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Following its start from Lorient in France at the end of May, the inaugural edition of The Ocean Race Europe will stop in Cascais, bringing the top international offshore racing teams in the world to Portugal.

Located 30km west of Lisbon, Cascais is a historic and cosmopolitan seaside resort on the edge of the Tagus estuary, between the Sintra mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Ocean Race Europe will feature the record-breaking, one-design VO65 fleet which produced the closest edition of The Ocean Race in history in 2017-18. The teams are seeing the event as the first step on their journey towards the next edition of The Ocean Race round-the-world race in 2022-23.

And for the first time, the foiling IMOCA fleet will participate in a competition under The Ocean Race banner. The IMOCA teams bring a high-tech component to the event, showcasing the latest foiling technology.

“The Ocean Race Europe will surely provide us with great competition on the water. But it is also an opportunity for our wonderful sport to inspire towards a greater purpose,” said Richard Brisius, race chairman of The Ocean Race.

“We are united in driving action towards the promotion of ocean health and we look forward to working on this with all of our friends and partners in Cascais when we are in Portugal this June.”

The home team in Cascais, the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team, was the first VO65 team to confirm its entry in the European race back in January and The Mirpuri Foundation will host the event from its training base at the Clube Naval de Cascais.

Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team training off Portugal (Photo: Marc Bow)Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team training off Portugal | Photo: Marc Bow

Paulo Mirpuri is the founder of the Mirpuri Foundation, which has been a driving force in bringing The Ocean Race Europe to Cascais. He said: “We are proud to welcome The Ocean Race Europe to Cascais and to host the stopover in our home port with our friends at Clube Naval de Cascais. This is the first time that an Ocean Race event has come to Cascais, having come to Lisbon in the past.

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of an enormous amount of work from many different parties. We have worked hard with the organisers of the race to bring The Ocean Race Europe to Cascais, our home, and we will have many more developments to share very soon.

“This will be a spectacular race after a difficult year for so many people and we cannot wait to welcome the fleet to Portugal.”

Cascais is known as ‘the charm of the Atlantic’ and provides direct access to a prime racing playground just off the main beach and the Cascais Marina area.

"Cascais is very proud to be one of the cities chosen to become a stopover for The Ocean Race Europe,” said Deputy Mayor Miguel Pinto Luz. “Sailing is a part of our identity and hosting the best regattas in the world is now a tradition here.

“We consider Cascais the best place to live - for one day or for a lifetime. And if you are a sailor, this is paradise…one of the best regatta locations in the world, in front of our beautiful Bay.”

Yoann Richomme, skipper of the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team agrees, saying: “It will be an honour to lead ‘Racing For The Planet’ and our crew out from my home in Lorient and into our home port of Cascais this spring, a place we have seen many times from our boat, but never surrounded by such an incredible fleet.

“It will be a wonderful occasion for everyone involved. There is no doubt, The Mirpuri Foundation’s passion for sailing will be felt by everyone.”

The Ocean Race Europe will start from Lorient, France, over the final weekend of May, bringing the teams south across the Bay of Biscay, into the Atlantic and the stop in Cascais.

From there the two fleets will race into the Mediterranean. The Ocean Race Europe will finish in Genoa, Italy in the third week of June, with a further stop along the route in the Med to be confirmed shortly.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race

An Irish father of three has died after kitesurfing during a holiday in Portugal, as Independent.ie reports.

The man, named locally as Tom Griffin, took ill on Fonte da Telha beach near Lisbon last Wednesday 12 June.

Tribute have been paid by the community in Maynooth where he lived, including from Intel in Leixlip where he worked in semi-conductor fabrication.

Independent.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kitesurfing
Tagged under

Following delivery of their latest pilot boat for the Port of Leixoes in Portugal, the Cork Harbour performance boat specialsts at Safehaven Marine announced the signing of contracts with two Spanish ports.

The port of San Ciprian has contracted for an Interceptor 42 pilot vessel while the larger Port of Coruna to the south-west has commissioned an Interceptor 48 pilot. Both are to be delivered in mid 2020.

Safehaven Marine says its pilot craft have proven very popular in the Iberian Peninsula.

Once these latest commissions are delivered — and the ports of Gijon and Algeciras begin undertaking pilot transfers with their own Interceptors — Safehaven will have 14 pilot boats working in the peninsula.

Both new contracts were signed simultaneously after pilots from Coruna and San Ciprian were impressed by sea trials of the new Leixoes pilot, named Lada, on delivery last month.

Published in Safehaven Marine

#Canoeing: Ronan Foley took gold medals on Saturday and Sunday at the canoe marathon World Cup in in Viana do Castelo in Portugal. The Kilcullen man dominated the short race on Saturday, and then sprinted away from his rivals on the last portage to win the marathon test on the Sunday.

 Barry Watkins took silver in the senior race over the short course on Saturday and took 10th on Sunday – recovering from an unwanted swim in rough conditions.

Canoe Marathon World Cup, Viana Do Castelo, Portugal (Irish interest; selected results):

Saturday

Men – K1 Short Race: 2 B Watkins 13:46.15.

K1 Short Race, Juniors: 1 R Foley 14 min 52.43 sec.

Sunday

Men – K1 Marathon: 10 Watkins 2 hr 21 min 10.20.

K1 Marathon, Junior Final: 1 Foley 1 hr 53 min 7.34 sec.

Published in Canoeing

#Canoeing: Ireland’s Jenny Egan won the K1 5,000 metres at the first canoe sprint World Cup in Portugal today. The 30-year-old paddler had just .77 of a second to spare over Spain’s Estefania Fernandez after the long battle. Lizzie Broughton of Britain was third.

Canoe Sprint World Cup, Montemor-O-Velho, Portugal Day Two (Irish interest)

Women

K1 200 – A Final: 9 J Egan 42.743.

