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Displaying items by tag: Royal Cork Yacht Club

It has been a frenetically busy weekend on Cork Harbour with crowded classic events such as the Cobh-Blackrock Race and other fixtures of various levels of association with the 75th Anniversary of the Naval Service. Yet somehow the time and space was found at Crosshaven for the annual staging of the 77-year-old Book Challenge, which goes back to 1944 when the dinghy sailors of Cork Harbour SC (succeeded in time by the Royal Munster YC and then the Royal Cork) took on their counterparts in Sutton Dinghy Club for team racing in International 12s, the trophy being a hefty vellum book in which the winners are obliged to inscribe the outcome of the most recent staging.

Since 1980 the programme has been doubled up with a Junior Section, so with 2021's sailing accelerating into post-pandemic mode, the logistics were formidable in getting the Sutton teams together and down to Crosshaven, where it was the RCYC's turn to host it with the national flotilla of Firefly dinghies. We let Sutton Dinghy Club Team Manager and former Commodore Andy Johnston take up the tale:

The teams were meant to travel to Cork in April 2020 as part of the Cork Club's Tricentenary Celebration, but Covid meant the event was cancelled. However, between Andy Johnston in Sutton and Alex Barry in Royal Cork, the commitment was maintained, and a date of September 4th 2021 became available in Cork. Andy - with the help of Kirk Durnford - set about making sure SDC could take a Junior Team along with the Seniors. Despite their lack of experience in team racing, it was felt that the Juniors on the trip would greatly benefit from both racing and watching the Senior teams.

The Sutton squad began arriving in Cork on Friday evening, and were welcomed by RCYC Admiral Colin Morehead and RCYC Archivist Paul McCarthy, with the Senior Book being brought to the Clubhouse and going on display for the weekend.

Such were the time pressures that the Sutton Senior Team selection was not finalised until the Saturday morning with Commodore Ian McCormack stepping into the last crew slot, probably one of the oldest debutants - he paired up with Team Captain Alan Blay. It was a great honour to have Robert Dickson - fresh from his Olympic endeavours - also in the team. Robert was making his Book Trophy debut, following in his grandfather Roy and sister Sinead's footsteps.

Having sailed in Sutton Regatta the previous week, Robert is taking a little low-key time after the pressures and efforts in Tokyo. We're not sure this was as relaxing as he might have been thinking, though…… He was partnered by Shane McLoughlin, who has just returned from his studies in Galway and has joined our building GP14 fleet in Sutton. Our final pairing saw two young GP14 helms combine with Conor Twohig, crewed by Peter Boyle.

As Team Manager, I would like to say Robert's presence was a huge boost for our Junior Team, and it was much appreciated by all in Sutton Dinghy Club that he should make the time to join us for this historic event.

The Senior & Junior racing was best of seven in the fleet of Fireflies that are based in Royal Cork Yacht Club and was held in the river between Currabinny and the Crosshaven clubhouse.

The Junior Team of Ciaran Durnford (Captain) & Eimear Fleming, Luke Kellet & Denis McCarrick, and Oisin Kelly & Finn O'Doherty, would be first on the water at 3:30, and were afforded an opportunity to get some practice on the Fireflies on Saturday morning. The young Cork team were led by the 2021 Laser Radial National Champion Jonathan O'Shaughnessy and included two Laser 4.7 helms who had competed at the recent Laser ILCA Worlds. This would be a baptism of fire for the young Sutton team but they prepared as best they could and were committed to enjoying the experience.

Reversal of fortune – Royal Cork team building towards their ultimate overall winReversal of fortune – Royal Cork team building towards their ultimate overall win

Despite being well beaten by the more experienced Cork team, our young team gained vital boat handling experience and tactical insight as well as coming face to face with the subtler arts of team racing. Following the handover, the Juniors then had grandstand views of the Senior racing in the river from the hammerhead end of the marina. And boy, was the racing competitive and fiery.

