Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Kinsale Yacht Club

Micheal O Suilleabhain may well be the name that goes into the records books.

But he will be the first to point out that not only was it a team effort, in fact, it was an entire Kinsale Yacht Club effort to start putting together an exemplary challenge – initially in times of pandemic and post-pandemic - for the J/24 Europeans 2022 at Howth, when the event itself was still a distant speck on the uncertain future horizon. But a widely-supported campaign on the ICRA K25 model was launched and maintained, gradually building momentum until they reached the big one itself.

There, many proven international stars were so busy keeping tabs on their familiar rivals that the rapidly-improving young Kinsale crew went into the final race with a fighting chance, and they emerged firmly in the podium frame, clearly also the best-placed Irish boat.

Published in Sailor of the Month
Tagged under

Michael Carroll’s Chancer won Kinsale Yacht Club’s ECHO Cruisers Spinnaker Fleet Race in the 'At Home' Regatta on Sunday.

Second was Samuel Cohen’s Gunsmoke II, and third Stephen Lysaght’s Reavra Too. Albert O’Neil’s Sallybelle won Whitesails ECHO with Anthony Scannell’s Hansemer second and Patrick Beckett’s Miss Charlie third.

Mixed Dinghies winners were Sarah Thuillier and Lucy Foster. Second Phelim Hanley and Matthew Keane, third Ollie Lyons & Will Burges.

The Topper fleet was won by Matt Mapplebeck. Second Emma Fitzgerald. Third, Charlotte Collins. The Optimist Class winner was Annabelle Wilson. Second, Oscar Dillon. Third, Ollie Cronin.

The event was sponsored by Victoria's Antiques.

Published in Kinsale
Tagged under

Where other Irish harbours face the sea, Kinsale embraces it. And this generous geographical reality helps to provide a genuine sense of community interaction when any initiative at the hospitable south Cork port is put together to help get young people enthusiastically interested in boats and sailing.

But it’s a complex challenge. At a national level, this mixed though largely successful sailing year of 2022 has been remarkable for the emergence and rise of youthful Irish sailing talent, a situation which is as problematic as it is encouraging. It’s encouraging because in addition to enlivening the current scene, it bodes well for the future of our sport. But it is problematic in being a matter of continual judgment as to when an individual young sailor, or team of young sailors, should be highlighted – and to what level - in their growing achievements and potential.

It’s very easy to say that any publicity, if at all, should be kept very low-key until age 17. The simple ranking of ability, potential and maturity by something as narrowly-focused as the particular individual’s chronological age is now seen as almost embarrassingly unsophisticated, in an era when so many other measurable factors can be taken into account in a meaningful way.

 Reports and images of sailing children – however mature they may personally be – has always been problematic, yet this photo of Ireland’s Rocco Wright aged 12 has long since gone global. Photo: North Sails  Reports and images of sailing children – however mature they may personally be – has always been problematic, yet this photo of Ireland’s Rocco Wright aged 12 has long since gone global. Photo: North Sails 

Yet those who are trying to grapple with the big picture will inevitably find the number of statistics they deploy needs to get reduced to the basics, and in reporting and applauding junior achievement in Afloat.ie, we try to be restrained until the young star reaches the age of 17, and even then it is hoped to be moderate with publicity until they’re in their early 20s and evidently maturing well. 

STAR SHOWINGS NOWADAYS WILL BURST OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA, NO MATTER HOW YOUNG THE PERFORMER

But there are some young sailors who manifest their talent at international level at such a young age that the good news keeps bursting out, however much the well-intentioned authorities, managers, coaches, parents and responsible communicators try to keep it under control. In the age of social media, rising stars not even into their teens are widely acknowledged in sailing as in other sports, becoming sources of too much interest before reaching the difficult years between 13 and 17 – and beyond – when so many factors for adult success and fulfilment are being set in place.

 The International 420 is internationally significant as a youth class, yet it often presents problems for reporters as the young sailors will be at their most formative and malleable stage The International 420 is internationally significant as a youth class, yet it often presents problems for reporters as the young sailors will be at their most formative and malleable stage

We all know of cases where the bright early light of potential talent has been allowed to burn so strongly that it soon burns itself out. But equally, we can all remember nascent but initially, low-wattage talents which might – just might – have burned increasingly brightly over time to reach their full potential, had there been the right environment of the optimal amounts of publicity, practical encouragement, and tangible support.

But all this is in the assumption that a significant proportion of up-and-coming young sailors – and their parents - aspire to a career ladder which will take them onwards and upwards to the demands of top-level international competition and the concentrated effort of high-performance training, thereby satisfying national sporting authorities, for whom a steady stream of successful international headline-grabbing talent is essential for their added income from public funds.

