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10th January 2017

Afloat Rowing Calendar 2017

#Rowing: Here is the 2017 Calendar for Irish Rowers. The year ahead is a bumper one. In February, the Fisa Extraordinary Congress in Tokyo will be the focus of intense interest, as a decision will be made on the boats which can compete at the Olympic Games. Lightweight athletes in Ireland and other countries will watch this closely. The international season will be a very long one as the World Championships will be held very late (September/October) in Florida in the United States. The domestic regatta season starts with Neptune Regatta on April 1st and the high point is the Irish Championships, which run from July 14th to July 16th. Queen’s University have decided to abandon plans to hold their regatta, which was scheduled for May 6th.

 Our good wishes to all involved in rowing this year, whether behind the scenes or on the water.

Rowing Fixtures 2017

January

21st: Irish Indoor Rowing Championships, Limerick.

26th-28th: World Coaches Conference, Vancouver, Canada.

February

4th: European Indoor Rowing Championships, Paris.

9th-12th: Fisa Extraordinary Congress, Tokyo.

11th: Cork Head, Marina.

18th: Lagan Scullers’ Head, Belfast; New Ross Head, River Barrow.

18th-19th: Ireland high performance Assesment, Regional.

25th: St Michael’s Head, O’Brien’s Bridge, Clare. 

March

4th: Erne Head, Enniskillen, Fermanagh. 11th: Women’s Eights’ Head of the River, London. 18th Galway Head; Lagan Head, Belfast.

25th: Dublin Head; Offaly Head, Tullamore.

25th: Head of the River, London.

25th-26th: Ireland high performance Assessment, National Rowing Centre (NRC), Cork.

26th: Rowing Ireland agm.

April

1st: Neptune Regatta, Islandbridge. 2nd: Commercial Regatta, Islandbridge. 2nd: The Boat Races, London.

7th: Irish University Championships, NRC.

8th-9th: Skibbereen Regatta, NRC.

15th: Trinity Regatta, Islandbridge, Dublin.

22nd: Limerick Regatta, O’Brien’s Bridge, Clare.

23rd: Irish Schools’ Regatta, O’Brien’s Bridge.

29th: Portadown Regatta.

29th (to May 1st): BUCS Regatta, Nottingham, England.

May

1st (from April 29th): BUCS Regatta, Nottingham, England. 5th-7th: World Cup Regatta, Belgrade, Serbia.

7th: Castleconnell Sprint Regatta.

13th: Lough Rynn Regatta, Leitrim.

13th-14th: Fisa Para Rowing Regatta, Gavirate, Italy.

20th: Lee Regatta, Marina, Cork.

20th-21st: European Junior Championships, Krefeld, Germany.

26th-28th: European Championships, Racice, Czech Republic.

26th-28th: British National Schools’ Regatta, Dorney Lake.

27th: Dublin Metropolitan Regatta, Blessington; Belfast Sprint Regatta.

June

3rd-4th: Carlow Regatta. 3rd-4th: (London) Metropolitan Regatta.

10th-11th: Ireland high performance Assessment, NRC.

15th-18th: World Cup Regatta, Poznan, Poland. 16th-18th: Henley Women’s Regatta. 17th: Athlone Regatta, Coosan Point. 17th: Marlow Regatta, Dorney Lake. 18th: Galway Regatta.

24th-25th: Cork Regatta, NRC.

28th (to July 2nd): Henley Royal Regatta.

July

1st-2nd (from June 28th): Henley Royal Regatta. 1st: Ulster Branch Regatta, Craigavon Lakes, 2nd: Fermoy Sprint Regatta.

7th-9th: World Cup Regatta, Lucerne, Switzerland.

14th-16th: Irish Rowing Championships, NRC.

19th-23rd: Under-23 World Championships, Plovdiv.

22nd: Home International Regatta, London Docklands, England.

29th -30th: Coupe de la Jeunesse, Hazewinkel, Belgium.

