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Ireland stays in contention at the GP14 worlds in Bardbados this week but the lack of official results from the Barbado Yacht Club is possibly best explained by today's layday after last night's Rum party. The overall position after race three is unlcear but Irish updates as follows:

Race 2 

British Open Champion Shane McCarthy from Greystones Sailing Club has added a third to yesterday's third with Wicklow clubmate Norman Lee finishing sixth to add to his tenth on Monday. Current World Champion Ian Dobson won the morning race to add to his second in race one and topped the leaderboard. Following a 16th in Monday's first race, Sutton Dinghy Club's Alan Blay finished 28th in the first of yesterday's two races. 

Race 3
Top Irish in race three was John & Donal McGuinness from Moville in County Donegal. Shane McCarthy finished ninth with Keith Louden in tenth. JP McCaldin was 15th and Alan Blay 19th with Norman Lee 30th. Ian Dobson finished sixth with the race won by Richard Instone, a former Irish and British Champion, ahead of former GP14 World Champion Neil Marsden with Nick Craig in third.

A short update from Laura McFarland (GP14Ireland Class Secretary) and crewing for Curly Morris.

Day 2 - Races 2 & 3
Very similar racing conditions - swelling sea, big gusts with oscillating winds. First gate start of race 2 had to be abandoned as the guard boat got 'stuck'. Pathfinder Norman Lee had to keep going through the fleet with no guard boat - he survived with no damage. Didn't take too long to get going again. Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe took their first race of the championship. Shane Mac Carthy & Andy Davies took another 3rd. Norman Lee & Kevin Martyn took an excellent 6th.
Race 3 was again a bouncing start with Barbadians Jason Tindale & Robert Povey as pathfinder. The gate was stopped at bang on 3 minutes and closed at 4 leaving a few put out of the race and having to sail home early. Richard Instone & Jim Toothill had a terrible start having to go behind boats to get a gap into the gate. It forced them away from the fleet but happily onto a very sweet lift that put them in first position into the windward mark which he held to the finish. John & Donal McGuiness took a 4th which they are over the moon about as Donal's back was full of pain killers the day before. Shane & Andy took a 9th position leaving them 4th overall.


:gp14 barbados results


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Greystones Sailing Club's Shane MaCarthy and Andy Davis took a well earned third in the opening race of the GP14 World Championships in Barbados yesterday. Full (provisional) results for race one are downloadable below. The Wicklow sailor stays very much in contention for Ireland's first World Championship win since 1991 but ominously multi–world title holders Matt Burge and Paul Childs and Ian Dobson Any Tunniclifffe, both of Great Britain were first and second respectively. 

Next best of the 23–boat Irish contingent was Norman Lee and Kevin Martyn in tenth place. Alan Blay of Sutton Dinghy Club are next Irish from a fleet of 103 in 16th place.

Two further races are scheduled today with a lay day on Wednesday.

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23 Irish GP14s have made the journey to Barbados Yacht Club and the fleet stands at 104 boats from Ireland, UK, Canada, Australia, Sri Lanka and Barbados for the first race on Monday. Greystones'Sailing Club's Shane McCarthy is in the running but five times champion Ian Dobson and former World Champion Neil Marsden are also racing. Irish GP!4 President Stephen Boyle updates on the Irish camp.

Barbados Yacht Club, Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown will host the largest sailing championship held on the Caribbean Island to date when racing in the GP14 World Championship commences on Monday 28th March. 104 boats from around the world with entries from Barbados, Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, Sri Lanka and Australia will compete over an eleven race series for the coveted title in this popular 14 foot international one design class.
President of the Barbados Sailing Association and event organizer, Gus Reader said:
“The fact that 104 of them will be taking part in the 2016 World Champion-ships speaks volumes about the enduring quality of this one-design class. With 104 entries, the GP14 World Championships is the largest sailing event we have held in Barbados, and this means 208 competitors, 186 support personnel and officials, which brings it to a total of over 400 visitors to Barbados for this event.”
The 23 crews who travelled from Ireland can expect superb sailing conditions with winds of 25 to 30 Kph and temperatures in the high 20’s forecast for the duration of the Championship.
The event has proved popular with the Irish fleet and with strong entries from the northern clubs including Donaghdee, Newtonards, Lough Foyle and East Antrim and Lough Erne Yacht Club.
Competition is expected to be as hot as the weather, as five times and reigning World Champions Iain Dobson and Andy Tunnicliffe look to add a sixth title their record. The strong field also includes former World Champion Neil Marsden (2003) sailing with long time crew Derek Hill, Fireball World Champion and Endeavour Trophy (2014) winner Matt Budge and Graham Flynn and Adam Frogatt runners up in the 2015 UK Nationals.
Greystones sailor Shane McCarthy who holds the current UK and Irish Championship titles is expected to lead the charge of the Irish entries which includes John and Donal McGuiness of Moville Boat Club, Keith Louden and Alan Thompson, Curly Morris and Laura McFarland of Newtonards and Sutton Dinghy Clubs Alan Blay.

