Half Ton Classic Cup set to break attendance records

Under spinnaker - Half Ton Classics Cup 2009
Bert Janssen
Half Ton Classic Cup 2011 is organised by Royal Corinthian Yacht Club (RCYC), Cowes in cooperation with the Half Ton Class Europe. The event is to take place from Sunday 21 August to Friday 26 August 2011.

With 38 entries from seven nations already confirmed the Half Ton Classic Cup is all set to break attendance records. The fifth edition of this delightful event will feature yachts from the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Ireland and Spain. With five days of Solent racing under IRC handicaps and five nights of partying the event will once again bring together sailors from across Europe for a championship combining competitive but friendly racing, relaxed socialising and more than a little bit of nostalgia.

The Half Ton Classic Class encourages owners to maintain their yachts in 'as original' condition where ever possible which helps to ensure the boats can still race competitively against each other boat on boat as well as on handicap and also keeps the cost of competing in the class within reasonable bounds. The success of this formula is clear to see in the ever-increasing entry numbers for this biennial event. Special prizes are also awarded for the Series and Production boats to encourage as wide a range of competitors as possible.

Alongside title sponsor South Boats, the definitive builder of workboats for the offshore wind industry, the event is also generously supported by daily racing sponsors Wight Vodka, One Sails, Euro Car Parks, Spinlock and Best Water Technology. Local supporters include Goddards Brewery, Red Funnel/Isle of Wight Ferries, Shepards Wharf Marina, Kingston Marine Services and Ocean World/World Leisurewear.

Registration will take place on Sunday 21st August, followed by a Skippers Briefing and a Welcome Reception. Racing runs from Monday 22nd to Friday 26th August with daily prize giving and social events at the Royal Corinthian's delightful waterside clubhouse each evening. The Half Ton Classic Cup Regatta Dinner will take place at the club on Thursday 25th August when competitors will be joined by a number of special guests to celebrate the history and ongoing success of this unique class.

The competitor line up includes plenty of familiar faces as well as a number of new teams, which should make for an exciting competition. Following serious damage when she fell off her road trailer earlier this year there was some doubt as to whether the 1978 Jean Berret designed General Tapioca, winner of the past two Half Ton Classic Cups and owned by Belgium's Philippe Pilate, would be able to defend her title again this year. Fortunately repairs have been completed in time and she will be on the start line on Monday.

Others with an eye on podium positions include fellow 1978 Jean Berret design Blue Berrett Pi, owned by Xavier Van Der Ghinst of Belgium, which took third place in the 2003 and 2005 Half Ton Cups and came seventh in 2007; King One, also designed by Jean Berret but this time as the prototype of the fantastically popular Evolution production boats, which won the 1981 Half Ton Cup with Paul Elvstrom as skipper and is now owned by Howth's David Cullen; Demolition a 1981 sister ship to Stephen Jones' legendary Smiffy which makes the trip to Cowes from Falmouth with owner Mel Sharp; David Evans' hugely successful Hullabaloo XV, a 1978 Stephen Jones Hustler 32 from the Walton Backwaters; and Sevcon Team Chia Chia, designed by Hugh Welbourne in 1984 and travelling from Liverpool to compete with owners Phil and Alex Eagleton and Nigel Waterhouse. The furthest travelled boats are Finland's Blues, owned by T Stuschek and J Tulokas, and Spain's Half' Capone, owned by Jean-Luc Courbon.

Click here for a full entry list.

Half Ton Class Europe website