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Displaying items by tag: Fastnet Rock

In Irish waters a Portuguese-registered fishing vessel, reports The Irish Times, was detained by the Navy Service on Thursday.

The Lé Samuel Beckett, a Naval Service patrol vessel, detained the Portuguese boat approximately 200 nautical miles south of Fastnet Rock, after an alleged breach of fishing regulations.

In a statement, the service said the Portuguese vessel was being escorted to Castletownbere, County Cork, where it will be handed over to An Garda Síochána. The detention is now a garda matter and the nature of the infringement has not been disclosed.

It is the second detainment by the service this week and the eighth of 2019. On Tuesday, Lé George Bernard Shaw detained an Irish fishing vessel off Howth.

More here on this latest detention. 

Published in Navy

Following the news that the 340 places in the biennial RORC Rolex Fastnet Race had been snapped up within minutes of entries for 2019’s race opening, Afloat understands that the Community Council on Cape Clear Island – the nearest part of Ireland to the famous rock - has been considering submissions about how best to monetise their very special rock’s unmistakable marketing appeal.

“We don’t want to appear greedy or grasping” a spokeswoman said, "but the fact is that since 1925, the international offshore racing community – a notably affluent group – have been making regular use of a very important piece of our land without paying a cent for it. It may well be that we’ve had some indirect long-term tourism benefits from the continuous appearance of the Fastnet Rock in photographs and as an international symbol of offshore racing. But we feel that it is now time for a more practical direct payment for the benefit of our isolated community”.

Cape Clear Island sources tell Afloat.ie that one way of raising income would be a “Fastnet Charge”, to be levied by the RORC as part of the entry fee, and then subsequently paid to the Community Council. The islanders are well aware of the enormous size range of boats in the Fastnet fleet, and they insist that the levy should reflect this. The suggestion is that for 2019, the fee should be €5 per metre of overall length, but the “Capers” assure us that Irish entries would be exempt, unless it became obvious that all sorts of boat-owners from all over the world were claiming to be Irish.

As negotiations are still at a preliminary and very delicate stage, Afloat.ie has been unable to get any comment on the matter from either the Royal Ocean Racing Club or sponsors Rolex. But the word in Baltimore and Schull is that the folk on the nearby mainland are with the Capers all the way, and the latest suggestion from the West Cork shore is that noted sailing celebrity and summer local Jeremy Irons of Kilcoe Castle be invited to become a Patron of the recently-formed Fellowship Administering Fastnet Fund.

Published in Fastnet
Tagged under

Following last year’s performance of ‘Flying Irishman’ Tom Dolan and pioneering woman Joan Mulloy in their Solitaire du Figaro debuts, now the renowned solo offshore race is coming to Ireland.

The Solitaire URGO Le Figaro is set to return to Kinsale this summer for the first time since 2009 for its 50th gala edition, with a course that takes in a rounding of Fastnet Rock to Kinsale on the weekend of 8-9 June to end its first leg out of Nantes.

The racing fleet continues on a “marathon run” around the Irish coast through the Irish Sea, around the Isle of Man and back down the west coast of Great Britain to Roscoff in northern France.

Stage three is a loop of ‘La Manche’ back to Roscoff before the final stage, via Wolf Rock and the Isle of Wight, to Dieppe. In all the course covers 2,130 miles (not accounting for weather-related changes).

Tom Dolan has already pledged his return for his second Figaro, this time in his new Figaro 3 boat, while the presence of Joan Mulloy — Ireland’s first female entry in the race — will further buoy Irish interest in the challenge as it takes in our coast.

Dolan tells Afloat.ie that he is “itching to get going after three months of computers and meetings!”

Solitaire 2019 route

Race organisers add: 

The Solitaire URGO Le Figaro is set to enter a new era this year, with the introduction of the new Figaro Bénéteau 3 for the 50th edition of the annual solo sailing race. Starting from the French city of Nantes on June 2nd, 2,130 nautical miles of challenging offshore racing around some of Europe’s roughest waters await the Figaro skippers, including a return to Ireland with a stopover in Kinsale.

