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Cork Port Warns Mooring Owners & Famous 'Gas Rigs Race' to Disappear?

24th April 2018
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Owners are getting boats ready in Cork Harbour but this one hasn't moved for a while, it has a tree growing out of the boarding ladder Owners are getting boats ready in Cork Harbour but this one hasn't moved for a while, it has a tree growing out of the boarding ladder

The sailing season in Cork Harbour is getting underway - slowly it has to be said - the effects of the long Winter weren’t encouraging owners to get their boats ready…… That is happening and launching is underway, but owners of moorings have received a final warning which has annoyed quite a few of them, to judge from my emails and calls….

If you have a harbour mooring, the Port of Cork is going to remove it in the next fortnight if you haven’t paid your annual fee of €95 to them ….. “and your space will be immediately reallocated” say final warning letters issued at the weekend which have been reaching owners in the past few days.

"If you have a harbour mooring, the Port of Cork is going to remove it in the next fortnight if you haven’t paid your annual fee of €95"

It hasn’t endeared the Port to ‘slow season starters’ who have been complaining to me that the Port could have shown a bit more “cop on” – some said - as the season is only slowly getting underway, “Bad PR … not showing much understanding” have been amongst the comments.

Capt. Paul O’Regan, the Harbour Master, whose name appears on the letters told me the port had to stick to procedures. Invoices were issued at the start of the year and a follow-up ‘reminder’ was sent to those who hadn’t paid. The system is “fair and transparent,” he said and added that if anyone has real difficulties or didn’t get the first letters, they should contact the Port who will be helpful.

There’s a separate charge for using a boat in the harbour, varying with length, to be levied also on non-mooring holders another €95 for a 33-footer for example. Don’t know what the penalty is for not paying that…..

Gas Rigs Race

KINSALE HEAD GAS RIG ALPHAKinsale Head Gas Rig Alpha

And, as the season begins, a major change has been announced on the South Coast… The Kinsale Head Gas Rigs, Alpha and Bravo, are to be removed, though not for a few years yet. Kinsale Energy, the subsidiary of the Malaysian oil and gas company, PETRONAS, which took over the Kinsale Head Gas Field from Marathon has said the natural gas will run out in 2020 so the rigs will be removed after that.

"The Gas Rigs Race dates back to the 80s"

A mark for boats heading outwards or inbound will be no more and one of the most famous of RCYC races may have to find a new name….. The Gas Rigs Race dates back to the 80s when it started on a Friday night to a laid buoy or anchored vessel just north of the rigs. It was a long race, but was reduced in length over the years. The 300th anniversary of the RCYC will be celebrated in the year when the gas runs out… maybe the occasion for the last Gas Rigs Race… Who knows?

Tom MacSweeney

About The Author

Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for Afloat.ie. He also presents the maritime radio programme This Island Nation on community radio stations around Ireland.

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