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#RS400 - Alex Barry and Richard Leonard finished third in the RS400 Europeans at Weymouth this week.

The Cork Harbour duo completed an international podium, with Stewart and Sarah Robertson of Scotland taking the win and Francisco and Teresa Lobato of Portugal in second.

Sailing was very tight throughout the five days of racing for the 71-boat fleet, with Barry reporting that any one of five boats was capable of taking the event in the last race.

Notable entries included double Olympic silver medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner Ian Walker, who was ninth overall.

Robbie O’Sullivan and Phil McGlade were the other Irish boat traveling, with a 33rd place finish in the Gold fleet. Full results are here.

The event was part of the wider RS anniversary games, which will see 2,000 sailors take to the water at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy by the end of this month.

Published in RS Sailing

#RS400 - A solid fifth in the final race of the RS400 UK Nationals yesterday (Thursday 24 August) capped off a week that saw Alex Barry and Richard Leonard finish fourth overall.

The ultimate result was even more satisfying for the Royal Cork/Monkstown Bay pair as they were among the few boats to get ahead of potentially race-stopping sea breeze, one that opened a sizeable hole in the course on Mount’s Bay and left most of the fleet in confusion, as Yachts and Yachting reports.

It was also much consolation after a disappointing first race on the day — Barry and Leonard’s worst placing of the week at 29th but one that discards ensured wouldn’t blemish their final tally.

As predicted, John Gorringe and Oli Wells of Parkstone Yacht Club took the championship with a bullet in the very last race of the five-day event, though it wasn’t a sure thing after a seventh in Thursday’s first race took a chunk out of their lead and added to the pressure.

Meanwhile, three other Irish boats in the fleet showed strong performances in Cornwall this week.

Monkstown Bay’s John Downey and Sandy Rimmington were the highest placed Bronze fleet pairing at 11th overall, while Sean Cleary and Annalise Nixon of Oxford Sailing Club placed 24th and Robbie O’Sullivan and Phil McGlade, also of Monkstown Bay, finished 38th.

Yachts and Yachting has more on the final action at Mount’s Bay, including the overall results for all 75 boats.

Published in RS Sailing

#RS400 - It’s fifth place for Alex Barry and Richard Leonard after three days and six races at the RS400 UK Nationals in Cornwall.

The recent Southern Championship defending pair from the RCYC and Monkstown Bay on Cork Harbour scored a fourth and an 11th in racing on Mount’s Bay today (Wednesday 23 August), making their lighter set-up work despite the breeze.

Though the results saw them drop down a couple of places on the overall table, Barry and Leonard remain within touching distance of the championship currently within the grasp of John Gorringe and Oli Wells of Parkstone Yacht Club in Poole, who scored a pair of bullets to extend their lead.

Yachts and Yachting has more on the day’s action HERE.

Published in RS Sailing
The well attended ICRA meeting of March 10th held at Kilkenny covered many interesting sailing topics not least the forthcoming ICRA Championships June 17th to 19th at Crosshaven writes Claire Bateman.

Simon McGibney of WIORA confirmed there are already at least 15 boats interested in travelling to the event to join with the Cork, Kinsale and East coast boats. There is also the tantalising prospect of the fleet being joined by no less than ten quarter tonners from the UK who also plan to sail in the Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale the following week. Most of these British boats are crewed by professionals and will race with the Irish Class three fleet. They will, however, be scored separately and will receive a separate trophy.

Sailing with the Quarter Ton fleet will be Anchor Challenge, beautifully restored and modified by former owner Peter Morton, and now in the ownership of Eamon Rohan. At the weekend our spy spotted an all white gleaming boat wending its way up the Kinsale Road and wondered could this possibly have been Anchor Challenge and, if so, will we see a battle between the all black Tiger and the all white newcomer??

For the duration of the ICRA National Championships there will be subsidised launching at Ringaskiddy for all trailerable boats. In addition a very attractive accommodation package has been arranged for all ICRA competitors at the Carrigaline Court Hotel. They are offering three nights B/B plus one evening dinner from Thursday to Saturday and free B/B for Sunday night at €129 per person sharing.

A crew list has been set up by RCYC for skippers wishing to acquire crews with local knowledge and Race Officers for the event will be the hugely experienced Peter Crowley and Richard Leonard.

ICRA Commodore Barry Rose was delighted to inform the meeting that Yacht Designer Mark Mills has joined the ICRA committee where his expertise and wide knowledge will be greatly appreciated. Mark gave a most interesting report on recent developments re racing matters. One item referred to the fact that boats with bulb keels will now be more severely rated and another item of interest is discussion going on with regard to changing the rating bands for the 2012 Commodores Cup. It is believed there is a move afoot to lower the bands i.e. the current middle rated boat may be the big boat for the 2012 event.

Published in ICRA

What a day this Sunday's racing turned out to be. From the moment one turned the corner on to the Crosshaven road at Carrigaline there was magic in the air writes Claire Bateman. The sun was shining, the trees were resplendent in their multi colour seasonal changes and the line of cars making their way to the Royal Cork Yacht Club was non-stop. The forecast said Sunday was going to be a very nice day with lots of sunshine but nowhere did I hear anyone say anything other than winds would be light and, so it seemed, until a flag outside one of the supermarkets on the road to Carrigaline seemed to be moving pretty nicely and was a taste of things to come.

