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Displaying items by tag: Robin Walbridge

#TallShips - What was the HMS Bounty doing in the middle of Hurricane Sandy? It's a question that Kathryn Miles - author of a book on the history of the Jeanie Johnston - attempts to answer for Outside magazine.

As reported last October on Afloat.ie, the tall ship replica of the 18th-century square-rigged vessel - and a previous visitor to Irish shores - was sunk in the Atlantic some 100 miles off Cape Fear, forcing its crew into liferafts.

The ship's captain Robin Walbridge went missing in the incident and is presumed dead.

According to Outside, the ship has has a tumultuous history since its construction for the 1960 Hollywood film Mutiny On The Bounty starring Marlon Brando - weathering life as a seaside attraction at a Florida resort town, and as an extra in two of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Since 1995 it was skippered by Walbridge, who "worked tirelessly to preserve the vessel" and took her as far and wide as the Great Lakes, the Panama Canal and Europe - including visits to Cork Harbour in 2009 and Belfast Lough in 2011, reflecting the original vessel's Irish connections (Captain William Bligh designed the North Bull Wall and surveyed Dublin Bay some years after the infamous mutiny).

But preservation requires funding, and it's that struggle for funding that may have encouraged the captain to push the limits of his vessel and its crew.

Outside has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Tall Ships

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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