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A Harbour Seal photographed at Dun Laoghaire Marina on Dublin Bay, Ireland. Also known as the common seal, is a true seal found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines of the Northern Hemisphere. The most widely distributed species of pinnipeds, they are found in coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Baltic and North seas. Photo: AfloatA photograph of a Harbour Seal taken at Dun Laoghaire Marina on Dublin Bay, Ireland. Also known as the common seal, this species can be found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines throughout the Northern Hemisphere. They are the most widely distributed species of pinnipeds and can be found in the coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as the Baltic and North Seas. Photo: Afloat

Displaying items by tag: Mark O'Donovan

#Rowing: Ireland’s Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle produced a fine performance in their first competitive race together at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The Ireland double were up against it in their heat, with just one crew going directly to the A/B Semi-Finals. New Zealand’s John Storey and Chris Harris made that theirs, using the fast conditions well. Italy and Ireland looked set to battle it out for second, but Doyle and Byrne opened up in the second half of the race and were well clear in second at the line.

 Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll finished a disappointing fifth in the men’s pairs heat and will have to compete in a repechage to make the quarter-finals. Canada were impressive winners from South Africa and France, with Ireland and Belarus vying for the crucial fourth place and direct qualification. Ireland had a slight advantage with 500 metres to go, but the Belarussians wrested back the lead and had almost a second to spare crossing the line.

 The women’s pair of Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty qualified from their heat for the semi-finals, finishing second.

World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Day One (Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Heat Four (First Four to Quarter-Finals; rest to Repechage): 1 Canada 6:20.46, 2 South Africa 6:21.85, 3 France 6:25.43, 4 Belarus 6:28.22; 5 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:29.10

Double Sculls – Heat One (Winner to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 New Zealand 6:02.23; 2 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:12.61

Women

Pair – Heat One (First Three to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechage): 1 New Zealand 6:56.06, 2 Ireland (A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:11.51, 3 United States 7:13.02.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan took fifth in their B Final of the pairs, 11th overall, at the European Championships in Strathclyde Park in Scotland. In overcast but calm conditions, Ireland started well, but Germany took over and held the lead to 1500 metres. By then they were already under real pressure from Ollie Cook and Matt Rossiter from Britain, who took over and won. O’Driscoll won a battle with Ukraine at the back of the field but while they had the fastest final 500 metres they could not get past the Netherlands or Russia, who finished fourth and third. Germany were second.

European Championships, Day Three, Strathclyde, Scotland (Irish interest)

Men

Pair – B Final (Places 7 to 12): Britain 6:36.77; 5 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:44.58.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll finished a close-up fifth in their semi-final of the pairs at the European Rowing Championships in Strathclyde, Scotland. France were the dominant force and took the first of the three qualification places. Italy were the most consistent challengers. Ireland held sixth and fifth through the middle of the race, but all the crews were in the hunt for the second and third places in the final quarter. Belarus drove into second; Italy took third. O’Donovan and O’Driscoll came with a sprint and almost caught the Netherlands, who took fourth.

European Rowing Championships, Strathclyde, Scotland – Day Two (Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 France 6:26.94, 2 Belarus 6:29.06, 3 Italy 6:29.46; 5 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:31.47

Women

Lightweight Double Sculls – Repechage One (First Two to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Switzerland 7:03.89, 2 Britain 7:06.04; 3 Ireland (A Casey, D Walsh) 7:11.31.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll produced a remarkable final 500 metres to move from fourth to second in their repechage and qualify for the A/B semi-finals of the men’s pair at the European Rowing Championships in Strathclyde in Scotland.

 Three crews qualified from this race, and the Skibbereen men were a  second off Austria as the crews entered the final quarter. Serbia and Ukraine held the top two spots. But then O’Driscoll and O’Donovan wound up to stroke rates high in the 40s and swept past Austria and the Ukraine.

European Rowing Championships, Strathclyde, Scotland (Day One, Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Heat Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals, rest to Repechage): 1 Belarus 6:37.38, 2 Britain 6:37.76; 4 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:48.94. Repechage One (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C Final): 1 Serbia 6:33.77, 2 Ireland 6:35.74, 3 Ukraine 6:36.11.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechage): 1 Ireland (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan) 6:27.99, 2 France 6:29.83.

Women

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat One (Winner to A Final; rest to Repechage): 1 Poland 7:08.54; 4 Ireland (A Casey, D Walsh) 7:22.02.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland’s Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan finished fourth in their heat of the pair on the opening day of the European Championships in Strathclyde, Glasgow. Just two crews go through to the A/B semi-finals, and Ireland face into a repechage.

 The race was well jugdged by Matthew Rossiter and Oliver Cook of Britain. They held a place behind leaders Belarus and the Netherlands until the final quarter, then elbowed their way into second. The Netherlands cracked and finished third.

