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Displaying items by tag: Sail Training Ireland

#tallship – With St Patrick's Day almost upon us, the westward trek across the Atlantic in search of American benevolence and funding for worthy objectives can become a very crowded pilgrimage. Among those looking for meaningful support for their pet projects, there will likely be proponents of some sort of new Tall Ship to replace the much-mourned brigantine Asgard II, and the ketch Lord Rank, both of which foundered in 2008 to leave Ireland - north and south alike - bereft of national sail training vessels.

Since then, there have been re-groupings of those who support the admirable concept of sail training for young people. In all, there may be as many as five different bodies on the island of Ireland which now provide access to the international programme. Coiste an Asgard itself was wound up in 2011, but it was immediately re-born as the Dublin-headquartered Sail Training Ireland, the national authority which carries the imprimatur of Sail Training International, the global body which co-ordinates and regulates all sail training.

The other main organisation, often functioning in tandem with Sail Training Ireland, is the Atlantic Youth Trust. It has offices in both Dun Laoghaire and Belfast, and has as its primary objective the construction and commissioning – for all Ireland – of a Class A 40-metre three-masted barquentine. WM Nixon continues with the story.

When we carried a history and analysis of Ireland's involvement with the International Tall Ship and Sail Training movement on this site on January 17th, the immediate response was formidable, and in favour. It continues to register hits at a rate which shows that the maritime community in Ireland has a real wish to see our own proper tall ship.

To achieve this ambition, in terms of having a clearly outlined plan the Atlantic Youth Trust is way ahead. With leading personnel from many parts of Ireland on its high-powered board of Trustees and Directors, the concept - originally inspired by Enda O'Coineen and John Killeen of Galway – is already becoming very complete.

Executive Director Neil O'Hagan and other have researched globally in order to analyse the success of more than two dozen national sail training schemes, and they have concluded that the best model to learn from is the Spirit of Adventure Trust in New Zealand, which functions through training based around the barquentine Spirit of New Zealand, which at 45.2 metres in "sparred length" is steel built registering at 184 gross tons, and carries 40 trainees.

The funding concept on the capital outlay for building the new ship for Ireland will ultimately rely on a total of €15 million being put up jointly by the two governments in the interests of inter-community and cross-border co-operation. Although the current turmoil in the Northern Ireland political administration might temporarily impair the onward progress of the plan, it seems to have a certain inevitable momentum, and highly-regarded Netherlands-based Dykstra Naval Architects have been retained on the project, as have their associates at Damen Shipyards, who may supply the vessel in flatpack form for final construction in Ireland.

As to running costs, the AYT point out that it will come out of current spending, as the vessel by nature of its work will be able to tap into government funds for social welfare and other youth schemes.

Faced with such a juggernaut of ideas, energy, contacts at top government level, and sheer enthusiasm, it seems churlish to question the validity of what is, after all is said and done, a magnificent project. But there are many in Irish sailing in general and sail training in particular who are concerned about the thinking on which it is all based.

To begin with, while we all admire the maritime spirit of New Zealand, does it make sense to draw conclusions for Ireland from a successful scheme in what is essentially a very isolated island nation? Ireland may be an island nation, but it's clearly wide of the mark to describe us as isolated, and this is reflected in the pattern of tall ships visit. If just six tall ships turn up at one port in New Zealand, it's regarded as a major event. But if less than sixty tall ships turn up at this year's Tall Ships Festival in Belfast at the beginning of July, then it will be regarded as a non-event.

In other words, Spirit of New Zealand usually functions in relative isolation, so it is not sail training as we know it in Europe. In fact, she is more of a floating school cum boot camp which happens to set sails, and in order to keep her very numerous trainee complement of 40 busy, while cruising in New Zealand waters (which she does nearly all the time), she is escorted by a large rib which frequently conveys the trainees ashore for land-bound ventures which sometimes out-balance their sea time.

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Alone, all alone.....the Spirit of New Zealand in a remote inlet on New Zealand's South Island. With forty trainees and a relatively easily-handled rig, she has a programme whch includes much shoreside activity. Photo courtesy STI

It's a very attractive programme in the New Zealand context, as they have many remote coastal areas which are virtually uninhabited and ripe for shore adventures which will not conflict with the rights of local inhabitants. But in Ireland and much of Europe such a programme would immediately meet problems, and for Ireland it makes more sense to follow the European pattern which puts an almost total emphasis on voyaging and sail training races.

