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Displaying items by tag: Round the Island Race

The Island Sailing Club put on a spectacular 90th anniversary party for the 2021 Round the Island Race, and there was an excellent turnout of X-Yachts in both the IRC & ISC classes — with some notable silverware won by the Xp 38, Red Five.

The huge fleet of over 1,200 boats showed how much people love taking part in this event. On the water there was everything from flat calm to 25-knot gusts, fog and sun.

And as with every Round the Island Race, nothing compares to the sight of the fleet stretched out around the stunning Isle of Wight coast.

Some of the X-Yachts owners who took park shared their thoughts with the yacht-builder HERE.

Meanwhile, it’s been busy at the half-year mark for X-Yachts in Hamble with five new yacht handovers to delighted owners in June.

Chirp Chirp II 

The X4⁰ Chirp Chirp II was collected from the yard in Denmark in gorgeous sunny conditions. Her aim was fast comfortable cruising for two, between the UK and Finland, and that looks to be exactly how she has come out, as the owner commented: “She is great, we had a good first sail, boy she knows how to get speed. She has a lovely feel really looking forward to eating up miles next week, we are smiling a lot.”

Pelagia

Pelagia is the name of the X4³ that has been set up for a life in warmer climes, with a while hull and bimini for the sunny Aegean Sea. She is being transported down to Athens now, and will be ready for sailing adventures in the second half of this season.

Onyx II

Another X4³, Onyx II, was specified with a dark grey hull, Flexiteek on deck, a carbon mast and boom — and with the option of longer-distance racing in the future, lithium ion batteries were also specified. The owners commented that their first night on board was A1.

Dash

Another boat with impressive dark grey topsides is the X4⁶, Dash, which also has the Flexiteek option on deck and a gorgeous Nordic oak interior. Dash be kept in Hamble and used for family cruising and occasional racing. The owners took her through her paces in the Round the Island Race last weekend with help from X-Yachts’ own Stuart Abernethy as crew.

Pelagos

Last but not least, the Xc 50 Pelagos is specified for true blue-water cruising, with twin forestays for ease of use in all conditions, and air-conditioning and water-maker systems installed for comfortable life aboard. She will winter in Hamble and then sail to the Caribbean before reaching her home on the east coast of the US.

All of these yachts are now being enjoyed by their owners, clocking up many sea miles that they have been dreaming about over the last year during their build — and there are many more to come in the second half of 2021.

If you want to join them, learn more about X-Yachts and possibly view the latest models, follow the links to get in touch with X-Yachts dealers in the UK and Ireland.

Owners please note that the X-Yachts factory in Denmark will be closed for three weeks starting 19 July. During this time X-Yachts will be unable to order any specialist parts for your yacht. If you have any questions or want to order any parts prior, please call +44 (0)23 8045 3377 or email Nick at [email protected]com

Published in X-Yachts GB & IRL

Peter Cunningham’s PowerPlay Racing Team is the first to finish the 90th edition of the Round the Island Race.

MOD70 PowerPlay, with Peter Cunningham on the helm, finished the race at 10:51:01 BST (09:51:01 UTC) in an elapsed time of 4hrs 11mins 01secs.

A light start to the race prevented any chance of beating the race record, set by PowerPlay, as Concise 10 in 2017 (2hrs 22mins and 23 secs). PowerPlay finished this year's race ahead of the ULTIM Actual and the 32m trimaran IDEC.

MOD70 PowerPlay crew: Peter Cunningham (Helm), Ned Collier Wakefield (Skipper), Tom Dawson, Miles Seddon, Paul Larsen, Nick Hutton, Frank Gerber, Martin Watts, John Hamilton.MOD70 PowerPlay crew: Peter Cunningham (Helm), Ned Collier Wakefield (Skipper), Tom Dawson, Miles Seddon, Paul Larsen, Nick Hutton, Frank Gerber, Martin Watts, John Hamilton.

Published in Racing

Entries for the world-famous Round the Island Race opened at 00.01 this morning, 19 March. Organised by the much-respected Island Sailing Club, the Round the Island has always been one of the UK’s largest participation sporting events and regularly attracts over 1,500 boats and thousands of sailors. This year the race will be held on 3 July and celebrates its 90th anniversary, and with so many high-profile events being cancelled, the Round the Island is being tipped as one of the biggest events to be staged since the UK’s first lockdown a year ago.