From the first gun, there was no quarter given by either team, with superb boat handling from all the crews. Cork were ably lead by Book Trophy veteran and champion sailor Alex Barry with his crew Maeve O'Sullivan. The team also included Patrick and Chloe Crosbie, son and daughter of Tom Crosbie who had sailed in many Book Trophy events in his time. The third Cork boat was helmed by young Harry Pritchard, recent runner up in the Laser Radial National Championships, crewed by 29er National Champion Lola Kohl - a formidable team indeed, and on their home waters too.

The busiest man on the water if not the most stressed was the Umpire. Yours truly was in the Umpire boat as photographer, and anyone who tells you the PRO job is the most stressful is wrong - I wouldn't be an Umpire for all the money going.

Despite one of the Sutton boats being over the line on the start, we got off to a great start taking Race 1 (10-11) literally on the last manoeuvre, with some breathtaking boat handling from both teams. With positions changing all the time, RCYC recovered composure and took Race 2 (12-9). RCYC followed this up with a similar score in Race 3 (12-9) to put pressure on the Sutton crews. It was obvious that Robert and Shane were being shadowed and followed, but this didn't seem to faze them at all, and the Sutton crews hit back to take Race 4 (7-14) and level the match.

Race 5 really saw the Umpire stretched with incidents across the width of the course, including one which will be discussed for years. Green flag was given but many Suttonians felt it should have been a penalty against RCYC. Yet even in the long discussion afterwards there was still uncertainty about the correct call.

Sutton looked like they had recovered from that situation only to touch the finish mark, and despite a swift recovery, Cork nipped into 5th and take the win 11-10. Despite the disappointment of Race 5, Sutton with some superb pressing and communication overwhelmed Cork to take Race 6 (6-15) and set up a grandstand final race.

Dom Long presents the Senior Book to Patrick CrosbieDom Long presents the Senior Book to Patrick Crosbie

Dom Long presents the Junior Book to Joseph O'ShaughnessyDom Long presents the Junior Book to Joseph O'Shaughnessy

With weather drizzly, damp and getting dark, an unfortunately poor start put Sutton under immediate pressure which Cork capitalised on and secured early 1, 2 lead position. Despite an immense comeback and engagement, Sutton couldn't put the lead Cork boat under sufficient pressure, and Cork eventually took Race 7 (12-9) to give them victory 4-3 as the Autumnal dark descended on the river.

Ian McCormack was asked to address the teams, alikadoos and Royal Cork Yacht Club members before the prizegiving. He thanked the Club for their hospitality and the opportunity to keep the event going. And in keeping with the history of the event, veteran Sutton Book sailor Dom Long of RCYC made the presentations to the respective RCYC Captains, Jonathan O'Shaughnessy of the Junior team and Patrick Crosbie of the Senior team.

In all, an excellent demonstration of boat handling, very competitive team racing and a great day all round, worthy of this historic and very special event. We look forward to the return in Sutton in 2022.

The Sutton Senior Team of (left to right) Conor Twohig, Peter Boyle, Robert Dickson, Ian McCormack, Shane McLoughlin and Alan Blay (Captain).The Sutton Senior Team of (left to right) Conor Twohig, Peter Boyle, Robert Dickson, Ian McCormack, Shane McLoughlin and Alan Blay (Captain). 

Published in Team Racing

It’s arguably the oldest surviving inter-provincial sailing contest in Ireland. For although once upon a time there was an annual race for the Elwood Salver between Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast which reputedly dated back to the 1930s or even the 1920s, it seems to have long since faded in the face of larger inter-varsity competitions. But the annual race between teams from Royal Cork (and Royal Munster before that) and Sutton Dinghy Club dates back to 1944, and it survives and thrives for the very good reason that the prize is The Book, a proper volume of vellum in which the winning team is obliged to record the outcome of each year’s series.

There are only two years in which it hasn’t been sailed. One was 1957 when the vigorous remains of a hurricane moving across Ireland caused two days of continuous storm at Sutton. And the other was 2020, when it was to be staged at Crosshaven as an historic highlight of the Royal Cork Tricentenary, but we all know only too painfully well what happened to that and other long-plannned 2020 events.

