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#figaro – When we updated you yesterday about the Solo Concarneau Figaro race that David Kenefick is competing in we bemoaned the lack of a tracker for this race but outlined that we would have a half way stage update. Here it is:

3 20h31 LUNVEN Nicolas GENERALI
6 20h36 DESJOYEAUX Michel T.B.S.
7 20h38 RIVET Frédéric D.F.D.S. Seaways
9 20h40 BOMBY Henry Christine
10 20h41 JOSSIER Nicolas IN EXTENSO experts comptables
14 21h03 HILL Edmund ARTEMIS
15 21h04 HOCHARD Benoît IB - MARKETING
16 21h14 CHABAGNY Thierry GEDIMAT
19 21h33 CHERRY Nick ARTEMIS
21 21h51 GOODCHILD Sam Vasco de Gama

You might be wondering where some of the big names got to like Jeremy Beyou, Morgan Lagraviere and Fred Duthil. Well they were the leaders on Tuesday morning and as the day progressed their leading role saw them sail down a one-way alley whilst the boats behind anticipated better or just knew better and stayed further offshore and sailed around the outside in better breeze. To cut a lot story short when the two groups came back together there was a five mile deficit... Some of those now disgruntled top boats then chose to retire rather than fight their way back into the competition. Not a great look and maybe rather poor sportsmanship!

David Kenefick chose the right option and has been sailing with other boats all day and as we can see from the half way report is in 17th place. He is third Rookie being bettered currently by Claire Pruvot (13th) and Ed Hill (14th) by 17 and 12 minutes respectively. The race leader is last year's Solitaire du Figaro race winner Yann Elies who rounded 47 minutes ahead of David.

The course now takes the fleet South upwind in 15-30 knots of wind in heavy rain to round Ile d'Yeu 65 miles away before the long 105 mile reach home to Concarneau. The leading boats are expected to finish late on Wednesday evening.

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When you run a race of the calibre of the Solo Concarneau without a tracking system it is extremely frustrating to try and work out what is really going on writes Marcus Hutchinson, team manager to David Kenefick.

There will be only two accurate rankings for the fleet taken with the race committee, one will be at the Brivideaux lighthouse that the fleet will probably reach late this afternoon or early evening and the second is obviously the finish line where we expect to have the leaders approaching late afternoon on Wednesday. There are some other provisional rankings established using the coastguard radar stations supplemented with the competitors all calling in after they have gone round but as one can imagine these aren't particularly reliable. Then there is the AIS system.

The racing names of the boats and the registered names to the AIS systems are not the same so a look up sheet is required to identify who is who.

Then it doesn't ever update all the boats' positions at the same time, and it really only works for fleet following when the fleet is near a powerful radar station, of which there are several along the coast in France. But there are also many areas that just aren't covered, probably 60-70% in total.

So to cut a long story short when we left David Kenefick and his Full Irish yesterday he was sailing in 8 knots of wind, in 9th place and heading towards the Raz de Sein with his spinnaker set. The ranking published this morning had him in 23rd at the most Northerly mark, effectively the leeward mark. But it isn't to be trusted too much. The reason for this is that boats that were behind him on the ranking that do appear on the AIS are placed in the leading pack, pretty much where they were when we left them last night. David's AIS is not showing up, if you see a boat called Ilidian that is him.

The fleet is on the wind right now in about 10 knots of wind beating towards the Pointe de Pen March. The next significant mark on the course is the Brivideaux lighthouse just near the Quiberon Penninsula where we will get a decent committee boat generated ranking sometime late this afternoon.

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Cork's solo sailor David Kenefick, along with the rest of the Figaro fleet, is tackling his last race before the Solitaire du Figaro next month. The event is called the Solo Concarneau. It starts at 14:00 Irish time today. The 340 miles long race sees the fleet race up and down the French coast almost as far as Ushant to the North and Ile d'Yeu to the South.

The disappointing thing about this race is that there is no tracker system so we are going to be a lot less informed about what is going on than our last reports from the Solo Arrimer race in April.

