half measures

Reader Rant

antoineHello Anarchists. I’m back from the Half Ton Cup in Brittany, it was a wonderful event with a great mix of inshore/coastal races on beautiful boats in an incredible scenery. Excellent recipe for fun. I have some rants about the winner but I need to be precise!  I was just a mid-packer in this series and winning or losing one place would change nothing to me, because we were far from podium. Pictured here is our boat, Jaja.

I would like to react to Mr. Morton’s FuzzleFest (the article, recreator). Like him, I really enjoy Farr designs. I dig vintage stuff and performance stuff. Seeing work on Swuzzle was wonderful and winning races in 2014 on a legendary boat is cool. What I don’t like is the effect such projects could have on a not so strong class boats.

It’s cool to make this rebuild compete in IRC, that’s a race of money, buy speed, don’t pay for it too much in rating, fun for wealthy people. But for the Half Ton Cup it was a pity to see nice well maintained classic boat like General Tapioca ( has a new keel with a bulb, new rudder and a new rig – ed.), or Brittany Drizzle (which has a new keel, rudder and carbon rig. – ed) being humiliated by Fuzzlething. Fuzzlebubble is 2014 TP52 tech attached to a layer of fiberglass from the late 70s. It’s nowhere near the Half Ton class level of tech or spirit.

One could argue the rules are respected but half tonners are the cheapest crewed boat around, you can find very nice boat under 15000£ (in tapioca/brittany state of preservation) bring some friend and enjoy nice racing. Competing with a machine (and pro/semi pro crew) like fuzzlebubble is ten time the budget.

So today the 1st place is no more accessible to amateurs, which is not a good point for such a class. I don’t think a pro crew or a Volvo designer for fins and bulbs are working where they should be if they work for half ton cup 2014.

There is a simple solution: Bring much more restrictive rules, forcing owners to use original rigs, sail plan, weight, fins and all. But then some would consider this bad because it will be more expensive to maintain the boats and kill their HN/IRC capability. Plus many boats would have to be « downgraded ».

I think it’s a responsibility to competitors in vintage classes to compete wisely. Usually racing should be an all-out thing. All my energy, my time and my money. But please come humble to such a class. Keep your energy for other toys and compete with « acceptable » tech, it’s better for everyone. – Anarchist Antoine.