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Displaying items by tag: Fireballs

One of Ireland's longest running dinghy events, the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club 'Frostbite Series', celebrates it's 40th anniversary on November 7th.The event has given generations of Dublin sailors a winter opportunity for racing on Sunday afternoons often inside the safety of the harbour walls, fleet sizes often outstripping its summer counterparts. Racing is mainly held under PY handicap but there are separate starts for large classes such as the  popular Fireballs. All dinghy classes will be catered for and it will run, as usual, from November until March. Notice of Race and Entry Forms are available HERE or download below.
Published in Boating Fixtures

Forty-nine Fireballs gathered in Pavlov in the SE corner of the Czech Republic in the last week of September to contest the Fireball Europeans. Nine countries were represented – eight European and one African and some of the newest Fireballs in the World, including the latest, were present.

GBR (4), SUI (3), SLO (3), BEL (2), FRA (2), GER (1), IRL (1), NAM (1) were balanced by thirty-two boats sailing from the host country.

The range of boat ages went from SLO 13861 to the highest number this author has seen, 15047, the sole African entry from Namibia, owned by Nikolai Allers.

Various tales of long distance drives were exchanged as the fleet assembled on the shores of Nové Mlýny in SE Czech Republic, ranging from the 30hour solo drive by Tim Rush of North Sails to the more leisurely trek of the Irish that started in Dublin on the Thursday morning preceding the regatta and concluded on the early Saturday afternoon. The Namibian boat was towed from the UK while its owner flew in to Switzerland and travelled to the regatta from there. During the regatta it turned out that one of the Swiss entries also brought his Finn in case he didn’t get enough sailing in his Fireball.

The British contingent may have been small but it was a quality field, Tom Jeffocate and Andy Thompson (15045), Tom Gillard and Sam Brearey (15041), Nikki Birrell and Bevis Field (14980) and the aforementioned Tim Rush (14807) with Martyn Lewis on the trapeze. The Irish were represented by perennial traveler Louis Smyth (15007) with Cormac Bradley on trapeze, France had another regatta regular Jean-Francois Novel sailing with Martin Peculier (15015). Rear Commodore Europe, Maja Suter, with new crew Thomas Boehm headed up the Swiss contingent. The Germans were represented by Jörg Nolle & Roger Leemann, sailing 14508.

The local fleet included the well-known names of Eva Skořepová, Martin Kubový, and Petr Kořan. However, there is evidence of lost of investment in the local fleet as they boasted a number of boats over the 15000 mark and a lot in the high 14,000s.

Measuring took place in a very efficient manner on the Saturday and Sunday before a practice race was provided for those who wanted it on the Sunday afternoon. Not everyone availed of the offer as it was quite breezy, cold and there was a light drizzle falling. However, there were enough boats out to suggest that a major event was imminent.

A trilingual opening ceremony took place in the marquee erected for the event in the grounds of Yacht Club Dyje. Petr Kořan was later to tell us that the club had invested in further land purchase in order to gear themselves up for the hosting of the event. Regatta Chairman Tomáš Musil and Race Officer Marek Pavlovský welcomed the visitors and the home representatives to the club and after the speeches we ate from a spit roast provided by regatta sponsors Hotel Pavlov.

Daily regatta briefings were convened two hours before the start of racing and in the first Race Officer Marek Pavlovský confirmed the plan to run two races per day. He then explained a slightly different mark layout with a different coloured mark used (with a spreader mark) for the windward mark of the sausage leg of the conventional Olympic course. This allowed him extra flexibility to move the marks in accordance with wind shifts, an asset he would use to significant effect later in the week. Thus, the position of each of the second and third weather marks (of an Olympic course) could be moved significantly in the race without being dependent on the rounding having been completed from the preceding lap.

The start and finish lines were separate from each other with the limit mark of the start line sitting to port of the committee boat and the limit mark of the finish sitting to starboard of the committee boat. Apart from these clever modifications the racing was conventional.

On the water, the British crews dominated the race wins with Gillard/Brearey claiming five and Jeffcoate/Thompson three. The eighth race was won on the water by Rush/Lewis but they crossed the finish line to deafening silence and a ruling of OCS from the Race Officer. Rush was not impressed as the call of OCS had been made from the pin end and as he argued that as he couldn’t see the committee boat, there was no way the race official could have seen it either…………aside from the fact that he only learned of his OCS, on a black flag start, at the finish.

Gillard/Brearey took the day 1 honours with two race wins followed by Czech combinations in Verner/Winkler and Kubový/Roček. Conditions were great for Fireballs with good trapezing conditions though the temperature was cool.