DSC 9610

Shane MacCarthy leads Irish hopes

Larne native and Laura’s brother Andy Thompson, former World (2000) and reigning UK National crew and paired with Sam Watson second placed helm in the 2014 Worlds will also be expect to be in the mix come Monday 4th April.
Conditions are expected to suit Greystones Shane McCarthy who is on form having lifted both the UK Championship and Irish titles in 2015 – it was more than 50 years since the British title has been held by an Irish sailor. The next 10 days will determine if he can bring the World title back to Ireland for the first time since Mark and Paul Fekkes of Larne won in 1991. The task is not beyond him.

Best wishes to the entire Irish contingent - enjoy the sailing and the weather!

Stephen Boyle,
President, GP14 Association of Ireland.


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22 Irish GP14s took the first step on the journey to the Caribbean when they arrived on a drizzly wet Saturday morning at SureFreight's Yard off the Crumlin Road, Belfast. Barbados Yacht Club welcomes the international fleet of 72 GP14s for racing next month with high hopes for Greystones Sailing Club's Shane MacCarthy who won the British title last year, earning him a sailor of the month award in the process.

The full entry list for the worlds (updated to Feb 4) is downloadable below.

Published in GP14

The recently-published ISA Survey of Club Racing commissioned and supervised by Board Member Jack Roy has started the process of putting together a realistic picture of how we sail and go afloat for recreation, and it was analysed on publication here in

It’s logical to have made the beginning with club racing, as racing provides its own narrative and a straightforward set of entry numbers and results. But it will become more complex as the national authority tries to provide realistic figures for day sailing’s less competitive aspects. And of course, once we enter the world of cruising as defined by sailing and boating projects which include passage making, both coastal and offshore, together with overnight on-board stops, then it can become much more difficult to get meaningful data.

Yet with the ISA’s Cruising Conference for February 20th already booked out within a few days of being announced on, clearly that is an area in search of services and support, a section of sailing which is difficult to quantify yet obviously of strong interest to a significant number of boat enthusiasts. W M Nixon takes a look at how the complexity of our sport’s many specialities makes it difficult to provide a clearcut picture for possible recruits to sailing.

Where would we be without the International Optimist Dinghy? The little solo-sailing boxes and their attendant support teams of mum and dad and the dog and the old 4X4 or station wagon or people carrier or whatever may seem to take up an awful lot of space and time, and all just so that one little person can go sailing.

But at least that one little person does go sailing. The ISA figures are brutally straightforward. In terms of genuine turnouts afloat at clubs throughout Ireland, in boat numbers the active Optimists are exceeded only by the Lasers, and this is arguably because Lasers aren’t age-limited, whereas the Optimists most definitely are.

Optimist sailing2
Optimist airborne. This is Ireland's second most popular class

Laser dinghy 3
Ireland’s most popular dinghy class, the Laser is seen here at the Zhik Irish Nationals at Ballyholme

So we give a qualified cheer for the success of these two little boats. But it’s qualified because they’re single-handers which fail to provide any crew-relating sailing skills. Leading sailing figures as diverse as Des McWilliam of Crosshaven and Norman Lee of Greystones have been eloquent in promoting the notion that we should be doing more – much more – to encourage two-handed boats, and if we can persuade people into three-handed boats, well, so much the better.