One of the unique attractions of the race is its even-handedness and the opportunity for Olympic and World champion sailors to compete on the same racecourse with amateurs, families and club sailors of all ages. Whilst the majority of the boats will simply enjoy the challenge of getting all the way round, there will be many teams aiming to beat the existing course records. The current monohull record continues to be held by Mike Slade on ICAP Leopard, who in the near-perfect conditions of 2013 posted an elapsed time of 3 hours 43 minutes and 50 seconds. The multihull class, introduced in 1961, generally achieves even faster times, as shown in 2017 when Ned Collier Wakefield’s Concise10 flew round in just 2 hours 22 minutes and 23 seconds.

Rob Peace, Rear Commodore for Sailing, ISC said “The Island Sailing Club are delighted to launch the 2021 Race. Sailors are desperate to get back out on their boats, and our race is perfectly timed and definitely provides a unique and thrilling experience for all of the crews. Over the past 90 years approximately 500,000 sailors and 70,000 boats have been challenged by this race - those are some impressive statistics!”

David Atkinson, Race Director said “The focus for 2021 is on organising a great race on the water. While the UK Government's roadmap out of lockdown suggests we will be able to run some of our usual social activities ashore, we are very mindful of the possible need to avoid large gatherings over the race weekend. No decisions have been taken at this stage, and we will be updating our plans in line with the easing of restrictions over the coming weeks and months. Naturally, we expect those taking part to follow all of the current guidelines in place for the race, and we will be providing a summary of guidance from relevant authorities through a dedicated page on the event website. We will be asking everyone to check this regularly, familiarise themselves with the information and help make the event safe for us all.”

The ethos of a ‘Race for All’ continues at pace this year with the first Windeler Cup competition to set sail after the main fleet departs from Cowes, allowing small keelboat racers from the Daring, Dragon, Etchells, Flying Fifteen, Mermaid, Redwing, Sunbeam, Swallow, Sonar, Squib, RS Elite, Victory and XOD classes to join in the fun with an exciting Solent Race. Also, the race weekend is extended to welcome competitors from the rowing and kitesurfing worlds, who will enjoy their own Round the Island on the Thursday and Friday before the main sailing race on Saturday 3 July.

Published in Racing
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Local boat Eeyore, an Alacrity 18 Bilge Keel from Cowes, has laid claim to the prestigious Gold Roman Bowl, winning this year’s Round the Island Race after a long tactical day on the water.

With a crew of just three: skipper Joe Richards and his friends David Rickard and Duncan De Boltz, the 18-foot bilge keel was the smallest boat in the race.

A member of Gurnard Sailing Club and Cowes Corinthian, Richards talks through his winning race:  “It was an interesting but long race, we actually started at the opposite end of the line from the rest of the fleet which paid us reasonably well in the end. We got down to The Needles middle of the fleet and then there was almost no wind. We bounced off a couple of rocks on The Needles just for good measure and then it’s tempting to stay out of the tide and we did a couple of little tacks and thought no we need to be strong minded and go out, because you always get a wind bend down off Freshwater and if you sail along under the cliffs it just leaves you in a hole eventually.

RIRWinner EeyoreSmall boat - Eeyore, the modest Alacrity 18 bilge eeler, has won the prestigious Round the Island Race (and, yes, this is the only picture we could find!)

After competing in the Round the Island Race more times than he can remember and with two seconds already under his belt, Richards comments on his win: ”It’s probably about time too isn’t it? We’ve been second a couple of times over the years but the reality is there are some very good sailors out there and very good boats; you’ve got to be lucky and get the breaks. Unless you’ve done the preparation and put yourself in a position to get the breaks it doesn’t happen, but you do still have to be lucky.”

Wicked WokieA Cove Sailing boat crew (pictured above after the finish last night), Wicked Wookie, a hunter Sonata (skippered by Jason Losty), was fifth overall in the Round the Island race

The race offered challenging sailing conditions for the crew of Eeyore, which circumnavigated the Isle of Wight in 13 hours, 36 minutes and 31 seconds. The fleet of over 1,200 entries contended with fluctuating wind speeds from every direction, with only 257 boats completing the race before the 10.30pm deadline.

