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Displaying items by tag: RYA Northern Ireland

Many sailors are slowly returning to the water as the lockdown eases, but they have kept in touch by taking part in RYA Northern Ireland’s virtual forums, learning more about support, opportunities for funding and other important updates.

The club development forums were created by the governing body to connect with affiliated clubs and centres. So far over 20 Northern Ireland clubs and centres have been attending virtually.

RYA Northern Ireland’s Chief Operating Officer Richard Honeyford commented: “Lockdown has led to some very constructive and important discussions within the boating community through the RYA Northern Ireland forums. We’ve covered a wide range of different topics, from NI government advice to funding opportunities and Q&A sessions on the main issues facing our sport. During such a rapidly changing environment, we recognised the need to keep communications open to help address challenges and share valuable learning”.

He went on “We are continuing to provide guidance to clubs and centres on the latest government advice, which allows our members to make informed decisions about how their club is operating as government restrictions ease.”

The most recent forum on Tuesday 9 June provided clubs with discussions on how to safely return to recreational boating activity.

Ballyholme Yacht Club provided a valuable insight into their own journey to ‘Returning to Boating’ and discussed their Covid-19 team approach, which was set up under RYA guidance. Clubs taking part in the forum were given the opportunity to discuss Ballyholme’s journey and explain their own plans.

Lisa McCaffrey, RYA Northern Ireland’s Active Clubs Co-ordinator, commented: “I really miss visiting the clubs during the sailing season so getting the opportunity to connect has been super. The forums give us a chance to explain the work that we are doing including providing guidance to our clubs and centres within the various activities that we cover.”

Further forums are planned, and these will focus on returning to racing, returning to training and further volunteer development, sailability and cruising workshops.

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You have probably heard of the Women on Water festival but as this will not happen this year, RYA Northern Ireland is running an alternative - a Women off Water event.

In March, RYA Northern Ireland celebrated when they clinched a prestigious award at the Active Fit and Sporty Awards. With many worthy nominees in the running, RYA Northern Ireland was crowned the winner of the National Governing Body Champion award for its Women on Water (WOW) initiative.

So not to be deterred RYANI will substitute the Women off Water festival. This event is for anyone in Northern Ireland who has completed a Women on Water programme, is interested in boating in NI and in learning more about gaining relevant skills and qualifications.

This online festival on Saturday 6th June will include:

  • A workshop on how to gain more qualifications/skills within the RYA and what courses are on offer
  • Followed by an online quiz hosted by the fantastic WOW leader group

The contact is Lisa McCaffrey at RYA NI

Spaces are limited so book early to avoid disappointment here

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The latest statement from the Royal Yachting Association Northern Ireland, the governing body for all water activities in Northern Ireland says “In the absence of any further guidance from Government Departments, our current interpretation is that this does permit all forms of boating activity (sailing, windsurfing, powerboating etc) but only when:

  • undertaken individually or by members of the same household
  • there is no sharing of hard surfaces (including all types of boat)
  • public health guidance is followed at all times
  • strict social distancing can be undertaken

The current restriction at the time of writing is that the number of people who may gather outdoors from separate households is six with strict social distancing.

As of today, Stormont Ministers have decided there will not be any further changes yet to lockdown measures in Northern Ireland.

In the light of the lack of clarification on particular matters such as launching boats parked on Club premises, (perhaps the Executive has not yet considered the nitty-gritty of sailing) club members are in something of a dilemma about certain aspects of returning to the water, though marinas around the North seem to have made their own assessment of the situation and opened, albeit with strict protocols.

One of these in a quandary is Peter Mullan of Quoile Yacht Club on Strangford Lough. He says, “ I’m at Quoile and wondering at the lack of advice”.

Peter goes on to say “I have heard [May 20] that we can’t use the cranes to launch big boats because we can’t social distance. This is nonsense and means the people giving the advice are ill-informed. This activity involves six or less people meeting in the open air and social distancing” He continues “ Our outdoor toilets, separate from the clubhouse, are closed but yet the toilets at Ardglass golf club were open. It takes weeks to get all our boats in the water so this needs to be sorted ASAP”.

