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Displaying items by tag: Cork Harbour

Robert O'Leary will be going for a hat-trick of 2020 1720 sportsboats victories later this month but not as originally scheduled, as the 1720 National Championships moves venue from Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork to Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour

O'Leary won the 2020 Baltimore Cup a month ago and in the last weekend of August he won the Southern Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club, so he and his Dutch Gold crew will quite rightly see the defence of the 1720 title as a crowning glory of the 2020 season.

However, he won't have it all his own way with a potent Ross McDonald crew of Howth biting at his heels. McDonald lost on countback at the Cup and was tied on points overnight after day one of the Southerns. 

In a notice to competitors issued this month, Baltimore's Committee told competitors that 'after reviewing the current government guidelines and seeking guidance from the local businesses in Baltimore, we as a committee feel that we cannot provide the same level of racing and entertainment as experienced in the Baltimore Cup this year'.

1720s return to Cork Harbour on September 25th 1720s return to Cork Harbour on September 25th Photo: Bob Bateman

The West Cork club hopes to welcome the fleet back to Baltimore in 2021.

After discussions with Monkstown Bay Sailing Club, the 1720s have agreed to run the event in Cork Harbour on the same dates - 25th, 26th, 27th September 2020.

It will be a combined effort between the two clubs as both are of the opinion that the event should not be cancelled this year provided it can run it in line with the Covid-19 government guidelines.

It is the intention to launch, berth and recover boats in the Crosshaven River, with the primary race area being South East of the Harbour.

Published in 1720
Tagged under

A motion has been put before Cork City Council seeking a ban on 'dangerous' inflatable craft.

It has been lodged by Cllr. Ted Tynan on behalf of the Workers Party: "In light of the recent rescue by fisherman Gus O'Donovan and crew member Mathew Byrne of two men on an inflatable craft in Crosshaven, I want to bring to the attention of the Council the dangers of such craft on our shores. This is just one of several water-related recent incidents that could have resulted in tragedy. I welcome the call by Chief executive of Water Safety Ireland, John Leech, for a ban on inflatable craft, in order to prevent a tragic outcome in our waters.

"Referring to 'supermarket inflatables', Hugh Mockler, Deputy, Launch Authority at Crosshaven RNLI, where Gus has been a crew member, described these craft as “downright dangerous”.

"I, therefore, call on Cork City Council to introduce the necessary by-laws to ban the use of inflatable craft on our shores and beaches".

Published in Cork Harbour

Alex Barry, Sandy Rimmington and Richard Leonard sailing Aquadisiacs were the overall winners of an 11-boat National 18 Southern Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club last weekend.

The Royal Cork/Monkstown Bay trio won by a margin of three points over Barry's older brother Ewen steering FOMO crewed by Stanley Brown and Dion Barrett on 14 points. Two points back was third overall, Fifty Shades sailed by Laser ace Nick Walsh, Rob Brownlow and Eddie Rice. 

The  Aquadisiacs crew sailed a consistent seven-race series on Cork Harbour dipping only once out of the top three in a scoreline that included two race wins.

National 18 Southern Championships 2020 Results

National 18 Southern Championships 2020 ResultsNational 18 Southern Championships 2020 Results

See National 18 Southerns photo slideshow by Bob Bateman below

Published in National 18

Robert O'Leary's Dutch Gold Baltimore Sailing Club crew add the AIB Southern Championship title to their 1720 sportsboat trophy haul after an emphatic six-point win at Cork Harbour today. 

O'Leary counted a tally of eight results inside the top four to win the Royal Cork Yacht Club hosted event. The Cork ace had one poor result scored in race eight today where he finished 12th, a result that he later discarded.

The winds for the 14-boat championships came in like a lion for the opening races on Friday with some big breeze but then went out like a lamb as forecast today with the final two races sailed in light airs. O'Leary however, managed to prove himself across the wind range by making a strong recovery in today's final race nine to win it, his fourth race win of the weekend.

Second overall was Royal Cork's T-Bone (Durcan/O'Shea). Third was the Royal Cork and Howth Yacht Club entry Ropedock/Atara (Ross McDonald/English) who held second place throughout the championships until a disqualification from the final race.

1720 Southern Championships Results Overall1720 Southern Championships Results Overall

1720 Southern Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club Day Three Slideshow

Published in 1720

Sailing in Cork took a hammering in the past week, from Storm Ellen and COVID 19, the combined effects of which destroyed a lot of work by four of the major clubs on the South Coast.

