Displaying items by tag: Offshore
#roundirelandrecord – A change in weather forecast has led Kerry sailor Damian Foxall to postpone his bid to beat the Round Ireland speed sailing record for 24 hours. The Oman Sail trimaran craft skippered by Sidney Gavignet is now set to arrive from France on Friday 22nd off the Kish lighthouse on Dublin Bay. The 20-year old record set by Steve Fossett in 1993 stands at 44 hours.
Foxall and his five man crew (who may yet be joined by an Irish sailor) have identified strong easterly winds gusting to over 40 knots to start the record bid. XC weather forecasts strong East South East winds for 72 hours from late on Thursday.
The National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire will officiate the World Speed Sailing Record bid under its Irish commissioner Chris Moore.
The Daily Sail details the four legs of the 44th edition of the prestigious and challenging single-handed offshore race, that will take the fleet from Bordeaux to Porto, Gijón, Roscoff and Dieppe - with no changes from the course unveiled in December.
But despite indications that Ireland would have a host port on the race route, following previous stop-overs on Kinsale, Dingle, Howth, Crosshaven and Dun Laoghaire, it appears this summer's running will be a purely continental event.
#Oil - Fastnet Oil & Gas has executed its exclusive option agreement to farm into its Deep Kinsale Prospect beneath the Kinsale Head Gas Field.
The option agreement with Petronas subsidiary Kinsale Energy is confined to geological formations below 4,000 feet subsea. Fastnet will conduct a 3D seismic survey over 500 sq km in the Celtic Sea prospect by the end of the year as well as complete necessary geological and engineering studies.
The agreement also gives Fastnet an exclusive option to test the geologically similar Purbecko-Wealden reservoirs productive in Barryroe, a prospect that has proven a bounty for Providence Resources.
Fastnet chair Cathal Friel said: "We are delighted to have added an exclusive option to farm into and potentially drill the Deep Kinsale Prospect in 2014.
"It represents an attractive addition to our Irish portfolio as we have long held a belief that Deep Kinsale offers the potential to yield up another significant hydrocarbon discovery offshore Ireland. This belief has been further strengthened by the successful appraisal of Barryroe in 2012, which is geologically analogous to Deep Kinsale.
"We greatly look forward to working in close cooperation with our colleagues at Kinsale Energy, as we collectively seek to de-risk the prospect for drilling."
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Fastnet Oil & Gas announced in December its plans to spend more than €20 million on the Celtic Sea's biggest ever seismic study on blocks off the south coast which were drilled in the 1980s and later abandoned.
New techniques in the oil industry are now allowing previously unviable resources to be extracted, as fellow prospectors Petrel Resources are planning to do off the Kerry coast.
A French skipper has been fined £9,000 for the infringement of navigation rules during his Round Britain and Ireland record attempt in June. Marc Guillemot was charged with breaking navigation rules twice in the Straits of Dover during his attempt to beat his own record.
Following his fine Guillemot issued the following statement:
Today, Thursday 6th December 2012, the British justice system issued its judgement following Marc Guillemot's infringement of navigation rules during his Round Britain and Ireland record attempt in June 2012. The skipper will have to pay a fine of 9 000 £.
Reminder of what happened
On 7th June 2012, Marc Guillemot was charged with breaking navigation rules twice in the Straits of Dover during his attempt to beat his own record. Marc Guillemot and his crew did in fact enter the traffic separation system without respecting the lanes and rules regarding crossing this zone.
On 12th July, Marc Guillemot willingly attended a meeting following a summons from the British coastguards (MCA) to find out exactly what he was being accused of and immediately accepted their version of events.
In early September, he was summoned to a hearing, which was due to take place in Southampton on 2nd October at the Magistrates Court. The sailor, who was busy preparing for the Vendée Globe offered his excuses and was represented by his lawyer, to whom he gave instruction to plead guilty.
The judge did not wish to excuse Marc Guillemot's non-attendance and issued a warrant against the skipper. The validity of the warrant issued by the judge was contested by Marc Guillemot at the high court, which led to it being cancelled, and his summons to appear was put back until after the Vendée Globe.