It seems that, like the marinas, each establishment will, of course, adhere to the Pathway to Recovery rules but with local interpretations within those guidelines, depending on the club locality, types of boats sailed and facilities.

For instance, Ballyholme Yacht Club has laid out criteria for its members, which they consider will be in operation when they open. They say in their ‘Return to Water’ planning “Step one of the NI Executive's plan will allow for a return to some on-water activity which we hope will include sailing.

This combined with the easing of restrictions allowing some activity with small groups of four to six people, whilst observing social distancing of two metres at all times, should allow us to open our slipways and dinghy parks and facilitate ‘social sailing’.

This will be an opportunity for members to get afloat albeit in small groups at any one time and mindful that having at least two boats on the water together potentially reduces risk.

The clubhouse will not be available at this stage and sailing will be for single-handed boats or double-handed boats crewed by members of the same household only. Safety cover will not be available at this stage, so sailors must be realistic about their abilities and importantly take into account the sea state and weather conditions to minimise risk”.

The BYC Executive Committee emphasises that these actions will only be implemented when it is safe to do so.

It may come to the point where common sense is the decider.

Update 25/5/20: Following contact from Quoile Yacht Club, Afloat wishes to clarify that Peter Mullan’s comments in relation to 'ill-informed advice' was directed at the Stormont COVID-19 guidelines and not Quoile Yacht Club. We are happy to clarify this point.

RYA Northern Ireland has today welcomed the NI Executive announcement permitting outdoor activity.

The announcement paves the way for the boating community to return to the water, where social distancing and other parameters can be strictly adhered to. The guidance specifically cites social distancing for individuals who do not share a household contact and where there is no shared contact with hard surfaces.

RYANI's Chief Operating Officer explains: "The change to legislation permitting outdoor activity now allows recreational activity on the water, where the necessary parameters are in place. We have been seeking clarification from government agencies and have been assured key messaging is to come out soon. We urge that any activity is always done in a conservative and considerate manner to help safeguard public health and not put any additional pressure on the emergency services”.

Gareth Morrison, RNLI Head of Water Safety, adds: "We completely understand that people will want to take to the water, particularly as the weather improves. Our volunteer lifeboat crews are still ready to respond during the public health crisis. However, we are urging anyone who is planning a return to the water to follow key water safety advice, which includes ensuring equipment is maintained and functioning correctly, and making sure that lifesaving apparatus is available. By following this advice we can work together to enjoy a safer summer and reduce the demand on our crews and other emergency services."

RYANI shared guidance to clubs last week, to allow some preparations to begin, including undertaking risk assessments for club-specific activities and facilities. RYANI asks that all members of clubs and the wider community be patient as any parameters in clubs (that are predominantly volunteer-run) are put in place to protect individuals from the risk of infection.

As further clarification and guidance from the government are provided, RYANI will share the necessary advice and information to assure that risk is minimised and public health prioritised. Further analysis of remaining Steps is being sought in order to assess when further activity, outside recreational boating, could take place.

Richard Honeyford

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Luke McIlwaine from Newcastle Yacht Club in County Down was the winner of the Northern Ireland region eSailing Championships held yesterday.

McIlwaine will now go on to represent the area at the finals on 30th May. Luke is a software engineer and as well as sailing has a passion for mountaineering.

Luke commented, “small adjustments make a big advantage”.

His prize for this effort is a Musto Dry Tube Bag.

RYANI congratulated the competitors. “We hope you enjoyed it and we are looking forward to seeing more clubs using the eSailing as an opportunity to engage with members and have a bit of fun”. And international yachtsman Mikey Ferguson from Bangor commented “Well done Luke. No catching you after you shot out of the blocks in the first two races”.

