We’ve had a great week here in Falmouth and huge thanks must go to Flushing Sailing Club, our amazing sponsors, the town of Falmouth, the Half Ton Class and all the many volunteers who have made the event possible. We spoke to Regatta Chair Dave Owens to find out a little bit more about what goes into making these regattas possible.
Thank you Falmouth for a great day ashore. The crews have sampled your delights and found them to be most excellent! The boats that needed hauling have been lifted, others are ready for their return delivery trips once the wind abates a little, the office is packed up, the committee boats and ribs have been put to bed. All that remains is to have a fantastic final celebration and honour our heroes at the Prize Giving which kicks off in the marquee from 6pm. There will be music, beers, trophies and great company so we’ll see you down there!
With racing cancelled today it’s back to the day job for Miss Whiplash’s tactician Timmy Bailey, who is renowned as one of Falmouth’s top crab fishermen when he’s not helping Paul Pullen and his team to a second place at the Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classis Cup!
Huge congratulations to Greg Peck, Steve George, Mike Relling, Kevin George, Mike Grieg, Andy Yeomans and James Dodd of the 1977 Bruce Farr designed Swuzzlebubble who are the 2016 Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup Champions.
Swuzzlebubble was completely rebuilt by Peter Morton in 2014 and won the Half Ton Cup of that year in St Quay Portrieux, Brittany. She was purchased earlier this year by Greg Peck who has made further modifications to her deck layout and put together a crew of old friends, many of whom have been sailing with him since his infamous Camp Freddie days.
This week they have sailed a superbly consistent series and are worthy winners of the trophy. Whilst disappointed not to race today, Greg acknowledge at the skippers briefing that conditions were simply too rough to be safe. With the racing cancelled his fellow Half Ton sailors gave he and his crew a heart felt round of applause on their victory.
Full report and interviews to follow.
Sad but relived faces all round here this morning as the decision has been made that racing is not possible on the final day, Ancasta Friday, of the Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup in Falmouth. The skippers of all the boats met at the regatta centre to discuss the situation. It’s already very windy and the forecast is for regular gusts over 30 knots and up towards 40 knots. The race officer had inspected the sea state in the race area and confirmed that it was extreme and there were also reports from members of the fleet who had been out to take a look who confirmed that it was extremely rough. The fleet unanimously agreed that regrettably racing was not possible and so N over A was hoisted on the official flag pole and the racing for the regatta is declared over.
It took two general recalls followed by a start under the U Flag, meaning a 20% penalty if anyone had been over the line, to get the fleet away on race seven of the series. Once running it was a tricky windward leeward as the boats tried to pick their way around the shifty developing breeze. Mike Evans helming The Big Picture made the best of the situation to win by 19 seconds from overnight leader Greg Peck sailing Swuzzlebubble, with Paul Pullen’s Miss Whiplash third and Jean-Philippe Cau and Claude Charbonnier’s Sibelius fourth. There was a dead heat for fifth between Jonny Swan’s Harmony and Patrick Boardman and David Kelly’s King One.
With the breeze still refusing to build beyond single figures the race committee rolled straight into race eight. The patchy and shifty conditions meant there were big gains and losses to be made and at times it looked more like a game of snakes and ladders than a yacht race. Swuzzlebubble’s experience and local knowledge stood her in good stead and she won by eight seconds from David Cullen’s Checkmate with Miss Whiplash third, Francis Marshall’s Concorde fourth and Harmony fifth.
A regatta course was set for ninth race and it was nip and tuck all the way with Harmony winning by a mere four seconds from Swuzzlebubble. Mel Sharp’s Demolition finished third, her best result of the series, with King One fourth and The Big Picture fifth.
With nine races now completed a second discard came into play. Greg Peck’s team of old friends aboard Swuzzlebubble consolidated their lead with a five and a half point delta over second placed Miss Whiplash. Harmony holds onto third with the gap between her and Miss Whiplash now at nine points. The Big Picture jumped up the leader board from sixth to fourth, just three points behind Harmony, while Sibelius added a pair of disastrous seventeenths to her race seven win, dropping her down the score board into fifth overall, half a point ahead of Checkmate.
After sailing the crews came together in the Regatta Marque for the Championship Dinner which featured a delicious paella supper, some fantastic fancy dress outfits, plenty of Half Ton cameraderie and a huge warm welcome for Paul Strzelecki, CEO of event sponsor Henri Lloyd, and his wife Jenny who arrived at the event in time to watch race nine.
With dinner over everyone repaired to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall for the daily prize giving, giving them the opportunity to view the museums special Olympic display which includes two of Ben Ainslie’s Gold medal winning boats as well as many other historic Olympic exhibits.
Jonathan Cunliffe of Savills presented the daily prizes and then Paul Strzelecki made a special presentation to the winner of the new Henri Lloyd Concourse d’Elegance Trophy – for the best presented boat at the regatta. All the boats are kept in exceptional condition so to win this award the boat must be a true stand out. To huge applause the trophy was awarded to the beautifully restored Demolition owned by Falmouth based Mel Sharp. Demolition was designed in 1980 for Larry Marks, who took her to that year’s Half Ton Cup in Sandham where she finished just outside the top ten, and is now raced by Mel and his crew of friends and family.
In theory tomorrow’s final day will feature up to three further races however, the weather forecast is anticipating some very strong south south westerly winds which are expected to build from around twenty knots in the morning to almost 30 knots with gusts of up to forty knots in the afternoon. Every effort will be made to complete the remaining races and the Race Committee has called a formal meeting with the skippers to review conditions first thing in the morning and agree on a racing plan for the day.
Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 – Sailing Day 4
The regatta dinner is in full swing in the marquee with the competitors enjoying a delicious Paella super. Next it’s over to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall for the daily prizes and a vet special presentation.
Here’s a little video taster of today’s racing