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Displaying items by tag: Holyhead

Plans to refurbish the Port of Holyhead's Breakwater amid concerns it could fail within the next 15 years has led to a consultation launched.

Investigations of the structure have identified a need for a large scale refurbishment of the Breakwater to ensure that it can continue to receive about 70% of all ferry vehicle movement between Ireland and Wales and the North West.

Since its completion in 1873, the Breakwater has been subject to considerable wave action, which has led to the movement and erosion (as Afloat reported) of the rubble mound, that supports the structures wall.

Over the coming years it is anticipated that the level of the mound will become so low that the footing of the vertical walls will be at risk of being undermined.

"Investigations of the structure have predicted that the Breakwater could fail within the next 15 years meaning a permanent solution must be found," a Stena Line Ports spokesperson said.

More from North Wales Pioneer here.

Published in News Update

A historic tall ship which ran aground on the Port of Holyhead's breakwater, according to NorthWalesLive, could still be saved as hopes have been raised. 

The 83-year-old tall ship Zebu got into difficulties on May 15 and the ship had to be abandoned, after she was grounded on the sea wall.

There were fears the vessel, which was left at a 45 degree angle, may have to be dismantled, with the masts removed earlier this week as bad weather approached.

But inspections by divers have now shown the vessel is not as damaged as previously feared.

A full statement has been put out by the marketing director, for the two-masted clipper, which said there is "a strong chance & hope from Team Zebu that she will be saved."

An investigation also found the cause of the incident was due to the anchor dragging.

For further coverage of the tallship that was bound for Bristol, click here. 

Published in Historic Boats

In Holyhead, a stricken tall ship which ran aground last week at the north Wales port's breakwater is set to be dismantled.

It is understood that the 83-year-old tall ship Zebu has been too badly damaged to be salvaged.

A crane company is expecting to remove the two masts today with bad weather forecast.

As NorthWalesLive reported on Tuesday, the rest of the dismantling work is expected to be completed next week.

"It's very sad," said Mark Francis, of Bob Francis Crane Hire. "She's a piece of British nautical history.

"There will never be another one like her built again because the skills and crafts needed are being lost."

He added: "We are taking all the rigging and the masts off to stabilise the hull. We may have to stop then until next week because of a freshening blow."

More from the newspaper here.

Published in Historic Boats

The ferry port of Holyhead has been confirmed by the Welsh Government for the site of a planned new Border Control Post (BCP).

Physical checks are required on certain goods entering the UK from the EU due to Brexit and the deal struck by the UK Government.

Further controls on imports are due to be introduced in phases this year by the UK Government.

Checks were due to be introduced in stages from 1 April and from 1 July, but most import checks have now been pushed back to January 1 2022.

Border Control Posts (BCPs), where the required physical inspections will take place, are being established across the UK.

At Holyhead inspections will be required on goods such as animals, plants and products of animal origin entering Wales from the Republic of Ireland. These checks are the responsibility of the Welsh Government and will be in place in order to ensure goods entering the UK do not pose a risk to public health, or to the spread of animal or plant diseases.

Welsh Government has announced that Plot 9 at Parc Cybi has been selected as the site for the post.

A planning consultation under a Special Development Order will begin shortly.

For much more reading on this development, NorthWalesLive reports including an image of the BCP plot site. 

Published in Ferry

Cruiseships that had used the deep water jetty at the Port of Holyhead, NorthWalesLive reports, is now receiving an upgrade that will make it more attractive for passengers and prepare it for a new use.

Work has begun on the £500,000 upgrade of the Orthios jetty at Holyhead - currently being used as a base for sea trials and training by the world’s most advanced polar research vessel the RSS Sir David Attenborough (see pic-caption too).

The upgrade serves two purposes - including getting the jetty ready to receive plastics for recycling for Orthios' Plastics-to-Oil facilities at the former Anglesey Aluminium site.

It will also benefit Welsh tourism as Orthios said it will make the jetty "more attractive" to cruise ships when the holiday industry revives.

The improvement works are being managed for Orthios by Cadarn Consulting of Anglesey.

More on this story here and the newbuild polar research ship was off the North coast of Ireland recently.

Published in Cruise Liners

Ferry operator Stena Line has placed a quarter if its dock workers at Holyhead on furlough as Covid and Brexit hit demand for services.

The ferry giant, reports NorthWalesLive, has seen a slump in trade since January 1 due to several factors.

