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Displaying items by tag: Richard Burrows

Ireland will be well represented across the fleet at the Etchells European Championships that starts in Cowes today.

The Etchells 22 Class is, by many, regarded as one of the most competitive one design keelboat classes left now that there is no longer an Olympic Keelboat class.

The 2016 Worlds are scheduled for Cowes, Isle of Wight from the 5th to the 12th of Sept and will have 61 top level entries. Prior to that, in the same venue, will be the Etchells 22 European Championships, over today and tomorrow, which will is an unofficial warm–up event for the worlds.

Irish Interest in these events will be Malahide Yacht Club's Richard Burrows who is sailing Bedrock, with his daughter Samantha and local top sailor James Downer from Cowes. Royal Cork Yacht Club's Mark Mansfield, a four times Olympian in the Star Class, fresh from Success at the Irish IRC champs, Round Ireland Race, and European IRC Champs will sail as tactician on Andrew Coopers’ Ice. Mansfield has already Competed in the Quarter Ton Worlds in Cowes this year where he finished sixth and a fortnight ago won Cowes week in the Etchells 22 class aboard Coopers’ Ice.

Also racing in Cowes is Doris, skippered by Jay Bourke of Dun Laoghaire. Paddy Dillon (ex–Mermaid National Champion), Ruairi Grimes (third at recent J111 Worlds), Cathal Leigh Doyle (a former UCD Student Worlds Champion) and Morgan Reeser (American 470 Olympian married to 1996 Olympian Louise Cole) are also competing. Maurice O'Connell is coaching USA 1000 and USA 1404.

The Etchells Class is the choice of Many top Americas Cup and Olympic sailors and some top sailors competing this year include John Bertrand, Lawrie Smith, Steve Benjamin, Andy Beadsworth, Ante Razmiloviz, Chris Larson, Jud Smith, Jeff Madrigal, Luis Dopreste.

Reigning Champion is Skip Diebal from the USA and he will have his work cut out for him with such a competitive fleet, the majority of whom come from the USA, UK, Australia, and Hong Kong.

Published in Etchells

#etchells – An eighth scored in race four of the Etchells World Championships has moved sole Irish boat, Bedrock sailed by Richard, David and Samantha Burrows, up to 27th overall in New York. Overall results are here

Bill Hardesty's resilience has brought him and his crew of Taylor Canfield, Stephanie Roble and Marcus Eagan to the top of the leader board despite a heavy downpour and fluky winds on the third day of the 2014 Etchells Worlds, hosted by the New York Yacht Club at Harbour Court in association with Sail Newport.

After a two-hour postponement on shore followed by another two hours on the water, storm clouds gathered, the wind velocity increased and the wind direction settled down enough to allow Race 5 to start. Shortly after that, the rain began, so forceful at times the weather mark was obscured. Those who sailed to the right, toward the squall, faired better and rounded the weather mark in the lead, albeit a bit wetter for their efforts. The wind shifted left throughout the race dropping slightly in velocity. Senet Bischoff and Ben Kinney won Race 5 by a healthy margin with Hardesty finishing fourth, giving him a 9-point lead over Hank Lammens, who finished 16th in today's race. Marvin Beckman sits in third overall followed by John Bertrand in fourth and Ante Razmilovic rounding out the top 5.

Today's start time has by moved up one hour tomorrow to maximize what is expected to be a dying northerly breeze. After six races have been completed, each team will be able to discard their worst finish.

The 2014 Etchells Worlds will continue until tomorrow Saturday.

Published in Etchells

#etchells – Ireland has a single entry in a 95–boat fleet for the 2014 Etchells keelboat World Championship from June 21 to 28 in New York. The class's 46th world championship will be one of the biggest and most competitive in its celebrated history. 

Malahide and Howth Yacht Club sailing family trio, Richard, David (a four time Olympian) and Samantha Burrows are entered in the Corinthian, Masters and Seniors divisions in a fleet that has already attracted some of the world's top professional and amateur sailors.