Certainly that’s one of the reasons why our header photo says so much. A lone sailor in an Optimist or Laser promotes too much of a solitary, even an isolated image. And a two-handed boat like the GP 14, whose strong fleet figures in the ISA survey show the class’s vigour, is arguably just an act for a dynamic duo – it’s Strictly Come Dancing goes sailing…..

But getting three together to race a characterful boat like the National 18 with style – now that’s something special, that really is a superb combination of people skills interacting with sailing talent. And it’s a joy to behold. Yet anyone can see that for a complete beginner to sailing, this extraordinary silhouette of Tommy Dwyer’s National 18 against the November sky above the Hill of Howth will have an otherworldly air about it – “That’s not for me” is as likely a response as “Let’s have a go at that”.

Even those of us who have been in sailing for longer than we care to remember find the image decidedly thought-provoking, for we have some idea of what has been involved in creating the circumstances for this seemingly effortless balancing act, this lighter-than-air effect in the unlikely setting of a November afternoon.

Over the past year or so we have been recounting in Afloat,ie how the Cork Harbour National 18 Class, with very tangible backing from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, have been in the forefront of the development of the new ground-breaking Phil Morrison take on the long-established National 18, which is a developmental class which from time to time takes a leap in hull design, and moves forward in order to keep the spirit alive.

National 18 4
The National 18s are part of the fabric of Cork Harbour sailing. Before the new Morrison boats arrived in July, the old fleet were seen here in May 2015 after their annual race to Ballinacurra in northeast Cork Harbour in company with the Dwyer brothers’ cruising ketch. Photo: W M Nixon

Acceptance of this is something which seems to be bred into Cork’s National 18 enthusiasts, many of whom have the advantage of being firmly of the opinion that a proper dinghy needs three people to sail it. But the social matrix which has built up around Cork Harbour over many decades with this concept at its heart is not something which will necessarily travel easily to other areas, and although the six boats of the National 18 flotilla which visited Howth for the Open Day got a great reception and gave many people from other classes a marvellous time afloat, it’s probable that the very different mood around sailing in Dublin means that something so technically and socially challenging as a three man dinghy is a step too far.

Sailing in the greater Dublin area seems to exist within a framework of independent balloons. While there are those who will happily move from one boat type to another and cheerfully spread their talents and enjoyment about, by contrast there’s the Dublin Bay Sailing Club Thursday Evening Phenomenon.

Thursday is when the DBSC cruiser classes go out to race. And there’s an entire cohort of people, mostly folk who work in offices in the city, who on a Thursday evening go straight to Dun Laoghaire, get aboard a pontoon-based cruiser owned by someone else, go out and race in some very specific crewing job, then come back in and have supper in club or pub with their shipmates, and then that’s it until next Thursday. Just one evening each summer mid-week is their entire sailing programme. Weekends are for something else. And as for the hassle and mixed joys of boat ownership and maintenance, that’s not their department at all.

It’s a very metropolitan, very citified yet specialized way of doing things, and Dublin is one of the very few cities whose location facilitates it. It will be fascinating to measure it, for Dublin’s way of sailing is steeped in history and tradition. But for now it’s refreshing to look at a place which has had a sailing tradition in times past, but somehow lost it, yet it’s coming back again, and one of the good news stories towards the end of 2015 is that the new Youghal Sailing Club has been accepted into the ISA fold.

Youghal at present is a difficult place for sailing, as the tidal power of the mighty Munster Blackwater sweeps straight through the estuary and along the old town’s waterfront, and the creation of any meaningful modern facilities will have the immediate difficulty of silting by incredibly adhesive black mud.

Youghal 5
With the sun out, and the tide in, Youghal looks to be an ideal location for the easy installation of a marina….....Photo: W M Nixon

youghal harbour tide out 6
….but with the sun in and the tide out, the mud problem is revealed. Photo: W M Nixon

Thus, as dedicated readers will have recently observed, no sooner had one group announced that a marina in Youghal was on the way than another longer-established group quietly suppressed the story, as they’re well aware of the engineering and dredging difficulties involved, and premature announcements will only slow any project in the long run.

In the fullness of time, a marina at Youghal will be a godsend for any cruiser plugging along the south coast. It’s not always the easiest coast in the world to make a passage along, sometimes it can seem an awfully long way to Cork from Dunmore East or Kilmore Quay even if you do make stopovers at Dungarvan or Helvick, and there are times when the hardiest seafarer is glad enough to get his boat secured to a good big pontoon.

