Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Maritime Festivals

#TALL SHIPS - Waterways Ireland has announced a series of events around Grand Canal Dock in support of the Tall Ships Races Festival.

The events will be centred around the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre on Grand Canal Quay, with a full programme of children’s art and craft workshops and two exhibitions running throughout the festival. The programme includes:

'A Very Grand Canal' Art Exhibition

A Very Grand Canal is a collection of artistic responses to the Grand Canal commissioned by Offaly County Council through the Per Cent for Art scheme. Three projects were chosen, some with multiple outcomes, all illuminating the Grand Canal in ways not seen, heard or read before. The artists include, Geraldine O’Reilly (printmaker), La Cosa Preziosa (sound artist), Martina McGlynn and Garret Daly (Filmmakers), Eugene O’Brien (writer) Veronica Nicholson (photographer) and Wayne Brennan (musician). The exhibition runs throughout the Tall Ships festival from 10am to 6pm daily.

Small Ships at the Tall Ships

Small Ships at the Tall Ships is an exhibition of work by the Irish Model Boat Club, featuring small tall ships, RNLI lifeboats and a 16ft model of the Titanic. There will also be a demonstration of radio controlled model boats, and a model boat building workshop for children 7 and up (call 01 677 7510 to book; places are limited). The exhibition is open daily throughout the festival.

Waterways Ireland Community Choir  

The Waterways Ireland Community Choir’s members are local people from the Docklands and along the canals coming together to sing songs of the rivers, canals and docks. Their performance on the jetty of the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre at 4pm on Saturday 25 August will feature a wide repertoire of songs including Simon & Garfunkel’s 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' and the more light-hearted traditional song 'Drunken Sailor'.

'Decorate Your Duck' Workshop  

Who will have the best looking duck in the Duck Race? The Decorate Your Duck workshop runs in the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm. There will be glitter and glue, paint and polish, so come on down and give your duck some character! The Duck Race is run in aid of St Andrews Resource Centre, Pearse Street.

'Watery Stories' with Púca Puppets  

Niamh from Púca Puppets invites the young (and young at heart) to meet 'canalmaid' Mary Mary, who will pull ashore at the Waterways Ireland Visitors Centre for the Dublin Tall Ships Festival and is looking for help in finding clues, creating and drawing stories to illustrate life on and in Ireland's canals and inland waterways. Suitable for 6-10 year olds and their families, Watery Stories takes place on Friday 24, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August at 11am and 2pm. Booking is advisable as places are limited - phone 01 677 7510.

Published in Tall Ships

#TALL SHIPS - Sail Training Ireland is seeking more volunteers to help out at the Tall Ships Races Festival information stand from next Thursday 23 to Sunday 25 August.

Michael Byrne of Sail Training Ireland for Youth Development says organisers need enthusiastic people that have an interest in sail training who are willing to spend a half day on the stand on Thursday afternoon from 4pm to 9pm or on Friday from 10am to 9pm.

The stand is located at the entrance to the Naval Service vessel LE Emer and will be a great location to get a feel for the festival.

It's also hoped that some of the trainees arriving on the ships will "bring some exciting tales to share of their crossing of the Bay of Biscay", says Byrne.

If you are interested, please call Michael Byrne at 01 887 6046 (office) 086 034 6038 (mobile) or send an email to [email protected] with your name and phone number and times of interest.

Published in Tall Ships

#TALL SHIPS - Celebrating the arrival of the Tall Ships to Dublin, the Allianz All-Aboard Liffey Cruise for St Michael's House invites the public to join its maiden voyage of the River Liffey next weekend 23-26 August for just €1.

The unique tour of the city includes a cruise along the Liffey to the new developments at Docklands and the IFSC, and will get you up close and personal with the Tall Ships at Dublin Port - which begin arriving in the capital over the next few days for this year's festival.

Hosting what promises to be fun day out for all ages will be Allianz’s very own Captain Pete, who will be handing out treats to the younger - and not so young! - seafarers on board.  

And what's more, your euro will go towards the great work done by St Michael's House for people with intellectual disabilities. St Michael's House is Allianz's chosen charity this year - find out more about its work.

The tour normally costs €12.60 but a limited number of places are available for booking for just €1 via the Allianz All-Aboard Facebook app HERE. Early booking is advised to avoid disappointment. See terms and conditions.

Published in Tall Ships

#MARITIME FESTIVALS - National Marine Week has kicked off in Northern Ireland, with events taking place along the coastline till Sunday 12 August.

According to BBC News, events organised by the Ulster Wildlife Trust for the festival fortnight include a ramble on the shore of Carlingford Lough, rummaging in rock pools in Portrush, Co Antrim and Annalong, Co Down, and a coastal walk along Belfast Lough as previously reported on

There will also be a survey of the coastline's plants and wildlife considered the best indicators of climate change as part of the UK-wide Shore Thing Project.

