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Dublin Bay’s sea level seems to be rising faster than forecast — and at twice the global average over the past two decades.

The Irish Times reports on this startling claim from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s (DLRCoCo) climate change action plan, which also notes that weather extremes are “likely to increase in their frequency and intensity”.

The report comes following one of Ireland’s hottest summers on record, itself just months after a first ever Status Red warning for snow was issued by Met Éireann.

Three Dublin local authorities launched their climate action plans on Monday (9 September), with DLRCoCo’s plan pledging to “prioritise nature-based flood defences where possible” over the next five years.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

Our header photo this week may not be the greatest in terms of clarity and technical brilliance, let alone jaw-dropping drama writes W M Nixon. But it tells us much about our peculiar sport of racing under sail, that two genuine and experienced sailing enthusiasts could examine this photo in detail and argue for hours about whether it is a Good Thing, or a Travesty of Sporting Justice.

It shows the Dublin Bay 25 class making a start through the mouth of Dun Laoghaire Harbour, which would have been Kingstown when the image was taken, as it’s probably pre-1914. But even were it in the 1920s or ’30s, many of the locals – including, one would think, practically everyone on these yachts - continued to call it Kingstown even though it had officially reverted to Dun Laoghaire in 1920, meaning that it had been Kingstown for just 99 years.

Be that as it may, it shows a classic summer’s day - probably a Saturday afternoon, though they had racing on some weekday afternoons too in the GODs (the Good Old Days) – and an easterly sea breeze is making as the 25ft LWL class, the aristocrats of the Dublin Bay One Design scene and the J/109s of their time, get their race under way.

db25 acushla racing2The J/109s of their day – the Purcell brothers’ DB 25 Acushla racing on Dublin Bay in 1938. An early owner was the legendary international tenor John McCormack, and Macushla was one of his most popular songs

It may well be that their actual start was made in-harbour from a mark boat off the waterfront for the convenient viewing of the many members and their guests in the distinguished clubhouses (who would have observed proceedings for about four minutes as it was otherwise interrupting their lunch, but never mind). Thus it might be said that in accessing Dublin Bay through the harbour mouth, they were getting two starting lines for the price of one.

But either way, the last thing on anyone’s mind was the thought that people should go to much trouble – or indeed any trouble whatever – to provide a starting line which was at exactly 90 degrees to the basic wind direction. On the contrary, the thinking at virtually all sailing centres was that you should get the boats away as quickly and conveniently as possible from a start line near their moorings, and finish them in similar style. For in those pre-auxiliary-engine days, finishing at some distance from home with the wind failing was a big turn-off in every sense of the term, and it was certainly bad for club racing’s popularity.

Anyway, that header photo, which is such a long up the page by now that we’ll show it again, would seem to suggest that the boat on the left – no 2, Punctilio which was the last DB25 to leave Dun Laoghaire, she was here until the 1970s – is well set up, as they’re probably racing towards a first mark in mid-bay. She’s nicely on a closer-than-close reach but not actually hard on the wind, she’s just hitting the edge of the seaward-going ebb which will sharpen the breeze and enable her to sail at the optimum angle, and she looks to have freed herself from getting any dirt from the group close under the east pier.

dbsc 25 start3Here’s that start again for further examination

But don’t dismiss them entirely. The boat right under the lighthouse may be carrying her way with limp sails through a small calm spot. But within seconds she will be getting a benefit from the mini tide rip which swirls round the pier end, and suddenly her overall position could be transformed.

For in the GODs, the boat which has had the best start was the boat which was best placed after about a mile of racing. And who knows, but it might even be the boat in the foreground, No 1 which could either be Whisper built in 1898 by local shipwright J E Doyle, or it could be Fodhla built in 1903 also by J E Doyle.

For Fodhla was built for the Viceroy, the Earl of Dudley and the nascent 25ft class were so chuffed that Himself up in The Park was getting one of the boats (it was a surprise present from his wife) that they decided Fodhla should also be No 1. Only in Dublin Bay would they have two No 1s, while they never ever had a No 13.