August

2nd-6th: World Junior Championships, Trakai, Lithuania. 6th: Carrick-on-Shannon Sprint Regatta.

18th-20th: Irish Coastal Rowing Championships, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal.

26th: Belfast Summer Sprint Regatta.

September

2nd-3rd: European Under-23 Championships, Kruszwica, Poland.

6th-1oth: World Masters, Bled, Slovenia. 16th: St Michael’s Masters Regatta, Limerick.

24th (to October 1st): World Championships, Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida­.

October

1st (from September 24th): World Championships, Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida.

7th Tullamore Time Trial. 7th-8th: Ireland high performance Assessment, NRC.

13th-15th: World Coastal Rowing Championships, Thonon, France.

21st-22nd: Head of the Charles River, Boston.

28th: Castleconnell Head, Castleconnell.  

November

4th: Neptune Head, Blessington.

11th: Bann Head, Coleraine. 12th: Fours Head, London.

18th: Skibbereen Head, NRC.

25th: Provinces Indoor Rowing Championships, Limerick.

December

2nd: Head of the Shannon, Carrick-on-Shannon; Muckross Head, NRC.

16th-17th: Ireland high performance Assessments, NRC.

Published in Rowing
Tagged under

#Rowing: A week into his Atlantic crossing, Gavan Hennigan continues to do exceptionally well. The Galway man is the fastest solo rower in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge from La Gomera to Antigua. More impressively, he is fourth overall of the 12 boats. Hennigan is farther into the race than a four, two trios and two pairs, as well as the other three solo rowers. At the head of the field, two fours are fighting it out: Latitude 35 from America and Row for James from Britain. Just ahead of Hennigan, whose team is called Soulo Gav, is the trio, American Oarsmen. Hennigan has been warned that there may be difficult weather ahead.

Published in Rowing
Tagged under

#Rowing - Paul and Gary O’Donovan were last night named Team of the Year at the RTÉ Sport Awards, as RTÉ News reports.

The Olympic silver medallists in the lightweight double sculls in Rio this summer captured the hearts of the nation with their light-hearted post-race interview and subsequent appearance on The Late Late Show with fellow Olympic hero Annalise Murphy.

And just like Murphy, who added The Irish Times/Sports Council of Ireland Sportswoman of the Year award to her long list of accolades on Friday (16 December), the Skibbereen rowing brothers (and Afloat.ie Rowers of the Month for August) show no signs of resting on their laurels.

"We’re young yet, we’re only starting out hopefully," said Paul on the night. "We’ve got a taste of success now, so we’re going to capitalise on it."

Indeed, his brother Gary was back in the boat just hours before the awards ceremony for the Ireland Assessment at the National Rowing Centre — Paul only missing out due to Christmas exams.

Published in Rowing

#Tokyo2020 - Irish Olympic rowing and canoeing hopefuls look set to stay in Japan’s capital for the 2020 Games as plans to move their venue to a city 400km north are likely to be abandoned.

As Inside the Games reports, Tokyo 2020 organisers are expected to downscale their costly original plans for the Sea Forest in Tokyo Bay instead of moving to the city of Tome in Miyagi Prefecture.

Rowing and canoe sprint were among a number of sports that faced the prospect of their venues being relocated Tokyo to surrounding cities as city officials look to trim rising costs even three-and-a-half years out from the Games.

Inside the Games has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#Rowing: Monika Dukarska won her heat and qualified for the A Final of the women’s solo (single) at the World Coastal Rowing Championships in Monaco today. The Killorglin Rowing Club competitor had 11 seconds to spare over second-placed Benedetta Bellio of Italy. Dukarska won this event in 2009.  Jessica Lee of Arklow finished 12th in her heat and is set to compete in the B Final.

 Barry Hooper of Galley Flash and David Hussey of Portmagee will compete in the B Final of the men’s solo. Hooper was 8th in his heat where the top seven took A Final places. Hussey finished 13th in his heat. Cormac Kelly of Arklow finished 17th and missed out on a B Final place. John Casey of Arklow, who was 16th in his heat, suffered a similar fate.

