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Displaying items by tag: Belfast Lough

Over the weekend of 20 and 21 August, Royal Ulster Yacht Club in Bangor will be hosting two sailing competitions, the RS Elite Irish Championships and the Laser SB3 Northern Area Championships writes Betty Armstrong.  These events, which are sponsored by BT Infinity, will bring together some of Ireland's top sailors to compete in Belfast Lough.

In the RS Elite fleet defending Irish Champion John Patterson with crew David Kelso and Stephen Polly in Momentary Lapse will be up against some of the highest scoring boats from the recent National Championships at the Royal Forth Yacht Club, namely Simon Brien's Kin who finished third at that event and John McDowell's Sea Breezes who came fifth.

RS_ELITE_AND_SB3

John Patterson, David Kelso and Stephen Polly who will be defending their Irish RS Elite title. Credit Thomas Anderson

In the SB3 Class local sailor Peter Kennedy and his crew in Ridgefence will be looking for revenge after Howth's Ben Duncan in Sharkbait beat them into second place at the Western Championships in Galway in June this year. Sharkbait is the boat in form, having won the Best Small Keelboat trophy at the recent Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta when she topped the 33 strong SB3 Class.

Royal Ulster Yacht Club is delighted to bring BT Infinity on board as event sponsor and with their help the event will be "bringing it all together" for two days of great racing.

"It is really a great opportunity for BT Infinity to support the major sailing championships this year at Royal Ulster", says Peter Morris, Consumer Director, BT in Northern Ireland. " Effective communication through the use of the latest technology is at the very heart of our business and as we rollout Superfast fibre optic broadband speeds, not just in Bangor, but across Northern Ireland, slow down, as in racing, just isn't a factor. The best of luck to all the crews and have a safe and successful competition".

Royal Ulster YC also acknowledges the support of North Down Borough Council and Quay Marinas, Bangor Marina in the running of this event.


Published in Racing
With less than a week in service on the Larne-Troon port route, the ro-ro freight ferry Norcape has replaced the European Mariner which is reportedly sold to Turkish ship-breakers, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Norcape (1979/14,087grt) entered service on 17 July and she brings an increased freight boost capacity of 125 trailer units compared to European Mariner's (1977/5,897grt) 53 trailer units. She departed Larne for the final time five days earlier, on her delivery voyage to Izmir in the eastern Mediterranean.

Prior to her arrival on the North Channel, Norcape had been laid-up in Liverpool since February 2010 after the former B+I Line vessel (MV Tipperary) was replaced by European Endeavour on the central corridor route to Dublin. As of this week the ro-pax freight vessel which has been running in a freight-only mode will now carry motorists likewise to her route fleetmates Norbank and Norbay.

With the departure of European Mariner from the Irish Sea, she follows a trio of former Stena Line freight-ferry sisters which were made redundant since the closure of the Belfast-Heysham route late last year. It is believed the sisters Stena Seafarer, Stena Leader and Stena Pioneer have been sold to Russian interests to serve in the Black Sea in connection to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The sisters were renamed, Stena Pioneer became Ant 1, Stena Seafarer is the Ant 2 and Stena Leader is the Anna Marine. They departed Belfast Lough in mid-June to Sevastopol in the Ukraine under the Moldovan flag and with a port of registry in Giurgiulesti.

Published in Ferry
Trade through Belfast Harbour has grown for the first time in three years, up 5.4% to 16.4m tonnes, according to the port's 2010 annual report, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The boost in trade figures at the Port of Belfast reflects rising tonnages which have assisted in an improved turnover, up 5% to £34.7m and profits before taxation stood at £17.4m.

The principle driver in the ports performance came from the agri-food sector with a record 2m tonnes of grain and animal feed imports. The sector also recorded fertiliser imports alone leap by 32%, reflecting the major investment by the harbour in recent years in the dry-bulk cargo trade.

Roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) accounted for a 2% rise to 313,000 vehicles carried, partly due to the introduction of newer larger tonnage on the Belfast-Heysham route.

Belfast Harbour Chairman, Len O'Hagan, said: "Although trading conditions in the UK and Ireland remain weak, the increase in tonnages handled by Belfast Harbour suggests that business confidence is starting to return, albeit slowly.

"Belfast Harbour continues to operate in a highly competitive port sector, but I am pleased to note that the £160m which the Harbour invested in new facilities during the past decade has enabled it to emerge from the downturn with new customers and a presence in new sectors such as renewable energy.

