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Displaying items by tag: ferry

Belfast Coastguard Rescue team was contacted this week by the Stena Superfast ferry inbound to Belfast in the shipping channel near Holywood.

On Monday, January 25th the ferry had encountered a lone paddleboarder dangerously close to the vessel. Holywood is on the south shore of Belfast Lough about four miles east of the city of Belfast. The Coastguard also had multiple reports from concerned citizens.

The ship used its horn to warn the person about being too close and contacted the Coastguard. Once on scene the team located the paddleboarder and kept eyes on. He managed to paddle his way back to shore. Bangor Lifeboat was also tasked to the incident and was stood down on route.

After speaking to the paddleboarder, it was confirmed he was intending to surf the wash from the ferry. The team warned of the dangers of being too close to such large vessels and about the dangers of being in the shipping lane.

Published in Ferry
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Stena Line’s newest addition to its fleet, the brand-new Stena Embla ferry will make its Irish Sea debut on the Rosslare-Cherbourg service. Originally scheduled for service on the Belfast-Liverpool route, due to the current Brexit related shift for direct routes and increasing customer demand, Stena Line has decided to temporarily deploy the Stena Embla on Rosslare-Cherbourg. The first sailing will be the 20.25 hrs departure from Rosslare on Thursday 14th January 2021.

Stena Embla has the capacity to carry 3,100 freight lane meters, will increase freight capacity by 20% on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route and provide 60% more cabins for freight drivers. Stena Embla is the third E-Flexer ferry to be commissioned for Stena Line’s Irish Sea routes in the last 12 months, three of the most modern ferries in the world as part of a €400m investment.

Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Irish Sea Trade Director said: “Given the short-term market distortion, we have decided to temporarily deploy our new Stena Embla vessel on the Rosslare – Cherbourg route. Clearly, Brexit has created an increase in the demand for direct freight routes, and in particular, driver accompanied freight, so the addition of Stena Embla, whilst temporary, plus the recently introduced Stena Foreteller to the route will provide a welcome addition for our customers at this time.”

“Stena Line has always prided itself on being flexible when it comes to the efficient deployment of its fleet. Having very experienced onshore and onboard teams means that we are able to respond to market and customer demands rapidly. At present we are currently reviewing our Rosslare-Cherbourg operations and will keep engaging with our customers to identify the most appropriate Stena Line operation for the route.”

Glenn Carr, General Manager, Rosslare Europort said: “We warmly welcome Stena Embla to Rosslare for its maiden in-service voyage. We have been working closely with Stena Line to facilitate the unprecedented demand for capacity directly to and from the Continent, and the boost in capacity Stena Embla delivers has been mobilised swiftly through our close cooperation. On behalf of Irish industry and all of our customers and stakeholders, we thank Stena Line for their ongoing commitment to Rosslare Europort.”

Stena Embla will make three weekly return trips between Rosslare and Cherbourg, which alongside the Stena Foreteller will see Stena Line operate 12 crossing per week between Ireland and the Continent. Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, with the biggest fleet offering the widest choice of routes including, combined passenger and freight services from Belfast to Cairnryan and Liverpool, Dublin to Holyhead, and Rosslare to Fishguard routes, as well as a freight only route from Belfast to Heysham, a total of up to 238 weekly sailing options between Ireland and Britain.

Published in Ferry
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Stena Line’s newest ferry addition to its fleet, the brand-new Stena Embla has arrived in Belfast.

As Afloat reported earlier, Stena Embla is the third E-Flexer ferry to be commissioned for Stena Line’s Irish Sea routes in the last 12 months, three of the most modern ferries in the world. Stena Embla will join her sister ship on the popular Belfast – Liverpool route later this month. Stena Embla has the capacity to carry 1 000 passengers, 120 cars and 3,100 lane metres of freight. This will provide a significant 20% increase in freight capacity for the route, which is expected to see an increase in demand post-Brexit.

Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Irish Sea Trade Director said: “The arrival in Belfast of our newly built Stena Embla is yet another important milestone in the ongoing enhancement programme of our Irish Sea services. We have now invested over £400m in our ferries and port facilities on the Irish Sea in recent years. The Belfast-Liverpool route is one of the most popular Irish Sea crossings for both freight and leisure traffic so having a second vessel of the calibre of Stena Embla, with a host of high-quality passenger facilities, will further increase its appeal and expand our capacity.”

