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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Over sixty yachts and cruisers will be hauled out of the water at Dun Laoghaire Harbour tomorrow as the 2021 summer season ends at Ireland's biggest boating centre. 

The National Yacht Club and neighbouring Royal St. George YC will lift out approximately 30 cruisers apiece using a mobile crane. 

The boats will overwinter on the hardstanding at the waterfront clubhouses, where space is at a premium.

It's not the end of all sailing by any means, however. A winter Turkey Shoot Series run by DBSC that attracts up to 70 boats, mainly from the town marina, is scheduled to start on Nov 7th, and the DMYC Dinghy Frostbite Series will run in harbour racing until March.

The volunteer lifeboat crew of Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI will be taking to the small screen on Tuesday, 19 October as they feature in the ninth episode of the BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.

Real life rescue footage gives a frontline view of how the charity’s lifesavers risk their own lives as they go to the aid of those in danger at sea and strive to save every one.

Now in its sixth series, the 10-part documentary showcases the lifesaving work of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews from around Ireland and the UK. The series is on BBC Two on Tuesdays at 8 pm as well as being available on BBC iPlayer following broadcast.

Real rescue footage is accompanied by emotive interviews from the volunteer lifeboat crews alongside the people they rescue and their families.

This forthcoming episode, on Tuesday 19 October, sees Dun Laoghaire RNLI respond to a paddle boarder in difficulty in the water about 150m from shore at Blackrock in County Dublin (as Afloat reported here). Weather conditions at the time are quite rough with a squall causing strong offshore wind gusts along with a changing outward tide and choppy waters. The lifeboat crew find the casualty exhausted having tried to paddle and swim back to shore. He is showing signs of hypothermia due to spending a long period in the cold sea.

Alan Keville, one of the Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat crew members featured in the forthcoming episode, said: ‘It's great that we can showcase the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteers in a TV programme like this. Without the generous support and donations from the public, we wouldn’t be able to save lives at sea and it’s great to be able to share what we do with our supporters from the comfort of their own home.’

During 2020, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 945 times with their volunteer crews coming to the aid of 1,147 people, 13 of whom were lives saved.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

There was a poignant commemoration this morning at Dún Laoghaire Harbour to remember over 564 people who lost their lives when the RMS Leinster ship sank off the Kish Bank on 10th October 1918.

The Leinster Commemoration Committee organised the ceremony for the 103rd anniversary of the torpedo of Dun Laoghaire's vital link to the rest of the World during World War I.

This morning's wreath-laying event was held at the RMS Leinster's recovered anchor site on Queens Road at Dun Laoghaire as a harbour reminder of the massive loss of life.

This morning's commemoration was held in bright Autumn sunshine and attended by local politicians, relatives and local people.

In an ongoing campaign, the Leinster Commemoration Committee says it wants a site allocated for a Memorial to name all who were on-board RMS Leinster that fateful day, as Afloat reported here.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour's Laser dinghy class ended their summer season with a bang, hosting over 80-boats in a five-race one-day regatta where some exciting new talent emerged.

80 Lasers racing in Dublin Bay on a sunny Saturday afternoon in October is an unusual sight in a normal year. These past two seasons have been far from normal for most sailors, but the Laser dinghy class has gone from strength to strength nationally.

At times during lockdown in 2020, single-handed dinghies were the only access for sailors to local waters. The fifty-year-old Laser class benefited greatly from this and has continued to attract and retain new sailors throughout 2021. The Irish Laser Masters championship hosted by the Royal St. George Yacht Club in June broke records with the highest attendance in the event’s history. Other regional and national events throughout the season were also seeing record attendances.

The final event of the season in Dun Laoghaire was this weekend’s Grant Thornton Sprint Regatta hosted by the Royal St. George Yacht Club. This novel regatta format saw race officer Richard Kissane serve up five races in quick succession for each of the three Laser fleets. Light and shifty wind conditions made his job particularly challenging as his team set down a trapezoid course. Ever-calm, Kissane was not phased and he delivered 15 race starts in just over three hours.

Rocco Wright (right) with Royal St. George Commodore Richard O'ConnorHowth's Rocco Wright (right) with Royal St. George Commodore Richard O'Connor

The event saw some new talent emerge into the Laser fleet, most notably in the junior section. Howth’s Rocco Wright who raced for the first time this season in a 4.7, sat into the larger Radial rig for this event. The lighter airs clearly suited him and he took home Gold against a strong fleet including national champion Jonathan O'Shaughnessy from Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Royal St. George’s Matteo CiagliaRoyal St. George’s Matteo Ciaglia

Meanwhile, in the 4.7 fleet, the Royal St. George’s Matteo Ciaglia who also competed for the first time in this fleet took home Gold for the Dun Laoghaire club. Christian Ennis from the National Yacht Club took Silver, while the George’s Jessica Riordan took third overall and first female.