Capital investment in the port worth almost £6m were undertaken during 2010, including the purchase of a new mobile crane, a 10,000 sq ft expansion in logistics space and preliminary works to support the proposed development of an offshore wind turbine terminal for DONG Energy (click HERE). The combined capital expenditure in these projects is in excess of £60m.

Within the ports real estate, projects at the Titanic Quarter progress at the Public Record Office, Belfast Metropolitan College and the core attraction of the 'Titanic Belfast' visitor centre.

Master planning for the 24-acre mixed-use City Quays site adjacent to the Harbour Office was secured. In addition planning permission was lodged for a 230,000 sq ft of space at Sydenham Business Park on the south-eastern fringes of the harbour.

Further upstream closer to the city-centre at the Abercorn Basin, initial work had been completed on a marina where there are more plans for the development of a 250-berth full-service leisure facility.

Next Monday the port's cruise business is to welcome a new cruiseship, the 66,000 tonnes Marina of Oceania Cruises. The 1,250-passenger /800 crew newbuild's arrival to Belfast comes in a year that marks the thirteenth anniversary since the first liner docked in the city. In 2011 over 30 such vessels are due to visit bringing some 50,000 passengers and crew.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Dockers a play written by Martin Lynch and directed by Andrew Flynn is a vibrant recreation of Belfast's docklands set during the 1960's.
The play which is running at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast ends this Sunday at 7.45pm. Ticksts cost €5-€21.50 Tel: 02890 385685

Laced with whiskey, wit and ballsy humour, Dockers is a very Northern Irish play with a universal message. Working class hero John Graham struggles to bring equality and integrity to the brutal working environment of the Belfast docks.

As one man's idealism confronts the tribal politics of the docks, a sobering and shocking turn of events brings the play to a climactic ending. Lynch's critically acclaimed and popular play was first produced by the Lyric in 1981. For further information click HERE

Published in Boating Fixtures
With summertime in full-swing, Stena Line are running a 'Family Fun Day Cruise' on their Belfast-Stranraer port route on certain dates during July and August, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 'cruise' onboard the ferry Stena Navigator (for virtual tour click HERE) is based on a return excursion on the North Channel route.

So what's included?...there's live music, disco / karaoke, face-painting, balloon modeling and party games for the children. For further family entertainment there's even a magician, Wii-games, free movies and free Wi-Fi.

In addition a 10% discount is available from the onboard shop, though exclusions apply.

Cruises are not catered for vehicles but apply to 'foot' passengers, for further details on terms and conditions, cruise itinerary and travel dates click HERE.

Published in Ferry
Ross Kearney of Belfast Lough is the first Afloat.ie/Irish Independent "Sailor of the Month" for 2011 after excelling all other contenders with his overall victory in the International Mirror Dinghy World Championship in Australia.

As we learned in 2001 when the Mirror Worlds were staged in Ireland, although Peter Bayly of Lough Derg may have won that time round, the strongest national challenge was by the Australians. They've developed what was originally envisaged as a useful general purpose family sailing dinghy into a very potent racing machine.

Thus it was quite an achievement for the 25-year-old Kearney to win in the Oz home waters. But for the Cultra sailor it was extra special, as he is the first Mirror helmsman to win the worlds twice, having taken the title back in 2005, racing in Sweden.

The Mirror being a small boat, an athlete like Ross Kearney has to select his crew from junior sailors. In 2005 it was young Adam McCullough, this time round it was Max Odell, and he and his skipper showed their serious intent towards the Worlds with a very clear win in the Mirror Europeans in Sligo last September.

On the strength of his proven record in the class, Kearney works as a sailmaker and designer with leading English firm Pinner & Bax. They're based in Northampton, about as far from the sea as it's possible to be in England, and a bit of a culture shock for a young sailor who is accustomed to getting his sea sailing just yards from home. But with a second world title now logged, we can expect to see more of Ross Kearney on the sea, and on bigger boats than a Mirror dinghy.

Kearney wins Mirror Title Story HERE.

Northern Ireland’s only coastguard base was not originally among a list of those earmarked for closure, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
However the Bangor facility was added to the list after a "personal intervention" from UK Shipping Minister Mike Penning.
The minister has confirmed to the House of Commons that the original draft list of closures for streamlining the UK's coastguard service originally named Liverpool as the centre to be shut down.
Now the Bangor control centre is being pitted against Liverpool in the service shake-up as previously reported on Afloat.ie that will leave just three full-time coastguard stations across the UK.

Northern Ireland’s only coastguard base was not originally among a list of those earmarked for closure, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

However the Bangor facility was added to the list after a "personal intervention" from UK Shipping Minister Mike Penning.

