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During the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, there was, rightly, a great deal of focus in public debate on the issues confronting Ireland’s border communities. On 20 November 2020, the Irish Association for Contemporary European Studies (IACES) will be holding an online conference which aims to expand the terms of this debate, and to examine and deepen understanding of a key issue in Ireland’s relationship with the EU – that of the future of those coastal and port communities which, at the end of the transition period, will find themselves on a new frontier between the EU and the UK.

Bringing together academics, experts and stakeholders, this online conference and workshop aims to explore the key role played by Ireland’s ports, coastal communities and maritime sector in its membership of the EU; provide a forum in which issues confronting Ireland’s port and coastal communities as a result of Brexit, climate change and the coronavirus pandemic can be discussed; and, crucially, highlight how responses to these challenges are framed and influenced by Ireland’s EU membership.

​The conference will examine contemporary challenges for Ireland's ports, coasts and maritime sector, explore community projects that cross the maritime border between Ireland and Wales, and examine the long history of Ireland's cultural connections with the sea. Attendance is open to all, and further details and registration are available here.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Ports&ShippingReview – Over the last fortnight, Jehan Ashmore has reported on the shipping scene where Ardmore Shipping was delivered a 25,000dwt tanker newbuild, Ardmore Cheyenne from a Japanese shipyard.

Phase one of work continues on a major €50m investment of Foynes Port to transform the Shannon Estuary port into one of the biggest bulk harbours in Europe.

Rotterdam's new Maasvlakte 2 (MV2) container-terminal run by AMPT has been hitting back over claims of a slower than expected rollout of its operations with delays causing current traffic congestion at Europe's biggest container port.

The International Association of Port Cities (AIVP) will host its AGM for 2015 in Dublin next month ahead of the June Bank Holiday weekend. 'Working Waterfront' is the topic of the two-day meeting.

Due to high levels of interest in the inaugural Maritime Industry Awards (18 June) the entry deadline has been extended for companies to submit in the award categories to 23 April.

Published in Ports & Shipping

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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