Displaying items by tag: Afloat
#ROWING: The Afloat Rowers of the Month for April are the Galway Rowing Club under-23 women’s eight which won the Division One title at the Queen’s University Regatta, the first eFlow Grand League Regatta of the season. All eight rowers are juniors, with only talented cox Aifric O’Regan falling outside this age group.
Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times and David O'Brien, Editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie and the overall national award will be presented to the person or crew who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to rowing during 2013. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2013 champions list grow.
This week in Afloat's ISLAND NATION column by Tom MacSweeney – the Pope supports seafarers... Lightkeepers were an unusual breed of people ... Developing the Shannon Estuary ... An Arctic Convoy Medal ... and other news stories.
"All of us involved in the welfare of seafarers have found that seafarers today have little time in port," the General Secretary of the International Transport Workers' Federation told the Apostleship of the Sea international congress which held in the Vatican in Rome where the Pope was presented with a high-visibility jacket as worn at work by seafarers in port.
David Cockroft said that more ports should establish welfare committees and d provide free wi-fi internet services for seafarers on visiting ships. "Considering that ships' crews have such little time in port these are minimal supports which ports should provide to help them maintain contact with families," he said.
The AoS is represented in 71 countries. Pope Benedict told the conference that seafarers "face situations of injustice," amongst which he included crews abandoned along with the vessels on which they work by owners, the threat of piracy and restrictions imposed by port authorities. He pledged that the Catholic Church would support seafarers in their rights to "dignified and safe working."
LIGHTKEEPERS – EYES ON THE COASTLINE
Lightkeepers were an unusual breed of people. I travelled to the village of Rathbarry in West Cork to meet one of them.
"We lost something with automation. The little microchip cannot look out to sea. Irish Lights was not set up to save life but the eyes which Lightkeepers provided on the coastline were important," former Lightkeeper Gerald Butler told me. "It can be said that anybody providing aids to navigation or assisting the mariner carries certain responsibilities in safety to life at sea but Irish Lights was not set up to save life at sea in the strict sense that phrase implies nor to provide eyes on the coastline for that purpose, other than the operating of the lighthouses and the safety they provided as a warning to vessels. But it seems to me that the de-manning almost passed the public by. Sometimes I do wonder. If a tragedy happens and the lighthouse near it has been de-manned, nobody asks the question or says this never happened while the stations were manned. One could say that some things just become accepted."
Lighthousekeeper Gerald Butler
Gerald comes from the West Cork fishing port of Castletownbere. His grandfather was the Captain of a Lightship and other predecessors were seafarers. His father was a Lightkeeper and his mother's father was a Lightkeeper. What did he miss most when he became redundant in the de-manning of the lighthouses?
"I missed time. When I was made redundant I bought a trawler and spent the next ten years fishing and I had no time of my own. There was no day under 18 hours, some were a full 24 hours. It was a tough life and I found that my creative life had to be put on hold. The comfort of a salary was gone. I am glad I did go into fishing. It opened up a new way of thinking but I lost time for myself, for other things I wanted to do, which was the one major thing I felt I lost.
"The regulations which have come into fishing have destroyed the industry. Ireland has become like a police state where fishermen have to face up to so many regulations. Fishing is a tough business. The regulations from the EU and which have been supported by the Irish Government have murdered fishing. I love the sea and I loved fishing but the regulations have destroyed the industry."
Gerald has written the story of his life. 'THE LIGHTKEEPER' has been published in paperback by The Liffey Press at €16.95. He is now Attendant at the Galley Head Lighthouse in West Cork where his father once served and where he did also. He has set up a website: www.thelightkeeper.ie
Ports – FUTURE OF THE SHANNON ESTUARY
As previously reported by Afloat.ie the public consultation period about the future development of marine-related industry along Ireland's largest estuary, the Shannon, continues until February 15.
Nine sites, described as 'strategic' have been identified for development in counties Clare, Kerry and Limerick in the 'Draft Strategic Integrated Framework Plan for the Shannon Estuary.'
Clare and Kerry County Councils, Limerick City and County Councils, Shannon Development and Shannon Foynes Port Company, were involved in drawing up the plan though they use the land-designation of 'kilometres' to describe 'navigable water' rather than the more correct description, in my view when referring to the marine sphere, of 'nautical miles.' The Shannon Estuary runs from Kerry Head and Loop Head as far as Limerick City and is described as "Ireland's premier deepwater port, catering for ships up to 200,000 deadweight, with ports at Limerick and Foynes. A number of large industries are located there, including the ESB at Moneypoint, Aughinish Alumina, Tarbert Power Station and Shannon Airport. It also has natural resources, wildlife and ecosystems and is a designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the EU Habitats Directive.
