Half Ton class

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The Half Ton Class is a type of racing boat.


In order that yachts of different types can race against each other, there are handicap rules which are applied to differect boat designs. The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

When the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports.

In latter years the event is held Biannually. Initially it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. A decline in fleet numbers in Ireland is evident. The next event will be held in 2013 in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France .

Half Ton Cup[edit]


Note 1. Boats can be either prototype or production models.

Note 2. Often once a boat won the Half Ton Cup, the design was subsequently put into mass production. (Such as the Rob Humphries MGHS30 which currently holds the Half Ton Classics Cup 2013.)

Note 3. All boats race under the IOR handicap system without further handicap.

Past Winners[edit]

IOR Rating 18.0'

1967- 29 entries-La Rochelle - 'Safari' - Dufour.(Prototype.)

1968- 28 entries-La Rochelle - 'Tikocco' - Super Challenger.(Prototype.)

1969- 42 entries-Sandhamm - 'Scampi' - Norlin.(Prototype.) Masthead rig. Fabricated keel filled with lead.

1970- 36 entries-Sandhamm - 'Scampi II' - Norlin.(Prototype.) Masthead rig.

IOR Rating 21.7'

1971- 40 entries- Portsmouth - 'Scampi III' - Norlin.(Prototype.) Masthead rig. Cast iron keel. 9.05m o/a. 3400 kg.

1972- 55 entries- Marstrand - 'Bes' - Elvstrom. (Prototype.)

1973- 50 entries- Hundested - 'Impensable' - Briand. (Prototype.)

1974- 44 entries- La Rochelle - 'North Star' - Peterson. (Prototype.)

1975- - Chicago - 'Foxy Lady' - Peterson.(Prototype.)

1976- - Trieste - 'Silver Shamrock' - Holland 1976.(Prototype.) Masthead rig.

1977- - Sydney - 'Rangiriri' - Farr.(Prototype.)

1978- 48 entries- Poole - 'Waverider' - Davidson.(Prototype.) Timber. Fractional rig. 9.30m.o/a. 2300 kg.

IOR Rating 22.0'

1979- - Scheveningen - 'Waverider' - Davidson.(Prototype.) Timber. Fractional rig.

1980- 48 entries- Sandhamm - 'Ar Bigouden' - Joubert Nivelt 1980.(Prototype.) Fractional rig.

1981- 31 entries- Poole - 'King One' - Berret 1981.(Production) GRP. Fractional rig.

1982- 38 entries- Piraeus - 'Atlanti' - Joubert Nivelt 1982.(Prototype.) Fractional rig.

1983- - Hanko - 'Freelance' - Briand.(Prototype.) Fractional rig.

1984- 32 entries- Troon - 'Cofica' - Berret.(Prototype.) Fractional rig.

1985- 35 entries- Porto Ercole - 'Antheor' - Andrieu.(Prototype.) Fractional rig. 9.05m. o/a. 2360 kg.

1986- - Helsinki - 'Cofica' - Berret .(Prototype.) Fractional rig.

1987- 23 entries- La Rochelle - 'EJP2' - Andrieu 1983.(Prototype.) Fractional rig.

1988- 17 entries- Poole - 'Skipper Elf' - Andrieu 1988.(Prototype.) Fractional rig.

1989- 14 entries- Le Havre - 'Skipper Elf' - Andrieu 1988. (Prototype.) Carbon. Fractional rig.

1990- 8 entries- Howth - 'Innovation Group' - Berret 1989.(Prototype.) Fractional rig.

1991- 12 entries- Jacobstad - 'Hasse' - Berret 1989.(Prototype.) Fractional rig.

1992- 12 entries- Chioggia - 'Marfrio' - Bullit.(Prototype.) Fractional rig.

1993- 10 entries- Bayona - 'Atlanti' - Joubert 1982.(Prototype.) Fractional rig.

Half Ton Classics Cup[edit]

The idea of holding a Half Ton Classics Cup first arose at Cork Week in 2000 when the Crew of 'Sibelius' (FRA) including Didier Dardot and his wife and the crew of 'SpACE Odyssey' (IRL) including Shay Moran, Enda Connellan, Terry Madigan and Vincent Delany agreed that it would be a great idea to organiser a bi-annual event for Half Tonners under the IRC handicap system with the venue rotating between France, England and Ireland. In fact Didier Dardot was unable to persuade La Trinite or any other French clubs to organise the first event. However the Half Ton enthusiasts of Nieupoort organised the first event in Belgium.


Note 1. Boats must have been designed as IOR boats during the period 1967-1992.

Note 2. Boats may be modified, but the hulls must be original.

Note 3. Keels and rudders may be modified.

Note 4. Rigs may be modified.

Note 5. Boats race under the IRC handicap system.

Past Winners[edit]

2003. 24 entries -Nieuwpoort - 'General Tapioca' - Berret prototype 1978. Timber. Fractional rig. Fin and bulb keel.

2005. 30 entries -Dinard - 'Ginko' - Mauric production 1968. Super Challenger. Masthead rig.

2007. 25 entries- Dun Laoghaire - 'Henry Lloyd Harmony' - Humphreys prototype 1980. Timber. Swept back fractional rig.

2009. 23 entries- Nieuwpoort - 'General Tapioca' - Berret prototype 1978. Timber. Fractional rig. Fin and bulb keel.

2011. 38 entries -Cowes - 'Chimp' - Berret prototype 1978. Timber. Swept back fractional rig. 9.4m. o/a.

2013. 29 entries - (Boulogne sur Mer) - 'Checkmate' - Humphreys production MGHS30. 1985 Epoxy sandwich construction?. Swept back fractonal rig. Fin keel without bulb.(Similar rig to Henry Lloyd Harmony)

2014. 22 entries-St.Quay Portrieux, Brittany- 'Swuzzlebubble' - Bruce Farr 1977, two-off Plywood construction. Much modified by Mark Mills with new low V.C.G. lead keel without a bulb, and with laminar flow keel section with hollow trailing edge, swept back fractional rig with wide shroud base, non-overlapping jibs etc.


The most successful or popular designs were prepared by the following designers:

  • David Andrieu.(FRA)
  • Jean Berret.(FRA)
  • Ed Dubois. (GBR)
  • Jacques Fauroux. (FRA)
  • Groupe Finot. (FRA)
  • Giles Gahinet. (FRA)
  • Michel Joubert. (FRA)
  • Peter Norlin(SWE)
  • Rob Humphreys (GBR)
  • Stephen Jones. (GBR)
  • Andre Mauric. (FRA)
  • Bernt Andersson (SWE)
  • Peter Norlin. (SWE)
  • Sodergren. (SWE)
  • David Thomas. (GBR)
  • Van de Stadt. (NED)
  • Judel Vrolijk. (NED)
  • Hugh Welbourne. (GBR)
  • Paul Whiting(NZ)


External links[edit]