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#navy - The Irish Naval Service offshore patrol vessel, LÉ Samuel Beckett, will be offering guided tours to the public in the Port of Galway today, Saturday, 12th January. 

The Samuel Beckett writes Galway Daily is currently docked in Galway after it detained a fishing boat for breach of regulations off the west coast yesterday.

The first fishing vessel detained by the naval service this year, it was handed over to Galway gardaí this morning.

While it’s around, the LÉ Samuel Beckett will be open for public tours while alongside this afternoon between 14:00-16:00.

To read more on the leadship of the P60 OPV90 class and sisters, click here

Published in Navy

#Navy - A visitor to Waterford City today (Saturday, 24 March) is the leadship of the OPV90 class LÉ Samuel Beckett which is open to the public this afternoon between 2pm and 4pm..

The 'Samuel Beckett' class offshore patrol vessel is the first of a trio of sisters in the Irish Naval Service. The OPV is berthed at Frank Cassin Wharf (north side) of the River Suir. 

In addition to the naval crew the Waterford Unit Naval Service Reserve (WUNSR) will be on board in providing information to potential NSR recruits. This is advance of NSR Recruitment Campaign beginning in April and running until June.

The OPV has carried out humanitarian missions in the Mediterranean in recent years under 'Operation Sophia' This involved search and rescue (SAR) operations which led to saving more than 1,000 migrants.

LÉ Samuel Beckett was built by Babcock Marine & Technology, Appledore, north Devon and was commissioned in 2014. The leadship forms part of modernisation programme to upgrade the fleet and so far has led to replacing a trio of ageing 'Emer' class OPV's.

A fourth sister, LÉ George Bernard Shaw earlier this month was floated-out of the building hall at Appledore downriver of Bideford. At that stage of the construction process, the hull and superstructure of the €67m newbuild were completed, though the mainmast and 76mm gun had yet to be added.

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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