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Displaying items by tag: University Royal Naval Units (URNU)

#NAVAL VISITS – Two small University Royal Naval Units (URNU) patrol training boats of the Royal Navy are due to call to Cork city centre along South Customs House Quay this afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The pair are HMS Exploit (P167) and HMS Express (P163) and they belong to a 14-strong P2000 Archer Fast Inshore Patrol Class. They form the First Patrol Boat Squadron and their primary role is to support the URNU but they also contribute to a wide range of fleet tasking.

Each vessel displaces 54 tonnes and has a crew of five on a boat that is just over 20m and draws a draft nearing 2m. Top speed is 22 knots and they can cover a range of 550 nautical miles.

HMS Exploit is the Birmingham University Royal Navy Unit's Training Patrol vessel, although the unit covers a wide area, taking undergraduates from eight Universities in the region. She was built by Vosper Thornycroft and commissioned in 1988. The boat is berthed in Penarth Marina, near Cardiff.

Likewise HMS Express is based at Penarth, she too provides sea training and offers an insight into the modern Royal Navy for Wales URNU undergraduates drawn from Cardiff, Swansea and Glamorgan Universities and University of Wales Institute Cardiff. Last year she took part in the Three Peaks Challenge.

The patrol boats follow last month's call also to the city of the Marine Protection Vessel (MPV) Jura which at 84m long makes her the largest of the three-strong Marine Compliance Scotland fleet. On that occasion she docked opposite at the North Customs House Quay.

Published in Navy

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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