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#Rowing: Claire Lambe became the first Ireland international to win a women's Boat Race today. The Olympic oarswoman was in the three seat of the Cambridge boat which defeated Oxford easily in a race dominated by Oxford’s awful start. Their number four woman, Rebecca Esselstein, could not clear the water with her oar at the start and by the time the crew recovered the race was gone. Cambridge started well and won much as they liked.

They set a new record for a women’s crew (18 minutes 34 seconds) since the women’s race moved to London three years ago. The Cambridge coach, Rob Baker, is the former Ireland under-23 coach. “They were ruthless in the way they executed today,” Baker said.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Claire Lambe and Sally O’Brien have been named in the Cambridge University women’s squad for the Boat Races. Lambe, who started rowing with Commercial, has represented UCD and Old Collegians. She competed for Ireland at the 2016 Olympic Games, partnering Sinéad Lynch in a lightweight double which reached the A Final. Sally O’Brien, who started rowing in Neptune, competed for Trinity and was captain of Dublin University Boat Club in 2014/2015. She played Gaelic Football at underage level.

 The men’s and women’s Boat Races are on April 2nd. The chief coach of Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club is Rob Baker, the former Ireland under-23 coach.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Cambridge won the 2016 men’s Boat Race on the Thames today. Oxford started well, but in extremely difficult conditions, Cambridge established an early lead and kept a good rhythm down the long course, even as Oxford never gave up. 

 The women’s race was extraordinary. Oxford won, but in what Oxford women’s boat club president Maddy Badcott called “insane conditions”, Cambridge took in so much water that they almost sank. They somehow kept going and finished.

Published in Rowing

# COASTAL ROWING: The univsersities celebrated as the oldest rowing rivals will celebrate the oldest traditional regatta when crews drawn from Oxford and Cambridge alumni compete at Killarney Rowing Festival on Lough Lein on July 28th. The boat used will be the Killarney Six, a wooden boat with a fixed seat which was originally designed and built by Salters in Oxford. The event is part of ‘The Gathering’ and Queen Victoria’s stay in Killarney in 1861 will be marked. The Killarney Regatta itself is set for June 30th.

Published in Coastal Rowing

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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