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Displaying items by tag: Royal Cork Yacht Club

Kieran Collins Coracle IV of the host club leads the IRC Spinnaker 0/1 Division after the first race of Royal Cork Yacht Club's AIB Autumn League in Cork Harbour.

The Olson 30 made the most of the big seas and strong winds to take the first gun ahead of Brian Jones' J/109 Jelly Baby.

Third in the combined Zero and One eight boat fleet was the Grand Soleil 40, Nieulargo (Denis and Annamarie Murphy).

Fiona Young's Albin Express North Star tops an eight boat IRC 2 Spinnaker division. Dave Lane's J24 lies second with Sean Hanley's HB 31 Luas lying third.

Royal Cork's club J/24 Jumbalaya surfs a wave in the first race of the Autumn LeagueRoyal Cork's club J/24 Jumbalaya surfs a wave in the first race of the Autumn League

Royal Cork's Autumn League Race One Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman

Full results across all divisions are here 

Published in Royal Cork YC

"We have a lot of quick boats entered, and it's going to be a very competitive and hotly-contested league," predicts the Royal Cork's Rear Admiral for Keelboats, Daragh Connolly, as he assembles fleet arrangements for the Autumn League, which begins at the Crosshaven club on Sunday.

There will be two races each Sunday for all fleets with First Gun at 11.25 a.m.

Conor Phelan's Ker Jump Juice has recovered from the hull drama that beset her prior to this month's ICRA Nationals on Dublin Bay and is looking forward to competition on home waters Photo: Bob Bateman Conor Phelan's Ker Jump Juice has recovered from the hull drama that beset her prior to this month's ICRA Nationals on Dublin Bay and is looking forward to Autumn competition on home waters Photo: Bob Bateman

A variety of courses is planned using Windward/Leeward, Round-the-Cans and Coastal. The number of classes into which the fleets will be divided will be finalised when entries close this Friday. Over 40 boats have entered so far.

Making her return to Cork from the Dublin Bay J109 Nationals last weekend, Brian Jones's Jelly Baby is an RCYC Autumn League stalwart Photo: Bob Bateman Making her return to Cork from the Dublin Bay J109 Nationals last weekend, Brian Jones's Jelly Baby is an RCYC Autumn League stalwart Photo: Bob Bateman

Fleets will be split into groupings depending on the number of entries. These groups are expected to be: Group A Class 0, Class 1 & Class 2; Group B 1720s/Sports boats/Dayboats; Group C. White Sail 1 and 2.

The winner of the RCYC July League, Mike McCann's Etchells 22 Don't Dilly Dally is entered for the Autumn SeriesThe winner of the RCYC July League, Mike McCann's Etchells 22 Don't Dilly Dally is entered for the Autumn Series Photo: Bob Bateman

Racing will be inside and outside Cork Harbour.

Valid 2021 IRC and ECHO rating certificates are required.

The 1720 fleet will be competing for European honours in Waterford this weekend but are expected to join the Autumn league in subsequent weeks Photo: Bob BatemanThe 1720 fleet will be competing for European honours in Waterford this weekend but are expected to join the Autumn league in subsequent weeks Photo: Bob Bateman

"If club racing is anything to go by, there will be strong battles for the top places," says Connolly. "These were seen in the club's Tercentenary At Home Regatta. in the Cobh-to Blackrock Race and in the Navy Race, so the scene is well set for a great Autumn League, sponsored by AIB, which has given great support to sailing. From the start next Sunday to the end of October, the rivalry between boats will make for great competition."

The Bolero Bandit is an Autumn league regular Photo: Bob BatemanThe Bolero Bandit is an Autumn league regular Photo: Bob Bateman

The Autumn League is an Open event with boats and fleets from other clubs taking part.

Daragh Connolly is my Podcast guest this week and describes the fleet that will be competing. It is a big change from last year when the Covid pandemic impacted the League.

PODCAST here

Published in Tom MacSweeney

For the second time in three editions, Southern Yacht Club will leave the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court with the most prestigious trophy in Corinthian sailing, the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, firmly in its collective grasp.

Ireland's two teams at the week-long event from Cork and Howth finished fourth and 18th respectively. 

The team from New Orleans—led by skipper John Lovell and tactician Marcus Eagan, and supported both here and in New Orleans by hundreds, if not thousands of family, friends and fellow members—were incredibly consistent through 12 races over 5 days, with 9 top-four finishes and not a single race result outside the top 10.

In some races, it looked simple as the team parlayed solid starts, prescient tactical calls and superior boatspeed into an express pass to the head of the 19-boat fleet of international yacht club teams. But in other races, particularly in the second half of the regatta, it was a battle as Southern Yacht Club spent a fair bit of time in the back half of the fleet.

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

"It’s never easy," said Eagan, who skippered the team's winning 2017 entry, with Lovell as his tactician. "The leads are always marginal, it’s just crazy. Especially when you’re up the Bay in a light northerly. It was very dicey. It’s all about that one cross or that good start."

After four straight wins on Day 3 and Day 4, San Diego Yacht Club started the final day looking every bit a legitimate threat to overtake Southern for the championship. But the first race of the day couldn't have gone any worse; an 18th knocking San Diego out of contention. Royal Thames Yacht Club took the gun, and assumed second place in the overall standings.

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

The regatta's final race was perhaps its most mentally challenging, with the breeze fading in and out and shifting frequently. Royal Thames started on the wrong foot by fouling Southern just seconds before the gun. But RTYC tactician Ian Dobson and skipper John Greenland made quick work of the variable breeze to climb right back into the hunt, rounding the first mark one place ahead of Southern.

