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Displaying items by tag: Kitesurfing

British kite foiler Ellie Aldridge bagged herself another international medal taking silver at the 2021 Formula Kite World Championships in Torregrande, Sardinia.

With two European titles to her name, Aldridge has now added a world podium to her growing collection of silverware in the new Olympic class.

The world championships in Sardinia is the first since World Sailing announced the kites would get two sets of individual medals as opposed to a single mixed event at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Ahead of Aldridge, American Daniela Moroz once again proved too strong for the international field claiming her fifth consecutive title. France’s Lauriane Nolot completed the podium in third.

Aldridge, 24 from Poole, Dorset, said: “It feels pretty good to come away with second. I was super lucky to qualify directly into the finals in second place because the winds on the final day were crazy, like the most unstable breeze I’ve ever kited in.

British kite foiler Ellie AldridgeBritish kite foiler Ellie Aldridge

“It was a full-on week with wind from almost every direction, so we definitely had the variety you’d want at a world championships.

“Unfortunately I didn’t do enough to take the title away from Daniela this time, but I got a few bullets from her so that’ll keep me happy until next year.”

Aldridge was one of three British female riders to make it through the qualifying series although she had the luxury of going straight through to the final in second place.

Teammates Maddy Anderson and Katie Dabson had the unenviable task of trying to make it through a tough semi-final process in which only one of six could go through to the final showdown from each of the two groups.

Placed in the same group, neither Anderson and Dabson could advance finally finishing their championships in 10th and 13th respectively.

Anderson, 26 from Weymouth, Dorset, said: “We’ve had all sorts of conditions this week, perfect really for a world champs, so in the end I’m really pleased that I managed to put together a decent series, especially after putting in some deep scores on day one.

“I learned heaps this week round the racecourse and also learning to reset after setbacks; I’m motivated and excited to make some big gains over the winter with the team.”

From the other British interests in the fleet, Jemima Crathorne finished in 20th while Lily Young was fifth in the silver fleet on her return from injury.

In the men’s competition, both Connor Bainbridge and Guy Bridge fell just short of a chance for a medal going out at the semi-final stage.

Both posted top ten finishes in qualifying to make the semi-finals but couldn’t get through what is proving to be a very tough route to a medal.

Bainbridge eventually finished sixth with Bridge just behind in seventh.

All results can be found here

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The Formula Kite World Championships will take place in Torregrande, Sardinia, from October 13 to 17. The event is part of the Open Water Challenge, which celebrates board sports including kite, wing foil and SUP.

A whole host of British athletes will be hitting the water. In the women’s fleet, two-time European champ Ellie Aldridge is joined by Katie Dabson, Maddy Anderson (pictured), Jemima Crathorne and Lily Young, who makes her return to competition following injury. The men’s fleet will see 2019 world bronze medallist Connor Bainbridge and 2020 European bronze medallist Guy Bridge look to come home with some silverware.

"It’s the first Formula Kite World Championships to take place since World Sailing voted to change the competition from a mixed relay to individual fleet racing"

It’s the first Formula Kite World Championships to take place since World Sailing voted in June to change the proposed competition format from a mixed relay to individual fleet racing. That means at Paris 2024 there will be two sets of kite medals, rather than just one. Up until this decision athletes had to team up with another athlete of the opposite sex. Now it’s all down to the individual rider. Athletes will compete in an opening series to determine the top 14 riders, who then go forward into the knockout medal series.

Published in Kitesurfing
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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved Men's and Women's Kiteboarding (Formula Kite) for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition, bringing the curtain down on the highly anticipated mixed offshore sailing event.

The Men's and Women's Kiteboarding Events will replace the Mixed Kiteboarding and Mixed Offshore Events that were democratically selected by World Sailing's members and remained World Sailing's first-choice events for Paris 2024.

In December 2020, the IOC advised World Sailing that a further review into the Mixed Offshore event would be undertaken to properly assess key considerations.

Further updates from the IOC in April 2021 specified that the proposal continued to be reviewed, consistent with the approach taken for other sports, and highlighted challenges for the Mixed Offshore Event existing in the areas of Field of Play security, scope and complexity, broadcast cost and complexity, and World Sailing not having the opportunity to deliver an Offshore World Championship.

Whilst the final IOC assessment of the Mixed Offshore Event continued, World Sailing was requested to put forward alternative event proposals for sailing's 10th medal at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

World Sailing's Council approved the Men's and Women's Kiteboarding (Formula Kite) and Men's and Women's Two Person Dinghy (470) as the first and second alternative event proposals following their meeting at the 2021 Mid-Year Meeting.

The decision was taken at the meeting of the IOC Executive Board today, Thursday 10 June 2021 in Lausanne, Switzerland following a recommendation from the IOC Programme Commission.

David Graham, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "The World Sailing community selected the Mixed Offshore Event and our slate of events gave a true representation of the depth and breadth of our sport.

"Throughout this process, the Mixed Offshore Event remained our first choice event, with the entire offshore community putting considerable time and effort into the discipline. Today's news will be upsetting for the thriving offshore community, but we will continue to ensure the growth and long-term sustainability of offshore sailing.

"The IOC provided us with clear guidance and their decision-making is consistent with other sports and events. The World Sailing community acted at pace to propose alternative events and we are delighted the IOC have followed our guidance and selected our first alternative proposal of Men's and Women's Kiteboarding.

