Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Solent

Follow all the boats racing in the Rolex Commodores' Cup 2010 on the Inshore Race Tracking System HERE!



Published in Commodores Cup

In spite of Ireland's domination of the first races of the Commodore's Cup, Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA) Commodore Barry Rose says it is far too early for celebration in the Irish camp. After all they have been here before a number of times. Hear the latest from Rose this morning as the teams go afloat for a breezy two races today, exactly the sort of conditions that favour the Irish trio.



Ireland's Antix in action. Her crew inlcudes last week's Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta winner Peter O'Leary. Photo: Kurt Arriga

Published in Commodores Cup
With memorable material stretching back over the years, Cowes Radio is already streaming on the Internet. "With over a million minutes downloaded last Cowes Week, and the explosion of audio visual media content on the Internet this decade, I'm confident we'll see that record truly smashed!" commented Steve Ancsell, the "Godfather' of Cowes Radio.

Cowes Radio celebrates 25 years at the worlds' greatest regatta, Cowes Week, and goes on air this Friday on 87.7FM as the longest running RSL station in the UK. New on the website this year is Flash streaming on the eDigital Research sponsored webpages <>, as well as feeds for every kind of web player. There's even some new links to listen to Cowes Radio on your iPhone or Blackberry, which means you really can listen to Cowes Radio everywhere!

On air competitions include: a week's holiday yacht charter in the BVI with a day's tuition by top match racer Peter Holmberg; Mount Gay Rum 'Crew of the Day' and 'Hunt the Barrel' daily competitions, some nice shades from and trendy, adaptable, multi-use headwear Buffs.
For more information, check out

Published in Cowes Week
Everyone is celebrating this year’s Race as being one of the most successful on record. Not only did the weather gods play fair, the racing was extremely close throughout the day proven by the tight finishes in most classes and the competitors came ashore happy and proud of their efforts whether first in class or trailing the fleet.

For once, most of the boats finished before sunset and in a fleet of nearly 1700 boats, that’s pretty unusual.

From the 0500 start off the Royal Yacht Squadron line when ICAP Leopard, the current monohull course record holder powered her way up the Solent to the Needles, right through to the closing stages of the race, there was little time for the race management team at the Island Sailing Club to draw breath in order to record the finish times.

The two existing course record holders in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race have again triumphed today as IDEC, the multihull driven by Francis Joyon crossed the finish line at 09.34.05 - so her rounding was in 04h.24m.05s and her course record still stands at 3h.08m.29s. She was closely followed by the four Extreme 40s led by Oman Sail, The Wave Muscat at 09.37.33, then Oman Sail Masirah at 09.37.57, Team Metherell at 09.44.10 and then Ecover at 09.48.45.

ICAP Leopard crossed the line at 10.10.06 so her rounding was achieved in 05h.0m.06s, way outside her record of 03h.53m.05s. The ISC Commodore Bill Pimlott presented Mike Slade with a bottle of Champagne for taking the monohull line honours. Mike, chatting after the race, said: "We've had a glorious day's sailing as always and we're exceptionally pleased with the result considering we got hooked up to a lobster pot on the south of the Island for about two hours. Thankfully we had a young diver onboard who free-dived below and cut it off. We thought we had slowed up and when we saw the size of the obstacle we realised why. Sadly there was nothing in it!"

The exquisite J Class yacht Velsheda finished at 10.45.02. She started at 5am this morning. Built in 1933 in Camper and Nicholsons in Gosport, Velsheda is the most famous of the few remaining J Class yachts left in the world today.

Just after 1pm Simon Judge sailing his Westerly GK29 Growling Kougar was carefully treading his way over Ryde Sands with just one metre of water below the keel. "We're going well and seem to have caught up on some of the Sunsail fleet yachts, and have a few of Sigma 33s close by which is good for us because they rate higher." According to Judge he was currently in line to break his own Round the Island Race record which stood at nine hours. "If all goes well, we'll be in within eight and a half hours." We’re delighted to report that he made it in 8.48.40!

