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The Mainport Group, an Irish owned integrated marine services company have bare-boat chartered the AHTS Dina Alliance from Norwegian interests, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Dina Alliance is a supply seismic support vessel which is currently on duty servicing three other seismic vessels operating in the North Sea on behalf of Mainport clients. She was built in 2009 by Fujian, China as an anchor handling tug supply (AHTS).

On board the 60m vessel there is an aft clear working deck space used for supplies which is capable of handling two 20ft reefer containers and a single 20ft storage container. The vessels' powerplant is provided by 2 x Caterpillar 3516B main-engines of 1920kW (5150bhp) at 1500 rpm which drive twin kort nozzles propellers and equipped with a corresponding pair of high-lift rudders.

Accommodation is for 42 berths (11 for officers and crew) and other marine personnel (numbering 31) in addition to two hospital berths. All of the cabins are air-conditioned with washrooms/WC.

Dina Alliance brings the Mainport Group fleet total to 24 vessels (for list click HERE) which are deployed in various sectors engaged in offshore support vessels covering safety standby, tugs, tanker assist, towage, bunkering and seismic support services.

Earlier this year the company's Foynes based tug Celtic Isle was requested to assist in refloating the stricken combi-heavy lift vessel Pantanel which had dragged its anchor in stormy seas after running aground in Cashla Bay, Rossaveal. The German-owned vessel was to load two former Aran Direct owned fast-ferries that operated from the Connemara harbour on a delivery voyage bound for Mauritius.

Mainport is a Cork based operation with offices located in Foynes, Limerick, Drogheda in addition to operations overseas in Durban and Johannesburg in South Africa and Aktau in Kazakhstan.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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