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With a personal best achieved in the Finn European Championships in 2020, the hope was that Donaghadee Sailing Club sailor Oisin McClelland would make a further improvement in Vilamoura, Portugal this week at the 2021 championships, an important milestone on his road to the Finn Gold Cup, (the final Tokyo Olympic Qualifier), next month in which he seeks to gain the last spot in Tokyo for Ireland.

But apart from a solid sixth place taken in race six, McClelland was, unfortunately, unable to improve on his 23rd spot at the Polish 2020 Euros and finished 33rd overall in a fleet of 49 yesterday.

Next month's Gold Cup is also in Portugal and as previously reported on Afloat, McClelland is determined to finish this quadrennial on a high: "My primary goal is to qualify for Tokyo, it's the goal I have built this campaign around and I set out to achieve in 2016. However, that aside, this may be the last Finn Gold Cup held as an Olympic class I would really like to achieve a great result overall. I've made good progress despite the tough year, systematically targeting weaknesses and building them into strengths. I look forward to testing this in May." He adds: "Give me the right conditions I can achieve some top-level race results, my focus going into the regatta is to combine the progress in each area of my training from the past three years and achieve the best result I can."

Zsombor Berecz successfully retained the Championship after a consistent, confident and conclusive display on the waters of Vilamoura over the past week.

The Hungarian never put a foot wrong and achieved a level of consistency unmatched by the fleet and then put the pedal to the metal when it mattered to win with a race to spare.

Giles Scott’s return to Finn sailing after six months off with the INEOS Team UK America’s Cup team was also a triumph. A shaky start for the Brit was followed by a few classic Scott moments but he did just enough to fend off the massive challenge from the ever-confident young sailors knocking on his transom.

With the pressure on and the finish line in sight, Switzerland’s Nil Theuninck rose to the challenge to dominate the final race and secure the bronze, the first Finn European medal for Switzerland for over 30 years.

Spain’s Joan Cardona was largely unchallenged for the U23 European title, his third in a row, but fourth overall reinforces his ability and determination ahead of the final Olympic qualification event next month.

Berecz won his first Finn European title last year in Gdynia, Poland.

He said, “I think the trophy likes me. It was in very bad condition last year and I fixed it and now it’s in great shape again, so we like each other. It was a very tough week but consistency again paid off and I am very happy to win it again as it’s a great trophy.”

“I’m also very happy to be part of the Finn family and I think that’s the great thing in Finn sailing, not so much the boat itself, but the people who are sailing the boat.”

Published in Tokyo 2020

Donaghadee's Olympic campaigner Oisin McClelland has had a difficult start to the opening four races of the 2021 Open and U23 Finn European Championship in Vilamoura, Portugal and is currently placed in the bottom quarter of his 49-boat fleet.

The Ulster sailor will be keen to improve his performance as the event reaches its halfway point today. The next six races of the series that conclude on Friday are critical given this is McClelland's last big race opportunity before the final Olympic test next month at the Finn Gold Cup where he is aiming to take an Olympic berth for Ireland in Tokyo this Summer.

The solo sailor has previously found great form at European Championships, for example in 2018, when McClelland finished just outside the top third on a 91-boat fleet in Cadiz as Afloat reported here.

A start at the 2021 Open and U23 Finn European Championship in Vilamoura, PortugalA start at the 2021 Open and U23 Finn European Championship in Vilamoura, Portugal

Cardona in serious form

Joan Cardona, the defending U23 European Champion from Spain, showed some serious form on the second day of the event. Cardona is one of the world’s most exciting emerging sailing talents, and today won both races in a fleet packed with some of the best Olympic sailors in the world.

He leads the 49 boat fleet from 29 nine nations after four races. Hungary’s Zsombor Berecz drops to second while Croatia’s Milan Vujasinovic climbs to third.

Cardona has already made his mark elsewhere in the sport. He won the 2020 eSailing World Championship and is a member of the Spanish SailGP team, but his Olympic career could be over before it even starts, having no chance to sail another boat due to his physique.

“I feel like the Finn class has so much more to offer me, but if it is not Olympic any more my Olympic dream will end at the age of 22.”

He dominated the racing on Tuesday, always in the mix and making the breaks count.

