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Displaying items by tag: Galway Harbour

Andy Fennell's 39ft trimaran Morpheus, the leader at the 48-hour Galway stopover in the 2000-mile Round Britain & Ireland Race 2022 from Plymouth, is now well on her way to the next stop at Lerwick in the Shetlands. But the variations in the fleet size and speed are such that the reception team from Galway Bay SC and the Port of Galway find that their services will have been on call 24-hours for a full week by the time the smallest boat, the Italian-owned vintage Vertue 25 Mea, heads on for Lerwick this coming Tuesday evening.

The skipper of the next-smallest boat in the fleet, 19-year-old Lou Boorman, was taking her boat to sea yesterday (Sunday) evening to start the passage to Lerwick when the little Mea (Matteo Ricardi) finally hove into sight under power, heading for Galway Dock after finishng Stage 1 at the line in the open waters of the Bay.

Thus as Mea won't be allowed to resume racing until Tuesday evening, it will be a clear week since Morpheus swept into town, having come zooming up the coast at a crisp 17 knots past the Cliffe of Moher. But that famous Galway "hospitality gene" has been well up to the seven-day challenge - many of the visitors said they will come back and visit Galway again, and many friendships were struck up with the members of Galway Bay Sailing Club who have been on call for a week to look after the sailors.

The Vertue 25 Mea (Matteo Richardi) finally reaches GalwayThe Vertue 25 Mea (Matteo Richardi) finally reaches Galway

There were slower boats still arriving from Plymouth in Galway yesterday evening in the Round Britain and Ireland 2022 as the majority of the fleet threw themselves into party and feasting mode in the temporary but very effective dockside Genesys-sponsored Commander Bill King Club, with evidence that some crews hadn’t enjoyed a full meal since sailing away from Plymouth on Sunday.

It was time to relax among crews and hosts alike, with members and officers of Galway Bay SC and the Royal Western YC of E developing friendships which will doubtless lead on to cooperation in other events in the future. But in the meantime, the remorseless ticking of the clock means that on-water leader Morpheus, Andy Fennell’s 39ft Shuttleworth trimaran, will be shaping up at 1700hrs this evening (Thursday) to take her departure for the long leg to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, as her crew’s entertaining 48-hour introduction to Galway hospitality is coming to it mandatory conclusion.

Ross Hobson’s leading mono-hull Pegasus berthed right at the front door of the Commander Bill King Club on Galway DocksRoss Hobson’s leading mono-hull Pegasus berthed right at the front door of the Commander Bill King Club on Galway Docks

Party time in the Bill King Club - it was clear that some crews hadn’t enjoyed a square meal since leaving PlymouthParty time in the Bill King Club - it was clear that some crews hadn’t enjoyed a square meal since leaving Plymouth

Morpheus came up Galway Bay so quickly on Tuesday that the next to leave, the DazCat 45 Hissy Fit, won’t be going until 23.30hrs tonight. So already not only are the two leaders starting to have their individual separate races, but they’re now in a different sailing universe from the world of the tail-enders – the Contessa 32 White Knight from Wales (Lou Boorman) and the Italian Vertue 35 Mea - which are still off Ireland’s southwestern seaboard after some slow progress across the Celtic Sea.

Stripped-out racing machine – race leader Morpheus (39ft) has an all-up weight of less than three tons.Stripped-out racing machine – race leader Morpheus (39ft) has an all-up weight of less than three tons.

Longtime Connacht sailing mates Peirce Purcell, Donal Morrissey and Brian Sheridan join the throng to make the RB&I participants very welcome in GalwayLongtime Connacht sailing mates Peirce Purcell, Donal Morrissey and Brian Sheridan join the throng to make the RB&I participants very welcome in Galway

As the course involved some deviating around the multiple TSS areas off Land’s End and the Isles of Scilly, almost inevitably there were some infringements with protests outstanding. Until they are resolved all we can currently say for certain is that Morpheus (as predicted here on Sunday) is the line honours winner for all divisions in Stage 1, with Hissy Fit second, while in the mono-hulls Ross Hobson’s Open 60 Pegasus was ahead as expected, but it was the Sunfast 3300 Orbit (Dominic Bowns) which provided something of a surprise for larger craft by coming second.

