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Displaying items by tag: Storm

Barra, Méabh, Pól and Seán are among the names that have made it on the latest international storm list for 2021 to 2022.

Diarmuid was put to a vote along with Duncan, Dudley and Dafydd.

However, Dudley was the winner – perhaps influenced by the “magic” of the fictional character in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series of books, three weather services have said.

The list for the 2021-2022 storm season was drawn up by Met Éireann, the British Met Office and the Dutch weather service KNMI.

Met Éireann and the British Met Office have been working together since 2014 on the “storm names partnership” and were joined by KMNI in 2019.

Similar to previous years, each weather service has contributed names reflective of their nation and culture, mainly suggested by members of the public.

The new list begins with Arwen, and continues with Barra or Finbar, Corrie and Dudley.

Also selected are Eunice, Franklin, Gladys, Herman, Imani, Jack, Kim, Logan, Méabh, Nasim, Olwen, Pól, Ruby, Séan, Tineke, Vergil and Willemien.

“Last winter was relatively quiet with only one storm named by Met Éireann - Storm Aiden at Halloween,” Met Éireann’s head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack noted.

“Once again Met Éireann will continue to work with our national weather service colleagues in the UK and Netherlands by continuing to provide a clear and consistent message to the public, and encouraging people to take action to prevent harm to themselves or to their properties at times of severe weather,” she said.

“Also this month we are delighted to see the launch of our new audio weather forecasts, where people can listen to the latest forecast delivered by our team of Met Éireann forecasters,” Cusack added.

“We’re all aware of some of the severe weather that has been witnessed across Europe and globally in recent months,”Will Lang, Met Office head of the national severe weather warning service said,

“ We work to use any tool at our disposal to ensure the public is informed of potential risks, and naming storms is just one way we do that,”Lang explained.

“Storms are not confined to national borders - it makes a lot of sense to given common names to such extreme weather events,” Gerard van der Steenhoven, KNMI director general, said.

Published in Weather
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A ship ‘snapped in half’ and sank off Turkey’s Black Sea coast while en route to Bulgaria.

Now, as Marine Industry News reports, a shocking video has been shared showing the crew making an emergency mayday call as the bow breaks.

Reports vary – some say that up to four crew members died in the incident. Rescue workers reportedly saved at least six people and retrieved the bodies of two others.

The Russian state agency overseeing sea and river fleets says the vessel belonged to the Ukrainian company Arvin Shipping Ltd.

According to Deha 24, Arvin is a river-sea cargo vessel type, vulnerable to strong storms at sea, because its structural strength isn’t sufficient enough to be fully seaworthy – it was too long and narrow. Arvin couldn’t stand against strong wind and waves and either broke in two, or was overwhelmed, while being anchored at Bartin anchorage in an attempt to shelter from a storm.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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There were severe gales around much of Ireland on Wednesday night, but at Galway Docks, in particular, the localised effects of a storm surge on extreme high water – with southwest winds of more than 70 knots - caused the Aran ferry to break some of its mooring lines at its berth outside the dock gate at the Fishermen’s Layby, with the ship finally coming to rest across the RNLI launching berth, effectively closing off the rescue services until the vessel could be re-floated this morning.

As Afloat reported earlier, the situation prompted Galway’s Harbourmaster to hit out at the lack of a storm warning

Tweet GalwayPrecision measurement of a storm – in Galway Bay last night with south to southwest winds hitting 73 knots, the steep short waves on a period of 5 seconds were peaking at 4.1 metres.

Conditions were such that the lock-gates themselves could not be closed until two hours after high water, while the ferry – having been freed today (Thursday) with the use of two mechanical diggers required to demolish part of a wall – has sustained quite substantial damage.

Experienced local sailors are saying that the night’s damage proved yet again that serious money needs to be spent, both to improve shelter and access to the entrance to Galway Docks, and provide better berthing generally for the most important port in Connacht.

Ship aground galwayThe Aran Islands ferry broke adrift from its alongside berth just outside the dock gates, and ended up aground across the entrance to the RNLI launching berth, with considerable damage sustained by the time the ship was refloated today (Thursday). Photo: Courtesy Pierce Purcell
Galway docksCollateral damage……some of the area immediately around the docks was flooded. Photo: Courtesy Pierce Purcell

Published in Galway Harbour
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Pat Kelly and his family and friends from Rush in the heart of Fingal certainly enjoy their sailing. But they work hard to ensure that their all-conquering J/109 Storm is in peak condition as the new programme starts, and they’ve got the 2018 season off to a flying start with a victorious tour of Scotland. Storm won overall at the Kip Regatta, and then retained the title of Overall Champions in the annual Scottish Series on Loch Fyne, a formidable double.

Published in Sailor of the Month
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#Ophelia - With most of Ireland battening down the hatches for the second time in a week in preparation for Storm Brian’s arrival, the Marine Institute in Galway says it continues to gather and analyse data from Storm Ophelia.

Despite Galway escaping much of the worst of the wind damage associated with Monday’s storm, a short-lived but notable surge of 1.6m just after 3pm resulted in flooding in a number of well-known locations across the city.

