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Displaying items by tag: World Championships

#Rowing: Ireland will send a big team to the World Coastal Rowing Championships in Hong Kong early next month (November 1st to 3rd). Coastal Rowing is growing and may become part of the Olympic programme.

 Niall O’Toole (49) was Ireland’s first world rowing champion. The three-time Olympian now runs Crew Class for indoor rowers. He tried his luck at the Irish Offshore Rowing Championships in September in Co Antrim. Here are his impressions.

The Rock’n Roll of Offshore Rowing

By Niall O’Toole

I was excited for my first offshore race. Rounding the corner, I arrived at the location to big breaking waves crashing onto the shoreline. I immediately knew this was something different: it was going to be ugly and unpredictable.

 I fully hoped that the regatta would be called off, due to the extreme weather conditions. I looked to other competitors for solace. Instead of being able to gauge their fear, I was met with wide grins and a crazy glint in their eyes: they were unfazed. This was their normal. They were just looking forward to getting amongst it.

 I’m used to something different. A sterile environment in your own lane, as fast as you can row from A to B over 2km. You train for your own race, your pace and pushes planned down to a T. You have very little to think about on the day, other than executing that race plan. A starter holds your stern, everyone in line, traffic lights signal the off. It’s all inch-perfect and highly controlled. You may have one or two glances out of the boat, but essentially you row without interference from others.

 In Olympic-style rowing, we are guarded from the elements. Most international courses are strategically located to have a prevailing wind in one direction to avoid rough water. If there is wind, the water tends not to be affected. I wasn’t used to nature writing the rules.

 There was a delay to racing due to a late change of course. We were told that it was no longer safe for the safety boats, and that rowers were likely to be pushed onto the rocks. When the officials said, “You need to ask yourself, is it safe for you to row today?” the answer was screaming in my head. The organisers said they’d run the first race and would review whether they would continue the regatta after that. I took this to mean that the first race competitors were now officially the canaries down the mine. They got around, despite buoys moving during the race, and the regatta continued, to my growing fear and dismay.

 Shouldered with the weight of some rowing heritage behind me, I had to harness my dwindling toughness and get out onto the water, launching amidst breaking waves on the beach. Within 30 seconds I was completely soaked and instantly thought we needed a bigger boat.

 The race starts with a floating start and is the only real part that you can plan. There are no individual lanes, just a fight for the best line around a 4km course of buoys. Your only real hope is to fly out the start and get clear of the field down to that all important first buoy, before traffic starts hitting you and rowing becomes a contact sport.

 Battling the elements, and trying to keep the boat straight without a tiller was absolutely exhausting. Given my experience, I went out high and hard, but found it difficult to factor in the added dimensions of staying away from other boats and staying on the right lines to hit the markers. Trying to keep the boat straight against a crushing side-wind completely seized up my forearm within minutes of the start. Within the washing machine of the wind and waves, and the physical exertion of breathing through your ears, you are punished for small navigational mistakes which are big errors, handing away hard-fought lengths to more savvy and seasoned competitors.

 I did enjoy it though, despite myself. The rush of adrenaline you get flying around buoys, fighting for your line, with other boats breathing down your neck. You are completely focused on getting in and out of the turn as quickly as possible, whilst also paranoid that your competitor is taking a better line, for reasons as yet unknown to you. The sheer volume of data you have to integrate along with the physical exertion maxed me out in a way I couldn’t have imagined.

 This is one hell of a sport. Chaotic, unpredictable and exhilarating. It really is the rock’n roll of rowing. I’m completely hooked.

Niall O’Toole was part of the winning men’s quadruple, a composite crew of Wicklow, Kilurin and Ring, at the Irish Offshore Championships. 

Published in Rowing

#Canoeing: Robert Hendrick qualified for the semi-final of the C1 (Canadian canoe) at the canoe slalom World Championships at La Seu d’Urgell today.

 The Kildare man took 10th place in his second run – just inside the crucial cut-off point. Hendrick’s 99.03 seconds with no time penalties put him in 11th in the first set of results, but Italy’s Roberto Colazingari was then given a 50-second penalty for missing a gate and dropped out of the top 10. Hendrick had made it through.

 Hendrick will qualify Ireland for a place in the C1 in Tokyo 2020 if he can place in the top 11 nations in the semi-finals.

 Liam Jegou finished 13th, missing out on a qualification spot because of a two-second penalty for a touch on gate 11. Jake Cochrane, who was less than half a second outside qualification in the first run, did not do so well second time around and finished 49th. He missed gate five and incurred a 50-second penalty.