This includes the continued impact of the pandemic on passenger numbers, trade disruption due to Brexit and stockpiling in December.

It has seen some weekend services cancelled and next week Stena Estrid (see related story) will be replaced by the smaller Stena Horizon on the route.

This has sparked fears over the long term impact on Holyhead port with a surge in trade on direct Ireland/EU mainland services and a switch by some operators to direct Belfast routes for goods to and from Northern Ireland.

Port officials remain calm about the situation with confidence that these are short term impacts exacerbated by the pandemic.

But they have taken the decision to temporarily reduce staff numbers dockside with a 25% cut in port services operators.

These workers - who help to dock vessels and the ferries to load and unload - have been placed on the UK Government's Job Retention Scheme.

Further reading here on the reality of such developments. 

Published in Stena Line

A UK parliament committee has said it is deeply concerned that no decision has been made on the location of customs facilities for the ports of Holyhead, Fishguard and Pembroke - with just 21 days left before the end of the Brexit transition period.

The Port of Holyhead is the second busiest roll-on/roll-off freight ferry port in the UK (after Dover) and about half of the outbound freight from Dublin Port passes through it.

The confused state of customs preparation on the UK side could result in long delays for Irish truck drivers moving goods in and out of the country.

The Welsh government has prepared contingency plans in case facilities are not ready, including a plan to stack lines of trucks along the A55, which is the main road from the port that stretches across north Wales.

From 1 January, the UK will be outside the EU Customs Union and full customs procedures will apply to goods moving between Ireland and Great Britain.

The British government has decided to introduce customs and food safety checks in three phases between January and July mainly because the computer systems to process the extra customs paperwork are not ready and the physical facilities to carry out customs checks have not been built.

In a report published today, the Welsh Affairs Committee of the UK parliament said that even with a delay on introducing full scale customs checks until July, "there is an unacceptable level of risk that facilities will not be ready in either North or South West Wales for the full introduction of border checks and processes in July 2021".

For much more RTE reports on the Irish Sea routes and associated UK 'land-bridge'.

Published in Ferry

A Welsh MP has claimed the granting of a freeport status to the (ferry)port of Holyhead could “transform” the fortunes of the town and Anglesey as a whole.

The Government, writes NorthWalesLive, has already promised to create up to 10 freeports across the UK after Brexit.

Being included in such a free port zone would mean that they would be considered to be outside of the UK for customs purposes — meaning companies could import and export goods without paying the usual tariffs.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is widely reported to be planning to open bidding for towns, cities and regions to become freeports in his autumn budget.

Such reports suggest the ports would be “fully operational” within 18 months of the UK leaving the customs union and single market at the end of this year.

Virginia Crosbie, in a pre-election pledge, promised to campaign for Holyhead to be given such status which she said would “put Holyhead on the international map” as well as “unleash hundreds of new, good quality jobs” and boost tourism.

For more on the north Wales ferryport (incl. the cruise sector) click here. 

Published in Ferry

Additional financial support is needed to keep the Port of Holyhead’s ferry operators going during the Coronavirus pandemic, it has been claimed.

While some freight services continue between Wales and Ireland, the slashing of passenger services has led to calls for UK Government cash to bridge the gap between a drop in income and running costs of maintaining such an important strategic international transport and freight route between Dublin and Holyhead.

As a result, the leader of Anglesey Council has written to transport secretary Grant Shapps and Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart to highlight her concerns on how it could affect the 400 workers based at the port.

Cllr Llinos Medi described the impact of coronavirus on the day-to-day operations of both Holyhead Port’s ferry operators – Stena Line and Irish Ferries – as “severe” with both having already curtailed services but remaining committed to maintaining transport of critical freight.

For much more click NorthWalesLive here

Published in Ferry

Wales’ largest indoor watersport event takes place at the Anglesey Showground in Holyhead on 29-30 May next year.

The All Wales Boat & Leisure Show will feature the finest of personal watercraft and active watersport in a region that hosts some of the world’s best coastal waters and coastline, lakes, white water rivers and gorges.

The show connects together industry leaders in boat and leisure products and services across Wales, with not only watersport and boating enthusiasts but all those that have a passion for the great outdoors.

Discover a huge range of exhibitors, show events and activities where you can have a go, too — it’s a must-visit for boat owners, watersport lovers or families looking for a great day out.

Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for children (under 4s free) and £20 for families, and also give access to the Anglesey Food Festival, Bangor Science Festival and Festival of Discovery.

Published in Watersport
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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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