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Displaying items by tag: Season Resumes

The May Bank Holiday weekend finally marked a particularly eagerly awaited return of Dublin Bay Cruises, following Covid19's dramatic impact on last year's reduced season, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Normally the season starts during the St. Patrick's Festival and so the 2021 season at last can cater for domestic demand from Dubliners and given current restrictions, those from neighbouring counties.

According to Dublin Bay Cruises website, all passengers are asked to bring a face mask and scarf to cover your face while on board. Also to adhere to the 2 metre social distance recommendation when queing to board the two-deck passenger vessel.

Excursions can be taken from 9 cruise options, that collectively connect Dublin Port (Liffey Quays), Dun Laoghaire (East Pier) and Howth (West Pier) and from where is a cruise around Ireland's Eye. In addition a final cruise of the day is back in Dublin Bay with a Dun Laoghaire-around Dalkey Island round trip.

The first passengers to board St. Bridget took place on Saturday when the summer season's opening cruise began to those wanting to get away on to the sea and see the broad variety of natural and mademade coastal landmarks. Also opportunites to spot marine wildlife.

In fact, Afloat observed on Sunday, a repeat of the around Dalkey Island cruise, which involved St. Bridget make a late afternoon transit through Dalkey Sound and rounding off Sorrento Point into the splended scenery of Killiney Bay.

There to welcome the season's inaugural patrons were the crew of the St. Bridget, which presents a most smart appearance of a dark blue hull and white superstructure. The vessel has a bar within the 96 capacity excursion vessel which tge operator also provides for private and corporate charter.

A fresh livery was applied following a 'lift' into the dry dock at Howth Boatyard (see photo) with St. Bridget undergoing routine preparations for this sailing season. Up to then the former Aran Islands /West coast ferry had spent the Winter and Spring tied up as usual in Grand Canal Dock Basin.

Now that St. Bridget is back operating, the excursion vessel is based in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, while alongside St. Micheals Wharf.

Published in Dublin Bay

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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