The Humphreys designed Half Tonner Flash

With the Half Ton Cup scheduled for UK waters in 1984 (Troon, Scotland), there was significant Half Ton interest in 1983, and one of these aspiring challengers, Barry Bullen, came to Humphreys for his design. In fact, after results shown by Roller Coaster, Glafki III and others, interest was fairly widespread and Bullen arranged with MG Yachts of Scotland for Flash to be built as the plug for a new production design that MG Yachts would offer as the MG HS30. The best known of the production versions were Humphrey Go-Kart, Local Hero and Heart of Gold, but it was Flash herself that was to make best account of herself.

Flash won the UK Half Ton trials in 1984 and went on to place a close second in the World Championship behind the French Cofica, with Humphreys joining Barry Bullen and Lawrie Smith for the long offshore race. Other results we have documented are the first overall in Clyde Week and first overall in the Clyde Cruising Club’s North Channel Race for Heart of Gold in 1984, and first in IOR Class 4 in the tough Round Ireland race for Humphrey Go-Kart in 1988.

Coming back to Flash’s performance an interesting re-gearing process took place during the 1984 season. Originally at her best in stronger winds, it became evident to Humphreys and Smith that a high pressure system was sliding in slowly, threatening a period of lighter airs that would likely extend to the worlds. New sails were in any event planned for the championship, and Humphreys went about a re-optimisation process that under Flash’s new rating turned her into a very strong light air contender. The forecast proved correct and the successful re-alignment of the boat’s parameters illustrated the increasingly detailed attention that would be required for major international competitions.