"National Marine Week is the perfect opportunity for people to get out and explore the seaside and experience for themselves the diversity of wildlife that our seas and shores have to offer," said the Ulster Wildlife Trust's Kerri Whiteside.

"As well as being lots of fun, we hope our events will help everyone to understand the importance of protecting our vital marine habitats for the future, and inspire people to join us on our journey towards living seas, where wildlife thrives from the depths of the oceans, to the coastal shallows."

Published in Maritime Festivals

#OYSTER FESTIVAL – The narrow medieval streets of Carlingford, Co. Louth will again be host to the annual Carlingford Oyster Festival, where an action packed festival runs for four days between 9-12th August.

The festival includes the oyster pearl hunt, a sailing regatta, the world crab fishing contest, street entertainment, an oyster tent, food stalls and artisan craft markets and the famous Carlingford seafood chowder.

Also the opportunity to go back in time on a guided Medieval Tour of Carlingford, where children can enjoy a treasure hunt on the shore of the scenic lough and exploring the shorelife and hidden treasures. The festival also has a magic show, face-painting, teddy bear's picnic, crab fishing, kayaking and cookery demonstrations will also keep them occupied.

Last but not least is the Morgan's Ocean Fresh Carlingford Oyster Pearl Competition held for ladies for more information visit and also by clicking HERE.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#TALL SHIPS RACES - 'First Mate' Keith Duffy joined Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar and new Lord Mayor of Dublin Naoise Ó Muirí on the first day of this year's Tall Ships Races to announce details of the spectacular line-up for the free four-day festival in Dublin from 23-26 August.

Up to 50 magnificent tall ships will sail into Dublin Port, the final host port in the race, for what promises to be Ireland’s biggest festival of the summer. 

“It’s great to see the Tall Ships Races back in Ireland again, following a highly successful visit last year," said Minister Varadkar.

Local organisers Dublin City Council and the Dublin Port Company have programmed an impressive entertainment line-up to cater for all tastes.

Mary Weir, project manager for the Tall Ships Races 2012 Dublin, said: “We are expecting over one million visitors to attend the festival and we want to make sure there is entertainment to suit everyone.  

"We have designed a captivating and exciting line-up of entertainment with everything from food theatres and markets, imaginative children’s areas, a Family Zone, an impressive music line-up with Ash and The Undertones already confirmed, parades, street performances, literary trails and an Urban Street Culture and Watersport Zone.

"We are taking over the quays both North and South and the Docklands for four days. In fact the entertainment offering is so vast we anticipate people visiting the festival over several days to get the most out of all that is on offer - and the best part is that it is all free."

The festival will also be a celebration of Dublin’s maritime history, with the CHQ Building at George's Dock hosting an exhibition programme that will include beautiful black-and-white images of the docks through the ages courtest of the Dublin Dockers Preservation Society. 

Meanwhile, an explosion of colour and celebration is sure to draw huge crowds as up to 1,800 Tall Ship crew members from all over the world will take part in a parade up the quays on Friday 24 August from 3pm-5pm.

The crews will move up the quays in song and celebration to the Custom House where an awards ceremony will take place, acknowledging the incredible journey they will begin on 9 July when they depart from St Malo in France.

The overall winner of the Tall Ships Races 2012 will be revealed along with the winner of Sail Training International’s Friendship Trophy, awarded following a secret ballot in which captains vote for the ship and crew that they believe has done the most to further international friendship and understanding, the main ethos of the event.

Then on Sunday 26 August at 11am, the River Liffey will come alive as the Tall Ships prepare to depart and sail out of the capital in a stunning parade of sail as one of the key highlight of the weekend’s entertainment.

Organisers are also still seeking volunteers to jump onboard and get involved in the festival.

Up to 1,000 volunteers are required for the Tall Ships Races 2012 Dublin to give visitors the warmest of welcomes, help create a great atmosphere and an experience they will never forget. Log onto for more information.

For more details visit or 'like' the event on Facebook at to be in with a chance to win a trip of a lifetime for a loved one abroad to celebrate the Tall Ships Races in Dublin.

Published in Tall Ships

#BELFAST LOUGH – The largest outdoor arts event ever seen in Northern Ireland is to take place tonight in Belfast at the iconic landmark venue of the £100m Titanic Belfast, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The spectacle is a combination of acrobatics, aerial dance, carnival, circus, music, multi-media and pyrotechnics. An audience of more than 20,000 people will be part of the 'Land of Giants' which takes its inspiration from 'giants' that are present in Northern Ireland's history, both ancient and modern.

Special focus will be given to four: Finn McCool, the giant who built the Giant's Causeway; Gulliver, whose giant features are outlined in the hills surrounding Belfast; Samson and Goliath, the two cranes that have dominated the Belfast skyline for the past 40 years; and the Titanic, together with her less famous sister ship, the Olympic.

