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Displaying items by tag: Swan Hunter

#CARGO TO CRUISELINERS – This morning saw the arrival of World Cruises Agency,'s Princess Daphne to Dublin Port, the veteran vessel built in 1955 was originally launched as a cargoship, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 18,833grt cruiseship had arrived into Dublin Bay from Falmouth, however her cruise embarkation port was from Portsmouth, where World Cruises started their inaugural cruise call to Ireland. Yet again another newcomer operating in Irish waters this season.

In recent years Princess Daphne and her sister Princess Danae, have operated for Classic Cruises International (CIC), and they were among a fleet of older tonnage.

Before she became Princess Daphne, she was commissioned for Port Line (subsidiary of Cunard Line) and was built at the shipyard of Swan Hunter on Newcastle-upon-Tyne and launched as Port Sydney. She was joined by her sister Port Melbourne, also completed in the same year but built by Harland & Wolff. They were ordered to serve the UK route to New Zealand, Australia via the Panama Canal.

The handsome looking general cargoships or 'reefers' (handling meat exports) had a large superstructure, with accommodation for 12 passengers. Noting the wraparound passenger veranda deck and six cargo-holds accompanied by derricks for self-unloading.

Conversion work took place in 1975 and again this applied to her sister the following year. The rebuild included replacing the old superstructure with a large longer streamlined superstructure, noting fore-ward of the bridge are the derricks that was incorporated during the work. This feature does not apply to Princess Danae which has an extended structure instead.

They retain their have deep-drafted (7.9m) hulls, complete with many portholes along sheer classic lines. Princess Daphne has a hull length of 162.39m which is marginally longer then her sister's 162.31m.

Over their respective career spanning nearly six decades, they have operated for several owners and under different names, however their current names have remained for some time. The pair are both Portuguese flagged and operated by World Cruises based in Lisbon.

Incidentally Princess Danae (1955/16,531grt) will be making a call to Dublin Port tomorrow, as she is scheduled to arrive at her birthplace in Belfast Harbour today. Also in port, is Plantours & Partners Cruises Hamburg, which had sailed overnight from Dublin Port, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Cruise Liners
The Maritime Institute of Ireland (M.I.I.) hosts a Spring lecture series in Dublin city-centre. The next lecture is 'The Kowloon Bridge & Her Sisters' by Paddy Barry and is on this Thursday, 24 March starting at 8pm in the Stella Maris Seafarers' Club, Beresford Place.
The 89,438 tonnes dry-bulk carrier was left to founder at Staggs' Rocks (photo) off the scenic west Cork-coastline in 1986 which resulted in the pollution of those waters. Built in the 1970's by Swan Hunter, Haverton Hill, she measuered 294.13 x 44.19 x 25.01 metres and is the believed to be one of the largest wrecks in Europe. Her sisters were the Furness Bridge (photo) and Derbyshire.

The Stella Maris Seafarers' Club, Beresford Place, is located beside Busaras and faces opposite the rear of the Customs House. Nearby is the Irish Life Center (ILAC) which is convenient for car-parking and buses, the 'Red' Luas (Busaras stop) and DART stops at Connolly /Tara St. stations. All are welcome, bar and refreshments and a voluntary contribution is appreciated.

For further information about lectures and updates on the M.I.I's maritime museum located in the Mariners Church, Dun Laoghaire log on to www.mariner.ie. The museum which is due to reopen this year are looking for volunteers to help, for further details click here.

Published in Boating Fixtures

The Royal Navy's Type 22 frigate HMS Chatham (F87) which recently returned to UK waters after a seven month deployment on anti-piracy duties off Somalia, visited Dublin Port last weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

HMS Chatham was the lead vessel for NATO's 'Operation Ocean Shield' as part of a multi-national task force in the seas off the African state that in recent years has become notorious for piracy.

HMS_Chatham_3

HMS Chatham departs Dublin Bay and the rocks off Dalkey Island. Photo: Jehan Ashmore /ShipSNAPS

The frigate departed Dublin on Monday afternoon and set an easterly course off the Baily Lighthouse, but surprisingly the 5,300 tonnes vessel returned into the bay. HMS Chatham then crossed the bay towards Sandycove. From there the 148m vessel which has a draft of 6.7m veered in a south-easterly direction, to sweep past off the rocky outcrop, to the north of Dalkey Island and continued southbound off The Muglins.

In mid-November the frigate visited her namesake port on the Medway to mark the 20th anniversary since the vessel's commissioning at Chatham in 1990. The occasion was also the first time that such an event had taken place outside a Royal Navy establishment. 

Built in 1988, the vessel was launched from the Swan Hunter shipyard on the Tyne and is normally based in her homeport of Devonport, Plymouth.

Published in Dublin Bay

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

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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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