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Displaying items by tag: Tom MacSweeney

One of the great enjoyments is sailing along on a pleasant, sunny day, with nice music adding to the occasion but what is the best music aboard a boat? There have been strong disagreements about my choices as Skipper, so I am intrigued by the first published list of top "boating" music. It has been compiled by the National Marine Manufacturers' Association of America, which has nearly 1,500 member companies which produce nearly every conceivable boating product.

It runs a "Discover Boating" national awareness project creating interest amongst the public in going afloat. "We identified the most popular nautical-themed songs from a variety of artists and genres, all of which illustrate why boating and music go hand-in-hand," said Carl Blackwell, the Association's Vice-President running the project. "They illustrate why boating and music go hand-in-hand, the wind in your hair, sun on your face, friends and family aboard. Music and boating provide an escape from the pressures of life."

Kenny Chesney's song 'Boats' has been voted the top boating son in the USA

These are the Top Ten Boating Songs:

BOATS – sung by KENNY CHESNEY;
BRANDY YOU'RE A FINE GIRL BY LOOKING GLASS;
COME SAIL AWAY BY STYX;
IF I HAD A BOAT BY LYLE LOVETT;
INTO THE MYSTIC BY VAN MORRISON;
PROUD MARY BY CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL;
REDNECK YACHT CLUB BY CRAIG MORGAN;
SITTIN' ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY BY OTIS REDDING;
SON OF A SON OF A SAILOR BY JIMMY BUFFETT;
SOUTHERN CROSS BY CROSBY, STILLS & NASH.

These are chosen from an American viewpoint, I wonder what an Irish list would include? Let me know in the comment box below.

WIND PLAN WILL CHANGE THE HARBOUR

Wind turbines have become an established feature on the coastline and around many parts of the country. Controversy has often surrounded their construction as an alternative energy supply. Wind turbines nearly four hundred feet high which would change the appearance of Cork Harbour are being proposed by four pharmaceutical companies in Ringaskiddy. They want cheaper energy and have formed the Lower Harbour Energy Group. GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Centocor and DePuy plan to construct a total of turbines between their sites. Public response to the proposals will be interesting. Indications are that the body of the turbines would be 78 metres, the blades a further 40 metres high, making a total of around 118 metres.

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A cargo ship navigates Cork Harbour. Photo: Bob Bateman

There are serious concerns about 336 offshore turbines around the UK coastline, because their foundations are suffering from subsidence, sinking into the sea. Checks are being made on a wind farm off Essex
another in Liverpool Bay, of turbines at Blyth, Northumberland and Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth. If repairs have to be made to all of them, the total bill could be £50m. stg.

The Scottish Government is attempting to encourage Norwegian Statoil to locate the world's first floating windfarm either off the Isle of Lewis or the Aberdeenshire coastline. Statoil is also considering sites in Norway and the USA for the development, intended to have a capacity of up to 100 megawatts.

• This article is reprinted by permission of the CORK EVENING ECHO in which Tom MacSweeney writes maritime columns twice weekly. Evening Echo website: www.eecho.ie

Published in Island Nation
27th August 2010

Success at Last!

The world trophy for offshore cruiser racing is in Irish hands and Cork has dominated the successful assault on the Commodore's Cup in the hallowed waters of Cowes, centre of British yachting writes Tom MacSweeney.

Several times in previous years the Irish team were favourites, leading the event, with the cup seemingly in their grasp, but were beaten on the last day of the event. This year they led from the opening day. Maintaining their lead to the finish after five days of racing.

Putting just one team of three boats into the competition this year proved the best approach. Like other competing nations such as the UK and France, Ireland had entered previously entered several teams. But the result was internal rivalry that did not bring overall Irish victory.

On Saturday last as the Commodore's Cup fleet of 30 boats, representing 10 nations, headed into the Solent off Cowes for the final day's racing, Ireland was again in the lead. The crews of the Irish team's three boats - Antix, Marinerscove.ie and Roxy 6, were conscious of what had happened to their predecessors and how victory had been snatched away on the last day.

Throughout the week they had built a commanding lead, each of the team boats achieving top fleet positions racing in three different classes. It seemed they were almost certain to win the cup, but those thoughts were being forced aside, almost as if concentrating on them might jinx the final outcome.

With the team boats all from the Royal Cork, one competing in each class, the sailors all knowing each other, there was to be no repeat of previous years. Then there had been internal skirmishing between the several Irish teams on the final day, jockeying for positions, but seemingly focus to bring overall victory.

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Ireland celebrates victory in Cowes last weekend. Photo: David Branigan

There was plenty of skirmishing and jockeying with opponents on the start line for the final race last Saturday when one French boat tried to protest Antix out of Class 1 in an incident before the start. Anthony O'Leary, skippering Antix, kept his cool and took a penalty time turn allowed under the rules, avoiding what could have been a messy protest. The crew of Antix sailed her so well that she made up lost time at the start during the race. When the French protested at the end of the race, they lost out, having overlooked that Antix had taken the penalty before the race started

Sweet justice for an Irish team when one remembers what happened in another world cup sport!

Strong, gusty winds, dominated the final day, but all three Irish boats sailed well. Antix finished second in Class 1, while Dave Dwyer's Marinerscover.ie revelled in the conditions with another first place in Class 2 while Rob Davies' Roxy 6 was second in Class 3, keeping the Irish team out in front, aggregated on the overall results.

