If you fancy competing in a slightly more offbeat event, then the Quarter Ton cup may well be the one for you. Hugely competitive, great fun and just ever so slightly esoteric, this event has garnered something of a cult following in recent years and continues to grow. The real stars of the Quarter Ton Cup are the quarter tonners themselves. These vessels were hugely popular back in the 1970s when the International Offshore Rule (IOR) was king and this led to very distinctive designs generally around the 25’ size bracket. After the demise of IOR, the class seemed doomed to extinction until a group of dedicated owners succeeded in putting these sweet little vessels back on the map. It’s kind of the sailing equivalent of a Ford Capri rally, but if the boats are sometimes quirky, the sailing is deadly serious and competition is often very fierce and many of the revamped boats have been kitted out to the very highest level. Racing can often be very varied and with the wide range of design characteristics throughout the fleet, racing can often be a ding- dong affair with one boat dominant on a downwind leg only to lose acres to a rival on the upwind leg.
Despite this, the event is still hugely down to earth and offers a great opportunity for top class racing on a sensible budget. The Quarter Ton fleet also has a great sense of camaraderie within its ranks and there is a nice friendly social scene to complement the hotly contested event.
Taking place in Cowes during Cowes Week, you can guarantee there will be a real buzz around this year’s round of races and while there may be more glamorous classes out there, satisfy yourself with the fact that few can offer such varied and competitive racing as you witness in the Quarter Ton Class.