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Displaying items by tag: Arklow Shipping

A new cargoship Arklow Artist, the sixth and final of the 'A' class series built at a shipyard in The Netherlands was recently delivered to Co. Wicklow shipowners, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As the video shows the bulk-orientated general cargsoship's transit along the River Ems canal from the inland yard at Westerbroek to Delfzijl.

It was in the nearby north-east Dutch port of Emshaven on the North Sea where shipyard Ferus Smit handed over the Irish flagged newbuild to Arklow Shipping Ltd.

This latest ship series using the nomenclature prefix of 'A' for ASL all began with leadship Arklow Abbey launched in 2019. Whereas a trio of the series named Arklow Accord, Ace and Archer were delivered last year. Leaving the penultimate newbuild, Arklow Arrow launched in December but did not enter service until earlier this year.

Aided by tugs stern and aft, the 8,543 (dwat) Arklow Artist made the transit from the shipyard to Delfzijl, the base for sea trials that took place in the southern North Sea.

The video also depicts a typical Dutch setting of a commercial canal barge passing Arklow Artist against the backdrop of an agricultural scene of a farmstead in the lowlands nation.

At the end of the footage, as Arklow Artist approaches the canal which splits into two, the newbuild veers into the canal on the right so to enter Delfzijl with its background of wind turbines dominating the horizon.

Published in Shipyards

A Drogheda Harbour pilot boat captain has told the High Court “we all underestimated” the underwater clearance a cement-laden cargoship needed before it ran aground at the Co. Louth port in 2018.

Captain Andrew Breach was giving evidence in a €1.4 million action by Arklow Shipping Group which claims Drogheda Port Company authorities were negligent in the information provided about the harbour depth on the day of the incident on December 13th, 2018. Drogheda Port denies the claim.

Arklow Shipping claims it cannot operate in any port without reliable information about depth, readings of which it says should be taken on a daily basis. Drogheda harbour can require regular dredging, the court heard.

Following the grounding, the 4,000 tonne-plus cargo of cement was removed from the Arklow Valour (launched in 2016) the next day. The cargoship was later refloated and sent for repairs in Swansea, Wales.

The Irish Times has more on the story.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Five crew were evacuated from an Irish cargo vessel yesterday (Tuesday 10 December) after encountering rough seas in the Bay of Biscay, as Maritime Bulletin reports.

The Arklow Day has previously left Aviles Port in northwest Spain on Monday evening (9 December) after offloading its cargo but sailed into challenging conditions, with waves reportedly nine metres high.

One of these waves struck five of the vessel’s 10 crew, believed to have been on deck in the open at the time, who were left with ‘serious’ injuries.

The wounded seamen were airlifted to hospital by a Spanish rescue helicopter while the remaining five crew took the ship to the nearest port at El Musel on the Cantabrian coast.

The Arklow Day was acquired by Arklow Shipping from the Flinter Group two years ago, as previously reported on Afloat.ie. The 132m vessel, previously known as Flinter Aland, has a 13,008m3 hold capacity and a speed of 12 knots.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The UK government's Brexit ferry programme was "rushed and risky", according to a cross-party group of MPs, who confirmed the botched project had cost £85m.

As BBC News reports a procurement process to provide extra ferry services was held in anticipation of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March.

But MPs said taxpayers had "little to show" for the cost after the UK failed to leave the EU on that date and had to cancel deals reached with three firms.

The government defended the contracts, calling them an "insurance policy".

The contracts had to be cancelled after the date for Britain to leave the EU was pushed back from 29 March to 31 October.

For much more click here from the Public Accounts Committee report covering the ferry contracts and Out of Court settlement concerning EuroTunnel. 

Published in Ferry

The Port of Galway is where Afloat.ie takes an impromtu look in at the city's dock where the focus on shipping movements concentrates on cargoships involved up to the end of this month, writes Jehan Ashmore.

In port this afternoon is Arklow Shipping's Dutch flagged short-sea trader, Arklow Valley which arrived yesterday from Belfast Harbour to engage in scrap steel. The 5,158dwat vessel was launched in 2016 as the fourth of 10 Royal Bodewes Eco-Traders commissioned by ASL.

It is somewhat unusual to see an ASL in the Port though what is a common sight is the Bláth na Mara, a domestic cargoship serving all three of the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. The operator Lasta Mara Teoranta is based at The Docks but at the pier beyond the enclosed single basin of the Dun Aengus Dock that forms the main  port.

Typical cargoes carried on board Bláth na Mara range from food stuffs chilled and frozen, household goods, furniture, coal, cars, transit vans, tractors, horses in addition to various types of lifestock.

Recently, Islands Ferries announced plans to restore a direct passeger service from next year. The last such service which included freight was operated by O'Brien Ferries using the custom built Oileáin Árann. 