The left side of the course was popular in Race 3. After a clear start in around 9 knots, most of the fleet headed left but the leaders at the top were those who came back on a long port tack about half way up. France’s Jonathan Lobert was first round from Cardona and Vujasinovic.

In an increased wind, with free pumping, a good swell and nice waves the good sailors were able to get going downwind and stretch out a lead. Lobert and Cardona extended while Nils Theuninck, from Switzerland, pulled up to fourth at the gate. There were also big gains from Jorge Zarif, from Brazil, Max Salminen, Sweden, and Oskari Muhohen, from Finland. Regatta leader Berecz also moved through the fleet.

On the final upwind, the leaders played the left and most of the fleet followed, so not much changed. The wind dropped to 8-9 knots on the final downwind, with a huge spread across the course trying to find more breeze. The leaders separated by over 600 metres at times with Cardona passing Lobert on the right and Theuninck leading the left. It was a close finish but Cardona crossed just ahead, while Lobert finished third.

Race 4 got away first time in slightly less wind at about 8 knots and again the left was favoured. Those who got the better starts led to the left and crossed back ahead. At the top it was Vujasinovic, Taavi Valter Taveter from Estonia, Lobert, Brazil’s Jorge Zarif and Cardona.

There were still some waves left over from the morning, but no free pumping and those who gybed away down the middle made some gains downwind. The leading group of six arrived at the gate almost together with Vujasinovic still leading.

While the group went left again on the final upwind, a later right shift brought a few a boats through the fleet, with Antoine Devineau, from France, in particular gaining around 15 places. However the front group emerged unscathed, with Cardona now leading, and set off for the finish in just 6-7 knots of wind.

On the final run Cardona pulled out a nice lead from Vujasinovic, who crossed second while Nicholas Heiner, from The Netherlands, recovered to third.

Day 2

After a high scoring first day, Lobert picked up a third and a fourth, the second best score of the day behind Cardona.

Lobert said, “Pretty happy with my day. Yesterday was a terrible day for me. I was a bit rusty from racing and I sailed too conservatively. Today I decided to trust myself more and sail the shift as I saw them. I was leading almost all the first race but on the last downwind I lost Joan and Nils coming back with the pressure. On the second race I kept the same mood and I crossed the finish in fourth. It a very good day but most of all I am getting my confidence back.”

Winning two races at a major Finn championship doesn’t happen very often, but today for Cardona it all came together.

“Today was a really good day for me. I really like those conditions of about 8-12 knots and choppy waves. I had a really good speed upwind and downwind and took really good decisions in key moments. I am really enjoying being on the water with such a great fleet and such tight racing.”

Following the news this week that World Sailing consider there is a distinct possibility the offshore keelboat option will be rejected by the IOC for 2024, the prospect exists again that the Finn could be included for Paris 2024 after all.

Cardona explained how this decision would affect him.

“For me it would be a life changer if the Finn class makes it to the next Olympics. I am still U23 and did not manage to qualify to the Olympics yet.”

He is still one of the youngest sailors here but is showing great form in one of the toughest fleets in the world.

“This fleet is so talented that taking all of us out from the Olympics, it's a really big loss for the sport of sailing. I really hope the Finn class can stay Olympic for much more time.”

Racing in Vilamoura is scheduled to continue at 12.00 on Wednesday.

Results after 4 races

1 ESP 26 Joan CARDONA 21
2 HUN 40 Zsombor BERECZ 27
3 CRO 369 Milan VUJASINOVIC 28
4 TUR 21 Alican KAYNAR 44
5 CAN 18 Thomas RAMSHAW 51
6 SWE 33 Max SALMINEN 52
7 GBR 71 Henry WETHERELL 56
8 NED 89 Nicholas HEINER 58
9 GBR 41 Giles SCOTT 58
10 SUI 1 Nils THEUNINCK 59

Full results here

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Tokyo Olympic solo sailor campaigner Oisin McClelland of Donaghadee in Northern Ireland is among the entries for the 2021 Open and U23 Finn European Championship that gets underway in Vilamoura, Portugal, this morning with around 49 sailors from 29 nations competing.

Over the coming week, 10 races are scheduled up to Friday 16 April.

It's the penultimate regatta in McClelland's long road to qualifying Ireland in the Finn, a heavy weight men's class that McClelland has been campaigning since 2015. 

