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Displaying items by tag: qualifiers

#Rowing: A good selection of Irish crews made it through the Qualifiers for Henley Royal Regatta on Friday – a number of them in the difficult ‘open’ events.

 In the Hambleden Pairs – an open event – Natalie Long of Skibbereen and Sadhbh O’Connor of NUIG came through, as did Orla Hayes in the Princess Royal Cup, the open category in women’s single sculls.

 Enniskillen’s boys’ quadruple made in through in the Fawley, and their girls’ quadruple matched them in the Diamond Jubillee.

 The UCD women’s eight did not make it through in the Remenham, an open event, but Nathan Hull of Queen’s and Ollie Dix of Leander qualified in the Double Sculls.

Henley Royal Regatta, Qualifiers, Friday (Irish interest)

Remenham Cup (Women’s Eights, Open): UCD did not qualify

Prince of Wales (Men’s Quadruple, Club and University): Lagan Scullers’ did not qualify

Fawley (Men’s Quadruple, Junior): Enniskillen Royal Boat Club Qualified

Diamond Jubilee Cup (Women’s Quadruple, Junior): Enniskillen Royal Boat Club Qualified

Britannia (Men’s Fours, coxed, Club): Belfast Rowing Club did not qualify

Hambleden Pairs (Women’s Pairs, Open): Sadhbh O’Connor and Natalie Long (NUIG and Skibbereen) Qualified

 Double Sculls (Men’s Double, Open): Nathan Hull and OJ Dix (Queen’s, Belfast and Leander) Qualified

Princess Royal (Women’s Single, Open): Orla Hayes (Skibbereen) Qualified

Published in Rowing

#CANOEING - The Evening Herald reports that top Irish canoeist Jenny Egan is headed to Florida for a few months of training towards a spot at the 2012 Olympics.

A sprint and marathon racer, Egan was named as The Irish Times/Irish Sport Council's Sportswoman of the Month for May 2010 in recognition of some very impressive performances.

Indeed, the Kildare native enjoyed much success in 2012, with second place in the 5000m at the World Sprint Cup in the Czech Republic and a new Irish record in the 500m at the Canoe Slalom Worlds in Hungary among her achievements.

Heading into 2012, the Salmon Leap club member will surely be shrugging off setbacks like her crash in the heat and humidity of Singapore at the Canoe Marathon Worlds last October.

The new year brings a new focus, as Egan will concentrate on the 500m and 200m K1 sprint distances for the London games, with the final qualifiers - for just 15 spots - taking place in Poland in April.

The Evening Herald has more on the story HERE.

Published in Canoeing

#ANGLING - Carlow Coarse Angling Club chair Gerry McStraw was presented last week with a special bursary by Carlow Sports Partnership for the club's efforts in helping disabled anglers to participate in the sport.

According to the Enniscorthy Guardian, McStraw was joined by Carlow CAC PR officer Ian Warburton and treasurer George Quinlan in receiving the money from Carlow Sports Partnership chair Tracey Byrne and Carlow County Council's Thomas Kinsella.

McStraw was recently highlighted on Afloat.ie for his spearheading of the revival of coarse fishing in Ireland.

The bursary will be used to buy equipment essential to running more coarse angling programmes in 2012.

Carlow CAC will also host three of the six weekends for the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland's qualifiers next spring and summer.

Published in Angling

#ANGLING - Qualifiers to select teams for the 2013 World, European and Celtic Cup coarse fishing teams will be fished over six weekends in 2012.

The float and feeder teams for the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland (NCFFI) squads will be decided via an All Ireland Qualifier format to CIPS rules.

Team manager Mark Theedom will select his teams from the top 20 anglers in the float qualifiers and the top 50% of anglers taking part in the feeder qualifiers.

The series will be open to all anglers who are members of NCFFI-affiliated clubs, and is intended to be more inclusive and encourage many more anglers to participate.

All senior anglers will pay an entry fee of €60 for the six-match series which will help fund teams travelling to the 2013 championships. Individual anglers not intending to fish the series but wishing to fish individual qualifiers in their local area will be charged €15. Juniors will not be expected to pay any entry fee.

The qualifier weekends are as follows:

  • 21-22 April – River Barrow, Co Carlow
  • 19-20 May – Inniscarra, Co Cork
  • 2-3 June – River Shannon (O’Brien’s Bridge), Co Clare
  • 11-12 August – Lough Muckno, Co Monaghan
  • 22-23 September - Lough Oughter, Co Cavan
  • 20-21 October – Lower River Bann, Co Antrim
Published in Angling
Olympic kayaker Eoin Rheinisch was back in action in Spain recently after an operation last year.
The Irish Times reports that Rheinisch, who had surgery on his left shoulder last November, placed 34th in the canoe slalom European Championships at Seu d’Urgell.
The Kildare native confirmed that his fitness has not fully returned, but is getting better "day by day".
"The real goal is to get the high-intensity fitness back,” he said,
Rheinisch has four more evens on the calendar before the World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Slovakia this September.

Olympic kayaker Eoin Rheinisch was back in canoe action in Spain recently for the first time after a shoulder operation last year.

The Irish Times reports that Rheinisch, who had surgery on his left shoulder last November, placed 34th in the canoe slalom European Championships at Seu d’Urgell.

The Kildare native confirmed that his fitness has not fully returned, but is getting better "day by day".

"The real goal is to get the high-intensity fitness back,” he said.

Rheinisch has four more events on the calendar before the World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Slovakia this September.

Published in Canoeing

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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