“In March 2020 we launched our new build Stena Edda onto the Belfast-Liverpool service and the feedback from our freight and leisure customers was extremely positive. Now we will have two ships offering identical services and facilities which will help take our service levels on the route to new heights. We have real confidence in the future of our Belfast services and our Irish Sea routes in general, which is why this region has attracted three brand new ships in the last 12 months alone.”

Paul Grant concluded: “Clearly 2020 has been a difficult year for our business, however, despite this Stena Line has remained resolute in our ongoing commitment to driving our freight and travel business forward in the region.”

Stena Embla will make one daily return trip between Belfast and Liverpool. Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, with the biggest fleet offering the widest choice of routes including, combined passenger and freight services from Belfast to Cairnryan and Liverpool, Dublin to Holyhead, and Rosslare to Fishguard routes, as well as a freight only route from Belfast to Heysham, a total of up to 238 weekly sailing options between Britain and Ireland. Stena Line also offers a direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg with 12 crossings per week.

Published in Ferry
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Stena Line has today announced that it will add an additional freight-only vessel to its Rosslare to Cherbourg route from 4th January 2021. The Stena Foreteller will join the Stena Horizon which already operates on the route, doubling the freight capacity as well as the frequency of sailings between Ireland and the Continent.

The Rosslare to Cherbourg service is an increasingly important freight link between Ireland and the Continent. Stena Foreteller will provide an additional 3,000 lane metres of freight capacity per trip and can accommodate a mix of accompanied and unaccompanied traffic with onboard facilities for up to 12 freight drivers.

Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line said: “We have been listening carefully to feedback from our customers and it has become clear that there is demand for increased frequency on the Rosslare-Cherbourg service, the shortest direct crossing between Ireland and France.”

“One of Stena Line’s key strengths is our ability to utilise our fleet and be flexible and responsive to market opportunities and changes. On the Irish Sea, we are very well positioned to cover the requirements of the freight and logistics sector with a choice of six routes serving Britain and Europe via landbridge or our direct crossings to France.”

“Now with 12 weekly crossings connecting Rosslare and Cherbourg and up to 240 sailings per week throughout the Irish Sea region, we offer transport organisations and their customers the flexibility, availability and reliability required to get their goods to market in the most convenient way.”

Glenn Carr, General Manager, Rosslare Europort said “we warmly welcome Stena Line’s decision to double Rosslare to Cherbourg services from the beginning of 2021. It reflects the strength of the partnership between Rosslare Europort and Stena Line in providing shipping solutions to Irish industry, and the commitment of Stena Line reinforces our ambitious commitments to continue the development of port facilities, infrastructure and technology under the Strategic Plan and Masterplan for the port. Rosslare Europort is now firmly Ireland’s Gateway to Europe and a central strategic link connecting the country and the European continent.”

Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, with the biggest fleet offering the widest choice of routes including, combined passenger and freight services from Belfast to Cairnryan, Heysham and Liverpool, Dublin to Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard and the direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg.

Published in Ferry
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Stena Line says while today’s news on the Withdrawal Agreement is positive, the ferry company hopes it helps ease the way to agreeing on a Trade Deal. Clarity on Northern Ireland is only one part of Brexit and there remain many unanswered questions.

Ian Hampton, Executive Director and Stena's Brexit Spokesperson says the systems and infrastructure required for customs checks in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK will also not be finalised in time for 1st January 2021. With many companies in the supply chain still not ready we believe a further ‘implementation phase’ is required by both the UK and the EU.

Stena Line says it understands that the UK Government will undertake a flexible and pragmatic approach to customs requirements after the end of transition period. The Government has chosen to delay, by six months, the imposition of full controls on most imports to Great Britain. This is an approach that the company welcomes, as it will ensure there are no delays in UK ports.

