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#INSS - The Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School (INSS) will host the first of its three-date series on dinghy racing tactics and strategy on Tuesday 3 April.

Multiple dinghy national champion and offshore helmsman Kenneth Rumball is holding this series of evening discussions to help dinghy sailors improve their race skills and awareness.

These evenings are specifically designed for dinghy sailors and will encourage attendees to ask specific questions on scenarios they have been in, and discuss the best solutions.

The three sessions will take place on Tuesday 3, Thursday 5 and Tuesday 10 April. Admission for all three, including complementary tea/coffee and course notes each evening, is €20.

For details see the Facebook event page HERE.

Published in INSS
A new edition of the North Western Waters Atlas has just been published, showing the key biological features of the waters around Ireland. The Atlas brings together in one volume the answers to such diverse questions as: How is rising sea temperature affecting plankton species in European seas? Where do fish spawn around Ireland and the UK? What is the distribution of seabirds, sea mammals and deepwater corals? How are these areas protected? How many tonnes of fish were landed from ICES Areas VI and VII last year? Why do fishers need to discard fish? Where do vessels from other European member states fish within the Irish EEZ? And how do the many other marine activities fit in around all this?

This second edition of the Atlas of the North Western Waters is now available for free download here. It has been funded under the EU MEFEPO (Making the European Fisheries Ecosystem Plan Operational) project, made up of ecologists, economists, management experts and fisheries scientists who are trying to make ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) a reality in Europe. EBFM seeks to support the 'three pillars of sustainability' (ecological, social and economic) and as such includes human activity in the ecosystem.

The Atlas is intended for policy makers, managers and interested stakeholders. Its purpose is to provide a broad overview of the ecosystem of the NWW Regional Advisory Council (RAC) area with the science kept as clear and concise as possible and technical language kept to a minimum.

"Next year the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires an analysis of the features, pressures and impacts on member states' waters and the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy will put more emphasis on regionalising management," said Dr. Cormac Nolan of the MEFEPO project at the Marine Institute, "so this new edition of the North Western Waters Atlas, and the work of the MEFEPO team behind it, is both timely and valuable."

The first edition of the Atlas, published in 2009, was extremely well received and this 2nd edition has been updated and revised in response to stakeholder feedback. The Atlas provides up-to-date information on the physical and chemical features, habitat types, biological features, birds, mammals, fishing activity and other human activities taking place within the NWW region. There are new chapters on elasmobranchs and mariculture and the hot topic of discarding is covered in more detail. Background material on four NWW fisheries (mackerel, hake, Nephrops and scallop), which have been used as case studies in the MEFEPO project, is also presented.

Published in Marine Science

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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