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Displaying items by tag: Sam Hunt

Kinsale’s top two-handers Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt with the Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl seem to have already put in enough successful sailing in the season of 2022 to fulfil the ambitions of many crews for a whole year. And all that even if now - at mid-June - the Summer itself seems remarkably unenthusiastic about putting in an enduring appearance, whereas a cold and blustery Spring doesn’t realise that it has long out-stayed its welcome.

Back on the 20th May, when the new 240-mile Inishtearaght Race went off from their home port, the two shipmates and their fully-crewed rivals were sailing on what looked like a gloomy March day. And though they found some sunshine off the southwest seaboard while using rock-bound Inishtearaght for the first time as a race turning mark, by the time they got back to Kinsale the murk had closed in again. But the Cinnamon boys scarcely noticed, as they finished second on the water, took a good first on Corrected Time, and rounded out the month of May by becoming the Afloat.ie “Sailors of the Month”.

Job done. Cinnamon Girl back in Kinsale after being round the Blaskets, closing in on winning the Inish Tearaght race overall. Photo: Robert BatemanJob done. Cinnamon Girl back in Kinsale after being round the Blaskets, closing in on winning the Inish Tearaght race overall. Photo: Robert Bateman

But they were only getting going, for like all Sunfast 3300 crews, they’re campaigning the high-profile new boat whose public debut was most adversely affected by the pandemic. For sure, Cinnamon Girl and other hyper-keen Cork and Dublin Bay offshore boats did manage some sport with carefully restricted events like the Fastnet 450 during the easings of the lockdown. Yet these were almost under-the-radar happenings, not at all like the hell-for-leather competition you relish when putting a new boat of clearly great potential through her paces.

Thus this coming Saturday’s SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow has added appeal, with its sense of the last of the restrictions being thrown to the winds. And for the Cinnamon Girl and boys, this past weekend saw the buildup accelerating, with a record-breaking positioning passage from Kinsale to the East Coast in which they were whizzing along for hour after hour at speeds of 15 to 21 knots, even managing to see a sunset – albeit a rather watery one – as they made speed along the Wicklow coast.

 


(Above) Cinnamon Girl at the weekend, making 15-21 knots on passage from Kinsale to the East Coast

They’re a formidably experienced team. Cian McCarthy – having learned the ropes with Denis Doyle on Moonduster - has raced the Mini Transat. He got fourth in the first leg, but broke the forestay on week one of transatlantic second leg, yet raced on without a forestay for the rest of the crossing - perhaps a first Transatlantic crossing without a forestay. He also won the BT Global Challenge, raced open 40's as well as many Commodores Cup and Admirals Cup, and has five Round Irelands done previously - two of the double-handed.

Sam Hunt is also a Kinsale native, with broad background in dinghies and keelboats. He was the only civilian in the crew on the British Army boat for the last four Round Irelands. Additionally, he’d lots of wins in Match and Team racing, did a 470 Olympic campaign with Gerbil Owens in 2005 - 06, and has also raced with the Mumm 30's on Mammy, and the Melges with Team Barbarians, while logging successful experience in SB20s and 1720s, and racing the legendary Tiamat in IRC and Commodores Cup series.

While this will be Sam’s fifth Round Ireland, it will be his first double-handed, and he and Cian McCarthy seem to be melding as a formidable duo. They’ve optimised their prospects with in-depth input on sails from Nin O’Leary, and now all they need going round Ireland is more of the conditions they experienced this past weekend to made Cinnamon Girl even more of a force to be reckoned with.

Kinsale in the morning, Wicklow sunset in the evening – that’s the sort of passage-making the Sunfast 3300 can achieve when conditions suit.Kinsale in the morning, Wicklow sunset in the evening – that’s the sort of passage-making the Sunfast 3300 can achieve when conditions suit.

Published in Round Ireland

Ireland's most westerly Atlantic outcrop, the Blasket Islands, are so imbued with mythology and an almost supernatural ruggedness that no-one had previously thought of using the group’s lighthouse island, Inishtearaght, as the turning point for a 240-mile offshore race. But they think outside the box in Kinsale YC. On the morning of Friday May 20th, the inaugural Inishearaght Race got underway with a fleet which made up in quality anything it lacked in quantity.

Among the renowned fully-crewed boats, the smallest competitor was the eye-catching little Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl, and the interest was heightened by the fact that owner Cian McCarthy and regular shipmate Sam Hunt were undertaking this new challenge two-handed. Yet after a rugged race taking them to an even more rugged setting, when the boats got back to Kinsale in late evening on the Saturday, not only was the big-hearted little Cinnamon Girl second across the line, but she won handsomely on a corrected time which made no allowance for the fact that there were only the two of them on board. We salute their special achievement – only one crew will ever be down in the records as the winner of the first Inishtearaght Race.