Fodhla launch4The new Fodhla ready for launching by builder J E Doyle into the Coal Harbour in what was then Kingstown in 1903. As the owner-to-be was the Viceroy, the class association caused eternal confusion by making her No 1 when they already had a No 1, built in 1898. Photo courtesy DBSC.
Anyway, Fodhla or Whisper or whatever is going like a train as she carries a private puff of breeze from within the harbour, but you’ll notice that her racing flag atop the jackyard tops’l suggests she is reaching, yet they already have her trimmed for the wind being well ahead of the beam, in anticipation of the significantly different direction outside.

Or it could be we’re flattering No 1’s crew? Maybe they’ve been surprised by this sudden puff from abeam or even slightly aft of it. But as it’s only going to last for a few seconds until they get into the basic breeze in the bay, it’s hardly worth their while adjusting the four different sheets which the complex rig of the DB25 requires, and it’s only going to cause confusion with the sister’s son, young Willie, who is trying to make himself comfortable in the sunshine on the lee deck, and fell overboard last time out, costing them a couple of places……

Fodhla dbsc1909 barometer5Fodhla was only briefly in the ownership of the Viceroy – by 1909 she was winning races for one H Kennedy, as this DBSC prize barometer from Vandeleur Antiques of Kilrush reveals.

Be that as it may, we’re assuming one of our experienced observers is a sailor who enjoys racing which is as much an interaction with coastal features and local quirks of sea and weather as it is with the straightforward achieving of boat speed in clear relatively tide-free water, and he or she sees this start as a delightful challenge.

But equally we assume the other is a purist whose highest ideal is Olympic sailing in waters as interference-free as possible, with courses of a very set type with a starting line virtually at 90 degrees to the wind, which must be of minimal strength and steady direction, racing round marks well clear of any land influence with minimal and preferably no tide, and putting the emphasis on windward-leeward courses in which the crews are always busy busy busy. He or she, therefore, sees this start as a lazy luck-reliant shambles.

modern start6 The beau ideal of a modern start, far at sea and dead to windward, with an extra mark boat at mid-line set back a very few feet to keep the sighted line in order

Inevitably, in an era when public awareness of sailing just about extends to Olympic medals and no further, the Olympic disease is spreading down to every level of our sport. Characterful starting huts on the end of piers or on picturesque shoreside seapoints, both with eminently sensible transit markers setting the line, are discarded in favour of Committee Boats, mark-laying RIBs, and a general support cast of dozens of pious folk including, God help us, umpires…...

"the Olympic disease is spreading down to every level of our sport"

Even back in the 1990s, it was sometimes at the stage where there seemed to be more people on the management side than were actually racing the boats. But the 1990s being the final years of that prelapsarian era before 24/7 electronic communication meant that you now never knew when you actually have time off, even though I was churning out verbiage at a ridiculous rate for many printed publications with the odd book to make things truly manic, deadlines meant that was it - job done and goodbye, you were all clear, and some civilised diversion could be planned without a thought for what should be going onto some ever-active communication screen.

idra14 start clontarf7A spectator-friendly start for the IDRA 14s at Clontarf for their 70th Anniversary Race in 2016 in an area which dries out at low water. The line had been set from the shore to give a slight disadvantage to starboard tack boats, but a sudden backing of the light breeze accentuated this. Nevertheless the start proceeded, and while Andy Sargent in Dusk (no 4) has pulled off the port tack start, Gerry Sargent in Starfish is just able to make the pin on starboard, and he went on to win with Dusk second. Photo: W M Nixon

So anyway, after one particularly exasperating Race Week when the Organising Committee had insisted the Race Officer set the start line well away from harbour or any land, meaning we spent half the day getting there and back, I used the grapevine of the club bars to air an idea about a race among like-minded souls which would involve no Race Officer, and for its marks would rely only on islands (of which we have more than most folk realize in the Greater Dublin area), and on the navigation buoys of Irish Lights and Dublin Port.