The first finisher (with a time of 7 hours, 33 minutes and 36 seconds) was Yves Le Blevec’s Graghjghnd Prix racing multihull – ‘Actual Leader’ which led for much of the race. In light to moderate winds she managed to shake off her closest on-the-water rivals – Jethou, Ino XXX, Lady Mariposa and Mini Y.

A delighted Le Blevec (53) from La Trinite Sur Mer, commenting on a long, but exciting day on the race course just before he set sail back to La Trinite Sur Mer, said: “I really enjoyed the race, I always enjoy sailing here and it was great to have taken line honours. This is now my fourth time competing here but in this boat it was tricky. We stayed in the same place for two or three hours off Ventnor in no wind, which was frustrating. ‘Actual’ is designed as a round the world boat not for Round the Island Race. It is very difficult to manage tacking or gybing so often, so we are pleased to have done so well today.”

The award for the first monohull across the line, at 16:30:28 (taking 9 hours and 28 seconds), went to Sir Peter Ogden’s Judel Vrolijk Mini Maxi ‘Jethou’ which almost snatched the lead from ‘Actual Leader’ earlier in the day. Despite hitting the bottom and hooking a lobster pot the crew of ‘Jethou’ had a great race with owner, Sir Peter Ogden, commenting: “Our top speed was 20knts which was 2 minutes after the start, but it went downhill after that and we averaged 7.9knts over the course. The best sail of the day was the stretch from the forts to the finish where we enjoyed a really nice breeze.”
This year’s race saw thousands of sailors compete on over 1,200 yachts in one of the UK’s largest sporting events. The Round the Island Race is a true race for all with competitors enjoying a spinnaker start for the first time in almost ten years.

Commodore of the Island Sailing Club, David Atkinson said: “It's been a difficult day, we started in such great conditions in the morning with the wind doing exactly what we thought it would but as the day progressed the wind became increasingly unpredictable. One example was at St Catherine’s Point where one side there was 15knts of breeze, but just around the corner, half a mile away only 5-6knts of breeze from a totally different direction. Tactically today it was difficult because the wind was all over the show.

“But the competitors have been terrific, with lots of feedback on what a lovely day people have had on the water despite the wind. Someone said to me anyone can sail in a reasonably good, steady breeze but when you have to tactically think about the wind, the tides and everything else in order to make your boat go, that can make it really interesting.

“I’d like to thank all the competitors for making this a fantastic event, the new Official Race Village has gone down well and had a real buzz around it and now we’re looking forward to the prize giving tomorrow and welcoming people back again next year on 30th May 2020.”

British Sailing Team and official Round the Island Race Meteorologist, Simon Rowell, commented: “The weather today was set up for a good quick run down to The Needles, then once the fleet got through The Needles they were beating back up to St Catherine’s Point, still in a reasonable amount of breeze so that worked out OK.

“Then in the very hot afternoon, the warm air bubbling up off the island killed the breeze for quite a long way offshore, going from St Cat’s round to Bembridge. With some filling in, it did go round to the right as we were expecting with the forecast, and its now coming in nicely from the west southwest; but there was a very slow 3 or 4 hours for quite a few boats going round the south-east side of the Isle of Wight. The boats that did really well, especially the winner, managed to catch it very well and were just ahead of the light stuff on the south-east of the Island and managed to have a good run right to the finish.”

Michael Kitchen, actor, television producer and competitor, was the official race starter of the 88th Round the Island Race. Known particularly for his role as Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle in the ITV drama series Foyle’s War he said: “I couldn’t feel more honoured with the invitation of the official starter of this iconic race. It is a huge privilege. I have competed at the event many times and we always have a cracking time. It is a brilliant event.”

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In what will probably be regarded as one of the most challenging on record, the 87th edition of the Round the Island Race was won overall by High Potential with the top Irish result from the four boats competing coming from Barry Cunningham's Quarter Tonner Quest in 25th place from 1204 starters.

Mayo Sailing Club's 'Xstatic', a regular WIORA competitor, skippered by Damien Cashin was slated to start as was the Royal Irish Yacht Club's 'Jib and Tonic' from Dublin Bay skippered by Morgan Crowe. Cunningham's entry had Prof O'Connell on board.  Altair, a Beneteau 36.7, from Cove Sailing Club in  Cork Harbour was also competing and Vendee Globe campaigner Nin O'Leary, who raced to success in last year's race was back again racing onboard Adam Gosling's new Yes! boat. See full results here.

