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Displaying items by tag: Greystones Harbour

Greystones Harbour Master Alan Corr has revealed the latest plans at Ireland's newest coastal marina facility are to include both diesel and petrol pontoons at the 200–berth marina, bringing much needed waterside fuel supplies to the Wicklow coast. 'We are in process of quoting for the pumps, tanks are down and feeder pipes are fed but the final installation is usually the longest process', Corr told

The marina building, will also be starting soon, Corr said.

Published in Greystones Harbour

#Greystones - Greystones Harbour developments have hit another snag, with the project delayed till mid October amid concerns over the transfer of land earmarked for a public green space.

As the Wicklow Times reports, Wicklow County Councillor Jennifer Whitmore called for further deliberation over the proposed transfer of nearly six hectares of land originally part of a planned public park that is "a most important attribute" of the harbour development scheme.

The development company set up by the council claims that the land transfer is an obligation of the PPP contract for the scheme in order to provide for additional housing units, as the previous plans were deemed "commercially unviable".

However, Cllr Whitmore says the changes have essentially "semi-privatised a huge component of the public park. If you are going to be in the park with your children, you will have a whole row of houses looking down on you and you will feel like you're in someone's estate."

Cllr Whitmore also argued that the rationale for increasing the number of housing units no longer stands as the housing market has since reversed its downward trend.

The final decision has been deferred till the October council meeting, following a special meeting on the issue to be held by Greystones Municipal District Council.

Published in Greystones Harbour

Plans to re–run August's abandoned Greystones Cruiser Regatta in October have changed slightly due to a conflict of dates with some sporting fixtures. While Sunday October 4 had been initially slated as the rescheduled date, organiser Daragh Cafferkey now says it will run on Saturday, October 3rd instead. 

'We have been asked to avoid a clash with Sunday's Ireland v Italy Rugby International and accordingly we have opted for Sat afternoon with hopefully enough time for boats to comfortably make it over in the morning', Cafferkey told

The August event attracted over 150 boats.

'We have many trophies, winners jackets, wine and other awards that remain unclaimed and accordingly we will rerun two short races or one longer race on Saturday with a warning signal of 14.25'.

All entries for Aug 30th remain live for this event but the freebee vouchers for burgers or berths are gone but a 50% discount will apply at Greystones Harbour marina.


Published in Greystones Harbour

#greystoneshm –  Expansion plans for extra berths have been accelerated at Wicklow's newest marina at Greystones Harbour.The harbour facility that opened during Easter 2103 (see above vid) is now thriving with full capacity – and above – reached a number of times during the 2015 season. Additional berthing is proposed for 2015 and understands this maybe up to fifty extra berths.

The Greystyones facility is the latest marina to be added to a necklace of marina facilities around the coast.

Bernard Gallagher of Greystones Marina cites the 'massive visitor numbers' at the deep water marina and its fine dining and entertainment options locally, only a Dart ride from Dublin city centre, as major factors in its initial success.

Published in Greystones Harbour
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#GreystonesHarbour - As recently reported on, Wicklow County Councillor Derek Mitchell has made the case for the end of commercial fishing at Greystones Harbour, the future of which is "to be a leisure harbour and visitor destination, not a fishing port." But this was news to new campaign group Save Greystones Fishing Fleet, on behalf of whom Laurel Fiszer Storey writes here about what they maintain is the short-sightedness of abandoning the town's longstanding fishing heritage - and its future generations of fishermen...

It is strange to hear of a change of use of Greystones Harbour, which was not made clear to the public during the planning process, until Fine Gael Councillor Derek Mitchell decided to unveil it to us now. Assuredly, the majority of the community of Greystones will be surprised to hear that Cllr Mitchell has decided to change the nature of their town – a fishing village – with an unbroken cultural heritage of fishing traditions dating back several hundred years, to a ‘leisure port.’

This intended change of use most certainly wasn’t made clear in the Wicklow County Council Environmental Impact Survey prior to the development which states: “After the completion of the project, the Harbour will be more accessible from both mainland and sea… The potential for the area to redevelop its commercial fishing industry will be improved due to the increased accessibility of the Harbour to fishing boats” (EIS, p106).

