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#VOR – Catch all the latest action and news from the Volvo Ocean Race on TG4 . TG4 will broadcast the in-port race live from Lorient next Saturday as well as the start of Leg 9 on Sunday. On Saturday 7th July, TG4 will broadcast the in-port Race from Galway.  The race started in Alicante, Spain last October and finishes in Galway in July. The 2011-12 race is the 11th edition of the event with six boats participating: Groupama Sailing Team, Team Telefónica, PUMA Ocean Racing by BERG, CAMPER with Emirates Team NZ, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Sanya.

*UPDATE:  Please note change of timings to in-port race in Lorient on Saturday and start of Leg 9 on Sunday next*

Coverage on TG4
SATURDAY 30 JUNE

11:45am LIVE Volvo Ocean Race

Live coverage of the In-Port Race from Lorient, France. Situated in Brittany in north-west France, Lorient has a long-standing link to the maritime world and is the first French harbour to welcome the Race since La Rochelle did in 2002. The race course for the in-port race is always close to shore, so spectators will have a great view of the races.

SUNDAY 1 JULY

11:45am LIVE Volvo Ocean Race

Live coverage of the start of Leg 9, which sees the boats depart Lorient and make their way to Galway - a distance of 485 nautical miles (898 kilometres). Ironically, Lorient has been a twin town of Galway since 1978. The last stage of the Volvo Ocean Race will be short but intense with around 3 days at sea. The gun will be fired at 1pm in the Lorient's bay and the boat will head back south to Belle-Ile before they head back up towards Galway. The race's final sprint from France to Ireland takes the fleet on a predominantly coastal course: first north along the shores of western Brittany, then across the English Channel and up the prehistoric south coast of Ireland to the finish line in Galway. Short as it is compared to the preceding legs, this final passage is fraught with obstacles to be negotiated including commercial shipping lanes and rocky outcrops, as well as a seemingly endless series of headlands and major tidal gates. Added to this is the potential for rapidly changing weather conditions, which will keep the crews on their toes as they battle their way to the finish line in Galway.

MONDAY 2 JULY

7:30pm Volvo Ocean Race

Highlights from the start of Leg 9, which sees the boats depart Lorient and make their way to Galway, a distance of 485 nautical miles (898 kilometres).

SATURDAY 7 JULY

12:45pm LIVE Volvo Ocean Race

Live coverage of the in-port race from Galway Bay.  After nine months, nine legs and 39,000 nautical miles it all comes down to this one race in Galway that will be broadcast live on TG4. The In-Port Race is the final scoring opportunity for teams in the 2011-2012 edition of the race so this is where the overall podium positions could be awarded.  The fleet will sail for an intense hour around a course positioned close to land to both challenge the crew and delight those lining the shore along Salthill and Barna. The Galway stopover for the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race was a huge success for the city and for the race, and once again the Volvo Ocean Race will visit this ancient west coast city of Ireland, this time as the finish line of the 2011-12 race. The Volvo Ocean Race fleet will finish the race in the fabled waters of Galway Bay in July 2012 where they are bound to receive a tremendous Irish welcome at the end of the final leg from Lorient.

9:40pm Volvo Ocean Race

Highlights from the in-port race in Galway and the Prize Giving.

SUNDAY 29 JULY

2:00pm Volvo Ocean Race Official Film

A look back at the 2011/2012 race as the boats left Alicante last October, sailing around the world and visiting ports and cities such as Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, Itajaí, Miami, Lisbon, Lorient and Galway. It is undeniably the world's premier global race and one of the most demanding team sporting events in the world. The race is the ultimate mix of world class sporting competition and on the edge adventure, a unique blend of onshore glamour with offshore drama and endurance.

Published in Maritime TV
Ireland’s unexplored 220-million-acre marine environment will be revealed in a landmark new TV series which began last week.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Farraigí na hÉireann (Seas of Ireland) is a new six-part Irish-language series on Ireland's marine wildlife, which aired its first episode on TG4 last Tuesday 20 September.
Irish Film and Television News interviewed series co-creator Ken O'Sullivan about the unique series, which is the first of its kind in Ireland in unlocking the secrets of the abundant wildlife in the seas around our coast.
“We tried to combine coastal heritage with wildlife,” said O'Sullivan on the intentions behind the series. “We want to show how ancient coastal communities connected with wildlife.
"As filmmakers, our approach is that we try not to use science as the beginning and end of the story. We like to look at people’s connection with these natural worlds.”
As such, the series does not have a presenter, but its story is told through its contributors.
“We have passionate marine biologists and we have small fishermen, from places like the Aran Islands and Kerry, reflecting about their time at sea and how they relate to the sea, to try and convey the story.
"Hopefully, all these contributors bring a narrative to the unique underwater photography.”
And it's this underwater imagery that's surely the star of the show. As much as 70% of the series was filmed under the surface over the course of a year in locations around the country, using cameras in a special water-tight housing.
Deep water footage was also captured by high-definition cameras on an unmanned submarine, giving us the best ever view of life in the depths.
Farraigí na hÉireann can be seen Tuesdays at 8pm on TG4, with repeats on Sundays at 9pm.