All things considered, wipeouts only by either a hurricane or a plague is surely an honourable state of affairs. And now, in a symbol of returning normality, The Book will be raced for at Crosshaven on Saturday September 4th, with both junior and senior teams.

The Book has been reposing at Sutton Dinghy Club through the plague years, but it will be in Crosshaven tomorrow (Saturday), and a day’s team racing will decide whether it stays there.The Book has been reposing at Sutton Dinghy Club through the plague years, but it will be in Crosshaven tomorrow (Saturday), and a day’s team racing will decide whether it stays there. 

Published in Royal Cork YC

Although it has only been running for seven years, the New York Yacht Club’s annual inter-club Invitational Event at Newport, Rhode Island has become one of the hottest tickets in international sailing. And since they moved the boat type up to the Mark Mills-designed Melges ILC37 (she’s like a big sister of the new Mills-designed Cape 31 that we’ll see in Ireland next year), the level of Corinthian competition has become stratospheric, and invitations to clubs are like gold dust.

For this year’s staging from September 11th to 18th, ten nations and 19 clubs are involved, and the Irish challenge has been boosted with a Howth Yacht Club team now in the mix, along with the highly-fancied Royal Cork squad in which the name of O’Leary figures significantly. There’s a family element with the Howth team too, as Michael and Darren Wright are at the core of it, but with talents such as Laura Dillon on the strength and dinghy ace Rocco Wright in back-up, it is a squad of all the talents, the full line-up being Darren Wright, Rick deNeve, Sam O'Byrne, Michael Wright, Laura Dillon, Brian Turvey, Luke Malcolm, Karena Knaggs and Rocco Wright.

As for the teams, they speak for themselves:

  • New York Yacht Club (USA)
  • Eastern Yacht Club (USA)
  • Howth Yacht Club (Ireland)
  • Itchenor Sailing Club (UK)
  • San Francisco Yacht Club (USA)
  • Noroton Yacht Club (USA)
  • Nyländska Jaktklubben (Finland)
  • Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (Bermuda)
  • Yacht Club Argentino (Argentina)
  • American Yacht Club (USA)
  • Royal Canadian Yacht Club (Canada)
  • Royal Cork Yacht Club (Ireland)
  • Royal Swedish Yacht Club (Sweden)
  • Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (Italy)
  • Royal Thames Yacht Club (UK)
  • Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (Canada)
  • San Diego Yacht Club (USA)
  • Southern Yacht Club (USA)
  • Yacht Club Italiano (Italy)

Laura Dillon - the only female helm ever to have won the all-Ireland - was the overall winning helm at the Sovereigns 2021 in Kinsale, and is one of the star talents in next week’s Howth team departing on September 7th for the New York Yacht Club Invitationals.Laura Dillon - the only female helm ever to have won the all-Ireland - was the overall winning helm at the Sovereigns 2021 in Kinsale, and is one of the star talents in next week’s Howth team departing on September 7th for the New York Yacht Club Invitationals.

Published in Howth YC

The AIB RCYC Tricentenary At Home Regatta was held at the weekend in fantastic sunshine and followed the Taoiseach's salute to 300 years of sailing in Cork Harbour at the Tricentenary Maritime Parade on Saturday, as Afloat reported here.

A programme of events both on and off the water was held with two great day's of racing, an AIX Rosé reception and a picnic on Sunday for members and guests.

The tricentenary events were originally scheduled to take place in 2020 as part of a phenomenal Cork300 celebration across Cork Harbour to celebrate the sailing club’s 300th anniversary and heritage as the oldest club globally. However, they had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and many of the larger high profile international events, such as The Great Gathering, the Powerboat Festival, and Volvo Cork Week, which were set to attract thousands of sailors and competitors from around the globe, could not be rescheduled.

Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Chairman of Cork300 Colin Morehead said, “The Royal Cork is delighted to be in a position to put on a weekend of celebratory events to mark the club’s tricentenary one year on. We are, of course, disappointed not to be joined by our international comrades and thousands of spectators as originally planned, but we hope we have left them with a desire to visit Cork when life returns to normal.”

