Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Galway Bay

Slipping out into Galway Bay before sunrise, several traditional craft from Galway Hooker Sailing Club participated in the Darkness into Light national fundraiser on  Saturday.

“When a community comes together, it’s amazing what can be done,” the club said after the highly successful event took place.

The vessels were on the water even as hundreds of people gathered from 4 am on Saturday in Salthill to walk the promenade and shoreline in aid of the charity Pieta.

The city-based club was one of a number of sailing and boating clubs around the country to support the national event, which raises awareness about suicide and fundraises for the support work conducted by Pieta.

Galway City Sailing Club and Galway Bay Sailing Club also responded to the on-water appeal.

“This morning the Galway community came out to walk, run, sail and motor into the day as the sun rose,” Galway Hooker Sailing Club said.

“It was a beautiful morning and we would like to thank everyone,” it said.

Over 3.7 million euros had been pledged to the charity last night, close to its 4 million euro target. Some 54,000 euros of this was raised across 19 venues in Galway, on and off water.

Founded in Dublin in 2006, Pieta was established to provide free, accessible one-to-one counselling to people suffering from suicidal ideation, engaging in self-harm or to those bereaved by suicide.

Published in Galway Hookers

Galway City businesses could benefit from cruise ship passengers to the tune of almost €2 million over the course of the summer months as such ships are due to anchor off the bay.

A total of 22 cruise ships will arrive in Galway between May and the end of September and it is expected that those on board will provide a much needed boost for the local economy. Two of those will pay a visit to the Aran Islands (see related story) as well.

Some of the ships will have up to 1,000 passengers on board – one of the bigger ships Nautica, which will have around 2,000 passengers on board, will visit Galway in the summer of 2024 and this is bound to be an attraction in itself.

The first cruise ship (Borealis, from Cobh) arrived off Galway Bay in the past fortnight and resulted in some 800 passengers being ferried into the city for the day.

They were transported from the 61,000grt cruiseship to the Glór na Farraige (see photo) of Aran Island Ferries, which actually started operating its tourist service from Ros a’ Mhíl to the islands much earlier than normal due to the demand.

More from Connacht Tribune and the Port of Galway harbourmaster.

The Glór na Farraige Afloat recalls an east coast role back in 2015 when also chartered to bring cruise-passengers ashore off Dun Laoghaire Harbour from where yesterday, NCL's giant Norwegian Getaway (145,000grt) made an anchorage call.  

Published in Cruise Liners
Tagged under

Water quality in Galway Bay may be improved when a new wastewater treatment plant is completed in An Spidéal next year, Minister for Housing and Local Government Darragh O’Brien has predicted.

The project will eliminate the discharge of more than 600 wheelie bins of raw sewage into Galway Bay every day, he said, on a visit to view the village’s new plant.

Swimmers, surfers, local sailors, inshore fishers and anglers will benefit, along with the marine environment, he noted.

O’Brien said it would also act as “an enabler for housing and supporting economic growth and development in the area”.

“Irish Water and Galway County Council are to be commended for progressing this vital project as part of its commitment to the people of Spiddal,” he said.

“ The provision of a reliable wastewater service, in a manner that protects the natural environment, is essential to the economic and social development of this area,” he said.

The minister was accompanied by Galway County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Peter Keaveney, and Irish Water asset delivery regional lead Patrick Greene.

“Spiddal was one of 13 locations nationwide where Irish Water awarded contracts in 2021 to end the discharge of raw sewage,” Greene said.

“So far in 2022 we have awarded contracts for two additional locations with more to follow in the coming months. 60% of the raw sewage entering waterways in Ireland has now been eliminated and we are on track to fully removing the majority of raw sewage discharges by 2025,” he said.

Greene said he would like to thank “the people of Spiddal, including Udarás na Gaeltachta, Spiddal Craft and Design Studios, Danu Media, Stiuideo Cuan Teo as well as Scoil Einne” for their “ongoing support throughout the works”.

The project, which represents an investment of €4 million, is being built by Mott MacDonald and Coffey Water Ltd.

Published in Galway Harbour
Tagged under

The Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD, recently visited Galway Bay Sailing Club headquarters for the official sod-turning ceremony to inaugurate the club’s latest development. The Minister, who is a native of Oranmore, has a special interest in the Rinville area, and has been very supportive of GBSC over the years.

