Everyone a winner: the real Half Ton spirit shines

Seventeen Half Ton crews experienced five heydays at the Fast Lines Half Ton Classics Cup in Cowes. The Valhalla of Western European sailing, on the more English than English Isle of Wight, showed itself in all its facets.

The organization relied on the efforts of some local volunteers but also the professionalism of the RORC race organization.

The twelfth Cup since the creation of the class, the first since 2018, was an eventful edition. It wasn’t just the Irish who walked away with the prizes this time.

Five days of racing on the cutting edge means nine rounds, one of which is a long distance inshore and the rest windward/leeward or ’round the cans’ races. All in a bubble of the windless heat of an exceptional summer and in between the threatening, rainy thunderstorm zones.

Community of sailors

‘It was also nice to see the sailors we have missed for so long,’ says Half Ton Class secretary and fellow participant Bert Janssen. Of course, the cup experienced the same impact of what the world has undergone in the last two years.

The restart of sailing events is difficult everywhere. But the turnout – and the fact that it has been highlighted in the sailing press – is a merit in itself.

With the exception of the long distance, all series were sailed in predominantly light winds and fairly flat seas. But many especially remember the downwind courses of the inshore in the western part of the Solent, where the log climbed over ten knots and more.

Indeed, some Half Tonners can still show some stability antics.

Philippe Pilate, HTC chairman

The Half Ton spirit dominates everything in Cowes: an international company of top sailors and new talents sailing boats of all kind.

Great race, hard recoil

The domination of the Irish in the class is not exactly surprising. Checkmate XV and Swuzzlebubble have taken turns winning the Cup since 2013. More than once this year, the four Irish participants are the first to turn around the windward mark.

For David and James Dwyer and team (Swuzzlebubble) the penalty must have arrived hard, after they finished with a big lead in a spectacular spinnaker run. 27 instead of 1.5 points is barely made up for.

King One (Patrick Boardman, IRL) claimed final victory with 1/4/3/2/7/11/1.5/1/2 (14.5).
Harmony (John Swan, IRL) took second place with 23 points.
Halfajet, (Ronan Treussart, FRA), made up for a lot by a victory in the last series
, and finished third.

Inch by inch

The British Halftonners bit off, such as Chimp, -2nd in the long distance-, Quokka 9, 2nd in races 1 and 4- and Hullabaloo XV, the Hustler 32 F/r of the 72-year-old David Evans who seemingly never did anything but sail.

The Belgian General Tapioca team of Philippe Pilate – winners of the HTC of 2003 and 2009 – did not make it into the first half of the overall ranking.
“Because apparently we didn’t find the right setting on board,” he commented.

And then there was the Norwegian Half Moon of the always broadly smiling Martin Kamperhaug. Martin is an avid sailor who only just before this championship went to pick up his Jean Berret 1978 design in La Rochelle.

In fact, they only brought their experience but stumbled upon the countless technical elements that clearly need to be treated.

Half Moon

Only towards the last rounds there was also more crew on board than the initial three men, but that did not lift the Half Moon higher in the rankings.
And still Martins’ smile didn’t go away.

The Norwegian Connection

All factors that earned the skipper and crew the coveted Half Ton True Spirit trophy, chosen with overwhelming unanimity among all participants.
To top it all off, Kamperhaug also announced that his club welcomes every Halftonner for the 13th Half Ton Classics Cup in Hankø, in southern Norway, near the Kattegat.
Norway counts more than twenty Halftonners, which in itself is an interesting challenge to come over en masse.

Let’s meet there again from 13 to 19 August 2023 in Hankø.

Final results Fast Lines half Ton Cup 22

Supported by

Fast Lines

Royal Ocean Racing Club

North Sails | Spinlock | Whine therapy | Wessex distillery

Posted in Half Ton Classics Cup 2022 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fast Lines Half Ton Classics Cup: Sensational and smart

Half Ton sailors love variety. In Thursday’s exciting Long Distance Round the Cans, the last two Windward Leeward and Round the Can races had to determine the thrilling struggle between the four dominating Irish Halftonners and the attacking French and English.

Wind for lunch

Lots of wind at the Long Distance in the western part of the Solent, so the sailors went crazy. Especially in the second half, a long leg in the familiar choppy wind-against-tide situation.