Being in front was one small victory, but getting enough separation to overcome SYC's 13-point advantage proved too steep a climb. Greenland continued to slice through the fleet for a third, but Southern was able to follow suit, finishing sixth and becoming the second yacht club, after the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in 2011 and 2013, to win the trophy for a second time.

As is tradition at the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, the final day started with a Parade of Nations around Newport Harbor, complete with multiple cannon salutes. That ceremony completed, all 19 teams and assorted race committee and support craft headed north of Gould Island in Narragansett Bay's East Passage for an on-time start at 11 am.

It was apparent before the first gun that the day of racing would be anything but straightforward. The breeze, forecast for the middle teens, was barely holding onto double digit windspeeds and regularly dancing right or left of the median wind direction. For a crew with solid boat speed and a lead to defend, it was far from ideal.

"I was pretty stressed, I couldn’t even eat in between races," said Lovell, an Olympic silver medalist in the Tornado class. "You don’t want to choke. Our goal going into the day was 10 points, and I think we got nine. I can’t thank the crew enough.

"Our team just put it together. Everyone did their jobs and did them well. Marcus said it best at the beginning of the event, 'If everyone does their job, we’re going to be there.' And everyone did their job, and we didn’t make any real big mistakes, and that was it."

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

Also on the Southern team were Andrew Eagan, Dwight LeBlanc IV, Christian Gambel, Jay Kuebel, Miia Newman, Katy Lovell and Rick Merriman. Kuebel, both Eagans, Lovell and Merriman were all part of the winning team in 2017. Merriman is now the only three-time winner of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, having also won the inaugural edition as part of the New York Yacht Club team.

For host New York Yacht Club, it was an up-and-down regatta that included two race wins, but also a quartet of double-digit finishes. It ended on a strong note for Commodore Christopher J. Culver and his crew (Bow 19, at left) as they won the pin, hit the left corner and took the victory in the final race of the regatta.

"I'm so proud of the team," said Culver of his crew. "They worked so hard, first to qualify as the New York Yacht Club representative and then all week during the regatta. We feel we left a little bit out there on the racecourse, but every team probably feels that way. So it was really special to finish on a high note. I love our team, they really came together well and were so competitive. The camaraderie is really special as well."

Another team ending with a bang was the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, which followed New York Yacht Club across the line in the final race to record its best finish of the regatta.

"We were building up to this for three days," said Royal Swedish Yacht Club skipper Filip Engelbert. "We started off a little bit too hot tempted on board, I think, and then we decided, three days to go, just have a little bit of fun. We were gradually building up and finally we came through in the last race. A happy boat is a good boat."

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

Thanks to a second in the first race of the day, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda moved from ninth to seventh in the overall standings, by far its best finish in three Invitational Cup appearances.

"We changed our tactics for the start, and we had a really good start in the first race," said Edoardo Mancinelli Scotti, the team's main trimmer. "We had a really good tactician, we went on the left and turned the first mark first. It was a really good race for us and we gained two places in the final standings. This was my second Invitational Cup here in Newport, I just love this place and the IC37 is fantastic."

But no one was more pleased than Southern. A proud club with a strong sailing tradition, it has established a new standard of excellence at this event, and its domestic championship the Resolute Cup, which it won in 2016.

"It’s just incredible, a wonderful event," said Lovell. "This is, in my opinion, the best big boat regatta in the world."

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Final Results

(Place, Club Name, Boat Number, Country, Race results; Regatta Total)
1. Southern Yacht Club, Boat 3, USA, 1, 10, 2, 4, 1, 3, 3, 4, 9, 2, 3, 6; 48
2. Royal Thames Yacht Club, Boat 10, GBR, 2, 2, 1, 8, 8, 9, 9, 2, 10, 3, 1, 3; 58
3. San Diego Yacht Club. Boat 17, USA, 12, 4, 5, 6, 12, 5, 1, 1, 1, 1, 18, 11; 77
4. Royal Cork Yacht Club, Boat 13, IRL, 3, 3, 11, 1, 6, 6, 4, 9, 2, 16, 11, 9; 81
5. New York Yacht Club, Boat 19, USA, 4, 1, 7, 3, 5, 12, 7, 11, 15, 10, 7, 1; 83
6. Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Boat 5, CAN, 13, 9, 16, 9, 2, 4, 5, 5, 3, 14, 4, 4; 88
7. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Boat 14, ITA, 7*, 12, 3, 16, 7, 8, 6, 14, 4, 12, 2, 13; 104
8. Eastern Yacht Club, Boat 16, USA, 12*, 6, 4, 5, 3, 2, 8, 16, 18, 8, 16, 8; 106
9. The San Francisco Yacht Club, Boat 2, USA, 17, 7, 9, 2, 11, 1, 14, 15, 5, 4, 9, 15; 109
10. American Yacht Club, Boat 8, USA, 9*, 11, 8, 13*, 13, 16, 2, 6, 11, 6, 15, 5; 115
11. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Boat 6, SWE, 10, 8, 18, 14, 9, 13, 16, 10, 6, 7, 10, 2; 123
12. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Boat 15, CAN, 7, 5, 6, 7, 19, 17, 19, 12, 19, 5, 8, 12; 136
13. Noroton Yacht Club, Boat 7, USA, 15, 14, 10, 10, 14, 10, 17, 8, 14, 15, 12, 7; 146
14. Nyländska Jaktklubben, Boat 12, FIN, 6*, 18, 13, 15, 10, 15, 12, 7, 17, 19, 5, 10; 147
15. Yacht Club Argentino, Boat 9, ARG, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 7, 10, 3, 13, 17, 13, 17; 150
16. Yacht Club Italiano, Boat 18, ITA, 10*, 17, 12, 17, 16, 14, 11, 13, 12, 18, 6, 14; 160
17. Itchenor Sailing Club, Boat 11, GBR, 19, 15, 15, 18, 4, 18, 13, 17, 8, 11, 17, 16; 171
18. Howth Yacht Club, Boat 4, IRL, 16, 16, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 19, 7, 9, 19, 19; 175
19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Boat 20, BER, 18, 19, 19, 19, 18, 19, 18, 18, 16, 13, 14, 18; 209

*Race score includes 1-point penalty for early extension of sprit

Published in Royal Cork YC

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club is lying fourth overall but can retain its 2019 bronze medal if strong results are secured in Saturday's final two races of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

Ireland's second team at the event, Howth Yacht Club had its best two results on Thursday at Newport, Rhode Island scoring a 7, 9, their first top tens of the series to be 16th overall.