McClelland of Donaghadee has secured several results with the top 32 Worlds, 23 in the 2020 Europeans and a credible 8th in Kieler Week.

Portugal will host the Finn Gold Cup early this May and McClelland, which will be a big event for McClelland. It will not only determine the 2021 Finn world champion but also the final two places at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

There are two places left to decide, one European place and one African place to complete the fleet taking part in the Games.

This week though, it's all about preparation for that do or die May event with sailors from around the globe now rigged up and ready to race in Portugal.

The furthest travelled for this event and taking part in his first major Finn event since 2019, is Jake Lilley, from Australia.

“It’s really nice to re-connect after an extended period away. It was great action when we were all together for the Gold Cup in Melbourne, so I’m really looking forward to more racing at the Euros and Gold Cup in Portugal this year.”

While he has not been racing in world quality fleets as usual, he has been able to train in large fleets in Australia

“Training in Australia has always presented its blessing in the Finn. We have beautiful conditions year round and the fleet is really thriving Down Under. My home club (RQYS) has 40 boats alone. It was amazing to be racing weekends with 30+ guys when the rest of the world was in lockdown. So it’s a bit of a disconnected feeling to what everyone else has had to go through.”

“I’m also super lucky with coach Rafa [Trujillo] and Finn legend, Anthony Nossiter, throwing their righting moment around for the long upwind slogs in domestic training. I think having the old school smarts and the help from two heroes is a beautiful thing and puts us in really good stead with speed and preparation. So it’s just up to me to put it all together on the racetrack now.”

Two of the British sailors have come almost direct from the America’s Cup in New Zealand. While Giles Scott, is preparing to defend his Olympic title in Tokyo in August, INEOS Team UK grinder, Ben Cornish, is also back in a Finn for a while, though he says it’s not a comeback.

“Giles asked if I could come and do some training with him, in his compact build-up the Olympics this summer. Of course I couldn’t say no.”

“It’s certainly not a comeback for me, but it’s a rare opportunity to compete in the Finn for pure enjoyment. Having been on the grinding wheel with the America’s Cup at INEOS Team UK for the past three years it’s refreshing to be thinking about ‘conventional’ racing and decision making, and of course with so many people I enjoyed racing over the past years.”

Cornish, who dropped out of his Olympic campaign and joined INEOS Team UK after the decision to drop the Finn from 2024 is expecting a very high standard of competition. “It’s clear to see that people have spent a lot of time training this winter and beyond through lockdowns. As we know people are looking to find form in Olympic year so I expect to see some strong results within the fleet.”

“I hope the venue delivers some good racing conditions and everyone can have an enjoyable week out on the race course.”

Published in Tokyo 2020

Following this week’s cancellation of the French Olympic Week, in Hyères, of which the Finn Open and U23 European Championships was included, the International Finn Class has accepted an offer from the Vilamoura Sailing Center to host the event over the same dates, which remain 10-16 April.

The event is a crucial competition ahead of the all-important Finn Gold Cup, three weeks later in Porto in northern Portugal, which is the final continental qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where the last places for Africa and Europe will be decided.

With many sailors training over the winter in Lanzarote or Cadiz, Vilamoura was a logical option to limit further travel around Europe in these uncertain times. Vilamoura will also provide excellent preparation for the many sailors still trying to qualify their country for Tokyo, with similar conditions and the same format.

The Finn class feels very fortunate to have had a number of high quality offers to help out and stage the championship at such short notice, including the Andalusian Sailing Federation Training Centre in Cádiz, Spain, which also held the 2018 European Championship.

Balazs Hajdu, President of the International Finn Association commented, “We are very grateful to all those who offered to host our Europeans at short notice and are very happy to accept the proposal from Vilamoura in what is a very important period for many Finn sailors as they prepare for the crucial Finn Gold Cup in nearby Porto.”

“For the team in Vilamoura to put together a championship of this importance in just a few days gives us confidence that our sailors will have a great and fair championship.”

The class is eagerly looking forward to its first visit to Vilamoura since the highly successful European Championship in 1998.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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The RYANI has congratulated Donaghadee sailor Oisin McClelland on his strong showing at the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami last week.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Finn sailor from Northern Ireland finished fourth, just shy of the podium, after Saturday’s (25 January) medal race on Biscayne Bay.

