Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Transatlantic

Cruiseships continue to grow in size but the opposite could be said for Grand Princess when her Skywalker Nightclub weighing some 211 tons was removed, writes Jehan Ashmore.
In a delicate operation, it took over 10 hours for torches to cut through the structure's two-legs that supported the nightclub that had once stood perched on the higgest deck. Overlooking the stern, nightclubbers on deck 18 were afforded spectacular views of oceans and ports-of-call.

A floating crane-barge with a 1,000 ton lifting capacity hoisted the structure sky-high away from the ship which was berthed at the Grand Bahama Shipyard drydock facility. The ships owners, Princess Cruises cited the main reason for the removal was in order to 'significantly improve the operational performance of the ship, including greater fuel efficiency.'

Grand Princess may have lost her signature Skywalker Nightckub but three-decks below a new nightclub, One5, inspired by its Deck 15 location was created. In addition to this work which took place during April and May the 2,600 passenger cruisehip also underwent a major refit. The ship which had its last major refurbishment in 2004 has amenities to include an outdoor movie screen, fitness centre, spa, casino and four swimming pools.
For 'interactive' deckplans click here and interior slideshow click this link.

The distinctive 'Skywalker' feature became one of the most iconic in cruiseship naval architecture when the Grand Princess was launched as leadship
of the 'Grand' class in 1998. Located at the extreme aft of the vessel, the nightclub could only be reached by clubbers using an angled walkway (photo). Externally the feature was referred by some as the 'shopping trolley' and others percieved the design infleunce from towering poops found on ancient war-faring galleons.

Irrespective of the design origins, another 10 'Grand' class vessels were built by the Italian Fincantieni (at Malfalcone) Shipbuilding Group. The 'handle' (photo) feature on the Grand Princess was made with a heavier material compared to Golden Princess (2001) and Star Princess completed a year later. So there are no plans to remove these nightclubs. Of the more recent additions to the class modifications have appeared, notably without the inclusion of the Skywalker Nightclub's but there are changes to funnel designs.

Outside the Princess Cruises brand, the Ventura and Azura (also of the Grand-class) operate for P&O Cruises, serving the UK market from Southampton. The Hamsphire port welcomed the pioneering leadship Grand Princess on 5 May after she made a 16-day trans-Atlantic repositioning voyage from Port Everglades.

The cruiseship which has a crew of 1,200 alone will make the UK port its seasonal homeport this year from where she sails on cruises in Europe. On one of these cruises itineraries the Grand Princess (290m long x 36 beam X 8.5m draft) included a visit to the Port of Cork today. You can monitor the ship from Cobh Cruise Terminal via the 'live' bridge web-cam, noting the vessel is due to depart at 18.00 this evening bound for Dublin Port.

Grand Princess became the first cruiseship to measure over 100,000 gross registered tonnes when the 108,806 (grt) vessel docked in Dublin on 31 August 2004.

Last year the port handled 88 cruisecalls and this number of vessels is to be closely repeated this season. Over 200 cruise calls with around half a million passengers and crew are scheduled to visit the island of Ireland. The cruise sector business is estimated to generate €60m to the economies
north and south.

Published in Cruise Liners

Two big names in Irish offshore racing are among the 30-boat fleet preparing for the Transatlantic Race 2011 (TR 2011) this June. Last night the organisers, the Royal Yacht Squadron, New York Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club, extended the deadline to enter the Race to March 31, 2011.

Adrian Lee's Cookson 50 from Dublin Bay and the Limerick Volvo 70 skippered by Ger O' Rourke's both make the entry list although the Shannon estuary's Chieftain is described only as a 'provisional' entry. For Entry list click HERE.

With the Transatlantic fleet now over 30 entries and many new inquiries following the success of the RORC Caribbean 600 - part of the companion Atlantic Ocean Racing Series - the organisers encourage those interested to enter the TR 2011 as soon as possible to secure a spot since the Notice of Race notes a maximum of 50 yachts for the race.