On Hullabaloo XV only one exploding block, caused the sudden passing of two spinnakers. In bursts of more than twenty-five knots, a few boats showed their flashing clean white bottoms, and continued jubilantly towards Cowes.

What should have been an obvious case turned out differently at the Gala Dinner. Hm: some tables are left empty. Hadn’t the Dyers surfed their boat across the finish line by a wide margin, ahead of all the others? After a protest, the favorite Swuzzlebubble seemed to have lost its first place.
Roger Marino surprisingly finished second with the Chimp. Checkmate XV came in third.  

King One thus occupied a generous position on the condition that Patrick Boardman’s crew would not drop any stitches in the last two rounds.
No one would give gifts.

Final races

Especially for the last days of this championship, the weather gods brought out their best supply of English drizzle. Eventually it was possible to start in noticeably light conditions for a Windward leeward that had to be shortened.

You saw some people looking for wind in the middle of the Solent, but the steam was playing tricks on them. Once again, King One shows her superiority and finishes just ahead of Harmony and Checkmate XV.

The French Halfajet (team Ronan Treussard) wants to process the gnashing of teeth for a lost protest, earlier in the week. The attack attempt in this first moto fails, but in the second round, it succeeds. Wind and current are more favorable on the right side of the last rak to the finish.

Treussard sends his halftonner in a straight line to the finish, the Dwyers, on the port side of the French, must pinch too much and get the finish buoy more just. Halfajet rises again in the General Ranking and returns to Brittany with his head held high. 

Final results of the fast Lines Half Ton Classic Cup – Cowes 2022

Look here for more pics by Pit De Jonge

Posted in Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 | Leave a comment

Fast Lines Half Ton Cup: it takes two to tango

Exactly at the scheduled time, the RORC’s race committee fired the gun for the fifth series of the Fast Lines Half Ton Cup in Cowes. The weather conditions remained undefined, with light winds and thunderstorm threats. And quite some current to deal with.

In the last minute before the start of the first leg, a group fighting at the pin end: Halfajet, Checkmate XV, Secrets, Harmony, General Tapioca and Ballerine.

The group would not relinquish the lead, with a few shifts. For example, Ballerine rounds the leeward buoy first, but the newly assembled team loses places afterwards because the of experimental routine. However, in leg six they did finish seventh, thanks to another headsail that make her steer closer to the wind.

In search for that inch more

For the second series, the track is shifted by almost thirty degrees. At the first start, Swuzzlebubble starts first, by shooting under the starting boat Ocean One at the right time. But it is clearly a general recall, the current pushes the fleet over the line too much. However, they had been warned.

At the second start the fleet stays much further away, Swuzzlebubble gets caught up in the group that wants to stay under the starting boat and can only sail itself free after the start, clearly to the wrong side of the track.

Once again, Halfajet and Harmony move to the lead, hot on the heels of Secrets (team Christopher Agar GBR5395) and Quokka 9 (team Peter Rutter GBR8185).

In the rear, the Half Moon of the Norwegian Martin Kamperhaug team sails with full dedication to keep up with the gang. The too small team has received some reinforcement but struggles with an unknown boat.  

And then, the sky went purplish, the wind shifted, and a curtain of rain descended on the fleet.
The radar showed an awkward variety of colors. Time to return to Cowes.

The Half Ton Class honours the winner of day races. Plural.

Yesterday, in the fifth and sixth heats (W/L), both the IRL1484 Harmony (team John Swan -right on photo) and the FRA8444 Halfajet (team Ronan Treussart –left on photo-) seemed to have found their pace. The conditions were mostly light, with little wave action. Both sailed first and second. So, they share the day prize.

Harmony leads the general ranking with one point less than Halfajet. IRL809 King One (team Patrick Boardman) is third.

Have a look at the photo album CLICK HERE

Results Fast Lines half Ton Cup Cowes: CLICK HERE

Posted in Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 | Leave a comment

Fast Lines Half Ton Classics Cup: when Cowes weather returns, the Jedi returns too

Third day Fast Lines Half Ton Classics Cup, and finally enough wind from midday on to sail three series.

Two Windward-Leeward courses and a ’round the cans’.

Look who’s here

The Swuzzlebubbleteam of David and James Dwyer has clearly found the gear lever again, because after a surprising ninth place yesterday, they put down a fantastic 1/1/4 today.

King One (team Patrick Boardman -IRL) did get a win yesterday, but with 3/3/2 Swuzzlebubble still has to lead in the overall ranking, despite the equal points.