After a long and sometimes slow windward slugging match getting to the turn at the Blasket Islands yesterday (Tuesday) morning in the first Plymouth-Galway stage of the Round Britain & Ireland 2022, Andrew Fennell's Shuttleworth 39 trimaran Morpheus revelled in the nor'west wind's reaching conditions from Inishtearaght to Galway Bay and came zapping up past the Cliffs of Moher at speeds topping 17 knots to lengthen away from the still-beating Dazcat 46 Hissy Fit and finish with a massively clear margin at 17:02 hrs yesterday (Tuesday) evening.

Andy Fennell, skipper of Morpheus (pictured centre), line honours boat in the Round Britain and Ireland race being welcomed into Galway by GBSC's Fergal Lyons (left) and John Killeen, Chairman of RNLI Ireland and the Marine InstituteAndy Fennell, skipper of Morpheus (pictured centre), line honours boat in the Round Britain and Ireland race being welcomed into Galway by GBSC's Fergal Lyons (left) and John Killeen, Chairman of RNLI Ireland and the Marine Institute

Breakfast at the Blaskets. Winner's evening pints in the Commander Bill King Centre in Galway. All on the same day. And all achieved under sail.

That's doing the business and no mistake.

At 0846 this (Tuesday) morning, Andrew Fennell’s 39ft Shuttleworth trimaran Morpheus put in what her crew hope will be her final tack westward of the Blasket Islands, and found they could finally lay the course for Galway in the Round Britain & Ireland Race after slugging into headwinds from the northerly arc for most of the way from the Isles of Scilly.

Until reaching Scilly, they’d frequently enjoyed fair winds south of Cornwall and – as expected – had opened an on-water lead on the entire fleet. But crossing the western approaches of the Celtic Sea, the wind increasingly stayed stubbornly ahead, and the entire west coast of Kerry has provided one long windward struggle.

Nevertheless Morpheus coped with it better than any other boat, and firmed her lead on the DazCat 46 Hissy Fit, while in the mono-hulls Ross Hobson’ Open 60 Pegasus took her expected place in front, though it has to be said that an extremely good performance is being put in by Dominic Bowns’ little Sunfast 3300 Orbit.

Golden oldie. The veteran S&S34 Olbia (Christian Chalendre & Pascal Body) is racing for France in the RB & I. Photo Paul Gibbins, courtesy RWYCGolden oldie. The veteran S&S34 Olbia (Christian Chalendre & Pascal Body) is racing for France in the RB & I. Photo Paul Gibbins, courtesy RWYC

Meanwhile, at Galway Docks a volunteer group of GBSC members finished their work last night (Monday), transforming “The Grey Shed” into the “Commander Bill King Clubhouse” as a dockside hospitality suite for the Genesys-sponsored Galway stopover.

With the competitors in the RB&I obliged to observe a mandatory 48-hour stopover at each of the three ports of call, and with leader Morpheus expected tonight despite lightning breezes, it will be a lengthy process. The tail-ender Mea, a Vertue 2, is still almost within sight of the Isles of Scilly, so it’s likely the Commander Bill King Clubhouse will be active right through the Bank Holiday Weekend as boats and crews come and go in their alloted slots

Race Tracker below

Although the fleet starting yesterday (Sunday) in the first stage from Plymouth of the Royal Western Round Britain & Ireland Race 2022 to the initial Genesys-sponsored 48-hour stopover in Galway found the early morning rain giving way to sunshine, by the time the leaders were reaching the Lizard Point the nor-easter which would have given a beam reach to Mizen Head in Ireland had backed to give headwinds. In fact, at some stages winds from every direction were being experienced.

At just 25ft LOA, he vintage Vertue Class Mea from Italy is the smallest bat in the fleetAt just 25ft LOA, he vintage Vertue Class Mea from Italy is the smallest bat in the fleet

Thus with barometric pressure rising and light northerlies settling in, it’s going to be a slow first stage regardless of size, and finishing times in Galway are likely to be spread over a very long period for a fleet which ranges in size from an Open 50 down to a vintage Vertue 25, and includes several potent multihulls.

The class S&S 34 Olbia from France adds to the race’s international flavour and boat variety.The class S&S 34 Olbia from France adds to the race’s international flavour and boat variety

The Shuttleworth trimaran Morpheus from Essex is one of the line honours favouritesThe Shuttleworth trimaran Morpheus from Essex is one of the line honours favourites

First raced in 1966, the four-yearly multi-stage 2000-mile Round Britain & Ireland Race - sailed clockwise from the Royal Western Yacht Club in Plymouth - has always featured an Irish stopover. But this coming weekend, when the fleet starts westward from Plymouth on Sunday, May 29th, for the first time that key initial stage-post will be the Port of Galway.