RYANI chief operating officer Richard Honeyford said: “Oisin sailed well throughout the week in Miami. He secured three top three finishes in the 10-race series and really showed his skill in the stronger breeze.

“While he narrowly missed out on the bronze and a podium place in the end, Oisin’s hard work and training throughout the year really paid off.

“He is a fantastic role model for our young sailors and at RYANI we look forward to supporting Oisin as he continues in his campaign for the Tokyo Olympics.”

McClelland will have one more last chance to claim a spot in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics at the final European qualifier, the Hempel World Cup series event in Genoa, Italy from 11 April.

Northern Ireland’s Oisin McClelland was resurgent on the waters of Biscayne Bay yesterday (Saturday 25 January) but finished just shy of the podium after the Finn medal race at the Hempel World Cup Series Miami.

The Donaghadee Sailing Club stalwart finished fifth in the final, ahead of Luke Muller of the USA whose points total over the week was enough to secure the bronze for himself.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, American Caleb Paine had already won Finn gold ahead of the weekend with his unassailable lead over Canada’s Kyle Martin, who took the silver medal and finished second in yesterday’s race.

McClelland will have his last chance to claim a spot in this summer's Tokyo Olympics at the Hempel World Cup series event in Genoa, Italy from 11 April.

Yesterday's Finn medal race can be watched back in full below:

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Northern Ireland’s Oisin McClelland was off form on Friday (24 January) on Biscayne Bay as two seventh-place finishes saw him slip from the third place he’d held in recent days to fourth overall, heading into the Finn medal race at the Hempel World Cup Series event today (Saturday 25 January).

The fifth and final day of fleet racing wrapped up with the light breeze posing more challenges for the 182 sailors from 45 nations across the 470, RS:X, Laser, Laser Radial and Finn fleets — and testing the nerves of those with so much at stake.

Friday’s weather forecast was mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid-20s C. The breeze was on the low end throughout the day in the 5-6 knot range, and prompted a lengthy postponement in the afternoon, following which only the Finns were able to complete their racing schedule.

However, Caleb Paine of the United States has already won Finn gold ahead of the medal race as he has an unassailable lead over Canada’s Kyle Martin.

Across the 10-race series, Paine has taken five race wins and four seconds. An 11th in Race 9 yesterday was his worst score of the week. Martin of Canada won Race 10 and now stands in second place. while Luke Muller (USA), who is even on points with Martin, is in third.

McClelland of Donaghadee Sailing Club now stands in fourth, three points behind Muller in the overall Finn standings, following his worst performance of the week after Race 1, since which he’d consistently finished in the top five (excepting a discarded eighth in Race 8) and even scored a first place in Race 6.

But overall his week in south Florida is sure to boost his confidence going into the Genoa World Cup and the European continental spot for the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

“I’m 100% focused on that and this event is a good warm-up,” he said earlier this week.

Today’s medal races will be available to watch live on YouTube starting just after 9am in Miami (2pm in Ireland), with the Finns currently scheduled to start at 11.24am local time (4.24pm Irish time).

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Northern Ireland’s Oisin McClelland maintains third place in the Finn class at the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami as cold temperatures, wind chill, rain, strong breeze, and more typical South Florida conditions challenged the 182 sailors from 45 nations yesterday (Thursday 23 January).

The challenge has been real on Biscayne Bay and this has created exciting racing and a level of unpredictability adding more intrigue to the annual Olympic class regatta.

Heading into Day 4’s racing yesterday, the Finn, Laser, Laser Radial and Men’s and Women’s 470 had completed six races, while the Men’s and Women’s RS:X finished nine.

However, the breeze failed to co-operate for most of Thursday, as rain showers sporadically dampened the sailing venue, and racing was limited after lengthy postponements.

American Caleb Paine won his fourth race of the regatta in Race 7 of the Finn class. He was third in Race 8 and leads by 17 points over Luke Muller (USA). Oisin McClelland of Donaghadee Sailing Club holds on to third, just two points behind Muller.

Meanwhile, the RS:X women and men managed just one race each, as did the Laser class. There was no racing in the Laser Radial or the 470 fleets.

Additional races are scheduled for the 470, Laser Radial and Laser today, Friday 24 January, with an earlier start time of 10.30am local (3.30pm Irish time).

