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At the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Fiona Young’s Albin Express, North Star, is leading the IRC Spinnaker Division of the June League, with Michael McCann’s Etchells, Don’t Dilly Dally second and the Sunfast 32, Bad Company, of Desmond/Ivers/Keane, third.

The Club ECHO Spinnaker Division is led by Wan and Eric Waterman’s X37 Saxon Senator, with North Star second and Bad Company third.

IRC and ECHO White Sails leader is Pat Vaughan’s Contessa 33, Aramis, with Sean Hanley’s HB 31 Luas second and also holding third place in ECHO.

Kieran O’Brien’s Magnet is third in IRC. In ECHO White Sails Paul O’Shea’s Elegance, a Sun Odyssey, is in second place.

Published in Royal Cork YC

With many Royal Cork boats away competing at the Kinsale Yacht Club Spring league, as well as a large club contingent at the Ballyholme Youth Nationals this weekend, turnout was low for the opening white sail race of the 2022 season.

Four boats came to the line, however, in a brisk north easterly breeze.

Three 1720 sportsboats were also out from the Crosshaven club competing on their own harbour course.

Published in Royal Cork YC

The Royal Cork YC is hoping to re-establish the ‘Mixed Dinghies’ Class at the Crosshaven-based club in Cork Harbour.

“Having been very quiet for a few years, the mixed dinghy fleet is making a comeback this season,” the club has told its, members, with an appeal for more support: “We would like to hear from everyone interested in getting on the water in double-handed boats, from beginners to advanced, young and old, from Topaz to RS400 and everything in between.”

“This fleet offers a great blend of social sailing with the opportunity to race and participate in events also,” says Maurice Collins, RCYC’s Rear Admiral Dinghies.“With a wide range of boats and age groups accommodated, it brings all our sailors together. It is an opportunity to explore sailing with friends usually in a multi-handed dinghy, but not confined to multi-handed dinghies.

Maurice Collins, RCYC’s Rear Admiral DinghiesMaurice Collins, RCYC’s Rear Admiral Dinghies Photo: Bob Bateman

“There is a limited number of club boats available for those starting out and for those with a boat and maybe looking for a crew, this is a great opportunity. If you have your own single-handed dinghy. but there is not a class in the club to join, please join in and sail along with the mixed dinghies.”

To gauge the level of interest and to explore what RCYC dinghy sailors are interested in, the club is carrying out a ‘Mixed Dinghy fleet survey.’

A 49er skiff and a GP14 compete in a mixed dinghy handicap fixture at Royal Cork Photo: Bob BatemanA 49er skiff and a GP14 compete in a mixed dinghy handicap fixture at Royal Cork Photo: Bob Bateman

“For those eager to get sailing and racing, we have the very social Ramen PY1000 race on Saturday, March 26,” says Maurice Collins,” with the Round Island and Coolmore races coming up later in the season.

“If we have enough interest, we intend to set up a mixed dinghy club racing series during the Summer months.”

With several dinghy classes already in the club, it will be interesting to see what response the appeal gets.

Published in Royal Cork YC

With Irish sailing life struggling to return to normality, we find we are facing it without someone who could put it all into perspective.

Dermot Burns, Honorary Archivist to the Royal Cork Yacht Club for many years, passed away peacefully in February after a lifetime in which any spare moments were devoted either to sailing, or in placing the story
and memorabilia of Cork sailing and the maritime life of Cork Harbour in its proper historical context.

We first became aware of this special talent many years ago on one of several occasions when the Royal Cork YC became what was then the Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year. The presentation party included people from Mitsubishi headquarters in Japan, and Dermot as ever rose to the occasion by giving them chapter and verse on how, in the 1860s, a shipbuilding company on the shores of Cork Harbour had constructed a 690-ton steamship for the Mitsu Bishi Company of Japan.

On other similar occasions, he always enriched the evening with his store of fascinating and appropriate facts which, quite rightly, put Cork Harbour at the centre of the maritime world. He was the "marine archivists' archivist", and while he will be much missed, what he achieved means he will always be remembered.

Our thanks to the Royal Cork YC for permission to publish this appreciation of Dermot Burns from their club website:

Former club Archivist Dermot Burns passed away peacefully on February 6th. Dermot served as club Archivist from 1991 to 2019, it’s said history was his passion and sailing his hobby.

Dermot’s enthusiasm for the club’s history was infectious and it was matched by a careful and meticulous approach to the cataloguing and care of any documents and items that came into the club. He delighted in discovering new aspects to the club’s history and left no stone unturned in trying to track down much-needed information.