Disheartening for the sport and for club members who voluntarily put many hours of work into keeping within Government guidelines while preserving major events in the sailing calendar, but all of which effort came to naught.

Sailing Event Cancellations

Two Cork Harbour clubs, the Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven and Monkstown Bay Sailing Club, with the support of Cork Port at its new leisure boat launching facility at Ringaskiddy, made late changes to running the Laser Nationals, which were brought to an end when the Government imposed further restrictions. Those also stopped the RCYC Tricentenary Parade salute to the club's history and its planned 'At Home' this coming weekend. The RCYC had already suffered several wipe-outs of its 300th celebration plans that will now take place in 2021.

That was followed by the cancellation of Dragon Week at Kinsale which had been arranged to replace the previously cancelled international Gold Cup.

The village of Crosshaven in Cork Harbour where so many plans to celebrate Royal Cork's 300th Birthday have been postponed til 2021. Photo: Bob BatemanThe village of Crosshaven in Cork Harbour where so many plans to celebrate Royal Cork's 300th birthday have been postponed unttil 2021. Photo: Bob Bateman

Diligent Sailing Clubs

The three clubs stayed diligently within new Government restrictions though my question to Government about the contradiction in allowing more people to congregate internally than at outdoor events, a contradiction which challenges the benefits of sport and outdoor activity, goes unanswered so far. The anger expressed privately when the Golfgate scandal was revealed, was considerable and justified, in my view.

Added to this was the situation for Cove Sailing Club, hit hard by Storm Ellen causing considerable damage to its recently-opened marina.

West Cork Whale 'Boomerang'

A bad week for sailing on the South coast, so I was looking for something to lift spirits, which came when the best-known whale in Irish waters was discovered back in West Cork. This is Boomerang, pictured here in a stunning photograph by Ronan McLaughlin, provided by courtesy of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.

Boomerang is back in Irish watersBoomerang is back in Irish waters Photo: Ronan McLaughlin, courtesy IWDG

Boomerang likes the waters of Cork and Waterford, but seemingly not Kerry! Identified by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, he is an adult male humpback whale, first seen off the West Cork coast nineteen years ago this month - in August of 2001.

"He is by far the best-known whale in Irish waters and his annual return most years to our local waters, is the strongest evidence we have of the importance of our inshore waters for these gentle giants," Padraig Whooley, Sightings Officer of IWDG reported on my radio programme, THIS ISLAND NATION. "Interestingly," Padraig said, "Boomerang, despite over 53 sightings in almost 20 years has never once been recorded in Kerry, only Cork and Waterford."

Maybe, I wonder, he doesn't want to challenge Fungi in Dingle?

Padraig Whooley of IWDG has more about Boomerang on the Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney

The volunteers of Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat were tasked this evening to a report of a person in the water in the Ringabella/Fountainstown area.

The crew received the pager alert at 7.32 pm and were en route when information was received that two persons were in the water and clinging to a marker buoy near the back strand at Fountainstown.

On arrival, one adult had been taken from the water by a RIB which responded to the Coast Guard PAN PAN radio call and was handing the casualty into the care of Crosshaven Coast Guard at Fountainstown beach. A local kayaker was first on scene and rescued the child before handing the casualty over to Crosshaven Coast Guard before returning to the adult male. The RIB with the five teenagers arrived on scene and removed the adult from the water to the RIB and took the casualty ashore to be cared for by the Coast Guard. Rescue 117 helicopter transported the two casualties to Cork University Hospital for a check-up.

The crew on tonight's service were Helm Ian Venner with Aoife Dinan, Susanne Deane and Jon Bermingham. Launch crew was Gary Heslin and Richie Leonard.

The RIB which responded was crewed by five 16-year-olds who were fishing in White Bay when they heard the PAN PAN call and responded immediately to the incident.

Coincidentally, three of the RIB crew have RNLI connections. Jamie Venner is the son of Ian Venner who was also the Helm on tonight's service, Cillian Foster is a brother to Caomhe Foster who is also Crosshaven RNLI crew and Richard McSweeney is the son of former Baltimore RNLI crew member Ciaran McSweeney. The other crew on board were Kate Horgan and Harry Pritchard.

This article was updated on Monday, August 24th 2020

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Storm Ellen has damaged boats and the facility at the new Cobh Marina that opened earlier this summer in Cork Harbour

Storm force easterlies are rare in Cork Harbour, and there’s only a very narrow window through which the waterfront at Cobh is exposed to the long fetch from Rostellan, which in turn has little in the way of high ground between it and the open sea northeast of Ballycotton. Thus as Storm Ellen thundered in from the Atlantic through last night, the easterly winds along the Cobh waterfront were hitting the same 75 knots-plus which were being recorded at Roche’s Point, and at spring tides high water the new Cobh SC Marina at Whitepoint was enduring maximum exposure with freakishly high tides.