From the group that dominated yesterday’s race, Hullabaloo XV (team David Evans) managed to stay in the top five by – very much to his own surprise – winning the last race of the day.

Of course, he knows the Solent like the back of his hand and was also the sailor who predicted the sailing wind in the full wind silence, early in the morning

The French Hafajet team also jokingly sat down for the barbecue. The Treussard team has also clearly read the manual for sailing in the Solent. They climb from 14 to 4 in the general ranking.

Fresh blood

Six minus eighteen years sailors sail on various Half Tonners in this championship. They are allowed to sail outside the IRC crew restrictions. Hopefully they will gain so much experience here, says Half Ton Class organizer Bert Janssen, that we will see them again in the coming years with their own halftonner.

The class does everything it can to assist and thorough advise about available boats, gear, how to run a campaign etc.  For the time being, they received a special chocolate cup. They’ll need the energy.

Overall results: CLICK HERE

The complete photo album: CLICK HERE (C) Pit De Jonge

Posted in Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 | Leave a comment

The Fast Lines Half Ton Classics Cup 22: King One (IRL) sets the tone at the first race

Even the Valhalla of sailing does not escape the gigantic windless heat bubble that overwhelms western Europe. Nevertheless, the RORC competition organization managed to put in an exciting windward leeward series on the first day of the Fast Lines Half Ton Classics Cup.

By noon, in the period of slack water, the seventeen Half Tonners started for a windward – leeward track of 1.1 nautical miles.

The race would benefit from the weaker current, as the wind would never exceed ten knots.

Immediately the fleet split into a group that steered towards the middle of the Solent and one that would stay closer to shore. The left side option was the most profitable, despite the slight countercurrent.

It was good to be careful to tack to the windward buoy at the right time and then without hesitation to get the spinnaker right on it.

That went a bit smoother on one boat than on the other. At the Norwegian Half Moon (Martin Kamperhaug) they had to get the job done with three. Their option to keep to the right didn’t do any good either. 

The Irish King One (team Patrick Boardman) built up a solid lead to stay ahead of Quokka (GBR – team Peter Rutter and Harmony (IRL team John Swan). Superhero (GBR – team Tony Stochek) was first over the start at the pin end, but still lost places.

For a while it looked like there would be a second series, but the wind fell like a block and the race was called off after a false start.

More to come in the following days.

Have a look! All the photos by Pit De Jonge HERE

Posted in Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Fast Lines Half Ton Classics Cup 22: countdown with numbers after the comma

Half Moon Martin Kamperhaug (NOR)
The Norwegian Half Moon delivery team arrived last week already

With exactly twenty announced – and the rumors of even more unannounced – participants in this event, there are many other reasons to look forward to next weekend.

The Half Ton Class is very happy to be back in Cowes, courtesy of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The regatta program is finalized, with fine races that – perfectly according to the Half Ton Class spirit – will be very varied: for now, there are seven windward – leeward races, four round the cans and one round the island race on the program. It will depend on the circumstances how this turns out. 

Half Ton Clas - Halfajet (FRA)
Team Halfajet (FRA)

Even more in that spirit, it is impossible to predict who has a chance of winning this cup. The Irish teams are as strong and focused as ever. We don’t say anything about Swuzzlebubble, but that Checkmate XV (David Cullen) comes to defend her title is still telling.  Just like the French Halfajet (G+R Treussart) who comes with a crushing victory of four of the five races in the latest Tour du Finisterre.

Also, look out for Général Tapioca (Phil Pilate), Chimp (Roger Marino) and even Quokka 8 (Peter Rutter). There are more candidate winners; but the most important issue will be who will in the end will receive the Half Ton True Spirit Trophy.

The big unknown factor of course remains how much time one has been able to spend during the many lockdowns pimping the boat, (G+R Treussart). Team training and …applying the Mills recipes to the letter… 😊

That will all become clear as from Monday, August 15.

Fast Lines Half Ton Classics Cup 2022 – Cowes 14-19 AUG

Entry list: https://halftonclassicscup.com/entry-list/

Programme: https://halftonclassicscup.com/programme/

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/HalfTonClassEurope/

Posted in Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 | Leave a comment


On Monday 15th August, which is exactly 51 days from today, the 12th Half Ton Classics Cup will start on the Solent, organized by RORC Cowes and the Half Ton Class Europe (HTCE).

