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Displaying items by tag: HMNB Devonport

The Royal Navy's Type 22 frigate HMS Chatham (F87) which recently returned to UK waters after a seven month deployment on anti-piracy duties off Somalia, visited Dublin Port last weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

HMS Chatham was the lead vessel for NATO's 'Operation Ocean Shield' as part of a multi-national task force in the seas off the African state that in recent years has become notorious for piracy.

HMS_Chatham_3

HMS Chatham departs Dublin Bay and the rocks off Dalkey Island. Photo: Jehan Ashmore /ShipSNAPS

The frigate departed Dublin on Monday afternoon and set an easterly course off the Baily Lighthouse, but surprisingly the 5,300 tonnes vessel returned into the bay. HMS Chatham then crossed the bay towards Sandycove. From there the 148m vessel which has a draft of 6.7m veered in a south-easterly direction, to sweep past off the rocky outcrop, to the north of Dalkey Island and continued southbound off The Muglins.

In mid-November the frigate visited her namesake port on the Medway to mark the 20th anniversary since the vessel's commissioning at Chatham in 1990. The occasion was also the first time that such an event had taken place outside a Royal Navy establishment. 

Built in 1988, the vessel was launched from the Swan Hunter shipyard on the Tyne and is normally based in her homeport of Devonport, Plymouth.

Published in Dublin Bay

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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