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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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At home and abroad, Irish sailors once again delivered an impressive range of results in 2010.

Click on the month to the left to review our top sailors by month. And vote for them in our online poll (left)

As in previous years, Afloat magazine is asking the public to decide who should be crowned Ireland’s Sailor of the Year for 2010.

The overall national award will be presented to the person who, in the judge’s opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to, watersports during 2010. Now you can log on to Afloat.ie and help select the shortlist from the last 12 months’ top performers by clicking on your sailor in the left hand column of the home page. The boating public gets to nominate their top three through the online poll, Afloat.ie gets a vote too and the Sailor of the Year judges decide the final winner.

Cast your vote by midnight February 18, 2011. The awards are administered and judged by Afloat magazine, the Irish Independent and the Irish Sailing Association.

The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Thanks for your interest!

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Published in Sailor of the Year
12th November 2010

An Irish Maritime Foundation

I wonder whether there might be interest in forming an Irish Maritime Foundation?

I raise the question having discussed the possibility with those who run the UK Maritime Foundation and whose views about the sea about the sea impressed me when I met them in London. The Foundation traces its history back to 1981 when shipowners, senior retired naval officers and people involved in the financial industry reacted to changes in British Government policy that were regarded as failing to protect the importance of the UK maritime industry. It is a registered charity with the purpose of promoting and raising interest in the maritime sector amongst the public, the media and Parliament. To do so it is involved in assisting development of maritime education, training and research.

The British are a magnanimous people in my view. It was an honour to accept the Desmond Wettern Award from the Foundation. Desmond Wettern was a distinguished UK maritime journalist for over 30 years and the awards were established in his name. This year the Society for Nautical Research joined the awards project.

In responding I used one of my favourite descriptions - "the Family of the Sea," which I have used on radio. It drew a lot of interest from those present. I believe there is a "family of the sea" which spans oceans and seas, linking those who appreciate the sea as essential to human survival.

"Everyone who has an interest in the sea would recognise that there are and will continue to be, increasing pressures on its use and on the exploitation of its finite resources, but also a number of opportunities," according to Rear Admiral Christopher Perry, Chairman of the UK Marine Management Organisation. Those views and others I discussed with some of those amongst the 200 attending the function, who came from various parts of the world. Professor Richard Harding of the Society for Nautical Research which is marking its centenary, expressed this opinion: "There is a disturbing sense of sea-blindness in the British Government, amongst the general public at large and in the media."

There is certainly sea-blindness in our Government and in much of the media, though I am hopeful that there is growing awareness of the importance of the marine sector amongst the general public. If Ireland had an organisation like the Maritime Foundation, I would be very pleased.

• This article is reprinted by permission of the EVENING ECHO newspaper, Cork, where Tom MacSweeney writes maritime columns twice weekly. Evening Echo website: www.eecho.ie

Published in Island Nation

With just 24 hours to go to the announcement of sailing's boat of the year award at tomorrow's Cork harbour ICRA conference the consistent poll topper from Afloat's online survey shows ISORA offshore champion Raging Bull as a clear favourite with 1175 votes. Second is Marinerscove on 873 and Errislannan third on 256 votes. Polling began just over a month ago and 2,600 votes have been cast. See the poll on the left hand column of the home page. There's still time to cast your vote to try and influence ICRA judges!

 

 

Published in ICRA

John Sheehy of Dun Laoghaire is the latest Afloat.ie/Irish Independent "Sailor of the Month" after his convincing recovery to retain his title as National Match Racing Champion in Kinsale on October 24th.

Recovery and retention became the theme of a hotly-fought series, as Sheehy had seemed to be off form on the opening day, far from overnight leader, in the doldrums way back in fourth. Things were still rocky on the second day as they battled on all fronts to stay in contention after taking a beating from Ben Duncan of Howth, who seemed on track to be the new champion.

But Sheehy and his crew sailed off on their own for a brief onboard motivation session. He had a crew of all the talents in Darragh O'Connor, Paddy Kirwan and Marty O'Leary and they returned to the fray fired up on all cylinders to go into the final series with eight wins, while Duncan had nine.

However, by this stage there was no stopping the John Sheehy onslaught. He clinched two more excellent starts and retained the lead despite ferocious pressure in both matches from Ben Duncan, who was clear second overall, while Sam Hunt was third, narrowly ahead of Prof O'Connell.

Please excuse us as we prepare to upgrade Afloat.ie. We aim to keep the site online during a website upgrade this week. Inevitably you will notice some changes to menus and formatting as the site takes shape!
Published in News Update
Tagged under

Afloat now in its 43rd year of production is a vibrant specialist magazine which has continually adapted to the demands of its readership, with an industry insight which is quite simply unique. Edited by David O'Brien (47), a former European and World sailing champion and Olympic sailor from the 2000 Games, it is produced by a group of dedicated watersports enthusiasts and has become essential reading for all those who have more than a passing interest in the development of Irish watersports.

Afloat is the only publication dedicated to serving the needs of the sector, and it does so with a truly independent voice. Afloat's association with the industry's twin governing bodies  the ISA and IMF  allows it to offer an insider view, but the magazine maintains independent editorial control.

Packaged as a glossy magazine with an emphasis on colour photography, no other specialist magazine in Ireland offers such an impressive range of comment, information and advice in such an attractive format.

Click the links below for more on Ireland's sailing and boating magazine:

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Published in Landing Pages

Raging Bull overtook Errislannan in Afloat readers opinion poll at lunch time on who will win the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) Boat of the Year Award, in just over a month's time. Over 350 voters have given their opinion so far on the ten boat shortlist produced by Afloat. Errislannan proved an early poll topper since voting began last Thursday but as late as lunchtime today votes for Raging Bull saw a dramatic lift, bringing the Irish Sea offshore champion ahead of the Top Cork week Sigma 38. At 2pm a third of the votes cast were for Raging Bull. Errislannan was on 31%. Tiger had 16% and was in third place ahead of Antix with 31 votes. The poll is located on the left hand column of the home page. Cast your vote now!

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Published in ICRA

Although we've been writing about how to look after your boat this winter in Afloat's latest issue don't hang up the lifejackets just yet! A late rush of Summer is expected across the country this weekend. Unseasonable high temperatures of up to 22 degrees have been forecast. Get the boat out, it can't last long! The best of the weather can be expected in the mid west. Met Eireann say the Indian Summer could benefit Clare and Galway the best.

MET EIREANN FORECAST : Outlook is for warm dry settled weather in most places. FRIDAY NIGHT: Very mild, humid and misty on Friday night. Dry in many areas apart from some drizzle but there will be rain in parts of Kerry. SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Warm, humid conditions are expected over the weekend and dry in most places. However it looks as if southwestern counties will have a lot of cloud with rain at times on Saturday but this dying away on Sunday. For the rest of the country the weekend looks like being dry and warm with sunshine at times, probably best during Sunday and afternoon temperatures in the high teens or around 20 degrees in parts of the west, very high for early October. Feeling cooler at times near the east coast due to a brisk easterly breeze MONDAY: Dry and bright on Monday with sunshine in many areas and afternoon temperatures a little lower in the mid to high teens but winds lighter than over the weekend, just a moderate easterly breeze.

Published in Weather
Page 6 of 6

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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