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Displaying items by tag: Belfast Lough

Ballymacormick Beach on the eastern side of Ballyholme Bay on Belfast Lough will see next Saturday (23rd), the first-ever windsurfing event hosted by Ballyholme Yacht Club when the Ulster Championships competitors will take to the water.

There will be eleven races for three fleets – Gold, Silver and Bronze/Novice, in six subdivisions from Junior to Super Veteran.

The Club will have exclusive use of the Banks Car Park off Groomsport Road, and the welcome and briefing is scheduled for 1000 at that location.

The NOR is downloadable here 

Entries should be made in advance through the BYC website, and online pre-entry closes at 1200 on Thursday 21st October 2021.

BYC Commodore Aidan Pounder is enthusiastic about the event; "We have had great support from the Irish Windsurfing Association, and it is hoped that in 2022 we can host an IWA ranked event. The Club looks forward to welcoming windsurfers from all over Ireland to the Bay next Saturday".

Published in Belfast Lough

After a hiatus of two years, Northern Ireland's RS400 Winter series is back. The Belfast Lough sailing event will kick off on Sunday 31st October for eight consecutive weeks up to 19th December.

This event was the last run in 2019 before the Covid pandemic paused things; at that point, it was a well-supported winter event with a regular 18 boats on the start line and an extensive fleet turnout for the last day, known as the Christmas Race.

The series draws boats and very talented sailors from all over the country, with some boats travelling from Dublin.

Race Officer Gerry Reid told Afloat, "A typical Sunday race will consist of three quick-fire races of about 20 minutes each. We remember that it gets cold for the competitors and the event team, so we don't hang about. This all came about back in 2007 when a few 400' guys approached the Club and asked about a few races around Halloween; this developed into its present guise of three races per day over eight weekends the numbers just built. We are delighted to get this event going again."

Racing can be watched from the shore at Cultra, starting at 1.30 Sunday 31st October.

Published in Belfast Lough
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What started off as a challenge in Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough by Gordon Patterson's Sigma 362, Fanciulla, a heavy 36-footer, to Gavin Vaughan's new Jeanneau 349, a 34-foot light displacement boat, in a race to Glenarm which lies on the east County Antrim coast about 25 miles north of Belfast Lough, became an event in itself. As it turned out, the winner was David Eccles' Sigma 33 Mungo Jerrie.

As the idea took hold, it was opened up to other cruisers in the club. On a misty low visibility Saturday morning last weekend (18th September), the atmosphere was only broken by the occasional foghorn, seven yachts usually berthed in marinas, and had gathered on the club moorings at Cultra the night before, readied for a start.

Some of the fleet on their way to Glenarm after the Belfast Lough startSome of the fleet on their way to Glenarm after the Belfast Lough start

The fleet ranged in length from 25 to 46 feet, and luckily, minutes before the start, a gentle breeze cleared the mist, and spectators ashore were able to watch the first offshore keelboat start at the Club since 1981.

May 1928 had seen the inauguration of the North Channel Race between RNIYC and the Clyde Cruising Club. This event had graced the fixture list for the next 53 years (apart from the war years) until eventually becoming part of the highly competitive NIOPS (Northern Ireland Offshore Points Series). After that, many of the Royal North cruising fraternity took part in Cruise in Company events on an ad hoc basis to such places as Glenarm, Rathlin Island, Campbelltown or Portpatrick. This year's event was planned to encompass the racing and cruising aspirations of the club's growing class of large keelboats.

The Glenarm Sailing Challenge's Denis Todd (left)) presents the trophy to David EcclesThe Glenarm Sailing Challenge's Denis Todd (left)) presents the trophy to David Eccles

David Eccles Sigma 33 Mungo Jerrie was first across the start line, followed by Alikadoo (Nigel Kearney) and Pegasus (Jonathan Park). The minimal breeze meant that progress was painfully slow to the mouth of the Lough before a more reliable southerly breeze filled in, filling the spinnakers. Several boats lost the competitive spirit and instead enjoyed the spectacular views of the Gobbins coastal path and Island Magee under engine before hoisting their sails again in the gradually strengthening winds. By late afternoon all had arrived in Glenarm.