Ross Applebey and his team, based in Lymington, sailed an impressive race in the light, tactical conditions and after 8:30:03 was deemed the overall winner of the Gold Roman Bowl on corrected time.

Commenting on his team's win of the Gold Roman Bowl, an elated skipper said:

"We are absolutely delighted with the result! It's been an amazing day of sailing and, this year, everything we did seemed to turn to gold with things ultimately turning in our favour as we approached Ryde. We've had a great atmosphere on board all day with my wife, Sarah, and our good friends. After doing a dozen or so Round the Island Races in the past, and the last three of those in High Potential, we are so happy that our hard work has paid off."

Ned Collier Wakefield, alongside Irvine Laidlaw, sailing aboard Tony Lawson's MOD70 foiling trimaran Concise Fling – was fairly accurate in his prediction to record the slowest time for line honours. It may not be official but 8:34:09 (over six hours more than it took last year when they broke the multihull record) is definitely up for debate.

The general lack of wind and seabreeze that failed to materialise, left hundreds of teams struggling to reach the Needles before the tidal gate slammed shut in the early part of the race. Those who sneaked through had little option other than to soldier on and endure a slow, challenging, and extremely hot rounding.

The award for the first monohull to finish went to Tony Langley's TP52 Gladiator who completed the course with an elapsed time of 8:56:47. Chatting after the race, Langley said: "It was the longest one I've ever done; nine hours on the helm which is plenty.

"There were three transitions, two round the back of the Island, and one on the eastern Solent. These transitions from one breeze to the other were the tricky ones; a knot or so of wind, so it was a case of just keeping the boat working to get through to the new breeze."

Commenting on their efforts to catch Concise Fling on the final stretch to the finish line, Langley added: "We didn't quite make it but we did have a moment when we thought we might do because they were in the transition for a lot longer."

Mention should also be made of the winner of Raymarine Live Weather Briefing, prize draw. Paul French from the Westerly Regatta 290, Temptation was the lucky winner of the Raymarine Axiom 9 inch and the new AIS700 – total value £2,390.

For full results, click here. Prizes will be presented at the Round the Island Race prizegiving ceremony tomorrow (8 July) at Island Sailing Club.

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There may be little wind on the racecourse for the 1,200 or so teams contesting Island Sailing Club’s annual 50nm race around the Isle of Wight, but there is certainly no shortage of competitive spirit.

Racing is close throughout the fleet apart from Tony Lawson’s record-breaking five-year-old MOD70 foiling trimaran Concise Fling that broke away from the pack at the Needles, rounded St Catherine’s Point, and as of an hour ago was tracking along up the east coast towards Bembridge, alone.

Even in the expected light winds of just 10 knots, this crazy machine can reach 35kts of boat speed, so whatever the weather there are generally always plenty of thrills to be had aboard this boat.

The bulk of the fleet, however, was enjoying a tactical game of cat-and-mouse down the west coast of the Island. Jennifer Burgis and the all-female team who raced the 2015-16 Clipper Round the World Race are today sailing Fleur de Lis, a chartered Beneteau Oceanis 37, and are currently sailing an impressive race. Importantly, they managed to reach the Needles before the tide turned.

Burgis commented from the racecourse: “Despite the lack of wind we are extremely pleased with our progress. It took us just two hours to get to the Needles. We had a great start with Holly [Kitching] on the helm and Caroline Bowen on tactics, which was key and, we are looking forward to continuing to work hard and gain more places as we head down the west coast.

“We are really pleased because we seem to have caught up with the Turquoise flagged group that started 10 minutes ahead of us. I think we can put our impressive speed down to Caroline Bowen our tactician who is calling some really good shots in these tricky conditions.”

Although the sea breeze should have now filled in, it is generally slow going. More than half the fleet is round the Needles but the race was on for those struggling to reach that point before the tide turned at 11.30am.

Even if the cloud builds on land and sea breeze does develop, it is unlikely to be significant. Around the top of the Island from Bembridge Ledge to Ryde — the lee of the island — will be one of the biggest areas of concern and a lot of places were likely to be won and lost there. See the Race Tracker for more.