He brought his skills as an engineer to his study of the archives and soon realised that there was wonderful material contained within and potentially more information elsewhere, all of which would be vital in telling the history of the club. So, the idea of publishing a book about the club began to take shape and over the ten years leading up to 2005 he worked closely with Dr. Alicia St. Leger, the author of the book. Peter Crowley, Admiral in 2005/2005, also realised that as Cork was to be European Capital of Culture, it would be appropriate to release a book on the history of the oldest yacht club in the world, and indeed gave his wholehearted support for the project. 

His own love of sailing and his knowledge of Cork Harbour was of huge assistance in compiling the history of the club. In fact, that publication would not have happened without his enthusiasm, dedication and sheer hard work. But his input certainly did not stop there. He continued to research the origins of the club and to interact with people (both within and outside the club) who shared his interest in the history of sailing.

He has left a remarkable legacy in the club Archives which he built up so carefully over the years and which will be a vital resource for future researchers. His role in the 2005 book and his ongoing contributions to publications, to interested individuals and groups, and to the media, have been immense and were rightfully acknowledged when he was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Dermot will be greatly missed by all in the Royal Cork and our sympathies are with Fran and their wide circle of family and friends.

Published in Royal Cork YC

At the 301st AGM last Thursday evening, Kieran O’Connell was elected the 43rd Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. In his acceptance speech, O'Connell thanked Past Admiral Colin Morehead for the manner in which he executed his role over the past two years and steered the club through the Tricentenary celebrations and ongoing pandemic.

O’Connell, who now enters his ninth year on the Royal Cork Executive Committee, has been part of the Royal Cork all his life, having started sailing in mirrors and in recent years competing in keelboat and National 18 events throughout the country. On being appointed, he addressed members and reflected on the strength of the club at present with membership at a ten year high and finances particularly healthy. He spoke briefly about plans for further development of club facilities, including exploration of lifting, servicing and storage facilities for boats ashore.

Royal Cork Admiral, Kieran O'ConnellRoyal Cork Admiral, Kieran O'Connell Photo: Bob Bateman

The incoming Admiral also outlined his wish to complete the five-year plan for the club which will be key to retaining existing members and introducing new members to the oldest club in the world.

Following the success of the youth pathway model, O’Connell highlighted plans to adapt the model to cater to adult sailing, with the clubs growing fleet of now 20 keelboats and dinghies being key to introducing newcomers to the sport in a cost efficient manner.

Following a bumper year of events in the club, including multiple national and regional championships, the highlights of 2022 without doubt will be Volvo Cork Week in July and the 505 World Championships in August.

In his closing remarks, he set out the fact that nothing could be achieved without the support and dedication of its staff and its incredible committees and volunteers.

Vice Admiral, Annamarie FeganVice Admiral, Annamarie Fegan Photo: Bob Bateman

O’Connell has formed an experienced and enthusiastic committee. Making history, Annamarie Fegan was elected Vice Admiral of the Crosshaven club, the first female Vice Admiral in the club’s 302 year existence. Fegan is best recognised in sailing circles as co-owner of ‘Nieulargo’ with husband Denis Murphy and daughters Molly and Mia, winners of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle, the Fastnet 450 and one of the favourites for the Round Ireland Race in 2022. Annamarie will also co-chair Volvo Cork Week 2022 with Ross Deasy.

Rear Admiral Keelboats, Paul TingleRear Admiral Keelboats, Paul Tingle Photo: Bob Bateman

Paul Tingle was elected Rear Admiral Keelboats and brings with him a wealth of experience having first started sailing in Mirrors and Enterprises and now sailing the family’s new X-4 ‘Alpaca’. Sailing talk is unavoidable in the Tingle household with the family having undertaken Olympic campaigns, Fastnet Races, Dun Laoghaire to Dingle’s and much more in recent years.

Rear Admiral Dinghies, Maurice Collins Rear Admiral Dinghies, Maurice Collins Photo: Bob Bateman

Maurice Collins was elected Rear Admiral Dinghies, a considerable undertaking given the success and growth in the Youth Pathway in the Royal Cork. Having served as class captain in the Topper fleet for a number of years and with four sons competing throughout the classes in the club, Maurice is excellently positioned to ensure there is something for all youth sailors, from international competition to that first tack or gybe.

Denis Byrne, Chairman of RCYC Marina & Facilities committeeDenis Byrne, Chairman of RCYC Marina & Facilities committee Photo: Bob Bateman

Denis Byrne was elected Chairman of the Marina & Facilities committee. From the incoming Admiral’s acceptance speech, it’s clear Denis and his committee will have some exciting projects on the cards in the years ahead. Denis has been close to unstoppable in his Trapper TP250 ‘Cracker’ in Cork Harbour IRC racing in recent years.