Ian Hampton, Executive Director and Brexit Spokesperson, Stena LineIan Hampton, Executive Director and Brexit Spokesperson, Stena Line

Stena Line would like to encourage the EU to take the same approach as the UK. It is in the interests of the both the UK and EU to prioritise trade flows over customs and agri-food checks at the border. The goods being transported will change little in the short-term, and with the UK adopting all EU rules, there will be little risk after the 1st January, 2020. We would like to encourage both parties to continue to work together as they have done up until now, until systems are ready.

It is vital the UK’s role as a land bridge (the route that connects the Republic of Ireland to the rest of the EU via Great Britain and vice versa) continues. Freight logistics networks are geared around processing and distribution centres in the UK’s central corridor, that feed the supply of goods across Britain, Ireland and the Continent. These centres process goods for distribution for sectors such as retail and pharmaceuticals. They have been set up as part of the land bridge network and can’t simply be by-passed by a direct route, as you then miss out a key part of the network. The land bridge remains the shortest route for Irish goods to enter the EU market, and vice versa, so it is particularly vital for Ireland that the EU plays their part to keep freight moving through Britain and on to the Continent.

Published in Ferry
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Swedish ferry company Stena Line has officially taken ownership of its newest ferry, Stena Embla, following a handover ceremony in Weihai, China. The vessel is the third of five new next-generation E-Flexer RoPax vessels that are being constructed at the CMI Jinling Weihai Shipyard, as part of an extensive modernisation of the company’s fleet. It is last of three new vessels due for the Irish Sea, which marks the end of a 7-year development programme totalling a £400m investment in new ferries and port infrastructure in the region

The vessel will now embark on a six-week journey to the UK and Ireland, where it will begin service in January 2021, joining its sister vessels, the other two new E-Flexer ferries built in Weihai, Stena Estrid and Stena Embla, which started in operation in earlier this year.

Due to the pandemic the handover was a lower key affair than previous vessels with Stena Embla’s Senior Master Neil Whittaker, and his team, taking delivery in China. While Stena Line’s CEO Niclas Mårtensson joined remotely from the firm’s headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Stena Embla skipper Neil WhittakerStena Embla's Senior Master Neil Whittaker

“Today marks the end of 7 years hard work,” said the company’s COO Peter Arvidsson, “so we are delighted to take ownership of the third new ship on schedule. With the new crew in place they can start the long journey to the Irish Sea, where Stena Embla will begin serving customers in the UK and Ireland.”

Niclas Mårtensson said the delivery of Stena Embla marks the end of a very difficult year for the firm: “Taking ownership of Stena Embla is a major milestone for Stena Line, as we look forward to better times ahead” said Mr Mårtensson. “While delivery of the vessel marks the end of a very tough period for us, it also marks the completion of a very significant investment in our Irish Sea operations. It reflects our strong support for the region that will see three of the world’s most modern ferries operating between Britain and Ireland. We recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the relocation of our Northern Ireland operations to Belfast and 25 years since we commenced the Holyhead to Dublin route. Our three new ferries in the region is a sign of our strong commitment to another 25 years on the Irish Sea” he added.

Stena Embla Sky Bar	Stena Embla Sky Bar

The new Stena Line E-Flexer ships are amongst the most advanced and fuel-efficient vessels in operation and are much larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels (*details below). At 215 metres in length, Stena Embla will provide freight capacity of 3,100 lane metres, meaning a 40% increase in freight tonnage, and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers and crew.

The remaining two E-Flexer vessels under construction in China are even larger versions with a total length of 240 metres. The destination of the as-yet-un-named ferries has not yet been revealed.

STENA EMBLA FACTS

The name Embla is connected to Stena Line’s Scandinavian heritage. It is an Old Norse name. In Norse mythology, it was the name of the first woman. Its origin comes from the Old Norse word for 'elm'.

  • Builder CMI Jinling Weihai Shipyard (Weihai, China)
  • Type Ro-Pax ship
  • Ferry route/home ports Birkenhead (Liverpool) – Belfast
  • Operator STENA LINE
  • Speed 22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph
  • Length (LOA) 215 m / 705 ft
  • Beam (width) 28 m / 92 ft
  • Gross Tonnage 42,400 gt
  • Lane Metres 3,100
  • Passengers 1,000
  • Cars 120
  • Freight vehicles 210
  • Cabins 175

Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest fleet and the widest choice of routes between Ireland and Britain including Dublin to Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard, Belfast to Cairnryan, and the Belfast to Liverpool and Heysham routes, a total of 232 weekly sailing options. Stena Line also offers a direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg with three return crossings a week, which is increasing to 7 crossings every fortnight from 1st January 2020.

