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Displaying items by tag: OCEA

The saga of Thor Gitta's prolonged stay in Galway to load two former Aran Islands ferries bound for Mauritius, culminated with the cargoship's departure this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Due to a series of incidents, mishaps and delays the Thor Gitta has been at the centre of attention. Crowds of Galwegians witnessed the loading of both ferries during the past week.

First to be loaded was the Clann na nOileáin on Wednesday in an operation than took four-hours while on Friday her sister Clann Eagle I took six-hours to be winched safely onto the cargo-deck during freshening winds.

It is ironic that since Thor Gitta 's arrival to the port's Dún Aengus Dock on 5 April that it would also nearly be the same time taken for the estimated 25-day delivery voyage of the ferries to the Indian Ocean island.

During the 8,300 mile journey Thor Gitta will make several port of calls with the first call to La Rochelle. The Bay of Biscay port is the next largest port south of Les Sables d'Olonnes, where the fast-ferries where built at the OCEA boatyard for her original owners Bád Arann Teoranta which traded as Aran Direct on routes from Rossaveal to the islands.

Thor Gitta was built in 1996 and is also designed to carry 364 TEU (twenty-foot equivilant unit) containers and belongs to an-eight strong fleet operated by the Danish company, Thor Rederi A/S of Svendborg.

One of the reasons why the heavylift vessel was delayed in loading was to ensure the correct positioning of the ferries so not to further disrupt other port call cargo allocation while on the long repositioning voyage to Mauritius.

The 4,078 tonnes cargsoship is also scheduled to make en-route calls to Pointe Noir in the Congo, Cape Town and Pemba in Mozambique before finally reaching the southern Indian Ocean destination.

When the ferries were completed in 2005 and 2006 they were valued between €5-6m but they only served up to September 2008 when the 243 passenger aluminium built craft were laid-up at the Connemara harbour due to financial difficulities.

This led to the company going into receivership and the vessels were put up for auction in Galway last February. Despite bids reaching €950,000, they were withdrawn at the auction hosted by the Cork based auctioneer, Dominic J. Daly.

In the following month the fast-ferries were sold to the French owner for a new career based from the island state which is in the Mascarene Islands. Mauritius is neighboured by the smaller islands of Agalega, Cargados Carajos, Rodrigues and the French island of Réunion some 200km to the southwest.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Two former Aran Islands fast-passenger ferries have been sold to a buyer in Mauritius, the island nation which lies southeast off the African continent in the Indian Ocean, and some 900km east of Madagascar, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The ferries Clann Eagle I (2005/169grt) and Clann na nOileáin (2006/172grt) were sold for a seven figure sum by the auctioneer, Dominic J. Daly.

The sale follows a previous attempt to dispose of the 234-passenger capacity ferries at an auction in Galway last month. Despite bids reaching €950,000, they were withdrawn at the auction which was also hosted by the Cork based auctioneer.

The vessels remain in Rossaveal but they will be transferred onto a cargoship as 'deck-cargo' to make the long delivery journey across the high seas for the new owners. Mauritius is neighboured by the smaller islands of Agalega, Cargados Carajos and Rodrigues which together form the Mascarene Islands, with the French island of Réunion some 200km to the southwest.

ARAN_FERRIES

Sisters Clann na nOileáin and Clann Eagle I moored at Rossaveal. Photo
Jehan Ashmore / ShipSNAPS

With a streamlined aluminium 26m mono-hull design the vessels are capable of 19.7 knots. When the craft were constructed in 2006 they were worth between €5 and €6m. The pair were built in France by the OCEA boatyard at Les Sables d'Olonne, on the Bay of Biscay coastline, for Bád Arann Teo (trading as Aran Direct).

The company which went into receivership, operated on routes between Rossaveal and the Aran Islands (Oileáin Árann) of Inishmore (Inis Mór) Inishmaan (Inis Meáin) and Inisheer (Inis Oírr).

In recent years, Aran Direct had intended to introduce a larger passenger-only catamaran ferry on a new route between Galway and Kilronan, the capital of Inishmore and the largest of the three islands.

The fast-craft catamaran envisaged for the route was the U.S. based, 37m Harbour Lynx (2003/427grt) formerly Angel of Freedom, with a capacity for 300 passengers.To be renamed Aran Princess, the vessel was scheduled to take only an hour's passage time across Galway Bay.

In addition the revived route would have been the first direct 'passenger' carrying link between Galway City to the Aran Islands, since the closure in 1988 by CIE (Córas Iompair Éireann) of the three-hour route operated by the Naomh Éanna (1957/438grt).

Published in Island News

Fastnet Yacht 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 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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