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Shandon's senior men's eight were the fastest rowing crew at the Skibbereen Head of the River at the Marina in Cork on Saturday. They covered the course in nine minutes 4.97 seconds.  

Andrew Sheehan of Lee, a junior 18 competitor, was the fastest single sculler in 11 minutes 29.22 seconds. Junior women’s sculler Hannah Gahan of Cork Boat Club topped the rankings. 

Cork Boat Club's women's eight (bow number 268) were the fastest women's crew.

The head was held in very good conditions, though there was some difficulty due to bigger craft earlier in the day.

Published in Rowing

Last week the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference 2018 was held in Athens, hosted by the Greek Marinas Association who provided a  programme of topics, speakers and events under the theme: “Cross Sea Challenge for Marinas – Setting the Scene for Collective Development and Growth”. 

The Irish Marina Operators Association who represent over 20 Irish coastal installations and who are members of ICOMIA, did not attend this year's tenth such event.

Marina managers of the world met at the World Marina Conference in Athens to discuss the importance of marinas and waterfront redevelopment for economies, with a particular emphasis on how marina development can support the growth of boating, tourism and manufacturing markets. The conference is the only one of its kind, focusing in-depth on the marina industry on a global scale.

A conference for marina managers

The ICOMIA Marinas Group works hard to allow and encourage the exchange of technical, environmental and marketing information; educate government on the economic importance and environmental compatibility of boating facilities and creating a network so that information can be pooled for the common good. Additionally, the group organises the biennial ICOMIA Marinas Conference. 

Through the work of IMG, and collaboration during the ICOMIA Marinas Conference, marinas from across the world work towards a less bureaucratic industry, and a more straightforward approach to the expansion and improvement of boating infrastructure. With international pressures on boating and associated industry, from steel tariffs to environmental legislation, it has never been more important to develop an international forum, and have a unified body to allow the industry to speak with one voice.

A conference for investors

Marinas are very long-term businesses, and it is common for investors to expect a long and slow payback period. It is important that governments understand this, otherwise, there is a great risk that short-term leases will affect the viability of the industry. That is why the advocacy work of ICOMIA is so important, and the attendance of those working in government and politics at the World Marinas Conference is sure to have a positive impact on the industry.

Published in Irish Marinas
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Holyhead Sailing Club (HSC) is working on contingency plans to host the ISORA fleet following the devastation to the North Wales Marina during Storm Emma. 

it is unlikely the damage will be repaired in time for the ISORA events planned in Holyhead this year but it is not stopping the HSC team from coming up with alternatives.

The ISORA start for race three on 12th May and also the finish of race four on 26th May are due to take place at Holyhead.

As Afloat.ie reported at the time, the damage in Holyhead both to its racing fleet and the marina pontoons was severe.

Published in ISORA
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#CoastalNotes- A multi-million pound marina development planned for Fishguard Harbour, south Wales have fallen through.

This morning (Thursday) reports the Western Telegraph, the Conygar Investment Company released a statement to the London Stock Exchange, writing off their £2m investment in the Fishguard / Goodwick Marina Development.

Conygar said: "Conygar has been informed by Stena that they do not wish to have any further involvement in the proposed marina development and do not wish to proceed with the reclamation works of the harbour.

"Stena state that they are concerned that the marina development will interfere with the operation of the harbour and their ferry operations. They will also not support the promotion of the Harbour Revision Order, which is necessary to progress the development.

For much more on the decision by the ferry operator, click here.

Published in Coastal Notes

Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina has won International Marina of the Year 2018 at the London Boat Show.

The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) announced the winners of their prestigious NMU Marina of the Year Awards on Thursday evening (11 January) at the new five-day London Boat Show 2018.

Gavin Deane, General Manager at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, commented upon receiving the award for International Marina of the Year: “We are delighted to receive such a significant award from TYHA, having been runner up in this category last year it spurred us on to improve our standards even further over the last 12 months.

“The receipt of this award is as a result of the hard work of the Executive Committee and Club Staff since the Royal Cork attained the Five Gold Anchor Status in late 2011.

This award means so much to everyone at the Club as it is voted for by our berth holders and visiting boats.” 

corkweekaerialRoyal Cork Yacht Club's marina (foreground) full to capacity during the staging of its biennial Cork Week Regatta. Photo:Bob Bateman

Now in their fifth year, the Awards, sponsored in 2018 by specialist insurer, NMU, are special because they are voted for by berth holders. They recognise the best of over 160 Gold Anchor accredited marinas from across the globe.