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Tight racing in the penultimate race of Royal Cork's October League. Photo: Bob Bateman. Scroll down for more photos from yesterday

Classes Zero, One and 1720s got the nicest wind on the laid course to day. Race Officer Richard Leonard and his race committee in Capta Ventum, kindly provided by Pascal Healy, certainly made the best of the day. Today Richard decided on a change of format and started the 1720s first followed by Classes Zero and One together and then Class Two. He gave the fleets short courses providing very tight racing ensuring the crews had plenty of hard work and also providing very exciting viewing with a few heart-stopping moments. The 1720s, Zero and One did three rounds and Class Two did two rounds. With a northerly breeze of some 10 knots gusting to 12 and occasionally 14, it was to provide a tantalising taste of what was to come and there was no disappointment. Voices that hadn't needed to be raised at marks on previous Sundays found the necessity to make themselves heard today and the action was fascinating with hard work on the boats but a sense of great sailing exhilaration emanating from them.

Coming into race two of the day the skippers and crews had got the bit well between their teeth and were all like bucking broncos at the start line. In Class Zero there was an individual recall sounded. Jump Juice and Freya answered the call immediately and returned to restart and after some little while Gloves Off returned and while not knowing the reason why, one can only assume the helmsman perhaps was not quite convinced he had been over but then decided to return having considered it. Again the wind duly obliged and as in the first race, there were boats to the left, boats to the right and boats pretty well everywhere one looked. In Class Zero Tom Roche's Meridian from Kinsale had been performing extremely well but was slightly under
crewed today and was unlucky enough to have an incident at the weather mark in this race and after that things just did not go their way and they retired. This must have been disappointing as they had been doing so well. With Jump Juice winning the first race today and Gloves Off taking the second race and first overall to date in the series, the last day of racing next Saturday will be crucial as these races will be non discardable.

Race Officer Anthony O'Leary stood in to day for David O'Brien and the committee boat Sabrone was again kindly provided by Admiral Paddy McGlade. It was not such a lucky day wind wise inside the harbour for Classes Three and Four and White Sail 1 and 2. There was also extremely low water to day
and some of the skippers mentioned they had in fact touched rocks. Nonetheless they enjoyed good racing if at a somewhat lower pace than the competitors on the laid course.

At this point in time Class Three IRC looks like a two horse race with Tiger on 9pts followed by Bandit on 11pts. Class Four has a very similar situation with Sundancer on 9pts followed by Granny knot on 11pts. In White Sail 1 IRC Minx 111 had a good day to day with a first and second and currently has 7pts overall and the two big boats in the fleet Chancer from Kinsale and Aisha from RCYC are on 14pts each. In White Sail 2 IRC Plumbat is on 6pts overall with Phaeton on 9pts and Silk Breeze on 12pts.

And so we are coming to the final race of this exciting series. All competitors should note carefully that racing will take place on SATURDAY NEXT OCTOBER 30TH. The prize giving dinner will take place that evening at the Club House .

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MORE OCTOBER LEAGUE GALLERY IMAGES HERE 

 

Published in Royal Cork YC
Royal Cork Yacht Club hosted the 2010 National Championships of the 420 class last weekend. Principal Race Officer for the event, which was sailed out of Cuskinny in Cork harbour was Richard Leonard.

There was an abundance of sailing talent at the start line and Saturday's sailing took place in 15 to 20kts of breeze with Rob Lehane and Andrew O'Donoghue taking the overnight lead from Richie Harrington and Robbie English with Emma Geary and Niamh Connolly third in a fleet of sixteen boats.

Day two was back to Cuskinny with light north westerlies and saw Jane Butler and Jenny Andreason taking the first race. Emma and Niamh won the fifth race and Cian O'Regan (KYC) and Scott Flanigan (Howth YC) took the final race thus winning the National Title. Rob Lehane was second with Emma and Niamh taking third position and First Girls Boat.

420 National Championships 2010 

1 53156 Cian O'Regan M Scott Flanigan M 13 2 4 9 4 2 1

2 ROB Rob Lehane M Andrew O'Donoghue M 15 1 1 4 5 4 5
3 53698 Emma Geary F Niamh Connolly F 16 3 7 2 10 1 3
4 53578 Richard Harrington M Robbie English M 17 6 2 1 2 7 6
5 53160 Jane Butler F Jennifer Andreason F 18 4 3 7 1 6 4
6 53576 Diana Kissane F Hazel O'Neill 22 14 6 3 3 3 7
7 53836 Aodh Kennedy M Daniel Browne M 33 14 8 5 7 5 8
8 52227 Eoghan Cudmore M Jack Hogan M 33 7 5 6 6 10 9
9 53116 Fiona Daly F Patrick Daly M 38 12 14 8 8 8 2
10 2 Tara Flood F Lucy Bolger F 49 9 12 11 9 9 11
11 53206 Muirean Guilfoyle F Eimer O'Leary F 53 8 9 13 15 11 12
12 52684 Dermot McMorrough M Ali Dix F 54 10 10 10 12 12 13
13 53103 Richard Roberts M Grattan Roberts M 55 5 14 15 11 15 10
14 52235 John Durcan M Vikki Cudmore F 64 11 15 12 13 13 15
15 5357 Seafra Guilfoyle M Philip Brownlow M 66 13 11 14 14 14 14

 

Published in Racing

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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