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Displaying items by tag: Sovereign's Cup

In the popular White Sails ECHO divisions of the Sovereign's Cup, James Matthews Jeanneau 49 Sun Odyssey Fiscala of the host club took the honours from Graham Vickers in the Elan 37 Capella in Class One. Frank Caul's Grand Soleil 37 Prince of Tides was third.

In White Sails 2 ECHO, Kinsale Yacht Club's John Twomey sailing the Blazer 23 Shillelagh was the overall winner after five races sailed.

Twomey's crew beat the Howth YC skippered Oceanis 323 Clipper, Sapphire. Third was the Dufour 365 Privateer (Dermot Lanigan) of the host club.

Fiscala - James Matthews Jeanneau was first in the White Sails Echo division Photo: Bob BatemanFiscala - James Matthews Jeanneau was first in the White Sails Echo division Photo: Bob Bateman

Results here are provisional and subject to protest. 

Day Four Sovereign's Cup Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman

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It took steady nerves among the Kinsale Yacht Club officer board and Anthony O'Neill and his Sovereigns Cup Organising Committee to keep to their carefully planned staging of the biennial Sovereigns Cup 2021, continuing a 1995-founded pillar event of Irish sailing. They were successful in running an intense pattern of racing within current health regulations for a fleet which may have been kept down to 62 boats, but it was encouraging for all Irish sailing in that – while participants were drawn mainly from the Cork and Dublin areas – they included a Galway Bay SC crew, and the East Coast contenders numbered northern Fingal sailors in their ranks.

A Coastal Race start of the 2021 Sovereign's Cup Photo: Bob BatemanA Coastal Race start of the 62-boat 2021 Sovereign's Cup Photo: Bob Bateman

As to the fleet, while generally representative of a contemporary regatta anywhere in Western Europe, it was encouraging to note that there were several new boats barely out of their wrappings. And for those who seek some classics to leaven the mix, we'd a trio of vintage Quarter Tonners and a couple of Half Tonners too, while former Race Director Tony Kingston was setting the Kinsale tone with his immaculately-restored Swan 40 Shindig.

Tony Kingston's immaculately-restored Swan 40 ShindigTony Kingston's immaculately-restored Swan 40 Shindig

The Swan 40 was Olin Stephens' special design of 1970 to demonstrate the ideal of what the then-new International Offshore Rule boats should look like. While a new wave of hyper-competitive designers may have limited the IOR's period of usefulness, at the time it was a major breakthrough in creating a universally accepted international rule which produced boats that have stood the rest of time as handsome vessels of enduring elegance.

In a different style, another golden oldie which showed she can still pitch in there with the new boats was Kieran Collins' Coracle VI from Crosshaven. She may be an Olson 30 which first saw the light of day on the West Coast of the US way back in 1978, but she's still hot to trot, and the regatta finished with her winning IRC2 overall, which will have them dancing - socially-distanced of course - in the streets of her birthplace of Santa Cruz in California.

Kieran Collins' Coracle VI from CrosshavenKieran Collins' Coracle VI from Crosshaven Photo: Bob Bateman

However, generally the headline winners were startlingly new in terms of build year, even if some of the designs have been around for a little while. In theory, the new J/99 should narrowly outperform the vintage J/109, even if the 99 rates slightly higher. But Ireland has developed a fleet of highly-tuned J/109s, and with nine of them in Kinsale and all the talent present, Mike and Richie Evans from Howth with their ultra-new J/99 Snapshot were up against it.

Mike and Richie Evans ultra-new J/99 Snapshot Photo: Bob BatemanMike and Richie Evans ultra-new J/99 Snapshot Photo: Bob Bateman

However, they'd a secret weapon in the form of clubmate Laura Dillon on the strength, all-Ireland Champion Helm in 1996 (the only female winner so far), and sharper than ever as one of Ireland's most accomplished sailors, with Snapshot turning in a neat scoreline in the final races to clinch it in convincing style ahead of the baying pack of J/109 hounds.

Out on the coastal course, it was another newbie from Howth, Bob Rendell's impressive Grand Soleil 44 Samatom, which emerged ahead in the end, her on-board talent lineup including Mark Mansfield, and 2017 Afloat.ie "Sailor of the Year" Conor Fogerty. Getting second in that division added yet another laurel to Denis & Annamarie Murphy's Nieulargo from Crosshaven, an earlier smaller sister of Samatom as she's a Grand Soleil 40.

Bob Rendell's impressive Grand Soleil 44 SamatomBob Rendell's impressive Grand Soleil 44 Samatom Photo: Bob Bateman

Nieulargo arrived in Kinsale fresh from the traditional Royal Cork YC five gun salute for the overall victory in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, in which she'd Samatom astern on corrected time. So maybe there's unfinished business here – there's always the Fastnet Race, and failing that, how about Calves Week in Schull in August?