Marc Guillemot was therefore able to line up at the start of the race on 10th November as planned.
The judgement from 6th December
Following his retiral from the Vendée Globe, Marc Guillemot made himself immediately available to the British authorities and was summoned to a hearing on 6th December at the Magistrates Court in Southampton, which he willingly attended accompanied by his legal advisors.
During the hearing, the judge issued Marc Guillemot with a fine of 9 000 £.
The West Cork sailor has already travelled on his restored yacht, the 19-metre Bella Donna, via the Orkneys, Norway and the Faroe Islands - crossing the freezing waters of the far north Atlantic to reach Iceland last month.
Since his arrival he's been treated as a celebrity, with regular appearances in the press and on TV and radio, and so has understandably decided to spend the rest of the winter in Iceland before the final leg of his voyage to Greenland early in the new year.
Murphy isn't the first to retrace the voyage of the legendary St Brendan, as last year a crew of sailors, artists, musicians and historians attempted the same on board Paddy Barry's 45ft yacht Ar Seachrán.
#isora – ISORA has issued its 2012 AGM Agenda plus its 2013 draft Race Schedule for the Irish Sea next year. Both are available for download below as pdf documents.
The race programme will be approved on November 17th at the National Yacht Club. Unfortunately the date clashes with the one day Irish Cruiser Racer Conference (ICRA) in Kilkenny where offshore supremo Damian Foxall will give a presentation.
The ISORA agm is followed by the Annual ISORA Prize Giving Dinner at the NYC where some of the most elegant sailing trophies including the Wolf's Head Trophy will be presented.
#middlesearace – There were emotional scenes dockside in Malta this morning as Irish sailors Barry Hurley and Andrew Boyle sailed home in their 35-yacht Dinah to win the double handed class, they finished just 25 minutes inside the time limit after seven days of tense racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
Hurley has described the race as the 'most intense' race he has ever sailed due to the stop start nature of the winds. In an exclusive podcast (below) by Afloat correspondent Louay Habib, Hurley admits there was 'real pressure' over the last few hours. The overall achievement has yet to sink in for the Dun Laoghaire pairing but it has not stopped early celebrations this morning that has made sailing the boat 3000 miles from Dun Laoghaire to Malta a really worthwhile conclusion to the 2012 season.
Only last night the pair were judged as outsiders to finish the race at all such has been the fickle conditions for the 33rd race but a favourable wind overnight allowed Hurely and Boyle to pick up seeds of 17 knots at times to cover 120 miles in 12 hours.
The Mediterranean odyssey ended with an official welcome home from Irish Ambassador Jim Hennessy who was waiting to welcome the Royal Irish Yacht Club boat and celebrate yet another international victory for the offshore sailing champions.
The crew of Dinah and Atame share a beer and a few stories dockside after tying up at The Royal Malta Yacht Club. The two teams had been locked in combat for 7 days and nights. L-R Beppe Bisotto, Barry Hurley, Ian Knight and Andrew Boyle Photo: Royal Malta Yacht Club/Louay Habib
Hennessy who held a pre-race reception for the Irish crews in Malta was also first to congratulate the pair on stepping ashore. 'It's a really gutsy performance that has defied a lot of the experts here in Malta. We're really proud of them, it's a great win, he told Afloat.ie as he held the tricolour aloft with the crew at the Royal Malta Yacht Club.
There was other Irish involvement in the race from Dun Laoghaire yacht Gallileo skippered by Des Keliher. The Beneteau 44.7 yacht retired due to the light winds on Tuesday but there has been Irish interest in at least two other international entries in the 83-boat fleet.
Fireball dinghy champion Kenny Rumball also from Dun Laoghaire was aboard German entry Kohinoor, a Carter 55 Custom Sloop and Irish sea offshore campaigners Liam Coyne and Brian Flahive was racing on the Maltese J122 entry Otra Vez.
