With a bravura performance of three straight wins on today’s penultimate day, the stunningly restored 1978 Farr designed Swuzzlebubble, owned and helmed by Peter Morton and crewed by Kelvin Rawlings, Anthony Haines, Eouard Lynch, John Kemp, David Lenz and Martin Calmon, claimed the 2014 Half Ton Classics Cup with a day to spare. Behind them the battle for second and third continues to rage, but tonight the delighted Swuzzlebubble crew can relax and enjoy the Half Ton Classics Cup Crew Dinner at the Saint-Quay-Portreiux Casino safe in the knowledge that tomorrow’s race is just for fun. And they do intend to race, as Kelvin confirmed after sailing today; “Of course we’re going to sail tomorrow. It’s been a fantastic week, perfect weather, stunning scenery, great competition: we wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
For Peter this win completes an extraordinary hat trick of Ton Cup victories. His first was the Three Quarter Ton Cup of 1986 in Torquay aboard Graham Walker’s Indulgence. Ten years ago Peter was one of the driving forces behind the revival of the Quarter Tonners and he has gone on to win the Quarter Ton Cup no less than four times in three different boats, most recently just two weeks ago. Adding the Half Ton Cup to his trophy cabinet fulfills a long held dream for the man who has been a driving force in yacht racing for the past three decades.
Speaking after sailing, Peter was full of praise for the race management; “The race office has done an absolutely fantastic job. The start lines were spot on and it was almost impossible to pick the bias.” the venue; “Today the racing was just stunning, we had 16-20 knots with not a cloud in the sky and its just such a lovely part of the world, Brittany.” and his crew; “I’ve had some of the guys who sail with me in the Quarter Tonners. Kelvin Rawlings who I’ve been sailing with for probably 35 years now. Kelvin and I have done Admiral’s Cups, One Ton Cups, Three Quarter Ton Cups and Quarter Ton Cups before. Antony Haines who did a lot of work on the boat over the winter. Dave Lenz from North Sails who’s done a fantastic job as he stepped in for my normal tactician Jules Salter who couldn’t make it this week. And a lot of the guys that I’ve sailed with quite a lot before, which I think has helped us a lot as we’ve worked together before and we understand each other, and I think that’s been quite an important part of it.” (An extended interview with Peter Morton will be published at the Half Ton Classics Cup Blog shortly)
Although Swuzzlebubble’s victory is confirmed, the remainder of the podium is going down to the wire. Today, two ferociously competitive windward leeward races and a coastal course, around the rocky Iles de Saint-Quay, were run in glorious hot sunshine and a northwesterly wind of around 16-20 knots.
Going into the day Brittany Drizzle, Bernard Fornier Le Ray’s 1978 Berret, held a narrow two point lead over her sister ship, Philippe Pilate’s General Tapioca with Claude Charbonnier’s Sibelius (1980 Joubert-Nivelt) and Toni Stoschek’s Superhero (1988 Andrieu) both just seven points behind in fourth and fifth.
Brittany Drizzle and General Tapioca continued to be at each other’s throats all day and were never separated by more than a few second on corrected time. Brittany Drizzle added two seconds and a third to her card and she now holds second place with seventeen points. General Tapioca took second in race five, fourth in race six and third in race seven and hangs onto third place with twenty-one points, still in striking distance of the second step on the podium.
Sibelius initially held her own with a fourth and third, but she struggled to maintain her form in the longer coastal race, finishing eighth. Although she remains in fourth place overall, with only one more race to sail tomorrow her thirteen-point delta on General Tapioca means she is no longer able to make the podium. Sadly Superhero had a day of mixed fortunes so she has dropped down the ranking to sixth place, allowing Nigel Biggs’ Checkmate XV (1985 Humphries) to move up into fifth overall.
At this evening’s daily prize giving ceremony several special prizes were handed out including the Furthest Sailed To Take Part Prize, which went to David Evans and his crew of family and friends aboard Hullabaloo VX, who sailed 340 miles from the UKs east coast; and the Gentleman’s Prize, for the team felt to best embody the true spirit of the class, which was presented to Richard and Ursula Hollis of Crakajax and from Cowes.
Tomorrow one single race remains to be sailed as the Sailing Instructions call for no starts to be made after 11.00. That single start is scheduled for 10.00 and with a forecast for more great weather we look forward to the event going out on a high note as Swuzzlebubble enjoys a lap of honour and Brittany Drizzle and General Tapioca fight it out for second place.
For further information about the Half Ton Class please visit www.halftonclasseurope.net