Today, the Half Ton Class Europe is proud to announce that the Antwerp-based shipping company FAST LINES BELGIUM (www.fast-lines.com) has stepped on board as main sponsor of the event.

Founded in 1991 the Fast Group is a complete logistic service provider giving their customers “Sofa Style Service”, operating a fleet of 5 boxshaped coastal vessels with a cargo capacity ranging from 3.000 to 3.500 Ton, allowing most types of breakbulk cargo to be shipped conveniently, safely and cost-effectively. Because they are shallow drafted and suitable for river trade these vessels are able to discharge 40-50 kilometers inland from the normal larger ports on the main coastline(s).

Fast Lines Belgium is 100% controlled by the family Scheers. Since 2003 Catrien Scheers and Yvan Vlaminckx are at helm of Fast Group.

The Fast Group has offices in Belgium, Poland, Ireland and the UK, and they operate two terminals in Szczecin (Poland) and one in Drogheda (Ireland). These vast terminals with insulated covered warehouses enable them to handle an extensive range of commodities such as steel products, general cargo, timber, forestry products, chemicals in bulk, packed chemicals, etc.

In March 2020 Fast Lines Belgium started a Liner Service between Antwerp and Drogheda in Ireland (Fast Terminals). This liner service handles all kind of breakbulk and general cargoes such as steel products, bagged material, palletized goods, project cargoes, etc.

The Half Ton Class Europe is looking forward to combine their passion for sailing vintage amateur crewed yachts with FAST’s key values of loyalty, communication, environmentally friendly multimodal transport and passion for the sea in general.

Posted in Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 | Leave a comment

Register, register & register

The latest newsletter from the Half Ton Class Europe has just been released.

It is specially intended to those amongst you that are planning to take part in the 2022 Half Ton Classics Cup: we need you to register!

Also, for teams that did not yet consider taking part: please re-consider and … register! 

And just to remind you: the event is open to all halftonners, from the ‘top notch’ racers to the vintage unmodified halftonners and series boats. After all, the most glorious trophy is the ‘Half Ton True Spirit Trophy’…

The Class remains very active in her aim to gather a consequent and attractive fleet for the next HTCC in Cowes (14-19 August).

At this moment we are negociation with a potential main sponsor, which is a good development for the event and the Class. But still your suggestions for other potential partners are welcomed. So if you have some guidance for us, please contact us…

You as well you play a major role in the Class, and one of the main actions you can take now is to register for the even: this will allow us tob etter organize the event and to guarantee its success.

The Notice of Race is published here: http://www.halftonclass.eu/media/documents/Half_Ton_Cup_NOR_2022_Final_1.pdf

You can register your boat & team for the event at this link: https://www.rorc.org/events/racing-events-2022/half-ton-cup-2022

We urge you to register as fast as possible: it is a fact that the longer the list is, the more teams will register and so will ensure a financially viable event.

Plan your stay as from today – the Class counts on you all!

Posted in Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 | Leave a comment

The Countdown has begun

On Monday 15th August, which is exactly 159 days from today, the 12th Half Ton Classics Cup will start on the Solent, somewhere on Hills Head Plateau we guess, just off Cowes. We will all have been waiting nearly 3 years for that moment…

The Half Ton Class Europe and the RORC Cowes will do all that is within their possibilities to make it a great event, and we count on you all to prepare your halftonners, select the finest crew and make all the necessary arrangements for your stay in Cowes.

Last time, back in 2011, some 38 halftonners made it to the starting line, and there was great racing, with Chimp finally taking the much coveted Half Ton Classics Trophy. We all remember the hilarious prizegivings by Richard Hollis who always had the right prize for the right boat, including a small kid’s bucket and shovel for the top French boat that was stuck on Ryde Sands and hence missing out on a likely victory in the long distance race around the island…

Let the weather be fine, the winds fair… and the participants numerous!