As well as Irish boats heading to the Med for racing Ambassador Hennessy says he is keen to create a 'two way movement of boats' and is hopeful that Maltese boats with Irish sailors aboard will head north next year for 'The Gathering'.
#middlesearace – Dun Laoghaire yacht Dinah sailed by Barry Hurley and Andrew Boyle are maintaining second overall in the double-handed class inspite of a massive thunderstorm and torrential rain engulfing Malta overnight in the latest update from the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
IRL3508, a modified JOD 35-foot yacht is 232 miles from the finish line and expected to be the 66th boat to cross the line in the 83 boat fleet. The experienced offshore pairing were making just over 4 knots in the still tricky conditions as the race enters its closing stages.
Late last night before the thunderstorm struck and engulfed Malta in heavy rain Hurley told Afloat.ie 'We're doing ok in our class although our main competition is now in different weather systems, so we need to work extra hard to keep in contention. Fingers crossed we have what it takes! Hurley told Afloat.ie
Meanwhile, Nick Lazos and Periklis Livas' Farr 52, Optimum 3 Aspida crossed the finish line to lead Class Two and the Rolex Middle Sea Race overall. However, the Greek team's tenure on this extra-ordinary race was very short lived. At 04:18 15 Eddie De Villiers, Welbourne 46, Hi Fidelity crossed the finish line to take the overall lead in the race.
In driving rain with thunderbolts lighting up the medieval bastions, the South African crew, soaked to the skin, looked astonished to find out that they are now the hot favourites to win the overall prize for the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
To put the amazing performance into perspective, Hi Fidelity's corrected time was nearly seven hours quicker than Niklas Zennstrom's JV72 Ran but the team had no idea until they finished.
"We didn't have a clue how well we were doing until we finished, it is unbelievable," exclaimed De Villiers. "The crew have been absolutely fantastic, I can not give them enough praise. This has been one hell of a race, we have had just about everything thrown at us. Coming through the Comino Strait there was a terrific amount of thunder and lightning it was all around us and the wind touched 37 knots. To come through the finish and find out that we have such a great result is truly amazing!"
Two yachts pose the biggest threat to HI Fidelity's overall lead Josef Schultheis' & Paolo Semeraro's Xp44, XP-ACT and the reigning Rolex Middle Sea Race champion, Lee Satariano & Christian Ripard's J/122, Artie RTF. Both yachts are expected to finish this afternoon.
#middlesearace – Both Irish entries in the Middle Sea Race are, like the bulk of the fleet, negotiating the Strait of Messina this morning and making only two knots headway off the Sicilian coast. The National Yacht Club's Gallileo, a Beneteau First 47.7 and the double handed Dinah, a JOD 35 are now thirty hours into the contest, all 83 yachts are still racing with the bulk of the fleet dealing with variable winds in the infamous Strait
Des Kelliher from the RIYC is skippering Galileo co-owner Tony Tennyson of the NYC will also be on board along with various crew from this year's ISORA series. Kelliher's club mate Barry Hurley is skippering Dinah.
What has develoed is a tactically challenging and meteorologically intriguing 33rd Rolex Middle Sea Race. Leading the fleet, and midway between the Strait and Stromboli, are the 30.48m/100-ft Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), and two 21.94m/72-ft Mini Maxis Ran 2 (GBR) and Stig (ITA). Currently sailing at a meagre two knots, the three are separated by less than one mile.
Esimit Europa 2 has not broken away from the pack in the manner she has become accustomed to in previous editions. The first night proved frustrating for Igor Simcic's crew, caught in a fading breeze that allowed her rivals to close in. On the approach to the Strait this morning, Ran 2 took advantage of a positive current to close the gap on Esimit, and even take the lead. By midday the two boats were only 100m apart exiting the Strait together, destination Stromboli.
18 yachts have now passed the Strait of Messina. The current advantage on handicap belongs to defending champion - Lee Satariano's J/122 Artie (MLT). It is a precarious lead as the fleet heads into the second evening and a frustrating search for breeze.