 The Arklow Rowing Club double missed out by one place on qualifying for their B Final, finishing 14th in their heat. Courtmacsherry finished 20th and also missed out. The Courtmacsherry coxed quadruple finished 15th in their heat and also did not progress.

Published in Coastal Rowing
Tagged under

#Rowing: Ireland’s high performance director, Morten Espersen has announced that four grants will be available to rowers who produce exceptional performances on ergometers (rowing machines). The grants, of €5,000, will be for world class times on Concept 2. The performances needed are: Men, Open 5 minutes 35 seconds; Men, Lightweight 5:54. Women, Open 6:23; Women, Lightweight 6:53.

 There will also be four travel scholarships for taking part in the ‘Crash Bs’ in Boston in February, for those who have achieved outstanding performance(s) at Irish Indoor Rowing Championships in Limerick. The evaluation panel will consist of Espersen, Joe Cantillon, the organiser of the Irish Indoor Championships and Alex Dunne of Concept 2.

Terms and Conditions:

                  Athletes must have full Rowing Ireland registration and be part of an affiliated Irish Club under Rowing Ireland.

                  The process is part of the Rowing Ireland on water trial process in 2016/2017.

                  Four Scholarships to be contested in Limerick (Irish Indoor Championships).

                  World Class times to be done at Limerick Irish Indoor Championship, Crash B or by appointment with HPD at NRC after Indoors.

                  Open window for World Class times: 20th October 2016 to 1st April 2017

                  If more than four athletes achieve the World Class times, the 4 best are picked with per centage list times to be achieved.

                  The Performance Strategy applies fully as weight management for lightweights

                  Only certified Concept 2 ergometers by HPD

                  HPD reserves the right to make all final decisions.

Published in Rowing

Last Saturday, October 2nd, at 5pm on the River Shannon in the heart of the city, the idea of a significant international rally and rowing race event for traditional craft was realised.

It’s a developing concept, an event in the making that has the potential to promote to the wider world the special pleasures of rowing Limerick’s many hidden waterways.

Thirty boats gathered on O’Callaghan Strand slip. They were all wonderful vernacular craft of the best traditional types, imbued with their owners’ characters, and manned with equally characterful crews who had travelled with their beloved boats from Cork, West Clare, Limerick and the adjacent boat-beds of Clarina, Coonagh, Ringmoylan and Askeaton, to make up a generous inaugural King’s Island Race fleet. The best of October weather came out in support as the rowers pulled east towards Thomond Bridge, to begin a wonderful inaugural King’s Island Race in warm sunshine.

"Visiting rowers to the city were more than surprised with the splendour of the city’s river environment, and particularly with how being in a small boat can so quickly put it in a fresh context” said Gary MacMahon, director of the Ilen School which hosted the event. “In fact” he added, "they were a bit disappointed we had not shared this metropolitan rowing pearl with them earlier…….At any rate, the secret has now escaped the city, as we at the Ilen.ie School plan to develop this King’s Island Race as a quality international annual river event for Limerick.” he confirmed.

kings island2Kings Island on the north side of central Limerick provides an ideal course for a rowing race, but you need to time it such that you take the last of the flood tide going northeast, and the first of the ebb returning southwest. Photo: Google

From time immemorial, the waterways of metropolitan Limerick have been noted for their turbulent character, a dynamic confluence of strong Atlantic tides and flooding land-waters. This can make making it an implacable waterway, indifferent to the locomotion of local boats and their pilots. Accordingly, the sagacious Limerick boater will always go with the favourable tides and floods, the great elemental currents that in synchronised use will sweep a boat and her crew 'like the clappers' around King’s Island.

