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Brittany Ferries this afternoon marked its first completion of operating the new four 'freight' route network of Ireland-France links that began running from Rosslare Europort on this day last week, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Armorique which launched the 'Brexit-bypass' routes last Thursday, was to increase much needed freight vehicle space on direct ro-ro services to and from mainland Europe. This was also a first for the operator by linking Wexford and Brittany via St. Malo.

Last night the ferry had sailed from Roscoff overnight and arrived back to Rosslare this afternoon and on scheduled (1400) despite the weather.

Irish hauliers and other customers can avoid the UK landbridge and associated impact on EU/Brexit border trade with Brittany Ferries enhanced choice of four routes: they are Roscoff-St.Malo, Rosslare-Roscoff and Cork-St. Malo and Cork-Roscoff. For full rotation see earlier report. 

Armorique will load freight trucks and drivers before the whole operation begins again with the cruiseferry repeating the rotation of routes linking Wexford, Brittany and Munster (as also reported). The sailing starts at 20.00hrs tonight and arrives in St. Malo the next day at 17.10.

In addition the Breton operator has more freight routes as this month a Rosslare-Cherbourg service was introduced complimenting last year's opening of the Rosslare-Bilbao route in northern Spain.

DFDS, operator of the new route to Dunkirk, using a trio of ferries among them the chartered Drotten vacated the linkspan at Rosslare's outer pier to where Armorique arrived this afternoon.

Astern of the French flagged ferry was the inbound Stena Estrid which was pressed into service on the route from Cherbourg, having been redeployed in recent weeks from the Dublin-Holyhead route.

Taking over these Irish Sea sailings saw Stena Horizon step in, the ropax was the original ferry that inaugurated the Ireland-France service under the banner of Celtic Link Ferries. In 2014, the route along with the same ferry, then Celtic Horizon was acquired by the Swedish operator, which was a first for the company to have a direct Ireland-mainland Europe route.

While Brittany Ferries have considerably taken action with these new routes, they do not have any freight marketshare based out of Dublin Port from where Irish Ferries and most recently Stena Line added a service directly to Cherbourg.  

The port in Normandy is now the busiest in terms of direct ro-ro operations linking France-Ireland with two routes and operated by the three ferry firms providing a total of four services. 

Published in Brittany Ferries

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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