Galway Bay Sailing Club has been in the location since 1979, and has undergone many expansion programmes over the past 43 years. This latest development consists of the completion of the ground floor training rooms/kitchenette and wetsuit storage areas whuch are also multipurpose meeting and training rooms designed with maximum flexibility in mind.

The second part of the new development is a large and secure equipment storage unit and repair area. This linear building is clad in timber, and is for storage everyday use sailing support and safety vessels, and their equipment.

During her visit the Minister said: “I was particularly pleased to be able to assist Galway Bay Sailing Club in securing significant Sports Capital funding this year. The Club does magnificent work in supporting all ages and abilities in learning to sail, and this new development will help secure their position as the largest sailing club in the West of Ireland.”

GBSC is delighted to have received Sports Capital funding of €140k which will go a long way towards funding these developments.

This allocation allows the Club to proceed immediately, as full planning permission has been granted for the development, and the members we would like to thank the Minister for supporting this initiative which will allow GBSC to expand its junior, adult and sailability training programmes for the future.

Minister Hildegarde Naughton TD in the clubhouse with GBSC officers Pat Irwin (Vice Commodore, left), Johnny Shorten (Commodore) and Honorary Treasurer Andrew Flanagan.Minister Hildegarde Naughton TD in the clubhouse with GBSC officers Pat Irwin (Vice Commodore, left), Johnny Shorten (Commodore) and Honorary Treasurer Andrew Flanagan.

Published in Galway Harbour

One of the 21 fishermen feared dead after a Spanish fishing vessel sank off the Newfoundland coast this week was the sole survivor of a dramatic rescue two decades ago off the Irish west coast.

Ricardo Arias Garcia was winched from the Skerd Rocks in outer Galway Bay by the Rescue 115 Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew in October 2000.

The native of Marin in Spain has been named as one of the 21 who died or are missing when the Villa de Pitanxo sank about 280 miles off the Newfoundland coast in rough seas early on Tuesday.

Only three of the 24 crew on board the vessel were rescued, while nine have been confirmed dead and 12 crew listed as missing from the 50-metre (164ft) vessel. The search for the missing 12 was stood down on Wednesday evening.

The Halifax rescue centre involved in the search said the area was experiencing 46 miles per hour winds and sea swells of up to 5.5 m (18 ft) at the time. The Spanish vessel was built to withstand harsh Atlantic weather.

Arias Garcia survived a previous sinking but lost all of his fellow crew when the Arosa sank in a storm off north Galway Bay on October 3rd, 2000.

The Spanish-owned 32 metre-long Arosa, which was registered in Britain, had been fishing for four days when weather deteriorated.

Its skipper was heading for shelter in Galway Bay a force nine gale, blowing to force ten, when it struck the Skerd rocks about nine miles west of the Connemara village of Carna.

Ten of the 13 crew on board were Spanish, two were from Sao Tome island off central Africa and one was from Ghana.

 Ricard Arias Garcia, the Spanish fisherman feared dead off Newfounland, after he survived the Arosa sinking in Galway Bay in October 2000. Ricard Arias Garcia, the Spanish fisherman feared dead off Newfounland, after he survived the Arosa sinking in Galway Bay in October 2000 Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

A “mayday” alert was issued, the three African crew tried to launch the liferafts, but it proved too difficult as the vessel was wedged between rocks with enormous seas on its port side.

The desperate crew, most wearing lifejackets, clung to the vessel until most were washed away.

Arias Garcia spoke afterwards of how he decided not to wear a lifejacket as he feared it might choke him..

"In between the waves, I tried to look up, calm down and organise myself," he told reporters afterwards in University Hospital, Galway.

"I saw another big wave coming. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. When that wave had passed, I felt rocks beneath me. I dragged myself up along the rocks. I looked up and I saw the light of the helicopter."

The crew of Rescue 115 had only 200 to 300 yards of visibility in pitch dark and driving rain, close to a mountainous coast, when they spotted him.

They had already identified liferafts on the water near the Skerd Rocks and could see they were empty.

Arias Garcia was wearing only a t-shirt when the light from the helicopter caught him, clinging to a rock close to the bow of the vessel which was being pounded by heavy seas.

The crew of Capt David Courtney, Capt Mike Shaw, winch operator John Manning and winchman Eamonn Ó Broin winched him on board.

The helicopter crew also rescued the vessel’s skipper. Both men were flown to hospital but the skipper did not survive.