Cinnamon Girl approaching Kinsale Harbour and a great win – sailors of fully-crewed boats might care to note the absence of trailing lines Cinnamon Girl approaching Kinsale Harbour and a great win – sailors of fully-crewed boats might care to note the absence of trailing lines Photo: Robert Bateman

Published in Sailor of the Month
Tagged under
9th February 2011

Two Teams Set for Nations Cup

Two teams have been selected to represent Ireland in the ISAF Nations Cup Europe II Regional Final next July 19-23 in Gdynia, Poland. As a result of the selection process arranged by the ISA the teams are Sam Hunt from Kinsale in the Open division and Laura Dillon from Howth in the Women's division.

Sam Hunt has extensive match race experience having achieved third place in the ISA Match Race Championship and scoring highly on the Irish Match Race Tour in 2011. He is currently placed 308 in the ISAF World Match Race Open Rankings. Laura Dillon is the current Irish Women's champion having won the ISA Women's Match Race Championship in 2011. She is currently placed 116 in the ISAF World Match Race Women's Rankings and is a previous winner of the ISA All Ireland Sailing Championship.

Match Racing has grown strongly in Ireland since the ISA launched their SailFleet of J/80 keelboats in 2007 and the formation of the Match Race Ireland association in 2010. Among the events that SailFleet has facilitated are the ISA All Ireland and Match Race Championships, the ISAF Nations Cup 2007 Regional Final in Kinsale and the Bangor Match Cup a Women's Grade 1 event on Belfast Lough next August.

"The ISAF Nations Cup is a very tough competition and the best match racers in the world competing. Having hosted the Grand Final in Cork and a Regional Final more recently in Kinsale our sailors know that the standard will be high. Both Sam and Laura are very experienced match racers and know what they need to do to come out on top in these competitions." said Ed Alcock of the ISA.

The ISAF Nations Cup is a global competition to find the world's top match racing nations in both open and women's events and to develop match racing infrastructure around the world. The ISAF Nations Cup website is here: http://www.sailing.org/nations-cup.php

Published in Match Racing

Dun Laoghiare's John Sheehy retained his National Match Racing Championship title in Kinsale yesterday. The top three teams were: Jodapama Racing (John Sheehy) 2: Mad Match Racing (Ben Duncan) and 3rd: Gladiators (Sam Hunt). Vidcasts with the winners below: 

Jodapama Racing have retained their Irish match racing title but had to do it the hard way. Lieing in 4th place over night the pressure was on to make the final and was made worse when they lost the openning race of the second day to Ban Duncan and MadMatch Racing.

After that openning loss John Sheehy, Darragh O'Connor, Paddy Kirwin and Marty O'Leary sailed away from the start area to regroup and came back firing, finishing on 8 wins. Mean while MadMatch kept on racking up points, their final tally topping the table at the end of the round robbin with 9 wins. Prof O'Connell (North Sails Ireland) and Sam Hunt (Gladiators) lead going into day 2 and despite mixed fortunes on day 2 held on to finish on 7 wins a piece to contest the 3rd/4th place play off.

In the 2-0 final Jodapama held pressure off the start in both races to take an early initial lead which they defended to the line despite being put under pressure all the way by MadMatch. 3rd place went to the Gladiators in a nip and tuck 2-1 play-off.

The win also secures Jodapama the Tour title for the second year finishing on 48 points. MadMatch Racing do enough to take 2nd on 29 point with Team Lazarus holding on to 3rd on 26. Gladiators and North Sails Ireland tie on 18 points, with the win in the final race of the play-off giving the Gladiators 4th place on the Tour standings.

Published in Match Racing

Prof O'Connell topped the leader board at the end of the first round round robin stage of the Irish Match Racing Championships in Kinsale. (VIDEO BELOW) Sam Hunt and the Royal St George Gladiators are next and in an unexpected turn of events the defending champion, John Sheehy from Dun Laoghaire, has yet to shine.

John has dominated match racing in Ireland for the last couple of years and is the defending National and Irish Match Racing Tour champion.

For the first couple of flights it looked to be business as usual but then he ran up against Ben Duncan and Mad Match Racing. A first loss lead to second and then a third leaving the event wide open.

A second round robin started late today and will compete tomorrow before a best of 3 race finals. Any one of 5 teams still in with a shot of the title.

As an extra feature of the event the Irish Match Racing team have prepared the following vidcasts from Kinsale:

Local helmsman George Kingston describes his match

Umpires describe events on the water 

 

Andrew Deakin (left) and Brian Carlin describe events on the water 

Vidcast by Brian Carlin

 

Published in Match Racing
By all accounts it looked like the right hand side of the course paid best dividends in yesterday's opening three rounds of the SB3 National Championships. Brian Carlin spoke to crews as they came ashore in Howth and below he talks with Brian Reilly and Sam Hunt of SB3 Boomsticks and how they won the last race of the day.
Published in SB20

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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