At sea today is Bithav (6,834dwat) which is off the south Cork coast having departed with bitumen from Port Jerome, (Rouen) France. Likewise of Arklow Valley, this Dutch flag vessel will too remain in port until tomorrow when both vessels set sail in the morning.

On Sunday, Corrib Fisher is to make another arrival having loaded oil products from Cork Harbour at the Whitegate Refinery. The 6,090dwt tanker of UK firm, Jas Fisher Everard has in recent months taken over the routine duties of a fleetmate the aptly named Galway Fisher.

The 10 year-old replacement vessel is also on standby as an emergency oil spill response vessel for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

Published in Galway Harbour

#dublinbay- It was a busy scene in Dublin Bay during the May Bank Holiday as up to seven ships were at anchorage among them an Irish flagged cargo which stood out with its distinctive green painted hull, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The ship Arklow Dusk is the fourth and final of a quartet of 11,000dwt sisters acquired last year by Arklow Shipping following the bankruptcy of the Dutch based Flinter Group in 2016. The remaining sisters include Arklow Dawn, Dale and Day. 

Acquisition of the former Flinter America and fleetmates as secondhand tonnage is unusual for ASL as the Co. Wicklow based company notably in recent years have taken delivery of newbuilds of various designs from Dutch and German shipyards.

Arklow Dusk had previously docked in Dublin Port after a voyage from Bilbao, Spain. On board was a cargo of cement products that were discharged alongside Ocean Pier. This was the first time the 132m double-hold cargoship made a call to the capital.

On completion of unloading, Arklow Dusk proceeded 'light' to Dublin Bay to anchor in the early hours of Thursday night. On the Bank Holiday Monday, the arrival of cruiseship Norwegian Pearl stood out and as the inaugural caller of the season to Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The presence of these seven ships on Monday was short lived as by mid-morning Arklow Dusk having awaited orders departed. The 'D' class ship was bound again for Spain but this time to Carino located in north-west of the Iberian nation.

As Arklow Dusk set a southbound course along in the opposite direction came Schelde Highway from Zeebrugge, Belgium. The vehicle-carrier headed into the bay to occupy the same area where the Arklow-registered cargoship had taken up anchorage for more than four days.

Published in Dublin Bay

#shipping - Following last month's media headlines on Arklow Shipping and its relationship with Seaborne Freight which the UK Government had earmarked among firms to alleviate freight capacity in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Irish company today added another newbuild, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The newcomer, Arklow Wind (see YouTube) was launched this morning after a christening ceremony was held in Leer, Germany. The shipbuilder, Ferus Smit Leer GmBH is where Arklow Wave the leadship of a quartet (or 'W' class), as Afloat previously reported was launched last year and entered service in October.

Arklow Wind at 16,500dwt is an enlarged version of the 8,500dwt ships that Ferus-Smit delivered to ASL in the past. The 149m newbuild bulker has two box shaped holds with a cargo capacity of 700,000cft hold volume.

Propulsion is achieved through a 3840kW main engine in order to achieve low fuel consumption. As for the associated propeller, this involves a duct for enhanced thrust at lower speeds and reduction of maximum installed propulsion power.

Arklow Wave which has been given an Iceclass 1A certification, is set to be delivered in April to the expanding Co. Wicklow based dry-cargo operator whose fleet exceeds more than 50 vessels. The name revives a predeccessor which was disposed as the final of the older W class all built outside Europe. This was a first for ASL when the order was contracted to a South Korean yard.

The majority of the fleet is Irish flagged while the rest of the ships are part of ASL's Dutch division, Arklow Shipping Nederland B.V. based in Rotterdam. Europe's largest port is also used as a port of registry for these vessels.

On a related note to the Seaborne Freight saga, the Dutch flagged Arklow Bank likewise built by Ferus Smit (Westerbroek yard in The Netherlands) featured on Channel 4's News coverage on Seaborne Freight. Controversary arose following the UK's Transport Secretary's cancellation of a contract to Seaborne to operate the Ramsgate-Ostend, Belgium route.

In addition Arklow Bank the leadship of the 'B' class series dating to 2014, this week docked in Dublin Port. By coincidence the vessel berthed at the same South Bank Quay to where Afloat's follow-up (photo) coverage was taken in relation to the Seaborne story broadcast on the UK TV news programme. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#ferries - The UK Prime Minister, reports Channel 4 News, has once again backed the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling as he faced further criticism in parliament over the awarding of a contract to provide ferries in the event of a no-deal Brexit to a company with no ships.

Theresa May insisted that due diligence was carried out before start-up company Seaborne Freight was given a – now rescinded – contract.

But (yesterday) afternoon MPs grilled a senior Department of Transport (DfT) civil servant about how rigorous the checks into Seaborne’s main investor (Arklow Shipping) really were.

For much more featuring footage of Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons and the Parliament Select Committee hearing of the Dft official click here. 