The Shannon crew received a State award for their role in rescuing Arias Garcia.

The RNLI Aran lifeboat, the Cleggan and Costello Bay Coast Guard units and Naval Service divers who searched for bodies were also conferred with marine meritorious awards.

Galician newspaper La Voz de Galicia recalled this week how Arias Garcia, feared lost off Canada, had survived a “shipwreck off Ireland” in 2000.

“Ricardo saw his companions from the Arosa die, and that terrible event marked him. Those who know him say that he enjoyed the sea,” the newspaper reported.

Arias Garcia was one of 16 Spaniards, five Peruvians and three Ghanaians, on board the Villa de Pitanxo which had been at sea for over a month.

The vessel’s owner, Grupo Nores, specialises in catching cod, dogfish and other species found in the North Atlantic.

Published in Fishing

A one-year economic assessment of the southeast Galway Bay catchment has found it generated revenues of €105 million and supported about 550 jobs.

The report was commissioned by Cuan Beo, a community based coastal organisation working in south-east Galway Bay, and is the first of its kind according to the group.

Its findings were presented at a regional event held late last week which was attended by local politicians and policymakers, representatives of State agencies, and farmers, fishermen, community and tourism groups, scientists and environmental groups living in the catchment.

The event was moderated by Dr Micheál Ó Cinnéide, former director of the Environmental Protection Agency and now with Corrib Beo.

The report describes how a very distinct geographical area is connected by a common drainage system, drawing all rainfall and run-off water in the catchment and discharging it into Galway Bay.

It is one of 46 catchments in Ireland, according to the EPA, and covers an area of approximately 1,200 Km2. It includes about 117 km of coastline stretching from Galway harbour to Blackhead in Co Clare and extends inland to Athenry, Loughrea and Gort.

The report highlights the value and importance of data collection and management for the catchment, and potential growth areas across a number of key sectors where the resources available in the catchment could be developed in a sustainable manner to create new jobs and generate revenue.

These growth areas include climate technology, blue health, marine and coastal tourism, research and local community development and the report says they offer “unparalleled opportunities for growth and sustainable development, building on the circular economy and supporting climate-resilient communities”.

“Now that we have established market and non-market economic baselines, this report will heighten awareness with policymakers and planners as to the true value of the resource base and the marine environment,” Cuan Beo chair Diarmuid Kelly said.

“ It will promote this catchment as a location for research and development in sustainability and environmental enhancement. This will become increasingly important as social and environmental measures, such as carbon emissions and sustainability development goals, are established and monitored,” he said.

The report was conducted by Dr Colm O’Dowd who noted that “valuing both market and non-market products and services from the marine environment is necessary if they are to be included in marine spatial planning and management decisions”.

“For example, while we know that shipping and tourism are vital economic pillars in this catchment, there is little awareness of the value of marine-related recreation or the potential healthcare savings associated with activities such as sea
swimming,” O’Dowd said.

“Assessing the economic value of these activities and of marine ecosystems should influence decision making on marine spatial planning and support improvements in water quality and access to coastal areas,” he said.

The report was funded by Cuan Beo, the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) and the EU Maritime and Fisheries Fund under the FLAG West Programme.

A copy of the report is available here 

Published in Galway Harbour

The Galway gleoiteog named Loveen tacked across the Claddagh basin this weekend, some 96 years after it was built by the Reaney family of Spanish Arch.

The gleoiteog has been restored, plank by plank, by the Galway Hooker Sailing Association in a restoration project involving the Port of Galway Sea Scouts.

The vessel was bought by the late Nicky Dolan in 2009, but he passed away before he had fulfilled plans to repair it. With the support of former mayor and Labour councillor Niall MacNelis, it was donated to the Port of Galway Sea Scouts in 2011.

As Afloat reported previously, Expert boatbuilders Coilín Hernon and his sons, Ciarán Oliver, and a large team from the Galway Hooker Sailing Association (GHSA) have worked on the project since funding was secured.

Loveen sailing  on the Claddagh basin Photo: Bartley FanninLoveen sailing on the Claddagh basin Photo: Bartley Fannin

The association, which has over 100 volunteers, began work in earnest in 2019 and continued with careful restrictions through last year’s Covid-19 pandemic.

A flotilla joined the gleoiteog on the water – including The Lovely Anne, a late 19th-century gleoiteog, already restored by the GHSA.

