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#IRISH HARBOURS - Yachts berthing at Ireland's main fishing harbours could see their charges hiked by an incredible 800 per cent.

According to The Irish Times, Marine Minister Simon Coveney has announced a mere 21 days for comment and consultation on the draft Fishery Harbour Centres (Rates and Charges) Order 2012. The consultation document is attached to the bottom of this post and available to download as a pdf.

The proposed new charges include an annual fee of €250 per metre for yachts, which could see a 10-metre yacht currently paying €312 a year for a berth shell out as much as €2,500 annually for the same space.

Additional water and electricity costs could even see this bill rise to €3,100 - for berths that come "without proper marina facilities in most cases".

The proposals apply to the State's six fishery centres at Killybegs, Rossaveal, Dingle, Castletownbere, Dunmore East and Howth, only two of which have pontoons suitable for leisure boats.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Irish Harbours

#CORK WEEK - Pat Lyons of Royal Cork Yacht Club has spoken to website The Cork News about the city's hopes for the 2012 Cork Week regatta.

Crosshaven in Cork Harbour will host the club's biggest regatta - which takes place every two years - from 7-13 July this summer.

“Sailing in Ireland and Cork is in great shape,” says Lyons, who is expecting more than 250 boats to pack the harbour for racing and more.

The event is also perfectly timed just two weeks ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where Royal Cork Yacht Clubman Peter O’Leary will vie for gold with Dublin yachtsman David Burrows in their two-man keelboat.

Though the economic downturn has had a serious effect, costs have been cut across the board and some rules have been relaxed to allow for the widest possible level of participation.

“There are three factors that make Cork special," says Lyons. "Firstly, there is the number of boats and the various fleets. Secondly, there are 10 races planned. While that doesn’t always pan out due to the weather, we have pretty settled weather conditions and an excellent coastline in Cork, with hills running down to the sea.

"And finally, there is the harbour, which, if the weather impacts, provides excellent shelter. We’ve always been able to achieve a higher level of competition than a lot of other regattas, with at least one or two races per day.”

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, preparations for the event have already kicked off with the launch of a dedicated new website.

The Cork News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Week

#ANGLING - A man narrowly escaped prison for obstructing a fisheries officer in a case taken by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) at Carrickmacross District Court earlier this month.

Piotr Flaga - of Bog Road in Drogheda - was fined €450 by Judge Sean McBride after he was found to have set lines at a lake in Carrickmacross on 18 and 19 August last with the intention of taking coarse fish illegally.

The court heard that when apprehended by Assistant Inspector Ronan O’Brien, Flaga refused to co-operate and would not give his name and address. He then obstructed Asst Insp O’Brien by moving his vehicle towards him in a bid to escape when questioned.

Gardai were called to the scene and subsequently Flaga was issued with two summons.

Flaga entered a guilty plea and was convicted under Sections 301 and 308 of the 1959 Fisheries Act. He was further charged for breach of byelaw 595 of 1977 in relation to fishing in fresh water for coarse fish by means other than rod and line.

The defendant was fined a total of €450 with five months to pay with 14 days imprisonment in default. Some €500 in costs were also awarded to Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Judge MacBride acknowledged Flaga's public apology to Asst Insp O'Brien, but emphasised that any person who came before him in future for a similar offence would face imprisonment.

Published in Angling
3rd September 2011

Bon Voyage to Stena Voyager

The Stena Voyager high-speed ferry will make its final crossing between Belfast and Stranraer in mid-November.
BBC News cites the high cost of running the service, as well as its limited freight capacity, as reasons for the mothballing of the Stena HSS (High Speed Service).
The world's biggest high-speed ferry was a revelation when it was launched in 1996. The catamaran could reach speeds of up to 40 knots powered by enormous gas turbine engines.
But the rising cost of oil prompted a reduction in the ferry's cruising speed to save costs, making room for competition from conventional ferry routes with larger freight capacities.
The Voyager's fate was sealed when Stena Line announced plans to move its Stranraer port to a new location that will shave 20 minutes off the crossing for the two new but standard ferries that will replace it.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Stena HSS between Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead will also be suspended from later this month, though it is planned to resume service in 2012 for the summer season.

The Stena Voyager high-speed ferry will make its final crossing between Belfast and Stranraer in mid-November.

BBC News cites the high cost of running the service, as well as its limited freight capacity, as reasons for the mothballing of the Stena HSS (High Speed Service).

The world's biggest high-speed ferry was a revelation when it was launched in 1996. The catamaran could reach speeds of up to 40 knots powered by enormous gas turbine engines.

But the rising cost of oil prompted a reduction in the ferry's cruising speed to save costs, making room for competition from conventional ferry routes with larger freight capacities.

The Voyager's fate was sealed when Stena Line announced plans to move its Stranraer port to a new location that will shave 20 minutes off the crossing for the two new but standard ferries that will replace it. 

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Stena HSS between Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead will also be suspended from later this month, though it is planned to resume service in 2012 for the summer season.

Published in Ferry

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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