Published in Ferry
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In response to the announcement by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson of a ten-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, Dr Iain Percy OBE, CEO, Artemis Technologies said:

“The Prime Minister’s blueprint for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ is a welcome boost to industries such as maritime as we aim to build a more sustainable future, and aligns with our plans to develop cleaner ships and maritime transport systems.

“With our vision to lead the decarbonisation of maritime, we are very much part of that revolution and are committed to helping the country meet its net-zero carbon target.

The electric hydrofoiling propulsion system, the Artemis eFoiler to be built in BelfastThe electric hydrofoil propulsion system, the Artemis eFoiler, is to be built in Belfast

“Our transformative electric hydrofoil propulsion system, the Artemis eFoilerTM, currently being developed with our partners in the Belfast Maritime Consortium, will enable the disruption of the market and power the high-speed green vessels of the future.

“The fast ferries to be designed and built in Belfast, will be capable of carrying over 350 passengers and will be zero-emission and require up to 90 per cent less energy than traditional high-speed ferries.

“This will have a huge impact, not just in maritime public transport, but also in sectors such as offshore energy, where the technology can be utilised to decarbonise operations.

”Together with the required increased investment on infrastructure at ports and across our cities, the UK can lead the world in clean energy and greener transport and we are proud to play our part.”

Published in Ferry
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The Minister for Transport has today announced the publication of an important report by the Irish Maritime Development’s Office (IMDO) which reassesses Ireland’s Maritime Connectivity and concludes that there is sufficient capacity on existing continental services to accommodate displaced landbridge traffic.

Ireland’s maritime connectivity is essential to the continued supply of goods in and out of the country, accounting as it does, for 90% of Ireland’s international trade in volume terms. As such, Government has been focused on ensuring that Ireland’s ports, shipping operations and all the elements of the maritime supply chain continue to function for our economic wellbeing.

On 31st December 2020, the Brexit transition period comes to an end. This will mean additional customs and other checks on goods going to, from or through the UK. This could mean delays and disruption to the UK Landbridge for goods coming from or going to continental European markets.

Given this ongoing uncertainty and the prolonged impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Minister for Transport requested the IMDO to conduct a detailed reassessment of Ireland’s maritime connectivity.

The findings of the IMDO report are unambiguous; there is more than sufficient capacity on existing services in the RoRo network between Ireland and mainland Europe to cater, if required, for the landbridge traffic currently estimated at around 150,000 trucks per annum. It also found that the shipping industry is resilient, responsive and capable, without State intervention, of adjusting to and satisfying market demand.

Seatruck vessel Clipper Point in Dublin Seatruck's Clipper Point enters Dublin Port - In 2019, Ireland's biggest port handled 98,897 lorries Photo: Afloat

In addition to the analysis, the Department of Transport and the IMDO have undertaken intensive engagement with shipping operators in recent weeks. The message from the shipping industry has been unanimous and consistent; they have the means, the ability and the willingness to respond to changes in demand for direct services to the continent. This includes their readiness to increase services, redeploy ships within networks to better align with demand and introduce additional tonnage if required.

The IMDO recently launched a renewed communications campaign, which is designed to reinforce the message that shipping capacity is available to transport goods directly to the Continent. It also encourages businesses currently moving goods to Continental Europe through the UK to ACT now - ASSESS their supply chain, COMMUNICATE their needs to their logistic or shipping company and TRIAL the direct shipping options in order to keep their business moving.

Switching to direct maritime routes to the continent should be carefully considered because there is capacity; it’s reliable; and will help to avoid the procedural delays involved in transiting through the UK.

