#QUARTER TON CLASS – With a decline in big boat sailing here (some say we will be lucky to even field a Commodore’s Cup team this year), people are turning to what other classes that are around for competitive and cost effective sailing.
Some one design classes like the 1720 are flourishing again, but some sailors prefer a class that alterations can be made to the boats to suit their sailing styles and weight and the Quarter ton class fits that bill.
Quarter Tonner action on the South coast. Photo: Bob Bateman
The retro class of sailing boats gave a shot in the arm to the two major south-coast regattas last June. Although its heyday was 30 years ago, the revitalised Quarter Ton class in Britain and Ireland, is experiencing a new lease of life. The class competed at both the ICRA Nationals and the Sovereign’s Cup.
Up until recently the Quarter tonner Tiger, owned by Neil Kenefick (it made the cover of the Irish Sailing Annual 2012) was the only boat making the running but last year Eamonn Rohan bought “Anchor Challenge” and campaigned it well. At the end of the year he sold it to another Cork sailor Diarmuid Foley.
The budget-minded class has been back building numbers steadily since 2001 when Peter Morton revived the class on the south coast of England.
Representing good value for money there has been a lot of movement in Quarter Ton boat sales. A further two Quarter Tonners have been bought during last summer and are currently in Cowes having a full reconfiguration and updrade. The first is owned by Ian Travers and the second by Jason Losty from Cobh.
In the UK there are a further three boats going through full ugrades and others are changing keels and masts.
The highlight of racing for the class is the Quarter Ton Cup held annually in Cowes. This year’s event will be held from June 24th to 27th. These boats are very competitive under IRC as can be seen by Tiger winning class 3 at last year’s IRC nationals.
There will be 30 to 35 boats expected for this years Quarter Ton Cup.