Nevertheless it will be interesting on many counts. below please find team maanger Marcus Hutchinson's  latest blog.

This is another race but with many differences. The sailors are better prepared than for the Solo Arrimer - they are by definition now twice as experienced as before - the weather is completely different and most importantly the chips are down. At stake is an entry in this year's Solitaire du Figaro. Winning the Solo Concarneau wouldn't necessarily guarantee a place but finishing 'down the pan' will certainly see an early exit.

An honest race is what is required from both the Artemis candidates. Honest in the sailors' ability to anticipate and react to the many obstacles and constant little challenges that are the solo sailor's lot.

They say that preparation is everything but until you see why some things are important and others less so it is difficult to know what to prioritise. There is no point being the fastest if you go the wrong way or get lost in the fog. There is no point sailing the perfect course if you don't have the energy to push the boat as hard as you can. There is no point having a smooth bottom and a fair keel if your electronics go down. In short there is no point being here if you aren't able to deal with adversity and rebound quickly.

The guys are far from perfect but they are better than before. The weather will be kinder to them this time too. It seems they have spent far too much time fighting 40-knot winds and not enough dealing with the subtleties of lighter winds and most significantly the transitional phases more commonly found in these conditions.

The competition is here again. This time there are 30 starters with all the usual suspects. The course also sees them sail through the challenging Raz de Sein, for the first time alone and, although we are in neaps, there will be quite a lot of tidal sailing to be dealt with.

The course sees the 30 boat fleet head upwind around the Glenan Islands before turning across the wind to PenMarch and then downwind North across the Bay of Audierne through the Raz de Sein and up and around Pierre Noire just South of Ushant. This hairpin bend will then see the fleet reaching South and then South East outside everything to the Brivideaux lighthouse, which is near the Quiberon Peninsula, before hardening up a little bit to head South down to and circumnavigating Ile d'Yeu. The return North to Concarneau and the finish is the longest single leg. It will start as a close reach and the fleet will be slowly headed as they come North and will finish the race upwind, maybe even short tacking along the coast for the last 50 miles!

The first part of the course will require some tactical nous and then some strategically strong decisions. The next part of the course from the Pierre Noires down to Yeu will require one overwhelming element. SPEED. The return leg will require force of character to stay fast, fight the fatigue and the ability to chose the right moments to sail high or sail low as the wind ultimately heads the fleet and turns a reach into a long beat.

There should be winds peaking in the mid-20s on Wednesday morning but other than that we should see a fairly medium-breezed race. What remains to be seen is if there will be any important transitional phases that fall between light and dark and light.

Regrettably this race doesn't have a tracker system running and so we will be reliant on AIS and Marine to see progress around the track along with the infrequent updates from the radar enabled Semaphore/Coastguard Stations that are still scattered the length of the French coast line. Finish time for the first boats is expected to be late afternoon on Wednesday, the stragglers can be expected a few hours later.

We have a busy few days immediately after the finish of the Solo Concarneau as some of the boats in this Anglo-Irish squad will be trying new sails and specifically sails with their Figaro Race livery, all especially for the camera of our resident photographer Brian Carlin. The two Artemis boys Ed Hill and Jackson Bouttell will be informed as to whether one or both of them will sail the big race, and then there is the preparation to move the whole show to Bordeaux by sea and road 10 days later.

Exciting times indeed. Keep this frequency clear!!!

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#figaro – Exhausted but elated to have secured his place for June's Solitaire du Figaro race, 22–year–old Cork sailor David Kenefick talked to on completing his longest race to date, the 320–mile Solo Arrimer this morning. 

The Crosshaven rookie who finished 21st in the 25-boat fleet admits in this podcast there is plenty of room for improvement before his debut in the French multi-leg offshore race in two month's time.

The world-renowned Figaro comprises of four legs of approximately 400-500 miles single handed starting from Bordeaux in early June 2013 against 35 other skippers all using identical equipment. Kenefick, one of eight rookies in the race will be Ireland's sole entry.