Were a heavily-crewed vessel such as Spirit of New Zealand to do the European programme, there simply wouldn't be enough work for the 20 trainees on each watch to keep them happily occupied for long periods. Ideally, trainee tall ships are extremely labour-intensive for all hands, and in Europe that's the way it is done, but it needs what amounts to individual attention for each trainee.

So it's difficult to escape the conclusion that one reason for the attraction of the New Zealand scheme for the Atlantic Youth Trust is that it wins out in the numbers game. Forty young people taken out of troubled and aimless environments ashore, and sent away together on a voyage, is an impressive amount of social problems temporarily sorted in one fell swoop.

But will it be as behaviourally beneficial, in the long term, as it would be for a smaller number of people on a smaller and busier vessel? It will vary from case to case, but generally you'd reckon that the smaller more personal crew setup, with each trainee more directly involved in the sailing of the ship, would produce better results, while always remember that having as much square rig as possible is central to the concept.

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A timeless design which remains a very viable proposition for an easily managed ship which keeps her crew busy. Jack Tyrell's lines for Asgard II would lend themselves to construction in steel or even aluminium.

Ideally, to see Ireland's Tall Ship-owning reputation restored, many of us would like to see not just one newly-built replica of the 84ft brigantine Asgard II being launched, but three – one each for Cork, Dublin and Belfast. For, at the moment, the main axis of Atlantic Youth Trust activity seems to be between Dublin and Belfast. Yet as last weekend's National Annual Sailing Awards ceremony in Dublin so clearly underlined, Cork is really where it's at in terms of maritime development, and the lack of a significant Cork element seems to be a weakness of the AYT scheme.

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Might this be the way forward? One of our suggestions today is that Ireland really needs three Asgard IIs, based in Cork, Dublin and Belfast. We get an idea of how it might look with the two sister-ship American brigantines Exy Johnson and Irving Johnson, which are based in Los Angeles in California, where they were built in 2002.

Nevertheless, it says much for the dedication and energy of those promoting the Atlantic Youth Trust that we have the luxury of debating the validity of their plans, which have been so thoroughly developed. We may disagree with their conclusion, but it's not total disagreement – an Irish version of Spirit of New Zealand would be a very emphatic improvement on our present ship-less state, which is too much of a reflection of an ancient and negative mind-set.

Every time you see the Tall Ships gather and see how maritime countries of population comparable to Ireland, such as Norway, Denmark and Portugal, can send forth spectacularly handsome Tall Ships, it becomes a painful reminder of how the new Irish Free State increasingly turned its back on the sea.

The fact was admitted by Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney at last week's National Sailing Awards Ceremony in a speech which hinted at some very significant developments in the Irish maritime sphere in the near future.

But really, what Minister Coveney was talking about is that it is time and more for us to grow up in our attitude to the sea. When the Free State was struggling into being in 1922, the popular view was that British power was synonymous with sea power. So if you were against the sea and seafaring in all its manifestations, then you were demonstrating the purity of your patriotism through adopting what was essentially if subconsciously an anti-British stance. Childish perhaps. But we all know that's the way it was.

So despite the flurry of maritime enthusiasm which was engendered by national emergency during World War II to inspire the creation of Irish Shipping and the Maritime Inscription, what this meant was that when the underlying attitude genuinely began to change in the 1950s, a positive attitude towards the sea wasn't being built upwards from Ground Zero. It was being built from Ground Minus Thirty – the number of years that an anti-maritime attitude had been the unstated yet very real official policy.

Thus there was a period when Irish maritime enthusiasm had to be kept going almost as a secret cult, and I'd an odd reminder of this some weeks back at the annual Awards Ceremony of Sail Training Ireland. The Patron of STI is President Higgins, and the event was held – for the second year running – in the Mansion House in Dublin. Yet the very fact of the identity of their Patron, and of their event being staged in the Mansion House in the presence of Lord Mayor Christy Burke, provided such pleasure and pride for everyone in the gathering that it was a forceful reminder that, not so very long ago, seafaring was very much the poor relation in Ireland, and there were those in authority who would have happily air-brushed it out of the national picture entirely, leaving it to foreign crews to undertake the rough trades of the sea.