The sometimes rugged conditions experienced by the large coastal course division tended to favour the bigger boats, and so the odds were stacked against the sole West Coast entry, Liam Burke's recently-acquired Farr 31 Tribal from Galway Bay SC, but they battled on regardless and were accorded VIP treatment as the only boat from Connacht.

Liam Burke's recently-acquired Farr 31 Tribal from Galway Bay SCLiam Burke's recently-acquired Farr 31 Tribal from Galway Bay SC Photo: Bob BatemanThe Men from the West in Kinsale – the Farr 31 Tribal (Liam Burke, Galway Bay SC) was the only Connacht boat racing at Kinsale, and the furthest-travelled of all entries.The Men from the West in Kinsale – the Farr 31 Tribal (Liam Burke, Galway Bay SC) was the only Connacht boat racing at Kinsale, and the furthest-travelled of all entries. From left Mark Wilson, Liam Burke, Justin Mitchel, David Carberry, Jack Nolan and Brian Forde

On the home front, Kinsale itself is the quintessential family sailing centre, and this was most positively represented by the Matthews family with their White Sails Class 1-winning Sun Odyssey 49 Fiscala with three generations of Matthews on board, helmed by Harvey (aged 12) with his crew including grandfather Bruce (age not disclosed, but it's a very long time since he got the Free Bus Pass).

Fiscala - James Matthews Jeanneau was first in the White Sails  Echo division Photo: Bob BatemanFiscala - James Matthews Jeanneau was first in the White Sails Echo division Photo: Bob Bateman

After four intensive days of racing, the complete ramifications of the Sovereigns Cup 2021 will merit weeks of analysis, particularly when set in the context of the continuing emergence from the pandemic of sailing in particular, and Ireland in general. In the circumstances, it was a very precise and difficult target to aim for. Kinsale Yacht Club have done us all a very great service in succeeding in their one chance of hitting the bulls-eye.

Read all Afloat's Sovereign's Cup 2021 coverage in one handy link here

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Bob Rendell's brand new Samatom Grand Soleil 44 has proved fast straight out of the box by winning the O'Leary Insurances Sovereign's Cup Regatta Coastal Divison at the first attempt.

The 17-strong division featured was the biggest of the Cup with some of the biggest yachts including first, second (joint) and third from this month's Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race.

Grand Soleil models took the top two places in the coastal division with Samatom's little sister the Grand Soleil 40, Nieulago finishing up second overall with a final race win today.

Rendell who was the overnight leader after Wednesday's first race but then lost the lead to Conor Phelan's custom Ker 37 Jump Juice after races two and three benefitted from stronger offshore winds for the final race later in the week.

Sailing with Rendell was Olympian Mark Mansfield, the Irish Grand Soleil agent. 

Results here are provisional and subject to protest. 

Day Four Sovereign's Cup Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman

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The overnight leader was ousted from the top spot in IRC Division Three today in the final race of the O'Leary Insurance Sovereign's Cup.

David Lane in the J/24 YaGottaWanna overtook rival and club mate Royal Cork Quarter Tonner Supernova (Dave O Regan & Denise Phelan & Tony Donworth) for the top prize.

Although both crews finished on the same 15 points, Lane won overall based on his first place in the last race of the series. 

The final races of the series were round the cans races in 13-20 knots of offshore breeze off Kinsale Harbour today.

A second Cork Harbour Quarter Tonner BonJourno! Part Deux (Rob O'Reilly) finished third overall. 

Results here are provisional and subject to protest. 

Day Four Sovereign's Cup Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman

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Two final race wins in round the cans racing on the final day of the O'Leary Insurances Sovereign's Cup has given Royal Cork's Olson 30 Coracle VI (Kieran Collins) the overall title in IRC Two.

Just a single point separated overnight leader David Kelly's Half Tonner King One of Howth Yacht Club from the Crossahven crew going into the final day of racing but the two race wins tipped the balance in favour of the south coast crew.

David Kelly's Half Tonner King One of Howth Yacht ClubDavid Kelly's Half Tonner King One of Howth Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

The final races of the series were round the cans races in 13-20 knots of offshore breeze off Kinsale Harbour today.

George Radley's Cork Harbour Half Tonner Cortegada took third place.

Results here are provisional and subject to protest. 

Day Four Sovereign's Cup Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman

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With three race wins and six results in the top three, there was never any doubting the speed of Mike and Richard Evans debutante J/99 that has won the O'Leary Insurances Sovereign's Cup IRC One overall by a convincing margin of nine points.

Fast straight out of the box, the Howth YC J/99 crew with Shane Hughes of North Sails and ace helm Laura Dillon on board were in top form since Wednesday breaking the J109 stranglehold in some style.