Storm surges occur when strong winds ‘push’ water up against a coastline and low atmospheric pressure associated with a weather system such as Ophelia raise the sea surface further.

Surges in the sea level, measured by the Irish National Tide Gauge Network, were seen around the Irish coast. But the timing of the storm passing over Galway with its associated peak in wind speed coincided with the approach of high tide, resulting in flooding at the Docks, Spanish Arch and Salthill Promenade.

What was unusual was how quickly the surge dissipated, the Marine Institute adds, noting that the predicted high tide occurred just 30 minutes after the peak surge, but the surge itself had dropped by 1.25m to only 35cm in that time.

The unusual nature of the surge can most likely be explained by a rapid change in direction and speed of the wind field in Galway Bay but further investigation is required to understand the event fully.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Irish Marine Weather Buoy Network recorded a record sixty-foot wave off the South East Coast on Monday afternoon before the M5 buoy broke from its moorings.

Among those feeling the effects in the water was Dingle's resident dolphin Fungie, who was found to have a number of serious cuts on his body during the week – though as Buzz.ie reports, he's expected to make a full recovery.

Elsewhere, Michael Viney writes in The Irish Times how Storm Ophelia's advance on Ireland stumped a key resource for Ireland's big wave surfers – one of whom has defended his decision to ride the storm-powered swell off Killiney in Co Dublin to TheJournal.ie.

Published in Marine Science

A former hyper-active hurricane, only very recently re-classed as a severe tropical storm, hits southwest Ireland at dawn from south of southwest on a mid-October Monday morning writes W M Nixon. It spends the entire day tracking destructively across country, until it finally departs from our island to the northeast.

It sounds like the demented scenario for a majestic blockbuster movie. Such a mega-film would use special effects to get the full impact of the various disasters which arise as this Enemy of the People – personalized by being called Storm Ophelia - does her worst to provide extreme conditions in which people (inevitably a cast of thousands) will dramatically respond in their many and various ways, some truly selfless, others anything but.

It would definitely be a big budget production. We can know that for certain. For on this post-storm morning, with weather of surreal and gentle beauty after Ophelia has gone on her way, the cost of clearing, repair and re-build will surely run to many millions when all is finally put right, which will certainly be months rather than days or weeks.

Yet how have we as a people and an island nation emerged from it? The feeling is encouraging. There seems to be a heightened sense of ourselves in a fairly benign light, an awareness that when push comes to shove, our infrastructure and emergency services can rise to the challenge, provided all the people of Ireland quietly help them by not making unreasonable demands for their assistance.

For sure, three deaths is three deaths too many, particularly as in two cases it involved the victims helping others. But in the wholesale felling of trees, the destruction of property with the particularly horrible risk of flying debris, and in the hour after hour of the flooding of rivers and the battering of coasts and harbour with boats at risk everywhere, people took expert advice and generally kept themselves as much as possible out of harm’s way.

And this of course is where we realize how much things have moved on from our previous experiences of extreme weather conditions. Meteorology has advanced so much with short-term forecasts achieving such precision that those who had business out of the house which simply had to be dealt with knew to within half an hour when they absolutely had to be back safely indoors.

So Met Eireann now has even more respect as a National Treasure. As for the comforting presence of a sensible stream of practical advice from the National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG), that was exactly what was needed to encourage everyone to be sensible and avoid unnecessary risks, while its Chairman Sean Hogan has become the nation’s poster boy for “Keeping Calm in the Midst of Storms”.

With the main drama being played outdoors, inevitably there were those who had to take on risky repair and remedial work in exposed places at the scene of damage, and the rest of us were lost in admiration for the Electricity Service teams. Most of us know little enough about how electricity works in the first place, yet these guys not only has to know it in life and death situations, but they had to be skilled foresters and tree surgeons as well as they went about their highly dangerous tasks.

Rosslare yacht opheliaConditions were extremely challenging with force nine winds with a six metre sea swell when Rosslare RNLI went to rescue this yacht in the Irish Sea

Finally, there’s the episode of that rescue by the Rosslare Lifeboat of a yacht in distress at the height of the storm. Some day we’ll learn just how the yacht was there at all, for heaven knows Ophelia had been well signaled for days in advance. But oddly enough, that’s not too important this morning, What is important is that Cox’n Eamonn O’Rourke and his crew – all volunteers – were assembled within minutes, they carried out a text-book rescue with clinical precision, and the country could return to keeping itself safe for the day, as we’d been advised to.

Because although there’d been some grumblings that the warnings beforehand were surely tending towards exaggeration, they weren’t. The three tragic deaths were three deaths too many, and infinitely sad. But yesterday could have been a continuing litany of personal tragedies if people had deluded themselves that they could have got away with cheating such a prodigious force of nature.

So we emerge from our encounter with Storm Ophelia with a heightened sense of ourselves as a mature nation. Ireland is unique – a medium-sized island on the leeward side of one of the roughest oceans in the world. Our population is such that we have to stretch resources to provide the services and expertise which countries with larger populations can take in their stride.

