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Online applications are now open for winter dinghy platform parking with the National Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

However, with space very limited on the platform, the club advises that priority will be given to junior dinghies signed up for club training, and adult dinghies involved in club training and/or the DMYC Frostbite series. All other applications will be reviewed based on the space remaining.

Boats which have been accepted must complete the platform parking payment form made available to them prior to bringing their boats back on the platform.

Members are reminded that platform parking will not reopen before Saturday 23 October as the boathouse still has to lift many keelboats on trailers and position them on the platform after the main lift-out next Saturday 16 October.

Elsewhere on Dun Laoghaire’s waterfront, the Royal St George Yacht Club’s annual lift-out is also scheduled for next Saturday 16 October. More details are available on the RStGYC website HERE.

Published in National YC
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The National Yacht Club’s Topper winter training programme got under way with its first session today (Sunday 10 October) at the Dun Laoghaire waterfront club.

Training continues every Sunday until the end of November, with sessions for beginner (9.30am-12.30pm), intermediate (1pm-4pm) and advanced youth sailors (1pm-4pm).

The cost for the full programme is €175. Eight club Toppers are available to charter at an extra €90, for a maximum of eight sailors per group.

All sailors and parents are also obliged to sign the code of conduct to encourage good behaviour.

Registration is available online at the NYC website HERE.

Published in Topper
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The National Yacht Club has signed up to the 20×20 initiative to encourage more women and girls to get involved in sport.

Increasing the visibility of women in sport is the focus of 20x20, and so far over 600 clubs across Ireland have signed up to the initiative.

The NYC says it is “thrilled to celebrate the longstanding achievements of its women members and to encourage more women to get involved in sailing at all levels”.

This begins at the earliest stages, where the junior section “keeps a keen eye on ensuring that girls get involved”, while the Women on the Water network “has been encouraging beginners and rusty sailors back into dinghy and keelboat sailing for over six years, generating a vibrant and supportive community across the club”.

The NYC adds: “Across all levels and ages, women members are valued boat owners, helms and crew members, and are involved in leadership roles in sailing, including race management in the club and in DBSC.”

Highlights include NYC’s involvement in running the Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm regatta in 2019 and being selected to run it a second time in 2020, while the NYC’s women are also represented in ISORA racing and the recent Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race.

“Strength, fitness, inclusion, respect, leadership: these are key values of 20×20. What better role models than NYC members, Olympic silver medal winner and Tokyo 2020 competitor Annalise Murphy and Commodore of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Ann Kirwan.”

Published in National YC
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Women on the Water J80 crews are back in action in Dun Laoghaire from tomorrow, Tuesday 25 May, the National Yacht Club has announced.

Sailing will be on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons, in two series of one week each to prepare for DBSC racing which is planned to run until 25 September.

Interest is high so the NYC encourages anyone who wants to sail to act quickly. Sailing is organised by Women on the Water but is open to all members and new crew are always welcome.

Coaches are on board but some sailing experience is required in order to race. If you’re interested in joining up, text Caitriona O’Brien on 087 232 7748.

In other NYC news, the U25 section will also be a part of this summer’s DBSC programme, not to mention weeknight match racing in Elliot 6s.

The U25s will also be entering J80 teams in the Sovereign’s Cup in Kinsale, Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, ICRA Nationals and Women at the Helm regatta — with coaching and team building opportunities for all skill levels — while the HYC will play host to an inter-club U25 J80 regatta, details to come.

Published in National YC
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The Notice of Race and online entry form are now available for the Irish Cruiser Racing Association’s National Championships 2021 later this year.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire is the host for this year’s event — scheduled for the weekend of Friday 3 to Sunday 5 September.

The three-day Championships being held in Dun Laoghaire will comprise fleets accommodating offshore, traditional and white sail racing.

Each fleet will get its own race areas with race management. Three fleets will be accommodated at the event covering:

  • Fleet 0 Class 0
  • Fleet 1 Class 1 and 2
  • Fleet 2 Class 3 and Corinthians Cup White Sails classes

Fleet 0 will be provided with a combination of Coastal courses and Windward Leeward races, while Fleets 1 & 2 will have a mix of inshore races covering both Round the Cans and Windward Leeward courses.

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association’s National Championships 2021 is on Dublin Bay this SeptemberThe Irish Cruiser Racing Association’s National Championships 2021 is on Dublin Bay this September

Courses will be managed by International PROs Jack Roy and Con Murphy from the NYC.

Back on shore, possibly for the first big Irish regatta of the year, the renowned National Yacht Club will welcome and provide full hospitality for all, subject to prevailing COVID 19 regulations.