Welcoming details of the IMDO report the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan T.D. said: “The IMDO analysis demonstrates that there is sufficient maritime capacity available to service direct routes to the continent, and importantly, that there is a strong willingness from the shipping industry to facilitate this new demand. There is no doubt that Brexit will disrupt operations on the UK landbridge and this report reinforces the need to prepare well in advance in order to avoid unnecessary delay. I would encourage all those working in the logistic and shipping industry to ACT now and pay heed to the advice of the IMDO. ”

Minister for State Hildegarde Naughton T.D. added: “The IMDO report should give comfort to industry that there are reliable services and available capacity on direct routes to the continent for businesses which currently use the landbridge to transport goods. From January, there will also be increased daily ferry services from Dublin and Rosslare to Europe which will add to this existing capacity. In line with the IMDO campaign, I would urge businesses to consider their options across the different modes of transport, communicate their needs to the shipping operators and trial these alternative routes in advance of the December 31st deadline. So ACT now and Prepare to switch.”

Published in Port of Cork
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The Irish Ferries Isle of Inishmore cross channel ferry spotted a 20-foot Kinsale-based fishing boat capsized off the coast of Wales this afternoon.

The ferry, under the command of well-known Irish yachtsman and tall ship skipper Captain Gerry Burns, was returning from Pembroke Dock to Rosslare when the ship's lookout spotted the upturned black and blue hull of the Orkney Longliner drifting some 150 miles from her home port.

At the time of the discovery at 4 30 pm this afternoon, Capt Burns told Afloat: 'We didn’t know if there was anyone on board when we found her'.

The hull was conspicuous at sea in the good weather due to a large red mooring buoy still attached to its bow. 

Milford Haven RNLI lifeboat and the Irish Ferries Isle of Inishmore rescue boat investigate the upturned hullMilford Haven RNLI lifeboat and the Irish Ferries Isle of Inishmore rescue boat investigate the upturned hull

The ferry altered course and went to investigate. News of the discovery was relayed to the Coastguard and Captain Burns dispatched one of the ships rescue boats. The ferry stood by for an hour until the Milford Haven RNLI lifeboat arrived on scene. The lifeboat was able to right the fishing boat.

It is understood the boat's name is 'Braveheart' and that she broke her moorings in the West Cork harbour during Storm Ellen on August 21st. The owners of the boat have been contacted.

Published in Kinsale
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A Belfast Lough Maritime Consortium led by Artemis Technologies has won a £33 million UK Government innovation grant to develop zero emissions ferries in the city, that will revolutionise the future of maritime transport. With further investment from consortium partners, the total project investment will reach close to £60m over the next four years, creating an initial 125 research and development jobs, and leading to more than 1,000 in the region over the next 10 years.

The 13 partner syndicate - which is a mix of established and young companies, including Belfast Harbour and Bombardier, academia and local public bodies - is the only Northern Irish or maritime recipient of the UK Research and Innovation flagship Strength in Places Fund.

A spin-off from the America’s Cup sailing team, Artemis Racing, Artemis Technologies is led by double Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy OBE.

Iain said: “When we launched Artemis Technologies, we decided to base ourselves in Belfast because of the incredible aerospace and composite engineering talent available.

efoiler propulsion systemefoiler propulsion system

“Belfast’s local expertise coupled with the city’s rich shipbuilding heritage, and our own America’s Cup yacht design experience, will ensure Belfast is the global lead in zero emissions maritime technology.

“For years, we’ve been designing low energy, high-performance solutions for some of the fastest yachts on the planet, and we will now utilise that knowledge, and along with our partners, apply it to build the world's most environmentally friendly high-speed ferries, capable of carrying up to 350 passengers.”

Iain added: “Our concept for an electric hydrofoil propulsion system is totally unique and will enable vessels of the future to operate with up to 90% less energy, and produce zero emissions during operation.

“As cities across the world seek ways to reduce pollution and ease traffic congestion, the transformative vessels to be produced right here in Belfast, will have a global role to play in delivering the connected maritime transport system of the future.

“This investment from the UKRI Strength in Places Fund is a major endorsement of what we are trying to achieve, which we strongly believe will see Northern Ireland at the centre of the revolution in water transport.”

