Quarter Ton Class: Balancing history and passion

Published on December 3rd, 2013

Efforts are underway to organize a “One Ton Cup Revisited” regatta, in Auckland, New Zealand, in February/March 2015. The regatta would celebrate the (near) 50th anniversary of the One Ton Cup switching from metre class yachts to offshore racers in 1965, using an international handicap rule to measure and rate contestants.

This was when interest in the Cup went global and led to One Tonners being regarded as the Formula One class of ocean racing. The rule increased the boat size in 1984, with the last One Ton Cup held using the IOR in 1994.

The smaller Quarter Ton boats have remained active in the UK, with the 2014 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup on June 25-27 to celebrate its 10 edition since being reborn in 2005 under the IRC rule.

Here are the Quarter Ton Class Rules 2013 that seek to balance the history of the boat and the passion of its sailors.

1. All boats shall have a current IRC Certificate with a maximum rating of 0.920.

2. All boats shall have a Series Age Date prior to 1996.

3. All boats shall have a Hull Series Date prior to 1996 (Note: Any hull changes should be pre-agreed with the Rating Authority to ensure that modifications do not alter the boat’s Hull Date.

4. All boats or a sistership shall have had an RORC Rating of 16 ft or less between 1967-1970 or an IOR Rating of 17 ft-18 ft for the years 1971-1978, or an IOR Rating of between 17.5-18.5 for the years 1979-1996.

5. Crew. The maximum number of crew shall be 5. However, where a boat is crewed by 5 females, that boat may carry a 6th crewmember.

6. The owner or joint owner shall steer the yacht in all Quarter Ton events. In exceptional circumstances, where the owner prefers not to helm, dispensation may be given for an ISAF Category 1 sailor to helm the boat (Alternate Helm). Permission for the Alternate Helm must be obtained from the Quarter Ton Class Secretary at least 7 days prior to any Quarter Ton event. Being ISAF Category 1 does not mean automatic acceptance as an Alternate Helm. The Alternate Helm will be expected to be a regular member of the crew.

7. Applications will be considered from boats for Quarter Ton events who believe that they were genuine Quarter Tonners but who are unable to prove an IOR or RORC Rating. The Secretary will seek the guidance of the RORC Rating Office whose decision shall be final.

8. Sail Numbers. In order to preserve the heritage of the Quarter Tonners from the early days, it is permitted to use the original sail designation and numbers. ie. K (GBR) I (ITA) F (FRA). The reasoning for this is that unless it is a class rule ISAF require the new three letter designations.

9. Bow Sprits and Prodders are not allowed, either fixed or retractable unless originally designed prior to 1996. All spinnakers must be tacked down to the yachts spinnaker pole, except when hoisting, gybing, approaching the bottom mark and dropping the kite.

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