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Displaying items by tag: rowing

#Rowing: Ireland crews hit the mark at the European Junior Rowing Championships at Krefeld in Germany today. The Ireland double of Margaret Cremen of Lee and Aoife Casey of Skibbereen qualified directly for the semi-finals by finishing second in their heat, while the three others made their way through to semi-finals by the repechage route.

The Ireland women’s pair of Gill McGirr and Eliza O’Reilly won their repechage, while the men’s quadruple and pair took second in their reps.

European Junior Championships, Krefeld, Germany (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Heat One: 4 Ireland (A Johnston, R Corrigan) 7:20.35. Repechage: 2 Johnston, Corrigan 7:24.75.

Quadruple – Heat One: 4 Ireland (J Quinlan, J Keating, M Dundon, B O’Flynn) 6:26.69. Rep: 2 Ireland 6:23.38.

Women

Pair – Heat: 4 Ireland (G McGirr, E O’Reilly) 8:13.17. Rep: 1 McGirr, O’Reilly 7:58.85.

Double –Heat One: 2 Ireland (A Casey, M Cremen) 7:43.43.

Published in Rowing

St Michael’s Rowing Club, Dun Laoghaire, launched the 2017 coastal rowing season with the official move back into refurbished facilities

Councillor Mary Fayne joined the committee and members of St Michael’s Rowing Club for the official opening of their newly refurbished facilities at the Coal Harbour boatyard in Dun Laoghaire last Saturday.

The coastal rowing club, whose growing membership of men women and children row the heritage class East coast skiffs, is based out of a stone archway. Up until this year, this boatshed had a leaky roof that caused great difficulty for the maintenance and upkeep of these historic boats. Along with providing a watertight home, the boatshed now has hot water, improved lighting and power, storage for oars and equipment, and other minor improvements.

These repairs were made possible thanks to a grant from the Sports Capital Programme and the on-going fundraising efforts of members. This growing club hopes that this is a stepping stone on route to full clubhouse facilities in line with other watersports in the harbour and their sister rowing clubs along the coast.

SMRC PIC 2The club's beautiful racing skiffs at home in the refurbished boatshed

Last season saw a very successful year for the club, with membership at full capacity, a growing youth section, and the Senior Men’s crew lifting the overall East Coast Rowing Council trophy in their category, and the club placing second overall in the Junior Shield.

The club is holding a further fundraiser race night in Baker’s Corner on Saturday 1st April, and all are welcome – there will be betting, auction and raffles on the night, with a prize pot for the owners of winning horses, with thanks to sponsorship and support of local businesses including Grandstand Sports, K&K Windows, Newtownpark Avenue Service Station, Brady’s Family Ham, Regan Roofing, Frank Keane Volkswagen, Typecraft and Dublin Bay Cruises.

The club will also be doing bag packing at SuperValu supermarket in Blackrock on Saturday 10th June, and all support is greatly appreciated

 

Published in Coastal Rowing

#Rowing: Eamonn Colclough (pronounced Coakley) was elected president of Rowing Ireland at the annual general meeting in Garda Boat Club in Dublin. The Tribesmen member, who is originally from Dublin, beat Kieran Kerr of St Michael’s by just one vote, 25-24. Colclough made a strong speech which was critical of Rowing Ireland’s failure to land a major sponsorship after the stellar year of 2016, when there were two Olympic finalists and one medal. He said that the sport needed to grow; to bring in new recreational members and to put behing it what he saw as over-reliance on the National Rowing Centre in Cork.

Mick O’Callaghan launched a forceful attack on the outgoing board. He said they had forced out Morten Espersen, who is stepping down from his role as High Performance Director. The outgoing president, Con Cronin, defended the board and said he had been transparent in his own dealings.

A Skibbereen motion to add under-21 events to the Irish Championships was defeated.

Published in Rowing
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Top Irish internationals saw off challenges in the finals of the Irish Trials at the National Rowing Centre in Cork today. Gary O'Donovan trailed Sam McKeown after 1500 metres of the single sculls final, but the Rio medalist took the lead and won - despite the disadvantage of being a lightweight sculling into a bothersome headwind. Paul O'Donovan missed out through exam pressures.

Top heavyweight Sanita Puspure was a clear winner over Monika Dukarska in the women's single sculls final. Ireland lightweight international Denise Walsh bested outstanding 17-year-old heavyweight Hannah Scott in a fight for third.

Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll had an easy victory in the men's pair. UCD's crew of Shane Mulvaney and David O'Malley had earlier pulled out due to Mulvaney falling ill.
The women's pair of Aifric Keogh and Aoife Feeley came out on top in their battle with under-23 crew Eimear Lambe and Ruth Gilligan.

Published in Rowing
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Fintan McCarthy topped the single sculls rankings in the heats at the Ireland trial at the National Rowing Centre. The 20-year-old Skibbereen lightweight came in ahead of Daire Lynch and Gary O'Donovan. Jake McCarthy- Fintan's twin - was fourth. Sam McKeown and Chris Beck also made the A Final from the heats which were run on a time trial basis.

The men's pairs heats were overshadowed by an illness to Shane Mulvaney which forced his lightweight pair partnership with David O'Malley to pull out. Shane O'Driscoll and Mark O'Donovan won well.

Sanita Puspure was a clear winner in the women's singles heat, while UCC were the fastest women's pair.