And again: “The expansion of the Harbour will give increased berthage and the basin will be dredged to allow for the ease of movement of fishing and recreational vessels. The upgrading of the harbour could accommodate a higher number of fishing vessels which creates the potential for increased commercial activity in the Greystones Harbour area. The increase in commercial activity has the potential to have a significant positive effect on the economy of the area.” (EIS, p100).

So it may also come as a surprise to Fine Gael TD Simon Harris, who stated in September that he would “…urge Wicklow County Council to work with the local fishermen to ensure that the new by-laws allow them to continue to make a living in our town. 

"Common sense must prevail and resolve this matter quickly," he said, remarking on the introduction of the harbour bylaws.

Greystones Harbour is big enough to accommodate fishing boats, which is evident from the Wicklow County Council EIS: the one boat owner working full-time out of the harbour when the development commenced shall be accommodated and so should any fishing boat belonging to any person who wishes to fish out of their local harbour. As local fishermen, they have been accommodated here in this fishing community for centuries. Fishing, by nature is generational. Young people – future skippers – work on boats and learn and earn until they have either inherited a boat or saved enough to buy their own.

One of these men was working on that same Greystones boat (‘that should be accommodated’) in Greystones when he was younger. He has now saved enough to buy his own boat and bring it to Greystones, where his family has lived for generations. It simply did not occur to him that his boat would be rejected.

The owner of the last Greystones boat also has a young son and other younger men with their own families working for him. What if they want to run their own boats - will they be rejected too? And what about the local fishermen who lease boats to fish? They should also be accommodated in their own town.

This is how a tradition is passed down, how it grows and provides employment. Anything else is against economic growth, competition and good sense. What if the same reasoning was applied to coffee shops in Greystones pre- and post-development? Or barbers? Or yachts? How many yachts were ‘accommodated’ before the development? Cllr Mitchell’s reasoning on this point is inaccurate, illogical and irrelevant.

The growth in the fishing industry and number of boats in Greystones is not only testament to the viability of the existing fishing grounds and the potential for growth in the commercial fishing industry in the town, but boats also have jobs available, and those jobs belong to Greystones, as do the skills, traditions and heritage of the men on board.

We have such an incredible opportunity here in Greystones for an integrated, functional, attractive and lucrative public amenity, inclusive of yachts, rowers, anglers, watersport enthusiasts, day-trippers and fishermen. Such an amenity naturally attracts tourists who are not only coming to see the yachts, they are coming to for the character of the fishing community: the seaside feel, the fish and chips and gourmet seafood, the seals eating bait fish, the walks, the views, the smells and the ambiance – the cultural heritage.

We have a massive opportunity here if we can work together. One lone fishing boat may not bring enough revenue to pay for the amenities needed to maintain the fishing section of the harbour: electricity points, fresh water, secure storage, waste removal, and access points. However, the more revenue the boats can earn and support each other the better able they are to maintain these areas when they work together with the council.

Naturally, a private company contracted to manage a private marina gains little or no financial benefit from acting as harbour manager to commercial fishing boats. This suggests a conflict of interest with regards to the management of the public and private usages of space. Maybe we need a neutral harbour master to manage this reasonably?

We also have an opportunity to put in the right amenities now to allow the fishermen to operate in a clean, tidy and efficient manner, and to land and distribute fish efficiently. We would urge Wicklow County Council in partnership with the developer to do so immediately.

One way or another, the Greystones fishermen, their families and traditions will continue in Greystones Harbour. Yet they would surely prefer to be out at sea working than having to fight for the right to the use of a public amenity and to safeguard their livelihoods and heritage for future generations.

Published in Greystones Harbour

#Greystones - Greystones Harbour will get its new marine clubhouses in 2015, as the Wicklow Times reported recently.

Wicklow County Council member Derek Mitchell spoke of his delight at progress being made after a meeting with developer Sisk in late September.

Previously Cllr Mitchell was behind the call to fast-track the construction of clubhouse facilities for the various bodies that use the harbour.

"I have been asking or this and am very pleased that there is a commitment to restart and give free clubhouses to five organisations," he said.

The organisations in question are the local community clubs for sea scouts, rowers, divers, anglers and sailors. Work on their clubhouses is set to begin in January with completion by the end of 2015 at the latest.

