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Displaying items by tag: Wales

#MARINE WARNING - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises mariners of cable laying operations in the Irish Sea from next week onwards.

The cable laying operations between Wales and Portmarnock Beach in north Co Dublin will commence on Thursday 25 October for approximately 14 days, subject to weather conditions. The works will be undertaken from the C/S Resolute (Call sign V7FF3) supported by the M/V Coastal Discovery (Call sign PBUZ).

Both vessels will display appropriate shapes and lights during the operations, and will keep a listening watch on VHF Channel 16 at all times.

Mariners are particularly advised to note that small craft will also be supporting the main operations vessels in the immediate area of Portmarnock Beach. These craft will have VHF communications, and their movements will be co-ordinated by the main vessels.

In addition, divers will be operating between Portmarnock Beach and the cable laying vessel within the approved corridor for these work and to a maximum distance of 6.5km from the shore.

All vessels, particularly those engaged in fishing, are requested to give all vessels involved in these operations a wide berth.

Full details of co-ordinates are included in Marine Notice No 59 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Warning

youthsailing – Schools from Ynys Môn (Isle of Anglesey) and Gwynedd have won praise from Welsh Government member Ieuan Wyn Jones for spearheading a revolutionary approach to education, which makes the marine environment a key part of learning.

At the Ysgol y Môr (School of the Sea) Race Day 2012, at the Plas Menai National Watersports Centre near Caernarfon, more than 200 children from 13 local schools demonstrated how they have developed their knowledge of subjects ranging from renewable energy technology to marine biology, as well as watersport skills, by taking part in the first initiative of its kind in the UK, being piloted over three years.

Mr Wyn Jones said: "I am very impressed with this pilot project. The schools have clearly got a great deal out of it and I want to work with the Ysgol y Môr team to see how we can develop it further."

Sponsored by nuclear power technology specialists EnergySolutions, who own Magnox Ltd, the day featured an inter-schools regatta of sailing, kayaking and windsurfing races: a marine renewables regatta, run by Engineering Your Future, showcasing pupils' work on solar powered boats, wind and water turbines, and fuel cell technology, culminating in a solar boat race; and a Classe de Mer (Classroom of the Sea) display, showcasing pupils' work on marine wildlife, conservation, maritime culture, history and landmarks on the Menai Strait, ocean sciences, coastal living and dune formation, art and literature.

The event also hosted an Ysgol y Môr Conference for 100 delegates, with Ieuan Wyn Jones AM as keynote speaker, a video about Nautisme en Finistere (Brittany's equivalent of Ysgol y Môr), and presentations by the region's head teachers and an independent assessor on the value of the programme.

Dave Callen, EnergySolutions' Engineering Manager at Magnox Wylfa Power Station, said: "Education is one of the keys to North West Wales' economic and cultural sustainability – and so are the region's marine resources, including energy. We are delighted to sponsor this inspiring event."

Hundreds of youngsters are learning subjects including renewable energy technologies and watersports.

Jon Philips, Director of Stakeholder Relations for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), one of the principal funders of the project, said: "The NDA is delighted to have supported this programme, which we hope will inspire future generations to consider the exciting employment and business opportunities associated with the coastal environment – creating an even more vibrant and exciting place to live and work."

Ysgol y Môr is the first initiative in the UK to use the marine environment as part of mainstream education.

It is modelled on a 30+ year educational programme in Brittany, which has been the driving force behind the growth of the region's highly successful marine industry. It has created major economic development and sustainable jobs, which have helped safeguard the Breton language and culture.

Ysgol y Môr is being piloted in the counties of Gwynedd and Ynys Môn. In the first phase, spanning three years, 1440 pupils from 16 schools are learning watersports skills. 1170 pupils are being taught a range of existing curriculum subjects in classes de mer ('classrooms of the sea'), across both counties.

The launch of Ysgol y Môr followed more than three years of development by North Wales Watersports and its partners. This included a fact finding mission for North Wales educationalists and local authority representatives in 2007 to Brittany, which has 20 dedicated 'classrooms of the sea' centres that have trained thousands of pupils.

The Ysgol y Môr programme is designed as a template for a new national approach to education, based on involving pupils more closely with their local environments, including mountains, forests and urban areas.

Published in Youth Sailing

#MARINE WARNING - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises on preliminary work on the East-West interconnector power cable in the Irish Sea between Ireland and Wales over the next few weeks.

Briggs Marine commenced pre-lay grapnel runs along the line of the cable route on Sunday 1 April, and this work will be carried out over three weeks from the vessel Kingdom of Fife (call sign 2BKR2).