The gleoiteog has been restored, plank by plank, by the Galway Hooker Sailing AssociationThe gleoiteog has been restored, plank by plank, by the Galway Hooker Sailing Association Photo: Bartley Fannin

Éinde Hernon was on the helm of the Loveen as it berthed in the Claddagh basin for a blessing by Fr Donal Sweeney of the Claddagh Dominican church.

“We can nearly always rely on rain,” Fr Sweeney joked.

Mayor of Galway Colette Connolly attended the event, and, in spite of threatening rain, a large crowd gathered at Nimmo’s pier to welcome the Loveen into the Galway hooker fleet.

Fr Donal Sweeney of the Claddagh Dominican church, blessing the gleoiteog Loveen at the Claddagh basin on SaturdayFr Donal Sweeney of the Claddagh Dominican church, blessing the gleoiteog Loveen at the Claddagh basin on Saturday Photo: Bartley Fannin

Published in Historic Boats
Tagged under

Using sponge slime to fight cancer and copying barnacle glue for surgery are among projects highlighted at a new exhibition focusing on the contribution of the marine environment to medical research.

The exhibition at Galway Atlantaquaria in Salthill, Galway, is hosted by Cúram, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for medical devices based at NUI Galway (NUIG)

Work by scientists on algae for controlled release of medicine is also outlined in the exhibition, which investigates “how marine-inspired medtech research can heal the body”.

Cúram’s research is focused on developing “innovative and smart medical devices and implants that will benefit patients with chronic ailments such as cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and neural diseases”.

Mayor of Galway City, Colette Connolly with Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, NUI GalwayMayor of Galway City, Colette Connolly with Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, NUI Galway. Photo: Aengus McMahon

Speaking at the opening this week, Professor Abhay Pandit, Cúram scientific director, said that “we look forward to continuing the collaboration and developing the exhibit and associated educational resources for schools and families over the coming years.”

“If we lose the biodiversity of our oceans, we also lose potential ways to help fight diseases. Keeping our oceans healthy helps us discover new ways of developing medical therapies, which, in turn, keeps us healthy,” Dr Sarah Gundy, Cúram’s coordinator of content development for the exhibit, said.

Galway Atlantaquaria director of education Dr Noirín Burke said that “the connection between the ocean’s health and our health cannot be overstated, and launching an exhibit which helps people explore this relationship is so important for the aquarium team.”

Set up in 2015, Cúram is based at NUIG. Its partner institutes include University College Dublin, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Dublin City University, Athlone Institute of Technology and National Institute Bioprocessing Research and Training.

Published in Galway Harbour

A fleet of 28 dinghies took to Galway Bay for the annual Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil regatta at the weekend.

In spite of freshening southerlies and sporadic rain, eight hardy Optimist sailors completed a series of three races over a course set by race officer Stephen O’Gorman.

Winner in the Optimist class was Rian Baynes of Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC), while second place also went to a GBSC sailor, Killian Mathieu, and third to fellow club mate Sean Lemonnier.

Niamh Baynes of GBSC took fourth place, and the first CSS club sailor home was Sarah Donald who recorded fifth place overall.

Preparations underway for the 2021 Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil regatta Photo: Dave CahillPreparations underway for the 2021 Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil regatta Photo: Dave Cahill

CSS Optimist sailors Realtín Boinnard, Padraic Halliday and Séadhna Ní Thuairisg also braved the conditions, with Boinnard and Halliday taking second and third club placings.

Conditions had freshened further in the afternoon when the mixed fleet took to the water, requiring a series of quick tacks to clear Spiddal’s rock-strewn coastal rim.

CSS Spiddal 2021 regatta race officer Stephen O'Gorman showing his county loyalties Photo: Dave CahillCSS Spiddal 2021 regatta race officer Stephen O'Gorman showing his county loyalties Photo: Dave Cahill

A crack shore team assisted visiting dinghies, with the rollercoaster launch off the Sean Céibh beach proving to be quite the spectacle from shore.

Classes for the mixed fleet series were 420/Laser 1 and Pico/Topaz.

There were several capsizes in the testing conditions during three timed races, with a fourth race requiring two laps of the course.

The first boat in overall on corrected time was a GBSC 420 sailed by Adam McGrady and Ally O’Sullivan.

CSS sailors Mac O’Brien and Eoghan Breathnach took second place in a 420, closely followed into third by a Galway City Sailing Club (GCSC) 420 crew of Colm Ó Fatharta and Rian de Bairéad.

