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Displaying items by tag: MV Ocean Countess

#HISTORIC LIVERPOOL CRUISECALL - Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV)'s Ocean Countess (1976/17,593grt) became the first turnaround cruise call in four decades after departing Liverpool on Tuesday, however the ship suffered temporary loss of engine power, forcing the vessel to turn around and divert to Holyhead, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The cruiseship with around 700 passengers had embarked during scenes of celebrations as crowds of onlookers gathered for the historic occasion at the Liverpool City Cruise Terminal. Several hours later into the first leg of an eight-night Scottish Isles cruise the incident took place while off the west coast of the Isle of Man.

With the detour to Holyhead, passengers disembarked at the Welsh port and where provided with a shore-side tour excursion programme. Incidentally the Anglesey port welcomed the vessel the previous day, as she made a scheduled call before completing the inbound turnaround at Liverpool.

CMV have scheduled a further ten turn-around cruises from Liverpool this year using the terminal that was completed in 2007 at a cost of £17m. Following Ocean Countess's inaugural turnaround, Princess Cruises considerably larger 3,000 passenger / 113,000 tonnes Caribbean Princess made a call yesterday.

The Liverpool City Cruise Terminal up until now could only accept transit calls as the facility was built with public expenditure. It was deemed otherwise unfair to compete with other leading UK ports with cruise infrastructure facilities that where not funded by the public purse.

In order for the Merseyside to accommodate turnarounds, this was made feasible as Liverpool Council agreed to repay close to €9m of a grant for the river-based terminal in addition build a baggage handling facilities.

Prior to the terminal opening, only small cruiseships could call but instead had to navigate within the dock system to Langton Dock.

Published in Cruise Liners

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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