Admittedly its successful functioning was reliant on inter-boat VHF, but for some years on the second Saturday of May, a handy flotilla of proper cruiser-racers in the 35-40ft range would get together for what we called The Islands Race in the morning sunshine (of course the sun always shone), and we’d talk ourselves into a sort of line and race round an island or two and a hefty steel buoy or three and end up somewhere agreeable like Skerries if the tide was right, or Poolbeg (when we ran up the Liffey under spinnaker right under the Hailing House to avoid the tide - you definitely couldn’t do that nowadays) or into Dun Laoghaire and an entertaining call to one of the clubs, or the Howth section might make the effort and get across to Dun Laoghaire and we’d all talk ourselves into a race back to Howth, maybe going round Dalkey Island and perhaps Ireland’s Eye on the way.

coastlineThe coastline of Greater Dublin is well blessed with convenient islands and other fixed turning marks
It was perfect. But it was too good to last. Crews were returning home much too clearly demonstrating that they’d been having a lovely time. And the main official programme was expanding to spread into the shoulders of the season, taking up those early-May Saturdays, with Tim Goodbody in the Royal Alfred YC developing the season-long Superleague for cruiser-racers, which inevitably became a must-do series.

Our little idea lasted maybe half a dozen years. But with some people trying to make it more structured, while others who didn’t really fit the mould wanting to join, it was gently let go as we observed much-loved straightforward events such as the traditional Lambay Race degenerating into a cat’s cradle of windward starts and additional marks which confused simple mariners who knew very well indeed how to race round islands, but couldn’t get too excited about VMG towards some distant artificially-planted buoy.

For inevitably, the business of starting and running yacht races was becoming a mini-industry within itself, a mini-industry whose functioning adds to the time spent in actually getting in a decent little race which should be over and done with from about a quarter of an hour after leaving port, to within minutes of finishing.

It is something which is causing concern throughout sailing, but before we attempt a truly disruptive revolution and try to Make Sailing Simple Again, may I take another slight diversion?

For I have long wished to declare that the greatest benefactor of the human race is the inventor of golf. The thinking behind such a notion is this: What on earth would all those people be doing if they didn’t have golf to play? It helps to keep them moderately fit, and though it may result in artificially green spaces, from seaward or up in the hills an artificially green space in pleasant countryside is infinitely preferable to industrial or urban sprawl.

old head course9The Old Head Golf Course near Kinsale – it may be very artificially green, but it is preferable to industrial or urban sprawl
As for the people for whom golf is pleasantly sedating, they cause trouble to no-one. An experienced hotelier in the west of Ireland once told me that the golfer is the perfect guest, easily pleased if you’ve the proper hospitality skills, and no trouble to anyone. He or she will return to the inn in a relaxed frame of mind after one or two rounds of their beloved game, and for dinner they’ll invariably have a steak with a bottle of red wine. Then they’ll retire peacefully to their rooms maybe with another bottle or a pint of Guinness, and there they’ll settle down in bed and watch a golf video before sleeping serenely.

It’s an entire segment of society kept content with a sense of purpose. So when the disruptors talk of doing away with distantly-located “perfect” start lines and Race Officers who will not let the fleets away until a dozen wind requirements are fully met, do they (the disruptors) not have enough humanity in them to think about what might become of the not-inconsiderable corps of volunteers who currently man committee boats and back-up RIBs and mark boats and heaven only knows what else that floats and can usefully be deployed to ensure that a smaller number of people actually get in some sort of race?

For the fact of the matter is, a fully-crewed and effectively-equipped and properly-organised Committee Boat with its various support boats is arguably a floating Men’s Shed (and yes, I know there are many splendid women involved too, God bless them).

So if we go back to simple shore-based starts using transits as Nature intended rather than having fully-manned boats bobbing about at sea, what on earth is going to become of those who have been called to Committee Boat service? For it’s not for everyone – it’s a sort of secret society, and there’s an invisible vetting process.

Either way, if we just pack a race officer into a little pier-end hut with a time-keeper and a records secretary and set up the transits for a reasonable start and then let the sailors at it within a few yards of the harbour mouth, we’re inevitably going to cast all those Committee Boat folk, mark buoy boys, and umpires into a sort of purposeless outer darkness.

Perhaps they can take up golf…..Meanwhile, before this column is swamped into obliteration under an onslaught of Olympic Sailing Purity of Opinion, let it be pointed out that the Round Ireland Race starts from a shoreline, though admittedly with the race officer at the outer end in a Naval Service vessel if there’s one available. Elsewhere, much of Cowes Week and all of the Fastnet Race starts from a fixed shoreline. And as for the course, that’s then sailed, very little of it is round artificial marks other than established navigation buoys.

round ireland start10 Crazy but it works – the start of the Round Ireland Race 2014 as seen from the Wicklow pierhead

And for those who object to racing where the effect of land regularly intrudes, just remember that the most popular participant sailing events in the world are the Round the Island Race around the Isle of Wight in the south of England, and the Round Gotland Race and other huge events involving close inshore stuff on islands in the Baltic.