In response to Tuesday’s announcement by the Northern Ireland Executive Office launching their “Approach to Decision Making” document, RYANI has been analysing and seeking clarity from government officials on the potential for boating activity in NI.

In preparation for any potential resumption of activity, the Governing Body has issued its guidance for Northern Irish clubs to allow considerate preparations and safe planning before restarting any activity, once permitted under the NI Executive’s Plan. 

The guidance has been created as part of the RYA’s ongoing support for Affiliated Clubs during the Covid-19 pandemic. It includes advice on how clubs may be able to facilitate activity while minimising the risk of transmitting infection (including social distancing and adequate cleaning and hygiene) and how to reduce the likelihood of a call-out to emergency services through enhanced risk assessment, maintenance and safety.

Mary Martin, RYANI’s Development Officer explains: “We are pleased to be able to offer this practical guidance to clubs to help them plan for the future. Clubs in Northern Ireland have closed during this lockdown period and we know people want to ensure they are well prepared for any potential resumption of activity.

“We are encouraging clubs to take their time and use this information to carefully plan and develop their own policies which will best suit their venues. Public Health must remain as the primary concern when clubs are able to ease back into activity. This will likely involve creating a team who will be responsible for reviewing what’s practically possible, deciding what’s best for their club and implementing those decisions effectively with clear communication to their membership.

“We urge the members of clubs and the wider boating community to be patient. We remain with the same restrictions in place until otherwise announced by the NI Executive.”

RYANI recognises that without a definitive timeline for the easing of restrictions, planning for clubs will be difficult. This guidance is to ensure they can be as prepared as possible to facilitate a safe return to activity with appropriate social distancing measures, hygiene procedures and risk management practices.

The RYA as a whole has been working as a collective across all four Home Nations in order to issue guidance that is specific to any restrictions that may be specific to each devolved government.

Guidance for RYA Recognised Training Centres and Instructors has also been issued to Principals.

The RYANI team are also offering a series of online Club Development Forums as an opportunity for people in clubs to come together and share their thoughts on the challenges that lie ahead. Project #SailFromHome also shares interactive webinars and club development content every Thursday.

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About Dublin Port 

Dublin Port Company is currently investing about €277 million on its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR), which is due to be complete by 2021. The redevelopment will improve the port's capacity for large ships by deepening and lengthening 3km of its 7km of berths. The ABR is part of a €1bn capital programme up to 2028, which will also include initial work on the Dublin Port’s MP2 Project - a major capital development project proposal for works within the existing port lands in the northeastern part of the port.

Dublin Port has also recently secured planning approval for the development of the next phase of its inland port near Dublin Airport. The latest stage of the inland port will include a site with the capacity to store more than 2,000 shipping containers and infrastructures such as an ESB substation, an office building and gantry crane.

Dublin Port Company recently submitted a planning application for a €320 million project that aims to provide significant additional capacity at the facility within the port in order to cope with increases in trade up to 2040. The scheme will see a new roll-on/roll-off jetty built to handle ferries of up to 240 metres in length, as well as the redevelopment of an oil berth into a deep-water container berth.

Dublin Port FAQ

Dublin was little more than a monastic settlement until the Norse invasion in the 8th and 9th centuries when they selected the Liffey Estuary as their point of entry to the country as it provided relatively easy access to the central plains of Ireland. Trading with England and Europe followed which required port facilities, so the development of Dublin Port is inextricably linked to the development of Dublin City, so it is fair to say the origins of the Port go back over one thousand years. As a result, the modern organisation Dublin Port has a long and remarkable history, dating back over 300 years from 1707.

The original Port of Dublin was situated upriver, a few miles from its current location near the modern Civic Offices at Wood Quay and close to Christchurch Cathedral. The Port remained close to that area until the new Custom House opened in the 1790s. In medieval times Dublin shipped cattle hides to Britain and the continent, and the returning ships carried wine, pottery and other goods.