Among the first to arrive were Charles Kearney's Maticoco, followed by Pegasus and Alikadoo. A Capella of Belfast (Julian & Patricia Morgan) was next to across, closely followed by Mungo Jerrie, the first to have sailed the entire course.
Fanciuilla (Gordon Patterson), the only other boat to have sailed the entire course, was next to finish, and then Gavin Vaughen's Toucan 6 completed the list of those who had started in the morning mists of Belfast Lough.

The Glenarm Chalenge fleet in Glenarm MarinaSome of the Glenarm Challenge fleet at Glenarm Marina

Afterwards, the party adjourned to The Bridge Inn in Glenarm to finish the evening. A steady westerly breeze allowed all boats to return to Belfast Lough the following day, determined to do it all again next year.

Gordon Patterson had said before the event, "the perpetual Cup will be named in honour of whoever wins between us on scratch handicap. Gavin would be the favourite as he would normally give the Sigma a little under two mins an hour, but if conditions are favourable, we are confident". As it turned out, the Sigma took the honours.

Published in Belfast Lough

A study, led by high-performance maritime design and applied technologies company Artemis Technologies based on Belfast Lough has been awarded £533,000 to investigate transformative solutions to decarbonise crew transfer vessel (CTV) operations in the offshore wind sector.

The grant, announced at London International Shipping Week, has been awarded as part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

Artemis Technologies is partnering with Tidal Transit, an experienced CTV owner and operator; ORE Catapult, a research technology organisation specialising in the offshore renewables sector; and Lloyd’s Register, a globally respected maritime classification society.

It will seek to demonstrate the transformative power of the revolutionary Artemis eFoilerTM electric propulsion system to drive down carbon emissions in global CTV operations.

Dr Iain Percy OBE, CEO at Artemis Technologies said: “Operating for an average of 250 days a year, crew transfer vessels burn around 1,500 litres of diesel a day. Equating to almost 475,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions across the UK and EU annually, they are a major pollutant.

“With global offshore wind capacity set to soar over the coming decades, including the UK government targeting a four-fold increase by 2030, it is imperative that a solution to decarbonise CTV operations is brought to market quickly.

“We are pleased to be leading this project alongside a number of expert partners. Working together, industry can create the disruptive solutions required to enable the decarbonisation of CTV operations in line with global goals to reduce CO2 emissions.”

The study will use digital twin technology and include a full mission simulation of an eFoilerTM propelled CTV undertaking crew transfer operations, as well as provide a regulatory roadmap towards certification of the technology.

Leo Hambro, Commercial Director, Tidal Transit added: “We are very excited to be working with Artemis Technologies on this game-changing CTV design change. As a green industry, we need to find a way to utilise the vast quantity of cheap zero-carbon electricity produced by our clients and shift away from our reliance on diesel. The eFoiler aims to deliver an electric solution that would work even at the most far from shore projects over time and will revolutionise the industry.”

Additionally, the companies are partnering on a £2.8m project led by MJM Power which will test an on-turbine electrical vessel charging system.

Artemis Technologies is also part of the Northern Ireland Green Seas consortium, led by Power NI, which is receiving £398,000 in funding to investigate shore power and hydrogen bunkering solutions.

Announced in March 2020, and part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan to position the UK at the forefront of green shipbuilding and maritime technology, the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition is a £20m investment from government alongside a further £10m from industry to reduce emissions from the maritime sector.

The programme is supporting 55 projects across the UK, including projects in Scotland, Northern Ireland and from the south-west to the north-east of England.

Published in Belfast Lough

The Fairy class from the Royal North of Ireland fleet at Cultra on Belfast Lough and the River class-based at Strangford Lough YC have raced since 1960 for a special trophy called the Friver Cup.

The Rivers, designed by Alfred Mylne, celebrated their Centenary last year and the Fairy Class was designed by Linton Hope in 1902 for the then-new Royal North of Ireland YC at Cultra on Belfast Lough.