Peter FaganRoyal St George's Peter Fagan

The Standard fleet served up a real treat with local sailors Tom Higgins and Peter Fagan going head to head for the entire event. Higgins took first blood, winning the opening race with Fagan then taking the second race. By race three, it had become a spectacle in match racing between the pair. Ultimately, two third place finishes killed off Higgins’ chances. Fagan took Gold with Higgins in second and Tralee Bay Sailing Club’s Paddy Cunnane taking bronze.

Event organiser, Brendan Hughes of the Royal St. George Yacht Club suggested that the interest in Saturday’s event was as much to do with format as the overall growth of Lasers. “Sailors are really enjoying the sprint format and also having the opportunity to participate in a competitive fleet on a single day. Each race was between 25 and 30 minutes in duration which on a trapezoid course means there is intense competition and opportunity to win or lose places.” said Hughes. “Clearly the format is worth repeating with fleets travelling for this event from as far and wide as Tralee, Cork and Sligo. We’ll definitely be doing more of these in future.”

Full results available here.

Published in RStGYC

DMYC at Dun Laoghaire Harbour is reporting 19 registered entries for its traditional Dinghy Frostbite Series that this year sets sail under the Viking Marine burgee.

The Notice of Race has been published on the club website, and the online entry system is now live.

Racing commences on Sunday, 7th of November.

After the loss of the series for winter 2020/21 due to the Covid restrictions, DMYC is looking to host a jam-packed series.

The West Pier club plans to build on the surge of interest in ILCA (Laser) training and racing, growth of the RS Aero class and revival of the Fireball Class ahead of its World Championships to be sailed on Lough Derg in 2022.

"We anticipate racing format will be as before with starts for the PY Fleet, ICLA 6's (Radial fleet), and ILCA 7's (full rigs) and 5's (4.7's) starting together, all racing for separate class honours," says DMYC's Neil Colin.

The race management will be in the capable hands of Cormac Bradley, supplemented by a team of guest PRO's throughout the series.

The series is open to youth and senior sailors alike with discounted entry fees for the under 18's.

Entry can be made online here

Published in DMYC

Talks to bring a round of the 'SailGP' sailing Grand Prix to Dublin Bay in 2022 have encountered strong headwinds over a lack of shoreside space at Ireland's biggest sailing centre at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, Afloat sources say.

It is the second world-class sailing event to consider an Irish port as a potential venue with Cork Harbour's bid for the 37th America's Cup also up and running.

Although Fáilte Ireland chiefs and officials from Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council are in talks with SailGP, it is understood the east coast Harbour and Ireland's biggest marine leisure centre, cannot facilitate the circuit, due to a lack of shoreside space required by race organisers.

SailGP teams compete in identical F50 wing sailed catamarans that can reach speeds of up to 100km/h and each six-race Grand Prix event runs across two days.

The $1m prize is the biggest award in the sport of sailing.

Currently, eight teams representing Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States contest eight events held in as many countries over an 11-month period. The prospect of an Irish crew has been mooted. 

SailGP is the global sailing grand Prix series created by former America’s Cup yacht race winners Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour - an area to the right of the marina has been ruled out as a base for a potential SailGP tour due to bus parking requirements for visiting cruise liners recommencing in 2022. Dun Laoghaire Harbour - an area to the right of the town marina has been ruled out as a base for a potential SailGP tour due to bus parking requirements for visiting cruise liners recommencing in 2022. 

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, the Fine Gael Dún Laoghaire TD, initiated discussions around a bid in January.  Discussions with key organisers in harbour yacht clubs got the green light.

However, a Dun Laoghaire source told Afloat this week: "it's dead, deader than dead". "There is no room in the harbour shoreside to accommodate SailGP's excessive needs".

The former ferry marshalling was earmarked to provide the required shoreside space for the teams with their fifty-foot craft and equipment but Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council's anticipation of the return of a busy cruise season at the harbour in 2022 has scuppered this.

The marshalling area, located to the east of the town marina, will be required for buses catering for cruise-line passenger excursions.

Up to 70 cruise liners are expected to berth off Dun Laoghaire Harbour in 2022 and works commenced this week on a new coach park facility at the site.

