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#COASTGUARD - The UK's shipping minister has confirmed that Northern Ireland will retain its only coastguard station, the News Letter reports.
Mike Penning made the survival of Bregenz House official at the House of Commons yesterday, marking the end of what has been a successful campaign by the station's supporters.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the control centre at Bangor was given a last-minute reprieve by the minister in July under revised proposals to streamline the UK's coastguard network.
Bregenz House will be one of eight stations set to remain following the cutbacks, and one of just three across the whole UK that will have 24-hour service.
However, concerns are still being expressed about the wider area that the Bangor station will now have to cover, with the coastguard workers' union calling for assurances that the "same level of service" will be preserved.

#COASTGUARD - The UK's shipping minister has confirmed that Northern Ireland will retain its only coastguard station, the News Letter reports.

Mike Penning made the survival of Bregenz House official at the House of Commons yesterday, marking the end of what has been a successful campaign by the station's supporters.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the control centre at Bangor was given a last-minute reprieve by the minister in July under revised proposals to streamline the UK's coastguard network.

Bregenz House will be one of eight stations set to remain following the cutbacks, and one of just three across the whole UK that will have 24-hour service.

However, concerns are still being expressed about the wider area that the Bangor station will now have to cover, with the coastguard workers' union calling for assurances that the "same level of service" will be preserved.

Published in Coastguard
Bangor locals came face-to-face with officials from the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) over the proposals to close Northern Ireland's only full-time sea rescue base.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that MCA bosses were loudly heckled when they tried to offer justifications for the closure of the Bangor station.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the UK's network of coastguard centres will be scaled back to just three 24-hour stations and a handful of daytime-only centres for the whole of Britain and Northern Ireland.
Supporters of the station said they felt let down at the “bad deal” and “shabby” proposals presented by the MCA and Shipping Minister Mike Penning, who added Bangor to the closures list at the last minute.
BBC News reports that more than 100 people attended the meeting in Bangor on Thursday evening, including members of the public, MLAs, councillors and MPs.
Bill McFadyen, the MCA's regional director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, admitted at the meeting that he was not handed a copy of the proposals until after they had been finalised.
He added: "Of course we will still maintain a high level of service here in NI as we move forward in whatever direction comes out of the consultation."
The Belfast Telegraph has more in the story HERE.

Bangor locals came face-to-face with officials from the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) over the proposals to close Northern Ireland's only full-time sea rescue base.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that MCA bosses were loudly heckled when they tried to offer justifications for the closure of the Bangor station.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the UK's network of coastguard centres will be scaled back to just three 24-hour stations and a handful of daytime-only centres for the whole of Britain and Northern Ireland.

Supporters of the station said they felt let down at the “bad deal” and “shabby” proposals presented by the MCA and Shipping Minister Mike Penning, who added Bangor to the closures list at the last minute.

BBC News reports that more than 100 people attended the meeting in Bangor on Thursday evening, including members of the public, MLAs, councillors and MPs.

Bill McFadyen, the MCA's regional director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, admitted at the meeting that he was not handed a copy of the proposals until after they had been finalised.

He added: "Of course we will still maintain a high level of service here in NI as we move forward in whatever direction comes out of the consultation."

The Belfast Telegraph has more in the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard
Local people will voice their opposition to the proposed closure of Northern Ireland's only coastguard rescue base at a public meeting with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) next month, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
Supporters of the Bangor facility, which provides 24-hour cover for the NI coastline, have also demanded "concrete answers" from UK Shipping Minister Mike Penning, who is due to visit the country next week.
“If he comes here with a positive attitude and says the decision to target our Coastguard was wrong, that’s the outcome we’re hoping for," said Strangford MP Jim Shannon. “If not, then he’s got a fight on his hands. We will take this to Westminster if necessary."
MCA representatibes will meet Bangor MLAs and community leaders on 3 March at the Marine Court Hotel to discuss the proposals.
The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Local people will voice their opposition to the proposed closure of Northern Ireland's only coastguard rescue base at a public meeting with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) next month, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Supporters of the Bangor facility, which provides 24-hour cover for the NI coastline, have also demanded "concrete answers" from UK Shipping Minister Mike Penning, who is due to visit the country next week.

“If he comes here with a positive attitude and says the decision to target our Coastguard was wrong, that’s the outcome we’re hoping for," said Strangford MP Jim Shannon. “If not, then he’s got a fight on his hands. We will take this to Westminster if necessary."

MCA representatibes will meet Bangor MLAs and community leaders on 3 March at the Marine Court Hotel to discuss the proposals.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard
Northern Ireland’s only coastguard base was not originally among a list of those earmarked for closure, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
However the Bangor facility was added to the list after a "personal intervention" from UK Shipping Minister Mike Penning.
The minister has confirmed to the House of Commons that the original draft list of closures for streamlining the UK's coastguard service originally named Liverpool as the centre to be shut down.
Now the Bangor control centre is being pitted against Liverpool in the service shake-up as previously reported on Afloat.ie that will leave just three full-time coastguard stations across the UK.

Northern Ireland’s only coastguard base was not originally among a list of those earmarked for closure, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

However the Bangor facility was added to the list after a "personal intervention" from UK Shipping Minister Mike Penning.

The minister has confirmed to the House of Commons that the original draft list of closures for streamlining the UK's coastguard service originally named Liverpool as the centre to be shut down.

Now the Bangor control centre is being pitted against Liverpool in the service shake-up as previously reported on Afloat.ie that will leave just three full-time coastguard stations across the UK.

Published in Coastguard

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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