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Displaying items by tag: Rare call

#irishports - A most unusual caller to Dun Laoghaire Harbour took place recently with the arrival of a tanker marking a rare event that has not occurred in three decades, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Early on Sunday afternoon the 4,107 gross tonnage tanker Thun Gemini had arrived into the south Dublin Bay harbour.

According to Afloat sources the 2003 built ship is in port for maintenance reasons. Otherwise the 114m Dutch flagged tanker is a regular on the short sea route between Milford Haven, south Wales and the Irish capital.

It was soon after the arrival of Afloat to the port yesterday that came an unexpected surprise as the ship's stern free-fall lifeboat was launched. This led to the splash generated as the lifeboat made contact with the water close to the Carlisle Pier head. 

The exersise to launch the enclosed orange lifeboat rekindled personal memories on the occasion of the previous tanker that visited the harbour. This took place in April 1989. More shall be revealed on Afloat next week on the 30th anniverary of that unique event which is among numerous chapter's that have enriched the harbour's maritime heritage. 

Thun Gemini today remains berthed in port having sailed at the weekend the short distance from one of the four berths at the oil jetty terminal in neighbouring Dublin Port. The terminal has a 330,000 tonne facility handling oil products, bitumen, chemicals and liqued petroleum gases that are linked to a common user pipe line system.

The tanker is operated by Thun Tankers, part of Erik Thun AB as previously reported on Afloat.ie. The family owned shipping business is located in Lidköping on the southern shores of Lake Vänern, the third largest lake in Europe, which is connected to the sea by a shipping canal.

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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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