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Displaying items by tag: Sherkin

The dominant subject in the past week has been the weather – pictures on television and in the newspapers of water pouring through streets, into houses, shops, stranded cars and so on – bringing in its wake flooding, destruction, tragedy in its effects on people’s lives. I have heard from seafarers who faced appalling conditions at sea - winds gusting from 50 miles an hour, up to 100, accompanied by massive seas, huge waves. Nightly on television the weather maps have shown where it was all coming from – across the oceans – spinning over the Atlantic, moving in the jet stream, lashing the first land mass it encountered, THIS ISLAND NATION…..

SHERKIN ISLANDSherkin Island in West Cork

Nature does show us humans at times just how little we can control her moods and what can be unleashed upon us and I wonder if people fully realise the importance of the oceans.

Matt Murphy lives on one of our offshore islands which felt the first lash of the gales in the past week. That’s Sherkin Island off Baltimore in West Cork where he founded and has run the Sherkin Marine Station for 40 years and was an early exponent of the need to be aware of climate change:

Matt outlined his views to me in an interview which you can hear on the audio Podcast of THIS ISLAND NATION above.

MATT MURPHY OF SHERKIN ISLAND MARINE STATIONMatt Murphy

I attended a seminar in Dublin a fortnight ago as part of the Sea for Society programme, which is an extensive European Commission project, promoting the opportunities in the seas, but also warning about the threats to them from human behaviour. The seas, the oceans are a marvellous place, so vital to our human welfare, but at the seminar I wondered if those of us who are aware of the maritime importance in life are talking to ourselves and that the message may not be getting through to the public at large. Have you ever listened, really listened, to the sounds of the ocean?

It is worth listening to these unusual sounds, which you can hear on the Podcast. For example, have you ever heard the sound a haddock makes?

DR.PETER HEFFERNAN CEO MARINE INSTITUTEDr. Peter Heffernan

Those sounds should, surely, make one think about life in the oceans and men like Dr.Peter Heffernan do. He is Chief Executive of the Marine Institute which carried out a seabed survey between Newfoundland and Ireland in the past year.

He summarised for me the importance of the oceans:

You can hear Peter Heffernan outline in the Podcast why “every time we breathe… we need the sea….”

Indeed we do …. Let’s remember that…….

Published in Island Nation
Did you say 'recession'? Heir Island Sailing School is reporting a 'boom', according to its latest press release. Between 2009 and 2010 the sail training activity and generated income of this Sailing School situated at Heir (Hare) Island, West Cork, has largely increased in this extremely difficult year for sports and tourism industry.

The Principal John Moore has discounted all prices by 20 to 30%. All 2009 sailors returned in 2010 and brought friends with them. The French network of the newly appointed Director of Sailing Hugues Traonmilin has brought French families to the island and the French sailors were mixed with the Irish and British children and adults with great success. In addition to a busy summer season, 60 students of a South East College came for the very first time to the Sailing School in March 2010 as part of the Transition Year programme. They were hosted with full board accommodation at the Sailing School Guest house.

Definitely the location of the Sailing School plays a big part in this success story. Heir Island is located in the middle of Roaring Water Bay half way between Schull and Baltimore. Whatever direction you sail from the Sailing School beach, you'll encounter wonderful maritime landscapes and crystal clear waters. The Topaz dinghy fleet may sail to 3 or 4 different sandy beaches on one sailing day. The 3 Dublin Bay Mermaids sailing in flotilla explore the surrounding islands of Castle Island, Sherkin Island, the 3 Calves Islands and of course the Carthy's Islands to visit the seals colony.

Such a fantastic location has orientated the programme of this Sailing School towards the "Adventure" courses of the Irish Sailing Association. The school offers Adventure 1 & 2 courses as their "speciality" course.

2011 perspectives are already very encouraging with a second college to be hosted in Spring for a 10 day transition programme meanwhile the first one is returning after excellent feedback of the 2010 students and teachers. Being a family run business makes this small company very flexible and the range of their activities covers young sailors from 8 years old to adults, groups and families, on dinghies or on a traditional Heir Island Lobster Boat, and on kayaks if you don't want to sail. Also as a qualified Yachtmaster Instructor, the director of sailing has facilitated individually tailored sail training for yacht owners aboard their own yacht, an option that has proven both practical and successful.

More information HERE.

Published in Marine Trade

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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