The NMU Marina of the Year 2018 winners and runners up were:

International Marina of the Year 2018

Winner – Royal Cork Yacht Club, Ireland
Runner up – Marina de Vilamoura, Portugal

UK Coastal Marina of the Year 2018 (over 250 berths)

Winner – St Helier Marina, Jersey
Runner up – Royal Quays Marina, England

UK Coastal Marina of the Year 2018 (under 250 berths)

Winner – Inverness Marina, Scotland
Runner up – Poole Quay Boat Haven, England

UK Inland Marina of the Year 2018

Winner – Church Minshull Aqueduct Marina, England
Runner up – Overwater Marina, England

Superyacht Marina of the year 2018

Winner – The Pavilion Marina at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Runner up – Palmarina Bodrum, Turkey

Simon Haigh, Chairman of The Yacht Harbour Association, a group association within British Marine, gave his praise to all the marinas involved: “Many congratulations to all the winners and runners up in the NMU Marina of the Year Awards 2018. These awards have built huge momentum since they were introduced and really mean something because it is marina customers who are voting for their marinas, recognising the excellence of facilities provided and the level of service which they receive.

“The winners have been endorsed by their customers in the best possible way, to become Marina of the Year in their respective categories, which must be a hugely motivating and satisfying achievement. I would like to commend everyone involved and pass on our best wishes for the 2018 boating season.”

Commenting on their UK Coastal Marina (over 250 berths) category award, Mike Tait, Group Leisure Manager for Jersey Marinas said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won this award, especially as it is voted for by our customers. Although we are small in number each and every one of the team takes an enormous pride and pleasure in looking after our marina guests.

“To receive such recognition from the prestigious The Yacht Harbour Association is a true reflection of the dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism consistently demonstrated by the Jersey Marinas Team and we would like to thank everyone who voted for us”.

David Findlay, Marina Manager at Inverness Marina responded to their award for UK Coastal Marina of the Year (under 250 berths): “We were all very surprised and pleased to hear that we had won the award. We would like to thank all our customers that took the time to vote for us and we look forward to providing the same friendly service and welcome to all those who choose to berth their boats at Inverness Marina, and to all the ever increasing numbers of visiting yachts passing through in the summer months 

“This is the icing on the cake on top of our four gold anchors, and with further developments planned we hope to improve our facilities even more to become a five gold anchor marina.”

Robert Parton, Managing Director at Church Minshull Aqueduct Marina, this year’s winner of the inland marina category commented: “We are delighted to have won the Inland Marina of the Year 2018 award. In an increasingly competitive market where customers have plenty of choice of marinas and moorings around the inland network, it is particularly rewarding to win an award that is a result of boat owners’ votes. Our thanks go to all those who voted for Aqueduct Marina, The Yacht Harbour Association for organising the award and to NMU for sponsoring the competition.” 

Liyanage Kithsiri, Marina Manager, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Marina, on receiving the Superyacht Marina Award said: “We are delighted to win this prestigious award, which demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest standards of customer service and safety. We would like to thank all of our loyal marina members for their ongoing support as well as Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Dubai Holding for their commitment to quality.”

Joe McCarthy, Marine Trade Underwriting Manager at awards sponsor NMU commented on the awards and NMU’s involvement: “To be recognised by their berth holders for consistently delivering a first class service is testament to each marina and their staff. All the winners and runners up today should be rightly proud of these awards.

“As multiple winners of insurance industry service awards ourselves, NMU really value the achievement of winning an award which is voted for entirely by your own customers.

“NMU are specialist insurers to the marine industry and we are proud sponsors of the NMU Marina Of The Year awards.”

To commemorate their achievement, winners and runners up of the Awards were presented with etched glass trophies and framed certificates by NMU company director, Nick Limb.

Jon White, General Manager of The Yacht Harbour Association, summed up the awards for 2018: “Yet again the competition for these much coveted awards was fierce. The winners, runners up and all the marinas voted for in this year’s NMU Marina of the Year competition deserve a huge round of applause. Right across the UK and around the world we are seeing marinas rise to the challenge of meeting the modern berth holder’s needs, ensuring they receive both excellent facilities and services.”

Published in Royal Cork YC

Marina pontoon installation work has been installed at Cape Clear Island's North Harbour where pontoons to the value of €200,000 are now in place at the West Cork island harbour.

As our pictures below show the new facility is a welcome addition in the popular harbour for both commercial and leisure craft. It's another valuable asset for boaters exploring the sailing wonders of West Cork.

The facility was installed by leading Irish pontoon supplier, Inland and Coastal Marina Systems Ltd.

 cape clear pontoon1cape clear pontoon1

Under the 2017 fishery harbour and coastal infrastructure capital programme, Junior Minister Andrew Doyle told the Dail Harbour's debate in June he had allocated €720,000 for maintenance and development works at the Island's North Harbour.

'The 2017 programme provides €200,000 for pontoons at Cape Clear and €250,000 for the design, preparation of contract documents and planning for additional repair work to Duffy's Pier' he said.

Read more on the works in our July report here.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Marina pontoon installation work is well underway at Cape Clear Island's North Harbour where pontoons to the value of €200,000 have been procured for the West Cork island harbour.

