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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Cape Clear

#IrishHarbours - Marine Minister Simon Coveney today (13 December) attended the signing of a contract with L&M Keating Ltd for the remediation and harbour improvement works at North Harbour on Cape Clear, Co Cork.  

Welcoming the commencement of the project, and referring to the benefits of this significant investment, the minister said: “This initiative will provide much needed infrastructural improvement and will provide employment during and after the construction phase giving an opportunity to develop the island’s economic potential as well as boosting quality of life on the island.”

The minister has responsibility for North Harbour on Cape Clear which, as the safest landing location on the West Cork island, is of infrastructural importance to the island population. 

The pier known as 'Bull Nose' has been deteriorating in recent years and has been the cause of some concern. This major project will stabilise and upgrade the pier and provide a storm gate between the two harbour piers. 

The minister said that the development "is part of a wider Government strategy for capital investment in various harbours throughout the country in 2014”.

He added: “I view this project as a testament to this Government's support of island communities and will be paying particular attention to its progress during the course of 2014.”

The works will be carried out by an Irish company L&M Keating Ltd, Building & Civil Engineering Contractors, Kilmihil, Co Clare. 

The project will significantly improve shelter within the outer basin of the North Harbour and will cost in the region of €4 million, which will be funded through the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine's Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme. It is due to be completed by the end of 2014.

Published in Irish Harbours
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#rnli – Baltimore all weather lifeboat in West Cork was launched to carry out a medical evacuation from Cape Clear Island in West Cork last night. The call for assistance was made at 10:04pm on Monday 23rd Sept when a 15 year old youth required urgent medical attention.

The all weather lifeboat Alan Massey was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Kieran Cotter proceeding to North Harbour on Cape Clear Island in fresh weather conditions. The lifeboat collected the youth and in less than one hour had brought him to Baltimore to deliver him into the care of the ambulance service.

Coxswain Kieran Cotter remarked that 'given its speed and sea worthiness, the lifeboat is ideal for use in these emergencies'.

Next Sunday 29th Sept the crew of lifeboat are inviting the public to the station open day between 2:30pm and 5:30pm. The new state of the art building will be open to public view, as will the Atlantic 75 RIB inshore lifeboat and the Tamar class all weather lifeboat. All welcome - free of charge.

On board were Coxswain Kieran Cotter, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell, Jerry Smith, Pat Collins, Tadhg Collins, John Rochford and John O'Flynn.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#MarineWildlife - The Guardian reports on new research which proves that military sonar has a direct effect on the behaviour of whales in our oceans - even leading to mass strandings.

The studies, part funded by the US Navy, found that beaked whales where particularly sensitive to sonar - and that even blue whales, the largest animals on earth, were distracted from feeding by the subsurface noise.

It's long been feared that the use of sonar is to blame for unusual behaviour among whales, who navigate and communicate with each other over long distances using sound.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) identified sonar activity by Royal Navy submarines as a possible cause of a the mass stranding of pilot whales in Donegal in November 2010, in which as many as 35 whales died.

Now for the first time, sonar has been proven to affect behaviour of cetaceans to a detrimental degree, confirming for many a connection between the use of sonar technology and recordings of whale and dolphin strandings identified since the 1950s. The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

In more positive whale-related news, the IWDG reports that its next Cape Clear summer whalewatching course over the weekend of 26-28 July is "filling up nicely".

Places are still available but as it coincides with the tourism high season in West Cork, anyone interested is advised to book sooner than later to ensure they have someone to stay nearby.

The most recent weekend course over the June bank holiday witnessed numerous harbour porpoises and common dolphins, but its hoped the elusive whales will make an appearance next time round!

Published in Marine Wildlife

Cape Clear's North Harbour has a temporary pontoon for embarkation and disembarkation

Published in Irish Marinas
Tagged under

The West Cork Islands of Bere, Dursey, Garnish, Heir, Long, Cape Clear, Sherkin and Whiddy are inviting visitors to 'explore the islands, experience island life' in a special island festival in June.

The idea behind the celebration from June 15 and 16 is to encourage visitors to see what life on an island is like. The island communities are saying 'be an islander for the weekend'. Enjoy reduced rates on ferries/cable car activities, services and accommodation. Jump on a ferry or the cable car at islander rates.

More details on the festival are here

Published in Island News

#MISSING DIVER - Teams were still searching yesterday at a wreck site off Cape Clear for a diver missing since Tuesday, according to The Irish Times.

A Defence Forces spokesperson told the paper that a sonar device would be employed to scan the seabed for any sign of 54-year-old Reinhardt Teschke, who failed to resurface from a 90m dive on the wreck of British merchant vessel the Minnehaha.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Baltimore RNLI launched both its inshore and all-weather lifeboats to the scene south of Balitmore Harbour in West Cork on Tuesday evening to search for the German diver, one of a party of three at the wreck site.

Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 and the Naval Service vessel LE Ciara were also involved in the surface search, which was set to be wound down yesterday.

Published in News Update

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has announced another series of its popular whale watching courses on Cape Clear in West Cork this summer.

The courses cater for adults keen to learn more about whales and dolphins in Irish waters and how to observe, record and identify them. They will feature a mixture of workshops and field trips, including cliff and boat-based whale watches.

Three weekend courses will take place on 25-27 May, 20-22 July and 7-9 September, led by IWDG sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley. All are open to IWDG members and non-members alike, but places are limited to 20 places each weekend on a first-come-first-served basis.

Admission is €70 for IWDG members (€90 for non-members), with a non-refundable deposit of €25 required. Please note that this fee does not cover transport to Cape Clear, food or accomodation (which is limited in high summer) or any boat trips. As the itinerary will be weather-dependant, some flexibility will be required.

More information on the weekends and booking details are available at the IWDG website HERE.

In other IWDG news, the group has secured another grant from the Island Foundation to continue its humpback whale research in Cape Verde this spring and summer.

A shore-based team will be stationed in Boa Vista in an area that is "possibly the most important site for breeding humbacks in the entire northeast Atlantic".

Published in Marine Wildlife

The ferry service contract for Cape Clear in Co. Cork has been awarded to the company, Thar Tonn Teo. 

The 'Island Princess' will be used as the main vessel for the service from the middle of March 2011 onwards. The boat 'Tranquility' will be used until then. The contract will come into effect from February 1st 2011 and will be operational for eight years until 31st of January 2019. The contract is worth €2.65m in total.

This contract was awarded as a result of a competitive tendering process that was initiated by the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs. As he announced the winning contract, the Minister  Pat Carey said, "I am very pleased that a long-term agreement has been put in place which will ensure that the people of Cape Clear have a ferry service in the years to come and I wish the new service every success."

Published in Ports & Shipping
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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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