Welcoming the announcement, First Minister Arlene Foster said: “We are all proud of Belfast’s maritime and shipbuilding heritage. However, it is even more exciting to look towards a future which can see Northern Ireland once again leading the way with world-class manufacturing and cutting-edge technology.

“I pay tribute to all those involved in the project which demonstrates so clearly the benefits of collaboration between business, academia and government at all levels. This investment can support economic growth locally, but its impact could be felt globally through solutions to more sustainable transport.”

The Belfast consortium brings together a range of established and young firms, academia and public bodies, including: Belfast Harbour, Bombardier Belfast, Northern Ireland Advanced Composites Engineering (NIACE), Creative Composites, Energia, Catalyst, Invest Northern Ireland, Ulster University, Belfast Met, Queen’s University, Belfast, Ards and North Down Borough Council, and Belfast City Council.

Joe O’Neill, Chief Executive, Belfast Harbour, said: “As we continue to develop Belfast Harbour as a key economic hub and centre for innovation, we are pleased to partner with Artemis Technologies in this cutting-edge maritime design project which keeps our city firmly on the shipbuilding map. Ambitious collaborative partnerships such as this are key enablers to help unlock groundbreaking technical innovations and this project fully aligns to Belfast Harbour’s vision to become one of the world’s greenest and best regional ports.

“Belfast Harbour is already home to a diverse range of businesses and this collaboration will only see that expand while also creating new pathways to employment and economic growth opportunities within Belfast and beyond.”

Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive, Belfast City Council added: “This investment will help our economy recover more quickly, creating jobs and economic prosperity for the city - both key objectives of the Belfast Agenda.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with such talented, forward thinking colleagues to build the first zero emission ferries here. Belfast has a long history of innovation and it’s hugely exciting to know that once again, we’re on the cusp of a significant engineering breakthrough – one which will position us as pioneers in advanced manufacturing, resilience and transitioning to a low carbon economy.”

Michael J Ryan CBE, Chief Operating Officer, Aerostructures, Bombardier Aviation commented: “As the largest manufacturer in Northern Ireland, Bombardier Belfast is a centre of excellence for the design, manufacture and aftermarket support of complex metallic and advanced composite aerostructures and therefore can provide a depth of experience, capability and capacity in support of Artemis Technologies.

“Bombardier Belfast is keen to expand into markets that exploit our capabilities/advanced technology and where there are synergies with novel technologies. The Artemis Technologies project, in our view, represents a credible technology path that could provide a technological ‘step-change’ to the maritime sector and passenger transportation.”

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said:  "UK Research and Innovation funding through the Strength in Places Fund will bring researchers, industry and local leadership together in outstanding collaborative programmes that will catalyse regional excellence and economic growth across the UK."

Research England’s Executive Chair, David Sweeney, who leads the Strength in Places Fund, said: “UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund is distinctive in specifically targeting investment to foster the local research and innovation ecosystems that can support sustained growth.

Ian PercyIain Percy

“All of these projects have the potential to deliver research and innovation that will transform activity within their target industries, in a way that is deeply rooted in local strengths and well linked to wider local economic plans.

“And, with a second wave of Strength in Places funding already in the pipeline, we look forward to broadening the reach of that impact to further projects in other areas of the country in future.”

Published in Ports & Shipping
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Irish Olympic Sailing Team

Ireland has a proud representation in sailing at the Olympics dating back to 1948. Today there is a modern governing structure surrounding the selection of sailors the Olympic Regatta

Irish Olympic Sailing FAQs

Ireland’s representation in sailing at the Olympics dates back to 1948, when a team consisting of Jimmy Mooney (Firefly), Alf Delany and Hugh Allen (Swallow) competed in that year’s Summer Games in London (sailing off Torquay). Except for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Ireland has sent at least one sailor to every Summer Games since then.

