Displaying items by tag: Galway Bay
The McSwiggans' October League concluded at Galway Bay Sailing Club last Sunday with a return to blustery conditions more commonly associated with the West coast and spin-offs from Caribbean hurricanes at this time of year writes Liam Burke.
The first four races took place with fickle offshore breezes where Corby 25 Tribal could not be caught after flying starts from the pin end and superior speed around the course. The trend for the bigger boats to rate under a non-overlapping jib was costly as they struggled to power up in the light airs. The unusual presence of Tommy Smyth's Dragonfly 25 trimaran crewed by sailors from the Dart and Hobie fleet kept tacticians busy as she accelerated away but at lower angles and costly tacking manoeuvers. Also large numbers of shrimp pots in the shallow areas of the bay made it difficult for boats to get relief from any unfavourable tides.
So after four races run and two abandoned, Tribal's four bullets looked a sufficient cushion going into last Sunday's final two races but a 'no show' by the lead boat threw the game wide open. Race officer Dave Vinnell continued with his policy of Committee Boat starts on the bay, but as the twenty knot breeze was forecast to build into the afternoon, and he sent the fleet 'around the cans' . Barry Heskin's Now What and Mike Guilfoyle's Ibaraki were 'jockeyed-up' with Ronan Grealish of North Sails and Des McWilliam of UK Sailmakers respectively.
A two way battle ensued in the twenty knots plus conditions. But as they scored a win and a second place each, it wasn't enough, and despite including a DNS in their score, Tribal, equal on points with Now What, took the series on countback.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, talks got under way earlier this week after the Government's sudden cancellation of its tender for the public service obligation air route to the Galway Bay islands.
Aer Arann's current contract for its plane service between the islands and the Co Galway mainland expired yesterday (Wednesday 30 September) and staff are still on protective notice until an agreement has been reached.
However, the airline confirmed it was offering flights today as a goodwill gesture to Aran Islanders as talks continue. Galway Bay FM has more HERE.
#GalwayPort - Parts of the current expansion plan for Galway Harbour would have a significant adverse impact on Galway Bay, according to An Bord Pleanála - a week ahead of the expected decision that has already been delayed for many months.
As RTÉ News reports, the planning body has invited the Galway Harbour Company to suggest moves it can make to offset any lasting damage to habitats in what is a candidate for designation as a Special Area of Conservation.
It has been confirmed that the €126 million redevelopment scheme, which involves reclaiming 24 hectares from the sea, would destroy a number of reef, mud and sand habitats.
Pending that feedback, planners will then decide whether to refer the expansion scheme to Brussels under the Derogation of the Habitats Directive for projects of overriding public interest.
As RTÉ News reports, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs Joe McHugh said the European Commission would be notified before beginning a new tender process, and his department would enter talks with the existing provider Aer Arann about continuing their service after their current contract expires next week.
The decision means that the decades-long airplane service will now not be replaced by helicopter flights out of Carnmore, which were to be provided by the State's preferred tenderer Executive Helicopters.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, residents had expressed worry and anger over the change, with dismay over the distance between Carnmore and the ferry link at Rossaveal, and concerns over the reliability of helicopter service in often severe weather around the islands.
Only last week public meetings has been held on Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oirr to address the uncertainty over the future of the air service.
It since emerged that the Department of the Gaeltacht itself had no confirmation that Galway Airport could be used as a hub for the helicopter service - until Galway councillors passed a motion against it.
As of yesterday (Friday 25 September), Aer Arann had issued no statement over the situation under legal advice after mounting a High Court challenge to the original tender.
And Galway Bay FM adds that helicopters are expected to be eliminated as an option from any new tender contract for Aran Islands flights.
#Festivals - Nimmo's Pier in the Claddagh is the focus of the 2015 Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival that kicks off today (Friday 25 September) with the oyster shucking nationals, as the Galway Independent reports.
And the big event is tomorrow, as 17 competitors from around the world vie for the World Oyster Opening Championship, following the Festival Parade from Eyre Square in the heart of the City of the Tribes.
But even those not in competition will be able to sample from a variety of local seafood vendors and restaurants at the Féile Bia Na Mara's Wild Atlantic Tastes event on Sunday.
The Galway Independent has much more on the story HERE.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, residents of the Galway Bay island chain have expressed concerns over the replacement of their longtime daily plane services to the mainland with helicopter flights that are set to begin next month.
Later today (Wednesday 16 September) Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oirr will host a number of TDs, senators and Galway city and county councillors to address the "ongoing uncertainty" about the future of the air service, which will continue to fly for the time being till February 2016, as Galway Bay FM reports.
In other Galway news, the city is making preparations to deal with what are feared to be the highest tides in two decades.
Waters are expected to rise as much as 20 feet on Sunday 27 September - well above the Spanish Arch quay wall. Galway Bay FM has more on the story HERE.
Local campaigners against the proposed salmon farm off the Aran Islands said last week's discovery comprised carcasses of farmed salmon - claiming a tag with the Marine Harvest Island label was found on one of the fish.
Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages also expressed its fears that the fish dump could have "infected" Galway Bay's migrating wild salmon with viruses associated with fish farms.
However, Marine Harvest – which last year was in the news over a controversial freshwater pipeline to treat a disease outbreak at a farm in Kilkieran Bay – said it had no involvement in the alleged fish dump, and no reports of viruses at its aquaculture sites.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
#trysailing – Galway Bay Sailing Club held the West of Ireland's first " Try Sailing " launching over the weekend, with up to 400 people getting on the water yesterday for the ISA's new initiative, which is part of an Access and Participation programme linked with Irish Water Safety to promote water safety and sailing.
Developed from a suggestion from Muriel Rumball of the Irish National Sailing School in Dun Laoghaire, the linkup with IWS allows promotion of the programme in schools, and the numbers involved showed the success of this approach.
Around 175 were complete beginners who had never before been on the water in Galway. And it was like the previous night 's Eurovision, with eleven different nationalities represented - our "new Irish" citizens are keen to get afloat.
The Day was co-ordinated by GBSC Public Relations Officer Phyllis Hayes, who organised up to 60 boats and nearly 220 members including juniors, parents, instructors and officers. Irish TV.ie covered the day's events, which will be broadcast on 15th June , which is the first day the first day of IWS Water Safety Week. And there will be another Try Sailing initiative to round out the week on June 21st, Midsummer's Day.
According to the Connacht Tribune, Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages described as "worrying" the more than €57,000 paid to PR firm Keating & Associates for "communications service", just one of various spends on private consultants totalling more than half a million euro.
The group also expressed concern over letter sent on behalf of BIM to the editors of national newspapers, citing them as an effort to "stifle debate".
However, BIM says the letters were issued "in order to address the publication of inaccuracies regarding BIM and the Galway Bay application".
It also defended the expenditure on consultants as normal operating costs, claiming it regularly hires outside expertise when needed.
Local groups opposed to the 500-hectare salmon farm off the Aran Islands – which would be largest aquaculture project of its kind in Europe – continue to wait for Marine Minister Simon Coveney to make a decision on BIM's licence application, which was originally promised before this summer.
The Connacht Tribune has more on the story HERE.
But for the Galway senior ladies squad, a quick dip in the chilly sea at Silver Strand was just the ticket to push them "to the next level" in their quest for the Division One league title in tonight's final replay (Saturday 16 May).
As strength and conditioning coach Ann Caffrey told the Connacht Tribune, the unorthodox seaside training session following their draw against All-Ireland champions Cork was the right option for her women "because a tough match deserves a tougher recovery".