For in the final analysis, all that decision-making politicos with budgets to spend will really understand in sporting achievement is a gold, silver or bronze medal, and preferably in the Olympics, though a razzmatazz-filled World Championship title will do in the interim. 

CLUB SAILORS THE BACKBONE OF OUR SPORT

Facing this noisy reality, we must remember that, increasingly, people are inclining to life at a more civilised level, with several sporting and recreational interests. And the backbone of Irish sailing is the club sailor who may aim at the occasional regional and national championship, but does not wish to sign up to a total all-consuming commitment on course to the highest level. They aspire instead to have sailing as part of a balanced and sensible lifestyle, ultimately with family at the heart of it.

 Squib Class action at Kinsale. The family-friendly Squib successfully lends itself to worthwhile club racing and major championships without straying into the demanding realms of extreme commitment and total dedication Squib Class action at Kinsale. The family-friendly Squib successfully lends itself to worthwhile club racing and major championships without straying into the demanding realms of extreme commitment and total dedication

But nevertheless, there is a substantial area of interest and activity between the quietly routine life of club sailing and the all-absorbing demands of Olympian and other high-level life-consuming international ambitions. And we’ve been seeing much of that in Ireland this year with the National, Continental and World championships of classes which have managed to avoid the Olympic stranglehold, yet can still offer their members a complete suite of competition levels, from club racing to quite intense international contests, while keeping publicity and demanding expectations of the national squad’s performance within reasonable limits. 

THE ACTIVE AREA BETWEEN BASIC CLUB SAILING AND TOP-LEVEL COMPETITION

The classic case in point is the J/24, which you realize really is a unique proposition when one of their major championships comes to town. They don’t fit comfortably into any category, and they need a committed crew of five. Yet they have a devoted following worldwide, typified at the recent Euros in Howth by Germany’s Stefan Karsunke, who placed fifth overall with a crew of friends who have been happily sailing together for more than twenty years.

A boat and a sports level for all ages – the first race of the J/24 Euros 2022 at Howth is led by Seattle’s Admiral Denny Vaughan (USN, Retd), aged 83. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyA boat and a sports level for all ages – the first race of the J/24 Euros 2022 at Howth is led by Seattle’s Admiral Denny Vaughan (USN, Retd), aged 83. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

In Ireland, it’s some years now since the then ICRA Commodore Nobby Reilly proposed the establishment of a programme to encourage and support Under 25s into J/24 racing as an identifiable group. At the time, some thought that pitching the upper age limit at 25 was putting it a bit high – surely any real talent would have clearly manifested itself long before that? But as it happens, the peculiarities of economic realities in recent years have put young people at a disadvantage in hoping to mount their own campaigns, and that U25 ceiling seems more appropriate than ever.

J/24 U25 SCHEME HAS HAD VARIED LEVELS OF SUCCESS

The idea has been successful in several clubs, albeit somewhat unevenly, and for the last three years an outstanding product of the scheme has been the Headcase campaigns, where a crew – some now past 25 - from four different clubs in three Provinces have stayed together to campaign in Karsunke style.

It’s a setup which can only work with a high level of commitment from at least five young sailors. But last October a group was inaugurated in Kinsale, with Mikey Carroll as Team Captain, and former KYC Commodore Dave Sullivan as Mentor was inaugurated, though it was February 2022 by the time they’d secured a boat and had it all up and running.

The dream comes true – the “Kids from Kinsale” (right) successfully playing the Big Boys Game in some perfect racing weather at Howth. Photo: Christopher HowellThe dream comes true – the “Kids from Kinsale” (right) successfully playing the Big Boys Game in some perfect racing weather at Howth. Photo: Christopher Howell

But they were playing their cards very well indeed. For a start, they’d got themselves a gold standard boat. She may have been 31 years old, but she was the last J24 to be built by the great Jeremy Rogers of Lymington. As those of us who have had one will tell you, there are Jeremy Rogers boats. And there are “others”.

THE NAME “KINSAILOR” IS A STROKE OF GENIUS

A further stroke of genius was the choice of name. Failure is an orphan while success has many fathers, so it’s a moot point whom to praise. But whoever thought of calling the boat Kinsailor was a genius. For sure, if you’re naming a private boat for personal use, you can choose whichever whimsical name takes your fancy. But if you’re campaigning a community and club-supported boat with national and international effects in mind, a simple name which says everything in just one word is a pearl beyond price, and they have it here in spades.