CSS boats dominated the Pico/Topaz class, with James Harvey and Charlie Donald coming first, Aoife Ni Choncubhair and Hooriya Awan securing second, and Sarah Donald and Padraic Halliday taking third.

Awards for the first three CSS club boats in the mixed fleet went to O’Brien and Breathnach, Cathal and Méabh Mahon, and Orlaith and Liam Cahill – all sailing 420s.

Aoife Ní Chonchubhair of CSS, who came second with Hooriya Awan in the Pico/Topaz class at Spiddal regatta 2021, with commodore Dave Cahill. Photo: Jamie DonaldAoife Ní Chonchubhair of CSS, who came second with Hooriya Awan in the Pico/Topaz class at Spiddal regatta 2021, with commodore Dave Cahill. More prizegiving photos below. Photo: Jamie Donald

All the Oppie prize winners with CSS  commodore Dave Cahill ( from left) GBSC sailors Sean Lemonnier, Rian  Baynes, Killian Mathieu and CSS sailors Sarah Donald, Patrick Halliday and Realtin BoinnardAll the Oppie prize winners with CSS  commodore Dave Cahill ( from left) GBSC sailors Sean Lemonnier, Rian  Baynes, Killian Mathieu and CSS sailors Sarah Donald, Patrick Halliday and Realtin Boinnard

GBSC Dart 16 sailors Laurik and Killian Mathieu crossed the bay for the racing, while Galway City Sailing Club Topper sailors Ava McCarthy and Ava Halpin also participated - putting in very keen performances.

Last year, CSS initiated a new annual award in memory of late sea kayaker, mountaineer and circuit court judge John Hannan, who died in February 2020.

The Hannan trophy, a piece of glassware in the shape of a sailing dinghy on bog oak, was designed and made by Sue Donnellan’s glass craft design studio in An Ceardlann, An Spidéal.

This year’s award was presented by Marcus Hannan to the CSS 420 duo of Mac O’Brien and Eoghan Breathnach, who were the first club boat home.

Speaking at the prize giving, Marcus Hannan conveyed a special tribute penned by his mother, Stephanie Adams, who was CSS sail training organiser for many years before the family moved back to her native Australia in 2020.

CSS commodore Dave Cahill paid his own tribute to all the sailors, to the visiting clubs, and to the shore and RIB safety boat teams who were essential to the smooth running of the event.

CSS, founded in 2002, has no clubhouse, but was recently dubbed the "coolest place to sail" by Irish Olympic contest Sean Waddilove.

Published in Galway Harbour

The 1.5 metre unmanned mini sailboat called 'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor', that was deployed in June, was recently found stranded on the Bunes Beach above the Arctic Circle in the Lofoten Islands, in Norway.

After travelling over 3,000km from Irish waters in the Atlantic to Norway, the 'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor' was found by the Bjørnsen family and friends while on holidays on the Lofoten Island over the summer, the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme has reported.

Mr Lars Bjørnsen said his daughters were thrilled to discover the mini boat washed up on the remote Bunes Beach, “our neighbour had found the boat and my three girls were so excited to join him to open the hatch of the boat to see the Irish messages and ‘treasures’ inside. We were able to read most of the letters that had been written by the students at Kilglass National School in Galway, although some were a little wet. The girls were also delighted with the Irish candy and crisps – which survived the voyage.”

“Bunes Beach is quite isolated on the western side of Reinefjorden on the Moskenesøya island, Norway. You can only get there by ferry and then have to walk 3km to the beach. It is a beautiful beach in a bay surrounded by mountains and steep ridges. However, not many people get to go there on a regular basis. Therefore, the fact that we found the Galway Sailor mini boat, that had made its way into the bay and then washed up on the shore with little structural damage is amazing for such a small boat,” Mr Bjørnsen further explained.

Bjørnsen family and friends discover the treasures inside the mini-boat 'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor’, after discovering it washed up on Bunes Beach above the Arctic Circle in the Lofoten Islands, in Norway. Photograph: Mr Lars BjørnsenBjørnsen family and friends discover the treasures inside the mini-boat 'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor’, after discovering it washed up on Bunes Beach above the Arctic Circle in the Lofoten Islands, in Norway. Photograph: Mr Lars Bjørnsen

The 'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor' is a 1.5 metre unmanned mini sailboat that was provided to Kilglass National School in County Galway, as part of a collaborative school project, coordinated by the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme and supported by the international Educational Passages programme in the USA. The project was also funded by EU Interreg iFADO (Innovation in the Framework of the Atlantic Deep Ocean) project, in which the Marine Institute are partners.