Owned and organised by OC Sport’s French subsidiary OC Sport Penduick, the Solitaire URGO Le Figaro is one of the world’s toughest sailing competitions. Fiercely competitive, the race is recognised as the unofficial world championship of solo offshore racing, with the course taking just over a month to complete. Requiring a unique skill set, the Solitaire URGO Le Figaro pushes competitors to the edges of their physical and mental limits.

OC Sport Pen Duick Event Director Mathieu Sarrot commented: “This anniversary year of the Solitaire is set to be an historic edition and we are expecting a diverse fleet including previous winners and new comers to the new Figaro Bénéteau 3. This means the stakes will be high with everyone out to prove themselves in a new boat.

“On the water it will be particularly challenging,” Sarrot continued. “To be successful the competitors will need seasoned offshore experience as well as coastal knowledge. But also sheer grit and determination. With the ongoing support of our title partner URGO, it’s set to be an incredible 50th edition."

The fleet will start leg 1 under the striking bridge of Saint-Nazaire following a passage through the river Loire from the historic city of Nantes in Brittany. After rounding Île d’ Yeu, they will head across the Celtic Sea before passing the legendary Fastnet Rock and heading to the port of Kinsale, Ireland. At 500 nautical miles, the fleet will be immersed in a tough race from the off with a drag race through potentially choppy seas to keep the solo skippers on their toes before they arrive in Irish waters.

Speaking on behalf of the Kinsale Chamber of Tourism and Business, Board Member Ciaran Fitzgerald and Chairperson Guny Patel commented: “Kinsale Chamber is delighted with the announcement that the 50th Anniversary of the prestigious La Solitaire Le Figaro yacht race has been awarded to Kinsale for June 2019.

“This is an amazing event for Kinsale to host and welcome back having hosted this world famous single handed race more than any Port over the 50 years of the race. Kinsale Chamber looks forward to welcoming the sailors and visitors for what will be an incredible spectacle on sea and land over the five days of the stopover. Congratulation to Enda O'Coineen and his team for bringing this event to Ireland.”

Expected to arrive in Kinsale on Wednesday 5th June, the Solitaire URGO Le Figaro fleet will stay in Ireland until Sunday 9th June, when the skippers will set sail on the longest 630-nautical mile Leg 2 to Roscoff in northern Brittany. In a first for the Figaro fleet, this marathon stage will take the skippers along the stunning Irish coast and through the unpredictable, and at times dangerous, Irish sea before rounding the Isle of Man. A long descent along the rugged western Welsh coast, followed by a passage between Land's End and the Scilly Isles, before a crossing of the English Channel towards Roscoff will conclude what is sure to be a gruelling leg.

From Roscoff, the fleet will stay in the familiar waters of Brittany where they will tackle a 450 nautical mile coastal course that will require them to use all of their technical and tactical prowess in the strong tidal currents, before returning to Roscoff on Wednesday 19th June.

To end the 2019 Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, the increasingly exhausted fleet have a double Channel crossing to contend with. At 500 nautical miles, the final leg will see the competitors leave Roscoff on Saturday 22nd June to head across the channel towards Land’s End via a starboard rounding of the south cardinal navigation mark off Portsall. From there, they will have to negotiate the difficult conditions along the south coast of England before skirting the Isle of Wight, and crossing back into French waters through one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. With fast depleting energy, the skippers will need to keep their wits about them as they head to a mark off Barfleur, before the final sprint into the Normandy fishing port of Dieppe.

The skippers are expected to arrive in Dieppe on Wednesday 26th June, with a non-points scoring postlogue race planned for Saturday 29th June allowing the public to see the new Figaro Bénéteau 3’s in action before the official prize giving where the winner of the 2019 Solitaire URGO Le Figaro will be crowned.

As many as 40 Figaro skippers are expected to compete in this 50th anniversary edition, including former winners alongside a plethora of young talent. At 2,130 nm, the 2019 Solitaire URGO Le Figaro course is one of the longest in race history and it will take everything in the skippers’ solo offshore arsenal to get them to the finish line.