Ireland’s unexplored 220-million-acre marine environment will be revealed in a landmark new TV series which began last week.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Farraigí na hÉireann (Seas of Ireland) is a new six-part Irish-language series on Ireland's marine wildlife, which aired its first episode on TG4 last Tuesday 20 September. 

Irish Film and Television News interviewed series co-creator Ken O'Sullivan about the unique series, which is the first of its kind in Ireland in unlocking the secrets of the abundant wildlife in the seas around our coast.

“We tried to combine coastal heritage with wildlife,” said O'Sullivan on the intentions behind the series. “We want to show how ancient coastal communities connected with wildlife. 

"As filmmakers, our approach is that we try not to use science as the beginning and end of the story. We like to look at people’s connection with these natural worlds.”

As such, the series does not have a presenter, but its story is told through its contributors.

“We have passionate marine biologists and we have small fishermen, from places like the Aran Islands and Kerry, reflecting about their time at sea and how they relate to the sea, to try and convey the story.

"Hopefully, all these contributors bring a narrative to the unique underwater photography.”

And it's this underwater imagery that's surely the star of the show. As much as 70% of the series was filmed under the surface over the course of a year in locations around the country, using cameras in a special water-tight housing. 

Deep water footage was also captured by high-definition cameras on an unmanned submarine, giving us the best ever view of life in the depths.

Farraigí na hÉireann can be seen Tuesdays at 8pm on TG4, with repeats on Sundays at 9pm.

Published in Maritime TV
Against the Tide, the six-part international documentary series about the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – the only global ocean race to be contested by people from all walks of life – is to be launched in the UK next week.

Six hour-long episodes capture every emotional twist and turn, high and low of the 35,000-mile race, following the participants in the ten-month-long challenge of a lifetime. Many of the crew had never set foot on a boat before beginning their pre-race training. From their first rookie steps to becoming a highly skilled ocean racer, the series charts their progress as they deal with the immense power of the world's oceans and everything Mother Nature can throw at them.

Dramatic footage captures a man overboard in the middle of the south Atlantic, dismastings, the devastating loss of a yacht and the terrifying experience of a yacht being rolled in the near hurricane conditions in the remote waters of the north Pacific. These heart-stopping scenes combine with the euphoria of race victories, personal voyages of discovery and the cementing of friendships that will last a lifetime.

As the race draws to its final, nail-biting conclusion and the emotional homecoming to a hero's welcome, Against the Tide captures the reactions of the racers after the event, to discover exactly how this unforgettable experience has changed their lives forever.

The international TV series, created by an award winning UK production team, is being snapped up by broadcasters around the world, including the Discovery Channel. The programmes will premiere on Discovery's UK free-to-air channel QUEST in a peak mid-week slot from next Wednesday, 2 March at 9pm.

TV series Producer John Nolan says, "The Clipper Race is a remarkable human adventure played out on the high seas. Our team had unrestricted access to the crews to follow their incredible journey around the world. The series provides a unique insight into the roller coaster of emotions and experiences as novice sailors from all walks of life discover how they cope when Mother Nature throws everything she's got at them.

"We're delighted with the programmes and have received an enthusiastic reception from broadcasters such as Discovery Channel. It will be seen by millions of viewers around the world."

The biennial race was established in 1996 by legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who became the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world more than 40 years ago. He is chairman of the race which is almost full for the next event starting this summer and is already signing up crew for 2013.

Sir Robin says, "There is huge demand for this unique adventure which gives people of all ages and walks of life the opportunity to experience the thrill of ocean racing, Clipper provides extensive training and safety is our number one priority. So when our crews and their professional skippers encounter the dramatic challenges of the world's oceans, they can call upon their training and numerous safety drills to respond quickly and effectively. Taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is a great personal achievement of which they can be justly proud and the television series captures it perfectly."

Watch Against the Tide on QUEST (Freeview channel 38, Sky channel 154, BT Vision channel 38, Virgin Media channel 179) from Wednesday 2 March at 2100 GMT.

The series has been produced by North One Television, one of Europe's biggest and most successful independent media companies. It is recognised as a global producer of world class entertainment, factual, digital, sport and live event programming and has won scores of awards for its shows. It is part of the ALL3MEDIA group. www.northonetv.com

Published in Maritime TV

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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