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Displaying items by tag: LE Deirdre

#TALL SHIPS – At the Dublin Tall Ships Races Festival, the docklands-based replica 19th century barque Jeanie Johnston was open to the public, however a former Irish Naval Service vessel, could of been there in her place, had circumstances in the past had taken a different course, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Since 2005, the Jeanie Johnston has been owned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) which as part of its remit was to regenerate water-borne activity along the Liffey. In May this year it was announced the authority is to be wound-down over a period of 18 months.

The Jeanie Johnston currently serves as a static floating emigrant famine museum. This is a stark contrast to when the barque made a historic re-enactment voyage in 2003 of her predecessor which carried Irish emigrants across the Atlantic, between 1845-1855 to Quebec, Baltimore, and New York.

Prior to the acquisition of Jeanie Johnston by the DDDA, the L.E. Deirdre (P20) was decommissioned four years previously when the Naval Service put her up for auction. She is an elder half-sister of the L.E. Emer (P21) which performed 'guardship' duties during last Sunday's Parade of Sail off Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Notably the L.E. Deirdre is historically significant in that she was the first custom-built newbuild for the Naval Service and also the first such vessel built in the country, at Verolme Cork Dockyard in 1972, however despite campaigns to keep her as part of our national maritime heritage, this did not materialise, as she was sold at a bargain price of £180,000 to a UK company.

Initially this saw the vessel go to the ship-repair yard of Pomerania, in Szczecin, ironically the Polish city which was the presenting sponsor of the Dublin Tall Ships Races Festival in association with Sail Training International (STI).

However the owner of the former Naval Service vessel, died in 2004, and work on transforming the offshore patrol vessel into a luxury charter yacht, which included installing a helicopter landing pad, came to a standstill. She was sold again and towed to Brazil in 2005 where it is believed the 220ft vessel renamed Santa Rita, painted beige replacing the dull naval grey, was to be completed in 2010.

Yesterday L.E. Emer departed Dublin Port to resume routine patrols and the last large tallship to bid the capital farewell, the A-class, Italian Navy's Amerigo Vespucci, was underway last night. This leaves the Swedish Navy's gaff schooner Falken (class-B) as the last of the tallships still in port.

Published in Tall Ships
This weekend's 'Foyle Days' in the north-west city is set to welcome two offshore patrol vessels (OPV) the Naval Service LE Emer (P21) and the Royal Navy's HMS Severn (P 283), writes Jehan Ashmore.
The maritime event includes a variety of sailing organisations and accompanying craft to include the 96ft tall-ship schooner Johanna Lucretia. In addition the festival's star visitor attraction will be the inaugural call of the 68ft yacht Derry-Londonderry which is to take part in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race.

On the naval front, LE Emer was built in Cork's Verolme Dockyard in 1978. She represents the oldest of the eight-strong fleet and is designed from the Naval Service's first purpose built patrol vessel OPV LE Deirdre (P20) but was modified to improve her stability and speed. This vessel was decommissioned several years ago and was converted into a private yacht.

The original BOFORS 40mm L60 gun of the LE Emer was recently upgraded to a BOFORS 40mm L70 to improve range and accuracy of her main armament. She alongside her 65m sisters LE Aoife (P22) and LE Aisling (P23) where all built primarily to patrol the Irish section of the European Economic Zone (EEZ).

During their careers the 'Emer' class vessels have also completed numerous re-supply missions to Irish troops serving overseas with the United Nations and in particular in the Lebanon. A crew compliment of 46 (5 officers) operate the vessels which are all now in their fourth decade of service.

OPV HMS Severn is the third of four 'River' class offshore patrol vessels and like her Irish counterpart is deployed on fishery duties. The 1,677 displacement tonnes vessel was built in 2001 in the UK'S south coast port of Southampton at Woolston Docks. Her home port for the 30 crew is at HM Naval Base in neighbouring Portsmouth.

She becomes the fifth ship to bear the name and with sisters HMS Mersey (P 282) and HMS Tyne (P 281) they are assigned to the Fishery Protection Squadron. Click the ship's diary to follow the ship news. The final member of the River class HMS Clyde (P 257) serves as a Falklands Islands Patrol Vessel (FIPV).

Published in Navy

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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