The River Class hosted this year's event, and the boats used were Quoile, Faughan, Roe, Glynn, Strule and Lackagh. Representing the Rivers were Class Captain John McVea, James Nixon and Jack Irwin, and the Fairy class helms were Class Captain David Carlisle along with Jamie Hume and Leah McLeave.

Last Sunday (22nd), the River Class claimed back the Cup from the Fairy Class, sailing two races on windward-leeward courses. The first race saw the Fairy Class ahead on 10 points, to 11 points for the Rivers, and in the second race, the Rivers performed better with eight points to 13 for the Fairy Class. The River Class achieved a 1st, 2nd and a 5th.

Friver Cup (from left) John McVea (River class captain and David Carlisle Fairy class captainFriver Cup (from left) John McVea (River class captain and David Carlisle Fairy class captain

SLYC Commodore Henry Anstey was Race Officer.

Published in Belfast Lough

That's the thing about an unstable weather system – testing conditions in Belfast Lough, which threatened the race programme for the Irish Topper Championships this weekend.

Hosted by Carrickfergus Sailing Club on the north shore of Belfast Lough over three days - Friday 20th till Sunday 22nd, the event was sponsored by commercial property consultants Osborne King and supported by Mid and East Antrim Council. Over those three days, the 56 competitors in two fleets of 4.2 and 5.3 had moderate winds but an awkward chop on the Friday, persistent rain and a gusty 18-knot breeze yesterday and hardly any wind for a time on the final day. The principal Race Officer was Sheela Lewis from County Antrim, BC.

But patience paid off in the end and the breeze filled in enough from the north to run two races yesterday (22nd) to complete a nine-race event.

In the 10 boats 4.2 fleet it was Tom Driscoll of Royal North at Cultra and Ballyholme, on the south side of Belfast Lough and Callum Pollard of County Antrim YC, a few miles east of Carrickfergus, who topped the table in that order, with scores never below a 5th, which were the discards in both cases. Finishing with a flourish and a first place was local girl Chloe Craig assuring her of third overall.

Toppers prepare to launch at Carrickfergus's new slipwayToppers prepare to launch at Carrickfergus's new slipway

There were 56 competitors in two Topper fleets of 4.2 and 5.3There were 56 competitors in two Topper fleets of 4.2 and 5.3

Top of the 46 strong 5.3 fleet was Daniel Palmer of Ballyholme, and he finished 5 points ahead of runner up Bobby Driscoll of Royal North and Ballyholme. Up until the final race yesterday, Palmer never dropped below third, but a big fall to 16th in that race meant he needs to discard a 16. The long journey north for the Royal Cork pair, Liam Duggan and Rian Collins paid off as they took third and fourth. And it also did for Julie O'Neill from Royal Cork, who won the overall female prize having finished sixth in the 5.3 fleet.

Tom Driscoll, Irish Topper Championships 4.2 winnerTom Driscoll, Irish Topper Championships 4.2 winner

Joining the local Northern Ireland Toppers were visitors from as far away as Waterford Harbour, Malahide, Howth, Cork and Wexford. Also on the water were safety boats supplied by saferwaters.org. This is a not-for-profit service in Northern Ireland, established in 2020 to provide a Safety Boat service for water-based community events such as sailing, swimming, paddle boarding and windsurfing, which may not have safety cover of their own or may need additional resources.

Assistant Race Officer Gavin Pollard was very pleased with how the event turned out; "Despite the challenging range of wind conditions over the three days, the championship ran very well with all races upheld with minimal recall!"

Published in Topper
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The weekend of the 14th of August saw four fleets of RS classes, RS Feva, RS 200, RS Aero and the RS400, battle it out at Carrickfergus Sailing Club.

This is the first RS event Carrickfergus have run since the completion of their new slipway.

Robert Espey and Richard Mc Cullough were the overall winners of the RS400 Northern Championships, with a total of 24 boats competing in the class from all over Ireland.

Day 1, the weather was unpredictable with light winds and big wind shifts, however, Race Officer Robin Gray still managed to get 3 races away as he made best with the conditions. There were 3 different race winners on day 1 with race leads changing all the time, keeping things interesting.

