difficult mixing with the professionals was, and Adrian had also found that a leak in his boat was letting in water meaning that good starts were difficult to maintain by the end.

The final series started on Thursday with 4 races sailed. At the end of the first day, recent French champion Billy Besson had moved into the lead with Hugh Styles close behind. Another favourite Mishca Heemskerk had to retire from race 3 ending his hopes even though he won the final race. On Thursday night, the team from Ballyholme YC supported by Alison Stobie from North Down Borough Council held a very successful launch of the 2014 event at the yacht club with free T shirts for the competitors, visitors packs, DVD's and more. Many of the competitors left their email addresses for further details of Bangor 2014. Marina di Grosseto was suddenly covered in people wearing the new 2014F18Worlds logo and NDBC Tourism logo on the reverse side.

On the final day the wind dropped for the first time to 5-10 knots and sometimes lighter. Having dominated Thursday, the French sailor began today at the top of the standings and then proved more than capable of not only controlling his closest rival Hugh Styles in the final three Formula 18 World Championship races but also of taking home one win and one second position, which meant he barely gave the Englishman an inch. This was the perfect ending for the French duo who take home the title after a week that saw them go from strength to strength from day one and ending on 26 points. That was a good 19 points less than Hugh Styles and Richard Mason (45 points) who, nonetheless, proved their worth on the water by keeping the pressure on the French duo until the very last tack. This earned the Brits a very well deserved silver medal which they made their own with a very steady series of good results.

Mitch Booth and his son Jordi also showed the same kind of consistency in their performances in the final two days' sailing. After a less than brilliant start in the qualifiers, which they finished in seventh position, the father and son team delivered a string of results that saw them move all the way up to the third step of the podium on last day of racing with a total of 61 points. An enormously satisfying achievement for Mitch and 16 year old Jordi who was competing in his first international event.

The Silver fleet, however, was very much an Italian-dominated affair with Vaccari/Meoli taking victory. Mitch and Jordi Booth also won the Masters category while Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead (USA 888) won the Youth and Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet (FRA 33) the Mixed.

The Silver fleet got only 2 races on the final day after a number of general recalls across all starts. Unfortunately Adrian and Barry, who had climbed the results table on Thursday, came unstuck when in 10th place when their spinnaker halyard strop broke and they had to retire to the beach for repairs. Both Irish boats finished the last race together with Adrian and Barry finishing 31st and Dermot and Siobhan 65th. Our new Italian friend and great character Manuel Vaccari and his crew Allesandro Meoli won the Silver fleet overall.

The prize giving was held in the marquee at the end of racing with lots of champagne Formula 1 style. International F18 president Olivier Bovyn thanked the local club's volunteers and the International race officers and jury for their great organisation. Compagnia della Vella is only 7 years old as a yacht club and will host the RS Feva worlds the week after the F18's which is incredible, especially as the current management board has only been in place for 3 years. The premises were only usable on the bottom floor which finished refitting 3 months ago. They do have the benefit of a very large car park and beach on which to keep the boats.

Much to the delight of everyone involved in working on the event, the Formula 18 Worlds is already looking forward to the next edition in Ireland in 2014. The organisers, in fact, came to the Maremma for the symbolic passing of the baton between the Compagnia della Vela Grosseto, represented by president Marco Borioni, and Ballyholme Yacht Club represented by Rear Commodore Mark Mackey.

Many thanks were given by Mark Mackey for the very friendly welcome he and the Irish team had received in Marina di Grossto and the hospitality shown especially on the final day when Marco entertained them all day on his rib and eventually on the race committee boat during the final race.

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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


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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