 O’Driscoll and O’Donovan rowed well, but were not part of the final charge for qualification places and eased off with an eye on the repechage.

European Rowing Championships, Strathclyde, Scotland (Day One, Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Heat Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals, rest to Repechage): 1 Belarus 6:37.38, 2 Britain 6:37.76; 4 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:48.94.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Three of the four Ireland boats in early action at the World Cup Regatta in Lucerne qualified directly from their heats and avoided repechage action.

 Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan took second place in their heat of the men’s pairs and secured a place in the quarter-finals. The world lightweight champions came up against the outstanding Sinkovic brothers from Croatia, who won the race with a sparkling performance. The key battle behind them was not to finish last. Brazil and Australia battled with Ireland, but O’Donovan and O’Driscoll moved away from both, collared second place and held on to it.

 Patrick Boomer and Andy Harrington secured third place in their heat. Their qualification looked in doubt as they battled with Croatia at the back of the field. But the big Ireland crew found speed when they needed it. They produced the fastest final quarter, and left the Croats behind them. China faded badly and took the last place.  

 The women’s double of Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley qualified directly for the A/B Semi-Finals with a solid second place. The United States crew of Megan O’Leary and Ellen Tomek were convincing winners, while Dukarska and Crowley held on to second despite a late charge by China, who pushed Switzerland into the repechage.

 In the women’s pair, the new crew of Aifric Keogh and Tara Hanlon finished sixth in their heat and are set for a repechage.

World Cup Regatta, Lucerne, Day One (Irish interest; selected results)

Men

Pair – Heat Two (First Four to Quarter-Final; rest to Quarter-Final or E Final): 1 Spain 6:40.29; 3 Ireland Two (P Boomer, P Harrington) 6:45.74

Heat Six (First Three to Quarter-Final; rest to Quarter-Final or E Final): 1 Croatia 6:37.66, 2 Ireland One (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:40.95.

Women

Pair – Heat Two (First to A Final; rest to Repechage): 1 Canada 7:13.98;  6 Ireland (A Keogh, T Hanlon) 7:32.49.

Double Sculls – Heat Two (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 United States 6:58.58, 2 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:03.05.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll took third place in their C Final of the men’s pair at the World Cup in Belgrade this morning. This was an extraordinary race. Britain Two, South Africa, Ireland and Greece moved as a pack through halfway and the 1500 metres. Greece then took over in the lead, with Ireland also contending. But Hungary, which had hung in sixth and fifth place through most of the 2,000 metres, finished best. They passed the leaders and won, with Greece and Ireland next over the line.

 The placing put O’Donovan and O’Driscoll 15th of the 22 crews which raced.

World Cup Regatta, Belgrade, Day Two (Irish interest)

Men

Pair – C Final (Places 13 to 18): 1 Hungary 6:55.35, 2 Greece 6:57.73, 3 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:59.0, 4 South Africa 7:00.22.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll finished third in their repechage and qualified for the C Final of the men’s pair at the World Cup regatta in Belgrade. The first two boats over the line qualified for A/B Semi-Finals, and the Netherlands One, which won well, and Netherlands Two took these spots. O’Donovan and O’Driscoll pushed hard to break into the top two, with a very high rate of striking, but even though they did not do this, their fast finish helped them win a battle with South Africa to take third and secure a place in the C Final (places 13 to 18).

World Cup Regatta, Belgrade (Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Heat Four (Winner to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Czech Republic 6:41.22; 2 Spain 6:48.03, 3 China One 6:51.79, 4 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:51.91. Repechage Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; third to C Final; rest to C or D Final): 1 Netherlands One 6:48.68, 2 Netherlands Two 6:50.07; 3 Ireland 6:51.82.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Three (First two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Canada Two 6:32.69, 2 Ireland (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan) 6:34.29.

Women

Pair – Heat One (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Britain One 7:19.05, 2 Britain Two 7:22.92, 3 Ireland (A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:23.77.

Double Sculls – Heat Three (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Netherlands 7:10.90, 2 China One 7:16.89, 3 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:20.40.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat One (First two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Britain One 7:26.96, 2 United States One 7:28.40; 5 Ireland (M Cremen, D Walsh) 7:50.34.

Single Sculls – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:50.48, 2 Ukraine (D Dymchenko) 7:59.30.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll took fourth in their heat of the pair at the World Cup Regatta in Belgrade this morning. Only the winner nailed down a place in the semi-final and the Czech Republic took this after a battle with Spain. Well behind them, China One won their battle with O’Donovan and O’Driscoll.

 The Irish, the world champions in the lightweight pair, are hoping to establish themselves as a heavyweight pair. They were 13th of the 22 contenders on time.