The harbour's vacant Carlisle Pier, empty save for occasional visiting Belgian trawlers, was ruled out as 'not big enough', according to sources.

Promoters say each two-day SailGP event is estimated to be worth about €20m to the local economyPromoters say each two-day SailGP event is estimated to be worth about €20m to the local economy

Andrew Thompson, SailGP's chief commercial and financial officer, told the Irish Examiner newspaper last Saturday "SailGP opened its bid process for season 3 – starting 2022 – in March".

"SailGP received an overwhelming response from across the globe"

"Among the cities that approached SailGP is an expression of interest from a bid team from Dublin, Ireland.

"There is no doubt that Ireland would be a fantastic destination to host our annual, global racing league featuring the sport’s best athletes."

While sections of the tiny Irish sailing community are getting behind bids for the two biggest prizes in world yachting, Cork's €190m America's Cup campaign and the Dublin SailGP both are facing major hurdles as Afloat's WM Nixon points out here in relation to the 37th AC.

Cork Harbour is still in the running to host the 2024 America’s Cup yacht race after the organisers extended the venue selection process.

Cork has also been identified as a possible SailGP venue too.

More from The Examiner here

Published in SailGP

As one Dun Laoghaire Harbour commemoration is completed at the refurbished baths, another town memorial to name all those who were on-board the torpedoed RMS Leinster on Dublin Bay remains long overdue, says campaigner Joe Ryan 

This will be the 103rd anniversary of the sinking of this vital link to the rest of the World during WW1. Since 2016 I have been trying to have a site allocated for a Memorial to name all who were on-board RMS Leinster that fateful day, just a month before the armistice on 11/11/1918. Others, including Des Branigan, who owned the wreck until its 100th anniversary, when it became State property, have endeavoured to commemorate all the names on a Memorial.

There has been a Memorial to RMS Titanic in Belfast since 1923, but for the 100th anniversary in 2012, it was added to with a wall containing all the names of those on board.

Similarly, there are Memorials to RMS Lusitania, but in 2015 a Garden and Memorial naming all those on-board was opened at the Old Head of Kinsale 100 years after it was sunk.

The RMS Leinster departed from the Carlisle Pier on its final voyage on the 10th October 1918 The RMS Leinster departed from the Carlisle Pier on its final voyage on the 10th October 1918 

All we request is that Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) allocates a site to our committee, and we will do the fundraising. There are many organisations and companies associated with RMS Leinster, still in existence, which we can approach for donations. We can't start this work until we have a site.

The Titanic Memorial Garden Belfast City Hall, Belfast, Northern IrelandThe Titanic Memorial Garden Belfast City Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland

In 2019, I was joined by two RMS Leinster 100th Anniversary Committee members, Richard Cruise, Chairman and David Cotter, Treasurer, to form our Memorial Committee. Ours is a small, focused committee with just one aim, to have the Memorial built.

RMS Leinster Wreath laying in 2020. The RMS Leinster Memorial Committee Richard Cruise laying the wreath in 2020 in a social distanced small gathering that included local TDs and Councillors. The RMS Leinster Memorial Committee hopefully more people can attend this year if pandemic rules allow it.(Above and below) RMS Leinster Wreath laying in 2020. The RMS Leinster Memorial Committee member Richard Cruise was laying the wreath in 2020 in a social distanced small gathering that included local TDs and Councillors. The RMS Leinster Memorial Committee say hopefully more people can attend this year if pandemic rules allow it.

We have huge backing from relatives of those who were lost or survived the tragedy, from politicians, businessmen, organisations and people who have no association with the tragedy but feel it should be properly commemorated.

We have made submissions to the Harbour Plan, the County Plan and the Heritage Plan and await their deliberations. A local Councillor has a motion requesting DLRCC to allocate a site that is taking time to be heard.

DLRCC has owned the site we are requesting since 03/10/18 but have steadfastly refused to engage with us even at the behest of many local Ministers, TDs and Councillors.

We remain hopeful that the Council will engage with us. Even though we can't start fundraising, we have had generous pledges from several people and organisations.

European funding was available, but the Council did not seek it. We have said that we will not commence building until all the funds plus contingency is in the Bank. Apart from allocating the site, we are not asking DLRCC to contribute any further, but we have made submissions to Heritage and Arts Departments of DLRCC for local initiative funds of €5,000 to run a competition to design the Memorial which should be organised by DLRCC, being the owner of the site. If that funding is not forthcoming, we will fundraise for it too but still feel that DLRCC should organise the competition.

