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Irish Marine Firms Western Marine and 53 Degrees North have announced the opening of a 'watersports superstore' at the Western Marine premises at Bulloch Harbour, Dalkey.

53 Degrees North, Ireland's Outdoor Adventure Stores with branches already at Carrickmines and Blanchardstown - caters to Climbing, Hillwalking, Biking, Camping, Hiking, and of course watersports including Kayaking, Sailing, Surfing and Swimming.

Western Marine, Ireland's Largest Marine Distributors, was established in 1966 and is based at Bulloch Harbour since 1968. Western Marine caters to all marine markets, from sailing and motorboating to commercial workboats, and specialises in inflatable boats and RIBs as well as a huge range of marine equipment, lifesaving equipment etc.

Commenting on the new store, Western Marine's MD, Hogan Magee said "We're very enthusiastic about this venture - 53 Degrees North carry a full range of clothing, footwear and equipment from value for money through to top end premium quality products and that fits very well with our own philosophy of providing of premium quality at affordable prices.

The two ranges are complimentary, with very little product overlap, and the result is a truly comprehensive watersports display that we think is unparalleled anywhere in Ireland".

53 Degrees North MD Alan McFarlane said "We're really excited about this. Western Marine has a superb reputation in all marine markets, and the combination of the Western Marine and 53 Degrees North brands will give us both a wonderful opportunity to grow our businesses.The huge range of watersports gear which we offer now has a waterside home, and a whole new customer base. With free car parking spaces available in the adjacent boatyard, shopping with 53 Degrees North at Western Marine could not be easier"

Among the huge range of brands now available under one roof are worldwide leaders including Zodiac inflatable boats and RIBs, Teleflex steerings and engine controls, Skipper and Besto lifejackets & buoyancy aids, Icom VHFs, Gleistein yacht ropes, McMurdo EPIRBs, Harken, Lewmar, Garmin GPS, Pains Wessex Flares, Musto, Helly-Hansen and Henri-Lloyd sailing clothing, Dubarry marine footwear, O'Neill wetsuits, Oakley eyewear, surfboards by Cortez, and kayaks by Islander and Wilderness.

The new store is open 7 days a week throughout the Summer, with opening hours 9am to 6pm Monday through Saturday, and 1pm to 6pm on Sunday

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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