This work will continue on a 24-hour basis, and the vessel will display appropriate day shapes and lights as required, with a continuous watch on VHF Channel 16 and DSC.

Complete details including co-ordinates of the work area are included in Marine Notice No 14 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read and download HERE.

Published in Marine Warning
2nd February 2012

Fastnet Line Closes For Good

#FERRY NEWS - The Fastnet Line ferry service between Cork and Swansea is to close with the loss of 78 jobs.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the operator had been in examinership since last November, and a restructured business plan had been submitted with a view to resuming high-season service in April.

However, in a statement the owners of the Fastnet Line said they had been unable to raise the €1m-plus investment required and that the examinership had "failed".

All 78 jobs will be lost as the company is set to be placed in receivership or liquidation later today.

The Fastnet Line - which was worth around €30 million to Cork in tourist spending - made its maiden voyage from Swansea to Cork in 2010, and was the only direct passenger and freight link between Wales and the south coast of Ireland.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Ferry

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The UK's Wildlife Trusts have launched a new website in an effort to redress the idea that the Irish Sea is "a dirty, lifeless" place.

As BBC News reports, the trusts' Cheryl Nicholson put down the Irish Sea's poor image, saying "nothing could be further from the truth".

"Our sea is home to so many amazing species and habitats," she added, "but sadly, after centuries of neglect, it is not in a good state. We must act now to protect the Irish Sea from the depths through to the coastal shallows."

The new website is part of a campaign by wildlife trusts throughout northwest England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man to establish 15 Marine Conservation Zones recommended for the area.

The zones, if officially designated, would provide "a haven for wildlife to recover and thrive", said Nicholson.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, plans to establish such zones in the Irish Sea have been shelved till 2013 at the earliest after pressure from fishermen, boaters and other groups.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WARNING - The latest Marine Notice from the DTTAS advises all seafarers in the Irish Sea between north Dublin and north Wales to give a wide berth to the hydrographic and oceanographic survey operation in the area this week.

The SV Bibby Tethra (callsign 2EGF8) commenced survey operations yesterday (Monday 16 January) from offshore at North Beach in Rush to approximately 16 miles offshore north of Anglesey. The survey is scheduled for seven days, subject to weather delays.

The vessel will operate on a 24-hour basis, displaying appropriate day shapes and lights during survey operations, and will transmit an AIS signal. The vessel will be keeping a listening watch on VHF Channel 16 at all times during the operations.

Survey operations will involve towing survey equipment up to 100m astern of the vessel along pre-defined survey lines, which will restrict the vessel’s ability to manoeuvre.

Details of the survey area are included in a PDF of Marine Notice No 2 of 2012, which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Warning

#SURFING - Irish surfer Conor Maguire is one of the four new waveriders from the UK and Ireland to become part of the Northcore stable. In the vid below Maguire is mentioned at 2 minutes 11 seconds.

The Bundoran resident joins Sandy Kerr of Tynemouth, England, Craig Burrows of south Wales and Jersey's Charlotte Bayliss on the team heading into 2012.

The young surfer is already making a name for himself on the heavy waves of Ireland's northwest coast like the Peak, and regularly paddling into the meanest of Ireland's slabs such as Rileys.

Maguire is also starting to charge in the big swells, learning the tow-in craft from some of Ireland's most experienced big wave crews, including Northcore ambassador Richie Fitzgerald.

A Northcore spokesperson said of the recent additions: "Between them there's a huge amount of experience, style and skill. All of the riders are representing the very best of surfing talent from their respective home locations and all have achieved respect and recognition on a national scale."

Published in Surfing

#COASTGUARD - Russia's ambassador to Britain has proposed rewarding rescuers involved in the search for missing seamen in the Irish Sea last week following the sinking of the cargo ship Swanland.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the cargo vessel - carrying 3,000 tonnes of limestone - went down some 10 miles west of the Lleyn peninsula in north Wales in the early hours of last Sunday.

Two of the eight crew, who were all Russian, were recovered from the sea. A third was found deceased, while the remaining five are still missing.

As many as 11 coastguard rescue teams were involved in the search operation, which also saw an RAF rescue helicopter - piloted by Prince William - lend assistance.

At a meeting with the two rescued sailors in London last Wednesday, Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko commented: “What if we propose [the rescuers] to be rewarded by the Russian side?”

Russian news agency RIA Novosti has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

Peter McCann ended his assault of the British Optimist National Champion at Pwllheli Sailing Club in 13th place. Other Irish team results inlcuded a 23rd for Cliodhna ni Shuilleabhain and a 16tth for Sean Donnelly. Full results here.