British solo offshore sailing took a step in the right direction this weekend, as three Anglo-Saxon Figaro skippers conquered the Rookie podium. Storming the 305-mile Solo Arrimer finish line at around 23:30 BST on Friday 12th April, 22 year old Artemis Offshore Academy sailor Jack Bouttell claimed the Rookie podium top spot, finishing 16th overall out of field of 26 sailors packed with talent. The next Artemis Rookie over the line was Ed Hill, who stepped up on the podium behind comrade Jack to take second, a great achievement and confidence boost for both British Academy sailors in only the second solo race of their careers.

Completing the Anglo Rookie trio was Irish Figaro sailor David Kenefick, who finished 21st overall behind Ed in 20th.

The British and Irish invasion left no room for the French on the up-and-coming Rookie podium, and with six fresh faced and eager to prove Anglo talents now racing on the circuit, could the French-dominated tide of the Figaro Class slowly be on the turn?
"I think my race went well. I had good boat speed at times and in general I'm happy with my performance and result," reported Jack after finishing the race, his happiness breaking through the exhaustion. "My highs for the race were finishing, of course, and just launching the boat downwind over the big Bay of Biscay waves in 30-40 knots of wind." Watch Jack's post race interview here.
"Jack sailed a consistent and intelligent race the whole way round the course" said event coach Marcus Hutchinson. "He told me afterwards that the way he keeps going and motivated in the darkest moments is to eat more. I think Jack consumes three or four times as much food on these races than anyone else. But if it works for him, then we'll find the food!" Read Marcus' Solo Arrimer race wrap up here.
Conditions for the 36-hour race were heinous and the course starting and finishing in Les Sables d'Olonne was shortened slightly to 305 miles. Wind speeds built from 6 knots for the start to a howling 40+ knots through the night combined with a 3 to 4 meter swell, ensuring that the sailors' first Atlantic race of 2013 was a real solo offshore challenge.
"The weary, but crazed eyes of all the skippers as we tucked into soup and crepes after the finish just said it all," reported Academy graduate Henry Bomby. "We all knew we had experienced something pretty cool during this race, something that not everyone will get to ever experience." Read the Academy sailors' war stories here.
Five British sailors lined up for the Solo Arrimer alongside a festival of Figaro rock stars. Academy graduates Henry and Nick Cherry, along with Ed, battled it out to finish within minutes of one another, with Henry just pipping them both to the finish line in 18th, improving on his 2012 result by 10 places. Now in his third year in the Figaro Class, Sam Goodchild was the first British boat over the line, just missing out on a top ten spot in 11th, to finish 50 minutes behind winner Morgan Lagraviére, and just ahead of the 'Professeur' himself, Michel Desjoyeaux, who makes his return to the Figaro after four years away.
"The race was a lot of fun, but at the same time incredibly challenging," Sam admitted. "We had some of the worst weather conditions I have ever seen in a race. But I put up a good fight and I'm happy with my result. It's encouraging to know I'm not too far off the pace."
Solo Arrimer winner Morgan, a French Olympic 49er sailor, finished the race in 1 day, 9 hours, 40 minutes and 43 seconds, just 13 minutes ahead of second skipper Thierry Chabagny. Yann Eliés, 2012 Solitaire du Figaro winner, came through the harsh Atlantic conditions to take third.
"During the Solo Arrimer all of the skippers proved they can safely get their boats around the course, race, navigate and bring it home in terrible conditions, there is no need to be too clever when being intelligent is enough. The strong winds and white water battering the sailors and their boats for the duration of the Solo Arrimer were not only a test of the solo skippers' metal, but of their stamina, performance and self management," concluded Marcus. "This weekend's podium results will come as a huge morale and psychological boost for both Ed and Jack in training and ahead of their next race, but that was just 30 odd hours, we've still got a lot of work to do in preparation for the 1,938 miles of intense racing that is the Solitaire du Figaro."
After celebrating his first Figaro Rookie class win by popping his first bottle of Pol Roger on the pontoon, Jack, along with Ed and Nick set sail straight away for Concarneau, France where they will now spend the next three weeks training and preparing with event coach Marcus for the Solo Concarneau starting May 6th, as well as their boats getting a refit so they are ready, if selected, to be on the Solitaire start line in June.

