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#CORK HARBOUR - The Government has finally set a deadline for the clean-up of the toxic waste site on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour, under threat of massive fines from the European Commission.

RTÉ News reports that a two-and-a-half year deadline has been set to complete the sanitation of the illegal dump on the island at the site of the former Irish Steel/Ispat plant.

Some 500,000 tonnes of waste, including toxic heavy metals and cancer-causing materials, have been blamed for the area's notoriety in having one of the highest cancer rates in Ireland.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, in October last the Government signed off on a €40m package to begin clean-up of the toxic waste site on the island.

In an editorial yesterday, the Irish Examiner welcomed the Government's decision, but emphasised it was long overdue.

"[It] cannot dispel the great frustration that it has taken so very long to do what should have been done years ago," the paper said.

"To this day nobody has explained how an illegal dump of this scale was allowed to develop on a site that is not exactly secluded, remote or out of the public eye - it is, after all, just next door to the country’s main naval base."

The Irish Examiner also reports on worries that the toxic waste may never be fully removed from the island, but rather sealed off and made impermeable.

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney was quoted as saying: "This whole clean-up plan will be peer reviewed so it’s best practice but it could be better to contain the material onsite rather than remove it.

"We will be doing all that is reasonable to ensure the site is safe."

Published in Cork Harbour
The decision to keep open Northern Ireland's only dedicated search and rescue base is a victory for people power, says the Belfast Telegraph.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the station at Bangor was saved from closure following a review of plans to streamline the UK's coastguard network.
In an editorial on Friday, the paper said: "Northern Ireland really is a place apart geographically and no-one was convinced that the waters around our coastline from Lough Foyle to Strangford and the inland waterways of Lough Neagh and Lough Erne could be safely monitored by what amounted to remote control if Belfast Coastguard was closed."
The preservation of the service at Bangor is also "a victory for common sense".
The paper added: "From now on every person plucked from the sea or the loughs will utter a heartfelt thanks to those who fought to keep the service locally-based and they will also praise Transport Minister Phillip Hammond for sparing it from closure."

The decision to keep open Northern Ireland's only dedicated search and rescue base is a victory for people power, says the Belfast Telegraph.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the station at Bangor was saved from closure following a review of plans to streamline the UK's coastguard network.

In an editorial on Friday, the paper said: "Northern Ireland really is a place apart geographically and no-one was convinced that the waters around our coastline from Lough Foyle to Strangford and the inland waterways of Lough Neagh and Lough Erne could be safely monitored by what amounted to remote control if Belfast Coastguard was closed."

The preservation of the service at Bangor is also "a victory for common sense".

The paper added: "From now on every person plucked from the sea or the loughs will utter a heartfelt thanks to those who fought to keep the service locally-based and they will also praise Transport Minister Phillip Hammond for sparing it from closure."

Published in Coastguard
Today's Irish Times editorial raises questions over the new 'masterplan' for Dun Laoghaire harbour.
As previously reported in Afloat.ie, the plan is intended to position Dun Laoghaire "as a marine, leisure and tourism destination of international calibre".
But The Irish Times says: "[The] company needs to reassure the public that all of the proposed uses can be safely accommodated within the granite enclosing arms of this great harbour, without conflicting with each other.
"Is it realistic, for example, to have greatly expanded facilities for sailing and at the same time provide berthing for very large 'next generation' cruise liners? How realistic is the plan to develop 300 apartments within the harbour area in the current market?"
Doubts are also raised about the feasibility of Dublin hosting two cruise liner facilities if plans to expand Dublin Port get the go-ahead.
The Irish Times website has more on the story HERE.

Today's Irish Times editorial raises questions over the new 'masterplan' for Dun Laoghaire harbour.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the plan is intended to position Dun Laoghaire "as a marine, leisure and tourism destination of international calibre".

But The Irish Times says: "[The] company needs to reassure the public that all of the proposed uses can be safely accommodated within the granite enclosing arms of this great harbour, without conflicting with each other.

"Is it realistic, for example, to have greatly expanded facilities for sailing and at the same time provide berthing for very large 'next generation' cruise liners? How realistic is the plan to develop 300 apartments within the harbour area in the current market?"

Doubts are also raised about the feasibility of Dublin hosting two cruise liner facilities if plans to expand Dublin Port get the go-ahead.

The Irish Times website has more on the story HERE. The Dun Laoghaire Yacht Club's joint response to the masterplan is HERE

Published in Dublin Bay

Afloat now in its 43rd year of production is a vibrant specialist magazine which has continually adapted to the demands of its readership, with an industry insight which is quite simply unique. Edited by David O'Brien (47), a former European and World sailing champion and Olympic sailor from the 2000 Games, it is produced by a group of dedicated watersports enthusiasts and has become essential reading for all those who have more than a passing interest in the development of Irish watersports.

Afloat is the only publication dedicated to serving the needs of the sector, and it does so with a truly independent voice. Afloat's association with the industry's twin governing bodies  the ISA and IMF  allows it to offer an insider view, but the magazine maintains independent editorial control.

Packaged as a glossy magazine with an emphasis on colour photography, no other specialist magazine in Ireland offers such an impressive range of comment, information and advice in such an attractive format.

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Published in Landing Pages

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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