  • 1948 – London (Torquay) — Firefly: Jimmy Mooney; Swallow: Alf Delany, Hugh Allen
  • 1952 – Helsinki — Finn: Alf Delany * 1956 – Melbourne — Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1960 – Rome — Flying Dutchman: Johnny Hooper, Peter Gray; Dragon: Jimmy Mooney, David Ryder, Robin Benson; Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1964 – Tokyo — Dragon: Eddie Kelliher, Harry Maguire, Rob Dalton; Finn: Johnny Hooper 
  • 1972 – Munich (Kiel) — Tempest: David Wilkins, Sean Whitaker; Dragon: Robin Hennessy, Harry Byrne, Owen Delany; Finn: Kevin McLaverty; Flying Dutchman: Harold Cudmore, Richard O’Shea
  • 1976 – Montreal (Kingston) — 470: Robert Dix, Peter Dix; Flying Dutchman: Barry O’Neill, Jamie Wilkinson; Tempest: David Wilkins, Derek Jago
  • 1980 – Moscow (Tallinn) — Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson (Silver medalists) * 1984 – Los Angeles — Finn: Bill O’Hara
  • 1988 – Seoul (Pusan) — Finn: Bill O’Hara; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; 470 (Women): Cathy MacAleavy, Aisling Byrne
  • 1992 – Barcelona — Europe: Denise Lyttle; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; Star: Mark Mansfield, Tom McWilliam
  • 1996 – Atlanta (Savannah) — Laser: Mark Lyttle; Europe: Aisling Bowman (Byrne); Finn: John Driscoll; Star: Mark Mansfield, David Burrows; 470 (Women): Denise Lyttle, Louise Cole; Soling: Marshall King, Dan O’Grady, Garrett Connolly
  • 2000 – Sydney — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, David O'Brien
  • 2004 – Athens — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, Killian Collins; 49er: Tom Fitzpatrick, Fraser Brown; 470: Gerald Owens, Ross Killian; Laser: Rory Fitzpatrick
  • 2008 – Beijing (Qingdao) — Star: Peter O’Leary, Stephen Milne; Finn: Tim Goodbody; Laser Radial: Ciara Peelo; 470: Gerald Owens, Phil Lawton
  • 2012 – London (Weymouth) — Star: Peter O’Leary, David Burrows; 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy; Laser: James Espey; 470: Gerald Owens, Scott Flanigan
  • 2016 – Rio — Laser Radial (Women): Annalise Murphy (Silver medalist); 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; 49erFX: Andrea Brewster, Saskia Tidey; Laser: Finn Lynch; Paralympic Sonar: John Twomey, Ian Costello & Austin O’Carroll

Ireland has won two Olympics medals in sailing events, both silver: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman at Moscow 1980, and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial at Rio 2016.

The current team, as of December 2020, consists of Laser sailors Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon, 49er pairs Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, and Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson, as well as Laser Radial sailors Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins.

Irish Sailing is the National Governing Body for sailing in Ireland.

Irish Sailing’s Performance division is responsible for selecting and nurturing Olympic contenders as part of its Performance Pathway.

The Performance Pathway is Irish Sailing’s Olympic talent pipeline. The Performance Pathway counts over 70 sailors from 11 years up in its programme.The Performance Pathway is made up of Junior, Youth, Academy, Development and Olympic squads. It provides young, talented and ambitious Irish sailors with opportunities to move up through the ranks from an early age. With up to 100 young athletes training with the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway, every aspect of their performance is planned and closely monitored while strong relationships are simultaneously built with the sailors and their families

Rory Fitzpatrick is the head coach of Irish Sailing Performance. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and was an Athens 2004 Olympian in the Laser class.

The Performance Director of Irish Sailing is James O’Callaghan. Since 2006 James has been responsible for the development and delivery of athlete-focused, coach-led, performance-measured programmes across the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway. A Business & Economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he is a Level 3 Qualified Coach and Level 2 Coach Tutor. He has coached at five Olympic Games and numerous European and World Championship events across multiple Olympic classes. He is also a member of the Irish Sailing Foundation board.

Annalise Murphy is by far and away the biggest Irish sailing star. Her fourth in London 2012 when she came so agonisingly close to a bronze medal followed by her superb silver medal performance four years later at Rio won the hearts of Ireland. Murphy is aiming to go one better in Tokyo 2021. 

Under head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the coaching staff consists of Laser Radial Academy coach Sean Evans, Olympic Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar and 49er team coach Matt McGovern.