The first race was won by Conor Galligan and Evan Smith of Greystones Sailing club, continuing on from their win at the last race at the Inlands.

RS 400 racing

The second race was won by Christopher Eames and Rachel Tilley of QMSC who had a solid event finishing second overall – they pushed Espey and McCullough all the way and finished just 2 points off the lead.

The third race of the day was won by Andrew Baker and Luke McIlwaine SLYC, with Baker coming in on good form after his recent win at the RS Aero Easterns.

RS 400 racing

Espey and McCullough managed to top the leader board at the end of day 1 with 3 second places.

Hospitality was provided by the club on Saturday evening and left everyone ready and eager for Sunday's racing. 

Paul McLaughlin and Owen McKinley of CSBC took the lead in the first race on Sunday in heavier conditions.

Espey and McCullough took a 4th in this race but came back fighting and won the final 2 races – crowning them overall Champions of the event. Espey now has an impressive total of 4 wins at the Northern Championships.

The Irish Nationals is the next event, taking place at Rush Sailing Club in September. Going by the form of the fleet at the Northerns this is set to be a great battle.

Published in RS Sailing
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Sue Monson of Bangor Marina has won the RS Aero Northerns at Carrickfergus Sailing Club.

The event was run as part of the RS Northern Championships which also featured the RS Feva, RS 200 and RS 400 fleets. On day one in very light airs, race officer and Aero stalwart Robin Gray managed to get three races away. Monson won all three races chased hard by Dun Laoghaire and Greystones sailor Sarah Dwyer who posted two seconds and a third. In the light shifty breeze, complicated by a foul tide downwind, the female sailors made the best of the conditions, with race 2 showing a female 1,2,3, demonstrating the great racing this class offers to both male and female sailors competing in the same fleet.

The event was fully one design with all sailors choosing the 7 rig as opposed to the smaller 5 or the bigger 9.

There was great rapport in the fleet with the Dublin Bay and Belfast Lough sailors sharing techniques, tips and drinks on the Saturday night. This was greatly welcomed, especially for some of the newer Aero sailors from Ballyholme Yacht Club, some of who were attending their first-ever open event.

Day two brought groans from the fleet as a flat calm greeted the sailors. Finally, race 4 got underway only to be abandoned as a 90 shift came in. Time was ticking to get races away before the 3 pm last race deadline. Eventually, a steady but shifty Northerly established itself and race four and five were completed in a wind that built from 8 to 18 knots. This allowed Brendan Foley who was in 3rd place overnight to jump up to 2nd overall, with two race wins in the stronger conditions. Sue Monson got a 2nd and 3rd in races four and five. Time won in the end before the 6th race could be held and so it finished with Sue Monson, Brendan Foley and Sarah Dwyer in 1st 2nd and 3rd place.

Results are here

The next event for the Aeros is the National Championships on the 18th and 19th of September at the Irish National Sailing School in Dun Laoghaire.

Published in RS Aero
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A multi-agency response was launched last night (Monday 12 July) to battle a fire on board a Stena Line ferry in Belfast Lough.

As BBC News reports, the fire broke out in the engine room of the Superfast VIII around 9pm as the ferry was sailing to Northern Ireland from Cairnryan in Scotland.

All passengers were safely disembarked amid a “relatively calm” atmosphere as RNLI lifeboat crews from Bangor, Donaghadee and Larne dealt with what’s being described as “a small fire”.

Travel Weekly has an update on the story HERE.

Published in Ferry
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Several rescue teams went to the aid of a man trapped in mud near Holywood on the south coast of Belfast Lough this morning. (13th July).

The tide was flooding, and Mud Rescue Technicians worked rapidly to free the man, who was by then up to his waist in water. Once free from the mud, he was evacuated from the water by stretcher, in a hypothermic state.

Mud Technicians from Bangor and Portaferry Coastguard Rescue Teams attended as well as Lagan Search and Rescue from Belfast Harbour Marina, and the Police and Ambulance Services. The man, who was in his late 70s, was treated until the arrival of the Ambulance and then taken to hospital.

Published in Belfast Lough
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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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