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Half Tonners
2018 Half Ton Classics Cup winners David Cullen and the Checkmate XV team Darragh O'Connor, Nin O'Leary, Jonathan Sargent, Aidan Beggan, Niki Potterton and Franz Rothschild of the Howth Yacht Club
With a convincing win in the final spectacular race run in glorious sunshine and big seas off Nieuwpoort, Checkmate XV (1985 Humphreys) and her crew of owner David Cullen, Darragh O'Connor, Nin O'Leary, Jonathan Sargent, Aidan Beggan, Niki Potterton and…
Howth Yacht Club's Dave Cullen has clinched the overall lead of the Half Ton Classics Cup
Howth Yacht Club's Dave Cullen has clinched the overall lead of the Half Ton Classics Cup 2018 in Nieuwpoort, Belgium going into the final day of the competition. Day four's Long Inshore Race proved to be both an incredibly closely fought…
Jonny Swan's Harmony hit the front up the first beat of race four and then hung onto her lead all the way to win by forty-seven seconds on corrected time
Both Howth Yacht Club Half Tonners are in the top five overall of the Half Ton Classics Cup in Belgium after six races sailed. What a difference a day makes! After the grey skies and light winds of the first…
Howth Yacht Club's Checkmate XV, skippered by Dave Cullen, in light airs racing yesterday
Light airs continued to plague the Half Ton Classics Cup 2018 on day two of the regatta where, in spite of the often extremely fickle conditions, Race Officer Paul Charlier and his team did a superb job to achieve races…
Dave Cullen's Checkmate XV (blue hull second from left) from Howth Yacht Club emerges in clear air in the light-wind start of yesterday’s opening race in the Half Ton Classics in Belgium
Dave Cullen's Checkmate XV from Howth Yacht Club lies second after the opening day of the Half Ton Classics Cup in Nieuwpoort, Belgium brought overcast skies, fickle light winds and a big challenge for both the competitors and the Koninklijke…
Howth's Jonny Swan in Harmony, a Humphreys' design from 1980, is heading for the 2018 Half Ton Classics Cup at Nieuwpoort in Belgium next week
Howth Yacht Club's Dave Cullen in the 1985 Humphreys designed Checkmate XV and Jonny Swan in Harmony, an earlier Humphreys' design from 1980, are both heading for the 2018 Half Ton Classics Cup at Nieuwpoort in Belgium next week. The…
With a crew of friends and family very much in mind, Conor Fogerty's Silver Shamrock competes in the first ISORA race off Dalkey, County Dublin
The latest addition to Howth’s vintage fleet, Conor Fogerty’s ‘new’ boat is something of an old favourite and one that should be very familiar to Afloat.ie readers. Silver Shamrock, the Ron Holland-designed and Cork-built Half Tonner that took its class…
Phil Plumtree's Swuzzlebubble, the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classic Cup winner at Kinsale. This is the third win for Swuzzlebubble in three events, each with a different owner
Mark Mansfield, tactician on The Big Picture, fourth overall at August's Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classic Cup 2017, reviews progress in the Class and the Kinsale Yacht Club event. Having done the last two versions of this event I…
Phil Plumtree, skipper of Swuzzlebubble (centre) receives the overall trophy from Thomas Roche, Commodore of Kinsale YC (left) and Philippe Pilate, President of the Half Ton Class at the prize-giving for the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup 2017 at Kinsale Yacht Club, Ireland
With the overall regatta decided on the penultimate day, the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup was presented to Phil Plumtree and the crew of Swuzzlebubble at Kinsale Yacht Club, Ireland on Friday night. A single ‘round the cans’…
Another first and second place on Thursday saw Swuzzlebubble start the coastal course with a commanding nine-point advantage
With a scoresheet of mostly first and second places for the series, Phil Plumtree’s Swuzzlebubble won the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club, Ireland with just Friday’s eleventh race remaining. A breezy penultimate day ended…
Swuzzlebubble skippered by Phil Plumtree (UK) leads at Kinsale's Half Ton Cup
Winds in excess of 30–knots off the Old Head of Kinsale forced the abandonment of the programme for Day 3 of the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club, Ireland. Although the conditions had eased by…
Phil Plumtree’s Swuzzlebubble leads at the Half ton Cup. Scroll down the page for gallery of photos
Phil Plumtree’s Swuzzlebubble found form on the second day of racing at the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club with two wins and two second places during a long day afloat sailed in ideal conditions.…
Consistent sailing for Nigel Biggs put the British team in the lead of the Half Ton Cup in Kinsale
Nigel Biggs on his newly-refurbished Checkmate XVIII leads the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club after a rain-soaked opening day but only two points separate first to fourth places. Although Phil Plumtree’s two-times past champion…
Nigel Biggs' Checkmate XVIII, the UK entry came to the assistance of a Finnish rival in Kinsale as the call went out for a spare mast
As the 21-strong fleet (just two down from expectations in March) for the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club prepares for race one this morning, a race against time has been ongoing since Friday to…
Dave Cullen’s recent victories on Checkmate XV at Dun Laoghaire Regatta and the Sovereigns Cup places him best of the home fleet
With a 21-strong record entry, three new boats, a formidable defending title-holder and a two-times runner-up all in the mix, next month’s Euro Car Parks sponsored Half Ton Classics Cup has all the ingredients for a memorable championship from Sunday…
Checkmate XVIII – the old Emiliano Zapata, ex Dick Dastardly, ex French Beret, ex Concorde from 1985 is undergoing a refit in North Wales, launching early May
Ireland will be the base for the Nigel Biggs Checkmate XVIII Half Ton campagin this season with a programme that includes the ICRA Nationals, Sovereigns Cup, Dun Laoghaire Regatta and the Half Ton Cup in Kinsale. In a previous Irish…

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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