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#Rowing: The Irish eight which won at the World Masters Regatta at Lake Bagsvaerd, Denmark, have been chosen as the Afloat Rowers of the Month for September. There were a number of good results by Irish crews at the event, which is one of the biggest international events of the year. Among the competitors this year was Denmark legend Eskild Ebbesen. The Irish E eight (55 years or older), was drawn from five clubs (Commercial, Belfast Boat Club, Neptune, Old Collegians and Waterford Boat Club) and outpaced German and British rivals in a field of seven crews. They had also won last year at this level. The crew was: John Hudson, Denis Crowley, Gerry Murphy, Mick Heavey, Colin Dickson, Colin Hunter, Fran O’Toole, Donal Mc Guinness and cox Al Penkert.  

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 and the overall national award will be presented to the person or crew who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to rowing during 2016. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2016 champions list grow.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Dave Neale and Sean Jacob in the Double Sculls and Monika Dukarska in the Princess Royal for single scullers came through the qualifiers at Henley Royal Regatta today. Both are open events. Lady Elizabeth also made it through in the Wyfold for club fours. Trinity’s second crew, who rowed into a powerful headwind, fell just outside the qualifiers in the Prince Albert for student coxed fours.

Henley Royal Regatta – Qualifying Races (Irish interest)

Qualifiers: Princess Royal (Single Sculls; Women; Open): M Dukarska.

The Double Sculls Cup (Men; Open): D Neale and S Jacob.

Wyfold (Fours; Club): Lady Elizabeth BC

Non Qualifier: Prince Albert (Fours, coxed; Student): Trinity College, Dublin B

Published in Rowing
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#ROWING: Two schools from Enniskillen took some of the major honours on offer at the Irish Schools Regatta at O’Brien’s Bridge. Enniskillen Collegiate won the women’s under-23 eights, fours and pairs, and Portora Royal School won the under-23 eights and pairs. Presentation Brothers College, Cork, took the men’s coxed fours. Waterpark College’s Andrew Goff was the top single sculler, and Sarah Murphy of Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh the top women’s sculler.

Irish Schools Regatta 2015, O’Brien’s Bridge, Selected Results

Men

Eight – Under-23: 1 Portora, 2 St Joseph’s, 3 Presentation, Cork. Junior 16: 1 St Joseph’s, 2 Col Iognáid, 3 Presentation, Cork. Jun 15: 1 St Joseph’s, 2 Pres, Cork, 3 Portora.

Four – Under-23, coxed: 1 Pres, Cork, 2 St Joseph’s, 3 CBS, Cork. Jun 16: 1 Portora, 2 Col Iognáid, 3 St Joseph’s B. Junior 15, coxed: 1 St Joseph’s A, 2 Portora, 3 Presentation Cork.

Pair – Under-23: 1 Portora A, 2 St Joseph’s B, 3 Ardscoil A.

Sculling

Quadruple – Under-23: 1 Schull CS, 2 Methody, 3 CBC, Cork. Junior 16, coxed: 1 Ardscoil A, 2 Methody, 3 Killorglin. Jun 15, coxed: 1 CBC Cork A, 2 CAI, 3 Methody.

Double – Under-23: 1 Schull CS A, 2 Marist, 3 Summerhill. Junior 16: 1 Rochestown, 2 Methody, 3 Pres, Carlow. Jun 15: 1 St Mary’s, Carlow, 2 CBC, Cork, 3 Castleknock.

Single – Under-23 (Final One, Timed): 1 Waterpark (A Goff), 2 St Munchin’s (Carmody), 3 Rochestown (Larkin). (Final Two, Timed): Portora (Murray). Jun 16: 1 Castleknock (Meehan), 2 Rochestown (Larkin), 3 Ardscoil Dub (Lynch). Jun 15 – Final One: 1 St Mary’s, Carlow (J Keating), 2 Carrigaline CC (S O’Neill), 3 CBC (T Murphy). Final Two: Ardscoil (O’Byrne).

Women

Eight – Under-23: 1 Enniskillen, 2 Laurel Hill, 3 Mount Lourdes. Jun 16: 1 Col Iognáid, 2 Methody, 3 Laurel Hill. Jun 15: 1 Col Iognáid, 2 Enniskillen

Four – Under-23: 1 Enniskillen, 2 Mount Lourdes. Jun 16, coxed: 1 Col Iognáid B, 2 Enniskillen, 3 Col Iognáid A. Jun 15, coxed: 1 Col Iognaid, 2 Mount Lourdes.

Pair – Under-23: 1 Enniskillen, 2 Laurel Hill B, 3 Laurel Hill A.

Sculling

Quadruple – Under-23: 1 St Leo’s, 2 Loreto, Fermoy A, 3 Loreto, Fermoy B. Junior 16, coxed: 1 Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach, 2 Regina Mundi, 3 St Leo’s. Jun 15: 1 Loreto, Fermoy A, 2 Christ the King, Cork, 3 St Brigid’s A.

Double – Under 23 (Final One, Timed): 1 St Angela’s, Cork, 2 Methody, 3 Ursuline, Sligo. Final Two, timed: Sacred Heart. Final Three, timed: St Leo’s B. Jun 16: St Dominic’s, 2 Sacred Heart, 3 Christ the King A. Jun 15: 1 Regina Mundi, 2 Loreto, Fermoy, 3 St Louis.