In addition, Wicklow TD and Minister for the OPW, Simon Harris, expects a new coastguard building to be constructed from the beginning of 2015.

As of yet no timeline has been set by Sisk for the completion of the rest of the harbour after work stalled many months ago.

Meanwhile, Cllr Mitchell has emphasised that commercial fishing at Greystones Harbour is no longer feasible as its focus shifts to recreational and residential use.

Writing in the Wicklow Voice on 30 October, he outlined the challenges of space in the Wicklow town's harbour that preclude commercial fishing and recreational functions working side by side.

"The overall benefit to the 18,000 people in Greystones is for [the harbour] to be a leisure harbour and visitor destination, not a fishing port."

Cllr Mitchell compared the significant contemporary use of the harbour area by locals leisure boating, partaking in watersport and walking the new pier promenade to the lone person fishing full time from the old harbour before its closure.

"A number of other people may claim to be local fishermen but until two months ago none are listed as having a fishing licence (a Certificate of Registry for Sea Fishing Boat).

"This is required to land and sell fish so they were not commercial fishermen and have not been disadvantaged," he added.

Published in Greystones Harbour
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#bartsbash – On a glorious sunny Sunday a fleet of 44 craft took to the water in Greystones, County Wicklow as part of the world-wide Bart's Bash charity event. From very modest beginnings the event had grown arms and legs in the few days beforehand leaving PRO, Fiachra Etchingham with a considerable headache as to how to manage a fleet that ranged from Picos to an Archambault 35 and 18 Foot skiff through the same start line and around the same course without any casualties. The matter was compounded by the diversity of experience of the competitors which again ran through the full spectrum from seasoned round Ireland campaigners and national champions down to the Galligan twins who had completed level 1 a few weeks earlier.
Fortunately the wind stayed light and the competitors respected the PRO's instruction that this was a "fun" event and stayed clear of each other. The start line which was of truly epic proportions caught out many of the competitors who mistook the leeward mark for the pin end and consequently started quite late. This allowed Daragh Cafferky (A35, Another Adventure) to nail the pin end and port tack the whole fleet to a take a commanding lead which (despite the best efforts of his foredeck crew) he retained to the end.
On the committee boat to act as independent witnesses were Junior minister Simon Harris and Tom Fortune, Chairman of Greystones Municipal District. This was a first experience of sailing of both of them and one which they thoroughly enjoyed.
The light wind went patchier as the race progressed but most competitors managed to finish all with smiles on their faces. The huge entry and the positive response of competitors afterwards proves that occasional fun racing can greatly add to participation in the sport. A big thank you to the organising committee of Fiachra Etchingham, Alan Jones and Ross Brennan and to everyone who helped make it a great day for sailing and a very fitting memorial to Andrew Simpson

Published in Greystones Harbour

#greystonesharbourregatta – Greystones Sailing Club Cruiser Regatta was held yesterday in sparkling conditions off the Wicklow coastline giving a large visiting fleet from Dublin Bay a new nearby race course area so very convenient to the capitals waters. 

James Kirwan's Beneteau 36.7 Boomerang from Dun Laoghaire was the class one winner in a 22–boat fleet. Austin Whelan's Quarter Tonner Solidarity was the winner of a 25–boat class 2. David Shanahan's Warrior was the White Sails division winner. Scroll down the page to download full overall results below.

The second Annual Cruiser Regatta attracted a register of 80 boats from up and down the East Coast. Boats came from from eight clubs including Wicklow, Arklow, Bray, Poolbeg, Clontarf, Dun Laoghaire, Howth and Malahide making it something of a unique, multi club event. At least five held feeder races on Saturday from their clubs to Greystones, giving the new 200–berth Greystones marina a buzz with visiting sailing boats all weekend. Significantly, the overall numbers were up on last year's inaugural event, acording to GSC.

The event – hailed by Greystones SC as the third third biggest cruiser event in Ireland this season –  benefitted from some high level race management too with London 2012 Olympic Race Officer Jack Roy in charge on the water.