Posted in Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 | Leave a comment

Final Report – Checkmate XV Makes It A Victory Double

IMG_1497.jpgWith 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 Frank Rothchild of the Howth Yacht Club claimed a well deserved overall victory in the 2018 Half Ton Classics Cup.  For Checkmate XV this was the third time she had earnt the right to have her name engraved on the Half Ton Classics Cup (equalling the legendary Swuzzlebubble’s record) and for David and his team is was their second win, the first also being here in Nieuwpoort in 2015

IMG_2225The final race was a cracker, sailed in a 14-16 knot westerly, huge seas and glorious sunshine. The first start was recalled so Race Officer Paul Charlier pulled out the U Flag and on the second attempt everyone behaved. It was nip and tuck all the way with Robbie Tregear’s Per Elisa (1992 Ceccarelli) initially heading the fleet from Philippe Pilate’s General Tapioca (1978 Berret), Checkmate XV, Toni Stoschek & Janne Tukolas’ Superhero (1988 Andrieu), Tom Florizoone’s Red Cloud (1981 Joubert), Paul Wayte’s Headhunter (1984 Van de Stadt) and Jonny Swan’s Harmony (1980 Humphreys). But the Irish team dug deep and by the final turn for home Checkmate XV had a decent lead with Per Elisa, Harmony and General Tapioca now hard on her heels. At the finish Checkmate XV took the race by 52 seconds, with Harmony second from Per Elisa and General Tapioca fourth. Sadly a technical issue with the committee boat’s anchor made a second race impossible and so the championship closed with eight races completed.

P1040373.jpgIn his thank you speach at the prize giving David Cullen made a few special presentations of his own before reflecting that “Being a Half Ton owner is a bit like being a heroin addict, you don’t really enjoy it but its very hard to stop! And a lot of that comes down to the camadareri in this room and in this class.” It was a sentiment that clearly hit the right note with the assembled crowd and he then went on to particularly thank Class Chairman Philippe Pilate and Class Secretary Bert Janssen for all their work in driving and supporting the Class.

P1040318.jpgIn the Vintage IOR Division Albert Pierrard & An Callens’ A+ (1985 Nissen) had a superb last race loving every minute of the downwind sleigh rides, with Waverider second by 47 seconds and Nicolas Lejeune’s Skippy’s Ton (1984 Briand) third. At the Prize Giving it was confirmed that the first ever winner of the new Vintage IOR Trophy was the local Belgian boat Waverider sailed by owner Jaques Lemaire, Michael Gendebien, Thibout de Kenchous, Michel Lefebure, Stephove Putseys, Winnie Berteloot and Pascal Aboosha. Ivan Van Burm’s Fantasy (1980 Humphreys) took second place by a mere half point from A+ in third.

P1040306.jpgAlongside the main trophies two further special prizes were also announced. The first was the Half Ton Classics Cup Corinthian Trophy, which goes to the top performing all amateur crew and was won by Rampage (1985 Briand) sailed by owner John Hicks, Rod Wootton, Will Parkinson, Mike Chamberlain, Becky Leach, Jane Hicks and Joe Cable from Cornwall, UK.

P1040376.jpgThe final prize presented is always the Spirit of Half Ton Trophy and it goes to the team who best embody that certain hard to define something that sums up the true heart of the Half Ton Class. For rescuing and totally rebuilding their boat against all the odds after she was almost completely destroyed when a crane fell on her some three years ago, this year the Spirit of Half Ton Trophy was presented to the Florizoone family and Waverider. Waverider is a truly special Half Tonner; designed by Laurie Davidson in 1977 she won two consecutive Half Ton Cups in 1978 off Poole and in 1979 off Scheveningen. Her reconstruction has been a work of love and dedication by the Florizoones and their friends and family, with the support of Tom Florizoone (Red Cloud), Ian Van Burm (Fantasy) and Jacques Lemair (better known as the carbon-master). This week Jacques has been helming Waverider with his Sorcier Noir (Black Witch) team. Waverider is a wooden boat so first she had to be put into a jig and left to settle back into shape before the rebuild could start. That work could only begin a few months ago and took the team until the night before the regatta to complete. The very first time the boat sailed after her relaunch was the first race of this championship, so this was a hugely popular win and the entire team involved came to the stage to raucous cheers and applause.

IMG_2164.jpgThere were thank yous to the many volunteers and sponsors who have made the event possible and every team taking part was called forward to receive gifts and prizes before Master of Ceremonies Bert Janssen confirmed that the next Half Ton Classics Cup will be held in 2020 and will be hosted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in Cowes (dates to be confirmed). Finally Commodore Baudouin Meyhui of the Koninklijke Yacht Club Nieuwpoort thanked the competitors, wished them safe journeys home and hoped that they would all be back in Nieuwpoort again very soon.

Posted in Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 | 1 Comment