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Displaying items by tag: circumnavigation

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is backing Limerick sailor Peter Lawlesspending solo, non-stop round-the-world voyage on his Rival 41 yacht Waxwing.

While the charity has sponsored the yacht’s passive self-steering equipment, in return Peter — son of the late solo circumnavigator Pat Lawless — will be testing out the IWDG’s new reporting app for marine wildlife sightings.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, sightings and strandings can be reported on the new app by scientists, researchers, boat operators, wildlife enthusiasts and whale-watchers alike.

And Peter — who sets off from Kilrush on 21 August — aims to take the app into the unknown, potentially recoding sightings and even video updated from parts of the ocean that may have never been visited before.

The IWDG’s chief Simon Berrow recently caught up with Peter on Waxwing as he makes his final preparations for his remarkable unassisted voyage:

Published in Solo Sailing

Mail Online is reporting that the yacht used by would-be round-the-world record-setter Jessica Watson has been left to rot outside the maritime museum where it has resided for almost a decade.

In 2009, then 16-year-old Watson, from Australia, sailed her yacht Ella’s Pink Lady around the globe in 210 days to unofficially become the youngest circumnavigator. The feat also saw her named as 2011’s Young Australian of the Year.

That same year the distinctive pink yacht was jointly purchased by Queensland and Australian governments for AUS$300,000, with the intention of a permanent exhibition dedicated to Watson’s feat at the Queensland Maritime Museum.

However, it’s now being claimed that Ella’s Pink Lady is lying all but abandoned on the museum’s grounds, with the hull leaking and riddled with mould.

And a marine auctions expert estimates that the famous boat is worth a fraction of its 2011 sale price. Mail Online has more on the story HERE.

In 2012, Watson’s claimed record was beaten by 16-year-old Dutch sailor Laura Dekker by some eight months, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Offshore

Richard Hayes’ Laser isn’t the only small boat to complete a circumnavigation of Ireland in recent days.

This past Monday (24 September), the crew of Arthur — a 40-year-old inland motor cruiser based in Portumna on the River Shannon — finished their own historic rounding of the island of Ireland over four months at sea.

Arthur began its journey out of the river in June, cruising past Limerick and Kilrush through the Shannon Estuary and heading southwards in an anti-clockwise direction.

Top passage planning by the crew meant their vessel, built for the lesser rigours of more sheltered inland waterways, was able to withstand the winds and sea state around some tricky parts of the Irish coastline, particularly along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Tomorrow afternoon (Friday 28 September), members of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland will welcome Arthur and crew back to the inland Shannon from 3.30pm in Killaloe, at the canal moorings next to the Co Clare village’s tourist office.

And if you’re in the region you might catch Arthur’s passage along the way, as boat and crew are scheduled to arrive at Limerick’s Sarsfield Lock at 11.20am, followed by the world’s second-deepest lock, at Ardnacrusha, at 1pm.

Published in Cruising
Tagged under

#Laser - The Galway Advertiser is reporting that Galway Bay Sailing Club member Richard Hayes has completed a solo circumnavigation of Ireland by Laser dinghy.

Hayes sailed 54 days over three-and-a-half months since 27 May to complete the near 2,500km challenge last Friday 14 September in aid of heart and stroke charity Croí — and he is still raising funds for the remarkable effort online.

“This is one of the smallest boats ever to have circumnavigated Ireland and to have successfully done so without a support team on the water,” Hayes shared on Facebook of the achievement.

W M Nixon's Sailing On Saturday this weekend (22nd September) takes a detailed look at Richard Hayes’ great achievement, and other notable small boat voyages round Ireland

Published in Laser

#Kayaking - A German woman who circumnavigated Ireland by kayak in 2016 is taking the story of her remarkable global padding adventures on tour across Europe, as the Irish Examiner reports.

Freya Hoffmeister recently returned to Ireland to give talks in Dublin and Cork on her epic solo kayaking voyage around South America, which she undertook in sections over more than 30 months between 2011 and 2015.

Before that, she paddled around Iceland in what’s regarded as the ‘K2 of sea kayaking’, and took on New Zealand’s South Island that same year.

The speaker and endurance athlete also holds a circumnavigation of Australia among her host of achievements — with her next being the mammoth undertaking of North America, which will require kayaking through the treacherous Northwest Passage.

But as lofty as these goals might seem to the average human, Freya brings things down to earth in her motivational talks, on which the Irish Examiner has more HERE.

Published in Kayaking

The current Vendee Globe Race non-stop round the world is deservedly attracting enough attention without having to make over-stated claims on behalf of some of its participants writes W M Nixon.

The official website is today carrying a story that if Enda O’Coineen can succeed in his plan of sailing his dismasted IMOCA 60 Kilcullen Voyager from Dunedin at the south end of New Zealand under jury rig to Auckland 800 miles away to the north, where a loaned replacement masts awaits, then if he can continue the voyage back to les Sables d’Olonne round Cape Horn he will become the first Irishman to sail solo round the world.

Not so. Noted Dublin marine artist Pete Hogan, who sailed solo round the world in his gaff ketch Molly B, said today that the number of misapprehensions about who was first doing what in the Irish circumnavigation stakes is astonishing.