The story line at the sharp end of the fleet on Day 4 of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup was much the same as on Day 3. San Diego Yacht Club played from in front, starting fast and stretching away to another two wins. For those keeping score at home, that's four consecutive wins across two very different race arenas for Tyler Sinks and crew. Meanwhile, Southern Yacht Club's crew showed again that no one can work out of a jam quite like they can, turning a potential clunker into a ninth, and following that up with a lunch-pail second.

When the dust cleared from a very challenging day on Narragansett Bay's East Passage, Southern Yacht Club remained the overall leader, with a nine-point advantage over second place, which is now occupied by San Diego. Royal Thames Yacht Club sits third. And that's the extent of the teams with a realistic shot at the championship, though Royal Cork Yacht Club and the host New York Yacht Club shouldn't be ruled out for a podium.

"It really comes down to technique and working together as a team," said San Diego tactician Jake LaDow, when asked about the team's speed advantage over the past two days. "That [includes] weight on and off the rail, loading the boat up, and really fine tuning the sail trim. That’s been what we’ve been getting better and better at. In these really tight races, you need these two-foot crosses every once in a while. The first couple of days, our speed wasn’t as good as it is at this point in the regatta, and we had a couple of unlucky breaks. Sometimes you need those small victories throughout the race to really punch through and allow your race to free up."

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

After a punishing day on Rhode Island Sound on Thursday, the Race Committee moved the fleet inside Narragansett Bay, north of Gould Island. The flatter water and more moderate breeze was a welcome change for many competitors, but what today's conditions lacked in physical challenge was more than compensated for on the mental side of the sport. The breeze was shifty and puffy, and the tide was a factor, and few teams were immune to a bad race. In fact, of the top seven teams to begin the day, Southern and San Diego were the only two to avoid at least one double-digit finish.

San Diego stuck with a similar playbook to yesterday, starting at the pin and using superior speed to jump into the lead. Southern, once again, had to battle, particularly in the day's first race.

"We had a pretty decent first beat and rounded the weather mark in about sixth and everyone in the lead pack bore off initially on starboard," said Rick Merriman, Southern's main trimmer and a two-time winner of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. "The boats behind all jibed and got a jump on everyone. We went to jibe back, and there was a starboard tacker that pushed us to the right, and by then we’d pretty much lost everyone. We tried to keep our attitude strong and keep moving. We know we’ve got decent speed, so we just hung in there on the second beat and the run, kept passing boats and got in the top 10 again."

A second in the second race salvaged a very solid day, which will send the Southern Yacht Club team (Bow 3) into the final two races with a solid, but far from unsurmountable advantage.

Behind Southern, it was tough sledding for many top teams. Eastern, New York, Royal Cork, and Royal Canadian all saw their dreams of a podium, if not a win, take a significant hit.

Of the 19 teams in the regatta, just five put together two single-digit finishes on Day 4. The San Francisco Yacht Club, which has shown flashes of speed in multiple races, had a fifth and a fourth. The other two teams were more surprising.

Royal Swedish Yacht Club (Bow 6, at right) recorded its best two results of the regatta, a sixth and a seventh, and moved from 14th to 11th.

"I think the main reason was the starts," said tactician Johanna Sommarlund. "We got off the line today finally. We’ve been trying to find a way for the timing for the acceleration. We finally got that right today and then we played the shifts on the upwind.

"We’ve been trying some different things, working on, OK, let’s turn a little bit earlier, don’t think about the bias, just get clear air. Today we finally found the recipe to get off the start."

Then there were the viking hats. The team broke them out for Thursday evening's Lobster Bake, and at least one crew member decided to wear it on the water today.

"Some people say it’s bad luck to wear hats during the race," she said. "But apparently it’s been really good for us. We’ll be quicker with the viking helmets [tomorrow]."

Howth Yacht Club improve

Howth Yacht Club also had its best two results on Friday. Tactician Laura Dillon also chalked it up to trying something new. In the case of the Irish team, it was more input from the regatta's youngest participant, 15-year-old Rocco Wright.

"Rocco was feeding a lot of input today, and it was really helpful to have those extra pair of eyes looking around," said Dillon. "We definitely found today that the waves were less and we had good enough boatspeed across the course, so it was much more about the shifts and the gusts. That definitely helped level the playing field.

"We’re really enjoying the event, and it’s showing as we’re getting better every day."

Howth currently sits 16th in the regatta, but Dillon and her teammates were smiling wide tonight in the tent after racing and eagerly looking ahead to more progress over the final two races.

"A steady gain is really good," she said. "If we’re ending on a positive trajectory, then we’ll be hopefully looking forward to, in the future, coming back and continuing on that upward trajectory. We’d all love a podium position, but a steady gain would keep us all very happy."