RCYC Admiral and Lady Admiral Colin and Irene Morehead cut the 300th birthday cake at Crosshaven Photo: Bob BatemanRCYC Admiral and Lady Admiral Colin and Irene Morehead cut the 300th birthday cake at Crosshaven Photo: Bob Bateman

As always, ‘the At Home’ was open to Royal Cork members and visiting clubs.

Former Admiral Hugh Mockler tries his hands at boules on the club lawnFormer Admiral Hugh Mockler tries his hands at boules on the club lawn

A Parents Oppie Race, Youth Table Tennis Event, Face Painting and Admirals’ Boules were just some of the shoreside events at Crosshaven.

There as intense competition in the crab catching contest at the club pontoon Photo: Bob BatemanThere was intense competition in the crab catching contest at the club pontoon Photo: Bob Bateman

At Home Regatta Shoreside & Racing Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

After a short postponement on the water to wait until the wind had settled, the Race Officer gave the cruiser-racer fleets two good long races in the promising weather.

Sportsboat class racing in the 'At Home' Regatta Photo: Bob BatemanSportsboat class racing in the 'At Home' Regatta Photo: Bob Bateman

So tight was the competition that, in one case, four boats ended up on 11 points.

Internationally famous Cork yacht racing skipper and match racer Harold Cudmore took the helm of the restored Cork Harbour One Design Jap for the celebrations Photo: Bob BatemanInternationally famous Cork yacht racing skipper and match racer Harold Cudmore took the helm of the Cork Harbour One Design Jap for the celebrations Photo: Bob Bateman

The National 18s had a good turn and sailed four short races.

National 18 dinghy racingNational 18 dinghy racing Photo: Bob Bateman

Kieran Collins Olson 30 Coracle IV was the winner of the 15 boat IRC cruisers division. ECHO Handicap was won by the Sunfast 32 Bad Company (Desmond/Ivers/Keane)

Kieran O'Brien's MG335 Magnet was the IRC White Sail winner. 

Michael McCann's Etchells Don't Dilly Dally was top in an eight boat Sportsboat division beating a raft of the club's own 1720 designs.

The full results are here

The prizegiving was carried out in the club's car park (due to COVID requirements) and was split into Junior and National 18 and the cruiser-racers later on. Mr Eoin Gunn presented the prizes on behalf of sponsors AIB.

At Home Regatta Prizegiving Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

Published in Cork300

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin joined the club’s Admiral Colin Morehead earlier today to salute 300 years of sailing in Cork at a Tricentenary Maritime Parade across Cork Harbour. They reviewed a stunning spectacle of 100 colourful yachts on board the LE Roisin, after greeting the sailors and families on the water. The naval vessel was anchored alongside the Irish Naval Headquarters at Haulbowline Island, where the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork (now the Royal Cork Yacht Club) was founded back in 1720.

The Taoiseach and Admiral were joined by a host of dignitaries to mark the momentous occasion, including the Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Gillian Coughlan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney TD, the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Colm Kelleher, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service Commodore Michael Malone, Ann Doherty, Chief Executive, Cork City Council, CEO of AIB Colin Hunt, the premier sponsor of the Regatta and Cork300, and key sponsors.

The Maritime Parade was followed by the biggest sailing event of the year in the Royal Cork calendar, the AIB RCYC Tricentenary Regatta, with racing officially started by the Taoiseach, after which an Admiral’s Lunch was held at the Crosshaven club. The Regatta will continue for the rest of the weekend and can be viewed across the harbour.

Over 100 participating boats lined up at Cage buoy off Crosshaven at 10 am  and assembled at No 18 buoy before the fleet made its way past the L.E. Roisin  berthed at the berth off Haulbowline for the official salute and the lowering of the Cork300 pennant Photo: Bob BatemanOver 100 participating boats lined up at Cage buoy off Crosshaven at 10 am  and assembled at No 18 buoy before the fleet made its way past the L.E. Roisin  berthed at the berth off Haulbowline for the official salute and the lowering of the Cork300 pennant (below) Photo: Bob Bateman

Participating boats lined up at Cage buoy off Crosshaven at 10 am  and assembled at No 18 buoy before the fleet made its way past the L.E. Roisin  berthed at the berth off Haulbowline for the official salute