Solo Arrimer overall results

Position/Skipper (Boat name) Time at sea
1. Morgan Lagravière (Vendée) - 1 day 9hours 40min 43sec
2 .Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat) - 1 day 9hours 53min 45sec
3. Yann Elies (Group Queguiner Leukemia Hope) - 1 day 9hours 55min 14sec
4. Nicolas Lunven (Generali) - 1 day 10 hours 38sec
5. Jeremiah Beyou (Master Chef) - 1 day 10hours 02min
6. Xavier Macaire (Skipper Hérault) - 1 day 10hours 4min 40sec
7. Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) - 1 day 10hours 19min 5sec
8. Frédéric Duthil (Sepalumic) - 1 day 10hours 26min 56sec
9. Alexis Loison (Group Fiva) - 1 day 10hours 27min 25sec
10. Jean-Pierre Nicol (Bernard Controls) - 1 day 10hours 27min 27sec
11. Sam Goodchild (Shelter Box) - 1 day 10hours 30min 45sec
12. Meilhat Paul (Macif) - 1 day 10hours 35min 50sec
13. Michel Desjoyeaux (TBS) - 1 day 10hours 41min 07sec
14. Julien Villion (Seixo Habitat) - 1 day 10hours 42min 6sec
15. Frédéric Rivet (DFDS Seaways) - 1 day 10hours 48min 48sec
16. Jackson Bouttell (Artemis 77) - 1 day 10hours 50min 31sec
17. Matthew Girolet (Lafont Presse) - 1 day 10hours 51min 35sec
18. Henry Bomby (Zhik - Made for Water ) - 1 day 10hours 57min 23sec
19. Nicholas Cherry (Artemis 23) - 1 day 11hours 14min 29sec
20. Ed Hill (Artemis 37) - 1 day 11hours 33min 35sec
21. David Kenefick (Full Irish) - 1 day 11hours 48min 26sec
22. Claire Pruvost (Port de Caen Ouistream) - 1 day 12hours 36min 35sec
23. Joan Ahrweiller ( Basse Normandie) - 1 day 12hours 38min 24sec and
24. Yannig Livory (Thermacote France) - 1 day 12hours 43min 19sec and
25. Gilles Le Baud (Carnac Thalasso & Spa) - 1 day 13hours 49 min 53 sec
26. Benoit Hochart (Aquarius) - 1 day 13hours 55min 55 sec

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There is a reason the Figaro Class has a Rookie prize in every event they run. And it is highly sought after writes Marcus Hutchinson.

The French call it the Bizuth prize. In the Solo Arrimer there were six 'Bizuths', three French two British and one Irish.

Starting out in this singlehanded game is tough, not only because it IS really, really tough!!!! but because you don't really know what you are getting into in detail until you actually go and do it, a few times, in a range of different conditions. You only learn and get better from practice.

Figaro sailing is not just about learning how to manouvere the boat by yourself and find fast sail settings and manage the transitions and be tactically astute.

A long offshore race is tough for anyone. But until you go and try and do all of those things by yourself, for a long, long time you wont understand the importance of the different parts of preparation. Hence, real reward for the Rookies.

Along with his Artemis Offshore Academy Rooky buddies Ed Hill and Jack Bouttell, David Kenefick has been slowly ramping up his exposure to longer and longer races, to races with more and more entries and a higher standard and to racing in complex parts of the world with tide, rocks, Atlantic depressions, cold and wet.

This event, the Solo Arrimer, is the next step in that path and there will be another similar race in three weeks time in Concarneau. Three weeks after that the Rookies, along with everyone else who enters the Solitaire du Figaro will be doing four slightly longer races back to back with just a couple of days recovery time between each leg. This is a truly epic sporting undertaking for a young man or woman to undertake and it needs to be taken seriously.

