As the Russian 'A' class Mir passed the LE Aoife off Dunmore East in mid-morning, the largest tall ship of the festival headed the start of the Parade of Sail, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Crowds left their cars in fields outside Dunmore East and descended into the harbour and surrounding headlands to witness the highlight of the four-day festival. Adding to the scene were the numerous leisure-craft, yachts and intrepid kayakers that gathered to greet the procession which took some two hours to pass the fishing harbour.
No sooner had the fully-rigged ship Mir had slipped beyond the anchored naval vessel that the gaff schooner Johanna Lucretia, under full sail came closer into view. She was closely followed by the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland's Bermudan cutter Alba Explorer.
The Russian 'A' class Mir passing the LE Aoife off Dunmore East. Photo: Jehan Ashmore
Of all the 45 tallships participating the Columbian Navy's barque ARC Gloria presented the most colourful entrant. She proudly flew a large horizontal tricolor of yellow, blue and red representing the South American nation.
When it came to the turn of the Europa to pass the LE Aoife, the tug Bargarth gave a wonderful send-off with the traditional display of water jets shooting sky-high, nearly reaching the top of the three-masted barque.
Marking the tail-end of the parade was the Jubilee Sailing Trust's Lord Nelson, another barque that departed the estuary with the Hook Head Lighthouse forming a majestic backdrop.
At this stage several of the large tallships could be seen on the far horizon in preperation to the start of the first race leg of this years Tall Ships Races....next port of call Greenock!
- Dunmore East
- Lord Nelson
- Waterford Estuary
- LE Aoife
- Sail Training International
- Jubilee Sailing Trust
- Hook Head
- JOHANNA LUCRETIA
- Waterford Harbour
- Fullyrigged ship
- ARC Gloria
- Hook Head Lighthouse
- Gaff schooner
- Ocean Youth Trust Scotland
- Bermudan cutter
- Alba Explorer
- Columbian Navy barque
- Fastnet Shipping
As the Tall Ship STS Lord Nelson nears Carnsore Point off Wexford this evening the barque will be one of the many vessels participating in the Waterford Talls Ships Races Festival, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Joining Lord Nelson are three other UK entrants, they are the Jean de la Lune, Pelican of London and Royalist now celebrating her 40th anniversary. Together these tallships belong to the 'A' class vessels, the largest of the tallships. The impressive array of A class vessels includes four ships alone from The Netherlands with the Astrid, Eendracht, Europa and Wylde Swan, a schooner built in 1920.
From Norway is the fully rigged tallship Christian Radich and Sorlandet. The Poles are coming with their Pogoria. Neighbouring Russia are sending their impressive 108m long Mir which has 26 sails and has a 200-strong crew though the 1987 built vessel can be sailed with just 30. The final A class entrant is from outside Europe, the Columbian 1,300 tonnes Gloria, a three-master of over 60 metres long.
In addition to this exciting line-up are the 'B' and 'C' class which in total brings 45 tallships of all shapes and sizes to the quays of the River Suir. The crystal city will be host to over 1,000 trainess and over 400 professional crew who will take part in the colourful 'Crew Parade' held on Friday. For a full list of tallships and accompanying photos go to www.waterfordtallshipsrace.ie/the-race/the-tall-ships/
The spectacle of the festival will culminate in the early hours of Sunday when the fleet departs the city and heads downriver with a 'Parade of Sail' in the estuary of Waterford Harbour. As the tallships pass offshore of Dunmore East, this will mark the start of the first race-leg to Greenock.
The famous race is organised by Sail Training International (STI) a charity established to harness sail training to develop and educate young people, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background.
The STI can trace its roots with the creation of the Sail Training International Race Committee which organised the first race of sail training tall ships in 1956. Their website is www.sailtraininginternational.org/
Although Waterford Harbour Sailing Club is well known for its dinghy sailing and picturesque location it has never really been seen as a hub for sailing cruisers.
Consequently there has never been a big event for the big boats at the club but, says club secretary Rene Wubben, that's about to change this season with a Scilly Isles Rally from Dunmore East in June.
Waterford Harbour is keen to attract as many boats as possible from its own club but also others nearvy for the cruise in company that departs Dunmore East on June 16th. More info from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club. Tel: 051 383389
2011 Afloat Almanac: If you're contemplating a cruise, short coastal passage or even just studying for a Nav course this season, don't forget the 2011 edition of the Afloat Irish almanac (with Reeds Data). It covers the whole of Ireland, the Scottish, English and Welsh West coasts. Buy it online. CLICK HERE Easy!
