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#IrelandSpainFerry –Tonight, LD Lines finally resume their Ireland-Spain route via western France served by ro-pax Norman Atlantic, writes Jehan Ashmore

As previously reported, LD Lines announcement of the route returning to service follows an absence of more than three months due initially to dry-docking and for other un-disclosed reasons.

In January the French operator started the first ferry connection between Ireland and Spain with a stopover en route call at St.Nazaire before completing the journey to Gijón in the northern region of Asturias.

The once weekly 22-hour service calls to Rosslare on Thursdays and departs from the Wexford port on Fridays.

Since her arrival to Rosslare Eurport last evening, the ro-pax Norman Atlantic has remained in port for almost a full day, as she departs this evening at 9pm.

She is scheduled to arrive tomorrow at St. Nazaire on at 1900. From the mid-west Atlantic French port she heads for Gijón with an arrival time on Sundays at 1300.

Northbound the vessel departs Gijón on Tuesdays at 2200 and St. Nazaire at 2359 on Wednesdays before arriving back in Rosslare at 21.45 on Thursdays.

The 550-passenger Norman Atlantic caters for tourist traffic and can accommodate both regular freight types and most abnormal loads benefitting hauliers.

Her sister Norman Astuarias operates additional sailings yet only on the French-Spanish link.

Published in Ferry

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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