Canoe Slalom World Championships, La Seu d’Urgell, Spain (Irish interest)

Men

C1 – First Run (top 20 qualify directly): 26 J Cochrane 99.72, 38 R Hendrick 103.68, 46 L Jegou 106.38. SECOND RUN (top 10 to semi-finals): 10 Hendrick 99.03; 13 Jegou 99.62, 49 Cochrane 151.72

Women

K1 – First Run (top 20 qualify directly): 72 H Craig 182.68, 75 A Conlan 195.02, 76 C O’Ferrall 245.62. SECOND RUN (top 10 to semi-finals): 41 Conlan 133.13, 45 O’Ferrall 148.39, 51 Craig 174.61

 

Published in Canoeing

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure and the men's double scull of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne took gold and silver for Ireland on the final day of the World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim.

Puspure was set a very hard challenge by her friend and rival Emily Twigg of New Zealand, who led right through the middle of the race.

On a hot day, Puspure had to call on all her resources to catch and then pass Twigg. She did this in the final quarter, and then drove on to win well.

Ireland completed the set of gold, silver and bronze medals at the World Rowing Championships as Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne raced a brilliant second half of their double sculls final to take silver. China were outstanding, while Ireland trailed early on but built their speed and passed all the other contenders. They were less than a boat length away from China, who took the gold.

In the run-up to Sunday, the lightweight double scull had taken gold and pararower Katie O'Brien bronze.

World Rowing Championships, Linz-Ottensheim, Day Eight (Irish interest)

Men

Double Sculls - A Final: 1 China 6:05.68, 2 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:06.25, 3 Poland 6:07.87.

Women

Single Sculls - A Final: 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:17.14, 2 New Zealand (E Twigg) 7:20.56, 3 3 United States (K Kohler) 7:22.21.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy became the world champions in the lightweight double sculls with an outstanding victory over Germany and Italy here in Linz-Ottensheim.

The men in blue and red and white disputed the lead through the first quarter of the race, with Ireland a length behind in sixth. From there O'Donovan and McCarthy put the foot down. They set the fastest time for the next three quarters, accelerating into the headwind and clawing their way to level and then past their two big rivals.

They kept going right to the end and beat the Italians by just over a length, with Germany taking the bronze.

World Rowing Championshiops, Linz-Ottensheim, Day Seven (Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Double - A Final: 1 Ireland (F McCarthy, P O'Donovan) 6:37.28, 2 Italy 6:39.71, 3 Germany 6:41.07.

Women

Four - B Final (First Two book Olympic places for boat): 1 Britain 6:55.08, 2 Canada 6:56.99; 3 China 7:02.28, 4 Ireland Ireland (T Hanlon, E Lambe, A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:02.71.

Pair - B Final (First Five book Olympic places for boat): 1 Romania 7:18.88, 2 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:20.68.

Lightweight Double Sculls - C Final (Places 13 to 18) 1 China 7:00.82; 5 Ireland (A Casey, D Walsh) 7:10.52.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley booked another place for Ireland at the Tokyo Olympic Games this morning. They took second in the pairs B Final at the World Championships in Linz, well inside the top five which would have qualified the boat.

They led early on, but were passed by Romania in the third quarter. As they field chasing the Olympic spots closed, Ireland clung on to second.

(Irish interest)

Women

Pair - B Final (First Five book Olympic places for boat): 1 Romania 7:18.88, 2 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:20.68.

Lightweight Double Sculls - C Final (Places 13 to 18) 1 China 7:00.82; 5 Ireland (A Casey, D Walsh) 7:10.52.

 

Published in Rowing

#Ireland had a special hour here at the World Rowing Championships in Austria, featuring a medal and another wonderful performance by Sanita Puspure, which booked a place for her boat in Tokyo, following the qualification of the men's double and lightweight double.

The medal came through Katie O'Brien, who celebrated her 23rd birthday by taking bronze in the women's PR2 final. Kathryn Ross of Australia was outstanding in taking gold, while O'Brien persisted through a tough race for her and gave Annika van Der Meer of the Netherlands a contest for the silver medal coming up to the line.

O'Brien would hope to compete in the Paralympic Games, but this requires her to find a male partner with a similar disability of the lower limbs.

Puspure won her semi-final of the women's single sculls, and qualified for the A Final, with the added bonus of a place in the top nine and thus a Tokyo place for this boat. The line-up was filled with quality: in particular, New Zealand's Emma Twigg would have targeted beating the Ireland sculler.

After a close first quarter, Puspure steadily extended a small lead into over a length by the final 500 metres. She would not be headed from there. Twigg took second and Carling Zeeman of Canada third. Local favourite Magdalena Lobnig lost out.

Kara Kohler of the United States won the first semi from Vicky Thornley of Britain and Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland.

World Rowing Championships, Linz-Ottensheim, Day Six (Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Quadruple - B Final: 1 United States 6:03.94, 2 Ireland (H Sutton, M Taylor, R Ballantine, J McCarthy) 6:06.62.

Double - A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:13.88, 2 Romania 6:14.86, 3 Britain 6:15.84.

Lightweight Single - B Final (places 7 to 12): 1 Austria (R Kepplinger) 7:00.16; 4 Ireland (G O'Donovan) 7:02.18.

Women

Single Sculls - A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:28.53, 2 New Zealand (E Twigg) 7:32.7, 3 Canada (C Zeeman) 7:34.25.

Lightweight Single - B Final (places 7 to 12): 1 Australia (Alice Arch) 7:52.59; 5 Ireland (L Heaphy) 7:55.40.

Pararowing - PR2 Final: 1 Australia (K Ross) 9:37.30, 2 Netherlands (A van Der Meer) 9:56.84, 3 Ireland (K O'Brien) 10.01.64.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The men's pair of Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll won their E Final at the World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim. The Skibbereen men led right through and saw off nearest challengers, Lithuania.

World Rowing Championships, Linz-Ottensheim, Austria - Day Five (Irish interest)

Men

Pair - E Final (Places 25 to 28): 1 Ireland (M O'Donovan, S O'Driscoll) 6:36.3

Lightweight Double Sculls - A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (F McCarthy, P O'Donovan) 6:13.46, 2 Germany 6:13.59, 3 Norway 6:14.15.

Lightweight Single Sculls A/B Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 6 Ireland (G O'Donovan) 7:34.01.

Women

Four A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Australia 6:25.34, 2 Denmark 6:28.58, 3 Romania 6:30.96; 4 Ireland (T Hanlon, E Lambe, A Keogh, E Hegarty) 6:32.37.

Pair - A/B Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 New Zealand 6:57.92, 2 United States 7:01.78, 3 Italy 7:01.80; 4 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:03.05.

Lightweight Double Sculls - C/D Semi-Final One (First Three to C Final; rest to D Final): 3 Ireland (A Casey, D Walsh) 7:01.68.

Lightweight Single Sculls A/B Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 6 Ireland (L Heaphy) 7:42.23.

 

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland's first boat qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games is the lightweight men's double. Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan won in a thrilling semi-final here in Linz-Ottensmeim to take an A Final place at the World Championships and land a berth for the boat in Tokyo.

This was classic Paul O'Donovan. He gelled with his new partner, McCarthy, to produce a perfectly-judged finish which pushed Germany into second - by 13 hundredths of a second. Norway, like Ireland, had watched Germany and Australia do the early work, then closed on them in the final stages. The Norway crew of Are Strandli and Kris Brun, who were bronze medallists behind Ireland's silver in Rio 2016, produced the fastest finish of all to take third. Australia fell back to fifth.

 All six A Finalists and the eventual winner of the B Final qualify boats for Tokyo 2020.

The Ireland women's pair of Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska will have to make their way through the B Final (placing fifth or better) if they are to qualify the boat for the Olympics. They finished fourth in a hotly-contested semi-final. New Zealand won with a commanding performance; the United States forced their way into second; the battle was joined between Ireland and fast-finishing Italy, who took the crucial third place.

 

World Rowing Championships, Linz-Ottensheim, Austria - Day Five (Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Double Sculls - A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (F McCarthy, P O'Donovan) 6:13.46, 2 Germany 6:13.59, 3 Norway 6:14.15.

Women

Pair - A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 New Zealand 6:57.92, 2 United States 7:01.78, 3 Italy 7:01.80; 4 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:03.05.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Katie O'Brien took a fine third place in her first race of the World Rowing Championships. The Galway woman's contest came in a preliminary round - but it was a notable contest, as Kathryn Ross of Australia won in a new world's best time of nine minutes 24.99. Behind her Annika van Der Meer of Netherlands fought it out with O'Brien, who finished well to the cheers of the Irish crowd in the grandstand.

World Rowing Championships, Day Four (Irish interest)

Women's PR Two Single Sculls, Preliminary Race: 1 Australia (K Ross) 9:24.99; 3 Ireland (K O'Brien) 9:52.13.

Published in Rowing

#Canoeing: Jenny Egan took eighth in her semi-final of the K1 500 metres and moved into the C Final at the canoe sprint World Championships in Szeged in Hungary today. The top three qualified for the A Final and stayed in contention for qualifying places for the Olympic Games.

 Barry Watkins finished ninth in the B Final of the men’s K1 1,000 metres, 18th overall, while Egan had taken sixth in the C Final of the K1 200m, 24th overall.

Canoe Sprint World Championships, Szeged, Hungary

Men

K1 1,000m – B Final: 9 B Watkins 3:47.24

Women

K1 200m C Final: 6 J Egan 6:43.49

K1 500m Semi-Final Three (First Three to A Final; 4-6 to B Final; 7-9 to C Final): 8 Egan 2:00.01.

Published in Canoeing
Page 1 of 13

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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