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Displaying items by tag: Offshore powerboating

Hibernia Racing, The International Irish Marathon Offshore Powerboat Racing Team headed by driver and throttle man John Ryan are set to take on their toughest challenge to date; the Cowes Classic 2016 Offshore Powerboat Race. The race takes place this Sunday, September 4th, starting at Cowes on the Isle of Wight with 'Hibernia Racing' being the first Irish boat to ever enter the race.

The Hibernia team includes Phillip Fitzgibbon navigating, Denis Dillon dealing with logistics and on-board hydraulic monitoring. Jonathan Napier is co–driver, Jonathan was famously the last Concorde flight pilot.
The mechanics include Christoff, Piotr and Mark Soper from the boats engine manufacturer FPT. 

John Ryan team HiberniaJohn Ryan driver and throttle man of Team Hibernia – realistic about chances in Cowes Photo: Afloat.ie

The team is also supported by Dingle's Tom Crean's lager, the Isle of Wight Distillery's Mermaid Gin and Henri Lloyd clothing.

The 200–mile classic has long been recognised as one of powerboating’s toughest challenges, it's the longest running offshore powerboat event in the world and comparisons have been made with motorsport events such as Le Mans and the Indy 500.

Around 20 boats are expected to be in the line-up for this high speed challenge including some boats with over 3000 hp available to drive their boats at speeds in excess of 210 km per hour.

Ryan is realistic about the teams chances saying that "we're in this to genuinely compete against the best teams and boats in the world, we know that our boat doesn't have the top speed or power of a lot of the other competitors but we have proven our overall reliability and high performance with our recent Round Ireland World record so hopefully at the end of the race we'll be up there with the best, remember to win you first have to finish!

Published in Powerboat Racing

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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