In addition to a report by the Irish Times earlier this week which also delved into Arklow Shipping's 'no contract' with the no-deal Brexit ferry firm plan of a Ramsgate-Ostend (Belgium) service.  

Published in Ferry

#ferries - The UK Transport Secretary reports Channel 4 News, has been facing mounting calls for his resignation after he cancelled a £14 million contract with ferry company Seaborne Freight.

The government pulled the rug on the contract yesterday after revealing that Arklow Shipping – a firm which was set to be a majority shareholder in Seaborne – had itself backed out.

But Channel 4 News (tonight) revealed that that company had never agreed any contract and blamed the UK government for pushing the deal through too fast.

For more on the proposed Ramsgate-Belgium service click report along with footage of Arklow Shipping's 8660dwat leadship 'B' class Arklow Bank and Bay when launched in the Netherlands, which Afloat reported of both back in 2014. 

Published in Ferry

#ferries - UK prime minister Theresa May faced cross-party calls to sack her transport secretary, Chris Grayling, last night, after the calamitous collapse of a no-deal Brexit ferry contract handed to a company with no ships.

As The Guardian reports, senior tories said the prime minister had turned “a blind eye” to Grayling’s decision to award the £13.8m contract to Seaborne Freight to run ferries between Ramsgate and Ostend, despite widespread derision and accusations that it had been awarded illegally.

The collapse of the contract comes amid growing unease in the international business community about Britain’s preparedness for a no-deal outcome, with less than 50 days until Brexit is due to take place.

Several MPs suggested Grayling should now consider his position after his department revealed the contract had been cancelled, and Bob Kerslake, the former head of the civil service, said the saga would “just confirm the view of many that this country is in a mess”.

Anna Soubry, a former Tory business minister, said Grayling “should be quietly considering his position”.

“Chris Grayling holds a critical position in government, trying to mitigate what would be a very serious crisis for the country if we leave the European Union without a deal,” she said. “He has no grip on the very serious nature of his job. The prime minister should also be considering whether there is not someone else who could do the job better.”

Another senior Tory MP said Grayling was a “walking disaster zone”, adding: “A no-deal Brexit would be a major national crisis and stories like this suggest we have not got the people in place who are capable of responding to it.”

Another said: “Grayling never has a grip on the detail, as the Seaborne mess shows. His Heathrow proposal will be just the same but way more costly. The PM just turns a blind eye, for some reason.”

Andy McDonald, the shadow transport secretary, said: “While Theresa May needs the few friends she has right now, we cannot have this incompetent transport secretary heaping humiliation after humiliation on our country. He has to go.”

Joining the attacks, Vince Cable, the Lib Dem leader, said: “I very rarely call on ministers to go, but failing Grayling has made too many crass mistakes. He has already lost the confidence of the civil service as they now require a ministerial directive for the government to spend money on ferries.”

Downing Street last night said the prime minister had full confidence in Grayling.

The Department for Transport said the deal was terminated after Irish company Arklow Shipping, which had backed Seaborne, stepped away from the deal. “It became clear Seaborne would not reach its contractual requirements,” a spokeswoman said. “We have therefore decided to terminate our agreement.”

For more on this ferry development, click here.

Published in Ferry
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RORC Fastnet Race

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge.

For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between.

The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish for 2021 is in Cherbourg via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Cherbourg.

Fastnet Race - FAQs

The 49th edition of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, UK on Sunday 8th August 2021.

The next two editions of the race in 2021 and 2023 will finish in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin at the head of the Normandy peninsula, France

Over 300. A record fleet is once again anticipated for the world's largest offshore yacht race.

The international fleet attracts both enthusiastic amateur, the seasoned offshore racer, as well as out-and-out professionals from all corners of the world.

Boats of all shapes, sizes and age take part in this historic race, from 9m-34m (30-110ft) – and everything in between.

The Fastnet Race multihull course record is: 1 day 4 hours 2 minutes and 26 seconds (2019, Ultim Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier)

The Fastnet Race monohull course record is: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing).

David and Peter Askew's American VO70 Wizard won the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race, claiming the Fastnet Challenge Cup for 1st in IRC Overall.

Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001.

The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result.

The winner of the first Fastnet Race was the former pilot cutter Jolie Brise, a boat that is still sailing today.

Cork sailor Henry P F Donegan (1870-1940), who gave his total support for the Fastnet Race from its inception in 1925 and competed in the inaugural race in his 43ft cutter Gull from Cork.

Ireland has won the Fastnet Race twice. In 1987 the Dubois 40 Irish Independent won the Fastnet Race overall for the first time and then in 2007 – all of twenty years after Irish Independent’s win – Ireland secured the overall win again this time thanks to Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain from the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland in Kilrush.

©Afloat 2020

Fastnet Race 2021 Date

The 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Sunday 8th August 2021.

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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