With just over five months to go until the build-up begins in Nantes, the skippers will be using this valuable time to take delivery and train on their new Figaro Bénéteau 3’s. A full skippers line-up will be revealed in April.

La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro 2019 Schedule

May 27th: Arrival of the fleet in Nantes, France
June 2nd, Leg 1 start: Nantes, France – Kinsale, Ireland (via Fastnet Rock) – 500nm
June 9th, Leg 2 start: Kinsale, Ireland – Roscoff, France (via the Isle of Man) – 360nm
June 16th, Leg 3 start: Roscoff, France – Roscoff, France - 450nm
June 22nd, Leg 4 start: Roscoff, France – Dieppe, France – 460nm
June 26th: Anticipated arrival of first boats in Dieppe
June 29th: Postlogue and awards ceremony in Dieppe

Published in Solo Sailing

Concern has been expressed in West Cork about the effect of a proposed reduction in power in the Fastnet Rock Light after the Commissioners of Irish Lights have completed work at the famous Lighthouse during 2018 and 2019.

In a statement issued today, the Commissioners comment: “This is part of a planned programme of continuous maintenance, upkeep and modernisation of our coastal services to the mariner. The work consists of structural repairs which are necessary to ensure the metal lantern room is properly secured to the granite tower, and modernisation of the light source to an energy efficient rotating LED lantern.

When these works are completed the outward appearance of the Fastnet will be unchanged. The work will improve our environmental impact by significantly reducing the need for diesel and generators and by removing all mercury from the station. The range of the light will reduce from 27 to 18 Nautical miles.”

However, Irish Lights understands that the Fastnet is important, not only as an Aid to Navigation, but as part of the heritage of the area and as a tourism asset.

In order to provide information on the works to the West Cork community, Irish Lights are holding a Public Information Meeting at Schull Sailing Centre on Monday 5th March at 1900hrs, to which anyone with any concerns whatsoever about the future of the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse is invited.

Published in Lighthouses
Tagged under

The Fastnet Rock and its lighthouse – the most southerly part of Ireland - make up one of the best-recognised maritime structures in the world writes W M Nixon. Symbol, icon, emblem, signpost of the ocean – you name it, the Fastnet is all of these things. And the slender, beautifully-engineered lighthouse itself is central to the rock’s significance.

Since 1904 – after several previous attempts at placing a light on the rock - the glow of its beam has been moving every night along the glorious coast of West Cork. It is a familiar and much-loved part of that unique region’s heritage. It is impossible to imagine the area without it. And not surprisingly, many people want it to stay totally as it is, an unchanging constant in a changing world, a part of their lives as it was part of their parents’ and grandparents’ world before them

Yet with technology always advancing, inevitably the power source for the Fastnet Rock was becoming long out-dated, and increasingly costly to run. At the Irish Lights base in Dun Laoghaire, a new LED bulb has been developed which will provide a light in a much more economical way. 

Yet if the new system is introduced, while it will still be a very powerful light, it will be one third less powerful than the present antiquated system. Naturally it is causing concern in West Cork. The Irish Times has the story here

Published in Lighthouses
Tagged under

#RNLI - Two people watching the Fastnet Race fleet round the famous rock from a RIB yesterday (Tuesday 8 August) were rescued by Baltimore RNLI when their boat lost power. 

The volunteer lifeboat crew, who were already on exercise in the area of Fastnet Rock, were alerted by a call from a nearby vessel at 3.15pm that another boat with two people onboard had lost the use of their engine.

The all-lifeboat was only two miles from the casualty vessel, a 7.5m RIB. Conditions at the time were good with a north-westerly Force 2-3 wind and a one-metre sea swell.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew established a tow and brought the vessel back to Baltimore Harbour in West Cork, securing her to the pontoon before returning to the lifeboat station at 4.20pm.

Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer, commented: “Thankfully the lifeboat crew were on scene very quickly after the call was raised. 