The TR 2011 will cover 2,975 miles from Newport, R.I., to the Lizard in England. The focus of pre-race activities will be the New York Yacht Club's Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport, R.I. There will be three staggered starts from June 26 to July 3. The awards ceremony on August 9th and other post-race activities will be held at the Castle, the home of the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, England.

The fleet will include IRC Racing, IRC Racer/Cruiser, Classic and Open divisions with a minimum length overall (LOA) of 40 feet and no maximum. Competition is building within several segments of the diverse fleet, notably the 100' and up range which includes Sojana, Rambler 100, ICAP Leopard, and Maltese Falcon.

Tight racing is also expected in other classes and divisions, such as yachts in the under 50' range in IRC Racing and IRC Racer/Cruiser including the Class 40s - Concise 2, Dragon, and Kamoa'e, the Rogers 46s - Shakti and Varuna, as well as British Soldier ASA, Jacqueline IV, Sasha, Dawn Star, and Carina. For a complete list of entries click here.

All race documents are available HERE.

The TR 2011 is the centerpiece of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series (AORS), and is organized in concert with the following clubs: Royal Malta Yacht Club, Annapolis Yacht Club, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, Montego Bay Yacht Club, Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, Jamaica Yachting Association, Antigua Yacht Club and Real Club Nautico de Sanxenxo.

Two races in the AORS have been completed: the Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race and the RORC Caribbean 600. The Pineapple Cup, from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. to Montego Bay, Jamaica, a distance of 811 miles, was won by Genuine Risk, a 97-foot canting keel super maxi skippered by Hugo Stenbeck. In the RORC Caribbean 600, George David's Rambler 100, took line and overall IRC honors and set the monohull record of one day, 16 hours, 20 minutes and 2 seconds for the course's 600 miles.

Published in Offshore
An unmanned robotic yacht launched as part of a transatlantic challenge last month has disappeared without trace after going in the wrong direction. It was the first time scientists at Aberystwyth University on the West Coast of Wales had attempted the Microtransat Challenge crossing. More HERE from the BBC.
Published in Offshore

At the beginning of August, a 23ft four-man rowing boat arrived off The Lizard, England's most southerly headland and the traditional point for Transatlantic bids, to establish a new transoceanic rowing time for the crew of one Irishman, two Scotsmen, and a Faroes islander. Lorna Siggins of The Irish Times set the scene as they made their first landfall approaching the Isles of Scilly fifty miles westward. Click HERE.

Click this link for Irish Rowing details

Click this link for the Latest Rowing News

Published in Rowing

ICAP Leopard, the 100ft super-maxi racing yacht owned by Helical Bar PLC chief executive Mike Slade, has ended her transatlantic record attempt. After a fantastic start, ICAP Leopard found herself in a windless high pressure at 02:00 UTC on Saturday 420 nm from the finish. With the record looking less and less achievable, Skipper and Boat Captain Chris Sherlock took the decision to abandon the attempt.

Having started on Saturday 29th May in New York, ICAP Leopard has had to contend with variable conditions from the start. The crew worked hard in the first few hours to position themselves correctly to pick up a weather front with enough breeze to get them up to record speed. Having achieved this, the crew were then able to keep the boat going fast through a cold and wet few days mid-Atlantic. With a record attempt of this nature the weather has to be consistently good for the entire voyage, which is hard to predict 9 or 10 days in advance. On this occasion a high pressure system on the approach to the UK blocked ICAP Leopard’s path and ended any hope of breaking the record.

ICAP Leopard Owner, Mike Slade, commented: ”We have a great yacht which has now proven itself over the last three years to be physically fast enough and powerful enough to easily churn out 500+ miles day after day and could have broken this record. However, on this occasion it materialised that the weather was not on our side and after a fantastic run at the start, the crew were forced to gybe all the way home during the latter part of the race. It just goes to prove how difficult this record is to beat and what a great boat Mari Cha IV was.”

