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Displaying items by tag: South America

A top level EU official has informed the Naval Service of a warning that it faces a “game-changer” in drug trafficking with the use by cartels of “narco submarines” to transport narcotics into Europe.

Michael O’Sullivan said the first-ever discovery in Europe of semi-submersibles, sent across the Atlantic by South American drug lords, also poses a security threat with the potential the vessels could be used by terrorists to carry and deploy explosives.

As the Irish Examiner has documented in recent months, a manpower crisis affecting the naval service has seen a number of vessels unable to go out on patrol.

Mr O'Sullivan, the executive director of the EU Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre — Narcotics (MAOC-N) said Europe will be “flying blind” if the Irish Naval Service and the Air Corps do not deploy their ships and their planes to track vessels.

MAOC-N is made up of seven EU member states, including Ireland, and targets the transportation of drugs — predominantly cocaine and cannabis — across the Atlantic and into Europe.

The newspaper has more to report here.

Published in Navy

#Oil - Tullow Oil's shares dropped more than 6% in London trading early last week with the news that its prospect in the Atlantic off French Guiana is dry, according to The Irish Times.

The Irish-founded oil exploration firm says it encountered a number of oil shows in reservoir quality sands at its Zaedyus-2 well in the waters north of Brazil, but it "did not encounter commercial hydrocarbons".

The result was described as "very disappointing" by Investec Securities analyst Stuart Joyner - though better signs have been seen at the nearby Zaedyus-1 well, drilled by Tullow with partners Royal Dutch Shell and Total at a cost of $250 million.

And as previously reported on Afloat.ie, the UK-based company's prospects off the Ivory Coast and Ghana have proven encouraging for future exploration.

Published in News Update

#SURFING - A six-strong Irish team is in Peru to compete in the inaugural World Stand-Up Paddle and Paddleboarding Championships, which commence today (19 February).

The surfers have travelled at their own expense to the Peruvian capital Lima to take part in the International Surfing Association-sanctioned event, where they will contest against paddleboarders from 19 other countries.

“It is the first of its kind and we wouldn’t want to miss out," team member Paul Byrne told TheScore.ie. "The fact that it has been recognised enough to hold an international competition means stand-up padding (SUP) is here to stay.”

Dubliner Byrne first got involved in SUP in Australia, and found on his return to Ireland that he and his friends didn't need to seek out the popular surf out west to keep up with the sport - the swell produced by ferries in Dublin Port is just what they needed (see video of Dave Owens above).

Byrne joins Owens, Finn Mullen, Ed O'Farrell, Keith Gorman and Jane Downes in South America for the World Championships, which run till 25 February.

“We been competing in Europe," he says, "but it is sure to be tough against surfers who are sponsored to do it for a living.”

Published in Surfing

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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