Clearly, it’s what people want. And as for fancy Olympic courses in slightly remote area (ie more than two miles away from the harbour), they’re now soooo yesterday……Club sailors want convenience. If they want to go for a sail, they’ll simply go for a sail. But if they want a race, they don’t want to have to go for a sail before it. They want racing, and they want it now.

round the island11It’s sailing sport of a kind, but definitely not Olympic – the fleet in the Round the Island Race at the Needles, were those really cutting the corner have to be sure they pass safely inside the remains of a hidden shipwreck……
For a while, the ancient Howth 17s were told that the only racing that could be provided for them on a Saturday afternoon would be with the Puppeteer 22s (which carry an outboard auxiliary engine) at a Committee Boat start north of Ireland’s Eye in a supposedly clear area.

Yet if a calm fell, the Seventeens had to resort to a long oar, which was and is brutal to row with, and that’s it. So they rebelled, organized their own Race Officer rota for starts at the old pierhead line which they could reach within minutes from their moorings, and they’ve never looked back since. Saturday afternoon racing is the highlight of the week. So maybe if sailing organisers went by the old dictum of the customer being king, we might see club sailing becoming more healthy.

Here’s a vid of the Round the Island Race which usually starts at an ungodly hour of the morning, yet if you have a handy berth in the outer reaches of Cowes Harbour, you can leave it with just a quarter of an hour to go to your start. We’re not recommending that, but it can be done……

And as for those who like to claim that their nearest “clear area” really does minimize the need for local knowledge almost completely, let us remember the time when John Bertrand, America’s Cup-winning helm for Australia in 1983, finally achieved his true goal in life – becoming Etchells 22 World Champion in 2010, when it was staged in Howth.

For sure, the race area was set in the “clean zone” well clear of Howth, northwards between Ireland’s Eye and Lambay. But despite that, John Bertrand – whose crew for the big event was to include Tom Slingsby – spent six weeks (repeat: 6 weeks) in Howth beforehand, sailing his Etchells 22 morning, noon and night in the race area in order to get a complete feel for it and its many moods. He certainly deserved to win. But a bit of old-fashioned racing using a clear transit-marked shore-based starting line might have been more fun.

John bertrand12John Bertrand of Australia, who wrested the America’s Cup from the USA in 1983 for the first time since they originally won it in 1851. In 2010, he spent several weeks familiarizing himself with the “clear zone” sailing area off Howth before he raced on it to win the Etchells 22 Worlds

Published in W M Nixon
Tagged under

St. Michael’s Rowing Club will host The Hobblers Challenge on the 7th of September. The challenge is a 28km endurance coastal rowing race, which has been taking place since the 1990s on Dublin Bay.

Several courses have been used, predominantly from Dún Laoghaire Harbour to the Kish Lighthouse and back.

Four categories will compete this year: Ladies, Men, Mixed and Under 21.  

The current course, set in 2017, starts at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, at the East Breakwater beneath the Hobblers Memorial, out the harbour mouth, around the landward side of a ‘gate boat’ off Merrion Strand, around Poolbeg Lighthouse, up the Liffey as far as the ESB towers, before doubling back, across the mouth of Dun Laoghaire Harbour, across Scotsman’s Bay, past Sandycove and Bullock Harbours, turning at Coliemore Harbour, before returning to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, finishing at the end of the East Breakwater.

“We are delighted to host this endurance race again. Similar to previous years, the competition is open for traditional skiffs so we are hoping to get as many East Coast rowing clubs taking part as possible,” said James Tedd, St. Michael’s Club Chairperson and race organiser.

Participants can choose between four categories: Ladies, Men, Mixed and Under21. “The latter two are an addition to the 2018 race,” explained Eoin Clarke, Race Registration Officer. “ We aim to be inclusive to experienced rowers of all ages, and we hope that, by introducing the Under21 category, we can help young rowers who transition from the youth level to the adult one get a taste for what endurance racing is, by competing against rowers of the same age. ”

The best times to complete the challenge are 2h47min - a record held by the St. Michaels’ men 2018, and 3h 3min - a record held by the St. Michaels’ ladies. Both records were set in 2018.