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The 182 sailors embraced the challenge of the uncharacteristically cold and blustery conditions in Biscayne Bay on Day 3 of the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami yesterday (Wednesday 22 January).

The athletes were faced with similar conditions on Tuesday, but Wednesday's overall shifty conditions and wind chill presented an even greater test of their physical and tactical skills.

Northern Ireland’Oisin McClelland is in third place in the Finn class and trails American Luke Muller by three points. McClelland won Race 6 and placed fourth in Race 5.

“I managed to come out with a fourth and a first. A few people tipped it in, but I managed to stay upright and took the win,” said the Donaghadee Sailing Club stalwart.

Miami is the final opportunity for North Americans to qualify for Tokyo 2020, but the final stop of the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series in Genoa is the last shot for Europeans — McClelland included.

“The major goal for me is the Genoa World Cup and the European continental spot. The only one left for Europe. I’m 100% focused on that and this event is a good warm-up. There’s a couple of us here who are going for the spot — Ukraine and Russia. It’s a good early test to see how we’re going.

“We had some goals in mind for what I wanted to get out of this regatta — technique wise — but if the week goes well then I'd be really be pleased with a podium.”

Racing resumes at 11am EST (4pm Irish time) today, Thursday 23 January.

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Josh Junior has become the first Kiwi to ever win the Finn Gold Cup after an epic medal race in Melbourne, Australia. Nick Heiner, from The Netherlands, took silver while 2018 world champion, Zsombor Berecz took bronze. Ireland was represented by Tokyo Olympic campaigner Oisin McClelland from Dongaghdee who has been seeking a Tokyo berth since 2016. He finished 32nd from 60 in Melbourne.

Earlier in the day, Ed Wright, from Britain, won the final race for the rest of the fleet, from Oskari Muhonen, from Finland and Jonathan Lobert, from France.

Even though he went into the medal race with a 16-point advantage over Heiner, Junior kept everyone guessing until the later stages of the race. He made hard work of the start, engaging with Heiner with a minute to go, but then allowing him to escape and control the start to lead up the first beat.

Starting in 20-22 knots, the wind gradually increased, as did the sea state, producing some epic racing conditions and supreme boat control. Heiner made the best of the first beat to round with a nice lead with Junior about sixth. Nothing much changed downwind, but a big shift to the left on the second upwind left Australia’s Jake Lilley in the lead followed by Berecz and Heiner. Junior was still back in seventh after losing out on the right.

While Lilley got away to win the race and move up to fifth overall, Berecz and Heiner battled downwind for silver and bronze. Berecz picked up a monster wave just short of the line and surged ahead, but Lilley was too far ahead to catch.

A mistake by Junior at this stage would have cost him the title, but he maintained control down on the final hairy downwind, to cross the line to whoops of joy. He had rewritten the history books, and despite a long line of celebrated Kiwi Finn sailors, he had become the first one ever to win the Finn Gold Cup.

Apart from Friday’s tricky races Junior was never out of the top five, leading from Day 2 all the way to the nail-biting finale. He entered the class in 2013 and has threatened brilliance ever since. But the years of hard work with Andy Maloney and coach Andrew Murdoch has finally paid off. It is an understatement to say he was pretty pleased with himself.

"I had a big lead but, to be fair, Heiner did a really good job at the start and on the first beat and he sort of got away on me. I was a bit worried I was in trouble of losing the whole regatta but I managed to hold it together and get the result I needed and I'm absolutely over the moon.”

"I have never won a world championships or even a medal so I'm stoked. There have been a lot of successful sailors in the Finn for New Zealand in the past and to be one of those is a great honour."

"It's been an outstanding week. I seem to have put pretty consistent results together and that's seen me near the front and took a bit of pressure off. But it's certainly a bit nerve racking. I have never been leading a world championship before, especially for so many days.”

His win makes the job of the Kiwi selectors much harder. Maloney had a better 2019 season and was selected for the test event, but a world champion is a world champion.

"Obviously Andy and I are really good mates and really good training partners and I was a bit gutted to see him not get on the podium today. But I think he still ended up with a good result. We will have another few regattas and, whoever ends up doing the best out of us will go to the Games and hopefully win a gold medal there.”

