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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: Paul O’Donovan finished sixth of the eight competitors who reached the A Final of the Premier Single Sculls at the North Island Club Rowing Championships in New Zealand. Robbie Manson, the top heavyweight single sculler won. Gary O’Donovan took third place in the B Final.

 Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll won their B Final of the Premier Pair, taking ninth overall. Max Murphy, the former UCD captain, was part of the Waikato senior pair which finished fourth in their final.  

North Island Rowing Championships, Lake Karapiro, New Zealand (Irish interest)

Men

Premier Pair – B Final: 1 Skibbereen (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll)  6:43.34.  

Senior Pair – Final: 4 Waikato (M Murphy, T Bedford) 6:51.51.

Premier Single – A Final: 1 R Manson 6:39.58; 6 Skibbereen (P O’Donovan) 6:54.63. B Final: 3 Skibbereen (G O’Donovan) 6:57.21.  

 

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll competed as a heavyweight pair at the North Island Championships in New Zealand today. The world champions in the lightweight pair, who have switched to heavyweight in the hope of competing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, finished fourth in their heat.

 Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan both finished sixth in their heats of the single sculls. Both also competed as heavyweights.

 All three boats move into repechages on Sunday.

Published in Rowing

#Rowers of the Year: The Afloat Rowers of the Year for 2017 are Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan. The two formed the Ireland lightweight pair which won European and World Championship gold. They also won gold in each of the three World Cup regattas, in Belgrade, Poznan and Lucerne. Their glorious run was the pay-off for enormous amounts of work – and a drive which came from their determination to make their mark after coming up short the in 2016, when they finished fourth at the World Championships.

 The two have opted to move up to heavyweight with the aim of competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. Afloat wishes them every success.   

Afloat Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times, and David O'Brien, editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year appeared on afloat.ie.

Published in Rower of the Year

#Rowing: Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan have been nominated for the Team of the Year at the RTÉ Sports Awards for 2017. The world champions in the lightweight pair could take over from Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan, who won in 2016. The awards will be presented on Saturday, December 16th. The public can vote on the night.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll, the world champions in the lightweight pair, have decided to go heavyweight. “We have to do this. We want to go to an Olympics and this is the best way of going," O’Driscoll told The Southern Star.

 Only one lightweight boat, the lightweight double, is an Olympic discipline. Paul and Gary O’Donovan took silver at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. They recently showed good form at the Ireland trial.

 Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan have been bulking up and O’Driscoll said they were ready to take on this “new chapter” in their competitive lives. “Before we raced the World Championships we had decided to go heavyweight,” he said. “We had one regatta left before we made that decision and we really wanted to win that World Championship.”

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O'Donovan have been honoured at the Irish Youth Foundation Excellence in Sport Awards. The world champions in the lightweight pair received their awards at the charity event hosted by golfer Padraig Harrington on Monday night in Dublin.

 Other recipients included rugby great Paul O’Connell, European gold medal winning sprinter Gina Akpe-Moses, father-and-son horse racing duo Aidan O’Brien and Joseph O’Brien, World Rugby Referee of the Year Joy Neville and Olympic boxer Michael Carruth.

 Lions rugby coach, Warren Gatland, the Dublin Gaelic football team and the Irish Show Jumping Team were also honoured.

 “This is the first national recognition award we’ve received since the World Championships and it means an awful lot to us,” O’Driscoll said. “It’s nice to reflect on your achievements and we’re delighted to be recognised. It will keep us going for a while, now that we’re back into the hard slog of winter training.

 “It’s also nice to have rowing recognised, because it’s such a great sport. You can take it up at any age and it’s such good fun. Anyone, young or old, can jump in a boat!” he said.

 The rowing stars were interviewed on stage at the ceremony by RTÉ sports presenter Joanne Cantwell, who asked what they had done differently this year to achieve their world level success.

 “We had a bit more belief in ourselves and to put it simply, we didn’t want to come fourth again. We wanted to win a medal at every regatta,” O’Driscoll said.