Yet when Storm Ophelia tested those services, Ireland was not found wanting. And we Irish conducted ourselves like sensible adults who will accept a certain amount of discipline when it is presented to us in a competent and reasonable manner.

On this, the day after the storm, we can feel quietly proud of being Irish.

Published in Weather
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Anyone who has ever raced against the J/109 Storm, campaigned by Pat Kelly and his close-knit family from Rush Sailing Club, quickly realises that they are up against something special in sailing. This is evident both with the Storm team themselves, and with the rising spirit of the small-sized but big-hearted club they call home, a club which has already logged formidable success at junior and senior levels, inshore and offshore, during the first weeks of the 2017 season.

Mooring facilities at the Rush club’s tide-riven anchorage on Rogerstown Estuary in the heart of Fingal are so confined that Storm is actually based at Howth Marina. But while she’s very welcome and popular there, no-one has any doubt that she’s the boat from Rush. It is a pleasure to watch her being raced by the Kelly’s remarkable family unit, augmented by their relatives and friends. We saw the essence of their approach on Monday in the final and vital two races of the Silvers Scottish Series 2017 at Tarbert. Storm handled both of these contests with clinical precision to take the overall class lead in convincing style from seven other possible winners. The Kelly Family of Rush are worthy Afloat.ie “Sailors of the Month” for May 2017.

Published in Sailor of the Month
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#Rowing: Storms with thunder, lightning and torrential rain forced the suspension of racing at the final World Cup in Poznan, Poland this morning. The organisers are set to announce a new porgramme with racing starting again before midday and the 3pm and 5pm sessions pushed forward two hours.

 Ireland have four crews competing - the lightweight men's and women's doubles, the lightweight men's pair and lightweight single sculler Denise Walsh. Sanita Puspure, who had a head cold, did not travel.

Published in Rowing
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Round Ireland Race J/109 crew consisting of six national champions from three classes from last weekend's ICRA championships at Howth Yacht Club is setting its sights high for Saturday's race start.

The well known Howth based J/109 Storm has been chartered for the 700–mile circumnavigation and rebadged as 'Euro Car Parks'. The entry is skippered by ICRA class two champion Dave Cullen from the half–tonner Checkmate V.

Cullen's crew line up is: Mark Mansfield (currently at the Quarter Ton Cup in Cowes), Maurice O’Connell, John Murphy, Eddie Bourke, Aidan Beggan, Franz Rotschild and Gary Murphy. 

As a further boost to race hopes, last night Cullen's campaign announced Windward Hotels as a 'major sponsor'.

Windward Management is one of Ireland's leading hotel operators owning and managing hotels both in here and abroad. The company has just completed the purchase of the Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel.

Euro Car Parks joins a fleet of 65 boats, nearly double the 2014 entry, for Saturday's Round Ireland start off Wicklow at 1pm.

Published in Round Ireland

A yacht carrying a British sailor competing in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is diverting into Shanghai to transfer a crew member who has a suspected fractured arm, sustained during a violent storm.

Trudi Bubb, 50, from Crawley, was injured when her team’s yacht, Unicef, fell off a wave during extreme weather in the Yellow Sea and she suffered a fall below decks in the galley area earlier today.

It was a tumultuous night with the fleet experiencing some of the worst conditions of the entire 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation so far. Gusting winds of 70 to 80 knots tested the 12 ‘novice’ teams, with extended periods at 55 to 60 knots and a very rough, steep sea state.

The team is approximately 120 nautical miles south east of Shanghai and has an ETA of 0100 UTC tomorrow. On arrival into Shanghai, Trudi will be transferred to hospital for x-rays and evaluation of her injury, after which the team will resume racing onto the Race Finish in Qingdao, China.

Race Director Justin Taylor said: "Next of kin have been informed and further updates will be announced as we have them. We wish Trudi a fast and full recovery."

Unicef relief Skipper Paul Atwood had described the conditions in his blog earlier in the day: “Slamming, driving rain, the steady 50-60 knots breeze peaking at a gust of 92 knots, the air full of horizontal spray, waves filling the cockpit…

“Last night was a tad hectic, very windy, very bouncy and saw us go around in circles as we attempted and succeeded in one evolution after another, each of which take 10 - 15 minutes in the Solent, or Sydney harbour, but which, last night were taking 60 - 90 minutes each.

“Nevertheless we have emerged slightly worse for wear but intact and are making our way north as best we can with the uncooperative wind angle. The sea state has improved a lot although the waves are pretty big and still foam streaked,” Paul added.

The yacht's Skipper and on board medic have had advice from doctors at the race's remote telemedicine service, ClipperTelemed+, which is staffed by doctors from the race’s Global Medical Emergency Support Partner, PRAXES.

The Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, the tenth edition of the biennial global series, is the world’s longest ocean race at more than 40,000 miles, taking 11 months to race between six continents.

It is currently the eighth stage of a 14-race global series, from Da Nang, Vietnam, to Qingdao, China.

Published in Clipper Race
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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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