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Day 4 Provisional Results

(Place, Club Name, Boat Number, Country, Race results; Regatta Total)
1. Southern Yacht Club, Boat 3, USA, 1, 10, 2, 4, 1, 3, 3, 4, 9, 2; 39
2. San Diego Yacht Club. Boat 17, USA, 12, 4, 5, 6, 12, 5, 1, 1, 1, 1; 48
3. Royal Thames Yacht Club, Boat 10, GBR, 2, 2, 1, 8, 8, 9, 9, 2, 10, 3; 54
4. Royal Cork Yacht Club, Boat 13, IRL, 3, 3, 11, 1, 6, 6, 4, 9, 2, 16; 61
5. New York Yacht Club, Boat 19, USA, 4, 1, 7, 3, 5, 12, 7, 11, 15, 10; 75
6. Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Boat 5, CAN, 13, 9, 16, 9, 2, 4, 5, 5, 3, 14; 80
7. Eastern Yacht Club, Boat 16, USA, 12*, 6, 4, 5, 3, 2, 8, 16, 18, 8; 82
8. The San Francisco Yacht Club, Boat 2, USA, 17, 7, 9, 2, 11, 1, 14, 15, 5, 4; 85
9. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Boat 14, ITA, 7*, 12, 3, 16, 7, 8, 6, 14, 4, 12; 89
10. American Yacht Club, Boat 8, USA, 9*, 11, 8, 13*, 13, 16, 2, 6, 11, 6; 95
11. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Boat 6, SWE, 10, 8, 18, 14, 9, 13, 16, 10, 6, 7; 111
12. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Boat 15, CAN, 7, 5, 6, 7, 19, 17, 19, 12, 19, 5; 116
13. Yacht Club Argentino, Boat 9, ARG, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 7, 10, 3, 13, 17; 120
14. Noroton Yacht Club, Boat 7, USA, 15, 14, 10, 10, 14, 10, 17, 8, 14, 15; 127
15. Nyländska Jaktklubben, Boat 12, FIN, 6*, 18, 13, 15, 10, 15, 12, 7, 17, 19; 132
16. Howth Yacht Club, Boat 4, IRL, 16, 16, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 19, 7, 9; 137
17. Itchenor Sailing Club, Boat 11, GBR, 19, 15, 15, 18, 4, 18, 13, 17, 8, 11; 138
18. Yacht Club Italiano, Boat 18, ITA, 10*, 17, 12, 17, 16, 14, 11, 13, 12, 18; 140
19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Boat 20, BER, 18, 19, 19, 19, 18, 19, 18, 18, 16, 13; 177
*Race score includes 1-point penalty for early extension of sprit

Published in Royal Cork YC

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork team scored a 4 and a 9, in day three racing of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup to continue in third place overall.

If it wasn't the lumpy seas, it was the capricious breeze. Wherever sailors competing in the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup turned on Thursday, there was something standing between them and the groove so essential for a solid finish in a competitive fleet: a wave, a shift, a patch of no wind, a trench of disturbed air, a picket fence of competitors on starboard tack. It was one of the most challenging days on the water in the history of this storied event.

But intense pressure creates diamonds and with its back to the proverbial wall, San Diego Yacht Club turned in a gem of a performance, winning both races and saving its hopes of a podium finish after a middling start, by its lofty standards, to the regatta. The runner up from 2019 now sits fourth.

"We had couple of tough ones the last couple of days, and we knew we needed to go out and bounce back and find it," said San Diego Yacht Club tactician Jake LaDow. "We were able to execute two pin-end starts, which really set us up to have very simple races, minimizing tacks and staying away from other boats.

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

Southern Yacht Club also sparkled today, transforming a near disaster in Race 8 into a fourth and extending its overall lead to 13 points. With four races remaining, this regatta is Southern's to lose. They have shown exceptional speed and, save for one decision today, superb tactics. The race for the podium remains wide open, with at least five teams in contention. And, while teams in the bottom half of the fleet can no longer dream of a top-three finish, there remains plenty of pride on the line in the minor placings. For example, just 8 points separates 15th from 11th.

"Definitely" said LaDow when asked if the SDYC team reclaimed a bit of its mojo today. "We had a really good synergy between Tyler [Sinks, skipper] and Drew [Freides, main trimmer] keeping the boat at a constant level of heel in the super challenging, puffy conditions, and that gave us a lot of confidence."

Southern's comeback was noteworthy in large part due to the impact a bad result would've had on the regatta. Had SYC finished where it rounded the first mark—in the teens—the race for the 2021 Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup would be wide open. But that race rescue wasn't the only Lazarus impression of the day. Royal Canadian Yacht Club was dead last, and by a margin, shortly after the start of Race 7, the day's first contest.

"We had a pretty shocker start, and ended up doing a 720 after the start," he said. "It’s really hard to come back. The good thing is when you’re that far back it’s pretty easy to sail a clear lane, and you can focus on boatspeed and sailing the numbers, which is what we did. We were able to sail our own race the entire race, including the downwinds. We made big big gains on the downwind legs by sailing by ourselves, and I think we had a pretty good mode going as well.

After an hour of tough sailing, the team crossed the finish line in fifth.

"It was a bit shocking even for us," Fraser said. "Terry [McLaughlin, RCYC skipper] did a great job, the whole team did a really good job just sticking with it, sailing fast, keeping to our mode, sailing to the numbers. When you’re doing that, good things happen, and we were lucky enough to get back to fifth."

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club has been a regular attendee at the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, missing just one of seven, and finishing first twice and second once. Fraser is part of the Club's second generation of Invitational Cup sailors, participating for the second time.

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

"The boats are amazing," he said. "It’s frustratingly close racing. Every inch matters, every tack matters, every shift matters. If you end up on the wrong side of a few things, you get deep and it’s really hard to get back. We’ve had an OK regatta so far, we need to keep pushing, basically no more mistakes at this point."