Olympic race officer Jack Roy was on hand to manage the racing off Greystones yesterday

The second event fully lived up to the expectations created by last year inaugural regatta. The entry fee of €50 had included vouchers for the club bar and vouchers for pints in the Beach House as well as a free overnight berth so great merrymaking rolled well into the early hours in both establishments!

Sunday morning saw hot breakfasts in the Greystones SC clubhouse courtesy of Spendlove's Coffe Shop, followed by a short trip to the starting area in flat seas, bright sunshine and light southerly winds for the 80 competing boats. Race Officers Jack Roy and Tim Costello fired off the first gun of a three class, two race event, on a windward leeward course at 11.00 after a 15 minute postponement.

Three fleets, all sailing the same course against a strong north flowing tide which caught many unawares at the windward mark. Much excited activity and high decibel vocalising took place between the windward and wing marks.

Follow a race averaging an hour and a quarter the second race got going with a strengthening southerly wind.


Beneteau yachts (above and below) competing off Greystones. Photos: David O'Brien


The tide again caught sailors on the hop by turning and flowing south against the still southerly and now increasing wind. Rounding marks became even more frantic than the first race as the wind touched 25 knots in wind against tide sea conditions.

Boats started finishing from about 2.00 o'clock and after berthing, all competitors, marina berthholders and invited guests were treated to the BJ Greystones Harbour Marina hot lunch, salad, and wine reception. Food was provided again by Spendlove's and wine by La Touche Wines.

The BJ Marina Deck also played host for the prizegiving and speeches followed by a reluctant but steady exodus of yachts to their home ports with the buzz of an all inclusive event still ringing in their ears.

The regatta organising committee of Mark Usher, Daragh Cafferky, Joe Taylor and Graeme Noonan look forward to welcoming even more boats to the GSC "Taste of Greystones" Cruiser Regatta next year !" Check back for dates for 2015 on

Results below for download

Published in Greystones Harbour

#Greystones - Though further development of Greystones Harbour remains stalled for the time being, two local councillors hope progress can be made in building marine clubhouses to complement the town's successful new marina.

As the Wicklow Times reported recently, Cllr Tom Fortune says he welcomes the call by Wicklow County Council colleague Cllr Derek Mitchell to fast-track the construction of clubhouse facilities for the various bodies that use the harbour.

Citing his own five-year campaign "to ensure that the elements of this project that benefit the community be completed urgently", Cllr Fortune said that public pressure was necessary to avoid the undeveloped sections of the harbour being left "a wasteland for the foreseeable future".

Meanwhile, the same newspaper reports that Greystones Sailing Club is one of 31 sports bodies in Co Wicklow to receive funding under the Sports Capital Grants scheme for 2014.

GSC will receive €9,000 out of the total €1 million funding awarded to the county, the biggest share of which is the €150,000 granted to Wicklow-based Triathlon Ireland.

Published in Greystones Harbour

#greystonesharbour – Greystones Sailing Club will be hosting their second Annual Cruiser Regatta this Sunday morning starting at 10am. Over 70 boats from up and down the East Coast will participate and lunch and prize-giving will take place after racing, at approximately 2.30pm.

As Afloat previously reported, entries have already been received from eight clubs including Wicklow, Arklow, Bray, Poolbeg, Clontarf, Dun Laoghaire, Howth and Malahide making this a unique, multi club event in Ireland. At least five of the clubs are holding feeder races on Saturday from their clubs to Greystones, so the sea around Greystones will be buzzing with sailing boats all weekend.

Daragh Cafferky from Greystones Sailing Club said that "this will be the third largest sailing regatta in Ireland this year, in what is only our second year to run this annual event. We will have all kinds and sizes of sailing boats from 17 feet to over 50 feet, coming to Greystones and using our great facilities and town over the weekend. We believe that this race will bring over 400 sailors into Greystones over the next few days."

"From a sailing point of view, this race is unique - there is no other event that has such a large representation from so many East Coast Clubs and we in Greystones Sailing Club are delighted to be able to host this great event in our town. There will be also be a display from the RNLI helicopter on Sunday at approximately 2.30pm and the Wicklow lifeboat will be present (provided there is no emergency callout)," he added.

The boats and crews will be hosted by Greystones Sailing Club and will avail of berths in Greystones Marina for the weekend.

Published in Greystones Harbour
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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.


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

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