It’s a stopover which will have its own sponsor in the shape of locally-based multi-national IT company Genesys, who are also supporters of the rising Connacht rugby team. With that Genesys muscle behind them for the RB&I Race, Galway Harbour Master Captain Brian Sheridan and the reception team from Galway Bay SC, working together with the city’s hospitality groups, will be able to offer something very special indeed, taking full advantage of the fact that each boat has a mandatory 48-hour stopover.

The 2022 RB&I Course – starting from Plymouth, Galway is Stop 1, Lerwick is Stop 2, and Blyth is Stop 3The 2022 RB&I Course – starting from Plymouth, Galway is Stop 1, Lerwick is Stop 2, and Blyth is Stop 3

As the fleet ranges in size and type from multihulls and 50-footers right down to a vintage 25ft Vertue cutter, they’ll already be well spread out by the time Galway is reached. So with the 48 hours factored in – with each boat then having its own set starting time to begin the next extra-long leg to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands – having the RB&I boats in town will be an expanding feast.

Cover girl. O’Brien Kennedy sailing his new own-designed Leitrim-built 6-ton 26ft Kerry sloop, as seen on the cover of the June 1970 Irish Yachting & Motorboating, the predecessor of Afloat.ie. A fifth place in the large-fleet 1970 Round Britain & Ireland Race established the Kerry’s credentials as a seaworthy performance cruiser.Cover girl. O’Brien Kennedy sailing his new own-designed Leitrim-built 6-ton 26ft Kerry sloop, as seen on the cover of the June 1970 Irish Yachting & Motorboating, the predecessor of Afloat.ie. A fifth place in the large-fleet 1970 Round Britain & Ireland Race established the Kerry’s credentials as a seaworthy performance cruiser.

This year’s race has three notable firsts. Where it had always previously been a two-handed event, 2022 will see a division for fully-crewed entries. After last weekend’s stunning victory by two-handers Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt in the Sun Fast 3300 Cinnamon Girl in the inaugural Kinsale YC 240-mile Inishtearaght Race, it’s a moot point whether being fully-crewed confers truly significant advantages. But in order to accommodate increased personnel numbers, the competing boats – while staying with the same skipper throughout – are allowed a crew change at either Galway, Lerwick or the third stopover at Blyth in Northumberland.

2022’s third notable “first” is quite something, as the age of the youngest skipper – having been at 21 since 1988 – has now seen a significant reduction to 19 thanks to the finalization of the entry by young Welsh sailor Lou Boorman from Pembrokeshire and her shipmate Elin Jones with the Contessa 32 White Knight.

Lou Boorman’s White Knight is a Contessa 32.Lou Boorman’s White Knight is a Contessa 32 

Round Britain & Ireland Race Entry List

The entry list as of 24-05-22 is here

It reveals some special Irish interest. Conor Fogerty of Howth, now racing the Figaro 3 Raw, is renewing his involvement with the RWYC which enabled him to become Ireland’s 2017 “Sailor of the Year” after his success with the Sunfast 3600 Bam in the RWYC Single-Handed Transat, though quite how he’s managing to fit this time-hungry circuit into an already busy 2022 season remains to be seen.

Changing of the Guard. Conor Fogerty becomes Ireland’s “Sailor of the Year” 2017, seen here with 2016 title-holder, Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Muphy. Photo: Brian TurveyChanging of the Guard. Conor Fogerty becomes Ireland’s “Sailor of the Year” 2017, seen here with 2016 title-holder, Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Muphy. Photo: Brian Turvey

The Isle of Man’s Kuba Szymanski, a noted ISORA contender, is also in the lineup with his First 40.7 Polished Manx, and while much is being made of Lou Boorman’s Welsh connections, as her home port is in Milford Haven we can also bring her and White Knight in under the Irish Sea umbrella, giving us three entries of special Irish interest if they’re all there on the line on Sunday.

IRISH INVOLVEMENT IN TIMES PAST

It’s a race with a history of Irish involvement which makes up in quality what it lacks in quantity. Two notable contenders in times past were O’Brien Kennedy with his Leitrim-built Kerry 6-tonner in 1970, and Brian Law and Dickie Gomes of Strangford Lough with the Dick Newick-designed 38ft trimaran Downtown Flyer in 1982.

