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Displaying items by tag: French Navy

#ExtendedVisit – Almost 400 visiting crew members from a pair of French Navy vessels that docked in Dublin Port as reported yesterday, will remain berthed in the capital on extended shore leave up to next Thursday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The naval vessels are a destroyer and an auxiliary replenishment tanker and will not be open to public unlike the NATO flotilla that called to the capital earlier this month.

Normally such visits are confined over a weekend, but on this occasion the call to the capital involves an extended leave during the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising that begins tomorrow.   

The F70 AA or ‘Cassard’ Class leadship Cassard (D 614) one of two sisters, are guided-missile destroyers despite the French Navy that designate them as frigates. The 5,000 deadweight replacement tonnes destroyer has a crew of 230 and was joined yesterday lunchtime by ‘Durance’ class replenishment tanker Var (A 608) with a crew of 150.

The destroyer docked within Alexandra Basin located in the centre of the port while downriver at Ocean Pier is where the 18,000 tonnes displacement at full load tanker berthed.

Cassard was launched in 1985 and three years later was commissioned into service. The 139m long frigate has a top speed of 30 knots. Main armament consists of Mistral and Exocet missiles. A hanger is where Panther type helicopters provide additional capabilities for the Cassard class.

Replenishment auxiliary tanker Var was launched in Brest in 1981 and two years later entered service. The 157m long tanker can achieve a more modest 19 knots and has a range of defence equipment among them a pair of 20 mm Oerlikon guns.

Likewise of the destroyer, Var can handle a Panther helicopter along with a variety of other such aircraft, among the examples are the Dauphin, Cougar, Gazelle and Puma.

Published in Naval Visits

#FrenchDouble - Following earlier this month’s NATO flotilla to Dublin Port, a pair of French Naval vessels are to make an appearance albeit they will not be open to the public, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The F70 AA class frigate Cassard (D 614) along with an auxiliary replenishment tanker Var (A 608) are to arrive in Dublin Bay tomorrow. The former is due in Dublin Port in the morning while the later takes a lunchtime slot.

Unlike the NATO visitors which berthed near the East-Link bridge, the French visitors will be away from the public gaze. The frigate will be tucked away in the adjacent Alexandra Basin. As for the ‘Durance’ class tanker, this vessel will be berthed downriver at Ocean Pier.

At the same time of the NATO flotilla, Afloat reported that of the visit to Dun Laoghaire Harbour of another French Navy pair of  the Leopard class cadet trainee vessels.

 

Published in Naval Visits

#FrenchNavy - A pair of French Navy trainee vessels visited Dun Laoghaire Harbour while all the attention focused on the NATO flotilla to neighbouring Dublin Port last weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

It was a busy scene as hundreds of visitors flocked to the NATO six-strong flotilla on the Liffey beside the East-Link Bridge. In stark contrast across the bay in Dun Laoghaire, French Navy vessels Tigre and Jaguar were berthed without the attention that a NATO call can draw, largely due to media coverage.

Senior French naval ratings were welcomed from the two Leopard class vessels at a reception held in the Harbour Lodge of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company.

Each of the 335 tonnes vessels docked at berth No. 3 along St. Micheal’s Pier where the ‘former’ ferry terminal is available to let as previously reported on Afloat.

At this berth is also located the harbour’s only suitable ferry berth linkspan (see photo). The facility is to the left of the naval vessels but cannot be seen in the above photo.

On the adjacent side of St. Michaels Pier, is berth No. 4, where a linkspan (now redundent) was custom-built to handle the specialist berthing requirements of the HSS Stena Explorer. The fast-ferry was withdrawn from the Holyhead route following Stena’s closure of the service in 2014.

Published in Naval Visits

#FrenchNavy– PSP Flamant (P676) a French Navy fisheries and coastguard patrol vessel docked in Dublin Port in advance of celebrating tomorrow's St. Patrick’s Day, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The OPV54 or 'Cormoran' bird class Flamant flying the 'tricolor' (adopted during the French Revolution) departed her homeport of Cherbourg and docked in the Irish capital this morning. It took two days for the 22 knot capable vessel to reach Dublin Bay where the naval visitor was greeted by the Liffey, a port pilot cutter.

A crew of just 20 personnel including tree trainees sailed upriver to the city centre at Sir John Rogersons Quay. Further along the south quays is O’Connell Bridge to where tomorrow’s largest St. Patrick's festival parade is to cross the Liffey to much fanfare in this centenary year of the 1916 Rising.

Flamant is to remain in port till Saturday morning and return to waters where the vessel is principally tasked in patrolling and surveillance duties in the zone économique exclusive (ZEE).

