29 May 2015

Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2015 - Press Release

The Royal Ocean Racing Club incorporating the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club will host the 2015 edition of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup from Wednesday 8 to Friday 10 July. The revival Quarter Ton Class continues to go from strength to strength with a number of new boats and new owners joining the fleet for this eleventh edition of the regatta.

Among the new faces attending their first Coutts Quarter Ton Cup will be Julian Metherell, new owner of the hugely successful Espada (1980 Bruce Farr design), winner of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup in 2007, 2011 and 2013. Also new to the fleet is Ben Daly, who now owns last year's Corinthian winner Illes Pitiuses (1983 Fauroux design), which he has renamed Cobh Pirate in honour of his Irish heritage.

Last year's overall winner Bullit (1978 Fauroux) also has a new skipper in charge as Peter Morton has handed her over to his wife Louise, Secretary of the Class, to replace her beloved Espada. Peter himself has purchased Tiger, formerly ASAP (1989 Fauroux), which won the Corinthian Quarter Ton Cup in 2011 and 2012, meaning he will now have challenged for the revival Quarter Ton Cup in no less than five different boats.

As well as welcoming new friends the event also looks forward to the return of many familiar faces. Rickard Melander's Alice II (1990 Phil Morrison) has undergone a major winter refit and clearly has every intention of breaking her run as fleet bridesmaid. If her winning performance at the recent Vice Admiral's Cup is anything to go by, Sam Laidlaw's Aguila (1990 Judel Vrolick) is another boat to watch this year. Richard Fleck's Per Elisa (1992 Ceccarelli) has also had a lot of work done on her this winter and they are hoping to see a commensurate improvement in their performance.

Bullit - 2014 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup winner
The Vice Admiral's Cup is great indicator of form and with second place going to Alice II, third to Tony Hayward's Blackfun (1976 Laurie Davidson), fourth to Louise Morton on her first serious outing in Bullit and fifth to Willie McNeill's Illegal Immigrant (1991 Ceccarelli) we already some indications of who might be featuring on the podium this year.
Blackfun competing in the 2014 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup
The Coutts Quarter Ton Cup incorporates boats built to all three iterations of the Quarter Ton Rule - the 15ft Rating RORC Rule (1967-1970), the 18ft Rating IOR (1971 to 1978) and the 18.55ft Rating IOR (1979 to 1996). The boats race under IRC to ensure fair racing and in addition to the overall trophy there are also trophies for the first Production/Series boat and the first Corinthian team. New for 2015 is the introduction of a Lower Rating Trophy to ensure competitive competition for the early built (lower rating) boats, which is open to all Quarter Tonners with a rating of 0.899 or below. This exciting new trophy is presented by Roger Swinney, who has been a staunch supporter of the Cup since it's revival owning and racing the Bolero, Ayanami and most recently Innuendo.

Those who take part in this year's event will be presented with a special memento in the shape of a pair of boat stickers featuring the legendary Seamus. Seamus and his Still Crazy After All These Years tag line have been the emblems of the revived Quarter Ton Class for a decade and Geoff Gritton, owner of Panic (1984 Peter Gimpel) in partnership with marine graphics company Clear To See, will present each competitor with the stickers as a reminder of the enduring fun, friendships and great memories that the class creates.

The Notice of Race and Entry Form are now available from the club website at www.rcyc.co.uk. The racing will once again be run in the Central Solent on a mixture of windward/leeward and round the cans courses with up to four races scheduled each day. Registration for the regatta will open at 15.00 on Tuesday 7 July and there will be a Skipper's Briefing at the clubhouse at 18.30 that evening.

The social programme is always a major feature of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup and this year is no exception. The event opens with the Coutts Welcome Reception at 18.00 on Tuesday evening, after which a Crew Supper will be available. Wednesday will feature a Steak BBQ and on Thursday crew supper is available in the clubhouse. The traditional Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Gala Dinner will be held in association with the Final Prize Giving on Friday 10 July to see out the event in true style.

Further information about the event can be found at www.rcyc.co.uk or by contacting Sailing Secretary Jo Chugg on jc@rorc.org Tel 01983 293581.

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

Espada - Coutts Quarter Ton winner in 2007, 2011 and 2013
About The Coutts Quarter Ton Cup

The revival Quarter Ton Cup was the brainchild of well-known sailors Peter Morton and Tony Dodd. In 2004 Peter was toying with the idea of buying back his old Bruce Farr designed Quarter Tonner Super Q and Tony, the owner of Purple Haze, were keen to increase the number of boats he could race against.

A few phone calls to friends later and the idea of a revival Quarter Ton Cup was rolling. The inaugural event took place in 2005 with 14 boats attending and Purple Haze claiming victory. Each year the number and quality of the entrants has increased with the tenth anniversary event in 2014 attracting a record entry of 33 boats. 

The standard of racing in the fleet is truly extraordinary with many of the best-known sailors in the world joining the racing for the sheer fun of it. Certainly the Quarter Tonners are widely acknowledged as offering some of the most competitive racing in the Solent.

Although the revival started in the Solent, the enthusiasm for Quarter Tonners is universal and there are now active Quarter Ton fleets across Europe and Australasia with more boats being rediscovered and given a new lease of life each year.

The boats are quirky, fun, incredibly challenging to sail well, but very versatile in that they are competitive in general IRC fleets. It's also a class that appeals to youngsters and those on a limited budget who can purchase a boat and refurbish her themselves at very reasonable cost. The fleet is always very supportive of new owners offering endless advice and frequently donating parts, sails and even complete rigs to deserving newcomers.

Quarter Tonners can be challenging to sail!
In 2006 the event partnered for the first time with title sponsor Coutts to become the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup, a partnership that has endured ever since. Coutts most generous support has been vital in making the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup the vibrant and successful regatta it is today.

For the first ten years the event was hosted by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club Cowes. The club's delightful waterside premises and outstanding reputation for race management were the perfect combination to ensure events of the highest caliber. From 2015 the event will be run by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, which now incorporates the RCYC and has taken over its Cowes clubhouse.

Further information about the Quarter Ton Class can be found at www.quartertonclass.org or by contacting Class Secretary Louise Morton on Email louisemorton@me.com


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