Moneypoint; Innismurry/Cahercon (Clare); Limerick Docks; Foynes Island; Foynes Port and adjoining lands; Askeaton Industrial Estate; Aughinish Island, (Limerick): Tarbert Power Station and Ballylongford Landbank (Kerry) are the strategic development locations for 'Marine-Related Industry' with Askeaton zoned for 'Industry' and Limerick Docks zoned for 'Mixed Use'. Moneypoint and Tarbert Power Stations are identified as 'Key Energy Sites' in addition to Ballylongford Landbank, the site of a permitted liquefied natural gas (LNG) Project. Kilconly point, Carrig Island, Tarbert Bay (Kerry) and Moneypoint (Clare) are "opportunity sites for renewable energy developments."
Eight sites are identified for fishing and aquaculture including designated shellfish waters at Poulnasherry Bay and Carrigaholt Bay in County Clare. Other areas include Rinevella Bay, Killimer and Clonderlaw Bay in Clare, Carrig Island in Kerry and Greenish Island and Long Rock in Limerick.
The Plan includes objectives to develop the Cruise Ship industry and highlights "potential in the Islands on the Fergus Estuary"
According to Pat Keating, CEO of Shannon Foynes Port Company which is responsible for all maritime activities and port management on the Estuary, it is a "significant step forward in the positioning of the estuary as a centre of excellence for future marine and port related investment." His company is in the process of finalising a 30-year master plan for the Port of Foynes, Limerick Docks and the Shannon Estuary.
The website www.shannonestuarysifp.ie has details of the plan which is on public display and to which comments should be made by February 15. Public consultation evens are also being staged. It is intended to incorporate the plan into city and county development plans.
Fishing – NORTH-WEST PLAN
The North West Fisheries Local Action Group, supported by Bord Iascaigh Mhara, is seeking tenders to develop an integrated local development strategy for defined areas of the Sligo/Mayo coastal region for the years 2013 to 2015, in line with objectives of the European Fisheries Fund. Applications must be made by 5pm on January 25. Tender details can be downloaded from http://www.bim.ie/news-and-events/content
The development strategy will require collection of social and economic information from coastal communities and identification of infrastructural strengths and weaknesses and development opportunities of the area.
History – ARCTIC MEDAL
After a long struggle to achieve it, the Merchant Navy Association in the UK has succeeded in getting the British Government to announce the introduction of the 'Arctic Convoy Star Medal' for those who served on what were, arguably, the toughest and most difficult convoys in the harshest of conditions during World War Two. The medal is being introduced on the recommendation of a committee set up to examine the proposal, headed by Sir John Holmes.
Colman Shaughnessy of the Radio Officers' Association of which many Irish officers were members, has brought the decision to my attention and suggested that there were Irishmen on Arctic convoys who would qualify for award of the medal. Further information is awaited about the medal awards and whether it will be conferred posthumously.
Environment – CLIMATE CHANGE IS CAUSING ANTARCTIC SEA-ICE TO MOVE
Using data gathered by U.S. military satellite-tracking of the motion of the Antarctic icepack between 1992 and 2010 researchers have found a link between Antarctic winds and the growth of sea-ice in the Weddell and Ross Seas. The analysis, "Wind-driven Trends in Antarctic Sea-ice Drift," was published in the science journal 'Nature Geoscience.'
"Sea-ice is constantly on the move. Around Antarctica the ice is blown away from the Continent by strong northward winds. Since 1992 this ice drift has changed. In some areas the moving of ice away from Antarctica has doubled, while in others it has decreased significantly," said Paul Holland of the British Antarctic Survey. "Until now these changes in ice drift were only speculated upon, using computer models of Antarctic winds. This study of direct satellite observations shows the complexity of climate change. Total Antarctic sea-ice cover is increasing slowly, but individual regions are experiencing much larger gains and losses that are almost offsetting each other overall. These regional changes are caused by changes in the winds, which in turn affect the ice cover through changes in both ice drift and air temperature."
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# ROWING: Sanita Puspure is the Afloat Rower of the Year for 2012. Puspure made the A Final as a single sculler at World Cup Regattas in Belgrade and Munich and did wonderfully well to qualify as the sole Ireland rowing representative at the Olympic Games. In the Olympic Qualification Regatta at Lucerne she claimed the fourth and final place, pushing Iva Obradovic of Serbia, one of the favourites, into fifth. The three women who finished ahead of Puspure cut a dash at London 2012: Denmark’s Fie Udby Erichsen took silver; Kim Crow of Australia took bronze (in addition to a silver in the double sculls); America’s Genevra Stone won the B Final. Puspure’s position was destined to be in the 11 to 13 ranking and she was unlucky first to suffer illness in the run up to the Games and then to be drawn in a difficult quarter-final which saw her lose out narrowly on a place in the A/B Semi-Finals, the top 12. She won the C Final convincingly to place 13th. After the race she spoke of looking forward to climbing the rankings in this discipline and of targeting Rio 2016. Her steeliness in key races and her very good form in the recent National Assessment suggests that the 30-year-old could be a rower to watch in this Olympiad.
Rower of the Year: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times and David O'Brien, Editor of Afloat magazine.