The OPV built by Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie also located in Cherbourg is from where the vessel sets off on these ZEE patrols. This involves patrols extending to 200 nautical miles offshore into the Atlantic Ocean.

She is equipped with a RIB concealed in a dock well which is accessed from a stern-lifting door.

Published in Naval Visits

#CommandShip – A French Navy command and supply ship BCR Somme (A 631), one of a series of oil tankers serving the fleet, is currently on a visit to Dublin Port, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Somme belongs to the Naval Action Force (Fan), Organic command of surface ships of the navy and is under the operational command of the commander of the maritime area of the Atlantic.

Laid down in 1985 at the Naval Yard in Brest, Brittany, the Somme which has a displacement of 7,800 tons and 18,000 tons at full load, was commissioned five year later. She is primarily used to be deployed in serving naval forces away from their bases during overseas missions.

The provisioning of supplies carried out by Somme involves various fuels (oil, diesel and jet fuel) in addition to water, food, drugs and ammunition and alternative materials. Heavy loads ranging from food, munitions and materials are transferred by sea cable support or by helicopter.

She is sponsored by the city of Amiens since 1990 and that of the Somme department was made the following year. In more recent years, her homeport has been based in Brest.

A departure from Dublin Port is scheduled for Tuesday morning. 

Published in Naval Visits

#FrenchMineHunter - French Navy "tripartite" minehunter Andromède (M 643) is to be the third visitor by the nation to call to Dublin Port this year, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Unlike the Type A69 corvette FS Lieutenant de Vaisseau Lavallée (F 790) which berthed in the centre of Dublin Port last week, the minehunter is to dock closer to the city centre on the Liffey.

The design origins of the 51m minehunter stems from a commitment to construct a minehunter warfare vessel to meet the needs, share technologies and also reduce costs of building units for the French, Belgium and Dutch Navies.

Andromède has served globally among international operations in the Persian Gulf in 1991 having entered into commissioned service in 1984.

The 615 tonnes displacement minehunster was completed by la Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) in Lorient, Brittany.

Published in Naval Visits

#FrenchCorvette – The French Navy are to return to Dublin Port as a Type A69 corvette FS Lieutenant de Vaisseau Lavallée (F 790) is to dock tomorrow, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Last month, the anti-submarine frigate FS Primauguet (D 644), made a four-day call to the capital having undertook exercises in the Norwegian fjords.

As for the FS Lieutenant de Vaisseau Lavallée she is also known as a D'Estienne d'Orves class corvette which entered service in 1980. The 1,250 tonnes corvette is armed with Excocet missiles and other defence attack systems. She is to berth at Ocean Pier, facing opposite the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club.

Her visit will also follow a German Navy Task Group which comprised of an oil replenishment, stores and equipment vessel and three frigates that called during the St. Patrick weekend.

 

Published in Naval Visits

#FrenchFrigate - FS Primauguet (D644), a French Navy 70 class anti-submarine frigate which last month undertook exercises in the Norwegian fjords, docked in Dublin Port for a four-day visit and is understood to be the first foreign caller this year, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 139metres long vessel commissioned in 1986, has a crew of more than 500 who were deployed in Norwegian waters to operate with corvette Ravera as part of 'Operation Mangoose' .The 30-knot capable frigate's primary arsenal are excocet missiles and she carries up to 2 Lynx helicopters.

She berthed this morning at Ocean Pier, where the frigate is visible to motorists using the East-Link toll-lift bridge and notably can be seen from the Poolbeg Yacht Boat Club with its marina facilities facing the main channel of Dublin Port.

Published in Naval Visits

#FrenchFrigate - Dublin Port is to welcome La Motte-Picquet (D645) a French Navy frigate capable of 30 knots and a crew of more than 230 when she visits the capital next weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Displaceming 4,010 tonnes the anti-submarine Type F70 frigate of the Georges Leygues class is to berth at Ocean Pier during her four-day call.

The 139m long frigate completed in 1985 at the Brest Naval Dockyard, has a comprehensive armament in addition to carrying 2x Lynx Mk 4 helicopters.

 

Published in Naval Visits

#FrenchNavy - The French Navy 'Tripartite' class mine warfare vessel Croix du Sud (M646) which has a hull constructed of composite polyester resin is to visit Dublin Port today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Tripartite class is a design collaboration of the French, Belgium and Dutch navy's. She displaces 615 tonnes and the vessel entered service in 1986.

Crew complement comprises of 5 senior officers, 32 officers and 12 trainee cadets.

She is scheduled to dock this morning and berth along Sir John Rogersons Quay and this evening be joined by a German Navy sail training vessel, the Asta.

 

Published in Naval Visits
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The Rolex Fastnet Race - This biennial offshore pilgrimage 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 is in Plymouth, Devon 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 Plymouth. The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
  • Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

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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