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Displaying items by tag: Gibney Classic

Strong winds only added to the enjoymen in this year's Howth Yacht Club Gibney Classic on Saturday writes Brian Turvey. One of the largest cruiser–racer fleets in many years contested this always anticipated annual event, where the race itself is matched by the wonderful hospitality shown by Tony and Barry Gibney in their famous hostelry in Malahide, with a barbecue and drinks reception for the many exhilarated and weather-beaten sailors.

The race was run by Susan Cummins and her team on board the Sea Wych in conditions that might be described as 'fresh' by some and 'challenging' for all. A consistent 20 knot south-westerly prevailed over the racecourse with gusts ready to flatten boats sailed by even the most experienced helms and trimmers. It was a day for fully-crewed keelboats, with lots of weight 'on the rail'.

After an hour's racing, the ever-competitive Class 2 saw the Bourke/McGirr/Ball owned X332 'Xebec' win on IRC and David Sargent and his team on his Elan 33 'Indulgence' win the ECHO prize. Class 3 was evenly competed by boats from Howth and Malahide with Vince Gaffney winning IRC on his 'Alliance II' and Brian McDowell winning ECHO on his J24 'Blue Jay'.

Fifteen boats entered the Non-Spinnaker class which certainly provided the majority of thirsty customers in the beer garden and sports bar after racing. Paddy Gregory and Don Breen's decision to enter their First 34.7 'Flashback' in the class proved a wise one and they took the IRC prize while Michael Fleming's 'Trinculo' took the ECHO honours.

The Howth 17s have made this event an important part of their calendar for the past few years and the strong winds didn't deter their determination to enjoy the day, with four boats sailing up the river into Malahide after racing and returning to Howth later in the evening (into a warm 30-knot southerly). First prize went to Turvey brothers Brian and Conor in their 17 'Isobel'. The handicap spoils were won by Bryan and Harriette Lynch in 'Echo'.

Hats off to MYC's Commodore Deidre Moore-Somers who organised the rescheduling of another event so that the MYC boats could take part. Their annual regatta follows in 2 weeks on the 23rd of July. Special thanks also to Maureen Muir who again did all the organising for the club and with the team at Gibneys.

Published in Howth YC

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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