Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Ocean Youth Trust Northern Ireland Ltd

#NEWS UPDATE - A Northern Irish sailing charity has been fined by a court for failing to keep proper records, following an investigation into a sinking incident two years ago.

BBC News reports that the activities of the Ocean Youth Trust Northern Ireland Ltd were examined by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) after its 70ft Oyster ketch, Lord Rank, hit rocks near Kinbane Head on the Antrim coast in June 2010 while taking part in a charity fundraiser.

As previously reported on, six people - including three presenters from Downtown Radio who had been broadcasting from the boat - were rescued from the vessel by RNLI lifeboat crews. No injuries were reported.

The MCA launched an inquiry into the trust's activities following the Lord Rank accident, and issued a formal caution to the skipper of the boat.

The trust had no charges brought against them in relation to the sinking of the Lord Rank.

Unrelated to that incident, the investigation subsequently uncovered omissions in the trust's logs and records on several days over a six-week period in 2009.

In court, a defence solicitor acting for the Ocean Youth Trust said it had accepted its failures and had taken steps to improve the running of its operation.

A fine of £250 out of a maximum £50,000 was imposed by the judge, who acknowledged the good work the charity had done with young people in Northern Ireland.

In a statement, the Ocean Youth Trust Northern Ireland Ltd said: “We thank all concerned and welcome the result. We are proud of our safety record and have taken over 10,000 young people to sea without injury.

"[The trust] is a charity which relies heavily upon volunteerism and the trustees wish to thank the legal team, staff, trainees, ports, government departments and the volunteers for their ongoing support.

"We look forward to a year of great excitement for the maritime community in Ireland.”

Published in News Update

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. 

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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