 

Published in Rowing
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The Erne Head of the River will welcome an exceptionally large entry of 91 boats and  well over 600 rowers to Enniskillen on Saturday, March 4th. The race - the 60th -  will be visible from the start point four miles downstream of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School (ERGS) Boat Club with the best views from the Killyhevlin Hotel, riverside in Cornagrade and the finish line at Portora boathouse itself.

 Beginning at 1.15pm, each craft will start at a 30 second interval on a race to the finish line at Portora boathouse. Men, women's and junior teams of all ages and abilities will set off in turn in a race against the clock. The 90 boats will stream over the finish line from 1.45pm; for some, setting new records and for others getting to the finish line, the main achievement.

 Twenty eight clubs are represented at the event from all over Ireland,  including a new club based on the Erne. The Portora Boat Club has been created by old Portorans and parents of rowers from ERGS and other Fermanagh schools continuing the traditions of the old Portora Boat Club. It will challenge at the Head of the River for the first time in the men’s masters.

 The event is an opportunity for clubs to gauge their progress during winter training against that of the competition. The number of entries is up 30 on last year reflecting a significant increase in rowing numbers in Northern Ireland and across Ireland.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: After 5,000 kilometres of rowing, Gavan Hennigan is in a race to the line in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. The three men of American Oarsmen are finishing fast, hoping to take third from the Irishman in the row from the Canary Islands to the West Indies. The American boat has been hitting remarkable numbers (93 nautical miles per day/172 km) but Hennigan retains a slight lead as the crews dash to the finish in English Harbour in Antigua. Both crews should finish late on Wednesday night or early on Thursday.

 The race started on December 14th in the Canary Islands. Hennigan (35) is set for a new Irish record for a solo oarsman rowing across an ocean. The crew which won, Latitude 35, set a new world record. It had a four-man crew, as did the second boat to finish, Row for James.   

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Gavan Hennigan is producing extraordinary mileage in his battle to be the next boat to finish the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. The solo oarsman has held third since early in the 12-boat race from the Canary Islands to Antigua in the West Indies. The two leading craft, Latitude 35 and Row for James have finished and in the battle to be next boat to finish Hennigan has come under serious pressure from the three-man crew of American Oarsmen, which closed on him and looked set to pass him. In recent days, with a switch to more favourable winds, Hennigan has stretched his slight lead. He has been covering over 70 nautical miles (130 kilometres) per day. On Monday he covered 81 nm (150 km) to 78nm (144 km) for American Oarsmen.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The high performance director of Rowing Ireland, Morten Espersen, has resigned. Espersen emailed his decision to the chief executive of Rowing Ireland, Hamish Adams.

 “On behalf of the entire Board and Staff I wish Morten well in the next phase of his professional and personal life and would like to personally thank him for his huge contribution to rowing in Ireland over the last four years,” Adams said. 

 “Morten will be working closely with us for the next three months to ensure our high performance programme continues to go from strength to strength.”

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Paul O’Donovan set a new personal best – by just .1 of a second - and was the top lightweight at the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships today. The outstanding peformance of the day at the University of Limerick belonged, however, to heavyweight oarsman Sam McKeown. The Queen’s University oarsman was by far the fastest on the day, with a time of five minutes 55 seconds. This was the second occasion on which he had broken six minutes (he had covered the 2,000 metres in 5:59 in November) and he looked in control at the finish, shouting “Go Queen’s!”

 Sanita Puspure was the fastest woman, clocking six minutes 40 seconds  with a steady peformance. Her nearest rival was Monika Dukarska – 6:52.6 was a personal best for the Killorglin woman.

 Ross Corrigan from Enniksillen Royal College (formerly Portora) was the fastest junior man – of 125 – and Hannah Scott of Bann took the honours amongst junior women.

 In the under-23 men’s competition, another win for Daire Lynch confirmed his strong transition from junior ranks; UCD man Shane O’Connell, whose star has also been on the rise, won the under-23 lightweight grade in a good battle with Jake McCarthy and Fintan McCarthy.

 Emily Hegarty of Skibbereen was the top woman at under-23 level. Her nearest rival was Eimear Lambe, who pipped her elder sister, Claire, by half a second. The Ireland Olympian who is now at Cambridge University competed as a heavyweight as she prepares for the Boat Race. 

 Competitors had to leave the venue late in the programme after a fire alarm. They were able to return to finish events.

Irish Indoor Rowing Championships, University of Limerick, Saturday (Selected Results):

Men – Open: 1 S McKeown 5 min 55.0 sec, 2 E O’Connor 6:02.7, 3 T Oliver 6:03.9. Lightweight Open: 1 P O’Donovan 6:07.4, 2 G O’Donovan 6:14.2, 3 M O’Donovan 6:19.0, 4 S O’Driscoll 6:21.1. Under-23: D Lynch 6:10.0. Lightweight Under-23: S O’Connell 6:21.3. Junior 18: R Corrigan 6:21.3. Jun 16: M Gallagher 6:38.6.

Women – Open: 1 S Puspure 6:40.0, 2 M Dukarska 6:52.6, 3 B Larsen 7:02.5, 4 C Lambe 7:11.4. Lwt: D Walsh 7:13.1. Under-23: E Hegarty 6:57.5; Lwt U-23: E McGiff 7:38.6. Jun 18: H Scott 7:05.7. Jun 16: Z McCutcheon 7:18.2.

Published in Rowing
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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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