Published in Dublin Bay

The Irish Defence Forces, reports Journal.ie, have detained a fishing vessel off the coast of Dublin (yesterday) for allegedly breaching fishing regulations.

The vessel was stopped 20 nautical miles northeast of Howth in Co Dublin by the Naval Service Vessel LÉ George Bernard Shaw.

The boat was brought back to Howth where it was handed over to An Garda­ Sí­ochána.

This is the seventh vessel detained by the Naval Service so far in 2019, according to Defence Forces spokesperson.

“The Defence Forces conducts at sea fishery inspections in line with the service level agreement with the Sea Fishery Protection Authority, as part of its delivery of government services to the state,” they added.

Published in Navy

Race 1

Cruiser 0 IRC: 1. Wow, 2. D-Tox

Cruiser 0 Echo: 1. Wow, 2. D-Tox

Cruiser 1 IRC: 1. White Mischief, 2. Gringo, 3. Bon Exemple

Cruiser 1 Echo: 1. White Mischief, 2. Gringo, 3. Bon Exemple

Cruiser 1 J109: 1. White Mischief

31.7 One Design: 1. Prospect, 2. Levante, 3. Attitude

31.7 Echo: 1. Fiddly Bits, 2. Attitude, 3. Levante

Cruiser 2 IRC: 1. Peridot, 2. Windjammer, 3. Rupert

Cruiser 2 Echo: 1. Springer, 2. Windjammer, 3. Peridot

Cruiser 2 Sigma 33: 1. Rupert, 2. Springer, 3. Pastiche

Cruiser 5 NS-IRC: 1. Persistence

Cruiser 5 Echo: 1. Spirit, 2. Persistence

SB20: 1. Carpe Diem, 2. Venuesworld.com, 3. Sea Biscuit

Flying 15: 1. No Name, 2. Ignis Caput II, 3. Glass Half Full

Ruffian: 1. Ripples, 2. Ruffles, 3. Alias

Shipman: 1. Barossa, 2. Viking, 3. Jo Slim

B211 One Design: 1. Yikes

B211 Echo: 1. Yikes

Mermaid: 1. Red Seal

Race 2

SB20: 1. Venuesworld.com, 2. Carpe Diem, 3. Sea Biscuit

Flying 15: 1. No Name, 2. Ignis Caput II, 3. Betty

Published in DBSC
Tagged under

Whitbread Race competitor Angela Heath will join regular Dublin Bay helms Jean Mitton and Alison Clarke among the inspiring and influential Irish women taking part in the first Pathfinder Women at the Helm event next month.

This new event “encourages women to embrace a role of leadership on the water, and set an example for future female sailors so that helming becomes the norm”. Registration is open HERE.

Despite boys and girls competing against each other in single-handed dinghies, it’s still uncommon to see women leading their own crew, says Irish Sailing. Yet there are many strong women quietly pursuing their passion for sailing.

Among them is Jean Mitton of the Royal St George, who when she started out was often the only woman on a crew outside of family outings.

Jean Mitton 1339Jean Mitton (second from left) on board the family 31.7 Photo: Afloat

“Facing challenges while on the boat has given me the full sailing experience and made me confident in my ability to be at the helm,” says the now 12-year veteran.

CrI Cri 3430Alison Clarke (left) onboard the Quarter Tonner CrI Cri Photo: Afloat

It’s a feeling shared by Alison Clarke, who will be helming the boat she regularly crews — Paul Colton’s Cri Cri — in the event over the weekend of Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 August at the National Yacht Club.

“Sailing has taught me things about leadership that you can’t learn in a classroom or from a textbook,” she says.

Both Jean and Alison surely took inspiration from the likes of Angela Heath, who was part of the pioneering all-woman crew of Tracy Edwards’ Maiden. And now they will have the opportunity to test their skills against Angela as she helms the Beneteau 31.7 Crazy Horse.

Crazy horse 1211The Beneteau 31.7 Crazy Horse with Angela Heath in white top, second from right Photo: Afloat

Angela will also be taking part in a Q&A following a screening on Friday 16 August (National Yacht Club, 6.30pm) of the documentary Maiden, which charts the highs and lows of Edwards and crew in the 1989 edition of the world’s most challenging round-the-world sailing race.

