by Fiona Brown
The Coutts Quarter Ton Cup gets underway on Monday 15 July and this fun revival regatta will once again feature some of the most closely fought racing of the season. What the diminutive Quarter Tonners lack in size they more than make up for in character, experience and determination.
2013 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup
One of the remarkable things about the event is the age range of the competitors. As always many of those of a 'certain age' will be back again reliving their IOR glory days (yes Peter Morton, Kelvin Rawlings, Rob Gray, Paul Treliving, Eric Williams, Willy McNeill, Tim Rees, Derek Morland, Jim and George Webb - we do mean you!), but they will be joined by plenty of younger faces too.
Per Elisa's owner Richard Fleck has returned to racing for the first time in several decades and is loving the Quarter Tonner. He is pulling in a number of crew new to the fleet including top International Dragon helm Gavia Wilkinson-Cox and two of the UK's top youth sailors: Amy Prime, an RYA Youth Keelboat Academy member and past winner of RORC's Duncan Munro-Kerr Youth Challenge Trophy, and Ollie Spensley-Corfield, a past 29er Junior Youth World Champions, RS200 Youth National Champion and RS500 National Champion.
Louise Morton's crew aboard Espada will also be heavily youth focused and includes 420 World Champion Annabel Vose, top match racer Charlotte Lawrence, 420 sailor Bethan Cardan, and leading Laser Radial sailor Colette Blair.
With 25 entries confirmed it's going to be a busy start line and we can expect the usual tight mark roundings and cut and thrust on the legs. Favourites for the title this year include defending champion Peter Morton sailing Bullit, Rickard Melander in Alice II, Ian Southworth sailing Whiskers, John Welch and his crew in Phoenix and Louise Morton aboard Espada.
As usual racing will be on a mixture of windward/leeward and round the cans courses in the Central Solent with Rob Lamb officiating as Race Officer. There will be social events each evening at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club's waterside clubhouse, with the legendary Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Gala Dinner being held on Tuesday 16th July.
Its going to be a fun weekend and we can't wait to see whether the young pretenders can get the better of the old guard. Will their youth, exuberance (and fully functioning joints) be a match for the wily ways and decades of experience and sheer cunning of their elders.
Quarter Ton Class website