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#ThirdValley - Another addition to Arklow Shipping’s latest series of newbuilds built by Royal Bodewes, a Dutch yard in north-east Netherlands, was launched this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Yard no.724, Arklow Valley, a 5,150dwat Bodewes Eco-Trader (yard's own design), is the fourth so far completed out of an order of 10 single-hold cargoships. Likewise of her predecessor, Arklow Valiant, she differs to previous pair of sisters, Arklow’s Vale and View (leadship launch video), in terms of the bow design.

The distinctive energy-saving straight-stem designed bow slices the waves coupled by an upper slope to deflect wave resistance. In this aspect, the Eco-Trader series of Arklow Valley/ Valiant, still displays the same typical lines up to the main deck, but the bow lines above this level no longer show the backward inclination of Vale/View, but rather continue going straight up to the top.

The new design also provides an improved vision to the bow anchors while anchoring.

Arklow Valley was given the customary broadsides launch into the canal at Hoogezand and under clear blue skies.The yard near Gronignen, was not open to public for the launch, however they were welcomed to watch from the far side of the canal embankment as the 2,999 gross tonnage newbuild entered with a splash!

When the 86m Arklow Valley is delivered, she will be the 10th newbuild since 2014 for Dutch division, Arklow Shipping Nederland B.V.

This is the third ‘Valley’ cargoship of the ‘V’ class nomenclature series in the 50th year of Arklow Shipping. One has to go back to the early 1990’s when a ‘Valley’ has been on the fleetlist, this namesake was a 2,827gt low-air draft cargoship that featured a telescopic bridge. This design enabled the German (Weselsfleth) built vessel to pass under bridges on waterways to reach inland ports.

As for the original ‘Valley’, this was the Dutch 1977 (Foxhol-launched/Schiedam completed) cargoship, which was lengthened in 1980. Four years later, the 1,707gt cargoship became part of the Arklow fold, with outright ownership by ASL in 1987.

The Co. Wicklow company, headquartered on the banks of the River Avoca, Arklow, easily has the commanding position of Ireland’s largest privately owned merchant fleet of 30 ships. This excludes the Dutch division, in which Arklow Valley becomes their 18th Dutch-flagged vessel.

In total the combined fleets number 48 ships and appropriately, the Irish flagged cargohips are registered at their respective homeport of Arklow.

The ‘V’ class leadship, Arklow Valiant, launched in April also by Bodewes, arrived from Waterford to dock in Dublin Port this week where she remains berthed at Ocean Pier. Among the typical cargoes loaded at this berth is peat-moss. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

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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