The minister has confirmed to the House of Commons that the original draft list of closures for streamlining the UK's coastguard service originally named Liverpool as the centre to be shut down.

Now the Bangor control centre is being pitted against Liverpool in the service shake-up as previously reported on Afloat.ie that will leave just three full-time coastguard stations across the UK.

Published in Coastguard

Belfast Harbour could potentially become one of the leading energy renewable hubs in the UK, when DONG Energy, a leading Danish energy firm, signed a letter of intent yesterday for an agreement to progress on a number of offshore wind farm projects in the Irish Sea.

In addition as part of the project, Belfast Harbour are to invest £40m in the development of a new 450-m long quay. The facility will be adjoined by a 50-acre logistics space on the southern shoreline of the port's docklands estate on Belfast Lough. The construction phase will create 150 jobs and up to 300 full time positions when the facility is completed, where the wind turbines and their foundations will be pre-assembled.

At that stage the large wind farm components will then be loaded onto specialist wind farm installation /construction vessels as depicted on the image by clicking here and to read further information on the overall project.

Attending the announcement which was held in Belfast Harbour Office, were representatives from the Northern Ireland Executive, Peter Gedbjerg, Vice President and UK Country Manager of DONG Energy, and Len O'Hagan, Chairman of Belfast Harbour. The energy hub scheme represents one of the harbour's largest ever capital investment projects.

Published in Ports & Shipping

In a further boost for the fledgling match racing scene here, top Irish international Umpire Bill O'Hara is looking to have the ISAF Grade one women's match racing event held on Belfast Lough from his home port of Bangor from August 17 - 20 2011, straight after the Weymouth pre-Olympic event.

Published in Match Racing

Twenty-year old sailor Tiffany Brien from Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club presented an £18,000 Paralympic sailing boat to local disabled charity Belfast Lough Sailability in Belfast Harbour today – the culmination of two years of fundraising by the 2012 Olympic hopeful.

The boat was officially launched today at Abercorn Basin, Titanic Quarter Belfast and was formally named 'Will Power' by Tiffany and Len O'Hagan, Chairman of Belfast Harbour. The significance of the name relates to a very close friend of Tiffany's, Will Doggart, who was paralysed last year following an accident. Will attended the launch today and has sailed in the new boat alongside Tiffany.

The 'Skud 18' sailing boat took two years to build in Australia and is the most high tech paralympic boat available. 'Will Power' is the first of its kind to arrive in Ireland and has already been committed to the goal of qualifying for the Irish Paralympic sailing team for the 2012 Paralympic Games - with local athlete Steve Frecknell hoping to compete for a medal. The boat will be the responsibility of Carrick based sailing charity Belfast Lough Sailability who will also use the boat to help disabled sailors to sail competitively in Northern Ireland.

Tiffany Brien began her fundraising campaign two years ago when she sailed 30 miles single-handedly across the Irish Sea from Portpatrick in Scotland to Belfast Lough raising a total of £18,400. Before launching the boat today she commented: "I am so excited to be sailing the new boat in Belfast Harbour today. It feels like I have been waiting for a long time for it to arrive. It is even more exciting that the Irish Paralympic sailing team has committed to using the new boat in their campaign for the 2012 Paralympic Games - fingers crossed it helps to bring a medal back."

Tiffany_Brien_Names_New_Vessel_-_2

Tiffany will also be hoping to bring an Olympic medal back to Northern Ireland as she is currently competing to represent Ireland in the Laser Radial Class at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Nigel Thompson, Chairman of Belfast Lough Sailability comments: "Everyone at Sailability is totally overcome with the sheer determination and generosity Tiffany has shown in her fundraising campaign. The arrival of the boat today is the culmination of the dedication and resolve demonstrated by this young lady when she sailed singled handedly across the Irish Sea. Not only will our Paralympic hopefuls benefit from this but many other disabled sailors in Northern Ireland will get to enjoy this exceptional boat - including Tiffany's friend Will, who hopes to become an active member of Sailability and a keen sailor. We would like to thank Tiffany sincerely and wish her the best of luck in her own Olympic campaign."

Belfast Lough Sailability is a "not for profit", volunteer-based charity which, through the activity of sailing, enriches the lives of people with any type of disability, the elderly, the financially and socially disadvantaged.

Belfast Harbour has been the principal sponsor of Tiffany's Sailability campaign. BTWCairns, Airtricity, Stena Line, Belfast Telegraph and Ulster Bank and Brook House Art & Design are associate sponsors.

Published in Olympics 2012
Page 23 of 24

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