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Displaying items by tag: Match Racing

Confirmation has been received from  Dun Laoghaire Harbour  that the Irish Match Racing has the green light to hold the Weir & Sons Leinster Match Racing Open in side Dun Laoghaire harbour. So with plenty of wind shifts to contend with and a constrained starting area it’s likely that racing will be extremely tight with plenty of boat on boat action.

Arrangements are still being made for a live PA commentary. After the grand job he did with the Howth Club Champion of Champions event we are hoping Noal Davidson will come down to MC and do a live Internet feed of the event. The hope is to beam this back to the Royal Irish with racing shown on big screens in the bar all day. Together with a pig roast on the Saturday evening there should be some buzz around the club.

Weir & Sons of Grafton Street have kindly agreed to provide prizes. We’re not sure that they will quite stretch to the Rolex we asked for but having this kind of support for the event does mean that we can properly recognise the contribution of all the sailors to the success of their teams. North Sails Ireland will still be absent from the Leinsters and a clash with the SB3 Northern means that MadMatch Racing will away. How ever John Sheehy and the Royal St George machine will be back in action and no doubt eager to reassert their authority after Team Lazarus moved to the top of the Tour rankings following the Investwise Dublin Match Racing Open.

UK National Youth Champions Team Echo Racing will also be back for another crack as will Casey Racing, Cross Community Alliance, Mahon Racing and Team O’Loughlin. Alex Barry returns to the 2010 Tour for the first time since a strong 3rd place showing at last years Leinsters and it will be interesting to see how he goes but the real interest is in how the two teams coming from this years all conquering George Gladiators team racing team will fair.

Marty O’Leary and Sam Hunt have had a tremendous start to 2010, taking the National team racing title and placing strongly at the UK championships and the Wilson Trophy. The Leinsters will not only see them pitted against each other but also against the skipper who’s team they where part of on the 2009 Tour, none other than John Sheehy.

Published in Boating Fixtures

John Sheehy remains Ireland's top-ranked match racer, jumping twelve slots in the international rankings to 73rd in the world. Closing the gap considerably, clubmate Andrew Fowler's win in the most recent Investec Dublin Match Racing Open takes him 55 places higher to 164th, with North Sails helm Maurice O'Connell moving from 285th in the world to number 190, a jump of 95 ranking places.

The Irish rankings can be seen in full here.

Published in News Update

A Royal St George YC team will be the sole Irish representatives at the Royal Thames YC Cumberland Cup, the oldest perpetual trophy in yacht racing, with racing kicking off today at Queen Mary SC. The event is a two-boat team racing event sailed in J80s with the home team, Royal Thames, the current holders. The RSGYC team, headed up by John Sheehy and Nick Smyth, will face off against teams from Australia, Monaco, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. The Cumberland Cup dates back to 1775 and was established some 76 years before the America’s Cup

Two-boat team racing is best known in Ireland through the 'random pairs' format, where the team with a boat in last place loses the race. The result is highly tactical and combative, aggressive sailing, with the final beat to the finish line becoming particularly frantic.

Sheehy and Smyth come off a weekend that saw the pair finish in the last eight at the presitigous Wilson Team Racing Trophy in West Kirby SC, and Sheehy is also Ireland's top-ranked match racer at present.

Racing kicks off this morning, and you can catch some glimps of the action on the reservoir on their website's live webcam.

ROYAL THAMES CUMBERLAND CUP

 

 

Published in Racing

Andrew Fowler took his first win in a truncated weekend of match racing, dominating a light and tricky Sunday of racing in Howth Yacht Club for the Investwise.ie Dublin Match Race Open. With Saturday's sailing canned due to high winds and heavy seas, the event was shortened to just a single day of racing and a single round robin for the nine teams ahead of the final.

Sunday brought blue skies and never more than 13 knots, and the crews spent almost ten hours on the water in the ISA Sailfleet J80s to get one full round robin in, with each boat sailing eight races. With reigning champion John Sheehy away racing the Wilson Trophy in England, the pressure was on Andrew Fowler and his team as top-ranked Irish entry, with UK helm Mark Lees and his crew of Roddy Lacey, Toby Mumford and Matt Reid another team to watch.

Fowler and Team Lazarus (Brendan Faffiani, Guy O'Leary and Dave McHugh on main) duly delivered, sailing an immaculate round robin to finish the series without dropping a single race. The Howth MadMatch team, skippered by Ben Duncan followed in second on their home turf, dropping just two races, pushing UK visitors Team Echo into third on equal points with another home sailor, Laura Dillon.

The next event on the circuit will be the Leinster Match Racing Open, hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club on June 12 & 13.

www.matchracing.ie

twitter.com/matchracing

 

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under
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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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