'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor’ was delivered to the RV Celtic Explorer by the Kilglass National School, for its first part of its voyage, out to the Atlantic Ocean to be deployed in June.'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor’ was delivered to the RV Celtic Explorer by the Kilglass National School, for its first part of its voyage, out to the Atlantic Ocean to be deployed in June.Photo: Andrew Downes

Welcoming the news of the boat being found, Mick Gillooly, Interim CEO said, "The Explorers mini-boat project is a great example of marine science literacy and engaging with the community at a local school level in Ireland as well as across the ocean in other countries. For school children, this project provides an exciting way of seeing real life examples of how the ocean has an influence on all our lives, how it connects us, as well as learning how the ocean influences our weather and climate, and the types of technology used at sea. The Marine Institute are delighted to have been involved with this project and look forward to supporting this collaboration involving the Explorers Education Programme team, Kilglass National school, the Research Infrastructures team at the Marine Institute, as well as Educational Passages in the USA with the ongoing mini boat adventures'.

The mini boat was equipped with a sail and a satellite tracker, which allowed the students at Kilglass NS to track it as it sailed across the ocean, using the international Educational Passages tracking system. Mr Peter Kane, who was the school teacher leading the project at Kilglass National School in Ahascragh, Co Galway was thrilled with the news from Norway and thanked the Bjørnsen family for their lovely message sent to the school children in Galway. “It is truly a mini-summer miracle! Everyone at Kilglass National School are so delighted with the news that our mini-boat 'Seoltóir na Gaillimhe' has been found in Norway. When the mini boats are found after their travels, this highlights how the ocean connects us all”.

The Explorers Education Programme’s marine project involved over 100 children taking part in science, geography and art activities learning about the ocean; as well as preparing the mini boat for its journey. The students painted and decorated the boat, created artwork and good luck messages, and named the boat 'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor', which recognises the tradition of fishing in Galway. The mini boat was launched by the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer near the M6 Data Buoy, in the Atlantic Ocean during a scientific survey in June.

Peter Kane also commented on the collaboration with the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme, highlighting the importance of marine themes used on the curriculum in Ireland. “The Educational Passages mini boat programme brings children, schools and countries together in so many different ways, from building the boats, tracking them at sea, to finding them in new countries when they reach land.”

“When the 'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor' last reported its GPS location near the Faroe Islands in June, we didn’t know whether the boat had been damaged or was still drifting with the currents and winds. We were therefore thrilled to get a call from Cassie at Educational Passages to let us know that 'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor' made it back to land in Norway,” Mr Kane said

The Marine Institute’s ocean modellers have since provided a map showing the likely journey of the 'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor' after it lost its GPS tracking signal. Knowing the last coordinates, as well as where the boat was found, the team were able to produce a map showing the boats likely movement based on the currents and wind direction at the time. It was estimated that the boat travelled over 3000km from when it was deployed in the Atlantic.

Marine Institute Tracking Map showing the likely journey that the 'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor’ travelled, after the GPS signal was lost, using the OpenDrift, a particle-tracking model, that predicts the path followed by the boat based on the combined effect of marine currents and atmospheric winds.

Mr Kane further said, “we were also excited to find out that our boat had also set a new record for the most northern journey ever made by one of the unmanned mini-boats with Educational Passages. We now look forward to the next stage of working with the Explorers Education Programme and linking our students with the local Norwegian Primary School, who have taken over the boat’s next new adventure.” 

Educational Passages Map showing the tracking of 'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor’ from when it was deployed in the Atlantic from the RV Celtic Explorer.Educational Passages Map showing the tracking of 'Seoltóir Na Gaillimhe – the Galway Sailor’ from when it was deployed in the Atlantic from the RV Celtic Explorer.

Engaging in the Educational Passages mini-boat Program, the iFADO consortium of researchers are launching a total of five mini-boats this year around the Atlantic from Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, and the UK. Engaging in the Educational Passages mini-boat Program, the iFADO consortium of researchers are launching a total of five mini-boats this year around the Atlantic from Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, and the UK.  

The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, Ireland's state agency for marine research and development. 

Published in Marine Science
Tagged under
Page 1 of 28

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating