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Displaying items by tag: McWilliam

Sails bearing the UK Halsey badge are appearing from the McWilliam Sail loft in Crosshaven, Co. Cork just two weeks after the announcement that Cork sailmaker Des McWilliam has been appointed head of one of the world's largest sailmaking firms.

He will replace American sailmaker Butch Ulmer - the "U" of UK - who is retiring.

UK-Halsey was founded in City Island, New York in 1946 as Ulmer Sails and now has a network of sail lofts around the world, with 17 in North America, 21 in Europe, 3 in Asia, 4 in Australia, and two in South America. It has a reputation for using the most advanced techniques and technology to build long-lasting and fast sails.

The McWilliam loft in Crosshaven, which has been in business for 40 years, will become the nerve centre for development of the group.

McWilliam will continue to employ six manufacturing and service staff in the Cork harbour premises, including recent recruit Kenneth Rumball, the Irish Fireball dinghy champion.

McWilliam is a prestigious brand name - suits of their sails have equipped competitors in the Admiral's Cup, incorporating the Fastnet, and other international and national yachting events.

The first sail produced in Crosshaven under the new name was a spinnaker for a Dehler 34, followed by a Mermaid jib and a mainsail using the latest Titanium technology for a 50-foot yacht.

"I like the idea that we're sitting here in our old stone watermill in Crosshaven talking about high-grade aerodynamics across the world," McWilliam said, "however, I'm just as happy designing good sails for people who are passionate about getting out in a boat".

UK-WorldMap

Locations of UK Halsey lofts around the world which are managed from Crosshaven by Des McWilliam

Published in Marine Trade

A prestigious appointment to the top of one of the world's biggest sail making firms is a life time reward for a member of a Cork sailing family who built a sail-making business in Ireland.

In a major Irish marine industry announcement, Crosshaven based sail maker Des McWilliam (62) has been appointed President of world sail making Group UK-Halsey.

UK-Halsey is one of the top three sailmakers in the world with 46 lofts worldwide and an annual estimated turnover of €15million.

mcwilliam_sail2

Des McWilliam at work on a UK-Halsey Titanium sail. Photo: Bob Bateman

The loft is credited with using the most advanced technologies in the production of sails including Titanium sails where sail panels are glued rather than stitched for lightness and better shape.

McWilliam's appointment was made at the group's annual meeting in New York this week following the retirement of American founder Butch Ullmer.

Established in 1946 as Ulmer Sails, UK-Halsey Sailmakers is one of the oldest group of sail lofts in North America and has expanded around the
world to become the largest network of owner-run sail lofts.

There are 17 UK-Halsey lofts in North America, 21 in Europe, 3 in Australia, 3 in Asia and two in South America.

The UK Halsey loft in Crosshaven Co.Cork becomes the centre of operations as McWilliam rolls out new group strategies in challenging and competitive
times for the 45 sail makers.

Now in its fortieth year of sail manufacture in Ireland McWilliam says this week's appointment will underpin the future of the Cork loft in a time of
recession.

McWilliam employs six staff in Crosshaven, boosted this season by the appointment of Irish Fireball dinghy champion Kenneth Rumball.

 

Published in Marine Trade

Want to improve your starting? Fed up looking for transits only never being able to see the end of the line? Here's a new innovation for racing sailors that Cork sailmaker Des McWilliam has already declared 'a brilliant piece of kit'.

Irish distributors CH Marine are offering a 7 day free trial they're that sure you'll never be late or over the line again. There's a special Irish launch price of €449 for this start computer. Click for online demo and listen to inventor Alec Stewart talking about the 'perfect bowman' below.

 

Published in Marketplace
It was all smiles last night in Cork Harbour where the Royal Cork fleet enjoyed a wonderful evening of racing in the first race of the Union Chandlery sponsored June League. It was a contrast to last week, when the last race in the McWilliam Sailmakers May League had to be cancelled due to gales.

The conditions were ideal with a 7–knot breeze coming from the S.E. with flat water, blue skies and at the top of the tide. The harbour was looking its best.

The Race Officer set an excellent course. A bit of bias on the line made the start a bit interesting though. Class One got away clean. But Classes two and three had a General Recall.

After the start at Grassy the fleet had a beat out to No.3  The usual debate ensued over which side of the course was favoured. It was a close call in the end. Around No. 3 to starboard, spinnaker up and back to the Cage Bouy. A gybe and then on to No.12 at this stage there was a nice bit of ebb in the tide. It really was a case off keeping the Spinny flying for as long as possible up to the Mark. A nice beat followed, down to Corkbeg and then a nice reach back to the Grassy where the S flag was flying.

It was a good night for Billy Duane in his Sunlight 30 Expression in the White Sail fleet and for Jimmy Nyhan and Maritta Buwalda in their 1/4 Tonner Outrigger in Class 3.

First places also went to Thunderbird a Corby 25 owned by Denis Coleman in Class 2 and Endgame an A35 owned by Frank Doyle in Class 1.

Published in Royal Cork YC

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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