Out of the 14 -competing boats in Class One, ten are J109s that filled all but one of the top six places overall.

The Howth brothers confirmed their win with a 1 and a 3 in the final round the cans racing in 13-20 knots of offshore breeze off Kinsale Harbour today.

Finbarr O'Regan's new Kinsale J/109 Artful Dodjer moved up to second overall on the final day in IRC One of the Sovereign's CupFinbarr O'Regan's new Kinsale J/109 Artful Dodjer moved up to second overall on the final day in IRC One of the Sovereign's Cup Photo: Bob Bateman

A win in the last race was enough for Finbarr O'Regan to move from fourth overall overnight into the runner up position behind the J/99. It's O'Regans' first regatta on his new J-109 Artful Dodjer after his D2D offshore debut earlier this month. The second overall won today secured prevents a Howth 1,2,3 in class one.

A UFD penalty in the last race dropped Richard Colwell and John Murphy's J109 Outrajeous from second to fifth overall on the final day.

First-day leader, Pat Kelly's J109 Storm from Howth and Rush finished third overall. 

Results here are provisional and subject to protest. 

Day Four Sovereign's Cup Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman

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After a comparatively windy penultimate day at the O'Leary Insurance Sovereign's Cup today and the final races of the series due to start on Saturday morning, another race is on at UK Sailmakers Ireland tonight to repair sails in time for tomorrow's first gun.

The Barry Hayes lead team at the Crosshaven loft are repairing "lots of headsails and a good few badly ripped spinnakers" overnight.

The aim is to get all the Sovereign's Cup fleet back racing in the morning.

Results are in the balance in all classes going into the final day at the Cup at Kinsale. 

Even stronger winds are expected for Saturday's regatta finale that will round off a complete test across the full range of conditions.

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In a ding dong battle since Wednesday, Royal Cork Quarter Tonner Supernova (Dave O Regan & Denise Phelan & Tony Donworth) has a single point lead over rival and club mate David Lane in the J/24 YaGottaWanna in the O'Leary Insurance Sovereign's Cup off Kinsale.

Races five and six were sailed in northerly 15 to 20-knot winds off Kinsale Harbour today.

David Lane in the J/24 YaGottaWannaDavid Lane in the J/24 YaGottaWanna Photo: Bob Bateman

A second Cork Harbour Quarter Tonner BonJourno! Part Deux (Rob O'Reilly) lies third on 11 points. 

The Cup series concludes tomorrow (Saturday).

Quarter Tonner BonJourno! Part Deux (Rob O'Reilly)Quarter Tonner BonJourno! Part Deux (Rob O'Reilly) Photo: Bob Bateman

Results here are provisional and subject to protest. 

Day Three Sovereign's Cup Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman

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Just a single point separates leader David Kelly's Half Tonner King One from Royal Cork Olson 30 Coracle VI (Kieran Collins) in IRC Division Two going into the final day of racing at the O'Leary Insurances Sovereign's Cup Regatta on Saturday.

Races five and six were sailed in northerly 15 to 20-knot winds off Kinsale Harbour today.

George Radley's Cork Harbour Half Tonner Cortegada is eight points adrift of his Cork clubmate on 15 points overall in third place.

The Cup series concludes tomorrow (Saturday).

Royal Cork Olson 30 Coracle VI (Kieran Collins)Royal Cork Olson 30 Coracle VI (Kieran Collins) Photo: Bob Bateman

Results here are provisional and subject to protest. 

Day Three Sovereign's Cup Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman

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Conor Phelan's Jump Juice from Royal Cork Yacht Club continues to lead the largest division of the O'Leary Insurances Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale after scoring a third in the third race of the coastal series to be one point ahead overall. 

A race win today for Phelan's clubmates Nieulargo (Denis & Annamarie Murphy) moves the Grand Soleil 40 up to third overall, to be three points behind Bob Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 from Howth Yacht Club in second overall on seven points.

Bob Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 from Howth Yacht ClubSecond overall - Bob Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 from Howth Yacht Club is second overall after three races sailed Photo: Bob Bateman

The third coastal race was sailed in 15 to 20-knot northerly winds.

The 17-strong coastal fleet features some of the biggest yachts in the event. As regular Afloat readers will know, first, second (joint) and third from this month's Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race are sailing in the Sovereign's coastal fleet.

Third overall - Nieulargo (Denis & Annamarie Murphy) are third after three races sailed. Photo: Bob BatemanThird overall - Nieulargo (Denis & Annamarie Murphy) are third after three races sailed. Photo: Bob Bateman

The Cup series concludes tomorrow (Saturday).

Results here are provisional and subject to protest. 

Day Three Sovereign's Cup Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman

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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.

©Afloat 2020

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