Strong interest in June's Coutts Quarter Ton Cup
This year's Coutts Quarter Ton Cup hosted by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Cowes, from Monday 14 to Wednesday 16 June 2010, is expected to attract a record entry along with some exciting new members of the fleet. Boats will be based in Cowes Yacht Haven for the event, which has been timed to enable visiting teams to stay on in Cowes for the J P Morgan Round The Island Race on Saturday 19 June.
The Quarter Ton Fleet has been a hive of activity over the past winter. Among those putting in long hours in the boat shed has been Ollie Ophaus who has been hard at work on his new project Cote, the boat found in a sorry state in Spain last year. A boat builder by profession Ollie is already well known in the class for the outstanding job he did of restoring the Ed Dubois designed Super Nova and so the fleet eagerly awaits the appearance of Cote.
One of the highlights of last year's event was seeing father and son Paul and Mark Lees from Poole putting in an outstanding performance racing together aboard their 1971 Van der Stadt designed Echo, one of the oldest boats in the fleet. To spice things up for the 2010 season the family have added the 1984 Peter Gimpel design Panic to their fleet and Paul and Mark will go head to head at this year's Quarter Ton Cup.
Two boats are expected to travel from Ireland to take part in the event. Having got a first taste of the fleet aboard his father Neil's Manzanita last year, young George Kenefick will be back again sailing the Kenefick family's newly purchased ASAP. This stunning all black 1989 Fauroux design has achieved some great results on the UK circuit for the past two seasons and with the very talented George at the helm plus a crew that includes some of Cork's finest young sailors we can look forward to a good performance from this team. Also making the trip across the Irish Sea, this time from Dublin, will be Ken Lawless who purchased the immaculately restored Super Nova from Ollie Ophaus and who is looking forward to his first Quarter Ton Cup.
Five French boats are due to compete; Farrniente owned by Olivier Hays, Laurent Beaurin's legendary 45 Deg South and Playboy Penguin owned by Pierre Paris will be traveling from Le Havre, and Iota owned by Gilles Robert and Catch Me (formerly Darren Marston's Catch) owned by the President of the French Quarter Ton Class Guy Pronier will also be attending.
One of the most exciting new additions to the fleet comes in the shape of a team from New Zealand. In 2009 Brett Linton from Wellington brought his crew from New Zealand to race the chartered Quarter Tonner Diamond in Cowes Week. He enjoyed the experience so much that this year he and his crew, which includes co-owner Roy Dickson (father to Chris) are back in the UK this summer to race in the Quarter Ton Cup. On hearing that Brett and Roy were looking for a boat to sail Ed Dubois generously offered them the use of his own boat Enigma, winner of the 2006 event. Roy won the Quarter Ton Cup in 1975 on the Farr 727 45 Deg South in Deauville so we will be looking to this very strong team for another great performance.
Alongside the new faces will be plenty of the usual suspects. Roger Swinney of Ayanami fame has added to his fleet and has bought the old Senator Incatatus, now renamed Innuendo. Roger and his crew are perhaps the happiest and most fun loving crew in a fleet that is infamous for its camaraderie and relaxed atmosphere so this will be a most welcome addition. For this year's Cup Roger will helm Innuendo, while Ayanami will be helmed by her former owner Peter Dixon.
Another man who loves the Quarter Tonners so much he's decided he needs two of them is Dutchman Berry Aarts. His original boat, the Itch - famous in the fleet for her all yellow livery - now has a team mate in the shape of Wings, a 1976 Stephen Jones design recently discovered in a very sorry state in Holland. Wings is not yet ready to race so Berry will be challenging with the Itch again this year but we look forward to seeing Wings on the water very soon.
Back for a second attempt at the Cup will be Willy McNeil aboard his new boat Illegal Immigrant, a 1991 Ceccarelli design. Willy found the boat, originally called Pandemonium, in Greece and it was whilst transporting her home that she got her new name. Having had her shipped across from Greece Willy collected the boat from Italy to tow her home. On arrival in the UK he was pulled over by the UK Customs as they had detected someone inside the boat and sure enough an illegal immigrant was discovered!
Another boat that changed hands during the winter was David Tydeman's 1979 Joubert Nivelt designed Snoopy, now owned by Ian and Catrina Southworth under the name Whiskers and crewed by some of Hamble's better known reprobates. Southy has always had a knack for making boats go fast so we'll be watching his first Coutts Quarter Ton Cup performance with great interest.
Peter and Louise Morton will be racing their 1978 Bruce Farr sister ships Anchor Challenge and Espada. Having finished a very close second to Peter at last year's events Louise and her all female crew will definitely be hoping to turn the tables this year. Equally determined to break the Morton's grip on the top of the leaderboard will be Howard Sellars and Mike Till aboard Bullet, Rob Gray in Aguila, Paul Kelsey in Runaway Bus, Graydon Dawson in Diamond and Richard and Ann Thomas in Sergeant Pepper, all of whom made the top ten at the last event.
Keeping everyone in order on the water will be Principle Race Officer Bob Milner. Each day after racing the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club will host post racing events with the social highlight being the renowned Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Gala Dinner, which will take place on Tuesday.
"Coutts are delighted to maintain their sponsorship of The Coutts Quarter Ton Cup, which has become a mini 'Goodwood Revival on the Water'. This is Coutts fifth year of active involvement in the event and we are looking forward to another outstanding event." Commented Stephen Kemp of Coutts & Co.
For further information, Notice of Race and Entry Form for the 2010 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup please visit from www.rcyc.co.uk or contact Jo Chugg,Sailing Secretary, Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, The Parade, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 7QU, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel +44 (0)1983 293581.