# ROWING: The Afloat Rower of the Month for October is Holly Nixon. The 18-year-old Fermanagh woman is on scholarship to the University of Virginia in the United States, and she rowed in the number three seat of the crew which finished an impressive third in the Women’s Championships Eights at the Head of the Charles in Boston. This was the top position for a college crew, and placed them ahead of the Dutch and Canadian national teams.
Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times and David O'Brien, Editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie and the overall national award will be presented to the person or crew who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to rowing during 2012. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2012 champions list grow.
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#BOATS FOR SALE – In spite of the doom and gloom boats are still selling through Afloat and we've had good news from one customer this week who sold his yacht within a few weeks of the advert going up on the Afloat boats for sale site.
Cork sailor Ian Travers advertised his Quarter Ton yacht Bandit in May for €11,500 and we received a letter yesterday telling us the deal was done and his yacht was sold. Well done to Ian and we look forward to seeing him and the new owners of Bandit on the water in 2012!
Here's Ian's note which maybe of interest to those considering selling over the winter lay up period.Dear Afloat,
Just a quick note to let you know I have sold my Quarter Tonner 'Bandit'.
I am sure you will be glad to know I received loads of interest from the online advertisement I placed with Afloat.
As soon as the ad was placed, I started receiving enquiries from people who saw her on your website.
Categorically she would not have sold as quick had I not advertised with afloat.ie.
I would now be grateful if you could list the boat as being sold.
Thank you for your efficient service and I would not hessitate in recommending your service to anyone wishing to sell their boat.
To advertise (€10) on Afloat's boats for sale website click here
Although there are no Irish boats at least two Irish crew are participating in Saturday's record breaking Rolex Middle Sea Race from Malta.
Dun Laoghaire navigator Brian Mathews, who narrowly misseed out on an international victory in the Dragon fleet with Martin Byrne in Cannes last month is sailing with Crosshaven's David Kenefick on board the Ex-'Rosie' 36 footer, now the German Registered AOC Rockall racing in IRC class four.
A record has been broken even before the start of the Race say the organisers. Days before final registration for this year's event, entries have risen to a record breaking 81 and there are still a few days to go before the last entry can be accepted.
New entries from Italy, Serbia, Slovenia and the UK have pushed the numbers up to 80, three more than the previous record of 77 in 2008.
"We can accept late entries up until 17th October and we do expect one or two more, said Georges Bonello Dupuis, Commodore of the Royal Malta Yacht Club. As it is, entries for this year are incredible and we are really looking forward to seeing them all berthed outside the Club; the place will be buzzing," he added.
A handful of boats are here, including previous RMSR line honours and overall winner, Alegre together with the back to back winner of the Rolex Fastnet, Ran 2.
Other arrivals include the UK Swan 57 Yellowdrama who'll be fighting for the new Nautor Swan Cup, Echo, Doppelbock (Germany & UK) and Filando and Tyke from Italy. Filando's 14-man crew come to Malta for the first time to take part in a race that they consider "the best offshore regatta in the Mediterranean."
Many of the entries will arrive this weekend, including the brand new 85 foot Nautor Swan ,Berenice from Italy. While good weather over the weekend will ease the passage of arriving yachts, Mr Bonello Dupuis cautioned, "I expect one or two might have problems making their way down to Malta, but fingers crossed that everyone arrives safely; they will certainly receive a warm welcome."
The Rolex Middle Sea Race is organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and has been sponsored by Rolex since 2002.
West Island College International - Class Afloat is one of the world's most unique and interesting educational experiences. It offers high school and university students the opportunity to take fully accredited courses while sailing aboard a traditional fully-rigged class 'A' tall ship built in 1924.
Some facts about Class Afloat:
Created in 1984 as a Canadian International Youth Year programme.
Has visited ports of call on every continent of the world.
Students and staff participate in two service projects in the Dominican Republic and in our West Africa Initiative in Dakar, Senegal
Students tend to come from the top 25th percentile in their home schools and 98% of our students attend the university of their choice after graduating with us
Students spend four hours a day outside of the classroom learning how to run and maintain the ship
Students leave the program having developed strong leadership skills, an ease at working in groups, a sense of responsibility and accountability, ready to participate as an active and conscious citizen.
More on the website here
There has been a call for the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) to take a lead in the big decisions that face youth sailors on what classes to sail to after they leave the ranks of the Optimist, Topper and Feva classes. The call comes from a leading junior organiser who does not wish to be named.
Although youth sailing is buoyant in Ireland it is known there is a 'high attrition rate' among teenagers. The lack of transfer in to senior dinghy classes has been a cause of concern for many clubs around the country.
The comments follow a recently published article on Afloat.ie promoting the RS 200 dinghy as a progression boat for juniors.
"We need a class that will keep youths engaged. The 420 and 29er are great boats but require higher levels of boathandling, are much more competitive and tend to attract the top sailors"
"While the ISA's Olympic ambitions are great to see, it will fail the sport as a whole if it does not tackle this gaping need, the organiser says.
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