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Displaying items by tag: Ullmer

A prestigious appointment to the top of one of the world's biggest sail making firms is a life time reward for a member of a Cork sailing family who built a sail-making business in Ireland.

In a major Irish marine industry announcement, Crosshaven based sail maker Des McWilliam (62) has been appointed President of world sail making Group UK-Halsey.

UK-Halsey is one of the top three sailmakers in the world with 46 lofts worldwide and an annual estimated turnover of €15million.

mcwilliam_sail2

Des McWilliam at work on a UK-Halsey Titanium sail. Photo: Bob Bateman

The loft is credited with using the most advanced technologies in the production of sails including Titanium sails where sail panels are glued rather than stitched for lightness and better shape.

McWilliam's appointment was made at the group's annual meeting in New York this week following the retirement of American founder Butch Ullmer.

Established in 1946 as Ulmer Sails, UK-Halsey Sailmakers is one of the oldest group of sail lofts in North America and has expanded around the
world to become the largest network of owner-run sail lofts.

There are 17 UK-Halsey lofts in North America, 21 in Europe, 3 in Australia, 3 in Asia and two in South America.

The UK Halsey loft in Crosshaven Co.Cork becomes the centre of operations as McWilliam rolls out new group strategies in challenging and competitive
times for the 45 sail makers.

Now in its fortieth year of sail manufacture in Ireland McWilliam says this week's appointment will underpin the future of the Cork loft in a time of
recession.

McWilliam employs six staff in Crosshaven, boosted this season by the appointment of Irish Fireball dinghy champion Kenneth Rumball.

 

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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