Royal Canadian Yacht Club currently sits seventh, 13 points out of the top five. But the team is trending in the right direction, with four straight results of fifth or better.

For San Diego Yacht Club, it's a similar situation, there's no margin for error if they have any hope of equaling its finish in 2019. However, this is no time to throw out a carefully crafted playbook that has proven effective in the past.

"Nothing changes," said LaDow. "We still have to trust the process, trust in ourselves and trust each person in their role to do the best we can. That said we're going to be looking for a similar day to today."

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Day 3 Provisional Results

(Place, Club Name, Boat Number, Country, Race results; Regatta Total)
1. Southern Yacht Club, Boat 3, USA, 1, 10, 2, 4, 1, 3, 3, 4; 28
2. Royal Thames Yacht Club, Boat 10, GBR, 2, 2, 1, 8, 8, 9, 9, 2; 41
3. Royal Cork Yacht Club, Boat 13, IRL, 3, 3, 11, 1, 6, 6, 4, 9; 43
4. San Diego Yacht Club. Boat 17, USA, 12, 4, 5, 6, 12, 5, 1, 1; 46
5. New York Yacht Club, Boat 19, USA, 4, 1, 7, 3, 5, 12, 7, 11; 50
6. Eastern Yacht Club, Boat 16, USA, 12*, 6, 4, 5, 3, 2, 8, 16; 56
7. Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Boat 5, CAN, 13, 9, 16, 9, 2, 4, 5, 5; 63
8. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Boat 14, ITA, 7*, 12, 3, 16, 7, 8, 6, 14; 73
9. The San Francisco Yacht Club, Boat 2, USA, 17, 7, 9, 2, 11, 1, 14, 15; 76
10. American Yacht Club, Boat 8, USA, 9*, 11, 8, 13*, 13, 16, 2, 6; 78
11. Yacht Club Argentino, Boat 9, ARG, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 7, 10, 3; 90
12. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Boat 15, CAN, 7, 5, 6, 7, 19, 17, 19, 12; 92
13. Nylandska Jaktklubben, Boat 12, FIN, 6*, 18, 13, 15, 10, 15, 12, 7; 96
14. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Boat 6, SWE, 10, 8, 18, 14, 9, 13, 16, 10; 98
15. Noroton Yacht Club, Boat 7, USA, 15, 14, 10, 10, 14, 10, 17, 8; 98
16. Yacht Club Italiano, Boat 18, ITA, 10*, 17, 12, 17, 16, 14, 11, 13; 110
17. Itchenor Sailing Club, Boat 11, GBR, 19, 15, 15, 18, 4, 18, 13, 17; 119
18. Howth Yacht Club, Boat 4, IRL, 16, 16, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 19; 121
19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Boat 20, BER, 18, 19, 19, 19, 18, 19, 18, 18; 148

*Race score includes 1-point penalty for early extension of sprit

Published in Royal Cork YC

Royal Cork Yacht Club shares equal points with second overall at the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup after the second day of racing.

The impressive display so far by the Anthony O'Leary skippered entry keeps the Cork Harbour crew on course to defend its bronze medal performance of 2019.

The Crosshaven sailors are counting a scoreline of  3, 3, 11, 1, 6, 6 to tie on 30 points with Royal Thames in second and be nine points off the overall lead currently held by America's Southern Yacht Club.

Ireland's second entry into the event, a team from Howth Yacht Club, is lying 17th with a best score so far in the series of 11th taken in Wednesday afternoon's race six. 

Day two was just the sort of moment that the founders of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup envisioned more than a decade years ago when they created the event. Two identical boats crewed by amateur sailors blasting downwind in the late afternoon sun each with their eye on first place in the race. Eastern Yacht Club had had the lead around the top mark, but The San Francisco Yacht Club crew, always at home in some breeze, was chewing into the advantage and looking for any opening to take over the lead. It would come down to the final jibe before a long port-tack run to the finish.

“We both didn’t have great jibes,” says Sean Bennett, the skipper of the San Francisco crew. “But we had a little better jibe that they did and we were able to fill and get going. Both of us were still in the late-main jibe mode, that flipped them over harder than us so we were able to get just enough ahead on them to get over the top of them and get by.”

Of course, that wasn’t the end of the story, a drop in the windspeed or a slight shift to the left would've forced both boats to jibe again and allowed Eastern skipper Bill Lynn to repay the favor. But the breeze held and The San Francisco Yacht Club took its first win of the regatta, capping off a marked improvement over Day 1 and putting the team within range of the podium with six races remaining. Coming in third in that race was Southern Yacht Club, which had the best day on the water and vaulted into the lead with 21 points. Royal Thames Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club are tied for second, 9 points back.

The Howth Yacht Club crew was 11th in race sixThe NYYC Cup Howth Yacht Club crew was 11th in race six Photo: Daniel Forster

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a biennial regatta hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. Since the event was first run in 2009, it has attracted top amateur sailors from 48 of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs from 21 countries. After five editions in the Swan 42 class, the 2021 event will be the second sailed in the IC37, designed by County Wicklow's Mark Mills. 

The San Francisco Yacht Club was one of the teams that stepped in to fill the slots that opened when a handful of foreign teams were unable to travel due to COVID restrictions. Among the many challenges, was finding the time to practice together, ideally in an IC37. San Francisco's team is loaded with talent, but Bennett says they're still very much in learning mode in the IC37.

"We’re getting more comfortable with the boat," said Bennett. "It’s the first time we’ve raced it. Yesterday, in the bump, we struggled more trying to understand how to make the boat go fast.