The re-born Jeremy Rogers-built masterpiece is unleashed on the world in February 2022 with a real stroke of genius in the name.The re-born Jeremy Rogers-built masterpiece is unleashed on the world in February 2022 with a real stroke of genius in the name.

Certainly it hit the spot in Kinsale, and they soon had a strong crew panel in place to get training under way. But while there were some regional contests to start testing their mettle, Headcase was away on a trail of success through regattas in Germany and the UK, and it was the Nationals at Foynes at the end of July before the lines of battle were clearly drawn.

The Kinsailor crew of Mikey Carroll, Leslie Collins. Rachel Akerlind, Michael O’Suilleabhain and Jack O’Sullivan put in a solid performance, winning the U25 section and placing eighth overall in a star-studded fleet. But it still looked as if the Headcase team were in a world of their own.

However, that special Headcase world seemed a little less elevated in the Easterns at Howth in the weekend preceding the Worlds at the end of August. Headcase was right there nearly all the way with 1,1,(8.0),2,1 but Kinsailor dealt deftly with the strong opposition with a 2,(13),4.1,2.

FINDING TURBO POWER

Then they seemed to find an extra gear with additional turbo-charging in the Euros themselves, and it all came right down to the wire last Saturday. Kinsailor’s final scoreline of 21,2,6,(27), 5,11,3,12,4,2 says a lot. With ten races possible though with only one discard even with total completion, a 21st in the first race usefully took the focus off them. It meant some further races with much better scores had to be sailed before they were in the area of being a marked boat.

Nevertheless despite that real upset of a 27th in Race 4, they were still in the hunt for a podium place, but the permutations were so abstruse that we thought it would be tempting fate even to mention any distinct possibility of such a thing in Afloat.ie. For Headcase was right back in the hunt with two bullets on the Friday.

 Job done. The Kinnsailor team at Howth after sweeping to success in the final race in the Euros 2022 are (left to right) Mikey Carroll, Jack O’Sullivan, Leslie Collins, Francesca Lewis, Rory Carroll and Micheal O’Suilleabhain Job done. The Kinnsailor team at Howth after sweeping to success in the final race in the Euros 2022 are (left to right) Mikey Carroll, Jack O’Sullivan, Leslie Collins, Francesca Lewis, Rory Carroll and Micheal O’Suilleabhain

But last weekend was a magic time for Kinsale up in Dublin. Off Howth, Kinsailor rocketed through to take a second and leap into third overall just one point behind the tied first and second boats. And across in Dun Laoghaire, Cameron Good of Kinsale Dragon Class fame finally broke a club drought of many years to win the Dragon Nationals.

TEAM RACING PROGRAMME FOR TOWN’S TEENAGERS

Flushed with success at these double achievements firmly based in healthy club sailing, Kinsale Yacht Club is examining an initiative by Vice Commodore Anthony Scannell, together with Kinsale Outdoor Education Centre and Kinsale Community School, to develop a Team Racing Programme for Teenagers.

It is envisaged that up to six boats will be made available by KOEC who will provide training and safety boat cover. The boats will be stored in the dinghy park of KYC, and all participants will be students of KCS. It is the intention that training sessions would take place on Wednesday afternoons and some Saturdays.

Ultimately the success of such a worthwhile and genuinely community-based sailing project will be dependent on the goodwill and tangible support of ordinary Kinsale YC members. But the remarkable success of the Kinsailor campaign has amply demonstrated that as a group and a community within the Kinsale community, Kinsale’s club sailors really are the backbone of much good work. They’re an example to us all.

Published in W M Nixon

Kinsale Yacht Club says it is examining an initiative with Kinsale Outdoor Education Centre (KOEC) and Kinsale Community School to develop a team racing programme for teenagers.

It’s envisaged that up to six boats will be made available by KOEC who will provide training and safety boat cover.

The boats would be stored in the dinghy park of KYC and all participants would be students of Kinsale Community School.

Training sessions would take place on Wednesday afternoons and some Saturdays. And places would be limited on the programme.

KYC is now seeking feedback from members to assess the level of interest “in what should be a great scheme”. Get in touch with KYC Vice Commodore Anthony W Scannell at [email protected]

Published in Kinsale
Tagged under

After ten races, the J/24 European Championship hosted by Howth Yacht Club, concluded in a tie at 65 points, with the third-place team only one point back. That third-place team was made up of six junior sailors from the Kinsale Yacht Club, which has worked to create a squad of under 25-year-old sailors or U25s. Along with finishing third overall, one point out of first, Carroll’s team finished second in the Corinthian Class and first in the Youth Class. Micheál O’Súilleabháin was on the helm.

