Offshore

Half Ton Classics Cup - Double Victory for Checkmate XV

 
Convincing win in the final spectacular race gives Checkmate XV well deserved overall victory in the 2018 Half Ton Classics Cup

Checkmate XV (1985 Humphreys) and her crew of owner David Cullen, Darragh O'Connor, Nin O'Leary, Jonathan Sargent, Aidan Beggan, Niki Potterton and Frank Rothchild of the Howth Yacht Club claimed a well deserved overall victory in glorious sunshine and big seas off Nieuwpoort.

For Checkmate XV this was the third time she had earnt the right to have her name engraved on the Half Ton Classics Cup (equalling the legendary Swuzzlebubble's record) and for David and his team is was their second win, the first also being here in Nieuwpoort in 2015.

The final race was a cracker, sailed in a 14-16 knot westerly, huge seas and glorious sunshine.

It was nip and tuck all the way with Robbie Tregear's Per Elisa (1992 Ceccarelli) initially heading the fleet from Philippe Pilate's General Tapioca (1978 Berret) and Checkmate XV,

But the Irish team dug deep and by the final turn for home Checkmate XV had a decent lead with Per Elisa, Jonny Swan's Harmony (1980 Humphreys) and General Tapioca now hard on her heels.

At the finish Checkmate XV took the race by 52 seconds, with Harmony second from Per Elisa and General Tapioca fourth.

Sadly a technical issue with the committee boat's anchor made a second race impossible and so the championship closed with eight races completed.

In the Vintage IOR Division Albert Pierrard & An Callens' A+ (1985 Nissen) had a superb last race loving every minute of the downwind sleigh rides, with Waverider second by 47 seconds and Nicolas Lejeune's Skippy's Ton (1984 Briand) third.

At the Prize Giving it was confirmed that the first ever winner of the new Vintage IOR Trophy was the local Belgian boat Waverider of Jaques Lemaire.

Ivan Van Burm's Fantasy (1980 Humphreys) took second place by a mere half point from A+ in third.

Alongside the main trophies two further special prizes were also announced.

The first was the Half Ton Classics Cup Corinthian Trophy, which goes to the top performing all amateur crew and was won by Rampage (1985 Briand) of John Hicks from Cornwall, UK.

The final prize presented is always the Spirit of Half Ton Trophy and it goes to the team who best embody that certain hard to define something that sums up the true heart of the Half Ton Class.

For rescuing and totally rebuilding their boat against all the odds after she was almost completely destroyed when a crane fell on her some three years ago, this year the Spirit of Half Ton Trophy was presented to Nicolas Lejeune and Waverider.

Waverider is a truly special Half Tonner; designed by Laurie Davidson in 1977 she won two consecutive Half Ton Cups in 1978 off Poole and in 1979 off Scheveningen.

The next Half Ton Classics Cup will be held in 2020 and will be hosted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in Cowes.

Half Ton Classics Cup Final Overall Results

1. Checkmate XV - 2, 6, (6), (11), 2 , 1, 1.5, 1 = 13.5 pts
2. Harmony - 6, (8), (8), 1, 3, 2, 3, 2 = 17 pts
3. Per Elisa - 1, 1, 1, 4, (4), (20), 12, 3 = 22 pts
4. Waverider - 4, 3, 2, (10), 5, 3, 7.5, (9) = 24.5 pts
5. Red Cloud - 3, 4, 4, 3, (6), 4, 9, (5) = 27 pts

Final IOR Vintage Division Results

1. Waverider - 1, 1, 1, (2), 1, 1, 3, (2) = 8 pts
2. Fantasy - 2, (6), 2, 1, 3, 5, 4.5, (5) = 17.5 pts
3. A+ - 3, 3, (4), (4), 2, 3, 6, 1 = 18 pts

Full Results availanle here