"Men's and Women's Kiteboarding will bring huge opportunities in terms of universality, developing women's sailing and the media appeal of these exciting events. We now look forward to supporting our athletes on the journey to Paris 2024 and showcasing the sport on the beautiful Marseillaise waters in the south of France."

President Quanhai Li said, "The World Sailing community had limited time to decide on the alternative event for the IOC's consideration. I would like to thank our Council, Member National Authorities, my Board of Directors and management for their big efforts to ensure we had a democratically decided alternative event within a short time frame. I also thank the IOC for their support within the process."

A new voluntary organisation has been set up to represent Kitesurfing in Ireland.

"Kitesurfing Ireland was formed earlier this year after it was clear that without representation it is difficult to have a voice", says KI's spokesperson Linda O’Dwyer.

The aim of Kitesurfing Ireland is to represent kitesurfers by promoting responsible kitesurfing, ensure access to kitesurfing locations and kitesurfing activities are in harmony with all beach, lake and water users through working with all the relevant bodies, government, local authorities, NGO'S and other like-minded organisations.

Kitesurfing Ireland is working with Water Safety Ireland to provide the local authorities with signage with Kitesurfing information for the public along with kitesurfers for the 2021 bathing season.

The Kitesurfing Ireland website is here

Published in Kitesurfing
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Kitesurfers made the most of the fine August conditions at Garrylucas (White Strand) in Kinsale today writes Bob Bateman.

15 to 20-knot winds from the south-west gave the Kinsale kiting community some great conditions near the Old Head of Kinsale as the photos below show.

Kitsesurf Kinsale1Kitsesurf Kinsale1Kitsesurf Kinsale1Kitsesurf Kinsale1Kitsesurf Kinsale1

Published in Kitesurfing
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#Lifeboats - Bundoran’s RNLI crew assisted a surfer safely to shore on Saturday afternoon (10 November).

The volunteers launched after a member of the public raised the alarm, having spotted someone they thought to be in difficulty and waving their arm off Rougey Point in Bundoran.

The Irish Coast Guard requested the inshore lifeboat to launch at 3.28pm and 10 minutes later the lifeboat, helmed by Killian O’Kelly, was at sea.

Weather conditions at the time were blowing a light south-easterly wind and there was a three-metre swell.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew observed that the surfer, while not in difficulty or in any immediate danger, was in a challenging part of the sea and some distance away from the shore.

The crew made the decision to take the teenager onboard and transport him safely back to Bundoran Lifeboat Station.

Speaking following the callout, O’Kelly said: “We would like to commend the member of the public who raised the alarm this afternoon — that is always the right thing to do if you see someone you think or know to be in difficulty.

“While this surfer was not in any immediate danger, he was some distance from shore so we made a call to assist him safely back to shore.”

Elsewhere, a person who went missing while kitesurfing off Ballybunion in Co Clare yesterday evening (Sunday 11 November) was found on land several hours later, as RTÉ News reports.

The kitesurfer, who had come ashore at Kilkee, was said to be suffering the effects of cold after spending as much as two-and-a-half hours at sea and was taken to hospital.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was called out twice yesterday (Thursday 16 March) to separate instances of kitesurfers in distress.

The first callout was to Dollymount Strand on Bull Island across Dublin Bay, in which the casualty was landed ashore to Howth coastguard volunteers.

The second was off Sandymount, with the kitesurfer involved landed to the care of Dun Laoghaire’s Irish Coast Guard unit.

No medical attention was required in either incident.

#Kitesurfing - Raising awareness of this country's perfect conditions for wave-riding – and some of the best local practitioners of the sport – is the aim of a new video series by the Irish Kitesurfing Project.

As Surfer Today reports, the first clip showcases Robert Sayer, Wojciech Piotrowski and Alan Kavanagh braving the winter chill to show off their skills in some seriously strong surf. Here's looking forward to more from this exciting project!

Published in Kitesurfing

#RNLI - Ballycotton RNLI rescued a kitesurfer who got into difficulty on Ballycotton Bay on Monday afternoon (2 November).

The volunteer crew were requested to launch both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats by the Irish Coast Guard at 12.30pm and go to the assistance of a kitesurfer who was in difficulty but in no immediate danger in Ballycotton Bay on Co Cork.

The alarm was raised by a member of the public who spotted the kitesurfer struggling due to a lack of wind. Weather conditions at the time were described as overcast and calm.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation before bringing the kitesurfer on board the inshore lifeboat and safely back to shore.

Speaking following the callout, Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh said: "We would like to commend the member of the public who raised the alarm today. Their quick thinking ensured the lifeboats were launched and that there was a positive outcome."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Hayling Island in the UK is the venue next month for an attempt for the Largest Parade of Kitesurfers at one time. The aim is to get over 400 kiters out on the water to break the current world record of 352 kiters set in Tarifa, Spain last year.

The record will be adjudicated by the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS office.

The event was scheduled to take place over one of three weekends during September and October, depending on weather conditions.

So far the conditions have been against the attempt and a decision was taken today that conditions for the second of the possible weekends (2-4 October) are also not promising - therefore the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada Festival will DEFINITELY be staged on the 16-18 October 2015.

Published in Kitesurfing
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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.

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