 “We focused on overcoming our doubts and giving it everything because there’s no point in going out there if you think you can’t do it or you’re not 100 per cent committed and I think that’s something all the sports people in the audience could identify with.”

 Speaking about sharing the stage with other sports stars, the Skibbereen  oarsman said: “It was great to be up there with people like Paul O’Connell. He’s a living legend and when he stood up to speak, the whole room just went quiet. He was a very inspirational speaker and he talked about the fact that since he’s retired, he only remembers good things about his sports career, even though he probably found it all very challenging at the time. So it was great to hear insights like that.”

 O’Driscoll said that he and O’Donovan were honoured to receive the award from such a worthwhile organisation.

 “We got a real insight into the work of the Irish Youth Foundation at the awards and when you hear about the hardship some young people experience, it’s shocking. It makes you feel so privileged and I’m glad that sport can be a positive outlet for so many young people.”

 All proceeds from the black tie fundraising event go toward the Irish Youth Foundation’s work with children and young people living in disadvantaged circumstances. The charity works primarily in the areas of  homelessness, after-school education, primary-to-secondary school transition and skills and employability. Last year the Excellence in Sport Awards raised over €100,000.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: A quadruple featuring three Ireland lightweight internationals finished 15th at the Head of the River Fours in London. Gary O’Donovan, Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan joined Niall Kenny in the Tideway Scullers’ crew.  They had serious equipment problems which affected their steering from early in the race.

Head of the River Fours, London (Irish interest): 15 Tideway Scullers’ School E 20 52.2

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland gold medallists Paul O’Donovan, Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan arrived back in Ireland today from the World Rowing Championships in Florida. They flew from Orlando to Dublin where family and friends greeted them. They were accompanied by Gary O’Donovan, an Olympic medallist in 2016 and reserve for the World Championships team. This evening they will be honoured at a reception in Skibbereen.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Ireland team which brought the country glory at the World Rowing Championships in Florida are the Afloat Rowers of the Month for September. In that month, Ireland took two gold medals through Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll in the lightweight pair and Paul O’Donovan in the lightweight single sculls.

 The pair crowned the perfect season with their victory. They won gold at the three World Cup regattas and the European Championships. The pressure was on in World Championship final, with both Brazil and Italy rowing well on the day. But O’Donovan and O’Driscoll were peerless. They set a very high stroke rate, took the lead – and saw off their challengers.

 Paul O’Donovan retained the title he had taken with such an extraordinary set of performances in Rotterdam in 2016, just weeks after he had taken a silver at the Olympic Games in a lightweight double with his brother Gary. This time, Gary had to drop out of the lightweight double, as illness had restricted his training (he supported the team as a reserve). Paul was back in the lightweight single in a boat which was new to him. He won all four races (heat, quarter-final, semi-final and final), seeing off a new set of challengers in the lightweight single, including Matthew Dunham of New Zealand, who took silver, and Kris Brun of Norway (bronze).

 The rest of the Ireland team also gave the suppporters plenty to shout about. Sanita Puspure went on to take fourth in the single sculls and Denise Walsh reached the A Final of the lightweight single sculls, where she finished sixth. Two new heavyweight pairs gained experience of the top level as the team targets Tokyo 2020. Aileen Crowley and Aifric Keogh finished eighth and there was a 16th place for Patrick Boomer and Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan.

 Well done to all the members of the Ireland team, the Afloat Rowers of the Month for September.  

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times, and David O'Brien, editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2017 champions list grow.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll won their heat to qualify directly for the A Final of the lightweight pair at the World Rowing Championships.

 Italy took an early lead, but Ireland took over in the second quarter. Britain challenged but O’Donovan and O’Driscoll won by over five seconds.   

World Rowing Championships, Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida – Day One – Irish Interest:

Men

Lightweight Pair – Heat One (First to A Final; rest to Repechage): 1 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:33.20, 2 Britain (J Cassells, S Scrimgeour) 6:38.57, 3 Italy 6:40.39.

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.”