Day Two and the wind cranked up. A solitary race was sailed in attritional conditions and only 18 boats in the 49 boat fleet finished. Jeffcoate/Thompson stamped their authority on the race, with Verner/Winkler 2nd and the much lighter Gillard/Brearey an impressive third. A shore briefing debated the possibility of a second race with the RO offering the prospect that a show of hands might determine if a second race should be sailed. Fortunately that scenario was averted when the conditions deteriorated and thus Wednesday was set down for a three race schedule.

Jeffcoate/Thompson took the day’s honours with a 1,2,1, but Gillard/Brearey kept their overall lead with a 2,1,3. The Germans had a great day scoring a 3 and a 4 in their three race schedule, Peculier/Novel scored two ninth places and Rush/Martyn had a 7,3,7 to creep that bit further up the table.

Thus, at the halfway point Gillard/Brearey led with 8pts to Jeffcoate/Thompson’s 14pts with Verner/Winkler in third overall with 19pts!

Wednesday evening saw the mid-week party with a superb spread of food and entertainment by a six-piece rock & roll band, “The Fireballs”. They kept the marquee rocking until quite late in the night when a drinking game took over for those of hardier stamina.

Thursday saw a complete change of weather with sunshine, lighter winds and thus the prospect of a change in the running order. Some of the hardier souls of the night before had a late arrival to the starting area for the first race. A five boat group managed a slight breakaway on the first lap and on the second windward leg the Irish tried to break the stranglehold of the Brits on the race wins. They led into the windward mark and down to the leeward mark but lost four quick places in the first hundred odd metres on the final beat. Gillard/Brearey came from the four boat bunch to lead the balance of the race and consolidate their position at the top of the fleet. Jeffcoate/Thompson fell away to a 13th, while Rush/Martyn scored a second.

Race 8 saw Rush/Martyn pick up the aforementioned OCS, Gillard/Brearey another first, Martina Koutná & Zdeněk Adam, the second, Petr Kořan/Milan Kvasnik the third and Jeffcoate/Thompson a seventh. However, this was a difficult race sailed in the most fickle winds of the entire week. It boded ill for the forecast for Friday with the locals suggesting that more of the same could be expected on the final day of racing.

Friday’s briefing was originally scheduled for 08:30, but in view of a pessimistic forecast this was postponed to its usual time of 10:00. The symptoms were there for all to see on the water – mirror-like conditions and not a breath among the trees. With a 15:00 guillotine for racing on the last day, the RO advised that the latest time we could go afloat to affect a start was 13:50. We waited………and we waited!!!!!!!!

At 13:50 the signal was given to abandon racing for the day and therefore the regatta – the Fireball Class had new European Champions – Tom Gillard and Sam Brearey GBR 15041. They were followed home by Tom Jeffcoate and Andy Thompson GBR 15045 and Jaroslav Verner and Pavel Winkler CZE 14809.

An open air prize-giving took place at the club at 16:00 followed by dinner at the Pavlov Hotel at 19:00 and an after dinner party back with live band at the marquee. Yet again the food was superb, a turkey carvery with lots of trimmings.

The Czechs were superb hosts and very conscious of the distances that people had travelled to contest the regatta. Tomáš Musil ran a very efficient organization and handled the challenges of the Tuesday with calm and aplomb. Race Officer Marek Pavlovský and his team on the water made every effort to keep the course relevant to the changing wind conditions and used a combination of general recalls, I-flags, postponements, one abandonment and black flags to marshall the fleet on the start line. His decisions won’t have met with universal approval but no Race Officer ever achieves this high.

The food provided as part of the regatta proceedings was superb and the beer was plentiful and cheap. The two live bands were entertaining but the mid-week Fireballs had the advantage of playing music that the visitors could recognize. Most people stayed in tents (and vans) or within easy walking distance of the club. Pavlov itself is quite quaint, but it is much more picturesque from the water, surrounded as it is with vineyards.

Pos

Crew

Sail No.

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

R8

Pts

1

Tom Gillard

Sam Brearey

GBR 15041

1

1

3

2

1

3

1

1

10

2

Tom Jeffcoate

Andy Thompson

GBR 15045

4

5

1

1

2

1

13

7

21

3

Jaroslav Verner

Pavel Winkler

CZE 14809

2

3

2

4

6

2

6

9

25

4

Martin Kubový

Roman Roček

CZE 15019

3

4

5

10

4

6

4

5

31

5

Tim Rush

Martyn Lewis

GBR 14807

17

2

8

7

3

7

2

BFD

46

 

Published in Fireball
17th August 2009

Fireball Euros underway

The Fireball Europeans got under way today with two races in La Rochelle, and seven Irish boats are sailing among the 88-boat fleet. Results have only been posted for one race so far, and with ten teams caught out on the black flag in race two, overalls have yet to be finalised. The Europeans runs ahead of the World Championships at the same venue.

Results as they stand are available here, with the official event website here.

Published in Fireball
Tagged under

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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