But thanks to those former members of Coiste an Asgard who refused to give up the vision of sail training for Ireland, even as the onset of economic Armageddon from 2008 to 2011 made any prospect of a new Asgard II a very distant vision as the government chucked the €3.8 million insurance payout into the bottomless pit of national debut, Sail Training Ireland arose like a Phoenix and set in place sail training bursaries for places on foreign tall ships, using international contacts built up during the 27 successful Asgard II years to ensure that Ireland could re-build our position at the heart of the movement.

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She keeps them busy....the Dutch brig Morgenster is superbly labour-intensive in the best sail training traditions. Photo courtesy STI

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Gulden Leeuw is another of the Dutch Tall Ships which have been taking Irish trainees to sea on Sail Training International programmes. Photo: Courtesy STI

The thriving tall ships scene in the Netherlands – which has become a focal point for sail training and the Tall Ships industry for all Europe – proved the most fruitful placement area, with most Irish trainees being positioned aboard the very handsome 48 m (sparred length) brig Morgenster, which has become a familiar sight in Irish ports. Another ship well used is the three-masted topsail schooner Gulden Leeuw, a long slim craft as she is 70 m in sparred length, while that noted poster girl of Tall Ships sailing, the 56 metre three masted Dutch barque Europa, also carried Irish crew from time to time.

However, while placements on such vessels work very well, the hankering for an Irish sail training flagship is always there, and fortunately in recent years Oliver Hart's 70ft training schooner Spirit of Oysterhaven has been punching way above her weight in filling the role in gallant style with a varied programme on the Irish coast.

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Spirit of Oysterhaven in South Harbour, Cape Clear Photo: Oliver Hart

This and much more was reflected in the Sail Training Ireland Awards Ceremony in the Mansion House, a goodly gathering which was representative not just of every possible aspect of sail training at home and abroad, but also of Irish ports which are increasingly interested in an activity which brings their ancient waterfronts vividly to life. And the progress of various ship projects was spoken for by everything from complete vessels such as the Basque Spanish schooner Atyla represented by Rodrigo de la Serna, through vessels in the making as personified by our own ketch Ilen. She has since seen her final new plank knocked ceremonially into place at Oldcourt in Baltimore, but here's an evocative video Gary MacMahon left with us of the creative planking process under way. And present too was Neil O'Hagan of Atlantic Youth Trust, whose organisation deservedly received recognition for their pioneering work towards a completely new ship.

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The main awards presented in the Mansion House by STI Chairman Seamus McLoughlin, who is former Head of Operations for Dublin Port, were:
1. Trainee of the year: Andrew Crowley
2. Special Contribution Award: Turlough Kennedy
3. Special Achievement Award: Fiona Armson
4. Perpetual Asgard Award: For an outstanding contribution to, or achievement in Sail Training by an individual or group: Atlantic Youth Trust / Foroige Group of Trainees
5. Watch-leader of the Year: Sara Mason
6. Volunteer of the year: Jonathan O'Brien

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Trainee of the Year Andrew Crowley with his parents in the Mansion House

Trainee of the Year Award: Andrew Crowley
Andrew is Club Captain of the Spirit of Oysterhaven Trust. During 2014, he was instrumental in helping to organise the Club's sailing trips aboard Spirit of Oysterhaven with a special emphasis on providing opportunities for young people with disability. He helped to organise the Club's Youth in Action programme, and crewed aboard Spirit during the Irish Cruising Club's sponsored Anniversary voyage from Glandore to Glengariff with a crew of eight trainees, including several with disability. During the summer Andrew was a vital member of a short-handed crew delivering Spirit from Oysterhaven to Glandore during which he proved himself an outstanding active crew member.

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Commodore Hugh Tully, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service, with Turlough Kennedy, who received the Special Contribution Award

Special Contribution Award: Turlough Kennedy
This year's special contribution award goes to Turlough Kennedy from the lakeside port of Scarriff in County Clare for the outstanding role he filled on the Dutch tall ship Morgenster.