Published in ISA

The Muglins light off Dalkey which marks the southern approaches of Dublin Bay has recently been inspected and recieved routine maintenance, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to the Commissioners of Irish Lights, the light is an effective and conspicuous aids to navigation (AtoN) for the approaches to Dublin Bay from the south, both during the day and at night.

ILV Granauile, the Irish Lights aids to navigation tender which visits The Muglins (p.13) on an annual basis this year took an anchorage closer to Lamb Island. This is the largest of several smaller islands that form a protective chain leading off Dalkey Island which is closer to the mainland (300 metres) compared to The Muglins which is more exposed been some 500m north-east and situated further out in Dublin Bay.

As part of the Irish Lights' annual planned maintenance programme, work on The Muglins began last Tuesday. This involved a range of checks on the light, the solar panel system (see photo: at top of light) as well as the structure of the tower and the boat landing where Afloat observed a tender from ILV Granuaile transfer personnel and equipment onto the rockey islet.

In addition at The Muglins a risk assessment took place and checks were completed for the station which sports a distinctive white and red band scheme. Noting the inclusion of the central red band was adopted in 1883, three years after the light then designated a beacon (a 30ft stone built structure and conical in shape) was erected according to Bill Long author of 'Bright Light, White Water'. It was between the 9th to 18th centuries where Dublin was far from ideal to conduct itself as a port from which to conduct foreign trade.

Access to Dublin was dangerous due to constantly shifting sandbanks and so Dalkey, two miles south-east of Dun Loaghaire, saw during the Middle Ages for the most part ships instead of using the Port of Dublin took an alternative in Dalkey Sound which afforded relative shelter when at anchorage. This enabled transferring cargoes by lighters ashore to Dalkey's seven fortified town houses/castles built to store the goods which were off-loaded in Dalkey in the Middle Ages, when Dalkey acted as the port for Dublin. 

The Muglins forms part of the Dublin Bay aids to navigation group and it is at the islet where for a long time posed a dangerous hazard to mariners and caused many ships to flounder in these waters. This led to the harbourmaster of Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire), Captain William Hutchison in 1873 to plea for a light to be sited on 'these siren rocks'.

Despite a subesquent list of vessels numbering 12 that Captain Hutchison furnished to the respective authorities at that time, there was indecision between Trinity House, The Board of Trade and the Commissioners of Irish Lights on the plea to erect a light for seafarers. All was too change when a 13th wreck was added by the Captain which ultimately raised the issue again and saw plans to commission the light which was eventually completed in 1880.

In addition to the recent works at The Muglins, ILV Granuaile then proceeded to neighbouring Killiney Bay. Following an overnight anchorage operations took place in a central area closer to the open sea where the coastal shipping lane for Dublin Port is busy with traffic.

The work in Killiney Bay involved ILV Granuaile at an outfall buoy which was contract work that Irish Lights carry out on behalf of Irish Water and where the Shangannagh /Bray Wastewater Treatment Plant (page 3) is located on the shore of the bay near Shankill. The plant close to the Co. Wicklow border was upgraded in 2011 and is capable of treating 43,700m³ of wastewater a day and according to Water Technology is estimated to serve a population of 248,000 people.

The infrastructure upgrade at the plant was carried out by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in association with Wicklow County Council and Bray Town Council. The aim of the upgrade on the existing facility was to ensure the plant be in accordance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive and associated Irish Regulations. In addition it allowed the new facility to comply with other EU directives and national regulations meant for environment protection.

Published in Lighthouses

Yachts competing in tonight's Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) racing have been asked to avoid the Cruise Ship 'Star Pride' manoeuvring around number 2 berth and leaving the harbour at 6 pm tonight before Dublin Bay racing.

In a communication to the club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Master Simon Coate says 'please advise your sailors to keep well clear when she is sailing as she has little water underneath'.

As Afloat's Jehan Ashmore reported earlier today, Star Pride is the fourth of six scheduled callers to the harbour this year. 

According to the Harbour Master, The Star Pride is expected to "back out of the berth tonight" and "swing inside the harbour".

Published in DBSC
Tagged under

Following a first call of Ocean Altantic to Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Monday, the small yet heavily ice-strengthened hulled vessel returned to the port a mere three days later, writes Jehan Ashmore.