But that’s for the future. Meantime, the locally-based keelboats are using either the restless anchorage off the town, or the more serene pool across the estuary at Ferry Point on the east shore, while the new club’s flotilla of GP 14s are stored in spare warehouse space during non-sailing time, and when they do go sailing it turns out their clubhouse is a moveable feast - it’s a caravan which can be towed to a choice of sailing locations.

Youghal Sailing Club caravan 7
A moveable feast. Members of the newly-affiliated Youghal Sailing Club with their caravan HQ, Adrian Lee in doorway. Photo: W M Nixon

On the national stage, it is young Youghal GP 14 sailor Adrian Lee who has been among those flying the club’s flag, and there’s hope in the air. When we were there in May on a fine day that promised a summer which never arrived, we couldn’t help but think that when they do get their facilities and maybe even a clubhouse, they’ll look back to the days of the caravan and ad hoc racing arrangements with sweet nostalgia. For sometimes, it’s much better to be travelling than it is to arrive.

But for the rest of us, the message from Youghal is simple. The sea is for sailing. Use it or lose it. By all means get proper people surveys done which indicate the way numbers are shaping up and things are going. But really, if you want to persuade people to go sailing, the best way is by example, getting afloat as much as possible yourself. And maybe then you’ll find the time to welcome aboard newcomers too.

Youghal public slip9
Reviving Youghal sailing – on race days, the club’s caravan is simply towed down to the pier and the races are started from there. Photo: W M Nixon

youghal slipway9
Youghal’s massive public slip provides launching for the YSC sailing dinghies, but during 2015 the boats had to be stored at the other end of town when not in use. Photo: W M Nixon

Adrian Lee Youghal SC 10
The pace-setter. Adrian Lee of Youghal SC with his Duffin-built GP14. Photo: W M Nixon

Click to download: ISA Survey of Club Racing 

Published in W M Nixon

The GP14 class runs a league of dinghy sailing in Ireland with sailors competing in Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets writes Laura McFarland. The CraftInsure GP14 Irish League comprises of seven events throughout the season starting in April and finishing in October: O’Tiarnaigh Challenge, Purcell, Ulster’s, Leinster’s, Irish, Autumn, Hot Toddy

The 2015 Silver and Bronze leagues were very closely fought with the winner only being decided in the last race of the last event.

Download the full league file below as an excel file.

Gold Fleet Winner
Shane Mac Carthy & Damien Bracken – Greystones SC

Silver Fleet Winner
Katie Dwyer & Michelle Rowley - Sutton DC

Bronze Fleet Winner
Gareth Gallagher & Richard Gallagher – Lough Foyle YC

The prizes of free Insurance vouchers were presented to the winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze leagues at the final event of the Hot Toddy.

The GP14 Association of Ireland President Stephen Boyle thanks CraftInsure for sponsoring the GP14 Irish Leagues 2015.

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On a weekend full of expectation, this GP14 championship certainly didn’t disappoint writes David JohnstonBeing the last event of the year, a big turnout was expected and with 28 boats competing over the weekend, a big turnout was what we had. The weather was very kind to the fleet - a steady breeze throughout and the rain holding off.

With a clean sweep of events on the cards, Shane MacCarthy & Damian Bracken started where they had left off claiming a very convincing 1st in race 1. Ger Owens & Melanie Morris claimed 2nd spot holding off local boat Alan Pinder & Kevin Hackett. It was Keith Louden & Alan Thompson who grabbed the top spot in race 2 from Sean Craig & David Johnston 2nd and Ger & Melanie 3rd in what was a very close battle with positions changing frequently throughout. However no one could deny Ger the coveted 1st place in race 3 with Shane & Damian and Keith & Alan settling for 2nd and 3rd respectively. After starting quite well, Sean & David dropped out of this race having suffered the all too well known, spinnaker halyard caught around the jib shackle. An earlier amendment to the notice of race allowed for a possible 4 races on Saturday to try and allow an early finish on Sunday to accommodate the rugby. And so to race 4, the last race of the day, the wind had held on for us and everyone was raring to go. In what was a hot contest coming down to the final beat, it was Ger & Mel who would be first to return to shore followed closely by Sean & David who were even more closely followed by John & Donal McGuinness. Rumours had surfaced that a certain Shane MacCarthy had been feeling “poorly” all day with a close source reportedly fearing for his life and nose in the 4th race after some questionable smells began to arise from the back of the boat. When all the sailors were in off the water, it was into the clubhouse to gather around the small television screen to watch the Springboks take on Wales in the first of the 2015 RWC quarter-finals. After some exciting rugby and lovely scones provided by the club, it was time for the evenings dinner in Mullingar town. Danny Byrnes pub was where the sailors regrouped. Into the backroom for some grub, and for many, the pleasant surprise of a giant projector ready to show the thrashing of France at the hands of the mighty All Blacks.

Sunday morning, early start and after many forecasts of sub 5 knots, it was a great sight to see ripples all over the lake… would go ahead. With the much anticipated Ireland match on at 1pm, a tight schedule had to be kept in order to make it back in. Of course in true competitive GP14 fashion, there was a general recall for race 5. However to the joy of all, the race officer was well on top getting the race away with very little further delay. Having had to settle for 2nd in most of the events previously, there was no standing in the way of a determined Ger Owens & Melanie Morris who sailed fabulously again claiming their third 1st of the event. Saying that, they were made work very hard for it with Curly Morris & Laura McFarland in hot pursuit to claim 2nd. Having had a poor race, only managing a 12th, Shane & Damian had left the door wide open for Sean & David to possibly snatch 2nd from their grasp with only 1.25 points separating them going into the final race. After sailing at such a consistently high level all event, it was only right that Ger & Mel claimed the final race for a comprehensive event win. Shane & Damian claimed 2nd, securing 2nd place overall, and JP & Carolyn McCaldin sorting out their rig settings to finish the last race in 3rd position. Sean & David finished 7th to claim 3rd position overall. It was fair to say the real race was to get in and pack away the boats in order to claim a good seat for the match. Mullingar provided a projector to save our eyes from the small tv screen. Despite the disappointing result there was a great atmosphere nonetheless. While the exciting running rugby of the Pumas was thrilling to watch, I think the most entertaining moment, albeit slightly terrifying, was Ger Owens attacking the poor couch in which he sat in as Ireland launched a 2nd half comeback.Silve Fleet Winners Katie  Michelle

Silver Fleet Winners Katie Dwyer & Michelle Rowley

Bronze Fleet Winners Adrian Lee  Edward Coyne

Bronze Fleet Winners Adrian Lee & Edward Coyne

After a fantastic weekend, it is only fair to thank Mullingar Sailing Club for putting on such an enjoyable event. Under time pressure and shifty wind, the Race Officer got through all races quickly and set great courses. The shore crew who looked after the tired and cold sailors as we came ashore, providing endless scones, coffee, tea, biscuits and even some mulled wine. And of course to all the boats that turned up to make this end of season event very special. After a year of so much success .… roll on next season!

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There was a record entry of 24 boats for the GP14 Youth Championships hosted alongside the senior event, the Autumn Open last weekend at Greystones writes Niall Henry. With lots of sunshine on Saturday morning, a steady 15 knots of breeze a great weekends racing lay ahead.

Race 1 was won by Shane McCarthy and Damian Bracken with Ger Owens and Filup de Loosdan with David Johnson and Eanna Molony Lawless coming in an excellent third place. The first two places were the same in race 2 with Keith de Louden and Alan Le Thompson in third place.

Races three and four of the Autumn Open were sailed in the afternoon on Sunday after two full races were sailed in the youths. JP and Caroline McCalden led at the windward mark but got into difficulty with their spinnaker and were passed by Tim Corcoran and Blair Stowaway who in turn were passed by Niall Henry and Ossian Geraghty. (When asked on shore what happened Tim said it was Blair's fault, and that he hadn't wanted to crew in the first place, but when we asked Blair, he told us that it was Tim's fault and that he was just wasn't a very good crew..?) Niall and Ossian just about held their lead to the end of the race as Shane and Damian sailing that very small boat were closing in very quickly downwind. Ger and Filp came in third.