No one is under illusions about what is involved in supporting the Artemis team and David. Those three young men are beginning to now understand more and more about how much they didn't know.

When they started they didn't know what they didn't know, now they are beginning to learn what it is they don't know and soon they will know everything that they don't know.

Only then can they go about removing the long list of don't knows and become experienced. You are a Rookie for one season only. It is rare indeed for a Rookie to finish in the top five. Over that last 44 years of the race a Rookie has placed in the top five on only a handful of occasions.

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Follow David Kenefick's progress in his final qualification race for this Summer's figaro race. Today's race at 320nm miles is the longest the Crosshaven sailor will have completed to date. He's also lining up against some of the best French skippers. more here.

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#figaro – If solo sailor David Kenefick successfully completes completes tomorrow's 'Lien Cartographie Solo Arrimer' race he officially qualifies for this Summer's Figaro race, a long held ambition for the young Munster sailor.


The race at 320nm miles is the longest the Crosshaven sailor will have completed to date in his boat Aquarius. He's also lining up against the best French skippers (See below for entry list)

Organised by the Water Sports Sablais since 2003 Sables d'Olonne, the Solo STOW runs between the islands of Ré, Yeu and Belle-Ile  on the French West Coast.

While a large depression, accompanied by high winds, is poised to sweep west over France today, the weather files show a weaker low pressure system from Thursday.

There will be plenty of competition from previous Vendee Globe sailors plus he's also racing against Michel Desjoyeaux, (a three time Figaro winner) and (two time Vendee globe winner) but the Irish sailor says he has something of an advantage in that he is in Desjoyeaux's old boat after chartering it for the year!

Full list of entries below:

Joan Ahrweiller / REGION NORMANDY, Jeremiah BEYOU / MASTER COCK, Henry Bomby / Zhik - MADE FOR WATER, Jack Bouttell / ARTEMIS 77; Thierry Chabagny / GEDIMAT, Nick CHERRY / ARTEMIS 23; Michel DESJOYEAUX / TBS; Frédéric DUTHIL / Sepalumic; Yann ELIES / GROUP QUEGUINER LEUKEMIA HOPE, Matthew GIROLET / LAFONT PRESS, Sam GOODCHILD / VASCO DE GAMA, Edmund HILL / ARTEMIS 37; Benoit HOCHART / AQUARIUS: David Kenefick / FULL IRISH; Morgan LAGRAVIERE / VENDEE; Gilles LE BAUD / Carnac Thalasso & SPA , Armel LE CLEAC'H / CREDIT; Yannig Livory / THERMACOTE France; Alexis Loison / Group FIVA Nicolas LUNVEN / GENERALI; Xavier MACAIRE / SKIPPER HERAULT, Paul Meilhat / SKIPPER MACIF 2011, Jean-Pierre Nicol / BERNARD CONTROLS, Claire PRUVOT / PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM; Frederic RIVET / DFDS SEAWAYS; Julien VILLION / Seixo HABITAT.

Update from David:

