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#TITANIC'S TENDER - While all the attention is focused on the R.M.S. Titanic and the newly opened Titanic Belfast visitor experience, the White Star Line passenger tender SS Nomadic is only a stone's throw away from the venue, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Like the liner she was built by Harland & Wolff and her launch took place in 1911. She was commissioned by White Star Line as a 1st and 2nd class passenger tender for Titanic and sister Olympic.

The Nomadic carried out her duties based in Cherbourg, where she transferred passengers to the Titanic on her only call to the Normandy port. As such the vessel which is registered in the French port, is the last surviving White Star Line vessel in the world and the only remaining authentic link to the ill-fated liner.

Decades later, the Nomadic became a floating restaurant on the River Seine in Paris close to the Eiffel Tower, where the venture which started in 1977 remained formore than twenty years.

The ageing vessel faced new safety regulations threatening her fate which ultimately led to her being seized in 2002. She was then offered for sale and then followed a court action for her to be scrapped but a campaign was raised to save the historic vessel which succeeded in her securement.

At 95 years old she was towed by barge back to her builder's birthplace in Belfast in 2006. Now that she is over a century old the vessel is currently undergoing restoration by the SS Nomadic Charitable Trust. She is dry-docked in the Hamilton Dock which adjoins the new iconic landmark of the Titanic Belfast building within the developing Titanic Quarter.

Yesterday 'hard-hat' tours began of the preserved liner tender and it is essential to note that tickets are to be 'pre-booked' with the last tour on 15th April. Daily tours are at 10.30, 12 noon, 2pm and the last tour is 3.30pm. To ensure availability visit: www.nomadicbelfast.com/book-a-tour

For further information about the various visitor attractions and events click the following headings, to be directed to the relevant websites.

The history of the S.S. Nomadic

Go to Belfast

Titanic Belfast Festival (31 March -22 April)

Titanic Belfast Visitor Experience

Following yesterday's inaugural cruise call to Belfast this year of Balmoral as previously reported the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines vessel was making a cruise in memory of the liner. To see the list of the other cruiseships calling  to the city, click HERE.

Published in Titanic

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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