K1 5,000 – Final: 1 Ireland (J Egan) 22 mins 52.8 seconds, 2 Spain (E Fernandez) 22:53.57, 3 Britain (L Broughton) 22:56.98.

Published in Canoeing

#Canoeing: Jenny Egan qualified for the A Final of the women’s K1 200 metres at the canoe sprint World Cup in Montemor-O-Velho in Portugal today. The Ireland paddler finished third in her semi-final to take the ninth and final place. On Friday, Egan just missed out on qualifying for the final of the K1 500, taking fourth in the semi-final. She will also compete in the K1 5,000 on Sunday.  

Canoe Sprint World Cup, Montemor-O-Velho, Portugal (Irish interest)

Women

K1 500 – Heat One: 5 Ireland (J Egan) 1:56.116. Semi-Final (Three to A Final): 4 Egan 1:55.512.

K1 200 – Heat One: 6 Ireland (J Egan) 45.536. Semi-Final (Three to A Final): 3 Egan 42.103.

Published in Canoeing

#Canoeing: Jenny Egan won a gold medal at the canoe sprint World Cup in Montemor-o-Velho in Portugal today. In a sprint to the line in strong winds Egan had .99 of a second to spare over Margaret Hogan of the United States. Melanie Gebhardt of Germany took the bronze. Egan also reached the A Final of the K1 500 metres.

  The Salmon Leap paddler took silver in the last World Cup in Racice in the Czech Republic.

Published in Canoeing

#isafyouthnats – As Ireland hosts the Under–16 European Optimist Championships on Dublin Bay today, simultaneously the 44th edition of the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship has been declared open by ISAF President Carlo Croce at the opening ceremony in Tavira, Portugal.

Ireland is represented by a team of seven boys and girls who have been recording some promising results recently.

The 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds features 67 nations, an event record, with more than 360 sailors set to compete in five classes across eight events in the Algarve.

Sixty seven flag bearers and their teams paraded through Tavira towards the City Hall with local people, tourists, family and friends turning out to welcome the sailors competing at the premier youth sailing regatta.

Ireland's youth team for Portugal is Laser Radial Boy: Séafra Guilfoyle (Royal Cork Yacht Club) Girl: Sarah Eames (Ballyholme Yacht Club) 420 Boys: Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove (Howth Yacht Club) Girls: Lizzie and Cara McDowell (Malahide Yacht Club) and Sean Donnelly (National Yacht Club) and Patrick Crosbie (Royal Cork Yacht Club)

The traditional Mixing of the Waters followed, symbolising the collection and gathering of all the sailors from around the world. The 67 teams had brought bottles of water from lakes and seas from their home nation and poured them into a jug before the water was transferred into the Portuguese waters.

Speeches were delivered by ISAF President Carlo Croce, Chairman of the Organizing Committee Joao Pedro Rodrigues, Mayor of Tavira Jorge Botelho, Portuguese Sailing Federation President Jose Manuel Leandro and Secretary of State of Sports and Youth Emidio Guerreiro.

During the opening ceremony ISAF President Carlo Croce said, "I thank all of you for coming here from all over the world. The ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship is an important event and in its 44th year it's building up more and more. It represents the values of the International Olympic Committee. We see environment, accessibility, universality, fairplay and nice times for all.

"The sailors come to the ISAF Youth Worlds because it is the pinnacle event for a youth sailor. What I want to tell is, yes you're here to take the results of all your work but please remember that this event is for friendship. You need become friends with your competitors because you will meet them in the future and this is why sailing is a lifetime sport.

"I hope you enjoy your sailing and the regatta will be beautiful. The organizing committee have done a tremendous job and ISAF are pleased to be here."

As the ISAF Flag was hoisted Croce declared the 44th ISAF Youth Worlds open.

Sailors attentions now turn to the race action with the first start scheduled for 13:00 on Monday 14 July. Racing continues through to 18 July.

Published in Youth Sailing

#Offshore - BBC News reports that a sailor who went missing last week during a solo voyage from Plymouth to Portugal has been located and airlifted to hospital after falling overboard.

The 66-year-old man set off last Monday 10 June but apparently suffered chest injuries during the first night.

Falmouth Coastguard has difficulty contacting the man to determine his position but he was eventually found some 225km off the Isles of Scilly. He was later transported by helicopter to Cork for treatment.

Published in Offshore

# EURO CANOE SPRINT: Ireland’s Andrzej Jezierski finished sixth in the A Final of the C1 (Canadian Canoe) 200 metres at the European Canoe Sprint Championships in Portugal. The Polish-born athlete was among the leaders early on, but was reeled in during the middle stages of the race, which was won by Jevgeni Shuklin of Lithuania. Jezierski was .955 of a second behind.

Earlier, Barry Watkins finished seventh in the men’s K1 (racing kayak) 500 metres. Watkins had also reached the A Final of the K1 1000m, where he finished eighth. Pat O’Leary, Ireland’s first paracanoeist to take part in an international championships, also made the A Final of the men’s K1 200m, finishing ninth.

Jenny Egan finished fifth in the women's K1 5,000 metres.

European Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe Championships (Irish interest; selected results)

Saturday

Men

K1 1000m – A Final: 8 B Watkins 3:33.420.

C1 200m – Heat One: 2 A Jezierski 41.594.

Paracanoe – K1 200m - A Final: 9 P O'Leary.

Women

K1 200m – Heat One: 9 J Egan 47.429

Sunday

Men

K1 500m – A Final: 7 B Watkins 1:44.421

C1 200m – A Final: 6 A Jezierski 42.631 seconds

Women

K1 5000 - Final: 5 J Egan 23:13.753

Published in Canoeing
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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