Under the 2017 fishery harbour and coastal infrastructure capital programme, Junior Minister Andrew Doyle told the Dail Harbour's debate in June he had allocated €720,000 for maintenance and development works at the Island's North Harbour.

'The 2017 programme provides €200,000 for pontoons at Cape Clear and €250,000 for the design, preparation of contract documents and planning for additional repair work to Duffy's Pier' he said.

Read more on the works in our June report here.

Published in Irish Marinas
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140–boats are expected off the coast of County Wicklow for the two–race 'Taste of Greystones Trophy' later this month. 

Greystones Sailing Club (GSC) will be keeping its fingers crossed for better winds than two years ago when the 2017 edition sets sail this August 26th. In 2015, the event was becalmed and rescheduled but its been the only blot for the newest east coast regatta that has been a runaway–success for the traditional dinghy club. GSC has also been embracing cruiser–racing since the new marina opened in the harbour, four years ago.

Started in 2013, by Greystones Sailing Club, the new cruiser event has focused on the 'social experience Greystones village offers', according to club Commodore Daragh Cafferkey, a regular ISORA sailor. 

Clubs from Howth, Clontarf, Poolbeg, Dublin Bay, Bray, Wicklow, Arkow and Courtown – and perhaps some from as far afield as Wales too – are expected in Wicklow for the regatta sponsored by marina operator BJ Marine.

Published in Greystones Harbour

Bantry Bay Port Company officially opened the new Bantry Harbour Marina yesterday (Friday, 11th August 2017). Over 40 boats visited the new marina which was officially unveiled by Bantry’s own footballing legend, Graham Canty along with Bantry Bay Port Company Chairman, John Mullins.

To celebrate the opening, Bantry Regatta and BBQ Festival is taking place all weekend (11th - 13th August) with lots of fun family events, both on and off the water happening on the marina and throughout Bantry town.

The opening of the new marina is part of the overall Bantry Inner Harbour Development which marks the start of the regenerating of the Inner Harbour Development scheme developed by the Bantry Bay Harbour Commissioners in 2012.

Speaking at the opening, Bantry Bay Port Company and Port of Cork Chairman John Mullins said “We are delighted that the new Bantry Harbour Marina is now open for local and visiting boats to enjoy. This new sheltered harbour facility will be of great benefit to both commercial and leisure users bringing increased activity in Bantry Harbour and Town and we would like to acknowledge the cooperation and patience of all local harbour users shown throughout the construction period.”

He continued, “We are pleased to have worked closely with the Bantry Development & Tourism Association and the Bantry Business Association to host the inaugural Bantry Regatta & BBQ Festival which is sure to be a fantastic weekend for all.”

Brendan Keating CEO Bantry Bay Port Company and Port of Cork said “I’d like to pay particular thanks to BAM Construction and Malachy Walsh Consulting Engineers and our own port teams in Bantry and in Cork.” 

He continued, “The Inner Harbour Development will provide improved access and facilities on the town pier, will support existing businesses and will promote and increase commercial activity in Bantry Harbour and Town.”

Bantry Harbour Marina will provide 40 short-stay berths for the marine leisure sector in close proximity to Bantry Town which will provide a critical kick-start for the marine leisure industry, with the aim to attract more marine tourism to the area.

Published in Irish Marinas
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Irish sailors don’t need their attention mesmerized by the horses and people clattering around the Galway Races Week to be well aware that in sailing matters too, it’s not a question of whether or not the West’s awake writes W M Nixon. On the contrary, you’d wonder do the hyper-energetic sailors around Galway Bay ever sleep as they implement one bright new idea after another, for these days the coastal facilities are being developed at a pace which few other popular sailing areas can match.

drascombes kilronan2Just a week after the WIORA fleet had been in town, the Drascombe flotilla were one of the first cruising groups to use the new pontoons at Kilronan on Inishmore. Photo: Jack O’Keeffe

Until recently in southeast Connmemara, Rosamhil (or Rossaveal as the East Coast might know it) was mainly thought of as a busy fishing port and the ferry port for the Aran Islands. But a while back, it acquired a 34-berth marina which has proven so popular that in October this year the Harbour Master, Captain John Donnelly, will be overseeing the official opening of a brand new facility, a fully-serviced 160-berth marina which will be attractive both to locals and those from further afield and abroad who are taken with the notion of berthing their boats on the threshold of some of the most enchanting sailing waters in the world.

wiora kilronan3Packing them in. A week before the Drascombes arrived, the WIORA fleet had landed in on Kilronan big time

Rosamhil marinaMeanwhile across on the mainland, the new marina at Rossaveal is nearing completion

But while this is now almost completely in place, towards the head of Galway Bay the port of Galway itself is contemplating another expansion with marina facilities, while across the bay at Renville, as we’ve mentioned on Afloat.ie, Galway Bay SC has recently made a very clever job of improving its clubhouse, and it is surely only a matter of time before developments in waterfront berthing take place there too.

