Displaying items by tag: Bantry Bay
#BANTRY2012 – A spectacular display of seamanship for Cork this Summer will be officially launched by Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney TD on January 27th when details of the Bantry 2012 Challenge are revealed. As well as a top sporting story organisers say it's also a tale of how tight knit coastal communities across the world have forged strong interantional links thanks to an initial idea in West Cork.
300 competitors from 16 nations are expected in July when replicas of the Bantry Bay longboat, the oldest surviving vessel in the French navy are raced under sail and oar.
The international crews will take part in a week long event in ten events both on and off the water. The prestigious event for the West cork venue is known as the 'Atlantic Challenge Bantry Bay Gig World Championships'.
Competing on Lake Huron, one of the five Great Lakes the Bantry Bay Crew displayed huge amounts of physical and mental strength as they accomplished first place in their first three races.
The Atlantic Challenge is held every other year and sponsors a friendly contest of seamanship in Bantry Bay gigs. Founded by an American native Lance Lee, the Atlantic Challenge aims to build trust among nations and form a community of youth and adults from many countries, while also encouraging the practice of traditional maritime skills.
The boats measure almost 40-foot in length and hold 13 crew. Each boat uses a mainsail, foresail and mizzen.
The competition starts in Bantry on July 21st.
At 192m in length, the 600-passenger capacity cruiseship is operated by Pheonix Reisen. The German based travel agency also runs fleetmates Albratross and Artania. The later Finish built vessel was best known as Princess Cruises Royal Princess, when launched by the late Diana, Princess of Wales in 1984.
Apart from the handful of cruiseships that call, Bantry Bay is otherwise used by oil tankers bringing supplies to the Whiddy Island Oil Terminal. The terminal consists of an offshore single point mooring, tanker Jetty, and an onshore tank farm. The bay runs some 35kms long and is 10km wide at its broadest at the entrance and steadily narrows to 3-4kms at its head. In addition the bay is largest of the main inlets in the south-west.
Glengariff in recent years has also welcomed another German operator, Peter Deilmann's Deutschland (1988/22,496grt) and the UK based Cruise & Maritime Voyages Marco Polo (1966/20,080grt). To read more on this vessel which regularly calls to Irish ports click HERE.
CMT Cassiopée is a 'Tripartite' class minehunter built for the navies of France, Belgium and The Netherlands. The class were conceived in the 1970's and built during the following decade. The French built the mine-hunting equipment, the Belgians provided the electronics and the Dutch constructed the propulsion unit.
Displacing 615 tonnes, Cassiopée (see photo) was built by the Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) shipyard in Lorient and entered service in 1984. The 51.5m minehunter has a crew of 49. Over the years several of the Tripartite class were sold to the navies of Bulgaria, Indonesia, Latvia and Pakistan.
In January 2009 the Cassiopée was joined by the L.E. Emer (P21) in Bantry Bay to commemmorate the 30th anniversary of the Whiddy Island Oil Refinery disaster and the sinking of the French supertanker the Bételgeuse.
Like the Cassiopée the minehunter BRS Altaïr (M771) was also built in 1984 but at the Chantier (Socarenam) shipyard at Boulogne-sur-Mer. At 28m long the craft (photo) is one of the three Antar class which has a 250 tonnes displacement and a crew of 23.
The French Naval call to the capital was to coincide with a visiting task force group from the German Navy. The task force of two frigates and a support ship were due to visit at the weekend but this was cancelled due to humanitarian relief operations off Libya. To read more about this and the task force vessels click here.