The Clayton Love skippered Golden Apple led the parade of sail. This was the the former Coveney family ketch Golden Apple that sailed round the world on an 18-month voyage to raise funds for the Cork-based Chernobyl Children's Project.The Clayton Love skippered Golden Apple led the parade of sail. This was the the former Coveney family ketch that sailed round the world on an 18-month voyage to raise funds for the Cork-based Chernobyl Children's Project in 1997 Photo: Bob Bateman

The tricentenary events were originally scheduled to take place in 2020 as part of a phenomenal Cork300 celebration across Cork Harbour to celebrate the sailing club’s 300th anniversary and heritage as the oldest club in the world. However, they had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and many of the larger high profile international events, such as The Great Gathering, the Powerboat Festival, and Volvo Cork Week, which were set to attract thousands of sailors and competitors from around the globe, could not be rescheduled.

Dick Gibson's Mandalay is dressed overall for the special occasionDick Gibson's Mandalay is dressed overall for the special occasion Photo: Bob Bateman

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin said, “This is a truly significant historic milestone for the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Cork Harbour, and the sailing community worldwide, so it is truly an honour to celebrate where it all began. Although many events to mark the milestone were cancelled or postponed over the last year, the legacy from Cork300 will live on. The Royal Cork has positioned Cork Harbour as one of the most desirable locations in the world for sailing events, and hopefully, this will help secure Ireland’s bid to host events like America’s Cup here.”

Former RCYC Admiral Bill Walsh and his wife participated in the Parade of Sail Photo: Bob Bateman

Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Chairman of Cork300 Colin Morehead said, “The Royal Cork is delighted to be in a position to put on a weekend of celebratory events to mark the club’s tricentenary one year on. We are of course disappointed not to be joined by our international comrades and thousands of spectators as originally planned, but we hope we have left them with a desire to visit Cork when life returns to normal.”

At the end of parade was another round the world yacht Saol Eile with former RCYC Admiral Ted Crosbie at the helm.  At the end of parade was another round the world yacht Saol Eile with former RCYC Admiral Ted Crosbie at the helm Photo: Bob Bateman

Also commenting, Minister Coveney said, “It’s a privilege to be here today to celebrate this historic event with the Royal Cork, the Taoiseach and the naval service.”

Yachts racing in the at home regatta assembled a second time for a starting gun opposite the Naval base. Initially proceedings got under way in light winds but a second race started off the no. 8 buoy in perfect sailing conditions.Yachts racing in the 'At Home' regatta assembled a second time for a starting gun opposite the Naval base. Initially proceedings got under way in light winds but a second race started off the no. 8 buoy in perfect sailing conditions in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

The tricentenary celebrations were supported by the premiere partner for the Regatta and Cork300, AIB, the Irish Naval Services, and other Cork300 partners Volvo Car Ireland, Port of Cork, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Heineken, Musto and Doyle Shipping Group.

RCYC 300th Celebrations Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

Published in Cork300

The Royal Cork Yacht Club fleet is gathering for this morning's club tricentenary celebration in Cork Harbour.

A parade of sail past Haulbowline Island, where the oldest yacht club in the world was founded in 1720, is being held.  It will be followed by two days of 'At Home' racing.

RCYC is holding its deferred Tricentenary Regatta today and tomorrow.

It will start with a parade of sail and motor off Haulbowline Island on Saturday, which was the first location of the Waterboys Club of Cork in 1720, from which the present RCYC evolved to become the oldest yacht club in the world.

Original Tricentenary plans had to be postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

Special trophies have been commissioned for the Regatta. "As always, the At Home' is open to members of visiting clubs," says the RCYC.

The Tricentenary sailing programme is here.

More here from Afloat's W M Nixon this morning, and check back for photos from Afloat's Bob Bateman as celebrations unfold on Afloat's dedicated Cork300 section here.

Published in Cork300

Despite a big effort to complete a full schedule of races completed at the AIB Irish Laser Championships at Royal Cork, only very light winds meant no races were held yesterday bringing to two of four days of racing lost due to too much wind or lack of it in Cork Harbour.