But the extra-special breakthrough which has best expressed the Spirit of the West has been the installation of the long L-shaped pontoon in the much-extended Kilronan Harbour on Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. This was planned to be done in time for the mighty successful West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association Championship just over three weeks ago, and the new setup accommodated the 44-strong fleet in such style that a casual observer might gave though that this was all a permanent new fixture.

Certainly the way that the WIORA sailors partied for their après sailing there and in downtown Kilronan would if anything have reinforced such a view. Yet in theory those pontoons are just a temporary arrangement. And they were put there in a shared voluntary effort which would put some of our more hidebound maritime communities to shame for its sheer enthusiasm and energy.

Those who were promoting the Kilronan Berthing Project - not least WIORA Championship Organiser Cormac Mac Donncha – argued that with all of the new berthing capacity in the city and in Rossaveal, those boat owners would need somewhere to visit and berth safely. This is where the pontoon in Kilronan comes in, with the benefits going well beyond recreational sailing. The users will include the small ‘pot haulers’ owned by the local fishermen, commercial angling boats, commercial charter sailing yachts, visiting motor vessels, and yachts.

Galway County Council were very supportive of the project. Patrick McDonagh, Kilronan Harbour Master, provided supervision and advice throughout. Ciarán Wynne, Harbours Engineer, Galway Co Co, provided the promoters with the various permissions to go ahead with the project. The pontoon was installed by the voluntary effort of local business men and volunteers, in a heartening community spirit.

kilronan pontoon5As soon as it was very competently installed, the new Kilronan pontoon had a fleet in port to show it at its best.

The pontoons themselves were supplied on loan by Inland & Coastal Marinas, based in Banagher on the Shannon. Iggy Madden Transport of Galway, provided the transport without charge. Galway Harbour Board supported the storage and crane operations at Galway Docks and Lasta Mara Teo transported the cargo to the Islands and dropped 16 mooring blocks. LM Keating installed the pier beams, and OceanCrest Marine supplied the special pontoon to H-Beam bracketry. ThermoKing, the Beatty family and Club Seoltóireacht Árainn provided the skilled crew to install the pontoons and make them safe.

Inland & Coastal has extended the loan of the pontoons so that the local committee can attempt to put a plan together to purchase and upgrade them to form a permanent facility. A very significant proportion of the project’s cost lies in the selection, transportation and installation of the pier beams and pontoons. Galway Co Co are working with the committee to try to find a funding solution to upgrade the existing ‘marina’. It has been recognised that, if the pontoons are returned to Inland & Coastal at this stage, then a large percentage of the cost will need to be duplicated in order to reinstate the marina at a later stage.

kilronan pontoon6A touch of the Med in Kilronan. WIORA even had St Pat’s Brass Band (left) to welcome them in.

So efforts to seek funding are currently underway. You just can’t see it not happening, and a longer term objective might be the installation of an access bridge, as the 5 metre tidal range can make that quay wall seem very high. Once the sportsmen and revellers of WIORA had gone on their way, there was ample and much-valued space for local boats of all type, and then a week later the Drascombe Association of Ireland arrived in a fleet from Roundstone in the midst of their week-long Galway Bay Cruise-in-Company. Even though a Drascombe can be hauled up a beach if need be, every last one of them was delighted with the convenience and comfort which the new pontoon provided.

drascombes kilronan7Drascombes and other boats at Kilronan pontoon – as convenient as possible for the pub. Photo: Jack O’Keeffe

Seen from a go-anywhere Drascombe, Galway Bay becomes the cruising paradise its advocates have always insisted is there, waiting to be discovered. The Drascombes, co-ordinated by Jack OKeeffe of Cork and Brian Park of Limerick, had mustered at Kilkieran, and then cruised along the coast to Finnish Island before heading for Roundstone. Mac Dara’s island came up on the programme, and then there was an open water passage out to Kilronan and the luxury of a secure marina berth at the end of it.

They’d hope to cruise among the Aran Islands in detail, but the weather was going to pot and they decided to get on with the next stage of their programme. So as pre-arranged, the open boats headed back to Kilkieran and the cabin Drascombe boats made a passage across to Ballyvaughan in the foothills of The Burren in County Clare, which left them well-placed for detailed exploration to fresh places such as Leenane’s renowned seafood bar at New Quay, followed by the winding waterways of Bell Harbour.

Kinvara was a natural stopover port, and they finally brought it all to a successful conclusion back at Galway Bay SC at Renville, firmly convinced of the unique attractions of the greater Galway Bay area as a cruising ground, and one hundred per cent supportive of the notion that the new pontoons at Kilronan should be a permanent feature.

Published in Galway 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.

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

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