Single – Under-23: 1 Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh (S Murphy), 2 Christ the King (Cummins), 3 Methody (Deyermond). Junior 16: Scoil Mhuire (Synnott), 2 Loreto Fermoy (O’Sullivan). Jun 15 (Final One): Loreto, Fermoy (Murphy). Final Two: Loreto (McGirr).

 

Published in Rowing

#IndoorRowing: The Irish Indoor Rowing Championships 2013 will be held in the UL Arena, Limerick on 23rd November 2013. Registration is now open for all events.

Individual races & team relays from ages 13 to 70+ years will be the order of the day. College students, seniors, juniors, internationals, para rowers and anyone with a will to win will be competing side-by-side in their own categories with competitors from all over hoping to pull a personal best or even get noticed for international duties.

The organizers hope to incorporate a greater online presence this time out, with possible streaming and up-to-date result broadcasts via twitter and text.

For more information, and to view the list of events go to  www.IIRC.ie.

Published in Rowing
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#RowingHenley: UCD had a convincing win over University of Bristol in the Temple Cup for student eights at Henley Royal Regatta. UCD, with a higher rating, got an early lead. By the Barrier they had a clear water advantage and they were able to ease down the rating and come home with no extra energy expended. They won by four lengths.

Henley Royal Regatta, Day One (Irish interest)

Temple Cup (Eights, Student): UCD bt University of Bristol 4l, 6:57

Prince Albert (Coxed Fours, Student): Trinity College, Dublin bt University of Virginia A ¾ l 7:24.

Published in Rowing
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# ROWING HENLEY DRAW: Irish club crews have been given some tough draws for Henley Royal Regatta, which begins on Wednesday. Three of the five have drawn selected (seeded) crews: UCD’s strong Visitors’ Cup four will face Harvard A; Belfast Boat Club take on Union Boat Club of the United States in the Britannia and Trinity face the might of University of Virginia in the Prince Albert for student fours. The two exceptions are in the Prince of Wales, where Commercial take on PB and DRC and Anglia Ruskin and the Temple Cup where UCD are drawn against University of Bristol.

Henley Draw (Irish interest)

Temple Cup (Eights, Student): UCD v University of Bristol

Visitors Cup (Fours, Intermediate): UCD v Harvard A (selected crew)

Prince of Wales Cup (Quadruple Sculls, Intermediate): Commercial v PB and DRC and Anglia Ruskin

Britannia (Coxed Fours, Club): Belfast BC v Union BC (US) (selected)

Prince Albert (Fours, Student): Trinity v University of Virginia (selected)

Double Sculls (Open): R Chambers, P Chambers (selected) v winners of Knight and Bell and Mole and Fisher in quarter-final

Diamond Sculls (Single Sculls, Open): A Campbell (selected) v winner of GP Bozhilov and DS Read in quarter-final

Published in Rowing
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#UNIVERSITY ROWING: UCD took the Wylie Cup for men and the Bank of Ireland Cup for women at the rescheduled Irish University Championships at Blessington Lakes tonight. Trinity won the novice eight categories for both women and men, but UCD won both intermediate and senior eights races. In senior men’s eights, NUIG took second, while UCD vanquished their only rivals, Trinity, in the women’s senior eights.

The weather had forced the postponement of the Championships originally and winds were again a factor tonight, with all but these six races stripped from the programme.    

Published in Rowing

#Surfing - Fancy learning to surf as Gaeilge? One surf school in the sunny southeast is giving international visitors the opportunity to do just that.

The Freedom Surf School in Tramore, Co Waterford offers 'Ireland's only accredited surfing certificate course through the Irish language'.

And in time for The Gathering initiative, this summer the school is running a series of surf camps for developing oral skills through actively learning the language.

These five-day camps involve classroom tuition in the mornings, while the afternoons will be spent surfing trí Ghaeilge - all led by qualified Irish teachers and surf instructors.

For more details visit the Freedom Surf School website HERE.

Published in Surfing

#WATER SAFETY - A 27-year-old Irish tourist had died after drowning in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The tourist and a colleague, who have not yet been named, had reportedly entered the Yarra River in central Melbourne around 9pm intending to swim across. Some minutes later screams were heard from the water.

"At first I thought they were joking, I think most people did," said David Brearley, a barman at the nearby Riverland bar who had warned the pair not to attempt the crossing - but responded to the calls for help and swam out into the river.

Brearley was able to take one man to the shore where he was treated by paramedics. But the other man was lost despite the assistance of other bystanders.

His body was discovered some three hours later floating near a bridge close to the incident.

Paramedic Susie Dean praised Brearley's actions as "absolutely heroic", noting that there is "a very strong current in the Yarra".

The Sydney Morning Herald has more on the story HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#NEWS UPDATE - An Irish couple were among those rescued from the cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy on Friday night, the Irish Examiner reports.

Three people are believed to have died, while 14 others were injured, after the Costa Concordia struck a sandbank and capsized off the Tuscan coastline in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

The vessel was carrying more than 4,000 passengers at the time, many of whom jumped into the water as panic set in after the ship hit a rock that tore a 150ft gash in the hull.

As of Saturday three bodies had been recovered from the sea, with at least three more feared drowned.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that an Irish couple on board are safe and well, and are receiving consular assistance. Many survivors are taking refuge on the small island of Giglio close to the incident.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
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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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