Race 2 – Waiting For Wind

As you can just about see from our rather grey and murky photo we have no wind in the race area so the AP is flying and the waiting game is on. 😦

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Day 1 Interview

After Race 1 we caught up with Jeremy from Red Cloud and Winnie from Waverider to find out about their very successful performances and to talk about the rebuilding of Waverider after she sustained severe damage when a crane fell on her.

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Welcome to Day 2

Welcome to day 2 of the Half Ton Classics Cup in Nieuwpoort where it’s overcast again with a light breeze. The fleet have gone afloat and are hopeful of starting today’s first race on time at 10.30. We have up to the races scheduled so it could be a busy day.

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Half Ton Classics Cup 2018 – Day 1 Report

IMG_9994The opening day of the Half Ton Classics Cup in Nieuwpoort, Belgium brought overcast skies, fickle light winds and a big challenge for both the competitors and the Koninklijke Yachtclub Nieuwpoort’s Race Committee. The Half Ton Class brings together the owners of vintage IOR boats built to the Half Ton rule to race under IRC handicap and features a wonderful mixture of “as original” and significantly updated boats as well as both family crews and top professional sailors. This year’s event features sailors from across Europe and as far afield as Hobart, Tasmania.

On arrival in the start area there was very little wind with just the occasional zephyr of breeze rolling down the course from the north west. Fortunately as the start time approached the bands of breeze began to join up and a relatively steady 4-5 knots established itself across the course, allowing racing to get underway at 14.00 as planned.

IMG_0230The fleet was extremely eager and a number of boats were over the start line and had to return. The Ron Holland Golden Shamrock design Half Duke, racing this week with an all girl crew and representing the NGO “Mothers & Midwives Support”, and Jacques Lemaire’s 1977 Davidson designed Waverider both had to struggle back to the line as their fellow competitors headed off towards the windward mark. Also over the line but failing to return was the Italian team aboard Blue Berrett Pi.

IMG_0203With the wind still very patchy and shifty it was a tough beat as first one group and then another would appear to have the advantage.  At the first mark it was Toni Stoschek & Janne Tukolas’s 1988 Andrieu designed Superhero which headed the fleet with David Cullen’s Checkmate XV, a 1985 Rob Humphreys design, in second and Robbie Tregear’s  1992 Ceccarelli designed Per Elisa third. Further back down the fleet Waverider was already making a good recovery from their disasterous start and had begun to pick off the back markers.

IMG_0183As the leaders came round the first mark the wind dropped to just 2-3 knots and they found themselves gybing and ghosting along on a close reach parrallel to the spreader leg just to maintain any speed at all. Despite the painfully slow going, Per Elisa managed to keep a steady pace, picking their way around the flat patches before timing their gybes perfectly to claim a generous lead at the leeward mark. Checkmate XV was second to round with Tom Florizoone’s 1981 Joubert designed Red Cloud in third. Behind the leaders Superhero was now just ahead of the chasing pack.

IMG_0105Towards the end of the run the wind had started to increase again from behind, bringing the back markers up with it. Taking full advantage of this opportunity was Waverider who finished the second leg into the top half of the fleet.

With the wind remaining very unstable the race committee wisely decided to make leg three just a short beat to the finish. As they came through the line the teams were pleased to see the signals confirming that no attempt would be made to run a second race and instructing them to return to the marina.

Back ashore and with the handicap times corrected Per Elisa was confirmed as the overall race winner by a minute and twenty seven seconds from Checkmate XV with Red Cloud third.

IMG_0268As they’d crossed the line in seventh place on the water, the Waverider crew could be seen checking their watches and hoping for a good result, but it wasn’t until the prize giving that they got confirmation of fourth place overall and first place in the new Vintage IOR Division for non-modified (except for mast and keel) Half Tonners. Their result was all the more impressive when you bear in mind that a couple of years ago Waverider was severely damaged when a crane collapsed on top of her. A wooden boat, the accident took her completely out of shape and for many she would have been a write off. But not for Jacques Lemaire and his family and friends who first got her into a jig to settle back into shape over an extended period before being able to spend all their spare time over the last few months rebuilding her ready for this event.

At the daily prize presentation Waverider’s Jacques Lemaire and his crew received not only the daily Vintage IOR Division prize of a Harken Winch handle, but also a rousing cheer for their welcome return to the fleet. Per Elisa’s Robbie Tregear received the overall daily prize of a Spinlock Deckvest Lifejacket and an equally hearty round of applause.

IMG_0271As well as great racing, the Half Ton Class is renowned for its camaraderie and love of a good party, and so the day concluded with a fabulous fillet steak BBQ.

The forecast for day two is for further light winds, but it is hoped that conditions will once again be sailable. The Race Committee will brief the competitors at 08.30 and, conditions permitting, will start the first of up to three races at 10.30.

The championship continues until Friday 24 August and will feature a mixture of windward/leeward, short coastal and long coastal courses, with a maximum of three races being sailed each day.


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Day 1 Results – Per Elisa and Waverider Victorious

Congratulations to Race 1 Overall Winner Per Elisa and Classic Division Winner Waverider!

Results Day 1 Provisional

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Race 1 Finish

The final leg was just a short clearing beat to the line where Per Elisa took line honours with Checkmate second to cross. Red Cloud crossed in third and must be very pleased with their race. We’ll have corrected time results for you as soon as they are available.

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Race 1 – First Leeward

As anticipated the first run was a painfully slow affair. But slow doesn’t mean dull and as they came round the mark Per Elisa has taken a generous lead with Checkmate now second. Red Cloud sailed a lovely leg to round third with Superhero now down to fourth and on the front of the chasing pack with Harmony and General Tapioca hard on her heels.

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Race 1 – Going Very Light

The 4-5 knots held reasonably well up the first beat but it was hard work picking the shifts and patches. First round was Superhero followed by Checkmate and Per Elisa. But as they came around the wind has dropped to just 2-3 knots so it’s going to be a very long leg 2.

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Race 1 – Under Starters Orders

The wind is still light but we now have about 3-5 knots across the course and the tide is slack so the race committee is going for race 1. We’re going into photo mode now so more later.

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Race 1 – waiting for wind

We are out in the race area but the wind is very light. Tempting bands of light wind roll down the course periodically but between them it’s very light and extremely shifty. The race officer and his team are constantly monitoring and hoping we can get racing today (first start scheduled for 14.00). At the briefing he advised the teams that if there was no sign of wind by around 15.30 he would make the decision to call off today’s race. We’ll keep you posted but keep your fingers crossed everyone.

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