Checkmate… Again!

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In a fleet of 29 boats at the Port of Boulogne, for the first time ever, the Half Ton Classics Cup was won by a boat not based in the country where the biennial regatta was held.

1st. Nigel Biggs and Team Checkmate from the Royal St. George Yacht Club in ‘Checkmate XV’ (IRL), a 1985 MGHS built by Marine Glass Boats in Scotland to the design by Rob Humphreys. She is the production version of ‘Flash’, the boat which took 2nd place in the Half Ton Cup 2004 in the hands of Barrie Bullen and Lawrie Smith. Checkmate’s results were 1, 1, 4, 1, 1, 4, 1, 1, 1. (8 points after 2 discards.) These results are almost a carbon copy of the results achieved by the same team in  ‘Harmony’ another Humphreys designed boat in the Half Ton Classics Cup in Dun Laoghaire in 2007. Checkmate is built in GRP and her vital dimensions are L. 9.07m x W. 3.17m. The boat has been modified by a new rig, masthead spinnakers and a keel without a bulb.

2nd. ‘Collector’ (FRA) on 26 points. This boat was a prototype designed by Andrieu in 1984 as ‘Pavillon Atlantique’. She was built in Fontaine Pajot in foam and GRP. Vital dimensions are L. 9.03m.

3rd. Philippe Pilate’s ‘General Tapioca’ (BEL) on 46 0 points. This boat is a relatively early design prototype by Berret in 1976 and constructed by Herve la Rochelle in cold moulded wood, as ‘Kelt’. This boat won the Half Ton Classics Cup in 2003 and 2007 and has been on the podium in several other editions. The boat has been modified with a new deep bulb keel by Berret Racoupeau.

4th.  ‘Chimp’ (GBR) on 47 points. This prototype boat is similar in many respects to ‘Tapioca’ and was designed by Berret in 1978 and constructed in cold moulded wood, as ‘Matchmaker’. This boat in Michael Kershaw’s ownership won the Half Ton Classics Cup in 2011 in Cowes. Vital dimensions are L. 9.40m x W. 3.02m. x D. 1.73m. Allegedly she has not been greatly modified from her original configuration.

5th. Jean Philippe Cau’s ‘Sibelius’ (FRA) on 50 points was designed by Joubert Nivelt in 1980 as ‘Skipper International’ and built by Fontaine Pajot . She would have had a better result in the Half Ton Classics Cup in 2011 at Cowes if she had not run aground in the long offshore race. She has been modified with a high aspect carbon mast and a deep keel with bulb.

6th. Tom Florzoone’s Red Cloud (BEL) on 59 points is a similar prototype boat designed by Joubert Nivelt in 1981 as ‘Scillonia IV’ and built by Fontaine Pajot . She has been modified with a 9/10 fractional carbon rig with non-overlapping jibs.

7th.  Roddy Angus’ Misjif (SCO) on 61 points was designed by Stephen Jones as one of a series of 12 SJ30’s in 1981. Her original name was ‘Citron Presse’. She previously achieved a third place overall in the Half Ton Classics Cup in Dun Laoghaire in 2007.

8th. Albert Pierrard’s A+ (BEL) on 66 points was designed by Nissen in 1985 and was one of the most expensive Half Tonners built at that time. She was built by Mader Bodswerft. Her origial name was ‘Portugese Connection’. She achieved a 2nd. place in the Half Ton Cup in Italy in 1985 and 3rd. place in 1986 in Helsinki.

9th. Alain Delvaux’s historic ‘Waverider’ (BEL) also on 66 points, is a Davidson design from 1977 when centreboard Half Ton designs were in favour. She is not permitted to lift her centreboard while racing. She won the Half Ton Cup in 1978 and 1979 after which her hull shape was subsequently modified using foam fillers.

10th. place went to Toni Stoschek and Janne Tulokas’s recently acquired  ‘Superhero’ (FIN) on 68 points. This is one of the latest Half Tonners built, designed by Andrieu in carbon. She has been modified with a bulb keel, and a swept back rig without runners.

It is planned that in future the Half Ton Clasics will become an annual event.

Vincent Delany

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