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has reported the sighting of a humpback whale new to Irish waters.
Andrew Malcolm of the IWDG along with Martin Colfer spotted the whale just west of Dunmore East - a year after the first sightings of 'Hooky' who gave whale-watchers a treat in the early part of 2010.
Malcolm confirmed that this humpback was indeed a new addition to the Irish catalogue. He described it as behaving "in a very co-operative manner" and noted that it "regularly 'fluked' in front of the boat".
Click HERE for more on the story, including some spectaular images.
Kenny Rumball and David Moran made the most of strong winds and big seas sailing to win the Fireball Munster Championships in a last race decider at Dunmore East this afternoon. In a series that was cut to just four races because of strong winds the Royal St. George pair scored an 8,1,3,1 from locals Michael Murphy and Andrew Voye counting 2,2,2,4 after a single discard. Third was national champions Noel Butler and Shane McCarthy. Today's tow races were sailed as two short windward-leeward courses. 31 competed.
Fireball Munsters, Dunmore East
1 K Rumball & D Moran RStGYC. 2.M Murphy & A Voye WHSC. 3. N Butler & S McCarthy DMYC.
Silver Fleet. 1. L Malcolm & S Divney Howth. 2. C Harken & W Walsh. 3. C Daly & M Michels Coal Harbour. Cormac
Another cruise caller, Crystal Cruises 51,044grt Crystal Symphony has a considerably larger capacity of over 900 passengers. The vessel had departed Dublin several days previously and also visited the south-east, to anchor off Dunmore East.
Passengers disembarked at the fishing port using the vessel's tenders and were bused to the various attractions of the city including the recently re-opened House of Waterford Crystal plant and visitor showrooms.
Azamara Journey, a cruiseship built a decade ago and weighing 30,277 gross tonnes (gt) is due tomorrow (21 August) to anchor off Dunmore East. The vessel will use tender-boats to transfer passengers to the fishing port which lies on the southern approches of the Waterford estuary leading into the River Suir .
Several days after Azamara Journey's call, a further three cruise-ships will be touring the south-east. On 2 September the Crystal Symphony (51,044gt) sails overnight from Holyhead and is scheduled to take anchorage off Dunmore East and two days later a similar call is expected by the Silver Whisper. The 2001-built vessel is operated by the six-star rated Silversea Cruises.
La Diamant is due on 5 September to berth at Belview, the main port of Waterford and then is bound for the Isles of Scilly. La Diamant is owned by the only French cruise operator, Compagnie du Ponant based in Marseilles. La Diamant (8,238gt) has 172 passengers and 144 crew.
The cruise-operator specialises in offering a fleet of small bijou ships which include sail-assisted vessels. Compagnie du Ponant are a subsidiary of CMA-CGM Group, one of the world's largest container shipping companies.
Another Silversea Cruises fleetmate, Silver Cloud is due to dock on 8 September at Belview or upstream in the city-centre quays, in the heart of the newly rejuvenated 'crystal' city. Silver Cloud is on a cruise from Iceland and after the Irish call, the vessel heads for Fowey with the cruise culminating in the Pool of London.
The location of where vessels berth throughout the estuary is subject to the draft of the ship, weather conditions, tides and occupancy status of berths.
Two more races were sailed today at the Optimist National Championships in Waterford Harbour Sailing Club but a third race did not happen due to combination of strong winds and poor visibility. Royal Cork Yacht Club are dominating the top positions in this event so far
Provisional Results after 7 races:
Seniors: 1st Peter McCann RCYC, 2nd Patrick Crosbie RCYC.3rd John Durcan RCYC.
Juniors: 1st Daire Cournane RCYC, 2nd Daniel Whiteley, PDC, UK. 3rd Daniel Labrouche UK.
The Irish Optimist Irish National Championships take place next week at Dunmore East in Co. Waterford from 17th - 21st August. Below at the launch of the event at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club were (left to right) Anna Potterton (WHSC) Mark Daly (Chairman Dunmore East Tourism) Siobhan Gallagher from 3, Andrew Torrie (Commondore WHSC) and Peter Queally (WHSC)