The 50th Volvo Gill Optimist National and Open Championship came to a close on Friday after a week of fantastic sailing in a mixture of racing conditions. The week started light with no wind for the 450 sailors but increased as the week progressed. Racing finished with sunshine but challenging conditions and 30-40 degree shifts.

After 12 races and talented, consistent sailing New Zealand’s Leonard Takahashi-Fry (13, Murrays Bay SC) takes the Volvo Gill Optimist Open Champion title “It’s really exciting to be Volvo Gill Optimist Open Champion. Sailing today was ok and pretty shifty but the weeks been great and as it went on I got better at sailing in the shifts. It’s been a bit cold, back home it’s hotter but it’s been pretty nice weather. I’ve really enjoyed sailing here and the event’s been well organized” said Leonard.

Arran Holman (14, Hollowell SC) is crowned Volvo Gill Optimist British National Champion “It’s been a really good week, enjoyable and very exciting. Today was really shifty and challenging out there but it was good and great conditions. It’s great to be the 50th National Champion and I’ve had a fantastic time” said 2010 Volvo Optimist End of Season Champion, Arran.

The trophy for the top British girl was awarded to Royal Lymington’s Mimi El- Khazindar (14) and Gill Race Team member Milo Gill Taylor (11, Spinnaker Sailing Club) secured the Junior fleet title. Close behind Milo was local sailor Huw Edwards (12, Port Dinorwic).

“It’s absolutely amazing! I’m so excited. Today was nerve racking but I won my first race. It’s my favourite sailing venue and I won the Regatta fleet here in 2008 so it’s great to win again” said GBR World Squad member Milo.

After 13 races the winner of the Regatta Racing fleet was 10 year old Matilda Nicholls (Royal Bermuda YC) who showcased talented sailing all week, followed by Sally Lorimer (Warsach SC).

Newly appointed IOCA (UK) Chairman, Simon Rogers paid tribute to a wonderful week of fun yet competitive racing “It’s been an incredible week with some absolutely fantastic sailing here at the 50th anniversary of the National Championships. We are delighted with the racing we have had all week and the conditions have been perfect ”.

Published in Optimist

Light fickle winds on the first day of the Volvo Gill Optimist Open and British National Championships in Pwhelli prevented top Irish top challenger Peter McCann from Royal Cork making an early breakthrough but other Irish sailors have prevailed in the senior fleet incuding Kinsale's Cliodhna Ni Shuilleabhain in joint third overall and the National Yacht Club's Sean Donnelly in ninth. Results to date here.

Some of the nation's finest young sailors struggled in light fickle winds. The day was overcast and the light conditions brought tricky shifts. The southerly wind struggled to get over 4 ½ knots but the frustrated Senior and Junior fleet sailors managed one race each in the light breeze.

After one race New Zealand's Markus Somerville (15, Wakatere BC) currently sits at the top of the Senior fleet followed by British sailor and 2010 Junior National Champion, Freddie Grogono. In the Junior fleet the USA dominate two of the top three positions with JC Hermus (11, Bellport Bay YC) in first, Welsh sailor Alexander Watson (9, Llyn Brenig) in second place and Ryan Hennessey (12, Bellport Bay YC) in third. Matilda Nicholls (10, Royal Bermuda YC) sits top of the Regatta racing fleet.

"We were fortunate that when the breeze did fill in it coincided with slack water. It was shifty out there but no more than we predicted and there was consistent pressure. The wind faded towards the end of Senior fleet races so we made the decision to shorten the course. We are pleased to achieve one race for both the Senior and Junior fleets in such light wind. Pwhelli is a great venue to hold the National Championships without as much tidal influence as other venues in the UK." Peter Saxton, Principle Race Officer Optimist National Main fleet

2011 Volvo Gill Optimist Spring Champion, Max Clapp (14, Royal Southern YC) is looking forward to getting back out on the water tomorrow morning "It was quite light and shifty out there but I sail best in light winds. I've raced here [in Pwllheli] before and I'm used to it being windy so it's a change it's so light. I like the venue here, it's great to launch from the beach and compared to Weymouth and Portland it's more open to the sea. I really like sailing in the class because of the numbers and it's nice to meet new friends. My aim for the week - I'd really like to be top Brit in my fleet."

More than 450 British and international sailors from as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa have descended on Pwllheli for the 50th Optimist Open and National Championships, which run until Friday 5th August.

Racing is scheduled to resume tomorrow (Tuesday 2nd August) at 11.00 am. The event will see a maximum of 12 races for the Senior and Junior fleets.

Published in Optimist
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