Live race tracking from the 33rd Rolex Middle Sea Race is available here as a record-breaking 83 international entries contest this classic offshore race.
#middlesearace – The winner of this Summer's inaugural Round Rockall offshore Race is in Malta tonight preparing for Saturday's Middle Sea Race, an event that is preceded for Barry Hurley's Dinah by tomorrow's warm up coastal race.
The Dun Laoghaire two-handed entry, a JOD 35, is ready for the weekend challenge and is one of at least two Irish entries involved.
"I have sailed nearly 3000 miles to get here but this is not my first race, I have competed six times before, often with Maltese boats and I have very fond memories of those races. This year, I had the chance to come here and sail in my own boat and I am really looking forward to a great race.
Hurley is an experienced campaigner. Sailing Dinah, he finished the 2009 OSTAR (singlehanded transatlantic race) in Newport, Rhode Island, USA as a class winner after 21 days at sea.
With less than 5 days to go to the start of the 33rd edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, a steady stream of boat captains have been making their way to the Royal Malta Yacht Club making their final registrations for the race. Yachts from 18 different nations are taking up their berths at The Royal Malta Yacht Club and the Grand Harbour Marina. The extensive facilities at the club will be put to good use, as Thursday night's Crew Party, will cater for 1500 invited guests. Racing starts tomorrow (Wednesday 17th October) with a coastal race in preparation for the main event, which starts on Saturday 20th October.
At a packed press conference held on the terrace of The Royal Malta Yacht Club, the Commodore, Godwin Zammit introduced Principle Race Officer, Peter Dimech who explained the planning that has been put in place to start The Rolex Middle Sea Race from the historic Grand Harbour.
"It is too early to establish exactly what the weather will be like on Saturday but there is no doubt that the Grand Harbour will be extremely busy with competing boats. Transport Malta has closed the harbour to other shipping from 0830 until 1300 and we would specifically ask that any vessels that are in Grand Harbour keep well clear of the competing yachts. We are especially grateful to Transport Malta and the Armed Forces of Malta, who have been extremely co-operative, with a record number of yachts expected on the start line, we would anticipate that there will be four or five different starts, probably the best view will be from the Upper Barrakka Garden, I am sure it will be an amazing spectacle."
The press conference was attended by a number of Maltese and overseas skippers taking part in the race.
Lee Satariano, the co-skipper of last year's overall winner, Artie-RTFX:
"I think if anything we are actually better prepared than last year and we have been working hard on our performance and hope we can do ourselves justice but above all we are looking forward to enjoying the race, once again the entire crew is from Malta."
Arthur Podesta, skipper of Elusive 2 has done them all, competing in every race since 1968:
"This race was always designed to be a classic Mediterranean race and that is what it has become, the first race had only 8 boats and it has just got bigger every year. It is a fascinating race, maybe you could say it is six races rather than just one, as the course is so changeable, it always keeps one interested."
Volvo Ocean Race skipper and Olympic sailor, Andreas Hanakamp will be racing on the Austrian Class 40, Vaquita:
"I am not surprised that this race has become so popular, there are six Austrian yachts racing, which is great to see. The race has fantastic scenery and it is a very challenging course, which makes it really attractive and has established it as a classic not to be missed."
Tomorrow, Wednesday 16th October. The Royal Malta Yacht Club is organising a coastal race. Scheduled to start at 1000, the coastal race offers the teams an opportunity to practice before the big send off on Saturday. The course is likely to be approximately 16 miles, starting from Marsamxett Harbour then up the northwest coast of Malta around Comino and finishing in front of the Royal Malta Yacht Club. Spectators will be able to watch the race from along the Sliema seafront at the start and the finish. During the coastal race, the Gozo Ferry terminal at Ċirkewwa will offer views of all the boats as they round Comino.
It is also highly likely that the Slovenian Supermaxi, Esimit Europa 2 will arrive in Malta during the course of tomorrow's coastal race. Esimit Europa 2 is aiming to establish the benchmark time for the 700 nautical mile passage record Trieste to Valletta, recognized by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.