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Displaying items by tag: IFDS world championships

#PARALYMPICS - Irish team members John Twomey, Anthony Hegarty and Ian Costello are making waves at the World Championships for disabled sailors in Florida this week.

Inside World Parasport reports that the trio from Kinsale Yacht Club are tied for the top spot in the Sonar class, ahead of Norway and France, in the International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) event at Laishey Park Marina.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Twomey and his crew have already qualified for the London Paralympics this summer after claiming one of the few rwmaining spots at the IFDS Worlds in Weymouth last July.

Published in Olympics 2012
The IFDS World Championships held at the 2012 Games Venue came to a close on Friday. The championships, the second qualifying event for the upcoming Olympics also provide a valuable indication for the contenders for next year's Games.

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) saw 46 entries in the 2.4 mR class, 21 Skud 18 entrants and 23 entries in the Sonar class. The week began with a test across all classes in painfully light airs causing the competitors to demonstrate not only intense concentration but world class skill in mastering the tricky breeze.

As the week progressed the wind increased providing a test of fitness, not dissimilar to the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta the month before. Having had a strong start to her regatta Paralympic sailor, Helena Lucas found herself defending her position by day three in some close racing with her national teammate close on her heels.

helenalucas

Southampton based Lucas said: "It was a really tricky day. In the first race, halfway up the first beat, it wasn't looking too flash and somehow I managed to scrape round in fourth. The only disappointing thing I think was that I was second or third at the bottom of the last run and went left, and then the wind went right and I lost three boats which was a bit of a shame. With the points so tight, those three or four points would have been rather handy today."

By day four, gusts over 20 knots provided the 155 sailors competing at the RYA-run event at the Academy this week with a completely different challenge to the first three days of racing. After day four, one title was decided as Brits Alex Rickham and Niki Birrell wrapped up their third straight SKUD crown on the penultimate day of the IFDS Worlds. Winds gusting up to 30 knots at the award-winning venue on the final day of racing meant that, despite the best efforts of the race management team, it was not deemed safe enough to send the sailors out racing so the decision was made to abandon proceedings around midday.

helena_finishline

Paralympian Helena Lucas crossing the finish line ahead of British teammate Megan Pascoe. © Paul Smith - Yacht Pals International

With the overnight positions holding, Skandia Team GBR's Helena Lucas was delighted to win her third World Championship medal since 2006.

She said: "I had a great start to the regatta which was key, and I never dropped out of the top four. I think on the second day I was fourth but the points were so tight and I just managed to stay in the medal positions all the way through the week. If you look at the points it's just so close, so close. Going into today there were four or five people who stood a chance of getting bronze so there was certainly a real scrap for it. I knew what the forecast was yesterday and I knew it was key to try and make sure I finished yesterday in the medal places just in case we didn't race today."

Keir Gordon, Partner and Head of the Sports & Media Group at Charles Russell LLP, commented, "Not only did Helena finish on the podium which is brilliant but the five days of racing against the world's best would have provided Helena with the practice to help her in her run for a spot on the Skandia Team GBR."

Published in Racing

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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