Autumn Open spinnakers downwind

The final race of the championship was again won by S&D (such a pity Damian's not called Maurice) with the Skerries duo of Colman Grimes and David Lappin showing great speed to come in second followed Curly Morris and Laura Thompson.

Shane and Damian were over all winners and are just one event off a clean sweep, with Ger and Filp in second place overall followed by Niall and Ossian in third spot.

The Silver fleet was won by David and Eanna with Katie Dwyer and Michelle Rowley in second and Michael Cox and Josh Porter in third.

Adrian Lee and 2015 youth champion Edward Coyne were winners in the bronze fleet with Tom and Kevin Gillen in second just ahead of Seamus O'Cleirigh and Stephen Tierny in third.

Results are downloadable below as an excel file

Published in GP14

Edward Coyne of Youghal SC crewed by Colman Grimes of Skerries, was victorious in this year’s Youth Championship raced in summer like conditions off Greystones in Co. Wicklow last weekend. David Johnson & Eanna Lawless of Sutton fought hard for second place just holding off 14 year old Sligo’s Jack Currin & Tim Corcoran who scored two seconds in the last two races and Adrian Lee & Ossian Geraghty from Youghal/Sligo who finished on the same points despite an OCS in race 3.

The first of the four race series was held in 12-16 knots with a strong Southerly tide. Ed & Colman lay down an early marker, winning from brothers Gareth & Richard Gallagher with Peter & Steven Boyle in 3rd. Gareth & Richard bounced back to win race 2 from Adrian & Ossian and Dan & Hugh Gill in 3rd. This left the Gallagher brothers as overnight leaders counting a first and second.

Jack Currin gp 14

Jack Currin (left) U16 GP14 Champion with crew Tim Corcoran (right) with Greystones Sailing Club Commodore (centre)

Race 3 on Sunday changed things with David Johnson & Eanna Molony (last year’s youth champion) taking the win from Jack Curran & Tim Corcoran in 2nd and Samuel Wray & Alan Thompson in 3rd. Skippers Gareth Gallagher, Adrian Lee and Jack Buttimer fell foul of the black flag in this race which PRO Mark Usher resorted to using after numerous recalls due to a combination of enthusiastic starters and strong tide. In Race 4 Edward Coyne & Colman Grimes took another win again to seal overall victory with Jack Curran in second and Kevin Martyn & Norman Lee in 3rd. If there was a Hard Lesson Trophy, the heads up winners would have been Gareth & Richard Gallagher from Derry who sailed a great regatta and looked like clear favourites until they came unstuck with 2 OCS’s on Sunday while trying too hard, very unfortunate for them as they have been going so well all season.
Ed Coyne also scooped up the U18 Trophy with Jack Currin convincingly taking the U16 with 2 years to spare. Top home club team was Tom and Kevin Gillen closely followed by Grainne Allen & Neil Willis and Ciaran & Aine Keogh.
This was a really enjoyable event expertly run by hard working Greystones club members and should be the last run from the characteristic old clubhouse as Sisk have almost finished a fine new larger one situated prominently by the south harbour wall with commanding views over the harbour, the sailing waters and beyond to Bray Head, Killiney, Dalkey Island and Howth.

Published in GP14

Culmore Regatta saw an exceptionally large turnout of GP14 boats and Foyle Class Punts. Winds were good for the Dinghy races but fell away for the Foyle Class punts.
Winners for the Foyle Class punts ;
Billy Doherty Memorial Cup was won by Roy Louden with Ryan Louden and James Lynch as his crew.
Bill McCann won the Isaac Ayton Cup for Foyle Class Punts with his crew of Danny McCann and Mark Banks.
The third Foyle Class Punt race was Won By Daniel Gallagher with his crew of Gareth Gallagher and Owen McCauley.
The Dinghy races – The first Race for the Magnet Trophy was won by Gareth Gallagher and Richard Gallagher , with Ken and Stuart Doherty second and Peter Fallon and James P Hockley third .
The second Dinghy race for the Frank Long Cup was won by Gareth and Richard Gallagher, second Pater Fallon and James P Hockley, third was John and Donal McGuiness.

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Page 10 of 15

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. 

Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2021?
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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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