For instance, when he rounded Cape Horn in the 1990s, he was acclaimed as the first Irishman to do it alone, for of course Conor O’Brien had done it with the crewed Saoirse in 1925. Yet Pete Hogan found it very difficult to get anyone to listen when he subsequently tried to set the record by saying that Bill King of Galway with the junk-rigged ketch Galway Blazer was the first solo, and that was way back in 1973.

The fact that Bill King was a distinguished former British submarine commander may have projected the image of being non-Irish. But in fact he flew both the Irish tricolour and the
British red ensign, and his home was Oranmore Castle at the head of Galway Bay.

irish solo2Bill King’s purpose-designed Galway Blazer circumnavigated the world solo south of the great Capes in 1973.

Since then, other Irish sailors who have striven to circumnavigate include Declan Mackell, originally from Portaferry but Canadian-based by the time he undertook his voyage in a Contessa 32, with which he returned home to Ireland for a prolonged stay during his circuit.

Another lone circumnavigator, Pat Lawless of Limerick who completed his voyage with a Seadog ketch in 1996 at the age of 70, had hoped to take in Cape Horn, but rigging damage forced him into a Chilean port, and eventually he returned to Ireland via the Panama Canal. But his circuit was definitely completed, and completed alone.

And Pete Hogan believes there may be one or two other Irish lone circumnavigators who have done it without fanfare. For not everyone seeks the kind of publicity which the Vendee Globe inevitably provides.

Pat Lawless solo sailorLimerick circumnavigator – the irrepressible Pat Lawless aboard his world-girdling Seadog ketch

Published in Vendee Globe

#Kayaking - It hasn't been the best summer for long-distance kayaking in Ireland, what with Manx duo Keirron Tastagh and George Shaw being forced to abandon their round-Ireland effort three weeks ago.

And that's not to mention exhaustion getting the better of pizza-oven maker Hendrik Lepel on the first leg of his voyage from Kinsale to Germany.

But two expeditions currently under way may have better chances as the weather improves.

The42.ie brings news of Jon Hynes and Sean Cahill's "once in a lifetime" kayaking trip round Ireland, which began on 16 June near the former's Kinsale home.

Taking a clockwise route around the island of Ireland, as of yesterday (Tuesday 30 June) the pair were taking shelter in Broadhaven Bay, Co Mayo awaiting a break in the weather to proceed to Donegal and on to the north coast and the half-way mark.

“It's definitely the pinnacle of expedition kayaking when you’re trying to get around Ireland in this type of weather!" said Hynes, who can boast of some 60 years of kayaking experience between him and Cahill.

However, ahead of them is an even more elite kayaker in the form of Waterford man Mick O'Meara, who as of yesterday was just four days shy of setting a brand new speed record for a solo circumnavigation of Ireland, as The Irish Times reports.

If O'Meara - a multiple-time Liffey Descent winner – reaches his hometown of Tramore by this Friday 3 July, he will have shaven two days off the record set by Jeff Allen and Harry Whelan on the 1,200km voyage in 2011.

Published in Kayaking

#Kayaking - A duo of paddlers from the Isle of Man are getting ready to set a new round-Ireland sea kayaking record.

As BBC News reports, Keirron Tastagh and George Shaw aim to cover as many as 50 nautical miles a day in their standard seagoing kayaks to break the current 28-day record and raise funds for the RNLI.

And they've warmed up for the challenge appropriately, kayaking from their home in the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland as the start of their clockwise circumnavigation, beginning at Strangford in Co Down.

Experienced kayakers Tastagh and Shaw are already record breakers, after setting the furthest paddle west from Dutch Harbour – famous from the TV series Dangerous Catch – to Herbert Island in the Aleutians.

They're also not the first to attempt a circumnavigation this summer, as the Ogden brothers will set off from Baltimore over the June bank holiday in their 18ft Drascombe Lugger.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

#Kayaking - Derry Mayor Martin Reilly offered his congratulations to native son Jake King on taking the surf kayak world title in Australia earlier this month.

As the Derry Journal reports, 18-year-old King was crowned champion after topping three other reigning top dogs in the men's longboat, masters and junior short boat in the final of the competition at Maroochydore beach in Queensland.

According to his father Paddy, Jake King can now add his name to the list of five previous world champions from the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) surf kayak club - which includes his brother Corin.

In other kayaking news, a London paddler has broken the record for circumnavigating the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.

BBC News reports on the feat achieved by 39-year-old George Shaw, who completed the 115km route around the island in 11 hours 43 minutes - smashing the previous record by almost an hour.

Published in Kayaking

#Kayaking - Red Bull recently caught up with sea kayaking adventurer Justine Curgenven, who is currently over a month and more than half way into her 1,000-mile circumnavigation of Ireland.

Unlike Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander's epic solo voyage two years ago, the New Zealander has some extra paddle power in the form of her partner Barry Shaw and friend Roger Chandler.

"We aren't going for any speed records, just hoping to enjoy the scenery and meet some local people," she says of their 50-day adventure around Ireland.

But that's not to say our waters aren't challenge for this experienced kayaker.

"Irish waters can be very challenging," says Curgenven. "They get 2-3m swells quite regularly and are known for their surf beaches, which we are trying to avoid!"

Despite the hard work, the film-maker says "time really does fly when you're having fun... If you like circumnavigations then it's really a great island to paddle around."

Red Bull has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking
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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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