After eight races sailed, locals won two of three divisions in the 99-boat fleet.

Cork Harbour's Nick Walsh topped a 14-boat standard fleet with a 12-point lead over clubmate Edward Rice and Robert Howe of Monkstown Bay third.

RCYC's Jonathan O'Shaughnessy won the 49-boat Radial division. Second was Harry Pritchard and third Elle Cunnane, both from Royal Cork.

A 35-boat 4/7 fleet was led from start to finish by Howth Yacht Club's Rocco Wright with an 11 point margin from Royal Cork's Oisin MacSweeney. Wright's clubmate Luke Turvey was third.

Full photo gallery of prizewinners below by Bob Bateman

Overall results are here

Rocco Wright, Winner of the 4.7 divisionRocco Wright, Winner of the 4.7 division receives his prize from Admiral Colin Morehead RCYC. Picture Robert Bateman

Oisin Mac Sweeney runner up in the AIB Laser Nationals 4.7 ClassOisin MacSweeney 4.7 runner up

Luke TurveyLuke Turvey third in the 4.7 division

Jonathan O'Shaughhnessy winner of the Radial fleetJonathan O'Shaughnessy winner of the Radial fleet

Harry Pritchard Harry Pritchard, second in the Radial 

Elle Cunnane TBSC/RCYC 1st Lady and 3rd in the 4.7s overallElle Cunnane TBSC/RCYC 1st Lady and 3rd in the Radials overall

A happy Moment. Nick Walsh winner Standard rig with his Father, yachtsman Bill Walsh with Admiral Colin MoreheadA happy Moment. Nick Walsh winner Standard rig with his Father, yachtsman Bill Walsh with Admiral Colin Morehead

Ed Rice, runner up in the standard rig divisionEd Rice, runner up in the standard rig division

Robert HoweRobert Howe, third in the Standard Rig

Dorothy Matthews, First local girlDorothy Matthews, First local girl

Irish Laser Championships Prizegiving Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

Published in Laser

Friday's fleet leaders continue at the top in two of three divisions of the AIB sponsored Laser National Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club, going into the final day of competition in Cork Harbour.

After eight races sailed, 99 boats compete across the three fleets at Crosshaven, with locals leading two divisions.

Eleven Races under London Olympic Race Officer Jack Roy were scheduled, with the final races sailed this Sunday.

Cork Harbour's Nick Walsh leads a 14-boat standard fleet with a 12-point lead over clubmate Edward Rice. Monkstown Bay's Robert Howe is third.

The host club has a grip on the biggest fleet of the championships, with RCYC youths filling the top three places in the Radial class. However, two UFD penalties have ruined one-time leader Michael Crosbie's perfect scoresheet with clubmate Jonathan O'Shaughnessy now on top of the 49 boat division.

Nick Walsh has a 12 point lead in the standard division Photo: Bob BatemanNick Walsh has a 12 point lead in the standard division Photo: Bob Bateman

After some intense competition at Dun Laoghaire Harbour during last week's 4.7 Youth World Championships on Dublin Bay, a 35-boat fleet is back on the water again, and it continues to be led by Howth Yacht Club's Rocco Wright now with an 11 point margin from Royal Cork's Oisin MacSweeney. Wright's clubmate Luke Turvey stays third.

Racing continues at Royal Cork this morning and conditions are expected to be light with winds under ten knots from the south.

Overall results are here

Published in Laser

Leaders have made perfect starts to the AIB sponsored Laser National Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club recording four straight wins in all three divisions.

99 boats are competing across the three fleets at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour with locals leading two divisions.

Due to the pandemic, no national championship event was sailed in 2020, with the last nationals being sailed in 2019 in Ballyholme in Northern Ireland.

Eleven Races under London Olympic Race Officer Jack Roy are scheduled. Races 4, 5 and 6 today (Friday) and Saturday Races 7, 8 and 9. Two final races are scheduled on Sunday 22. 

Southerly winds gusting to 30 knots are due later today (with a two-hour postponement already in place this Friday morning) with winds forecast to moderate for both Saturday and Sunday.