Long Island Sound yacht designer and builder Skip Etchells created the 31-foot keelboat in 1965 hoping to win selection as the new Olympic keelboat.

The design dominated the racing in the selection trials, but lost in the onshore voting for Olympic status. For the 2016 Olympics, there will be no keelboat sailed in the Olympic regatta.

But nearly 50 years after the first Etchells touched the water, the class is as strong as ever.

The number of entries in recent class world championships has varied from 41 last year to a high of 100 in 1998.

Up to nine races are scheduled, all but one of which will count toward a team's final score. Registration and measurement for the regatta will start on Saturday, June 21, with the racing taking place on Rhode Island Sound, Tuesday, June 24, through Saturday, June 28.

For an entry list click here.

Published in Etchells

#etchells – There's not much interest in recruiting women into the Etchell's class as it prepares for the world championships in Rosignano Solvay, Italy this week if the response to an Irish 'bio break' query is anything to go by.

There was a howl of resistance – mainly Australian in origin –  against any special provision for women when Irish skipper Richard Burrows from Howth asked about mother ship facilities for his female crew at this weekend's pre-world Italian championship.

Burrows is sailing with son David and daughter Samantha at this week's Italian championships and next week's worlds at the same venue.

"Bucket and chuck it" appears to be the mantra. Easy for some!

There will be no facility in high temperature and long days on the water.  Is this the way forward at an international world championships or should regatta organisers make such a provision?

Or is it a wider issue where it appears class traditionalists would probably prefer if women were not taken as crew in the class?

A glance at the entry list so far shows the Howth trio is one of only two mixed crews in the entire line up.

The regatta site proudly boasts this Italian venue is the 'first Etchells Worlds to be held in a non–Anglo Saxon country'. 

It's great to see the venerable class charting new waters but perhaps a more considerate approach to the fairer sex might also help in the drive to boost numbers?

Published in Etchells

#sailing – Former Irish Olympic Sailing Chief Richard Burrows has been following the debate on the future for Irish sailing and suggests the focus should be on recruiting the next generation of sailors. Writing today (as a grandfather), the 1986 Round Ireland race winner and former champion dinghy sailor is concerned that the proper fabric for training youngsters is in place.

I have followed the debate following on from the ISA meeting through the excellent facility of your Afloat updates.
The input from Roger Bannon contains much which I instinctively agree with but I do recognise that as far as young sailors are concerned I am very much out of date. However as a grandfather I look forward to introducing a new generation to sailing and I am concerned that the proper fabric for training, encouraging, and motivating youngsters is in place.
Clubs bear responsibility for this. And club members must play an active role. Junior sailing is not a babysitting service that can be outsourced to the ISA. An example of this being done well is to be found at Malahide Yacht Club. There, it comes down to active leaders on committee, great officers, and reasonable pricing. Choices about which boat are immaterial so long as the boats are safe, easily sailed, and cheap.
Roger makes some polemic comments about High Performance sailing and the funds devoted to this aspect of the sport. He won't mind me reminding him that he was in the Presidents chair when the foundation of today's policy was put in place with his full support. He is right that Olympic medals have proven to be elusive but this is just a matter of time.

At Weymouth two competitors were potential medal winners but it wasn't to be. Would this debate be taking place if medals had been won?

Yes, in my view, the two aspects of the sport are only connected by the fact that high performance sailing attracts publicity, and thus awareness of sailing. Club sailing will not produce column inches. And, spreading the funds devoted to support high performance sailing into club activities would not move the needle as the club base is so large.
So, my suggestion is to focus the debate on recruiting the next generation of sailors. And that means club members getting involved at club level. If ISA instructors are not up to it don't employ them. Charge nominal subscriptions to members under the age of 25. Embrace all forms of sailing including boards and kites. The responsibility lies with clubs. We cannot allow nanny state thinking to pervade and render clubs moribund in the expectation that the ISA will save them.

Published in ISA

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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