The Irish Government provides funding to Irish Sailing. These funds are exclusively for the benefit of the Performance Pathway. However, this falls short of the amount required to fund the Performance Pathway in order to allow Ireland compete at the highest level. As a result the Performance Pathway programme currently receives around €850,000 per annum from Sport Ireland and €150,000 from sponsorship. A further €2 million per annum is needed to have a major impact at the highest level. The Irish Sailing Foundation was established to bridge the financial gap through securing philanthropic donations, corporate giving and sponsorship.

The vision of the Irish Sailing Foundation is to generate the required financial resources for Ireland to scale-up and execute its world-class sailing programme. Irish Sailing works tirelessly to promote sailing in Ireland and abroad and has been successful in securing funding of 1 million euro from Sport Ireland. However, to compete on a par with other nations, a further €2 million is required annually to realise the ambitions of our talented sailors. For this reason, the Irish Sailing Foundation was formed to seek philanthropic donations. Led by a Board of Directors and Head of Development Kathryn Grace, the foundation lads a campaign to bridge the financial gap to provide the Performance Pathway with the funds necessary to increase coaching hours, upgrade equipment and provide world class sport science support to a greater number of high-potential Irish sailors.

The Senior and Academy teams of the Performance Pathway are supported with the provision of a coach, vehicle, coach boat and boats. Even with this level of subsidy there is still a large financial burden on individual families due to travel costs, entry fees and accommodation. There are often compromises made on the amount of days a coach can be hired for and on many occasions it is necessary to opt out of major competitions outside Europe due to cost. Money raised by the Irish Sailing Foundation will go towards increased quality coaching time, world-class equipment, and subsiding entry fees and travel-related costs. It also goes towards broadening the base of talented sailors that can consider campaigning by removing financial hurdles, and the Performance HQ in Dublin to increase efficiency and reduce logistical issues.

The ethos of the Performance Pathway is progression. At each stage international performance benchmarks are utilised to ensure the sailors are meeting expectations set. The size of a sailor will generally dictate which boat they sail. The classes selected on the pathway have been identified as the best feeder classes for progression. Currently the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway consists of the following groups: * Pathway (U15) Optimist and Topper * Youth Academy (U19) Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 420 * Development Academy (U23) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX * Team IRL (direct-funded athletes) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX

The Irish Sailing performance director produces a detailed annual budget for the programme which is presented to Sport Ireland, Irish Sailing and the Foundation for detailed discussion and analysis of the programme, where each item of expenditure is reviewed and approved. Each year, the performance director drafts a Performance Plan and Budget designed to meet the objectives of Irish Performance Sailing based on an annual review of the Pathway Programmes from Junior to Olympic level. The plan is then presented to the Olympic Steering Group (OSG) where it is independently assessed and the budget is agreed. The OSG closely monitors the delivery of the plan ensuring it meets the agreed strategy, is within budget and in line with operational plans. The performance director communicates on an ongoing basis with the OSG throughout the year, reporting formally on a quarterly basis.

Due to the specialised nature of Performance Sport, Irish Sailing established an expert sub-committee which is referred to as the Olympic Steering Group (OSG). The OSG is chaired by Patrick Coveney and its objective is centred around winning Olympic medals so it oversees the delivery of the Irish Sailing’s Performance plan.

At Junior level (U15) sailors learn not only to be a sailor but also an athlete. They develop the discipline required to keep a training log while undertaking fitness programmes, attending coaching sessions and travelling to competitions. During the winter Regional Squads take place and then in spring the National Squads are selected for Summer Competitions. As sailors move into Youth level (U19) there is an exhaustive selection matrix used when considering a sailor for entry into the Performance Academy. Completion of club training programmes, attendance at the performance seminars, physical suitability and also progress at Junior and Youth competitions are assessed and reviewed. Once invited in to the Performance Academy, sailors are given a six-month trial before a final decision is made on their selection. Sailors in the Academy are very closely monitored and engage in a very well planned out sailing, training and competition programme. There are also defined international benchmarks which these sailors are required to meet by a certain age. Biannual reviews are conducted transparently with the sailors so they know exactly where they are performing well and they are made aware of where they may need to improve before the next review.

©Afloat 2020

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