Remaining on the committee for another term are Mike Rider as Rear Admiral Cruising, Pat Harte as Treasurer and Alex Barry as Chair of Membership, Communication and Events.

Alex Barry Chair Membership, Communications and EventsAlex Barry,Chair Membership, Communications and Events Photo: Bob Bateman

Published in Royal Cork YC

Classic yacht owners in France have been encouraged to join Volvo Cork Week 2022 with the introduction of a dedicated class at next summer’s regatta.

Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Colin Morehead made the announcement at the 2021 Paris Boat Show last week along with President Pascal Stefani, Yves Lambert and Yves Gaignet of the Atlantic Yacht Club.

The two clubs have entered into a collaboration — Goto Cork 2022 — aimed at attracting classic yacht owners in France to participate in Cork Week when it returns in July 2022 after a pandemic-enforced absence in 2020.

COVID restrictions also delayed celebration of the Royal Cork’s reciprocal agreement signed with the Yacht Club de France in March 2020.

While in Paris, Admiral Morehead took the opportunity to exchange burgees with Yacht Club de France President Philippe Heral at its clubhouse in the city.

Earlier today, Afloat.ie noted the inclusion of a Cape 31 fleet in next summer’s regatta comprising boats from both the UK and a burgeoning Irish fleet.

Published in Cork Week

The Royal Cork Yacht Club has confirmed that two Irish Cape 31s which are currently in build, one from Cork and one from Dublin, have now entered Volvo Cork Week 2022.

The entry form and advance notice of regatta are live on the RCYC website.

It’s expected that the Irish fleet will have grown to four of five boats by next July when the Cork Week regatta returns for a delayed Cork300 celebration after its pandemic-enforced absence in 2020.

And it’s also hoped that they will be bolstered by visiing Cape 31s from the UK for five days of championship racing in the waters surrounding Cork Harbour.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie back in August, plans are afoot to build a sportsboat fleet here from the South African racer-inspired design by Wicklow-based Mark Mills.

Published in Cork Week

Fiona Young's Albin Express North Star leads the IRC White Sails Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Winter League 2021 after five races sailed in Cork Harbour.

The Myrtleville helmswoman has a two-point margin after today's race in an ideal northwest sailing breeze at the bottom of a December spring tide.

One time leader, Diamond (Colman Garvey / Kieran Kelleher), is second on nine points from Richard Leonard's Bolero Bandit on 13 points.

Fiona Young's Albin Express North StarFiona Young's Albin Express North Star Photo: Bob Bateman

After a running start from Cage out the harbour to No. 3 buoy the course set by Race Officer Clem McElligott took the fleet on a beat back to Cage and then a harbour course to the finish.

The Tingle family's new X-4 AlpacaFront runner - The Tingle family's new X-4 Alpaca Photo: Bob Bateman

The Tingle family's new X-4 Alpaca led on the water but in their wake were some real boat to boat battles real between Anthony O'Leary's modified 1720 and Nick Walsh's new 1720 entry Breaking Bad. Likewise, there was a good tussle between the overall leader North Star and the quarter tonner Diamond.

Results are here

Day Five O'Leary Insurances Winter League Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman

Published in Royal Cork YC

After four races sailed, Fiona Young's North Star Albin Express has taken the lead in Royal Cork's O’Leary Insurance Winter League.

The Young crew on four points now have a four-point lead over league debutantes Colman Garvey and Kieran Kelleher sailing their new Quarter Tonner Diamond who had held the lead on IRC for the first three races. 

One point further back is Richard Leonard's Bolero, Bandit.

Scroll down for photo galleries by Afloat's Bob Bateman of the first three races.

As Afloat reported previously, the league is being held ‘all-in’ and under ‘White Sails’ only for the first time.

Colman Garvey and Kieran Kelleher new Quarter Tonner DiamondColman Garvey and Kieran Kelleher new Quarter Tonner Diamond

© Afloat.ie

Results are here

2021 O'Leary Winter League Photo Gallery Race 3

2021 O'Leary Winter League Photo Gallery Race 2

2021 O'Leary Winter League Photo Gallery Race 1

Published in Royal Cork YC

The Royal Cork Yacht Club has announced that this year’s O’Leary Insurances Winter League will be run as an all-in White Sail league.

The club says it initiated the trial event for 2021 to encourage as many keelboats as possible out for the Cork Harbour league, where all boats will be racing against each other for the Archie O’Leary Trophy.

Clem & Wendy McElligott will be back in the OOD boat for the league which kicks off this Sunday 7 November. First Gun will be 12.25pm with one all-in race per day.

The Notice of Race, with links to the entry form and race declaration, is available from the RCYC website HERE.

Published in Royal Cork YC
Page 1 of 20

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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