O’Brien Kennedy placed a very commendable fifth in one of the smallest boats in the fleet in 1970, thereby achieving his aim of establishing his Kerry Class as very seaworthy performance-oriented cruiser, something done with such notable success at a quiet international level that the Kerry now has her own enthusiastic entry on German Wikipedia.

Downtown Flyer’s plans were classic Dick NewickDowntown Flyer’s plans were classic Dick Newick

As for Downtown Flyer, created by a building team headed by Brian Law in Lisburn, she became a legend. She won her class in the 1982 RB&I, and went on to many other successes which reflected the fact that she was well able to sail the 140-mile passage from the Tuskar Rock to Land’s End in eight hours.

Downtown Flyer building in Lisburn in January 1982. Photo: W M NixonDowntown Flyer building in Lisburn in January 1982. Photo: W M Nixon

While Newick trimarans may look distinctive to the point of oddness nowadays, they continue to have their enthusiasts, and Downtown Flyer – now called Panache - was seen as recently as 2018 in Gibraltar in good sea-going order, a reminder that forty years ago, this remarkable machine came storming out of Strangford Lough to a achieve a litany of international success.

The former Downtown Flyer, now known as Panache, seen at La Linnea in Gibraltar in 2018The former Downtown Flyer, now known as Panache, seen at La Linnea in Gibraltar in 2018

So who knows what long-term history will be in the making as the fleet heads for Galway from Plymouth next Sunday. Spare a special thought for Matteo Richardi and Alexandra Robasto in the little Vertue 25 Mea. By the time the fleet gets to Blyth, the comfortable Mee could well be weeks rather than days behind the leaders…….

In the heart of Ireland’s Atlantic seaboard, the Port of Galway is geared up for hospitality.In the heart of Ireland’s Atlantic seaboard, the Port of Galway is geared up for hospitality

Published in Galway Harbour

A French yawl built from a late 18th-century replica will be on display in Galway as part of a “Mini Brittany Fest” which runs from May 7th to 14th.

Mayor of Lorient Fabrice Loher will lead a delegation to Galway to coincide with the festival and to mark 47 years of twinning between the two cities.

Crew members of the French yawl or “yole” will discuss maritime skills with schools and groups throughout next week, and it will take part in a sailing display with the Claddagh Galway Hooker fleet on Saturday, May 14th, weather permitting.

Crew members of the French yawl or “yole” will discuss maritime skills with schools and groupsCrew members of the French yawl or “yole” will discuss maritime skills with schools and groups

Lorient is Brittany’s primary fishing harbour, and the delegation will meet with Údarás na Gaeltachta for an overview of economic development in the Gaeltacht.

It will also visit Ros-a-Mhíl fishing and ferry port, and meet representatives of the Port of Galway, the Portershed, Aerogen, the Atlantic Technological University and iHub, and NUI Galway.

This follows a trip to Lorient in March to discuss “shared interests”, led by Mayor of Galway Cllr Colette Connolly, along with representatives from Galway Chamber, NUI Galway, and the Portershed, French honorary consul Catherine Gagneux and Marian Ni Chonghaile from the Galway-Lorient committee.

The first France-Ireland twinning conference on Sunday, May 8th, will gather committees from France and Ireland in the Connacht Hotel in Galway.

Its aim is “to focus on helping and motivating committees through talks and collaborative workshops”.

French yawl or “yole

The Mini Brittany Fest from May 7th will include sean nós workshops, traditional music sessions, performances by Breton dancers from Lorient (le Cercle Celtique Brizeux), outdoor Breton games, a pop art exhibition of Breton rural life and pop art workshop with Hangar’t using photos from the Old Ireland in Colour books.

French Ambassador HE Vincent Guerend said that “through the promotion of sharing and cultural exchanges, twinnings are also an instrument of peace, encouraging the development of individual friendships between citizens of France and Ireland”.

“On May 9th, we will celebrate Europe Day,” he said.

“In the context of the French Presidency of the EU and at the beginning of the EU50 initiative, celebrating 50 years of Ireland’s EU membership and reflecting on the importance of our European identity, heritage and home, I would like to rejoice and welcome the ties that bind our two countries, France being now Ireland’s closest EU neighbour,” the ambassador added.

Visits to the French yawl can be booked through French honorary consul Catherine Gagneux on email [email protected]

Published in Galway Harbour
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Galway hosts of May's Round Britain and Ireland Race stopover in the city have welcomed a site visit by race organisers, the Royal Western Yacht Club from Plymouth.

Race director Adrian Gray held detailed discussions over planning for the event at Galway Harbour this week. Each competing boat will stop for a break of 48 hours at each port before continuing the 2,000-mile voyage.