"Today [was better] with the flatter water, a little more breeze on, which helps San Francisco people anyway. But we've generally been on a steeper learning curve in the light spots, and we’re getting better understanding how to make big adjustments when the wind drops off."

With a second, 11th and first today, the SFYC team is now seventh overall. Despite missing out on the win in the final race, Eastern Yacht Club had a very strong day and is tied for fourth, two points out of second.

But the unquestioned boat of the day was Southern Yacht Club, with a fourth, first and third.

Ireland has two entries in this year's New York Invitational Cup Ireland has two entries in this year's New York Invitational Cup Photo: Daniel Forster

"Basically it was our teamwork," said Lovell, a four-time Olympian who won a silver medal in 2004. "Marcus [Eagan] did an incredible job with tactics. Rick [Merriman] was playing the main. Andrew [Eagan] was trimming the jib, and the team was really clicking today. I think mainly we just didn’t make any big mistakes. We got off the line with clean starts, didn’t miss any shifts and had great boathandling."

This is Lovell's third Invitational Cup. He called tactics when Southern won in 2017 and finished fifth in 2019. He's especially pleased to be on the helm this time around.

"It’s been great, really enjoying it," he said. "It’s actually a little less stressful to be driving than doing tactics in a way.

"I tried to look around a few times [today], and I got told I’m the driver, I just need to drive fast. That’s what I’ve been concentrating on, just driving the boat as fast as I can drive it. Everyone’s got their job and everyone does their job well, then the team does well."

Yacht Club Argentino wasn't able to move up in the overall standings, but the event's lone Southern Hemisphere team still found reason for optimism as it closed the first half of the regatta with a seventh.

"The last race today was the windiest one, we could sail as fast as we wanted to," said skipper Emilio Miguel. "Honestly, compared to the rest of the fleet, we weren’t slow. Even yesterday, I think we were fast. We made a lot of unforced errors. Yesterday, for example, in the second race, we could've been first or second to the first mark. We ended up third, and then we were penalized and it was a disaster, it all went down from there."

In today's first race, they passed seven boats on the final run, and then put it together for a top-10 in the third race.

"The last race was our best result yet, a seventh," he said, "so we’re pumped for tomorrow."

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, Day 2 Provisional Results

(Place, Club Name, Boat Number, Country, Race results; Regatta Total)

1. Southern Yacht Club, Boat 3, USA, 1, 10, 2, 4, 1, 3; 21
2. Royal Thames Yacht Club, Boat 10, GBR, 2, 2, 1, 8, 8, 9; 30
3. Royal Cork Yacht Club, Boat 13, IRL, 3, 3, 11, 1, 6, 6; 30
4. New York Yacht Club, Boat 19, USA, 4, 1, 7, 3, 5, 12; 32
5. Eastern Yacht Club, Boat 16, USA, 12*, 6, 4, 5, 3, 2; 32
6. San Diego Yacht Club. Boat 17, USA, 12, 4, 5, 6, 12, 5; 44
7. The San Francisco Yacht Club, Boat 2, USA, 17, 7, 9, 2, 11, 1; 47
8. Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Boat 5, CAN, 13, 9, 16, 9, 2, 4; 53
9. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Boat 14, ITA, 7*, 12, 3, 16, 7, 8; 53
10. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Boat 15, CAN, 7, 5, 6, 7, 19, 17; 61
11. American Yacht Club, Boat 8, USA, 9*, 11, 8, 13*, 13, 16; 70
12. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Boat 6, SWE, 10, 8, 18, 14, 9, 13; 72
13. Noroton Yacht Club, Boat 7, USA, 15, 14, 10, 10, 14, 10; 73
14. Nylandska Jaktklubben, Boat 12, FIN, 6*, 18, 13, 15, 10, 12; 74
15. Yacht Club Argentino, Boat 9, ARG, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 7; 77
16. Yacht Club Italiano, Boat 18, ITA, 10*, 17, 12, 17, 16, 14; 86
17. Howth Yacht Club, Boat 4, IRL, 16, 16, 14, 13, 17, 11; 87
18. Itchenor Sailing Club, Boat 11, GBR, 19, 15, 15, 18, 4, 18; 89
19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Boat 20, BER, 18, 19, 19, 19, 18, 19; 112

*Race score includes 1-point penalty for early extension of sprit

Published in Royal Cork YC

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club team lie fourth overall after day one of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup at Newport Rhode Island. A second Irish team from Howth Yacht Club in County Dublin are in 17th place after three races sailed.

There are strong starts to a regatta and then there's the day on the water put in by Royal Thames Yacht Club to open up the racing in the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

The British team, which won the event in 2015 and has sailed in all but one of the seven editions, finished second in the first race, repeated that feat in the second and then tacked on an emphatic win in the day's final contest. The RTYC team will fly the golden spinnaker on Day 2 of the event, and carry a 7-point lead over the host New York Yacht Club, which sits second, a point ahead of 2017 champion Southern Yacht Club.

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club team (bow number 13) lie fourth overallAnthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club team (bow number 13) lie fourth overall Photo: Daniel Forster

"Very pleased," said RTYC skipper John Greenland. "You know it’s a tough regatta. To be able to finish a day and know you’ve got a great starting point…We were just thinking, normally we’re coming off the water [on Day 1] thinking, 'How are we going to catch up with that fast boat.' Luckily we’ve had that day, so it’s great."

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a biennial regatta hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. Since the event was first run in 2009, it has attracted top amateur sailors from 48 of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs from 21 countries. After five editions in the Swan 42 class, the 2021 event will be the second sailed in the IC37, designed by Mark Mills. 

It was forecast to be a challenging day on Rhode Island Sound, for both competitors and the race committee, thanks to a breeze that moved around like a pre-schooler confined to his seat for too long. And while the long-term progression was in one direction, there were plenty of holes in the breeze and the random oscillations that drive tacticians crazy.

