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Half Tonners
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 quality of the Class Two ICRA fleet must make it one of the most competitive
Class Two is certainly heating up and expanding this year writes Dave Cullen, Skipper of championship winning half–tonner Checkmate XV. The quality of the fleet must make it one of the most competitive with boats ranging from €15k to €150k…
Howth Yacht Club's The Big Picture (Mike Evans) will contest August's Half Ton Classic Cup Comes at Kinsale Yacht Club
23 boats confirmed so far and target is to get to 28-30 for the Kinsale Yacht Club staging of the Half Ton Classic Cup this August. As no French boats are declared yet, it looks likely that the West Cork club will meet…
Howth 17 sailing at Howth Yacht Club's Autumn League. The series finished in superb weather yesterday
In an event and at a time of the year that always promises to challenge the skills of keelboat sailors, the 37th consecutive year of Howth Yacht Club’s Autumn League didn’t disappoint the hundreds of competitors who entered and completed…
Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble will defend her Classics Cup Title in Kinsale next summer
Sadly strong winds and huge seas meant that racing had to be cancelled on the final day of the Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup in Falmouth. Race Officer Jack Penty met with the skippers at 08.30 to review the…
Harmony is lying third in Falmouth
Swuzzlebubble consolidated her lead on the penultimate day of the Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 but Howth Yacht Club entry Harmony lies third, one of three Irish Half Tonners in the top six overall. The Jonny Swan skippered…
Big Picture from Howth competing at the Half Ton
Day three of the Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup was sponsored by Sta-Lok and brought a change of weather and a change of overall leader. After two days of glorious sunshine the sailors found themselves sailing in the infamous…
Half Tonners in yesterday's Coastal Race of Falmouth
#HalfTonCup - Day 2 of the Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup, sponsored by day sponsor Mylor Yacht Harbour, saw the fleet taking part in a 40-mile Coastal Race, which carried a points weighting of 1.5. For the second day…
Half Tonners racing off Falmouth in the first race of the Classics Cup today
The Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 got off to a spectacular start at Falmouth with big waves, a steady breeze, hot sun and two terrific races. The day was sponsored by Euro Car Parks and RAM Gaskets, and…
Ballyholme's Ryan Seaton and Matthew McGovern are fourth overall in the 49er
Ballyholme's Ryan Seaton and Matthew McGovern are fourth overall at the halfway stage of the Men's Skiff 49er competition and Dun Laoghaire's Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey are 12th in the women's 49erfx after a demanding four race schedule yesterday. Erik Heil and Thomas…
Blast from the past. It’s August 1980, and the magic Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble (Bruce Lyster, RStGYC) is trickling towards the finish of the ISORA Pwllheli-Howth race which she won overall to confirm her as ISORA Champion 1980. She also won ISORA Week 1980, and her class in Cowes Week 1980. Crew on board are (left to right) Bruce Lyster, Robert Dix on helm, Michael Rowan, Drewry Pearson (white hat), and Des Cummins
With the confirmation that Kinsale Yacht Club will be hosting the Half Ton Classic Worlds from August 14th to 18th 2017, Irish interest will intensify further in a class which already attracts much favourable attention. W M Nixon tells us…
Howth Yacht Club's Michael and Richard Evans will be competing in their Humphreys MG30 Big Picture
With the start of the Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 fast approaching on Monday 15 August the Half Ton Classics and the town of Falmouth are in the final stages of preparation for what promises to be a…
Harmony is one of four potent Irish Half Tonners racing in 2016
Irish Half tonners and Quarter Tonners are shaping up for a full–on season in 2016. Dave Cullen's old Half Tonner King One has reportedly just finished a big refit under new Howth owners which means Cullen's new steed Checkmate, Harmony,…
Cullen's Checkmate Is Half Ton Classics Cup Champion 2015 With Race to Spare
#halfton – After five days, ten races, multiple parties and some amazingly close yacht racing, the 1985 Humphreys MG HS30 Checkmate XV, helmed by Ireland's David Cullen and crewed by Mark Pettitt, John Murphy, James Hynes, Andy George, Aidan Beggan…
Penalty for Checkmate in Coastal Race, Howth Yacht Still Leads Half Ton Cup
#halfton – The Long Inshore race of the Half Ton Classics Cup 2015 in Nieuwpoort proved to be a light airs affair requiring huge concentration and mental stamina of helms, tacticians and trimmers alike. With a 23 mile course which…

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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