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With the Round Ireland Race over, the focus for the winning boat Baraka GP plus four Irish boats is now on this weekend's Round the Island Race on the Solent and attention has turned to the weather forecast and, in particular, a low off Lands End.

As Afloat.ie previously reported there will be four Irish entries among a flurry of international entries to sign up for the 50nm sail round the Isle of Wight tomorrow.

Mayo Sailing Club's 'Xstatic', a regular WIORA competitor, skippered by Damien Cashin will be on the start line as will the Royal Irish Yacht Club's 'Jib and Tonic' from Dublin Bay skippered by Morgan Crowe. The latest entry is the top flight Quarter Tonner Quest, skippered by Barry Cunningham, also from the RIYC. Prof O'Connell, who was aboard Chris Power Smith's second overall Aurelia in the Round Ireland Race, is racing on Quest in a busy week for the sailing professional. Altair, a Beneteau 36.7, from Cove Sailing Club in  Cork Harbour is also competing and Vendee Globe campaigner Nin O'Leary, who raced to success in last year's race is back again racing onboard Adam Gosling's new Yes! boat.

A high should move over the UK bringing a light N/NW gradient wind. It should be a hot & sunny day, allowing the heat low to develop again over the E of England. As it does so the breeze should back left WSW up the Channel, remaining quite light.

For Saturday the high should be firmly settled over the UK with its central ridge extending from S of Ireland to around Newcastle. This will bring a hot & sunny day with a light NNE/NE gradient wind to start. This is likely to be replaced by a developing sea breeze around 1100, light S/SSW around the back of the Island, light SSE/SSW through the E Solent. It will be a very tactical day.

Gusts are likely to be 1/3 as much again as the average wind speed. Squall-driven gusts may be higher still - the deeper the cloud, the stronger the gust.

RACE DAY - Saturday 7th
Light NE 4-7 kts to start, going very light & patchy then returning S/SSE 6-10 kts around noon veering right SSW 6-10 kts around the back of the Island. In the E Solent, this is likely to be SE/SSE 5-9 kts through the afternoon. It's going to be hot & sunny, with significant local thermal effects.

Met Office: NE 5-8 kts, dying around 1100, settling back in S/SSW 5-9 kts afternoon.
ECMWF: N 3-6 kts then SW 6-10 kts.
NOAA's GFS model: N 3-6 kts in the morning, then SW 6-10 kts.

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Three Irish entries are among a flurry of international entries to sign up for the 50nm blast round the Isle of Wight next month.

With less than three weeks to go until the start of Round the Island Race 2018 on 7 July, entries are starting to flow in with numbers almost at the 1,000 mark. Equally encouraging is the fact that international entries are on the rise too with a total of 23 teams already signed up.

Mayo Sailing Club's 'Xstatic', a regular WIORA competitor, skippered by Damien Cashin will be on the start line as will the Royal Irish Yacht Club's 'Jib and Tonic' from Dublin Bay skippered by Morgan Crowe. The latest entry is the top flight Quarter Tonner Quest, skippered by Barry Cunningham, also from the RIYC, that is currently placed eighth at the Quarter Ton Cup in Cowes

Cashin's Xstatic, however, is not his usual X42 but a new X49 yacht. The full Mayo Sailing Club crew pick up the new marque in X Yachts in Denmark next week and sail straight for the Isle of Wight race, according to crewman, Joe McGovern.

This annual, world-recognised race organised by Island Sailing Club, is one of those must do, quintessential English regattas, that competitors travel thousands of miles to compete in.

As well as the huge numbers that take part, it is the diversity of the fleet that ranges from high profile race teams to weekend club sailors that makes this annual 50nm blast round the Isle of Wight so special.

While most of the international entries signed up so far are based in Europe including Belgium, France, Germany Ireland, Italy, and The Netherlands, the organisers are delighted to welcome Charlene Howard and her team from the USA sailing AJ Wanderlust (Jeanneau 45.2).

Organisers are also pleased to welcome back Dr Benic Hervé and team from France who, racing their Beneteau First 40 Iritis, not only finished in a creditable fourth place in IRC overall, and third in IRC 1 last year, but were also the leading international team.

So far France makes up the bulk of the international contingent with a total of 10 boats but with just over 20 days to go before race day, there is still time for Belgium or The Netherlands, currently lying second in the international entry rankings, to put paid to the current French domination.