This evening's event of theatre and performance is part of the Legacy Trust UK Community Celebrations and the London 2012 Festival, a 12 week UK-wide cultural celebration for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Published in Belfast Lough

#WEXFORD MARITIME FESTIVAL - The John Barry Maritime Festival as previously reported is to take place on the weekend of 23-24 June where a packed festival programme outlines various activities and events, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As the festival is named after the Wexford-born Commodore John Barry, the father of the US Navy, there will be a contingent representing the navy who are to visit the festival. At the end of the festival one of the highlights will be the annual John Barry Memorial Ceremony. This is to be officiated by Major of Wexford Davy Hynes and attended by international dignitaries.

Throughout the festive weekend, the coastal town which is synonymous with its fleet of colourful dredging trawlers lining the quays will celebrate its rich maritime culture and heritage.

Wexford Harbour will be a visual array of boats and an air-sea rescue display by the Irish Coastguard (noting new SAR helicopter) and RNLI lifeboat and Naval Service. Also on hand will be the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group which will have a stand and Met Eireann will also be on the quay providing information and demonstrations to the public on marine safety.

Among the events to be staged is a rowing regatta of traditional sailing cots to modern fibre glass rowing boats, sea kayaking, canoeing, sailing and raft races on view from Wexford Quay marina.

In addition a 26,000 sq ft exhibition centre will house over 100 handcrafted model boats. There will be exhibitions about John Barry, the Titanic and an interactive media exhibition of maritime activities and local artists and photographers.

There will be entertainment in the form of traditional Irish music, dance groups, evening music on the Saturday and Wexford traders will be showcasing local produce on the quay. To consult the festival programme including fringe events visit

Published in Maritime Festivals

#MARITIME FESTIVALS - The second SeaFest Lough Swilly is set to take place next weekend from 22-24 June, as the Donegal Democrat reports.

“SeaFest Lough Swilly is an event for everyone,” said Mark Wheeler of Rathmullan House, one of the weekend's organisers.

“For sailors and watersports enthusiasts, be they experienced or novice; for families in search of something active to do with the kids; for people who simply take pleasure in being at the seaside; and of course for everyone who enjoys good local food.”

The non-profit festival will let watersports novices sample the delights of windsurfing, sailing, paddle boarding, snorkelling and sea kayaking.

For landlubbers, meanwhile, there will be traditional vintage fairground games, local produce from the Donegal Country Markets, crafts from Donegal Designer Makers and musical acts performing all weekend.

Food is also a big aspect, with Mulroy Bay oysters, spit-roasted Donegal organic pork, Lough Swilly mackerel and Irish craft beers all on the menu.

What's more, Saturday 23 June will see the second annual running of the Saldanha Cup, a traditional cruiser-racer sailing regatta that commemorates the 200th anniversary of the sinking of the frigate HMS Saldanha.

And you never know - the SeaFest might even have some killer visitors, if last week's orca encounter is anything to go by!

The Donegal Democrat has more on the story HERE.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#SEASIDE FESTIVAL – The popular and scenic fishing harbour of Dunmore East is to host a Festival of Food, Fish & Fun running from 22-24th June.

The first day of the festival on Friday, officially starts at 6pm with a marquee located in the town's park where there will be live music with Waterfords' Gypsi Swing. During the evening refreshments will be provided by local restaurants. Among the activities of the festival's opening night, there will be a Ready, Steady Fish Final sponsored by Flanagans Fish Merchants.

On the Saturday, Tony Kellys Fish Shop will be open all day in the Break Supermarket. The shop will have a large selection of fresh fish and assistance will be on hand to help you recognise the various species, talk about how the different fish are caught, the issue of sustainability, cooking advice and recipe leaflets.

At 2.30 pm Bruce McDonald will talk and teach about seaweeds. His foraging walk on the beach will guide you in the identification of our local seaweeds. The walk taking one-hour is to give you a new perspective on how we perceive the sea, the next time you take a seaside stroll.

An another all-day event is the The Annual Angling Competition. Registration is required the day before or in the morning in Powers Bar. For information call: 087 2576191. The weigh-in and competition results will be announced at the sailing club at 5.30pm.

Another fishing related event is the fish filleting and cookery demonstration, to be presented by Joan Power of The Lemon Tree cafe, which will take place at the harbour pier.

Views of Dunmore East through a 'Now & Then' photo exhibition will be on display, where photos taken up to 50 years ago and in more recent years by Lisa Walsh will be available to buy.

On the final day of the festival, there will be an Arts & Crafts fair held in the Fisherman's Hall. A fundraising 'Garden Party' hosted by The Friends of the Fisherman's Hall will be held in the community garden behind the Fisherman's Hall. The fundraiser will have advice on planting and vegetable seedlings for your garden.

Also that Sunday will be the 'The Blessing of the Boats' and a RNLI Open Day. For more action, there's The Adventure Centre which has a 12-metre rock climbing wall located on the harbour, where there will be a charge.

To view the full festival programme of events, times and locations over the three day festival click HERE.

Published in Maritime Festivals
Page 5 of 6

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.


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. 

Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2021?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating