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The UK’s Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has launched a new framework of support for yacht racers and owners following a change in World Sailing’s Offshore Special Regulations (OSR).

Since 1 January this year, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, yachts competing in OSR category 0 to 3 races must have been inspected by a qualified person within 24 months of the start of the race or after a grounding, whichever is later.

Following numerous enquiries from members and clubs about how best to comply with the new rules, the RYA has launched a dedicated page on its website to allow owners to demonstrate to organising authorities that they are compliant in a manner which is simple and cost-effective to owners, and which can be readily understood by organising authorities.

Although the term ‘qualified person’ has not been defined within the OSR, the RYA says it has worked with its team of coding surveyors to provide access to a professional network who can conduct the inspections to a scope set by the RYA, based on the OSR requirements, at a reasonable cost to owners in the UK.

The new requirements have been brought into place in order to draw owners’ attention to the critical safety aspects of keels following a number of high-profile incidents. Keels have been breaking off yachts for many years, with sometime catastrophic consequences.

The yacht types losing keels and rudders range from cruising to high performance racing yachts and from newly built to old.

This regulation is designed to require a visual inspection every two years. It is designed to capture visual signs (cracks, movement, corrosion, loose keel bolts, loose or irregular rudder bearings) that may indicate a potentially serious problem. It is expected that once noted, the owner would undertake a more detailed investigation or get it repaired.

Subject to satisfactory inspection, the RYA will produce a simple ‘Statement of Compliance’ which can be used by owners to demonstrate to organising authorities that they have complied with the new OSR requirements.

For more information or to find our approved inspectors, see the RYA website or contact [email protected]

Published in Offshore
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World Sailing, the global governing body for the sport of sailing, has released a compilation of highlights from the 2021 season.

The high-octane video features thrills and spills from 12 months of races and competitions on the water, which spanned events including the America’s Cup, Transat Jacques Vabre, SailGP Championship, the Fastnet Race in Irish waters, Vendée Globe, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and sailing regattas all over the world 

Watch the video below:

Published in World Sailing
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Changes to the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) coming into effect on January 1 2022, will mean an additional requirement for yachts taking part in races of Category 0 to Category 3.

In 2022, Irish fixtures such as June's Round Ireland Race from Wicklow and the inaugural Inishtearaght Race from Kinsale next May are Category 3 races.

The most significant change is the requirement for an out-of-the water structural inspection by a qualified person to ensure the soundness of the keel and its connection to the hull.

This follows a series of keel failures with, in some cases, loss of life.

The subject of examining keel bolts was taken up by Afloat's Tom MacSweeney in 2019 here

The inspection will involve checking the keel bolts and the internal arrangement as well as examining the external joins for stressing and cracking. Evidence of the inspection must be available to the race organisers.

The full text of the OSR can be downloaded below in a PDF

The OSR also says under (2.01 Categories of Events) Organizing Authorities shall select from one of the following categories and may modify the OSR to suit local conditions

This may allow them to drop the requirement or modify it if they see fit. The view from insiders is that it's not a hugely onerous task if they are being lifted for a scrub before a Cat 2 race.

Others, however, have criticised the new rule calling it unnecessary and yet more regs for offshore skippers to comply with. 

As far as the country's biggest offshore racing body is concerned, ISORA Chairman Peter Ryan told Afloat, "We are treating this as the responsibility of the skipper. We won’t be collecting forms".

The publication of the Notice of Race for both the Round Ireland Race and the Blasket Islands race from Kinsale is expected shortly and Irish offshore crews are waiting to see how the new rule is treated by Irish officials. 

Download the OSR below

Published in Offshore
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World Sailing has awarded the upcoming 2022 Foiling Week Special Event status, ensuring the competition can grow, reach more people, and partner with international and national foiling programmes and pathways to create events within the event.

Foiling Week joins high profile activities with Special Event status such as the America’s Cup, The Ocean Race, SailGP, World Match Racing Tour, PWA World Tour, Star Sailors League and GKA Kite World Tour.

“Foiling Week is not just an event; it is a community and a network that is about action. We don’t only care about the foiling and greater sailing community,” said Luca Rizzotti, founder of Foiling Week.

“We create opportunities, with the goal in mind of being primarily agents of change. The event’s initiatives are well known in the sailing community and reach beyond the sport including partnerships with universities, manufacturers and non-profits in the environmental and social responsibility spaces. We are all connected and we should grow as a community, responsibly together,” added Rizzotti.

Foiling Week is the hub of the world hydrofoiling community and the only World Sailing Special Event that is community-based. It includes a well-attended Forum, where talented and creative individuals share ideas and collaborate to make connections and improve the way the event operates and the class evolves.

Special Event status ensures World Sailing formally recognizes and sanctions the events. It also means that Foiling Week will follow the targets set by the World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030, which includes working with the Magenta Project to promote professional sailing opportunities for women, and the World Sailing Trust which provides funding for a diverse group of initiatives to increase access to sailing and promote sustainable practices in sport and manufacturing.

As part of the Charter, all Special Events have a comprehensive sustainability strategy, and aligned applicable principles as set out in the World Sailing Sustainability Agenda 2030, while committing to working with World Sailing to accelerate the objectives and targets.

David Graham, World Sailing CEO, said “The addition of Foiling Week to our group of Special Events is exciting for the future of sailing. The growth of the event has been phenomenal to witness, going way beyond the racing to galvanize an entire movement. We are pleased to be working hand-in-hand with them to create new avenues for partnership as well as opportunities to further the World Sailing Sustainability Agenda. Foiling Week has already taken great strides in this area and we are looking forward to learning from each other and inspiring a positive change throughout the sailing world.”

Foiling Week’s mantra is ‘connect, cooperate, change’. From the start, the event has been one of firsts. The first women’s and kids foiling trials; the first sustainability initiatives reducing entry fees for car-pooling participants and the elimination of single use plastics at the event site.

The SuMoth Challenge, part of every Foiling Week since its introduction in 2019, was shortlisted for this year’s World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award. A global challenge, it brought students from around the world together to design, manufacture and sail a sustainable Moth.

Having hosted events in Australasia, North America and Europe, Foiling Week has become a scalable, practical presence in sport both physically and online and is moving forward with World Sailing to connect, collaborate and make positive change in sport and beyond.

Published in World Sailing
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World Sailing, the sports governing body has a number of employment vacancies at its headquarters in London, UK.

The organisation is looking for: 

  • a social media digital communications manager
  • a graphics designer
  • a technical - Olympic equipment manager
  • a technical specialist
  • a World Sailing classes executive
  • a partnership manager

All positions are based at World Sailing headquarters in London, UK. Applications should be sent to [email protected]

Applicants should provide a current CV and covering letter. The closing date for all vacancies is 8 January 2022.

More here

Published in World Sailing
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So many 50th Anniversaries in international sailing are being celebrated these days that you could be forgiven for thinking that all these major events - such as next week’s opening of the event’s Golden Jubilee celebration, and the staging of the Youth Sailing Worlds 2021 in Oman - are marking the successful 50 years of an event which came into being in a vacuum. And certainly, the inauguration of the annual Youth Worlds in Sweden way back in 1971 was a major development that has resulted in a globally-recognised supreme peak – a Junior Sailing Olympiad.

Thus the team of four travelling to Oman – Eve McMahon (Howth YC) in the ILCA6, Jonathan O’Shaughnessy (Royal Cork YC) ILCA6, and Ben O’Shaughnessy & James Dwyer (RCYC) in the 29er - are well aware of the weight of expectation on their young shoulders, though all are at the peak of impressive year-long achievements.

But nevertheless, in looking back over the 50 years of the Youth Worlds, the most vividly remembered will be the 2012 event which was of course staged in Dublin Bay, with Finn Lynch leaping into the limelight with a Silver Medal in the Lasers. However, others with a broader view will also remember that the challenge of staging an event of this scale and scope, with Ireland still staggering out of the financial crash of 2008, involved heroic sacrifice and the giving over of their entire summer by folk of the calibre of Brian Craig, while the defining image may well be the remembered vision of on-water organizer Don O’Dowd of the Royal St George YC looking as though he is being fuelled entirely by adrenaline through each frantic day.

Running on adrenaline…..Don O’Dowd in the thick of the 2012 Youth Worlds in Dublin BayRunning on adrenaline…..Don O’Dowd in the thick of the 2012 Youth Worlds in Dublin Bay

The financial constraints of 2012 Ireland are not thought to be a problem in 2021 Oman, even if the Sultanate has cheerfully taken on the running of just about every one of 2021’s global sailing championships which had been COVID-shunted out of other countries, and despite the business of overseas teams getting there through the maze of international pandemic prevention providing an added challenge in getting to Oman, arguably the most maritime of all the Gulf States.

But nevertheless, Irish involvement has been a tradition since the event’s inception, and we’ve seen the metal to prove it, the last one in the 20th Century being Laura Dillon & Ciara Peelo’s Bronze in the Laser 2 in 1996 - a busy year for Laura, as she also won the All-Irelands.

As for the 21st Century, in 2014 in Tavira, Seafra Guilfoyle repeated Finn Lynch’s 2012 Silver win, and then in 2016 Doug Elmes of Kilkenny and Colin O’Sullivan of Malahide, sailing jointly under the HYC colours, won Bronze in the 420s in Malaysia.

But is it strictly true to say that it all started in 1971 in Sweden? That it should be Sweden is all of a piece, as the Scandinavian influence in international sailing was formidable at the time. So much so, in fact, that many thought the Optimist dinghy – which was starting to spread at lightning speed – was a Swedish invention, whereas the original narrative is rather more endearing.

Oman with its spectacular coastline is perhaps the most maritime of all the Gulf States – this is Shabab Oman II, the Omani Sail Training Tall Ship.Oman with its spectacular coastline is perhaps the most maritime of all the Gulf States – this is Shabab Oman II, the Omani Sail Training Tall Ship.

It seems a Swedish ship was taking on cargo in Florida around 1960 in the Port of Clearwater, where the local kids were sailing a little plywood box-boat, invented in 1947 and called the Optimist. The Swedish captain was impressed, and bought up two or three to take home as his own kids were keen on sailing. Thus the Optimist as an international phenomenon was launched, spreading out from Scandinavia.

So when the Swedes hosted the inaugural World Youth Sailing Championship in 1971, it was already a solidly-founded gold-plated event, and it blew away any other established but more modest championships with similar aims. One of these was something called the International Junior Regatta, which claimed world status, but whose heartlands were in mainland Northwest Europe and Scandinavia, and it was basically an inter-club event for national teams selected by the premier clubs (ie the poshest) in each country.

For twenty years from the 50s and 60s onwards, ace Dun Laoghaire helm Terry Roche of the Royal St George YC cruised the coasts of Europe in his 19-ton Hillyard cutter Neon Tetra (crazy name, crazy boat), and built up an unrivalled contact list with these top clubs and the key people in them. Thus the RStGYC became the organising club for Ireland, and staged the International Junior Regatta when it was hosted here.

George Henry (RStGYC) and Douglas Deane (Royal Munster YC) hoisting sail on their allocated Mermaid in the International Junior Regatta in Dun Laoghaire in 1955.George Henry (RStGYC) and Douglas Deane (Royal Munster YC) hoisting sail on their allocated Mermaid in the International Junior Regatta in Dun Laoghaire in 1955.

The late Dougie Deane of Cork remembered being sent up to Dun Laoghaire in 1955 to be part of the Irish squad, but as the racing was staged in Mermaids – at that time the only class in sufficient numbers of matched boats in Dun Laoghaire to stage an international invitational regatta of this sort - it wasn’t his happiest experience, as he was to become more accustomed to sailing to success in his own IDRA 14 Dusk with Donal McClement as crew.

However, as the 1960s gathered pace, the rapid development of Malahide as a powerhouse of rising talent began to show through in Irish participation in the International Junior Regatta, particularly when the Malahide effect began to be felt in Howth and brought forth the remarkable sailing talents of the “two sisters crew”, Margaret and Lee Cuffe-Smith, daughters of future HYC Commodore Bill Cuffe-Smith, who was no slouch himself when it came to inshore and offshore racing success.

The Irish Team at the 1965 International Junior Regatta in Denmark were (left to right) Robin Hennessy, Margaret Cuffe-Smith, Robert Michael, Lee Cuffe-Smith and Manager Terry RocheThe Irish Team at the 1965 International Junior Regatta in Denmark were (left to right) Robin Hennessy, Margaret Cuffe-Smith, Robert Michael, Lee Cuffe-Smith and Manager Terry Roche

The Irish team first leapt to fame in 1965 when the International Junior Regatta was staged at Skovshoved in Denmark, raced in International Snipes powered by as-equal-as-possible new Elvstrom sailed. The Cuffe-Smiths won the Girls Division, while the boys crew of Malahide’s Robin Hennessy and Robert Michael (a combination that later went on to win the coveted Endeavour Trophy in Enterprises in England) placed fourth to make Ireland second overall.

While Margaret and Lee Cuffe-Smith continued as the Irish girls representatives for much of the rest of the 1960s, Malahide furnished a changing lineup of top boy sailors, and in 1967 at Loosdrecht in the Netherlands, it was future Olympic Silver Medallist David Wilkins crewed by Philip Watson (yes, that Philip Watson), who provided the winning male ingredients for Ireland to win the International Junior Regatta Gold Cup for the first time, the podium points being Ireland 3415, Denmark 2973, and Finland 2747.

World Champions. The all-conquering 1967 Irish Team in the International Junior Regatta in The Netherlands were (left to right) Philip Watson, Lee Cuffe-Smith, manager Terry Roche, David Wilkins (Olympic Silver Medallist 1980) and Margaret Cuffe-Smith.World Champions. The all-conquering 1967 Irish Team in the International Junior Regatta in The Netherlands were (left to right) Philip Watson, Lee Cuffe-Smith, manager Terry Roche, David Wilkins (Olympic Silver Medallist 1980) and Margaret Cuffe-Smith.

The Irish team then repeated this performance in 1968 racing Flying Juniors at Alghero Bay in Sardinia. Thereafter, our top junior talents were moving into more senior racing, and sailing was opening up to a more democratic system, even if the new World Youth Championship in 1971 continued to manifest the all-powerful Scandinavian influence, but in time its worldwide locations reflected the new reality.

That said, it’s a cherishable thought that somewhere in the world in some fusty ancient clubs where the wearing of white-topped yachting caps and the onset of premature middle age is the norm, there are old buffers still discussing the need to provide some special sport in an International Junior Regatta for the young people, even as we see in Oman the glorifying of international sport as a tool of international commerce and a weapon of global politics, with fashionable clothing styles and accessories to match.

A timely reminder of the joys of sailing – Jonathan O’Shaughnessy in action on Lake GardaA timely reminder of the joys of sailing – Jonathan O’Shaughnessy in action on Lake Garda

She’s struck gold! Jonathan O’Shaughnessy and Eve McMahon at Lake Garda after the Worlds in JulyShe’s struck gold! Jonathan O’Shaughnessy and Eve McMahon at Lake Garda after the Worlds in July

The Irish team fly out next Wednesday (December 8th), and as the main event officially opens on Saturday, December 11th, they’ve little enough time to acclimatize. Jonathan O’Shaughnessy has the advantage of a recent intensive training session in Valencia (Spain, not Kerry), but Eve McMahon has been much involved with school exams, making her probably the only World Champion in Ireland to have been in this past week’s exam cohort.

As for the younger pair of Ben – who is Jonathan’s cousin - and James in the 29er, they’ve been first out of the school gates down Cork Harbour way each afternoon in recent weeks for an intensive two-hour session on the boat at Crosshaven. You could call it a One-Boat Twilight Regatta, but with November slithering darkly into December, the Miner’s Lamp Challenge might be a more appropriate title.

Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer in the 29er – they have been getting in some intensive post-school training at Crosshaven in the last of the daylight in recent weeksBen O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer in the 29er – they have been getting in some intensive post-school training at Crosshaven in the last of the daylight in recent weeks

In Oman, the Team Leader and Head Coach will be three times Olympic sailing medallist Vasilij Zbogar, who has been involved with the Irish international sailing effort since 2018. Most recently last month, his supportive work in helping Finn Lynch out of a performance slump to take Silver at the Laser Worlds in Barcelona led everyone to conclude that though he may be from Slovenia, his home is clearly the Slovenian Gaeltacht. And if he and Support Coach Thomas Chaix of Tralee Bay can produce something similar to the Barcelona Breakthrough in Oman, Vasilij will be perceived as the Jurgen Klopp of sailing in Ireland.

Vasilij Zbogar racing an Olympic Finn – he retired from Olympic sailing after the 2016 Games in Rio, having sailed five Olympiads and winning Silver and Bronze in the Laser, and Silver in the Finn in their final appearance as an Olympic Class in 2016Vasilij Zbogar racing an Olympic Finn – he retired from Olympic sailing after the 2016 Games in Rio, having sailed five Olympiads and winning Silver and Bronze in the Laser, and Silver in the Finn in their penultimate appearance as an Olympic Class in 2016

Published in W M Nixon

Olympic gold medalists Hannah Mills MBE (GBR) and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) were voted female 2021 Rolex World Sailor of the Year on Thursday 2, December in a virtual ceremony streamed live from the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, UK.

Australia’s Tom Slingsby has won the male 2021 Rolex World Sailor of the Year in celebration of his achievements in three competitive classes over the past two years.

Mills and McIntyre claimed gold in Tokyo in the 470 class, a victory that made Mills the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time. This was her second Olympic gold, repeating her victory from Rio 2016 with her new partner. McIntyre won her first gold medal in Tokyo and followed in the footsteps of her father, Michael, who won gold at the 1988 Games in Seoul. The pair received 37% of the votes, making them the clear choice for this year’s female Rolex World Sailor of the Year award.

Multi-discipline champion Tom Slingsby named male Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2021Multi-discipline champion Tom Slingsby named male Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2021

Slingsby secured 29% of the votes after defending his Moth World Championship, winning 13 of the 14 races, securing back-to-back 2019 and 2021 title wins. He has also set the standard in the global SailGP circuit, earning the season 1 title as Team CEO and Skipper of TeamAustralia, which is also currently top of the series leaderboard with just two events remaining in season 2. He capped a fantastic year on the water by being part of the crew of ‘Comanche’, winners of the 2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race.

A record-breaking 40,000 votes were cast this year to honour the achievements of sailors across all disciplines.

Speaking live at the awards ceremony, Hannah Mills, who is also a sustainability ambassador for the International Olympic Committee said, "I am completely blown away. The lineup this year was absolutely incredible. I am so proud of Eilidh for everything she put into this Olympic campaign, she was the absolute best teammate. I am really honoured. I feel privileged to be a female in sailing right now, there are so many opportunities out there. I really hope to be a part of forging the pathway for female sailors of today and for the future. It is inspirational to be part of a federation like World Sailing who take sustainability so seriously and I feel so lucky to be involved in such an amazing sport."

Eilidh McIntyre added, "I just want to say thank you to Hannah, and everyone for voting for us and for all of your support. We wouldn’t be here without all of the amazing women pushing us."

Tom Slingsby said, "This is a huge honour for me. Thank you to everyone who voted. I remember when I was 15 years old, I wrote down my career goals and it was to win the Olympic Gold medal, win the America’s Cup and win World Sailor of the Year. I am very fortunate, this is the second time I have won the World Sailor of the Year award. I am so lucky to be in the position I am and to get these amazing opportunities. Congratulations to all the other guys, there were some unbelievable sailors nominated this year."

Published in World Sailing
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Sailing joins thousands around the world in pledging to be net-zero by 2050, aligning sport with the goals of the Paris Agreement and accelerating efforts to address climate change.

Continuing its commitment to taking a leading role in sustainability and reducing emissions in sport, World Sailing has signed up to ‘Race To Zero’, the global campaign to cut emissions to zero run by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

World Sailing was one of the founders of the UN’s Sports for Climate Action Framework and has been diligently working towards climate targets from its Sustainability Agenda 2030. Working closely with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), over 280 sports federations including FIFA, the IBU, Formula E and the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 have committed to reporting on their climate impact and a strategy to reduce emissions following new targets set by the UN’s Sports for Climate Action framework.

Quanhai Li, World Sailing President, said, "World Sailing is proud to stand with the United Nations, the IOC, our partners and organisations around the world in taking decisive action on climate change. We have been making positive progress towards clear targets in all aspects of the sport with our own sustainability targets and internal studies to determine our carbon footprint and where we can improve. Support for this initiative has been overwhelmingly positive and it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to make a difference. The effects of climate change cannot be ignored but if we act now and act together through bold collective action, we can mitigate the impact and help to restore the balance between people and the planet."

David Graham, World Sailing Chief Executive Officer, said, "The future of sailing is delicately tied to climate change. Rising sea levels, higher temperatures and more extreme weather puts sailors at greater risk, reduces participation time and impacts grassroots infrastructure. As a responsible federation we must do all we can do reduce the effects of climate change for the long-term survival of our sport, sailors and communities around the world. We have already committed to coordinating strategic action in the sport by ensuring our sponsors, events and equipment all follows the targets set by the World Sailing Sustainability Agenda 2030. This is an important campaign for the future of our planet and we are proud to sign the pledge."

The World Sailing Executive Office has already taken steps to become carbon neutral by 2022, halving emissions across the sport by 2030 and aiming to achieve net zero by 2040 in all operations.

So far, around 70% of the world’s economy has pledged to reach net zero emissions. More than 80 countries have updated their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Race To Zero is the largest ever alliance committed to hitting net zero carbon emissions by 2050, already representing a coalition of 733 cities, 31 regions, 3,067 businesses, 173 of the biggest investors and 622 Higher Education Institutions. By the time COP26 concludes, the aim is that signatories for Race To Zero will account for 25% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Efforts to make sailing carbon-positive are already well established. World Sailing partnered with 11th Hour Racing in 2018 to recognise success in maritime sustainability through sponsorship of the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award which has attracted more than 100 entries and 10,000 votes each year. 11th Hour Racing are a founding partner of the ‘Racing with Purpose’ programme created by The Ocean Race which contributes to scientific understanding of ocean health by using racing boats to collect data on sea surface temperature and ocean acidification.

Hempel, World Sailing’s official coatings partner and sponsor of the Hempel Sailing World Championships, joining the more than 1,000 international companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

SAP, World Sailing’s long-time analytics partner, has launched its Chasing Zero Emissions programme to assist businesses minimise greenhouse gas footprint with embedded analytics.

In 2020, SailGP launched ‘Race for the Future’, the first climate-positive sports and entertainment property, which aims to reduce the league’s carbon footprint, champion inclusivity and advocate for clean energy. SailGP tracks and verifies carbon emissions in partnership with One Carbon World and offsets emissions by contributing to pioneering Blue Carbon Projects such as the goal to plant a billion trees and mitigating 500 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, delivered in partnership with the Worldview International Foundation.

Published in World Sailing
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Inside the Games has reported that World Sailing’s deficit for 2020 was lower than expected — and that it expects a similar dividend from the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo to what it received five years ago from Rio 2016.

Sailing’s world governing body says the “successful delivery” of Tokyo 2020 this summer after a year’s delay enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic had “alleviated the critical financial risks associated with the cancellation of the Games”.

The body’s accounts also included confirmation of an arrangements to borrow $3.1 million (€2.7 million) from the IOC, repayable without interest over five years from this December.

Inside the Games has much more on the story HERE.

Published in World Sailing

An exciting final day in Palermo, Italy, saw medals awarded in all four categories at the 2021 Hansa World Championships.

Over 180 sailors from 25 nations showed exceptional technical para sailing and determination in extremely changeable conditions all week.

Sailors from seven countries made their international competition debut in Sicily as para sailing continues to go from strength to strength.

Racing was interrupted by rain on the first day but the weather improved throughout the week, leading to an intense weekend of racing.

In the Hansa 303 Single class, Piotr Cichocki (POL) led throughout to seal victory from Cecile Venuat (FRA) and Rory McKinna (GBR) in the overall rankings. Violeta Del Reino (ESP) finished first in the women’s competition – eighth overall - ahead of Olga Górnaś-Grudzień (POL) in second, 13th overall, and Miray Ulas (TUR) in third, 17th overall.

The team of Symonds-Klinger (AUS) claimed victory in the final race, finishing ahead of Górnaś-Grudzień-Cichocki (POL) by just one point in the Hansa 303 Double class. The team of Guyon-Ducruix (FRA) finished third.

In the Hansa Liberty class, Vera Voorbach (NED) won by three points from Gerard Eychenne (FRA), who ended the races ahead of Paul Phillips (GBR) by a single point. It was a Netherlands clean sweep in the Hansa Liberty Servo class. Vera Voorbach finished first ahead of teammate Hanneke Deenen in second and Wilma Van Den Broek in third.

Jan Sefke Holtrop (NED) finished ahead of Cedric Castaldi (FRA) in the Men’s Liberty Servo classification.

Star of the week was Piotr Cichocki (POL) who won four out of five races to finish 10 points ahead of second place in the Hansa 303 Single class and 18 points ahead of third.

"I am very happy with the results obtained by my sailors. Piotr Cichocki won the World Championship in the 303 singles class, Olga Górnaś-Grudzień took 2nd place in the Women’s section in the 303 singles class and, finally, the team of Piotr Cichocki and Olga Górnaś-Grudzień took second place in 303 Double class," said Grzegorz Protopowicz, Para Sailing coach at the Polish Yachting Association. "We will take three medals to Poland! We also had a great week of training before the competition and now go home happy. We are already waiting for the next challenge."

Vera Voorbach, winner of the Liberty Class, said, "At the last Worlds in 2018 in Hiroshima I was 3rd, so I hoped that I could be in top 3 again, but I won gold and I’m very happy with this result Although we had to be patient this week with the difficult weather circumstances, we did 5 races. For me it was perfect circumstances, about 3 Beaufort and pretty much wind shifts."

"Due to my spinal cord injury, I do not have enough power in my arms to steer and pull the sheets manually. Therefore, I have servo equipment in my boat, so I can adjust my rudder and sheets electronically with a joystick. To handle my boat this way is more difficult than doing everything manually. I can’t feel pressure on my rudder or sheets this way. But I did it! It is the first time that a sailor who handles the boat with servo equipment has won the World Championship!"

Massimo Dighe, Para World Sailing Manager, said, "This was an excellent exhibition of para sailing in single and double competition. We commend the Hansa class for creating a boat for all sailors and promoting inclusion within the class. The growth of para sailing around the world is great for the future of the sport. Congratulations to the winners, and everybody for being able to take part in the Championships – especially those making their debut. We look forward to seeing more sailors competing at tournaments around the world in the coming months."

Prior to the 2021 Hansa World Championships, World Sailing supported sailors from Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania and the Philippines with travel costs, accommodation and providing boats as part of the Para Sailing Development Program (PDP). The teams also received coaching support as World Sailing aims to increase worldwide participation and expand the competition.

More than 32 nations participate internationally each year at various World Championships. By 2023, World Sailing aims to have 45 nations from six continents participating in all levels of Para sailing and inclusive events.

Published in World Sailing
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

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

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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