At the rather upper class Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, it was a great sight when the 50-strong Irish contingent of crews, team management and shore support staff were invited on stage at the presentation ceremony. Their haul of prizes included being the best European team at the event, the best team in both offshore and inshore races during the week and of course, the Commodore's Cup, a long-awaited victory.

After the formalities, Cowes echoed to the sound of the Irish singing The Fields of Athenry in the Pier View pub which had been unofficial headquarters for the team during the week.

The team was organised by the Irish Cruiser Racing Association under the auspices of the Irish Sailing Association. Management was led by Commodore Barry Rose from the RCYC, with Denis Kiely from Kinsale Yacht Club; Mike Broughton, Norbert Reilly and Fintan Cairns, former ICRA Commodore. He had led previous attempts to win the cup.

This is a great achievement, adding to the standing of Irish sailing internationally. All those involved, the boat owners, skippers, crew, team management and shore support deserve the highest praise. That Cork has had such a dominant involvement in Ireland's victory is marvellous.

In youth sailing, Cork sailors are continuing to stamp their mark nationally. I have been highlighting the achievements of young Optimist sailors, which were added to at the national class championships, sailed at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club. This is based in Dunmore East where huge swells are typical conditions as the seas roll into that fishing port.

Peter McCann from the Royal Cork sailed magnificently to become Senior Open and National Champion. Second to him was Peter Crosbie, also from the RCYC. Daire Cournane, a member of both the RCYC and Kinsale YC dominated the junior fleet, winning the open and national championship titles.
Another young sailor has caused so much controversy that the World Sailing Speed Record Council has decided it will no longer give recognition to records for "youngest" sailors, "to avoid encouraging dangerous sailing attempts." Guinness World Records has made a similar decision. Both were announced as 14-year-old Dutch girl Laura Dekker began a bid to become the youngest person to sail alone around the world. She had planned to leave from Portugal, but Portugese law does not allow minors to sail alone. So she left from Gibraltar instead.
A Dutch Court previously blocked her attempt at the request of child protection agencies, though her parents, experienced sailors, have supported her. Born on a yacht, she maintains she is competent to make the voyage which will not be non-stop. Dekker will call at several ports.
Earlier this year Australian Jessica Watson completed a non-stop 210-day round-the-world voyage at the age of 16. In June another 16-year-old, Abby Sunderland, was rescued in the Indian Ocean when she and her boat got into difficulties.
If Laura Dekker does complete her voyage, it will not get official record recognition.
• This article is reprinted by permission of the CORK EVENING ECHO in which Tom MacSweeney writes maritime columns twice weekly. Evening Echo website: www.eecho.ie

Published in Island Nation

In the first installment of a new weekly maritime blog on Afloat.ie, marine correspondent Tom MacSweeney says our ports are vital national assets;

It astonishes me that the Government should consider selling off the country’s ten major port companies - Dublin, Cork, Dun Laoghaire, Waterford, Shannon/Foynes, Drogheda, Galway, Wicklow, New Ross and Dundalk.

Ninety-five per cent of Irish exports and imports go by sea through our ports which are the vital entry and exit points of our transport system. To consider privatising them is an example of how unaware the Government is that Ireland is a small island community on the periphery of Europe.

The lesson of transport chaos caused by the Icelandic ash grounding aircraft this year has not been learned. It demonstrated how vital maritime transport is to this island nation.

docklands_aerial

Dublin Port Company - a profitable state company

This is a smash-and-grab raid, redolent of a bankrupt Government philosophy. It is one thing to consider selling off the family jewels when, at least, the householder would still have access to the house. To sell off the ports is akin to the householder selling off the driveway, porch and front door to the house, then having to pay for the right to use them to enter the house in the future.

The Government has failed to develop a national ports policy. In the Progressive Democrat-fuelled era when privatisation, competition and profits were its driving force, the ports were moved out of direct State ownership and turned into semi-State competing bodies. Iarnrod Eireann was permitted to largely opt out of rail freight operations through the ports. Turned loose to compete against each other, the port companies followed no overall national policy for the benefit of the nation and now their future has been put in the hands of a group whose chairman advocates the sale of State companies and has already shown a lack of concern for the marine sector by shutting down the national sail training programme.

Aspects of journalism these days disappoint me after 45 years in the profession. Colm McCarthy who led Bord Snip Nua, is now chairing what is, effectively, ‘board privatisation,’ yet sections of the media seem largely to accept his views without question. I have not seen a lot of reportage which refers to his scathing opposition to the building of the DART, the Dublin Area Rapid Transport system, which he described as financial insanity and profligacy. Had those views been accepted, there would be no DART in Dublin, the consequences of which today are interesting to consider.

Privatisation of the ports should be strongly opposed. These are vital national assets. The lesson of selling-off Eircom has also, apparently, been forgotten by the Government.

dunlaoghaire_aerial

Dun Laoghaire Port on Dublin Bay

A Republic should be an entity in which there is open debate about public policy, not decision-making by elites. Flogging off our best assets, which is what this move by the Government is about, will not solve the nation’s problems. It is shocking to think that money from the sale of our vital transport arteries, the ports, could go to benefit those property speculators and banks which have bankrupted this nation.


This article is reprinted by permission of the CORK EVENING ECHO in which Tom MacSweeney writes maritime columns twice weekly. Evening Echo website: www.eecho.ie

 

Published in Island Nation
Page 13 of 13

Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020

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