To quote Michael Byrne, Director of Sail Training Ireland: "This contribution was not only recognised by us. On completion of last year's voyage Turlough - despite his limited sea going experience - was offered a crew member's berth on board the ship by the Captain. While he was not in a position last year to take up this offer for the remainder of the 2014 season, in 2015 we are delighted that Turlough will be sailing as voluntary crew on board the Morgenster. The following is a short note from the ship's Captain, Harry Muter: "Turlough sailed with us last year and he was very good good both in the sailing department as in the social processes. For his age he was surprisingly adult, patient and emphatic. And then the music, it coloured this voyage, and Turlough played a role with his complicated bagpipe and improvisation talent. Looking forward to sail with him again." " (There are no prizes for guessing that "complicated bagpipes" are Uileann Pipes).

Special Achievement Award: Fiona Armson
The special achievement award this year went to Fiona Armson for the tenacity and determination she showed by completing her 14 day voyage. Fiona found some aspects of life at sea a real challenge but despite being given several opportunities by her leaders and the crew to take on a lighter work load Fiona refused to leave her watch and pushed on.
Fiona completed her voyage having never missed a single watch or duty and, in a way that would put a smile on any sailor's face, she sailed the Gulden Leeuw into her home port of Bangor.

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Special Achievement Award Winner Fiona Armson with her parents

Perpetual Asgard Award
Awarded to a group of four Foroige Trainees: Michael Collins, Dean Mc Keon, Brandon McDonagh, and Daniel O'Halloran,

In March 2014, four young people from Ballybane in Galway set out on a remarkable adventure, travelling half way around the world to experience the Spirit of Adventure's 10-Day Youth Development Voyage in New Zealand. Three youth workers accompanied the group for the three week trip, and one of them, Pearse O'Toole, was at the Mansion House with them. The trip was funded by a private donation and managed by the Atlantic Youth Trust and Foroige.

The group spent 10-days sailing around the magnificent Hauraki Gulf off Auckland on the barquentine Spirit of New Zealand. They adapted very well to their new surroundings as crew members and returned with fresh skills, more confidence than ever, and a new outlook on life and what is possible.

Neil O'Hagan, Executive Director of the Atlantic Youth Trust, followed this award with a presentation about the Peace and Reconciliation Fund-supported Sea-Connections scheme, and then the next award was remarkably appropriate, as it was for the Watch Leader of the Year and it went to Sara Mason for her very successful participation in an EU Youth Exchange Voyage on Gulden Leeuw.

Sara (pronounced saarah) is from the North Island of New Zealand, but now lives and studies in Dublin. She is part of the Shackleton Outdoor Adventure Management Diploma Course in Colaiste Dhulaigh in Coolock. She joined the team of youth leaders which facilitated the main voyage programme of Youth Exchange projects in May-June. As a leader on the Dutch Ship Gulden Leeuw, she cared for and facilitated a group of 40 young adults over a 14 day period. She was an outstanding support to them as a leader, and brought with her a set of skills that are unique to professionals who spend their lives working with people in the outdoor adventure industry. She also has a fantastic energy and enthusiasm and was an inspiration to the trainees and other leaders.

Volunteer of the Year Award - Jonathan O'Brien
Jonathan has become involved in a multitude of voluntary activities with Sail Training Ireland in the last year. In 2013 he volunteered as a youth leader for one of STI's youth exchange voyages for 10 days from Belfast to Dublin. In 2014 he was head-leader across youth exchange voyages with a total of 8 leaders, with at times up to 100 trainees across three ships seeking his support.

Having a background in both outdoor education and in social care, Jonathan has an exceptional set of skills that lend themselves very well to the role of leader on a tall ship, and he has now found himself "volunteered" for a position on STI's sub-committee for trainee programmes. During 2014, he also spent time on a number of ships across Europe, while somehow also fitting in a spell serving as First Mate on the Spirit of Oysterhaven. He is helping to develop on-board programmes for a number of STI's funded voyage schemes during 2015, and will also train STI's group of twelve youth leaders in April.

So the good work goes on, but the more of it there is, the more it become apparent that Ireland needs her own tall ship, and the sooner the better. A programme of international placement may work very well for those in the know, but for people down the country which are remote from maritime communities, it often takes the stimulus and sense of pride engendered by an Irish ship to make that first move afloat.