• RMS Leinster Memorial Committee will lay a wreath at the anchor donated by Des Branigan at 10:00 on 10/10/2021.

The arrival of Thunderchild II into Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Friday gave rise to speculation that a Dublin powerboat record attempt might be on the cards this weekend, given the 80–mph Zero Dark RIB was also berthed at the town marina.

Both vessels have set separate Cork Fastnet Cork speed UIM record times, and it is understood both have an appetite to set further record times off the Irish coast. The latest time was set last month, as Afloat reported here.

On this occasion, though, it transpires the Frank Kowalski skippered Thunderchild was simply on her way home to Cork Harbour from a voyage to Iceland and had merely stopped off for a refuel at Ireland's biggest marina.

However, John Ryan's Zero Dark RIB may yet have her eye on some UIM record times while based in the capital's waters.

The high-speed RIB has been out Dublin Bay clocking up some impressive speeds over the past two weekends.

More news on any record attempt as we have it.

Thunderchild IIThunderchild II off Cork Photo: Bob Bateman 

Fifty-one years to the day after he was rescued from a capsized dinghy and inspired to join a lifeboat crew, Stephen Wynne is retiring as Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, a position he has held for over three decades. Stephen will however, continue to volunteer for the lifeboat station as Deputy Launching Authority.

Recalling his own rescue by the RNLI on the 10 September 1970, Stephen said it was fitting that he chose the anniversary that inspired him to get involved with the charity as the day he would hand over the reins:

‘I was rescued from a capsized dinghy outside Dun Laoghaire by the then Coxswain, the late Eric Offer and his crew on the Waveney class lifeboat which was the first class of lifeboats operated by the RNLI capable of operating at speeds in excess of 10 knots. While I was too young to join at the time, I made a decision then when I came out of hospital that when I met the age eligibility, I was going to become a volunteer crew member.’

True to his word, Stephen joined the RNLI lifeboat community in 1975 and became a crew member in 1977. He later became a Deputy Launching Authority in 1987 and became Honorary Secretary, a position known now as Lifeboat Operations Manager, in 1990.

For the last 31 years in this role, Stephen has been responsible for managing all operational activities, authorising the launch of both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats and the day-to-day management of the station.

It is a position he has relished and one which he will miss: ‘Volunteers have always been at the heart of the RNLI and essential in saving lives at sea. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve first as a crew member, then as Deputy Launching Authority and later Lifeboat Operations Manager. My contribution over the years however, has been part of a wider team effort and I want to thank the dedicated team around me in Dun Laoghaire for all that they do - the lifeboat crew, shore crew, station officers, management and fundraisers. I also want to thank the many members of the public who always give their support so generously and donate what they can to power Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s lifesaving work.’

Peter Harty, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, paid tribute to Stephen: ‘Stephen is the epitome of an RNLI volunteer. Utterly dedicated to saving lives at sea, he has lived the RNLI’s core values of selflessness, dependability, trustworthiness and courage in all that he does. He joined the lifeboat community at Dun Laoghaire in 1975, after he was rescued at sea. During this time, he has provided outstanding leadership and support to operational lifesavers. We are delighted that Stephen is not lost to us as he will be remaining with Dun Laoghaire RNLI as a Deputy Launching Authority.’

Ed Totterdell, also a Deputy Launching Authority, will take up the role as the new Lifeboat Operations Manager.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A new report commissioned by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council details the works required for a proposed new seasonal cruise tender pontoon in the harbour.

The plans are part of upgrades to Dun Laoghaire Harbour which expects 70 cruise liner visits in 2022 as the industry bounces back from its pandemic shutdown.

As the report prepared by consultants RPS details, the scheme involves the installation of a seasonal pontoon for use by tenders that would ferry passengers back and forth between the harbour and cruise liners at anchor in Dublin Bay.

Earmarked for Berth 4 on St Michael’s Pier, the modular pontoon would measure 40 metres in length — double that of the floating concrete pontoon that’s proposed on the Dun Laoghaire Harbour website — with a minimum width of 4.5m.

The project would also involve the construction of two separate accesses, an articulating gangway of 30m in length and self-levelling steps (10m) with a cantilevered steel bankseat platform.

As the pontoon would only be in position during the cruise season, the whole system “must be removable and able to be detached and relocated for storage during the off-season”, the report states.

In addition, the project as proposed does not entail any works that require Foreshore Licencing and/or consenting.

More details can be found in the DLR Cruise Tender Pontoon works requirements report, attached below.

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