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The UK’s second ever VX One National Championship gets underway from 2 - 4 October at Weymouth Sailing Club. With boats travelling from as far afield as Ullswater, Edinburgh and the West Country, a good forecast and the sailing taking place on Weymouth Bay’s Olympic waters, the event is promising some thrilling and highly competitive, one-design racing.

The lively VX One, which has strong fleets in the USA and Australia, is already catching the eye of many top UK sailors. Last year’s Nationals saw the likes of Peter Barton and Olympian Stevie Morrison try their hand in the class, with more newcomers this year. Former Enterprise and OK World Champion, Jim Hunt will be making his debut in the fleet, along with Adrian Peach the SB20 Cowes Week Grand Slam champion.

Current VX One Inland Champions, and former International 14 stalwart, Howard Steavenson, sailing with son Tom, are racing as one of the fleet favourites for the Championship title.

Recently described as “The best one design ever!” by five times 505 World Champion, Wolfgang Hunger, and the “One of the most exciting new Sportsboats to hit the scene” by Yachting World’s Matt Sheahan, and with full support from the Ovington Boats team on shore, we can look forward to some exciting sailing over the next three days.

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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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