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#GERMAN NAVY – Three German Navy vessels that forms a task force group docked in Dublin Port this morning for a weekend courtesy call, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Auxiliary tanker FGS Frankfurt Am Main (A1412) berthed in the heart of the port at Alexandra Quay West, close to the East-Link Toll-Lift Bridge. The 174m vessel which displaces over 20,000 tonnes will remain somewhat obscured from view during her port of call due to the surrounding dockland infrastructure.

The Berlin class replenishment vessel and her leadship sister FGS Berlin are the largest units in the German Navy. They not only carry fuel but also handle stores, military equipment, ammunition, medical services and can accommodate helicopters.

Footage above shows the task force departing Portsmouth from a vantage point taken from The Hard that leads into the Hampshire harbour.

Across Alexandra Basin lies the Sachsen class air-defence frigate FGS Hessen (F221) of 5,690 tonnes. The third member of the trio is the 130m Bremen class multi-purpose frigate FGS Emden (F210) of 3,680 tonnes which is moored at an adjacent berth alongside at Ocean Pier.

Unlike the auxiliary the frigates will be more visible from the south quays near the Poolbeg Yacht Boat Club marina at Ringsend.

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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