This was the first year sailing a J/24 for this young team. Crewmember Mike Carroll said, “Since we only started in the J24 class this summer, we didn’t know what to expect from ourselves at the event. We had some poor results earlier on in the regatta, but as the event went on, we improved and achieved a good level of consistency that we were happy with. We couldn’t afford another poor result as there was only one discard across the 10 races. We had a mix of all sailing conditions during the week, which led to it being a high-scoring event. Given that most boats had at least one or two bad scores, it allowed us to climb high in the results without needing to win races. What happened on the water exceeded our expectations.” By finishing second in the last race of the regatta, the team moved from sixth to third.

Kinsailor competing at the ten race, the J/24 European Championship at Howth Yacht Club Photo: Christopher HowellKinsailor competing at the ten race J/24 European Championship at Howth Yacht Club Photo: Christopher Howell

The young team faced down some serious challenges, which they overcame. A week before the Europeans, while racing in the J/24 Easterns, they broke their mast and had to secure a loner. Their new UK Sailmakers mainsail was damaged when the rig came down, and they finished the Easterns with their delivery main. UK Sailmakers Ireland made an invisible repair in a few short days and had the main ready for the Europeans.

“The sails were fantastic”

Dave Sullivan, the team’s coach said, “It’s just brilliant that a team of kids from Kinsale can get a boat, set it up, and deliver a world-class performance -- all in less than a year. Phenomenal really; we are most proud of them.” The team came about as part of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association Under 25 initiative designed to create a pathway for junior sailors to progress into the adult sailing scene. Sullivan said that members of the Kinsale Yacht Club held a fundraiser to buy, ship to Ireland and prepare a J/24 for the club’s juniors to use. He took on the role of the team’s mentor. The original goal was to compete at the 2022 European Championships and the boat will stay available for juniors at the club for years to come.

Kinsailor is a Kinsale Yacht Club Under 25 initiativeKinsailor is a Kinsale Yacht Club Under 25 initiative

Barry Hayes, President of UK Sailmakers Ireland said, “Our loft is doing everything to help young sailors excel. They are the future of the sport. Therefore, we are doing our best to help them get the best sails, learn how to use them so that they move up to the podium as quickly as possible. From centreboard to keelboats, UK Sailmakers is dedicated to helping the next generation of sailors.”

About the UK Sailmakers J/24 class sails, the team members said, “The sails were fantastic.”

The Kinsailor crew with their prizes in Howth including Mikey Carroll, Jack O’Sullivan, Lellie Collins, Francesca Lewis, Rory Carroll and Micheál O’SúilleabháinThe Kinsailor J24 crew with their prizes in Howth including Mikey Carroll, Jack O’Sullivan, Lellie Collins, Francesca Lewis, Rory Carroll and Micheál O’Súilleabháin

The four men and two women on KINSAILOR were:

  • Mikey Carroll
  • Jack O’Sullivan
  • Lellie Collins
  • Francesca Lewis
  • Rory Carroll
  • Micheál O’Súilleabháin

J24 European Championships results2022 J24 European Championships results

Published in UK Sailmakers Ireland

After a break of a few years caused by the pandemic, Kinsale Yacht Club’s annual RNLI fundraising night has returned.

A strong fleet of seventeen cruisers took part in the race for the Spalpeen Trophy which for many years the race has been sponsored by the Draper Family.

Race Officer Michele Kennelly set a course that aimed to have all back in time for the celebrations ashore which included a BBQ and a fundraising auction and raffle for the RNLI.

The race was won this year by Finbarr O’Regan’s J109 Artful DodJer, with Stephen Lysaght’s Reavra Too in second place and Sean O’Riordan’s Y-Dream in third place.

Published in Kinsale
Tagged under

Cian McCarthy's Cinnamon Girl of the host club has added to her offshore wins this season with an overall IRC victory in the UK Sailmakers Ireland Kinsale Yacht Club Fastnet Race.

A strong fleet of eight started the UK Sailmakers Ireland Kinsale Fastnet race on Friday evening at 7 pm inside Kinsale Harbour.

The race was run in association with SCORA.

Entries were from along the south coast from Kinsale YC to the Royal Cork YC and on to Waterford Harbour SC.