Cork's 96FM Radio station has published photos via Twitter of the new facility this morning with damage to boats visible.

Meanwhile, conditions were such that a Naval Service vessel heading for her berth at Haubowline was instructed to anchor off, but for the marina, there was no escape, and damage was sustained. A Hallberg Rassy cruiser fetched up against the concrete shore structure and became so damaged she sank, but although an Oyster 52 broke free and went up the beach, in the high water since she has been refloated and safely taken to the Naval Squadron marina in Haulbowline. With new surges of the storm in the offing, the potential for further damage is still a very live issue.

As Afloat reported previously, Cove Saling Club’s brand new marina pontoons were put to immediate use with yachts and motorboats occupying the new berths since the opening up of sailing activity on 8th June. 

A boat battered by Storm Ellen in Cork Harbour Photo: via TwitterA yacht battered by Storm Ellen in Cork Harbour Photo: via Whatsapp

The new facility also staged its first event in July when the Squib keelboat class Southern Championships sailed from the pontoons.

A spokesman for Cove Sailing Club declined to comment.

Update: Statement by Cove Sailing Club –

Issued at 09:30 on 20th August 2020

Due to the impact of Storm Ellen between 21:00 and 00:00 yesterday, a number of boats at the Marina Facility at Whitepoint Cobh suffered damage. The Coastguard conducted an initial assessment at 07:45 and upon their advice, the facility has been closed. Forecast conditions today are not favourable to allow a fuller inspection. The office at Cove Sailing Club will be open today to facilitate further information updates.

As a club of volunteers, we are saddened that individual boat owners have suffered damage and loss to their boats but we are grateful that there has been no injury to anyone as a result of the impact of storm Ellen.

We will issue further updates when we are in a position to carry out a more comprehensive inspection.

Cove Sailing Club. [email protected] 087-0574481

Published in Cork Harbour
Tagged under

Storm Ellen and COVID-19 have combined to bring about the cancellation of this week's Irish Laser National Championships in Cork Harbour, one of the biggest dinghy sailing events of the year. 

Both the AIB Irish Laser National Championships, hosted by the Royal Cork YC, and the Irish Laser 4.7 National Championships hosted by Monkstown Bay SC, have been cancelled according to a statement released from organisers tonight.

As Afloat reported earlier, included in the line up of over 100 competitors due into Cork Harbour on Thursday was Tokyo 2021 representative Annalise Murphy who was set to resume domestic competition in the single-handed class in one of the most hotly contested dinghy battles of the season.

The statement says "Both organising Clubs, along with the Irish Laser Association and Irish Sailing have given careful consideration to both public health guidelines and also the impending Storm Ellen due to hit Ireland on Thursday and Friday"

The statement adds: "Notwithstanding the ability for the event to run behind closed doors under the revised guidelines, the combination of that, the weather alert impacting sailing on Thursday and Friday and the number of people travelling, it was decided to cancel the event in the best interest of competitors, officials and everyone involved".

Published in Laser

The Coolmore Race is an old Cork Harbour yacht race that has been brought back to life by Royal Cork Yacht Club after many years.

After a day of torrential rain, the downpour stopped and sadly the wind died with it. After the dinghies were launched they were towed up the Owenabue River to the start at Coolmore Estate.

The 50 competing boats started at the top of the tide and had the benefit of the ebb for a race back to the RCYC clubhouse. However, the course was shortened and the first boat to finish was James Dwyer (Matthews) in a Laser 4.7 but close on his heels came JP Curtin in an Optimist and won the Trophy. 

Coolmore Photo slideshow by Bob Bateman below 

Published in Royal Cork YC

After three races of the Fitzgerald's Menswear sponsored August League at Royal Cork Yacht Club on Sunday, Ronan and John Downing's Half Tonner Miss Whiplash has an overall lead in the IRC spinnaker division for cruiser-racers.

Second overall is the Trapper, Cracker sailed by Denis Byrne. Third overall, and in her first appearance this season was Kieran Collins' Olson 30 Coracle IV who took a win in Sunday's race three.

Olson 30 Coracle IVKieran Collins' Olson 30 Coracle IV

See results here.

Sean Hanly's HB31, LuasSean Hanly's HB31, Luas

Published in Royal Cork YC
Page 12 of 90

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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