World Cup Regatta, Belgrade (Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Heat Four (Winner to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage):

1 Czech Republic 6:41.22; 2 Spain 6:48.03, 3 China One 6:51.79, 4 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:51.91.

Women

Pair – Heat One (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Britain One 7:19.05, 2 Britain Two 7:22.92, 3 Ireland (A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:23.77.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan produced the best performance of the first Saturday session of the Ireland trials. The lightweight double beat their Skibbereen under-23 rivals Jake and Fintan McCarthy by 8.4 seconds and a heavyweight double of Ronan Byrne (UCC) and Philip Doyle (Queen’s) by 3.9 seconds.

The heavyweight pair of Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan also put their challengers firmly behind them. They raced at a high rate in the good conditions and beat Patrick Boomer and Andy Harrington by 6.6 seconds.

Three senior women’s crews performed well. Single sculler Sanita Puspure and the heavyweight and lightweight doubles of Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley and Denise Walsh and Margaret Cremen all looked on form as the selectors decide on which crews to send to the World Cup Regatta in Belgrade.

In the junior trials, Annie O’Donoghue and Ciara Moynihan of Workmen’s won a fine doubles race. Aoibhinn Keating of Skibbereen and Ciara Browne of Workmen’s were their closest rivals, but Mollie Curry of Coleraine GS and Eimear Crowley of Kenmare contended at the finish and were just 1.4 seconds off the winners.

Published in Rowing
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For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is Afloat.ie.

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!

Weather

As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and Afloat.ie will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

Changing Ocean Climate

Our ocean and climate are inextricably linked - the ocean plays a crucial role in the global climate system in a number of ways. These include absorbing excess heat from the atmosphere and absorbing 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity. But our marine ecosystems are coming under increasing pressure due to climate change.

The Marine Institute, with its national and international partners, works to observe and understand how our ocean is changing and analyses, models and projects the impacts of our changing oceans. Advice and forecasting projections of our changing oceans and climate are essential to create effective policies and management decisions to safeguard our ocean.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, said, “Our ocean is fundamental to life on earth and affects so many facets of our everyday activities. One of the greatest challenges we face as a society is that of our changing climate. The strong international collaborations that the Marine Institute has built up over decades facilitates a shared focusing on our changing ocean climate and developing new and enhanced ways of monitoring it and tracking changes over time.

“Our knowledge and services help us to observe these patterns of change and identify the steps to safeguard our marine ecosystems for future generations.”

The Marine Institute’s annual ocean climate research survey, which has been running since 2004, facilitates long term monitoring of the deep water environment to the west of Ireland. This repeat survey, which takes place on board RV Celtic Explorer, enables scientists to establish baseline oceanic conditions in Irish waters that can be used as a benchmark for future changes.

Scientists collect data on temperature, salinity, water currents, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the Atlantic Ocean. This high quality oceanographic data contributes to the Atlantic Ocean Observing System. Physical oceanographic data from the survey is submitted to the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and, in addition, the survey contributes to national research such as the VOCAB ocean acidification and biogeochemistry project, the ‘Clean Atlantic’ project on marine litter and the A4 marine climate change project.

Dr Caroline Cusack, who co-ordinates scientific activities on board the RV Celtic Explorer for the annual survey, said, “The generation of long-term series to monitor ocean climate is vital to allow us understand the likely impact of future changes in ocean climate on ecosystems and other marine resources.”

Other activities during the survey in 2019 included the deployment of oceanographic gliders, two Argo floats (Ireland’s contribution to EuroArgo) and four surface drifters (Interreg Atlantic Area Clean Atlantic project). The new Argo floats have the capacity to measure dissolved ocean and biogeochemical parameters from the ocean surface down to a depth of 2,000 metres continuously for up to four years, providing important information as to the health of our oceans.

During the 2019 survey, the RV Celtic Explorer retrieved a string of oceanographic sensors from the deep ocean at an adjacent subsurface moored station and deployed a replacement M6 weather buoy, as part of the Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network (IMDBON).

Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the IMDBON is managed by the Marine Institute in collaboration with Met Éireann and is designed to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea around Ireland. The data buoys have instruments which collect weather and ocean data including wind speed and direction, pressure, air and sea surface temperature and wave statistics. This data provides vital information for weather forecasts, shipping bulletins, gale and swell warnings as well as data for general public information and research.

“It is only in the last 20 years, meteorologists and climatologists have really began to understood the pivotal role the ocean plays in determining our climate and weather,” said Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann. “The real-time information provided by the Irish data buoy network is particularly important for our mariners and rescue services. The M6 data buoy in the Atlantic provides vital information on swell waves generated by Atlantic storms. Even though the weather and winds may be calm around our shores, there could be some very high swells coming in from Atlantic storms.”