Well this is it. It's the night before the start of the Solo Arrimer Race. We are in Les Sables, in the Atlantic, with the tide and of course the beautiful, not, Spring weather. The pictures I posted on my facebook page two days ago were a freak window of sun and light winds before the rot set back in and it has been blowing over 30 knots ever since. Today it barely stopped raining. But that is the lot of a solo sailor. Get up and get on with it.
It's a long course they have set us, the longest I've sailed at 305 miles, but ironically it may end up being only 36 hours in duration as there is plenty of wind and it is mostly a reach up and down the French coast. We head initially South East to pass inside ile de Ré and under the bridge that joins it to the mainland by La Rochelle, before heading North all the way up inside Belle Isle to a mark just off the tip of the Quiberon Penninsula. We then return via Les Sables d'Olonne to round Ile de Ré again, but this time in the other direction before heading to the finish line again.
My objectives for the race are, number one to finish the race, number two to stay in touch with the legends that have also entered the race too for as long as possible, and three to gather as much experience as possible.
I've learnt this week about the unbelievable amount of preparation that goes into entering and being cleared to race. The amount of paperwork is unbelievable but all necessary. We have been working hard on weather and navigation briefings as the start time rolls closer and we have a better idea of what we will experience on the weather side and hence at what time and what state of the tide we will round the marks on the course. We have been checked by safety scrutineers, sail measurers, the press and of course Mathilde at the Class association has diligently helped us all with the certificates for this and that and the other ,... oh and the PLB battery expiration date!
Safety is a serious business and no one takes it lightly. I already appreciate more now than I did a week ago about why things are done the way they are done. Being in this environment for a week allows us to learn from the older and more experienced skippers about their preparation, what their priorities are and where our own preparation is lacking.
Anyway, now it's like the night before your final school exams. The revision has been done to a greater or lessor extent, there is not much more we can do except be fresh in the morning and go out and do it. The exam results should be known sometime in the small hours of Saturday morning when we cross the finish line here again in Les Sables d'Olonne.

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#lafigaro – Cork Solo sailor David Kenefick has completed the final leg of the ICOM CUP Méditeranée in fifth place to finish 11th overall and qualified to participate in La Solitaire du Figaro 2013 writes Claire Bateman.

The ICOM Cup is a three stage single handed offshore race in the qualification procedure to compete in Le Solitaire du Figaro 2013. The first stage of the ICOM Cup was a 140nm offshore race to Marseille followed by a day of inshore racing with the return race being somewhat longer with an extra two legs to round the Séte buoy before finishing and thus adding some 36nm to the course. This was the longest race to date in the qualification process. The race threw up all sorts of conditions that included shredding his mainsail in 36 knots of wind gusting 42 necessitating finishing the leg under jib alone.

To give an insight into the race experience I quote as follows from David on the return leg to Le Grande Motte: "We are thirty hours into this race now and although I am in eighth position I have broken away from the leader of the last group. We are moving very slowly along the beach of the Rhone Estuary. The two leaders are ahead around the next mark and have got away, but the group of boats ahead of me from fourth to seventh are most certainly catchable. The sun has gone and it's getting dark and so of course the sea breeze has gone. This transition is my chance. Got to stay focused, keep myself safe, and work intelligently!!"

Kenefick adds:  "I finished fifth, the boat ahead was Henry Bomby a twenty two year old from the Artemis Offshore Academy who finished just a few lengths ahead of me after forty eight hours of racing".

This year the 44th edition of La Solitaire du Figaro will start in Bordeaux and go via Porto, Gigón and Roscoff to the fnishing port of Dieppe a distance of approximately 2000 km. The race will commence on June 2nd, 2013.

Overall ICOM Cup Mediterranee results:
Position/Skipper/Figaro no./Nationality/Time
1. Xavier Macaire/8/FRA/2d, 16h, 26' 10"
2. Jean Pierre Nicol/68/FRA/2d, 18h, 30' 49"
3. Matthieu Girolet/86/FRA/2d, 22h, 27' 13"
4. Pietro d'Ali/42/ITA/2d, 22h, 52' 30"
5. Jack Bouttell/77/GBR/2d, 23h, 01' 05"
6. Gwenael Gbick/29/FRA/3d, 00h, 15' 49"
7. Ed Hill/37/GBR/3d, 00h, 33', 00"
8. Yves Ravot/31/FRA/3d, 00h, 35' 05"
9. Alexia Barrier/49/FRA/3d, 02h, 11' 55"
10.Henry Bomby/23/GBR/4d, 2h, 29' 23"
11.David Kenefick/45/IRL/4d, 02h, 38' 01"
12.Jean Paul Mouren/13/FRA/5d, 06h, 20' 40"


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From onboard his Figaro yacht Cork rookie David Kenefick talks about his first 140–nautical mile race in La Grande Motte, France.

