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Eight Irish Half Tonners for ICRAs, Dun Laoghaire Regatta & Sovereigns Cup Tour

5th February 2019
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There looks like there's going to be another season of great racing in the eight boat Irish Half Tonner fleet this season There looks like there's going to be another season of great racing in the eight boat Irish Half Tonner fleet this season Photo: Afloat.ie

Dave Cullen on where the growing vintage Irish Half Tonner fleet is racing this year

Last year it was decided in Nieuwpoort to revert to a biennial format for the Half Ton Classic Cup so there is no event this year. Instead, RORC will host next year’s event in Cowes and are resurrecting the original “Half Ton Cup” to present.

Locally, this means we are roaming Ireland instead with the active fleet which now comprises Checkmate XV, Harmony, King One, Miss Whiplash, Checkmate XVIII, The Big Picture, Cortegada and Mata (formerly Trastada) all lining up for ICRAs, Dun Laoghaire Week and Sovereigns Cup. We have also resurrected the Irish Half Ton Cup presented by Sean Flood and Chubb in 1988 and this will be competed for as part of Sovereigns Cup.

Harmony 4575Harmony

The Big Picture 4453The Big Picture

kingonehalftonKing One

Checkmate XV 4433Checkmate XV

Checkmate XVIII 4645Checkmate XVIII

Miss Whiplash Half TonMiss Whiplash Photo: Bob Bateman

"We have also resurrected the Irish Half Ton Cup"

The two Checkmates are also heading to Pwllheli in August for the Welsh IRC Championships.

Mata formerly Trastada 0657Mata formerly Trastada Photo: Afloat.ie

Half Tonner CortegadaCortegada Photo: Bob Bateman

For a bit of fun, I have chartered Gunboat Rangiriri to compete in the Italian Half Ton Cup in May in Fiumicino, Rome. Gunboat is in original configuration as are all the local boats with a fractional rig with runners and original centreboard!

David Cullen

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David Cullen

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Howth Yacht Club sailor Dave Cullen is the 2018 Half Ton Classic Cup World Champion

Irish Sailing Classes and Association – There’s no shortage of one-design classes from which to choose and each gives its enthusiasts great competition, fun and camaraderie, writes Graham Smith in this review of the classes. 

One-design racing is where it all starts. It is, after all, where all the top sailors earned their stripes, battling away for line honours without a thought for a handicapper’s calculator wiping away a hard-fought victory!

Indeed, you could count on less than one hand the number of top Irish sailors who didn’t cut their teeth in a one-design dinghy! Just think of Cudmore, Barrington, Watson, Wilkins, Hennessy and Dix to name a few and you realise that they honed their skills in everything from Enterprises to Lasers and a lot in between.

At present count, there are a little over 30 one-design classes in Ireland, split almost evenly between dinghies and keelboats, a statistic which might raise a few eyebrows. They range from the long-established Mermaids, IDRA14s and Dragons to the newer additions like Fevas, Topaz and RS Elite. They all fill a particular need and give their owners and crews considerable enjoyment.

Many have attracted their World or European Championships to Irish waters over the years and while 2009 is notable for a lack of such events here, the following year will see the Etchells Worlds at Howth and perhaps a few other international regattas too.

In addition to the review, we asked each class to complete a questionnaire giving details of their fleet numbers, whether they were on a growth pattern or holding their own, so we could highlight those ‘on the up’ and those remaining static in terms of numbers. The older traditional designs, as you might imagine, fall into the latter category, although that’s not a negative!

CLASS REVIEW  The State of the Classes – League Table (as at February 2009)

S = Static; U = Up/growing

275     Optimist   U

200+   Laser   S

189     Mermaid   S

160     Flying Fifteen   S

130     RS Feva   U

115     Shannon One Design    U

100+   Mirror   S

100+   Topper   U

99       Topaz   U

94       Laser SB3   U

87       GP14   U

85       Squib   S

70       Fireball   S

70       Ruffian   S

60       J24   S

60       Shipman   S

52       Dragon   S

50       RS400/200   S

50       420    U

43       Multihulls    U

42       Dragon    S

40       Water Wags    U

40       Wayfarer    S

34       IDRA14    U

33       Puppeteer    U

28       Etchells    S

27       E-Boat    U

26       Glen    S

25       Enterprise    S

18       Sigma 33    S

18       Howth 17    U

13       RS Elite    U

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