Greenland chalked up RTYC's success to the all-powerful combination good speed and solid decisions.

"I think trying to keep the boat going, the boat powered up and getting over the waves was really important," he said. "[Ian Dobson] was on tactics and getting us on the right side of the shifts and in pressure. I think it was just as important to be in the pressure as it was to get the shifts right today."

Greenland also noted that having a team that has been here before—27 total times across the team, and seven times himself—was helpful on the opening day, which followed a hectic three days of mandatory practice, meetings and social activities.

"I guess I’ve got more used to the fact it’s a big event with a lot going on, and you’re not going to be overwhelmed by that aspect of the event, but still the same level of nerves going into the first race with 19 great teams all of whom can be on the start line and win this regatta," he said. "[We] go into today knowing the beast of the event a bit better. It’s great to be here. Everyone knows the challenges that have been had by all the teams thing to attend this event and the yacht club to put it on, but it’s fantastic to be here."

Finishing one place behind Royal Thames in each of the first two races was Royal Cork Yacht Club. Like Greenland, Royal Cork skipper Anthony O'Leary has been to all seven Invitational Cups. He and his crew, which includes two of his sons, know well the nuances of the event.

"We had some difficult starts," said Robert O'Leary, Anthony's son. "We managed to get out of the first two well. Really tough on in the last race. Playing the middle, in these boats, on the first beat isn’t really the tactic we go for. But we were forced into it. We were happy to come out with two thirds and, of course, the 11th in the last one will hurt a little bit. But every score counts and you’ve got to fight for every place."

Counting two 16s and a 14 in the first three races, Howth Yacht Club are lying 19th overallCounting two 16s and a 14 in the first three races, Howth Yacht Club are lying 17th overall Photo: Daniel Forster

While IC37 designer Mark Mills is an Irish resident, and his designs are quite popular in Europe, the IC37 does not yet have a foothold in Ireland. Robert O'Leary said the team came to this event worried that lack of time in the boat would be a handicap.

"We were quite worried the last two years that the American boats, and any of the other teams that had a boat, would catch up a bit, getting the boats up to speed quicker," he said. "But we were quite happy with our boatspeed today and how we’re getting around the race track. So we’re a little less worried today than we were at the start. We know it’s a tough regatta, every place counts, and we’ve just got to keep grinding away."

Royal Cork finished the day with 17 points, good for fourth place in the overall standings. In fifth, just one point further back, is The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, which had, by far, the best day of the four rookie teams.

"My personal secret goal is I was hoping for one top-five finish in this event," said Cochrane, after a 7-5-6 on their first races in the IC37. "To be sitting in fifth overall after the first day…just to be able to play, to be in the same water at this level, and we can look at them and see their set up, we’re just trying to learn as much as we can. But boy, they’re good. They know the boats really well, and it’s just a pleasure to be here and to learn from them."

Cochrane is one of four Olympians on the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club team. That kind of talent is a great way to climb a steep learning curve. He was also quick to credit the efforts of the host club to get each team up to speed.

"I just can’t thank [the New York Yacht Club] enough for organising all the coaching and everything," he said. "If we had come in here and not had access to that, there’s no way we would’ve been able to get around the race course the way we did today. It’s really a testament to how welcoming and open this event is."

Whether he and his Royal Vancouver team feel the same way tomorrow, when the breeze is expected to be in the mid-teens, remains to be seen. They'd do well to consider this bit of advice from Greenland, who's seen all sides of this event: "You start each day as if it’s the first day of the regatta."

It worked today. There's no reason it can't work tomorrow.

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Day 1 Results

  1. Royal Thames Yacht Club 10 GBR 2 2 1 2 2 1 5
  2. New York Yacht Club 19 USA 4 1 7 4 1 7 12
  3. Southern Yacht Club 3 USA 1 10 2 1 10 2 13
  4. Royal Cork Yacht Club 13 IRL 3 3 11 3 3 11 17
  5. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club 15 CAN 7 5 6 7 5 6 18
  6. San Diego Yacht Club 17 USA 12 4 5 12 4 5 21
  7. Eastern Yacht Club 16 USA 12 6 4 12 6 4 22
  8. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda 14 ITA 7 12 3 7 12 3 22
  9. American Yacht Club 8 USA 9 11 8 9 11 8 28
  10. The San Francisco Yacht Club 2 USA 17 7 9 17 7 9 33
  11. Royal Swedish Yacht Club 6 SWE 10 8 18 10 8 18 36
  12. Nylandska Jaktklubben 12 FIN 6 18 13 6 18 13 37
  13. Royal Canadian Yacht Club 5 CAN 13 9 16 13 9 16 38
  14. Yacht Club Italiano 18 ITA 10 17 12 10 17 12 39
  15. Noroton Yacht Club 7 USA 15 14 10 15 14 10 39
  16. Yacht Club Argentino 9 ARG 14 13 17 14 13 17 44
  17. Howth Yacht Club 4 IRL 16 16 14 16 16 14 46
  18. Itchenor Sailing Club 11 GBR 19 15 15 19 15 15 49
  19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club 20 BER 18 19 19 18 19 19 56
Published in Royal Cork YC

After August's tightly fought Lowflo Trophy contest, the National 18 dinghy fleet based at Royal Cork Yacht Club was back on the water in September and racing outside Cork Harbour in a two-day competition for National Honours sponsored by CH Marine

Class treasurer Joanna O'Brien, the race officer for the event, eventually got an unruly fleet away but not before a black flag start in some light and shifty conditions.

Racing continues on Sunday for the three-person dinghy, and the plan is to race again off Roches Point.

