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Displaying items by tag: Navy Visit

#AircraftCarrier- HMS Illustrious (R06) the Royal Navy's helicopter commando carrier is due to arrive in Liverpool on St. Valentine's Day and be open to the public next weekend (16-17 February), as part of a five-day call, writes Jehan Ashmore.

For more than three decades the former aircraft-carrier (equipped with Harrier jump-jets) has served the Royal Navy, however she is to pay-off in 2014, to make way for next generation aircraft-carriers.

Affectionately known as 'Lusty' to her crew, she is due berth alongside Liverpool Cruise Liner Terminal tomorrow at around 2pm, opposite the famous Liverpool waterfront skyline. There will be free public tours during Saturday and Sunday (10am – 4pm) noting the latest time to board is 3pm.

She forms as one of four core ships of the Royal Navy's amphibious fleet, they are the helicopter carriers HMS Ocean and assault ships HMS Albion and Bulwark, the latter is the flagship.

HMS Illustrious current role is as a High Readiness Helicopter and Commando Carrier and she is the last of the 'Invincible' class aircraft carriers commissioned for the Royal Navy during the 1970's.

As previously mentioned, the class were of course equipped with the revolutionary 'Harrier II' jump-jet VSTOL aircraft built by British Aerospace/McDonnell Douglas for the RAF, until these aircraft were retired in 2010. These days she conveys a range of helicopters, Merlin, Sea King, Apaches and Lynx for the Royal Marine Commandos.

Her sisters, the decommissioned leadship HMS Invincible (RO5) was scrapped in 2005 and HMS Ark Royal (R07), the final of the class launched in 1981 made a farewell tour around Britain in 2011. Last year it was announced that she too would be scrapped.

Published in Naval Visits

#NAVY VISIT – The Royal Navy's coastal training patrol boat HMS Charger (P 242) spent last night in Dublin Port having sailed from Liverpool's East Brunswick Dock. The vessel is based at the Commanding Officer of the Liverpool University Royal Naval Unit RN Headquarters on Merseyside, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The small boat measuring 20m in length and a beam of 6m remains this evening moored alongside the Poolbeg Yacht Boat Club Marina. The 100-berth facility faces Alexandra Basin where P&O Cruises Arcadia docked today.

HMS Charger is an Archer P2000 class patrol boat built by Waterfcraft Ltd of Shoreham. She provides practical navigation and seamanship training at sea where a crew recruitment unit takes place annually in early October from the universities in Liverpool and also from Lancaster University.

Last week HMS Charger called to Belfast Lough which included berthing in the city's Abercorn Marina basin next to the Titanic Quarter. Also visiting the basin this week was the newbuild WFSV Gardian 10 completed by Arklow Marine Services which was on a promotional delivery voyage to Great Yarmouth.

Published in Naval Visits

#DUTCH NAVAL VISIT – A torpedo training ship HNLMS Mercuur (A 900) is one of four vessels of the Royal Netherlands Navy based in Den Helder which are scheduled to visit Dublin Port next weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

During the four-day call, the HNLMS Mercuur and the Alkmaar class minehunter HNLMS Vlaardingen (M 863) will be open to the public on the Saturday and Sunday between 2pm-4pm. All the vessels will be berthed alongside Sir John Rogersons Quay.

HNLMS Mercuur is fitted with a maintenance shed for torpedoes and as a target ship for submarines to fire dummy torpedoes. She has an armament of 1 underwater launch tube for Mk. 48 torpedoes. The 64.8m vessel has a crew of 39 and the vessel which displaces 1,400 tonnes is powered by a 2 x MAN 6L-20/27 diesels (1,632 hp total) which deliver 14 knots.

The 41.5m long navy training ship (MOV) Van Kinsbergen (A902) is used for practical nautical training, a task for which it was specifically built and equipped. In addition to the navigation bridge, the MOV Van Kinsbergen has a second, fully equipped training bridge. There are five-crew and also the same number of civilian crew.

A second Alkmaar class vessel HNLMS Zierikzee (M862) forms the final member of the flotilla. Each of the 51.5m long vessels which weigh 534 tonnes has a crew ranging between 28-38 personnel. The Alkmaar class origin is a joint design of the Netherlands, Belgium and France navies.

The Dutch constructed the propulsion system, the Belgiums provided the electronics and the French built the mine-hunting equipment. To reflect the cooperation between the three countries, the international name of this class of ship, are referred as the Tripartite class.

Published in Naval Visits

#NAVAL VISIT – A sistership of the French Naval patrol vessel that performed 'guardship' duties during last year's La Solitaire du Figaro Race to Dun Laoghaire (click HERE), is due to dock in Dublin Port in advance of St. Patrick's weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

PSP Pluvier (P678) is a 54m offshore patrol vessel (OPV) that belongs to a trio of the'Flamant' class, the remaining pair are the leadship PSP Flamant (P676) and PSP Cormoran (P677). The latter OPV escorted the race fleet on the second leg between Ouistreham (Caen) to Dun Laoghaire, the only international port of call of the prestigious race.

The naval visitor is the last of the sisters built and was constructed in Cherbourg at Chantier des Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN). She entered service in 1997 and carries out patrols in seas up to 200 nautical miles offshore of the French économique exclusive zone (ZEE).

She is scheduled to arrive on Thursday afternoon and berth at Sir John Rogersons Quay, downriver from the Samuel Beckett swing-bridge.

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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