Kenefick finished second of six finishers and in this audio clip with interviewer Brian Carlin describes race tactics, freezing conditions, fishing trawlers and sleep deprivation.

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#PORTS AND SHIPPING-The 74,258 gross tonnes Figaro, a large car truck carrier (LCTC) capable of loading 7879 cars or 432 trucks, which was launched this year, docked at Dublin Port today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Figaro arrived into Dublin Bay off the Baily Lighthouse, having appeared over the horizon from the Kish Lighthouse after a voyage from Tarragona, Spain. She originally set sail at the start of October from Kwangwang in South Korea and since then made en route calls to three other ports of the South East Asian state in addition to Aqaba in Jordan, Derince in Turkey and Voltri in Italy.

She is operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines (WWL) and was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. The new vessel's principle dimensions are (length: 227.8m, beam: 32.26 and a draft of 11.3m) and she has a deadweight (metric tonnes) of 30,900.

The Swedish company together with subsidiaries and partner's, operates a fleet of about 135 vessels. Of these, Wallenius owns or charters around 35. They can carry up to 8,000 cars, or a combination of cars, trucks, cranes, large rolls of paper and rubber or large turbines. They have also transported parts for wind turbines, luxury yachts, complete train-sets and aircraft wings.

Figaro's docking in Dublin today was at berth 33, which is the centre berth of three lining Ocean Pier which has a quayside totalling 410m long. The pier is within Alexandra Basin and is to the east side of this dock which is approached from the port channel opposite the Poolbeg Marina.

After Dublin she continues her global schedule to Bremerhaven (16 Nov), Zeebrugge (23 Nov), Southampton (24 Nov), Baltimore, USA (3 Dec), Savannah, GA USA (6 Dec), Manzanillo, Panama (11 Dec), Auckland (29 Dec), Brisbane in the New Year (2 Jan) and two days later is expected to dock in Port Kemble also in Australia.

Earlier this year the world's largest ro-ro carrier Tonsberg (PHOTO) also part of the WWL fleet, docked in Dublin having entered service in March. She has a cargo volume of 138,000 cubic metres, some 10% greater than the largest ro-ro vessels in service including her fleetmate the Figaro.

The 74,622grt vessel is the first of four Mark V class on order from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki, Japan. They are capable of handling handle high and heavy cargo such as excavators, bulldozers, wheel loaders and harvesters. Her sister Parsifal followed in September and the final pair of the quartet are due for delivery in 2012.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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The Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School is based on Dun Laoghaire's West Pier on Dublin Bay and in the heart of Ireland's marine leisure capital.

Whether you are looking at beginners start sailing course, a junior course or something more advanced in yacht racing, the INSS prides itself in being able to provide it as Ireland's largest sailing school.

Since its establishment in 1978, INSS says it has provided sailing and powerboat training to approximately 170,000 trainees. The school has a team of full-time instructors and they operate all year round. Lead by the father and son team of Alistair and Kenneth Rumball, the school has a great passion for the sport of sailing and boating and it enjoys nothing more than introducing it to beginners for the first time. 

Programmes include:

  • Shorebased Courses, including VHF, First Aid, Navigation
  • Powerboat Courses
  • Junior Sailing
  • Schools and College Sailing
  • Adult Dinghy and Yacht Training
  • Corporate Sailing & Events

History of the INSS

Set up by Alistair Rumball in 1978, the sailing school had very humble beginnings, with the original clubhouse situated on the first floor of what is now a charity shop on Dun Laoghaire's main street. Through the late 1970s and 1980s, the business began to establish a foothold, and Alistair's late brother Arthur set up the chandler Viking Marine during this period, which he ran until selling on to its present owners in 1999.

In 1991, the Irish National Sailing School relocated to its current premises at the foot of the West Pier. Throughout the 1990s the business continued to build on its reputation and became the training institution of choice for budding sailors. The 2000s saw the business break barriers - firstly by introducing more people to the water than any other organisation, and secondly pioneering low-cost course fees, thereby rubbishing the assertion that sailing is an expensive sport.