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The sail-training vessel, Lord Nelson, berthed in Waterford on 1 September for a reception to launch sponsorship details of the city's hosting next summer of the Tall Ships Races 2011 (30 June-3 July), writes Jehan Ashmore

The four-day maritime spectacle expects to attract 500,000 visitors to throng the quays of the 'Crystal' city. Presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International, the prestigious event is supported through host-port partners, 3, Bulmers Original Irish Cider and Waterford Crystal. In addition the host-port educational partner is Waterford Institute of Technology and the official media partner covering the event is RTE. Between them over €450,000 has been raised to support funding.

Waterford City Council and the Port of Waterford are providing leading roles as delivering agencies having jointly mounted the bid to secure staging the Tall Ships Races return following the city's successful hosting of the event in 2005.

Notably in that year's 'Parade of Sail' the procession was led by Asgard II, followed astern by Jeanie Johnston and Dunbrody. The involvement of all Irish tall-ships was an historical occasion particularly in view of the sinking of Asgard II three years later.

In 2005, Waterford also claimed to be the first Irish host port to be the starting port for the race and this will be repeated in 2011.

Waterford_CrystalPic_Dylan_Vaughan

Gary Breen, Failte Ireland; Cllr Mary Roche,Mayor of Waterford,David McCoy, House of Waterford Crystal and Des Whelan, Chairman, The Tall Ships Races 2011 onboard the 'Lord Nelson' in Waterford. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

At the reception onboard Lord Nelson, Cllr Mary Roche, Mayor of Waterford said: "To 3,Bulmers,RTE, Waterford Crystal and Waterford Institute of Technology, I say a very sincere thank you on behalf of the people of Waterford and all of those around Europe and beyond who will be here next summer for what promises to be four magical days of free fun in Ireland's oldest city".

Next year's hosting is also to be supported by Failte Ireland which is allocating resources of €3m while Tourism Ireland will embark on an intensive marketing campaign during the mid summer event, which is billed to be the biggest event in Ireland.

There will be between 80-100 tall-ships and their international crews converging in Waterford. Among the vessels confirmed is the 1937-built, Christian Radich which starred in the 1958 film, The Windjammer and also featured in the 1970's television series, The Onedin Line.

Incidentally the Christian Radich was used, albeit with limited trainee spaces allocated to Coist an Asgard in an arrangement with the vessel's Norwegian owners in 2009, the first full year of the national sail training programme since the sinking of Asgard II the previous year.

The staging costs of the 2011 Tall Ships is estimated at €3.5m and is expected to generate €35m to Waterford City and hinterland. The organisers of the event will be embracing social technology communications networks with presentations on Facebook, Twitter and other servers.

Last year Belfast held the honour in welcoming the finale of the Tall Ship Races, incorporating the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge. Dublin hosted the event in 1998, albeit the race was then known as the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race with this same title applying to the race when the event visited Cork Harbour in 1991.

Looking for further reading on Tall Ships in Ireland? Click the links below:

Click this link to read all our Tall Ships Stories on one handy page


Previewing Ireland's Tall Ships 2011 Season


Can Ireland Get a New Tall Ship?

Published in Tall Ships

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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