Another sailor hoping for a possible Tokyo selection now is Lilley, who has clearly had an amazing week with the medal race win and fifth overall.

“This week I tried to start slowly and consistently to not put any big points on the board and slowly built throughout the week and climb. I sort of clicked it up one gear each day as the regatta went and climaxed with the medal race win. I’m very happy with that and it’s a solid result in the lead up to Tokyo 2020.”

“It was important to go out and have a strong race today and set a mark so that everyone understands that we are coming for Tokyo 2020. I’ve had wins before or another good event, but I think this right now is the highest quality Finn fleet we have ever seen and it’s really tight at the top so anytime you finish top five or top ten is a great result.”

“To have the best fleet ever on Australian waters was really something special and Melbourne highlighted the fact that you have to be good in every aspect of this sport and the weather proved that here and I think the best guy came out on top. It was a fantastic event put on by Royal Brighton Yacht Club.”

Heiner was happy to consolidate his second place and secure the silver.

“It was an awesome medal race today. Breeze and nice waves and especially with the points from second to fifth, it was all to play for and with JJ well ahead, it was a bit of a hard one. He’s a match racer so I knew what was coming and I think I did a really good job of beating him off the line and had a good first beat and good first downwind and tacked on a nice lefty. The wind kept going left and made it a bit more exciting but luckily I still had Giles behind me and managed to chip away a little bit, and finished second overall, which I think is the best I could do today.”

“I’m pretty happy with the week. Looking back at the medal race at the Europeans in Cadiz where I lost the week on the medal race, we have come a long way since then and the training in Holland has paid off, and I felt pretty comfortable day today and I think that showed especially in upwind speed and sailing away on the downwind. So I think I definitely stepped up my game in the big breeze, so happy where we are going.”

“I think today everyone enjoyed the sailing. We loved it. I thought I would have the toughest job in the fleet, but I was pretty fast upwind and I didn’t make any mistakes, and it was not easy, but it was easier than I expected. There was a lot to gain or lose but I decided to save the bronze so I didn’t push too hard and risk a capsize and lose it all.”

“Before I came here my goal was to get a medal and I managed it so I am pretty happy. On the other had it was a magical week for Josh. He didn’t make mistakes, so there was noting we could do to beat him. I am happy that he managed to win the Gold Cup. Next time he meets Russell Coutts he has say’ I have something you don’t have.’ So I am really happy for Josh and thrilled to get third after a bad start to the week.”

While most of the places for Tokyo have been decided, one of the remaining places will generate a lot of interest. Many sailors are vying to win the remaining European place at the Genoa World Cup in April next year, where the the competition will be really tough. Several sailors have excelled this week including Croatia’s Nenad Bugarin, who has clearly benefitted from training with Berecz, and with coaching from three-time Olympian Pieter-Jan Postma. Bugarin finished in seventh.

Two places further back was Joan Cardona, from Spain, who also took the U23 prize ahead of Nils Theuninck, from Switzerland, and Luke Muller, from the USA.

“It’s been a great week for me. I had some ups and down at the beginning but I managed to finish top 10 and first U23 so I am really happy with my result and it just motivates me more to train as hard as I can to achieve the Olympic spot for Spain in Genoa next year.”

The 2019 Finn Gold Cup is in the books, and it will go down as one of the most competitive world championships for a while, with the first ever Kiwi winner. It also sets the scene for the coming eight months with everyone trying to find form or consolidate their performance ahead of the Olympics. After finishing in fourth, Olympic champion Giles Scott, from Britain said, “This week will serve as a bit of a wake-up call.” After some of the performances this week, that thought will be shared by many heading of those to Tokyo.

Results after medal race (medal race results in brackets)

1 NZL24 Josh JUNIOR 44 (7)
2 NED89 Nicholas HEINER 52 (3)
3 HUN40 Zsombor BERECZ 53 (2)
4 GBR41 Giles SCOTT 67 (8)
5 AUS1 Jake LILLEY 72 (1)
6 NZL61 Andy MALONEY 79 (9)
7 CRO10 Nenad BUGARIN 92 (5)
8 CAN18 Tom RAMSHAW 95 (10)
9 ESP26 Joan CARDONA ÉNDEZ 98 (6)
10 TUR21 Alican KAYNAR 100 (4)

Full results here

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Page 1 of 6

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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