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Displaying items by tag: Olympia

A new book celebrating 400 years of the development of Belfast Harbour was launched on Monday in the offices of Belfast Harbour Commissioners. 'Titanic Port' was written by award-winning journalist and author Alf McCreary, and was commissioned by the port authority. For a full account of the book launch please click here (which includes a link to a podcast by the author).

 

The book tells the story of those who built the harbour and the foundations for Belfast's emergence as a major urban and commercial centre. The book traces the harbour records, dating back to 1613 when King James I authorised the construction of a small wharf on the river Lagan.

At over 400 pages long, 'Titanic Port' also contains over 700 illustrations, many previously unseen photographs and paintings from the harbour's archives, including panoramic port and city views.

A central theme of the book is the intimate relationship between Belfast and its harbour and how the Belfast Harbour Commissioners were instrumental in bringing shipbuilding to the city. In particular, how they helped ensure that Titanic and her sister ships, Olympic and Britannic were built at Queen's Island. In addition the Commissioners investment of the Thompson Dock, where the trio of iconic liners were fitted out, was the largest of its kind in the world.

The cost of the dock was almost the same price as the Titanic and was specifically built to help Harland & Wolff secure the contract from the ships' owners, the White Star Line.

'Titanic Port' also follows the development of the Jacobean and Georgian port which was barely navigable due to Belfast Lough's treacherous mud-banks and sandbanks. Without the creation of a navigable channel over the centuries by successive harbour authorities, it is arguable that Carrickfergus might have become Ulster's main seaport.

Also examined is the vital role the harbour during both World Wars I and II and how the Harbour Estate escaped the worst of the 'Troubles' and its recent re-emergence as a major economic driver for Northern Ireland's economy. The social history of Belfast is also explored and how it influenced the port, in particular, Sailortown.

'Titanic Port' is currently on sale priced £25 (stg) and available online at http://www.titanicport.comThe book was produced by Dr. Claude Costecalde of Booklink and designed by Wendy Dunbar.

For information in general about Belfast Harbour Commissioners logon to www.belfast-harbour.co.uk/

Published in Book Review

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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