Cian McCarthy (right) and Sam Hunt of Cinnamon Girl who won Kinsale Yacht Club’s Fastnet Race, sailing the course in 14 hours, 49 minutes and 5 seconds, winning under both handicap systems – IRC and ECHO. It was a battle between the double-handed Kinsale sailors and Brian Jones’ Jelly Baby from the Royal Cork in Crosshaven, which finished two-and-a-half minutes later, in a total time of 14 hours 31 minutes and 50 seconds.Cian McCarthy (right) and Sam Hunt of Cinnamon Girl who won Kinsale Yacht Club’s Fastnet Race, sailing the course in 14 hours, 49 minutes and 5 seconds, winning under both handicap systems – IRC and ECHO. It was a battle between the double-handed Kinsale sailors and Brian Jones’ Jelly Baby from the Royal Cork in Crosshaven, which finished two-and-a-half minutes later, in a total time of 14 hours 31 minutes and 50 seconds

The fleet had a southwest wind gusting to 23 knots for a bumpy beat to the Fastnet with the tide against them until midnight. 

In second was George Radley's vintage Imp from Royal Cork YC. Third was Royal Cork YC's Jelly Baby (Brian Jones).

Royal Cork YC's J122 Jelly Baby (Brian Jones) Photo: David CullinaneRoyal Cork YC's J122 Jelly Baby (Brian Jones) Photo: David Cullinane

As regular Afloat readers will know, McCarthy, sailing with Sam Hunt, also scored a win in May's KYC Inistearaght Race and featured prominently, also two-handed, in June's 700-mile Round Ireland Race.

Scroll down for the results below.

Published in Kinsale
Tagged under

Stephen Lysaght’s Reavra Two topped the 'TGIF' Mid Summer White Sails cruisers league series in IRC 1 fleet at Kinsale Yacht Club, sponsored by A J O’Brien Solicitors, with 11 points after six races.

Second was John Whelan’s Wheels on 13 and third Sean O’Riordan’s Y Dream on 15. Whelan won in ECHO handicap, with Anthony Scannell’s Hansemer second and Reavra Two third. IRC 2 fleet winner was Patrick Beckett’s Miss Charlie by one point, on a total of five, against Albert O’Neill’s Sallybelle on 6. ECHO handicap in Fleet Two winner was Martin Hargrove’s Deboah on 9 points from Sallybelle on 15 and Miss Charlie third on 18.

John Godkin’s GODOT won IRC 1 in the cruiser spinnaker midweek fleet series 2, sponsored by Barry Ryan Civil Engineering, on a total of 12 points after the sixth race, to win by half-a-point from Dan Buckley’s JUSTUS on 12.5 with Reavra Two third on 18. JUSTUS won in ECHO with Godot second and Y Dream third.

Fleet 2 IRC saw the club’s young sailors at the top in their J24, Finsailor on 10 points with No Notions (O’Sullivan/O’Regan) and Samuel Cohen’s Gunsmoke II finishing next overall, both on 13 points, No Notions won second on the tiebreak of higher overall average placings. Gunsmoke II turned that around in ECHO, taking first place with No Notions second and MIiss Charlie third.

Published in Kinsale
Tagged under

Kinsale Yacht Club in West Cork is well pleased with its Under 25 development programme following the team's success at the J24 National Championships raced in Foynes YC, Co.Limerick.

Named ‘Kinsailor’ when it was launched last year, the KYC yacht won the Under 25 section, took the silver prize for second overall and finished eighth of the 20 boats racing that included top sailors in the Class.

The Kinsale crew were: Mikey Carroll, Leslie Collins, Rachel Akerlind, Micheál Ó Suilleabháin, and Jack O’Sullivan.

“A great result,” said former Commodore Dave Sullivan, the Under 25 Team Mentor.

“Little did I think when we started out last October that we would have our boat so successful in the U25 section at the National Championships. She is a super boat with a super team of sailors. It took a lot of hard work and commitment to get to this stage and we are thankful to KYC members for their overwhelming support and continued generosity.”

This membership backing enabled the setting-up of the programme and the purchase of the boat.

“We still have the Eastern Championships in late August and Europeans in Howth in September to look forward to,” says Dave Sullivan.

Published in Kinsale
Tagged under

Mid Summer series racing for Cruisers, Squibs and Dragons is underway at Kinsale Yacht Club.

In IRC Class 1 Fleet, the leader is Reavra (Stephen Lysaght), second Wheels (John Whelan) and third Valfreya (David Riome).

Under ECHO handicap Wheels leads followed by Reavra Too and Y Dream (Sean O’Riordan) in third.

Sallybelle (Albert O’Neill) leads Fleet 2 in IRC and ECHO.

Deboah (Martin Hargrove) is second in ECHO and Miss Charlie (Patrick Beckett) third.

Published in Kinsale
Tagged under
Page 1 of 24

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating