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Displaying items by tag: Butch

Sails bearing the UK Halsey badge are appearing from the McWilliam Sail loft in Crosshaven, Co. Cork just two weeks after the announcement that Cork sailmaker Des McWilliam has been appointed head of one of the world's largest sailmaking firms.

He will replace American sailmaker Butch Ulmer - the "U" of UK - who is retiring.

UK-Halsey was founded in City Island, New York in 1946 as Ulmer Sails and now has a network of sail lofts around the world, with 17 in North America, 21 in Europe, 3 in Asia, 4 in Australia, and two in South America. It has a reputation for using the most advanced techniques and technology to build long-lasting and fast sails.

The McWilliam loft in Crosshaven, which has been in business for 40 years, will become the nerve centre for development of the group.

McWilliam will continue to employ six manufacturing and service staff in the Cork harbour premises, including recent recruit Kenneth Rumball, the Irish Fireball dinghy champion.

McWilliam is a prestigious brand name - suits of their sails have equipped competitors in the Admiral's Cup, incorporating the Fastnet, and other international and national yachting events.

The first sail produced in Crosshaven under the new name was a spinnaker for a Dehler 34, followed by a Mermaid jib and a mainsail using the latest Titanium technology for a 50-foot yacht.

"I like the idea that we're sitting here in our old stone watermill in Crosshaven talking about high-grade aerodynamics across the world," McWilliam said, "however, I'm just as happy designing good sails for people who are passionate about getting out in a boat".

UK-WorldMap

Locations of UK Halsey lofts around the world which are managed from Crosshaven by Des McWilliam

Published in Marine Trade

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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