Angus Ball, the Gunboat 66 Coco de Mer skipper in the Multihull-Bridgedeck class, said they had an exciting time and were pleased to be mixing it with some of the Class 0 yachts that started 10 minutes ahead. Ball and his team have been campaigning the year-old boat extensively and have notched up some respectable results including a Gunboat class win at the Heineken Regatta earlier in the year.

The Silver Gilt Roman Bowl and JP Morgan Asset Management Salver for the top yacht in the ISC Rating System Division went to First Knight, a Beneteau First 25.7 owned and skippered by an ENT surgeon, Lindsey Knight, from Leeds.

Next year the race is taking place on Saturday June 25th. Importantly this will be the 80th Anniversary Race and the organisers are anticipating a record entry.

Full results and the Race Progress news from this year are on the Race website at

The prizegiving is being held tomorrow, Sunday 20th June at the Island Sailing Club and all are welcome.

Published in Racing

Ten hours since the first gun was fired in the 2010 J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, and finishing yachts are streaming into Cowes with half of the 1754 entries having completed the 50-mile marathon.

Unusually we have the winner of the Gold Roman Bowl, the top prize in the Race for the first overall on corrected time in IRC-rated classes. Nordic Bear is a Nordic Folkboat owned and raced by Brian Appleyard from Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. He came second in IRC overall in 2009. This boat has beaten Madelaine who won the Gold Roman Bowl in 2007.

Since Francis Joyon’s IDEC claimed outright line honours as first multihull home in 04. 24.05  and first monohull ICAP Leopard completed her lap of the Isle of Wight half an hour later (05.0.06), the majority of the IRC fleets have also finished.

In IRC 0 the J-Class Velsheda is the provisional winner, with triple Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie second onboard J.P. Morgan Asset Management Prince’s Trust, and the Swan Desperado in third.

First overall in IRC1 is Willem Wester’s Grand Soleil 43 Antilope, ahead of the J/122 Jinja and Incognito. Antilope also heads up the IRC1A division, Incognito tops IRC1C, whilst IRC1B is led by Andy Iyer’s Beneteau First 40.7 Portia.

David Mcleman’s J/109 leads IRC2 and division 2B overall, with the Grand Soleil 37 Grand Slam topping IRC2A, the well travelled Dutch entry Winsome leading IRC2C, and Dave Cooke’s Sigma 38 Monet first in IRC2D.

Many of the larger ISC-rated boats have also finished their race, with first home the Bordeaux 60 Osprey of Nickolas Imregi, which also provisionally leads the ISC4 fleet on corrected time. 

However, the winner of the 79th Round the Island Race could well still be racing – many of the Nordic Folkboats, Quarter Tonners and other classes traditionally successful in the competition for the famous Gold Roman Bowl IRC overall prize are currently sailing the final section of the race from Ryde to Cowes, and early indications are that 2010 could be another year when conditions favour the small boats. 

Competitors have until 2200 to complete their race within the time limit, but winds in the Solent are still averaging 12-18 knots to speed the fleet home to the Island Sailing Club finish line.

Published in Racing

Two of the three boats in Ireland's Commodore's Cup team are booked in for the annual Round the Island race in the Solent on June 19. The race, which already boasts 1,200 entries, kicks off the day before the Round Ireland, which is struggling to make the 20-entry mark at present.

Anthony O'Leary's Antix and the new Crosshaven-based Corby, Roxy 6 appear in the 399-boat IRC lineup.

Racing 50 miles around the Isle of Wight will no doubt be beneficial for the teams aboard both boats ahead of August's Commodore's Cup, and six Irish boats feature in the IRC section. However, the clash calls into question the timing of the Round Ireland. With the Round the Island, the single most popular sailing event in the British Isles every year, taking place on the solstice weekend, the Round Ireland puts itself at a serious disadvantage in seeking entries at that time.

The chance of tempting boats up from the Solent is lessened, when skippers are faced with a shorter, cheaper and more sociable event at home.  And with the Solent a similar distance from Cork, It's no surprise that two of the top boats in Ireland, both based in Cork, have decided to use it as a training event for the Commodore's Cup.

Insiders have already grumbled that this point is one Wicklow needs to address going into the next Round Ireland cycle.

Share your thoughts on's forum.

Published in RORC
Page 4 of 4

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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