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12th Half Ton Classics Cup to be held in August at Cowes

by Bert Janssen 26 Apr 23:18 PDT 14-19 August 2022
Half Ton Classics Cup © Fiona Brown

On Monday 15th August, which is exactly 110 days from today, the 12th Half Ton Classics Cup will start on the Solent, organized by RORC Cowes and the Half Ton Class Europe (HTCE). The halftonners will have been waiting nearly 3 years for that moment...

The HTCE and RORC Cowes will do all that is within their possibilities to make it a great event, like it was in 2011 when the halftonner fleet last visited the Solent, when 38 halftonners took part in a great event, with the local Berret 1978 Chimp finally taking the much coveted Half Ton Classics Trophy.

The Notice of Race has been published at

All interested teams are welcomed to enter their halftonner via

Way back in the Seventies and the Eighties the IOR racing rule produced exciting racing in various classes, with the Half Ton Class as very probably one of the most emblematic ones. With many hundreds of prototypes built in that era, and the thousands of series boats like f.i. the Arpège, Armagnac, Super Arlequin, Rush, Hustler SJ30 & 32 and the First Evolution, it is unlikely that one will ever be able to count the exact number of halftonners built.

In the IOR era the boats sailed in Real Time. All the big names in yacht design like f.i. Sparkman & Stephens, Laurie Davidson, Bruce Farr, Nils Jeppesen, Paul Whiting, Jean Berret, Rob Humphreys, Ed Dubois, Joubert/Nivelt, Daniel Andrieu, Jean-Marie Finot, Philippe Briand, Philippe Harlé, Ron Holland, Doug Peterson, Peter Norlin, Julian Everitt, Stephen Jones, Bruce King, Gilles Gahinet, Scott Kauffman, Tony Castro, Andrea Ceccarelli, Georg Nissen, Jac. De Ridder, Hugh Welbourne, Fontana-Maletto-Navone, Judel-Vrolijk or Gary Mull (just to name a few...) have had their go at this IOR rating rule. Many of them had their moment of glory and made their name producing one or more winning Half Ton designs. In those times the Half Ton Cups were "the place to be" for both crews and designers in quest of international fame...

In 2003, some 10 years after the decline of the IOR, some crazy Belgian halftonner owners decided to revive the Half Ton Class Europe (HTCE) and created the Half Ton Classics Cup (HTCC). Whilst the boats are in constant evolution, the adventure continues... This constant evolution of the IRC rating (like in the IOR heydays) has lead many owners to modify their boats (within the limits set by the HTCE). This phenomenon lead to the creation of 2 separate rankings at the HTCC events: one for the 'Modern' and another for the 'Vintage' halftonners, with 1 overall ranking to designate the 'overall winner' under IRC handicap. The major trophy however remains the 'Half Ton True Spirit Trophy', awarded to the team that best represents the undefinable & incomparable 'halfton spirit'.

The HTCE has been organizing the Half Ton Classics Cup since 2003. The event has been hosted in various European ports like Nieuwpoort (2003-2009-2015-2018), Dinard (2005), Dublin (2007), Cowes (2011), Boulogne-sur-Mer (2013), St-Quay-Portrieux (2014), Falmouth (2016), and Kinsale (2017).

The event webblog has been revived: this is where the latest news about the event can be found.

Let the weather be fine, the winds fair... and the participants numerous!

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