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Displaying items by tag: Searunner Class

8th September 2010

Celtic's Caribbean Connection

The O'Flaherty Brothers of Wexford have a diverse range of shipping interests ranging from a fishing trawler fleet, a short-sea coaster and ferries under the Celtic Link Ferries banner, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The shipping family can now also claim to have operations in the far-flung seas of the Caribbean Sea through the chartering of their freight-ferry Diplomat (1978/16,776grt) which was replaced late last year by Norman Voyager (2008/26,500grt) on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route.

Celtic_Link_Ferries

Celtic Link Ferries former French  freight-ferry, Diplomat laid-up at Waterford earlier this year is now serving in the Caribbean Sea. Photo: Jehan Ashmore/ShipSNAPS

Diplomat spent the winter laid-up at Waterford, where the 32-year vessel was one of the largest vessels to dock at the city-centre quays and formed a temporary albeit floating landmark.

In April the veteran departed Irish shores to take up a new career in the Caribbean. The Diplomat now serves three weekly round trips for Marine Express between the ports of Mayaguez and the capital of San Juan in Peurto Rico and Rio Haina and San Domingo, the capital in the Dominican Republic, which shares the large island of Hispaniola with Haiti.

In an earlier career, the Diplomat whilst serving as the Baltic Ferry, was requistioned by the British Military of Defence as part of the Falkland Islands task force in the war with Argentina in 1982. The vessel saw action which involved Royal Air Force Harrier Jump-Jets landing on the cargo-deck using the aircraft's unique vertical take-off lift (VTOL) capability.

Another vessel under the O'Flaherty sphere of operations, Finnforest (1978/15,525grt), a sistership of Diplomat and built from a series of successful Searunner-class vessels ordered by Stena Rederi, returned to Dublin early this year. The vessel had spent several years on charter to Finnlines serving in the Baltic Sea between Helsinki and Gdynia, Poland.

Finnforest like the Diplomat underwent dry-docking at Dublin, with both vessels heading afterwards for lay-up periods at Waterford. Finnforest remains laid-up awaiting a charter while berthed alongside the city-centre's disused quays on the Co. Kilkenny side of the River Suir.

Published in Ports & Shipping

New York Yacht Club’s biennial Invitational Cup

Ireland has a proud history in New York Yacht Club’s biennial Invitational Cup, with Irish participation from the very start and a podium result in 2019.

In 2009, two Irish Clubs,  Royal St. George in Dun Laoghaire and Royal Cork in Crosshaven, entered into New York's newest sailing competition that was reminiscent of Newport’s America’s Cup days when 19 yacht club teams from 14 nations descended on this “City by the Sea”.

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a competition between yacht clubs, with strict eligibility rules ensuring that each team is comprised exclusively of amateur sailors.

The competition, which was first run in 2009, has drawn entries from 49 clubs from 22 nations on all six inhabited continents.

The New York Yacht Club won the inaugural event in 2009, with the Royal Canadian Yacht Club winning in 2011 and 2013, England's Royal Thames Yacht Club winning in 2015 and Southern Yacht Club from New Orleans winning in 2017.

In 2019 the regatta was sailed for the first time in the New York Yacht Club’s fleet of IC37 yachts, and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, from Australia, became the first Southern Hemisphere club to win the trophy. And it was in this edition that Anthony O’Leary’s Royal Cork team took the bronze medal.