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#lecture - Michael O’Neill, a former member of Glenans is to present the opening Friends of Glenua's Winter 2017-2018 lecture series in Dublin early next month, see details below.

The opening lecture is 'The Lure of Sailing North to the Midnight Sun-Cruising Scotland and Beyond to Norway and Iceland'.

Michael O’Neill started sailing with the Glenans in Ireland and France in the late 1970's, and benefitted from the marvellous structure for learning cruising with experienced cruising skippers. His early Scottish cruises in the 8.5m Armagnacs introduced him to this varied and captivating cruising ground, dotted with islands and inlets, distilleries and dolphins, and blessed with long summer days.

The charms of Scottish cruising whetted Michael’s appetite for sailing to the far north to explore the unique attractions of volcanic Iceland. At this northerly latitude, the summer sun sets as late as midnight and, even then, the half-light remains through the night. In recent years, Michael has explored the archipelagos of west-coast Norway, Fair Isle and the Shetlands, culminating in the Orkneys and the Hebrides this summer.

In his illustrated presentation, he will recount fond memories from these cruises, and explore the challenges and charms involved with sailing the remote northern seas.

Venue: Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club, Ringsend, Dublin 4. 

Date: Thursday 5 October 2017 (20:00hrs)

Admission: There will be an entry fee of €5 in aid of the RNLI.

Published in Coastal Notes

#LectureLusitania - The Winter lecture 2015/16 season of the Glenua Sailing Centre resumes with the return to the venue of the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club, Ringsend, Dublin, this Thursday, 1st October at 8pm.

The topic for this season’s opening lecture “The Sinking of the Lusitania” will be illustrated and presented by Cormac F. Lowth. An entry fee of €5 is in aid of the R.N.L.I.

Cormac is well-known as a superb researcher, lecturer and writer on many aspects of Irish maritime history. This lecture will examine, with many rare images of her interior, various aspects of the Lusitania focusing on the innovative nature of her construction and prominence as a luxury Trans-Atlantic passenger liner.

The lecture will also delve into the mysteries surrounding the last fateful voyage of the Lusitania from New York to include the alleged cargo of the ship, the activities of British Naval Intelligence and the involvement of ‘Room 40’ in breaking German codes, the German U-20 torpedo attack on the Lusitania and the massive second explosion that sank the ship.

Cormac will then describe the rescue of the survivors, the propaganda campaign that followed the sinking and the tragic aftermath, when, despite an inquest, an official enquiry, various salvage attempts and diving investigations of the wreck, conspiracy theories and rumours abound right up to 2015, a hundred years later.

Among the reports earlier this year on Afloat.ie was the RMS Lusitania commemoration centenary ceremony hosted by Cunard and the Port of Cork, led by President Michael D Higgins in Cobh to mark the 100th anniversary of the liner's sinking off the Cork coast.

Notable, the Cunard liner 'Queen Victoria' arrived at Cobh cruise terminal with 2,144 passengers as part of a seven night 'Lusitania Remembered' voyage, following a wreath-laying ceremony held on board in the early hours off the wreck site off Old Head of Kinsale.

Later that same day ashore, four glass headstones were unveiled, having been commissioned for the centenary by the Port of Cork and Cunard, at the Old Church Graveyard where 170 victims of the Lusitania are buried in what were previously unmarked graves.

 

Published in Boating Fixtures

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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