Gray and Galway Bay Sailing Club Commodore Johnny Shorten and the organising team of Nigel Moss, Fergal Lyons and Olga Scully met with the Harbourmaster of the Port of Galway, Captain Brian Sheridan, about event logisitics.

As Afloat previously reported, the historical race, now celebrating its 56th year, will involve approximately 40 boats, many two-handed, sailing a gruelling course from Plymouth to Galway to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands to Blythe, on the East coast of England, and back to Plymouth.

 

Published in Galway Harbour

Tributes have been paid among the west coast’s sailing community to former RTÉ western editor Jim Fahy who died late last week at the age of 75.

The journalist’s association with Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) since its foundations were recalled at the weekend by Pierce Purcell.

“The early days were noted for the lunchtime gatherings at the Lenihan family ‘Tavern’ on Eyre Square,” Purcell said.

“It was here that so many of those younger members got to know each other, learn about people who had sailed from the docks and on the Corrib,” he said.

“Dickie Byrne who was an early contributor to The Galway Advertiser with the column “There Ye Are Again”, and had some interest in sailing, introduced the local face of the RTÉ to us,” Purcell recalled.

“Jim became a lunchtime contributor to the interests of the enthusiast sailors whose club was developing at a rake of knots, expanding its dinghy and cruiser racing calendar and organising boat shows,” he said.

“By the time Tavern closed and the club group moved down town, John Killeen had recruited Jim to join a few adventures afloat including the “Spirit of Galway” campaign in the Round Ireland Sailing race which listed Government minister Bobby Molloy amongst the crew,” Purcell said.

Bobby Molloy was needed back in Dublin by Taoiseach Charlie Haughey for an important Dail vote and had to jump ship off Westport. Our man Jim was on the spot to inform the nation and GBSC’s involvement in the race in an age before mobile phones,” he said.

“Jim Fahy clocked up more miles cruising with his wife Christina than most members have ever done sailing, with on average 1500 miles a season over the last fifteen years researching places to visit and often imparting local history to the interested crew,” Purcell added.

“Jim became an important member of the Volvo Ocean Race communications team in 2009 and 2012, impressing the Volvo teams with the hourly updates from a small dockside office which was put together on a shoestring,” he said.

Jim Fahy, who began his journalistic career with The Tuam Herald newspaper, was RTÉ’s longest-serving regional correspondent when he retired in 2011.

He reported on national and international events, ranging from his "Looking West" series of interviews to issues affecting Irish emigrants in Britain to famine in Somalia and the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York in September 2001.

President Michael D Higgins had described him as "one of Ireland's finest broadcasters, a fact attested to by the over 40 national and international awards which he won over the course of his outstanding career".

"For generations of people he was a familiar voice, indelibly associated with the reporting of events across the west of Ireland during his 38 years as RTÉ’s first western news correspondent,” the president said.

"It will be as RTÉ's voice of the west of Ireland that Jim will be most fondly remembered," he said.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that his "distinct voice and eye for a story uncovered every facet of life in the west of Ireland, as well as major international events like 9/11".

Purcell said that “Jim’s many sailing friends extend their deepest sympathy to Jim’s wife Christina , his son Shane and daughter Aideen”.

Published in Galway Harbour

The RNLI Aran lifeboat and Port of Galway came to the aid of a French fishing vessel yesterday which lost its anchor during Storm Barra.

The 28-metre Ferreira Martinez was one of three French vessels sheltering from the storm in the North Sound, lying between the Aran island of Inis Mór and Leitir Mealláin in south Connemara.

The vessel, which is registered in Bayonne, broke down and was taken under tow by one of the other fishing vessels, Playa du Tuya. Initially, it was planned to tow it to Bantry in west Cork but the Irish Coast Guard nominated Galway as a port of refuge.

Port of Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan (who shot the above video of the safe arrival into Galway Port) said that the RNLI Aran lifeboat launched and stood by during the tow into Galway.

The port took over operations from the Aran lifeboat when the tow was off Salthill, and guided both French vessels into the docks last night.

The 28-metre Ferreira Martinez was one of three French vessels sheltering from the storm between the Aran island of Inis Mór and Leitir Mealláin in south ConnemaraThe 28-metre Ferreira Martinez was one of three French vessels sheltering from the storm between the Aran island of Inis Mór and Leitir Mealláin in south Connemara

Published in Fishing
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Page 1 of 8

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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