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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: video

#VOR - The latest video update following the construction of the new one-design yacht debuting in next year's Volvo Ocean Race looks at the state-of-the-art technology that will be installed both on board and on shore to make the 12th running of the race the most connected yet.

Three VOR 65s are at Green Marine in Southampton at various stages of completion, awaiting the final detailed fittings before they can take to the water for their first sea trials.

Those fittings include the latest in communications technology that will hopefully combine the sailors' experiences - via self-shot smartphone video and on-deck camera positions - with the raw numbers from their boat's telemetry data to provide the most detailed stories yet.

The on-shore media centre, too, will be fully connected to all the action via specially outfitted workstations that will let journalists write, edit and transmit from the one spot.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
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#WaterSafety - The RNLI has posted the above video outlining what kayakers can do to call for help if they get into difficulty on the water.

Taking a whistle along for the trip is one sensible idea, as is ensuring a means of longer-range communication such as a VHF radio or a mobile phone in a dry case.

Carrying a flare may also prove handy, and there's always that old standby if other water users are within earshot - shouting as loud as you can to attract attention.

Published in Water Safety

#RNLI - A drifting yacht with three people on board was towed to safety by Wicklow RNLI on Friday morning (26 July). SEE VIDEO BELOW

The volunteer lifeboat crew was alerted by pager shortly before 8am after the Irish Coast Guard received a call for assistance from a yacht in difficulties off Wicklow Head.



The lifeboat, under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh, was alongside the yacht 20 minutes after launching.

Crew member Ciaran Doyle was put on board the boat to assist with establishing a tow line. He remained onboard the yacht as it was towed into Wicklow Harbour.

The boat with the three people was secured safely alongside the east pier at 9.20am.



Weather conditions in the area at the time were described as wind south west force two, and the sea state was calm.



Speaking after the incident, Keogh said: "We located the 14-metre yacht drifting five miles south east of Wicklow Head. The yacht had lost engine power and with the light winds they were unable to make any headway." 



The crew on the call out were coxswain Nick Keogh, mechanic Brendan Copeland, Ciaran Doyle, Dave O'Leary, Carol Flahive, Tommy Murphy, Alan Goucher and Peter McCann.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#MarineWildlife - Dusty the dolphin has injured yet another swimmer off Doolin Pier in Co Clare in the latest of a recent spate of incidents, as The Irish Times reports.

Last night a woman was hospitalised after being struck by the dolphin's nose in the kidney area, leaving her "badly bruised and shocked by the incident".

It's since emerged that this was the fourth such attack by the bottlenose dolphin in the past month.

The cetacean responsible - a 14-year-old female - has made Doolin her home after many years in the Fanore area, and has apparently been responsible for a number of attacks on swimmers over the last two years.

But visitors continue to swim with the dolphin despite warnings by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), which discourages any interference with the protected species.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - An angling kayaker has spoken of his surprise at being "stalked" by a basking shark off Donegal.

The Irish Times yesterday posted video of the close encounter captured by Graham Smith while paddling along the coast.

As Smith told the Irish Independent, he was only hoping to catch a tope shark when he came upon a school of basking sharks off the Inishowen Peninsula.

And when one of them started following him, Smith went into panic mode - but soon realised the shark was more interested in the slipstream of his kayak, which provided a steady source of plankton for the giant filter feeder.

The second biggest fish in the sea after the whale shark, basking sharks are now a regular sight in Irish waters, with protections on the endangered species resulting in a boom in numbers.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Rescue - TheJournal.ie reports that 15 members of the Irish Coast Guard's Cliff Rescue Unit were involved in the rescue of a 16-year-old boy trapped on a cliff edge on Howth Head in North Dublin on Saturday evening (6 July).

According to Howth Coast Guard, the teen had tried to climb up from the beach at Whitewater Brook but became stranded halfway up the cliff face.

Coastguard staff received the emergency call around 9.40pm and the rescue unit was on scene within 10 minutes. The teen was quickly recovered to the cliff top with no reported injuries.

Whitewater Brook was recently the scene of a joint cliff rescue training exercise involving the Howth Coast Guard and the Irish Red Cross.