For the few who take pleasure in Limerick City’s local boats, their construction, maintenance and handling, a row around the city's King’s Island is an eagerly awaited seasonal outing which they now wish to share with others. For the energetic boater, it is a magnificent 45 minute dash over fast water, along ever changing river topography. And for the leisurely rower, which seems the greater number of city boaters, it is an inimitable row to another world - one that lies where the built city surrenders to the wild river banks, near the meeting of the Shannon and the Abbey Rivers.

The Ilen School and Network for Wooden Boat Building in Limerick City has for many years taught the craft of building local boats, and it also diffuses the skills of boat handling, particularly as they map on to waters that flow uniquely through the city. The Ilen.ie school also serves as a network for local river folk, a sort of assembly for new ideas and conversations around all things to do with local boats, and which from time to time has entertained the idea of an around Kings Island boat race.

For many of the crews taking part, it was more of a reasonably briskly-paced row-in-company than an out and-out-race. But some were undoubtedly very competitive, none more so than the winners, Michael Grimes and his crew of currach men who hail from Coonagh, a secret little “boat bed” on the north bank of the Shannon Estuary just a mile west of Limerick City. None could match the Coonagh crew.

kings island3In the end it was Michael Grimes’ currach from Coonagh which won, and the fleet included a good selection of classic black currach types, with four of them here together with three grey Shannon gandelows. Photo: Gary MacMahon

Published in Coastal Rowing
Tagged under
9th September 2016

Death of Rower Ailish Sheehan

#Rowing: Ailish Sheehan, the Limerick rower who was badly injured in a fall on Sunday after the World University Rowing Championships in Poznan, has died. BUCS, the British university and colleges sports organization, said in a statement:

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is deeply saddened to report the death of Ailish Sheehan on 9th September 2016.

 Ailish, a postgraduate student at Goldsmiths, University of London representing the University of London Boat Club, was involved in an accident after the culmination of the 2016 FISU World University Championships for Rowing in Poznan, Poland on Sunday evening, 4th September. Ailish had been competing in the Women’s Four (W4) at the Championships, where she won a bronze medal.

 BUCS, British Rowing and Rowing Ireland are providing support to her family during this difficult time and ask for their privacy to be respected.

On behalf of everyone at BUCS, I wish to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Ailish and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

Published in Rowing
Tagged under

#Rowing: Limerick rower Ailish Sheehan (23) is in critical condition after a fall after she had competed at the World University Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland.

 Sheehan apparently fell on a footpath when celebrating taking a bronze medal while competing with the Britain team. With crewmates Rebecca Edwards, Annie Withers and Gillian Cooper, she finished third in the women’s four.

 Sheehan, from St Michael’s rowing club, had rowed in an Ireland four at the World Under-23 Rowing Championships in 2013 with Lisa Dilleen, Emily Tormey and Aifric Keogh. They finished fourth.

 She had won a scholarship to Notre Dame in the United States in 2011 and completed a degree there in design. She stroked the Notre Dame crew to sixth in the Head of the Charles in 2014. She returned and moved to Britain and switched to the British system.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Monika Dukarska took a bronze medal for Ireland at the World University Rowing Championships in Poland today. The Ireland single sculler took a third place behind Germany’s Julia Leiding and Lisa Farthofer of Austria, who just beat her in the battle for silver. The Killorglin woman had been in the Ireland high performance programme until earlier this year.

World University Rowing Championships, Poznan, Poland (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Men

Double - B Final: 3 Ireland (P Doyle, T Oliver) 6:42.56.

Lightweight Single - B Final: 6 Ireland (C Beck) 7:36.15.  

Women

Four - B Final: 2 Ireland (A Feeley, A Crowley, S Bennett, E Lambe) 7:14.68.

Double Sculls - B Final: 3 Ireland (O Bouanane, O Blundell) 7:44.83.

Lightweight Double Sculls: 3 Ireland (D Synott, J McCarthy) 6:49.87.

Single Sculls - A Final: 1 Germany (J Leiding) 7:33.73, 2 Austria (L Farthofer) 7:35.35, 3 Ireland (M Dukarska) 7:35.99.

 

Published in Rowing
Page 10 of 80

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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