Quarter Ton revival continues to grow

Coutts Quarter Ton Cup to take place in Cowes this weekend

Thursday June 7th 2007, Author: Fiona Brown, Location: United Kingdom
This coming weekend, 8-10 June 2007, the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club will host the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup. 26 classic quarter tonners, representing virtually all eras and design trends in the class's illustrious history, will converge on Cowes to enjoy a weekend of hard racing, hard partying and great camaraderie. Racing will take place in the central Solent on windward leeward courses and social events will be hosted each evening at the Royal Corinthian's Cowes club house.

When Peter & Louise Morton first came up with the idea of reviving the Quarter Ton Class one cold winter's day three and a half years ago they had no idea just how enthusiastically their idea would be received. Before long sailors of a certain age could be found surreptitiously rummaging around in old barns and boat sheds looking for long neglected Quarter Tonners and phrases like 'transverse jib tracks' and 'tumblehome' were once again being bandied about.

The first revival Quarter Ton Cup held in 2005 was a huge success and another generation of sailors woke up to the joys of sailing these responsive and fun little boats which are inexpensive to buy and run. While some owner's have had their boats professionally restored many prefer to get down and dirty with the power tools and DIY it and this past winter has seen a hive of activity on the restoration front.

Among the new faces at this year's regatta will be Frenchman Oliver Hays in his Farr 727 Farrniente who has just arrived in Cowes after an 18 hour crossing from his home port of Le Havre. Representing Wales we have two Robbers in the shape of Steve Rees's Throbber and John Griffiths' Pindari. The Cowes home fleet has also grown in numbers with Mike Till and Howard Sellars now owning the Fauroux-designed Bullet, while Paul Kelsey comes fresh from success at the Vice Admiral's Cup in his Paul Whiting-designed Runaway Bus.

From Weymouth comes Captain Moonlight, designed by Paul Whiting and owned by a five man syndicate who each take turns to helm. Proving that Quarter Ton sailing runs in the blood Richard Thomas, son of designer David Thomas who has two of his designs competing this weekend, will helm the Bolero Sgt Pepper. Ollie Ophaus, owner of Supernova, has clearly decided that his otherwise rooky team needs some experience and gravitas and is shipping in Tom Richardson of Elephant Boatyard and original era Quarter Ton fame to helm.

As well as the new faces we also have some old favourites too. Tony Dodd's Purple Haze will hope to reprise her 2005 victory, but as usual they will face stiff opposition from Peter Morton aboard Espada, Graydon Dawson's Diamond, Darren Marston's Catch and Louise Morton and the girls in Super Q.

Another old face but with a new look this year is Kevin George and Chris Frost's Tom Bombadil. The boys have spent the winter giving the boat lots of TLC and she's now looking fantastic. Not only does she look beautiful but she's also performing beautifully, as evidenced by her victory in last weekend's Vice Admiral's Cup.

The event will open with the Coutts Welcome Reception on Thursday evening and the highlight of the social programme will be the Gala dinner on Saturday evening. This year's guest speaker will be designer Rob Humphries and rumors abound that the early end to the Louis Vuitton Cup in Valencia means Bob Fisher will be winging his way back to Cowes to once again lead the official heckling!

For further information about the 2007 Quarter Ton Cup please contact Louise Morton, Secretary, Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, The Parade, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 7QU, E-mail louise@rcyc.co.uk, Tel +44 (0)1983 293581 or visit www.rcyc.co.uk

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