Published in Rescue

#MarineWildlife - Wildlife enthusiast Karl Grabe has posted on YouTube video of newborn seal pups rescued by the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary last week.

Named by staff at the sanctuary as Salt, Pepper, Sugar and Cocoa, the four are as cute as buttons - and anyone who visits over the summer can see them or others like them, such as two-week-old Molly who's also featured in the above clip.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#VOR - Team SCA have been posting some record-breaking times in their training runs off Lanzarote as of late, as the official Volvo Ocean Race website reports.

Most recently the all-female team set a new record from Puerto Calero to La Palma Marina last weekend. This achievement followed their victory in the Round Lanzarote Race last month - their first competitive event sailing together as a team.

"It was a fairly big milestone in our preparations and we were lucky to have great conditions, which enabled us to get the race record," said Vendee Glone veteran Sam Davies, who captains a squad of world-class racing women eager to jump into their next challenge - the Rolex Fastnet Race in August.

Meanwhile, the Volvo Ocean Race is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, and put together the short film above "about the spirit and the people behind sport's ultimate test of character".

The heat is already on for the return of the race in October next year, with the new design VOR 65 coming together nicely.

In the latest video update following the new yacht's construction, VOR's Rick Deppe visits the Gottifredi Maffioli factory in Italy where the ropes are being made:

Published in Volvo Ocean Race

#Kitesurfing - Bruno Sroka aims to complete an epic solo journey from France to Ireland on his kitesurfing board, powered only by the waves and the wind.

As Surfer Today reports, the French kitesurfer - who already has a crossing of the English channel to his credit - has set himself the challenge next month of surfing from L'Aber-Wrac'h in Brittany to the south coast of Ireland, a distance of some 240 nautical miles.

And it will be just the first of three adventures Sroka has lined up for himself, as he aims to follow this feat with a crossing of the Mediterranean in 2014, and finally the mighty Atlantic Ocean in 2015.

Indeed, his ambitious plans do little to dispel the impression that kitesurfing is a sport for the bravest alone - even too dangerous for the Olympics!

Surfer Today has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kitesurfing

#RTIR - Winning tactical advice from some well-known names and faces associated with the Round the Island Race has been posted online ahead of the latest edition of the iconic annual event at the Isle of Wight.

Later today (31 May) will also see the official pre-race press conference on the eve of the 2013 JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, the 82nd anniversary of one of the most prestigious events on the world sailing calendar.

A terrific line-up of guests including Dame Ellen MacArthur and Alex Thomson will be on hand for the presser, which will be streamed live online and will also feature a tribute to the late Andrew 'Bart' Simpson, whose memorial service and private funeral is also being held today. The Island Sailing Club will fly the ensign at half-mast this afternoon.

Later this evening, the race competitors will meet for the all-important weather briefing. Racers will be given the latest weather and tidal information luve, coboned with tactical advice from Met Office-trained professional meteorologist Chris Tibbs.

In addition, competitors can evaulate the weather prior to the race by viewing the course overview and tidal strategy videos at the Raymarine website.

Among this year's competitors are Yvonne Margerison and her long-term partner Mike Flint, who are racing in their 20th Round the Island Race.

The couple entered their first back in 1993 in their boat Charis and have taken part almost every year since, apart from one when their mast was broken awaiting repair, and another when they sold Charis and were waiting to buy their new boat Gernee (S31) which is entered this year.

Margerison and Flint are passionate about sailing, have been very active members at Rutland Sailing Club - Flint is a past commodore - and both are former commodores at the Newparks Cruising Association Club.

While there's been talk of their retirement from racing - let's hope that won't be till after tomorrow's race, where race organisers hope they'll put in a strong showing.

How to follow the Round The Island Race action

The action begins tomorrow morning 1 June at 5am, and spectators can keep fully up to speed on the racing as it unfolds via the official Round the Island Race website, with features from the live blog to live race tracking, weather updates, and the latest news and results.

The race Facebook page and Twitter feed will also be maintained with the latest happenings. For those wishing to contribute to the Twitter news as the racers sail around the island, use the hashtags #RTIR and/or #RaceForAll to raise another £1 for the official charity, The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

Published in Offshore
Page 4 of 15

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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