“Baltimore RNLI has a strong connection to the Fastnet Race having been involved in a number of dramatic rescues over the years. The lifeboat crew regularly exercise during the famous race to be nearby in case they receive a call for help.”

Elsewhere, Wicklow’s all-weather lifeboat launched at on Monday night (7 August) to assist two sailors on a yacht in difficulties about two miles north-east of Wicklow Harbour.

The eight-metre yacht was on passage south when it developed engine problems. The skipper contacted the Irish Coast Guard for assistance as they were unable to make any progress due to the lack of wind.

Under the command of second coxswain Ciaran Doyle, the lifeboat was alongside the casualty six minutes after launching. Conditions in the area had a calm sea state with light airs and good visibility.

A towline was quickly established and the yacht was brought back to Wicklow Harbour, where it was safely secured alongside the East Pier before midnight.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lighthouses - Fastnet Rock is part of a new €1.3 million, three-year project studying the effects of wave action on offshore lighthouses around the UK and Ireland.

As Phys.org reports, the STORMLAMP project – or STructural behaviour Of Rock Mounted Lighthouses At the Mercy of imPulsive waves – comprises marine science researchers from University College London and the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter, some of whom have already conducted a trail at Plymouth's Eddystone Lighthouse.

The team will use specialised equipment to measure the vibrations endured by lights found in some of the roughest seas around these islands.

The recorded data will then feed into sophisticated computer models that will predict the longevity of rock-based lighthouses in Cornwall, the Channel Islands and the west coast of Scotland, besides Fastnet off West Cork, and identify whether any remedial works would be required.

Phys.org has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Lighthouses

#Rescue - Two Irish Coast Guard helicopters battled Storm Desmond to evacuate a crewman from a container ship off the southwest coast yesterday (Friday 4 December).

As UTV News reports, Rescue 117 from Waterford was joined by Rescue 115 from Shannon in the medevac some 160km west of Fastnet Rock at the Swedish-registered MV Atlantic Cartier, where the long-range-specialist Sikorsky S-92 helicopters faced strong gales and heavy seas.

According to TheJournal.ie, the ill crewman, who was reporting chest pains, was airlifted to Cork Airport where he was transferred to an ambulance.

It marks the latest rescue operation for the coastguard helicopter network in a busy 2015, which has seen a record year for Sligo's Rescue 118 in particular.

Published in Rescue

#NewWindCat- Waterford based Fastnet Shipping Limited has added a new 22m windfarm and survey support catamaran to its fleet of marine plant hire, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The craft which has space to seat up to 27 personnel will be used to transferring construction and crew service teams for the offshore wind-farm /turbine transfer market.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the company since 2010 has entered this sector in UK waters, when they commissioned a quartet of multi-purpose high-speed craft wind-farm support vessels (WFSV) for the charter market.

The introduction of this fifth and larger WFSV will see the 24 knots maximum capable Fastnet Rock able to operate up to 200 nautical miles.

For further vessel specifications of the Panamanian flagged craft click HERE.

In addition to the wind-farm support vessels, Fastnet Shipping operate and charter out vessels involved in dredging contracts, harbour and coastal towage and provide offshore logistics support services.

 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Swimming - Cork swimmer Steve Redmond has been named World Open Water Swimming's Man of the Year for 2012 for his record-breaking triumph in the Oceans7 Challenge last summer.

As the Southern Star declares: "Few individuals in the history of open water swimming have carried the heavy physical, mental, emotional and financial burdens that Stephen Redmond heaped upon his broad shoulders in 2012."

It marked the third year in a row that Redmond was nominated for the international award.

The Corkman had already conquered many of the world's toughest marathon swims - such as becoming the first person ever to swim from Baltimore to Schull around the Fastnet Rock - before setting sights on the Oceans7 Challenge, the open sea swimming equivalent of climbing the world's seven highest peaks.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, he completed the final leg of the challenge when he crossed Japan's Tsugaru Strait in mid July, beating Australian marathon swimmer Penny Palfrey to the coveted accolade.

Published in Sea Swim
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