Chris Sherlock also commented: “The crew did a phenomenal job to put us in such a great position during the first 5 days of the attempt, it is just a real shame that the forecast didn’t work out for us on this occasion. When we started we always knew that there may be a ridge of high pressure blocking our route to the finish, but we hoped that we would be able to navigate our way through without slowing too much. It is really disappointing that our record attempt was thwarted by the wind gods but no doubt we’ll be back to take on the mighty Atlantic again next year.”

ICAP Leopard was the most high-profile racing yacht to take part in the last Round Ireland, but this time around she will compete in the JP Morgan Round the Island Race on 19th June followed by a large number of corporate charters and sponsor commitments in the UK. Her next record breaking adventure will see Slade and his crew attempt to take on the Sevenstar Round Great Britain & Ireland Race starting on August 23rd this year.

Once again they will be equipped with a tracker and their adventures can be followed at www.leopard3.com. Following this ICAP Leopard will head to the warmer waters of the Mediterranean and the Caribbean for further racing on the International circuit.

Published in News Update

Round Ireland race record holder ICAP Leopard, the 100ft super-maxi racing yacht owned by Mike Slade, crossed the start line at Ambrose Light on Saturday to begin her attempt on the 2,925 nautical mile monohull transatlantic speed record. ICAP Leopard will need to cross the finish line at Lizard Point before 12h 37m UTC on Saturday 5th June to break the current record held by Mari Cha IV of 6 days, 17 hours and 52 minutes.

Starting in 15 knots of wind, ICAP Leopard will head north to hook into a weather system developing over Nova Scotia this weekend. It is hoped that ICAP Leopard will be able to ride this weather system all the way across, however she may encounter some high pressure on the approach to the UK. It is hoped a fast start will give ICAP Leopard a good chance of getting through the high pressure and across the line in record time.

ICAP Leopard will be carrying a GPS tracker during her record attempt, to follow her progress online go to: www.leopard3.com 

Published in Round Ireland

ICAP Leopard, the 100ft super-maxi racing yacht owned by Helical Bar PLC chief executive Mike Slade, is this week berthed in New York’s bustling financial district as she prepares to launch her assault upon the west-to-east monohull transatlantic sailing record in the coming weeks. Irish fans will remember this yacht holds the Round Ireland record after a spectacular circuit of Ireland in 2008.


Since her launch in 2007 ICAP Leopard has broken 12 major offshore racing records, including the fastest elapsed time ever set in the prestigious Rolex Fastnet Race. This voyage will see her tackle the well-trodden path between Ambrose Light, NY and the Lizard Point, which marks the entrance to the English Channel. Her target for this attempt will primarily be the record for monohull yachts with power-assisted systems of seven days, 19 hours and 21 minutes that she set in June 2008. However, since setting this benchmark the yacht has undergone a series of modifications and the crew are confident that, given the right conditions, Mari Cha IV’s outright monohull transatlantic speed record of 6 days 17 hours and 52 minutes will be achievable.


As with all major sailing record attempts, negotiating complex weather systems will play an integral role in ICAP Leopard’s latest transatlantic foray. The man responsible for the successful handling of the meteorological situation onboard will be veteran navigator Hugh Agnew. 


Chris Sherlock, ICAP Leopard’s boat Captain commented: “We can’t wait to get stuck into another attempt on the Atlantic record. Last time a tight weather window forced us into accepting less than ideal conditions for our record run but we have slightly more leeway this time. Our weather window will open on the 11th May and then we will have roughly three weeks to plan our departure. This should allow us to set ourselves up for the best possible weather pattern.”


Owner Mike Slade commented: “This is something that I have been looking forward to ever since we crossed the finish line last time around. It has been brilliant to hold the record for yachts with power-assisted winches but we know we can go faster. The yacht and crew have been tempered over a two year period of hard racing and we are now sailing faster and harder than ever before. We will have a decent period of time in which to pick our weather window and the crew are all preparing to go on standby for what promises to be a thrilling sprint across the pond!”


 ICAP Leopard will be carrying a GPS tracker that will allow spectators to follow her progress online at www.leopard3.com

 

Published in Round Ireland
Page 4 of 4

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Wave button for Afloat new dates

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating