Please select your home edition
Edition
Rooster GETSEASMART 728x90

Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2017 - Day 1

by Rupert Holmes 14 Sep 2017 07:54 BST 13-15 September 2017
Tuning and calibration on the White family's Joker on day 1 of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup © Rupert Holmes

The opening day of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup dawned with blue skies and a brisk 20-25 knot westerly breeze. However, with the wind forecast to increase during the morning, the fleet was held ashore while two mark laying RIBs ventured out at 1100 to check on conditions first hand, which led to a decision to abandon racing for the day.

"We've been out on the Hill Head Plateau, where there's 22-25 knots of wind, with a sharp Solent chop and broken water," explained Principal Race Officer, Robert Lamb of the Royal Southampton YC, "...and there's no prospect of the wind dropping before the tide turns to the west later this afternoon, when the wind against tide will kick up an even worse sea state."

With the two Quarter Tonners that broke rigs during this year's Lendy Cowes Week serving as a fresh reminder of the relatively fragile nature of these boats, there was overwhelming support for the decision from owners and sailors. "I think everyone will be pleased, especially at this stage of the regatta, where you don't want to risk damage," said Tom Hill, owner of the newly restored Belinda.

Hill is a long-standing Quarter Ton owner, having sailed Runaway Bus for several years, before buying and refitting Belinda. "The standard is very high in the fleet," Hill says, "so you have to keep improving and you learn a lot by sailing against the strongest teams. Belinda is a fairer shape than Runaway Bus and is a much better boat in stronger breezes. John [Corby] did a fantastic job - the boat is now very rigid and feels really solid in a way that's lacking in some older boats."

An irresistible challenge

While the class is renowned for attracting some of the world's most successful sailors, including Olympic medallists, winners of the Volvo Ocean Race and America's Cup sailors, it's also one that appeals to Corinthian teams who relish the challenge of attempting to beat the best in the world. While there are only half a dozen entries this year with an all-amateur crew, the Corinthian trophy is a highly coveted prize that several teams have in their sights in the longer term.

For some the Quarter Ton Cup is also a family affair. The White family's Joker is racing with a full complement of family members this week, including John White, his brother Nick, son Ed, and daughter in law Jo. They bought the boat in Holland 4/5 years ago and sailed her back to the Solent on her own keel. "The Quarter Ton Cup is tremendous competition - probably the most competitive IRC championship of all," says John. "The race management is tremendous and there's always good communication on the water." For Joker's team, today was one of tweaking and calibration, under the watchful eye of the team's coach, Etchells world champion Paul Blowers.

Another newcomer to the fleet this year is Jim Prower's Theseus, one of five Fauroux designs at the event. He's a former International Moth sailor who co-owned a Quarter Tonner in the 1970s and has been attracted back into the class, again with the longer-term ambition of winning the event's Corinthian trophy.

Tomorrow the forecast is for a west-north-westerly breeze averaging 15 knots, but with significantly strong gusts. The intention is to complete four 45-minute races, with the first warning signal for the 23-strong fleet at 1100.

Revived Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Winners:

  • 2005 - Purple Haze (1977 David Thomas design) - Tony Dodd
  • 2006 - Enigma - (1977 Ed Dubois design) - Ed Dubois
  • 2007 - Espada - (1980 Bruce Farr design) - Peter Morton
  • 2008 - Tom Bombadil (1982 Doug Peterson design) - Chris Frost & Kevin George
  • 2009 - Anchor Challenge (1978 Bruce Farr design) - Peter Morton
  • 2010 - Cote (1990 Gonzalez design) - Darren Marston & Olly Ophaus
  • 2011 - Overall - Espada (1980 Bruce Farr design) - Louise Morton
    Corinthian - Tiger (1989 Fauroux design) - George Kenefick
  • 2012 - Overall - Bullit - (1978 Fauroux design) - Peter Morton
    Corinthian - Tiger (1989 Fauroux design) - George Kenefick
  • 2013 - Overall - Espada - (1980 Bruce Farr design) - Louise Morton
    Corinthian - Pinguin Playboy (1979 Fauroux design) - Pierre Paris
  • 2014 - Overall - Bullit (1978 Fauroux design) - Peter Morton
    Corinthain - Illes Pitiuses (1983 Fauroux) - Dominic and Jason Losty
  • 2015 - Overall - Bullit (1978 Fauroux design) - Louise Morton
    Corinthian - Pinguin Playboy (1979 Fauroux design) Pierre Paris
  • 2016 - Overall - Bullit (1978 Fauroux design) - Louise Morton
    Corinthian - Pinguin Playboy (1979 Fauroux design) Pierre Paris

www.quartertoncup.org

Related Articles

Win Musto kit & training session
Hit Refresh! Clothe your team at Lendy Cowes Week Lendy Cowes Week has earned international acclaim as the world's best-known sailing regatta. Musto is proud to be the Official Clothing Supplier to the event, as well as sponsoring the Young Skipper Trophy for 2018. Posted on 14 Jul
Inaugural Bangor Town Regatta
Huge success as 500 sailors enjoy pristine conditions Over 500 sailors and 100 keelboats and dinghies relished in the champagne conditions served up in Belfast Lough by joint host yacht clubs Royal Ulster and Ballyholme in the first Bangor Town Regatta. Posted on 8 Jul
Countdown to inaugural Bangor Town Regatta
Racing starts Thursday There are just a few days to go until the inaugural Bangor Town Regatta hosted by Royal Ulster Yacht Club and Ballyholme Yacht Club in Belfast Lough. Posted on 1 Jul
Aguila and Pinguin Playboy victorious
In the 2018 Quarter Ton Cup at Cowes Sadly, the wind gods refused to smile on the final day of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup off Cowes and no racing was possible. The race committee went afloat early to monitor conditions but held the fleet ashore at Cowes Yacht Haven. Posted on 23 Jun
Quarter Ton Cup at Cowes day 2
Tricky conditions and a big shake up The second day of the 2018 Revival Quarter Ton Cup brought gorgeous warm sunshine and extremely challenging conditions for the 21 strong fleet off Cowes. A constantly shifting and variable northerly wind ranged from 6 to 16 knots. Posted on 21 Jun
Quarter Ton Cup at Cowes day 1
Off to a flying start with four cracking races The opening day of the 2018 Revival Quarter Ton Cup Regatta, being held off Cowes from 20 to 22 June, got off to a flying start with four cracking races in a steady west-south-westerly breeze of 12-18 knots. Posted on 21 Jun
Get your entry in for Bangor Town Regatta
Early entry discount closes in 7 days time Not long to go until Howth host their inaugural Wave Regatta followed by the return to Belfast Lough in early July for the renamed Bangor Town Regatta. Posted on 25 May
Quarter Ton Cup 2018 Preview
Fierce competition ahead in the Central Solent The fleet will be based at Cowes Yacht Haven with the race office located in the Haven's Solent Room and the apr├Ęs sailing social events, which include a BBQ and the traditional Quarter Ton Cup Prize Giving Dinner, being held in the Haven Event Centre. Posted on 24 May
Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series prize giving
Awards also for the Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship It was a packed prize giving for the 2018 Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series and Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship on Friday 18th May at the Warsash Sailing Club (WSC) on the River Hamble. Posted on 23 May
Vice Admiral's Cup overall
Exceptionally close competition again in the Solent The Vice Admiral's Cup has a long-standing reputation for providing exceptionally close competition. The final day of racing this year saw further intense racing, with most classes going to the wire, in a building south-easterly sea breeze. Posted on 20 May