510 acres. The modern Dublin Port is located either side of the River Liffey, out to its mouth. On the north side of the river, the central part (205 hectares or 510 acres) of the Port lies at the end of East Wall and North Wall, from Alexandra Quay.

Dublin Port Company is a State-owned commercial company responsible for operating and developing Dublin Port.

Dublin Port Company is a self-financing, and profitable private limited company wholly-owned by the State, whose business is to manage Dublin Port, Ireland's premier Port. Established as a corporate entity in 1997, Dublin Port Company is responsible for the management, control, operation and development of the Port.

Captain William Bligh (of Mutiny of the Bounty fame) was a visitor to Dublin in 1800, and his visit to the capital had a lasting effect on the Port. Bligh's study of the currents in Dublin Bay provided the basis for the construction of the North Wall. This undertaking led to the growth of Bull Island to its present size.

Yes. Dublin Port is the largest freight and passenger port in Ireland. It handles almost 50% of all trade in the Republic of Ireland.

All cargo handling activities being carried out by private sector companies operating in intensely competitive markets within the Port. Dublin Port Company provides world-class facilities, services, accommodation and lands in the harbour for ships, goods and passengers.

Eamonn O'Reilly is the Dublin Port Chief Executive.

Capt. Michael McKenna is the Dublin Port Harbour Master

In 2019, 1,949,229 people came through the Port.

In 2019, there were 158 cruise liner visits.

In 2019, 9.4 million gross tonnes of exports were handled by Dublin Port.

In 2019, there were 7,898 ship arrivals.

In 2019, there was a gross tonnage of 38.1 million.

In 2019, there were 559,506 tourist vehicles.

There were 98,897 lorries in 2019

Boats can navigate the River Liffey into Dublin by using the navigational guidelines. Find the guidelines on this page here.

VHF channel 12. Commercial vessels using Dublin Port or Dun Laoghaire Port typically have a qualified pilot or certified master with proven local knowledge on board. They "listen out" on VHF channel 12 when in Dublin Port's jurisdiction.

A Dublin Bay webcam showing the south of the Bay at Dun Laoghaire and a distant view of Dublin Port Shipping is here
Dublin Port is creating a distributed museum on its lands in Dublin City.
 A Liffey Tolka Project cycle and pedestrian way is the key to link the elements of this distributed museum together.  The distributed museum starts at the Diving Bell and, over the course of 6.3km, will give Dubliners a real sense of the City, the Port and the Bay.  For visitors, it will be a unique eye-opening stroll and vista through and alongside one of Europe’s busiest ports:  Diving Bell along Sir John Rogerson’s Quay over the Samuel Beckett Bridge, past the Scherzer Bridge and down the North Wall Quay campshire to Berth 18 - 1.2 km.   Liffey Tolka Project - Tree-lined pedestrian and cycle route between the River Liffey and the Tolka Estuary - 1.4 km with a 300-metre spur along Alexandra Road to The Pumphouse (to be completed by Q1 2021) and another 200 metres to The Flour Mill.   Tolka Estuary Greenway - Construction of Phase 1 (1.9 km) starts in December 2020 and will be completed by Spring 2022.  Phase 2 (1.3 km) will be delivered within the following five years.  The Pumphouse is a heritage zone being created as part of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project.  The first phase of 1.6 acres will be completed in early 2021 and will include historical port equipment and buildings and a large open space for exhibitions and performances.  It will be expanded in a subsequent phase to incorporate the Victorian Graving Dock No. 1 which will be excavated and revealed. 
 The largest component of the distributed museum will be The Flour Mill.  This involves the redevelopment of the former Odlums Flour Mill on Alexandra Road based on a masterplan completed by Grafton Architects to provide a mix of port operational uses, a National Maritime Archive, two 300 seat performance venues, working and studio spaces for artists and exhibition spaces.   The Flour Mill will be developed in stages over the remaining twenty years of Masterplan 2040 alongside major port infrastructure projects.

Source: Dublin Port Company ©Afloat 2020. 

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