If conditions improve on Friday, the plan is to try and get two races in at White Bay just inside Roches Point.

Walsh leads Standard Rigs

Cork Harbour local Nick Walsh leads a 14-boat standard fleet. Royal St. George's Finn Walker from Dun Laoghaire is second on 13 points with another Cork Harbour sailor, Robert Howe in third place a point behind on 14. 

Nick Walsh in the lead in the standard rigNick Walsh in the lead in the standard rig Photo: Bob Bateman

Crosbie on form in Radial

The host club has a grip on the biggest fleet of the championships with RCYC youths filling the top three places in the Radial class. Michael Crosbie leads on four points from Jonathan O'Shaughnessy on 11 points. Third is Harry Pritchard on 16.

Michael Crosbie leads the RadialsMichael Crosbie leads the Radials Photo: Bob Bateman

Wright at top of 4.7s

After some intense competition at Dun Laoghaire Harbour during last week's 4.7 Youth World Championships on Dublin Bay, a 35-boat fleet is back on the water again and led by Howth Yacht Club's Rocco Wright on 4 points from Royal Cork's Oisin Mac Sweeney on nine.  Wright's clubmate Luke Turvey is third on 11.0

Howth Yacht Club's Rocco Wright Howth Yacht Club's Rocco Wright Photo: Bob Bateman

Racing continues at Royal Cork today

Overall results are here

RCYC Laser Nationals Day One Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

 

Published in Laser

ZeroDark, the big black high-speed RIB driven by Royal Cork member John Ryan, broke his own existing Cork Fastnet Cork speed record in a time of 1 hour, 47 minutes and 7 seconds (Subject to ratification by UIM) yesterday.

The previous record of 2 hours 6 minutes and 47 seconds was set by Ryan when he was team principal of All Black Racing in 2018 as Afloat reported here.

This week, as regular Afloat readers will know, the boat had been turning heads on test runs with its impressive speed around Cork Harbour.

Speaking after the record run, John said “we were delighted to be able to break the existing record and while conditions proved challenging in the latter stages I am really pleased how the boat handled the conditions”. He also paid tribute to his navigator on the day, Ciaran Monks, no stranger to high-speed craft.

Zerodark RIB team(Above and below) The Zerodark RIB team prepare for the record at RCYC marina

Zerodark RIB team

Zerodark RIB team

Fastnet Rock - the halfway point on a perfect evening for a high speed Rib runFastnet Rock - the halfway point on a perfect evening for a high speed Rib run

Ryan told Afloat his top speed during the run was 83 knots, but that he lost navigation and all instruments due to an electrical issue after ten minutes from start so the run was by compass only with no trim or engine management. The average speed was 65 knots.

The record time of 1 hour, 47 minutes and 7 seconds is subject to ratification by UIM record keepersThe record time of 1 hour, 47 minutes and 7 seconds is subject to ratification by UIM record keepers

Colin Morehead, Admiral of the Royal Cork who was assisting the record bid commented – It is great to see John, a member of our club achieving such results today. The yacht club has a strong motor history and it is wonderful to see John and his team perform so admirably today. It was my pleasure to provide him with a special five-gun salute on their victorious return to the yacht club marina this evening”

Record breakers - celebrating at Royal Cork Yacht Club marina after the record time was set, John Ryan (right)and Colin Morehead  (second from right) and the Zerodark team(above and below) Record breakers - celebrating at Royal Cork Yacht Club marina after the record time was set, John Ryan (right)and Colin Morehead (second from right) and the Zerodark team Photo: Bob Bateman

Zerodark RIB team

ZeroDark was built by Ophardt Maritim in Duisburg, Germany and she arrived by road earlier this week. Designed by Andrew Lee of Norson Design specifically for the German Special Forces as a craft to be utilized for high-speed covert operations.

She has an aluminium hull and is the fastest of its type in the world and can reach speeds in excess of 85 knots.

 Ryan says Zerodark will be attempting further records in near future.

Zerodark Cork-Fastnet-Cork Record Run Photo Gallery

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

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