As regular Afloat readers know, the class eventually got its first racing of the season in the first week of June after COVID setbacks but have been racing every Wednesday as part of a busy 2021 lineup.

Published in National 18

The final sixth race of Royal Cork Yacht Club's August and September Thursday League 2021 was a light air affair in Cork Harbour that saw Ria Lyden's X332 Ellida emerge as the overall winner in both IRC Spinnaker and ECHO divisions.

In second overall on IRC rating was the Sunfast 32 Bad Company (Desmond/Ivers/Keane) and in third place, the Bolero Bandit (Richard Leonard).

Overall results are here.

A photo gallery of the light air last race where Cork Harbour dolphins joined the yachts is below. 

Published in Royal Cork YC

For the first time since the inaugural event in 2009, the fleet for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup will hit the starting line without a defending champion, shaking up the form guide as teams and sailing fans look toward the start of sailing’s premiere Corinthian big-boat competition starts on Tuesday, September 14.

In another first for Ireland, as Afloat previously reported, Howth Yacht Club makes its debut alongside Royal Cork Yacht Club. It brings the number of Irish teams back up to two for the first time since Dun Laoghaire's Royal St. George participation in 2009.

Re-entry concerns and strict quarantine protocols related to the COVID pandemic have forced clubs from Asia, the antipodes, and Europe to decline their spots in the regatta. The absence of the defending champions from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, along with a trio of clubs that sailed in each previous edition, has created opportunities for new international entrants and a handful of U.S. yacht clubs loaded with top amateur talent.

“While the COVID pandemic has made hosting an international sporting competition more challenging than ever, it pales in comparison to the hard work being done every day by frontline medical professionals around the globe. They have our enduring gratitude,” said Robbie Benjamin, the event chair. “We started this year with a superb entry list of 20 yacht clubs from around the world. It’s changed frequently over the past six months, but we’re tremendously proud that 19 teams that have made the commitment to travel to Newport to compete. Every former champion will compete in 2021, except for Royal Sydney. The seven U.S. clubs is a high for this regatta, but historically, the domestic teams have fared well, and we anticipate the level of competition being equal to, if not higher than, any previous edition.”

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a biennial regatta hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. Since the event was first run in 2009, it has attracted top amateur sailors from 45 of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs from 21 countries. After five editions in the Swan 42 class, the 2021 event will be the second sailed in the IC37, designed by Mark Mills. The strict one-design nature of this purpose-built class combined with the fact that each boat is owned and maintained by the New York Yacht Club, will ensure a level playing field not seen in any other amateur big-boat sailing competition. The regatta will run from Saturday, September 11, through Saturday, September 18, with racing starting on Tuesday, September 14.

A live broadcast on Facebook and YouTube, starting on Wednesday, September 15, will allow fellow club members, friends, family and sailing fans from around the world follow the action as it happens. Nineteen teams from nine countries will compete in 2021. 

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup has always been much more than a sailing competition. The onshore social schedule at Harbour Court and the resulting interclub camaraderie are integral components of the experience, which competitors say is unlike any other regatta in the world. But with the first gun less than a week away, the current focus is on who might win.

With the defending champions sitting out, 2019 runner-up San Diego Yacht Club is an obvious choice. Led once again by former college all-America selections Tyler Sinks (white hat) and Jake LaDow (far left), the team has the experience and talent to win, and the confidence of knowing they were just one break away from winning this regatta in 2019.

Four clubs that have won this regatta before—New York Yacht Club, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Royal Thames Yacht Club and Southern Yacht Club—must also be considered among the favourites.

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club is the only two-time champion of the Invitational Cup. The team's preparation for 2021 included practising for and competing in the 25th edition of the Canada's Cup, the premier match-racing trophy in the Great Lakes. A 6-0 win over Youngstown (N.Y.) Yacht Club seems a strong indication the RCYC team will come to Newport with a fair bit of momentum. But skipper Terry McLaughlin wasn't willing to shoulder the yolk of pre-race favourite.

"I expect [the competition] to be as tough as ever," said McLaughlin, who won a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics. "I don’t want to say we're super prepared. We are reasonably prepared, but we haven't been fleet racing and we haven't been sailing in Newport."

McLaughlin's team is a combination of the old guard, including two teammates from Canada I campaign for the 1983 America's Cup, and the next generation of RCYC sailors, such as 28-year-old tactician Lance Fraser and Mariah Millen, who will be sailing with her dad.

"Our team is identical to the 2019 Invitational Cup team, with the exception of the mainsheet trimmer," said McLaughlin (white hat), who steered Royal Canadian to fourth in 2019. "Certainly for everybody else, they’re far more used to the IC37 this year. In 2019, we had some people in key positions on the boat who hadn't really sailed big boats much who learned quite quickly."

First-time competitors from Canada’s Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Howth Yacht Club in Ireland, and Noroton Yacht Club and American Yacht Club in the United States add an element of mystery to the pre-race discussion. Each team brings a collection of talented amateur sailors to the event. But how well they can assimilate to the IC37 and the unique format of the regatta won’t be known at least until the first race kicks off on Tuesday, September 14.

The following yacht clubs will compete for the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup: American Yacht Club (Rye, N.Y.), Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.), Howth Yacht Club (IRL), Itchenor Sailing Club (GBR), New York Yacht Club, Noroton Yacht Club (Darien, Conn.), Nyländska Jaktklubben (FIN), Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL), Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Royal Thames Yacht Club (GBR), Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (CAN), San Diego (Calif.) Yacht Club, The San Francisco Yacht Club (Belvedere, Calif.), Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans), Yacht Club Argentino, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (ITA), Yacht Club Italiano.

Published in Royal Cork YC
Page 4 of 54

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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