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Displaying items by tag: Seabird

The Rathlin RSPB (Royal Society for Protection of Birds) has announced the Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre will re-open on Saturday 29th May in line with the NI Executive's indicative date for visitor attractions. This, of course, may be subject to review.

Rathlin lies about six miles off the North Antrim coast opposite Ballycastle and is reached by the Ballycastle -Rathlin ferry.

The Seabird Centre is four miles west of the Harbour on the site of the unique 'Upside Down' lighthouse. It can be reached by private bus, bicycle or on foot.

There are unrivalled close-up views of Northern Ireland's largest seabird colony and a chance to explore the lighthouse, part of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland Trail. There is a 158-step descent to the viewing platform and lighthouse.

The centre is open daily until 19th September from 10 am – 5 pm (last entry 4 pm).

Published in Marine Wildlife

Without a lot of public attention Birdwatch Ireland, the conservation organisation which protects Ireland's birds and their habitats, is engaged in an extensive survey of seabirds. Ireland is a very important country for seabirds which are, in my view, marvellous creatures of Nature. The variety of seabirds around our coastline is huge, but they are facing several threats and, if the issues are not resolved, some species could face extinction.
Sailing around the coastline I have marvelled at seabirds. One of my best memories is of a Summer’s evening heading towards Valentia Island on the Kerry coast.
Passing Puffin Island is an experience to remember. It is an Irish wildbird conservancy reserve of Birdwatch Ireland, near Portmagee. It is separated from the mainland by a narrow sound and is, at times, home to thousands of pairs of Manx Shearwaters, Storm Petrels and Puffins and smaller numbers of other breeding seabirds.
I was particularly impressed by the Puffins with their coloured bills and black-and-white coats, almost looking particularly well-dressed for a formal evening out.
I thought the Puffins were the most magnificent of birds and admired them while sailing past.
For this edition of my radio programme I spent a very pleasant hour or so with Niall Hatch, Development Officer of Birdwatch Ireland discussing why Ireland is such an important location for seabirds and why it is vital to support work being undertaken to ensure their future and, particularly, that of species which are threatened with extinction.
“Ireland is incredibly important for seabirds. We are home to populations of many scarce and threatened species,” Niall told me. “Given our location, at the very edge of Europe, we are the last point of departure as they leave and the first port-of-call for those coming in from the Atlantic.
On this week’s THIS ISLAND NATION, which you can listen to below, he outlines the threats of extinction faced by several species of seabirds, describes the survey work being done in this regard and, in a wider perspective, talks about the involvement of Birdwatch Ireland internationally and the efforts to protect that legendary bird associated with the sea, the Albatross.

Published in Island Nation
Tagged under

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. 

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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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