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Displaying items by tag: Le Diamant cruiseship

It's been some time since more than one cruiseship has moored on the River Liffey's Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin Port, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Arriving from Douglas before sunrise was Zegraham Expeditions Clipper Odyssey (1989/5,218grt) which docked at berth No. 8, while Ponant Cruises Le Diamant (1974/8,282grt) made a leisurely mid-morning call at neighbouring berth No. 9.

Clipper Odyssey is an unusual caller to the capital as she normally operates cruises in the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to the Russian Far-East. As for Le Diamant she is a frequent caller not just to Dublin but throughout Irish ports during the season.

The Bahama-flagged 110-passenger Clipper Odyssey is scheduled to depart this evening around 21.45hrs. She is bound for Dunmore East with an lunchtime arrival off the Waterford fishing port. Le Diamant with a capacity for up to 226 passengers follows with a departure set for 23.00hrs and she is bound for Fishguard Harbour, the gateway to the scenic Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Berths 8 and 9 on the quayside are lined with sleek-glazed offices and apartment blocks where once stood the gasometer of the Dublin (Ringsend) Gasworks. In recent years with the building of the Sean O'Casey pedestrian and Samuel Beckett swing-bridges, cruiseships can no longer access berths further upriver, much closer to the city-centre, at berths 3 and 4.

Currently only small cruiseships can dock within the 'Docklands' quarter quays due to the limitations imposed on dimensions, as vessels transit through the East-Link toll lift-bridge which was built in 1984. The majority of cruiseships, which are considerably larger and can exceed over 100,000 gross tonnes, berth 2kms downriver mostly in Alexandra Basin and adjoining Ocean Pier.

There are proposals to build a dedicated cruise-terminal close to the East-Link bridge on the far side at North Wall Quay Extension, which would allow such larger vessels to dock. This would facilitate easier access for cruise tourists to visit the attractions of the city-centre and indeed the nearby amenities of the O2 Arena, which would be within walking distance of the proposed cruise terminal.  

 

Published in Cruise Liners

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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