Regatta Director, Paul Barrington commented, "The National Yacht Club is delighted to be hosting the ICRA National Championships and to welcome sailors from around the island of Ireland following a very difficult 18 months. Together with ICRA and a large team of National Yacht Club volunteers, we look forward to creating an environment for enjoyable and competitive racing for these prestigious Championships."

The National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire is the host for this year’s eventThe National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire is the host for this year’s event

ICRA Commodore, Richard Colwell added, "We are delighted to launch the ICRA National Championships 2021 in conjunction with the NYC and our sponsors. It is fantastic to be launching an event that looks very likely to go ahead, and now looks certain to be one of the biggest and most competitive events of the year. We will have great racing and fun for all cruiser racers at the Championships, from J24s to Sunfast 3300's, and both furling and non-furling white sails classes. We recommend completing your entry as soon possible to ensure your place."

Entries can be made on-line here before 20 August 2021

The Entry Fees are as follows: 

Before 11th June

Boats rating 0.895 and under €165
Boats rating between 0.896 and 0.985 €195
Boats rating 0.986 and above €225

After 11th June

All Boats €245

Poster for the ICRA Nationals at the National Yacht Club, Friday 3 to Sunday 5 September

Published in ICRA
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The National Yacht Club is seeking expressions of interest from all members aged 16 to 25, regardless of class or experience, in the prospect of forming an U25 J80 squad.

The rough plan is for a five-person team (with one or two subs) who will campaign a J80 this summer, pandemic restrictions allowing, with weekly training and racing at the J80 Nationals, ICRAs and Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

For more details on the team, the selection process and the submission form, see the NYC website HERE.

Published in National YC
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The National Yacht Club has teamed up with Wild West Sailing to run online ICC refresher and RYA day skipper navigation courses for its members.

It follows the success of the small boat coastal navigation course currently running for NYC members that’s been organised by Women on the Water.

The RYA day skipper navigation course (€400 pp for NYC members) runs on Zoom over five weeks on Thursday and Friday evenings from 6pm-9.30pm starting this coming Thursday 11 February.

Meanwhile, the ICC refresher course (€150 pp for NYC members) will run over four Wednesday evenings from 6pm-9.30pm from 17 February.

It will cover buoyage and pilotage; IRPCS (Col. Regs); chartwork, position fixing and tidal streams. There will also be a mock exam ahead of assessments that can be organised in Dun Laoghaire and Sligo.

Published in National YC
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The National Yacht Club has offered its congratulations to Dublin Bay Sailing Club on its recognition as Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year for 2021.

As our own WM Nixon wrote last week, it marks only the second time that the unique Dublin organisation — primarily comprising members of the Dun Laoghaire waterfront clubs, the NYC included — has received the accolade.

“DBSC did a fantastic job in difficult circumstances in 2020 to get our members out sailing for most of the summer,” said National Yacht Club Commodore Martin McCarthy.

“The NYC is delighted that our member Ann Kirwan has taken on the role of Commodore of DBSC this year, with club stalwart Chris Moore being Hon Sec, and other NYC members also heavily involved on other fronts.

“Congratulations also to 2020 Commodore Jonathan Nicholson on his fine stewardship of the club.”

Published in DBSC
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The National Yacht Club has cancelled its previously scheduled January training sessions in the RS Aero due to the extended Level 5 coronavirus restrictions.

It's hoped the sessions will be rescheduled for future weeks as restrictions allow. The NYC website will have an update on details accordingly.

While this training cannot go ahead as planned, it nevertheless marks a recognition of the growth of the RS Aero class which now has 25 boats across Ireland, as recently reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RS Aero
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Summer dinghy parking at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire ended this past Sunday 11 October, and all dinghies were expected to be removed by that date to facilitate the club’s annual lift-out.

A limited number of storage slots are available for those signed up for winter training and/or the DMYC Frostbite racing series, and anyone who has not yet done so is invited to apply HERE.

Temporary space has also been secured in the Old Ferry Terminal until Friday 30 October for boats that do not yet have a winter parking slot. Please note that you will need to bring over your own boat and collect it on the assigned dates.

Optimists are currently exempt from these requirements, but storage space is available — with preference given to those actively sailing, who will get the bottom racks.

Meanwhile, the neighbouring National Yacht Club is now taking applications for dinghy platform parking over the winter.

Dinghies taking part in either the junior training sessions or the Frostbite series must complete this form prior to bringing their boats back on the platform.

Boaters must note that platform parking does not reopen before Saturday 31 October as the boathouse still has to lift many keelboats on trailers and position them on the platform following the main lift-out scheduled for Saturday 24 October.

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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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