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Nicholas 'Nin' O'Leary has had a successful weekend on and off the water in two countries. The Royal Cork ace organised this weekend's successful Dinghy Fest Regatta for over 100–boats in Crosshaven but in Cowes, UK, he also took Adam Gosling's JPK 10.80 YES! to an overall win of the 1342–boat Round the Island Race.

There were still a few hundred boats needing to finish their 2017 Round the Island Race yesterday, but mathematically none of them were able to dislodge Gosling's Irish crewed YES! from the top of the overall results, hence scoring them the biggest trophy of the day, the Gold Roman Bowl.

Yes JpK10.80YES! Winners of the top trophy, the Gold Roman Bowl. Photo: Tony Marsh

Gosling's crew included O'Leary and James Hynes. O'Leary, who was race director of Dinghy Fest at his Royal Cork Yacht Club, skipped to Cowes to participate in the massive UK race early on Saturday. As soon as O'Leary crossed the line, he was already making plans to be back in time to present the Dinghy Fest prizes at RCYC on Sunday.

Yes Adam goslingAdam Gosling & the crew of YES! joined by (left) Sir Keith Mills and Irish crew man James Hynes of Malahide (back row, right). Missing is Nin O'Leary who is already on his way back to Cork to present Dinghy Fest prizes (below). Photo: Paul Wyeth

nicholas OLeary CorkRound the Island race winner O'Leary (left) on Sunday afternoon with RCYC Admiral John Roche presenting the overall Dinghy Fest award to RS Feva sailors Harry and Simon Pritchard. Photo: Bob Bateman

Often they say that the race is won either by the biggest or the smallest boats and for a time it looked like this would be a big boat race, after an impressive performance from Irvine Laidlaw's Reichel-Pugh 82, Highland Fling XI.

However, with Fling sitting at the top of the results table, Yes! and much of the rest of the IRC1 fleet within which she was racing, stormed home to dislodge a number of previous finishers from the top positions.

Highland Fling did manage to hold onto second, but ultimately Yes! was in another league taking victory by just under eight minutes corrected. Gosling's team a well-known group in the Solent and have won a great many trophies and plaudits but the Round the Island Race win had thus far eluded them.

They join a very special group of 81 winners from the illustrious race.

Published in Royal Cork YC

It was an absolutely flying start from the MOD70 Concise 10. Yesterday evening nobody thought that the course record set by another MOD70, Phaedo3, last year would fall. But their fast time to the Needles and rapid progress down the back of the Island set them up for a solid time. Then favourable winds allowed them to make the finish line on one tack, setting up a last gasp dash to the finish line.

Crossing the line after 2 hours 22 minutes and 23 seconds means they beat Phaedo3's record by exactly one minute! Congratulations to skipper Ned Collier-Wakefield and his team.

It was probably, in truth, not the glorious start that most had hoped for with breeze in the high teens and a little bit of rain combining to give the sailors competing in this 81st edition of the race something of a shock to the system. Still, nothing like a fine bit of British weather to help wake you up at 5am!

But despite this damp start the skies have since become much clearer, the clouds have broken, the rain has gone and the sun is shining. Though the conditions may not have been conducive to lounging in the sun, they certainly gave all of the sailors a fast ride down to the Needles.

We did initially expect to see a large number of boats over the startline with the tide pushing everyone to the west. But, caution seemed to play out for most and, though there were recalls in most classes, the tendency seemed to be just one or two keen starters in each fleet.

Classes Update:
IRC0 - Are currently spread off the SW coast of the Island with the lead boats around St Catherine's Point
IRC1 - The lead boats here are have passed the Needles, many are rounding as this is published with the back markers still on their approach.
IRC2 - The bulk of this fleet are passing through Hurst Narrows and will be heading round the Needles soon.
IRC3 - Are still on the approach to the Needles, with a fair spread. The front of this fleet seems to be doing very well catching up with the slowest of IRC2 who started ahead (and are, of course, faster on paper).
IRC5 - Are also on their approach to the Needles with the bulk of the fleet off Yarmouth.
IRC6 - The head if the fleet are past Newtown and making their way to Yarmouth.
IRC7 - Are mostly bunched together near Newtown.
IRC8 - The final fleet to start are all gathered between Cowes and Newtown (and off Beaulieu).

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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.

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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