So why the return?... the answer lies in a round trip laid on by operator Albatros Expeditions for the cruise industry's travel trade which involved a mini-taster cruise and apt given its destination, Islay. The Scottish island renowned for it's whisky distilleries, is the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides islands located off the nation's south-west coast.

Afloat has also learnt that the 190 passenger capacity cruiseship prior to its debut call to Dun Laoghaire had made a repositioning voyage from Antarctica via Las Palmas, Canary Islands. At this location, the 12,000 gross tonnage ship received a refit in advance of the summer season and was not carrying passengers during its voyage on the Atlantic to the Irish east coast port.

Albratros Expeditions which during its 20 year career has included cruising in the Arctic, was recognisied at a reception held by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. The local authority welcomed the Greenland and Danish based operator during a reception hosted by the council's An Cathaoirleach, Ossian Smyth.

As the operator is a new customer to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, this brings to three cruise companies operating this season and in between them handling 6 calls in total. The season runs until September and is set against the backdrop of a recent decision by DLRCoCo to abandon an application for a €30m cruise-berth jetty.

It was on the second call to Dun Laoghaire that Ocean Atlantic initially took anchorage prior to calling within the embracing harbour arms last Thursday. Likewise of the maiden call to the Irish port, the former Soviet era built vessel and last of seven Dmitriy-Shostakovich-class ships took a berth alongside the Carlisle Pier.

The sturdy and businesslike vessel loaded stores using the cruiseship's starboard side ro-ro door located close to the stern. It is understood a stern door was originally fitted when built in 1986 at a Polish shipyard. The somewhat squat superstucture consists of three decks but there are a further six decks within the hull. As for passenger facilities some of which were previously described on Monday's report. 

Ocean Atlantic departed Dun Laoghaire later on Thursday having embarked cruise-paying passengers and on a much longer cruise. The Bahama flagged cruiseship set again a northbound passage through the Irish Sea to Scotland and on this occasion the first port of call was Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre.

Published in Cruise Liners

The first-ever Red Bull Cliff Diving event in the Irish Capital saw divers leap from 27m at Dún Laoghaire Harbour, in front of the highest-ever spectator turnout in the World Series’ 10-year history. The Irish stop saw a new name on the top step of the men’s podium, whilst reigning women’s champion, Rhiannan Iffland continued her winning streak on the Irish shores.

Here is everything you need to know:

Romania’s Constantin Popovici won in only his second event. He had placed second in his debut event at the 2019 season opener in El Nido in the Philippines.

Popovici’s victory ends Gary Hunt’s five-event winning streak. He beat the British seven-time champion by just 1.85 points; one of the closest winning margins in World Series history.

American David Colturi placed third in the men’s competition, over 75 points behind Hunt.

There was a more predictable result in the women’s event, with reigning champion Rhiannan Iffland of Australia claiming the win by a dominant 30-point margin.

Canada’s Lysanne Richard placed second, with Mexico’s Adriana Jimenez a further 30 point back in third.

Constantin Popovici (ROU), winning men’s diver said: “I was hoping for a podium place, and wanted to come first, but I wasn’t sure I was going to get it. Some of the athletes went for easier dives today because of the windy conditions, but I went full on and managed to perform better than everyone. Gary [Hunt] is one of the best divers in the world, so I’m really happy with my result.”

Rhiannan Iffland (AUS), winning women’s diver: “Each competition brings new challenges,” she said. “There are always ups and downs. Today went really well. I was scoring straight nines, which is what we all hope for. I went in cold [with no practice dive] to save my body a bit from the cold water and that really worked for me.”

RESULTS – STOP #2, DUBLIN, IRL

Men

1. Constantin Popovici ROU – 454.95pts

2. Gary Hunt GBR – 453.10
3. David Colturi USA – 374.50
4. Alessandro De Rose (W) ITA – 373.00

5. Blake Aldridge GBR – 365.10

Women

1. Rhiannan Iffland AUS – 341.50pts

2. Lysanne Richard CAN – 310.60
3. Adriana Jimenez MEX – 280.60
4. Iris Schmidbauer (W) GER – 275.60

5. Yana Nestsiarava BLR – 262.90

Published in Dublin Bay
Page 1 of 88

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