It was summed up so well by investigative academic and journalist Dr Elaine Byrne in our story about the Tall Ships on January 17th that it deserves repeating here. Usually in her line of work, Elaine Byrne takes no prisoners. But the quiet depth of feeling underlying the brief story of how the Byrne family from the deepest rural depths of County Carlow became involved in sail training has a resonance for us all today:

"I'm the oldest of seven children from a farming family on the Carlow/Wicklow border, where the household income is augmented with a funeral undertaking business attached to a pub in which I might still work on visits home. Our background is just about as far as it's possible to be from Ireland's maritime community. Yet thanks to Asgard II, I was able to take a step into the unknown world of the high seas as a trainee on board, and liked it so much that over the years I spent two months in all on board, graduating through the Watch Leader scheme and sailing in the Tall Ships programmes of races and cruises-in-company.

Down in the depths of the country, my new experiences changed the family's perceptions of seafaring. Four of my siblings then had the opportunity to sail on Asgard II. If it were not for Asgard II, my family would never have had the chance to sail, as we did not live near the sea, nor had the financial resources to do so. The Asgard II played a large role in our family life as it became a Rite of Passage to sail on board her. My two youngest siblings did not sail on Asgard II because she sank, which they much regret.

Apart from the discipline of sailing and the adventure of new experiences and countries, the Asgard II brought people of different social class and background together. There are few experiences which can achieve so much during the formative years of young adulthood".

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Seamus McLoughlin, Chairman of Sail Training Ireland, with Michael Byrne, Director.

 

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Carolanna Foley, awarded a Drogheda Port Sail Training Bursary, with Seamus McLoughlin (left) and Commodore Hugh Tully

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Sara Mason, Watch Leader of the Year, with Commodore Hugh Tully

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Jonathan O'Brien (left) Volunteer of the Year, with Oliver Hart

Published in W M Nixon

#tallships – Sail Training Ireland host its third Annual Launch and Prize Giving Event in the Mansion House in Dublin, courtesy of Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke tomorrow. Master of Ceremonies is Afloat.ie's William M. Nixon who recently blogged on the topic of a New Tall Ship for Ireland

Having formed in 2011 to replace Coiste an Asgard as Ireland's umbrella organisation for Sail Training Activities, the charity is now on firm ground going into the 2015 voyage season and is supported jointly by Dublin Port Company and Dublin City Council. See programmes and timetables as attachments downloadable below as pdf files.

Since their foundation Sail training Ireland has facilitated well over 500 young people to undertake voyages at sea on Tall Ships and other Sailing Vessels. President Michael D. Higgins is Patron.

Tomorrow there will be some significant award winners listed here:

Trainee of the year award: Andrew Crowley:

Volunteer of the year award: Jonathan O'Brien

Special Contribution Award: Turlough Kennedy:

Special Achievement Award: Fiona Armson

Watch-leader of the Year: Sara Mason

Perpetual Asgard Award: For an outstanding contribution to, or achievement in Sail Training by an individual or group: Atlantic Youth Trust Foroige Trainee Group: Michael Collins, Dean Mc Keon.

The 2015 season looks to be very active due to the International Tall Ships Races Festival taking place in Belfast from July 2nd-5th. This results in a lot of activity in the Irish Sea and many ships and voyages taking place in the area.  During the Mansion House event, Sail Training Ireland will announce a voyage programme with capacity for near 300 trainees and a number of very exciting funded programmes.

The most exciting funding schemes for the charity are:

EU Commission "Youth Exchange" projects, under the new Erasmus + scheme- in partnership with Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust. These take place over 2 x 2 week voyages in June. One for 16-17 year olds and the other for over 18s. On the Dutch Tall Ship Morgenster.

Peace and Reconciliation Funded "Sea-Connections" voyages (North-South) in Partnership with Atlantic Youth Trust. This will create 6 voyages, with 5 trainees from each side of the border on each voyage. The 6 voyages together will result in a circumnavigation of Ireland.

A project which is under development in collaboration with An Garda Siochana and The Irish Naval Service using Lottery Funding through the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. This is aimed at young people in the City of Dublin.

The Drogheda Sail Training Bursary Scheme is in its third year and will fund 20 young trainees from the area with the support of a number of local sponsors, through Drogheda Port Company.

The Belfast Tall Ships Races Festival will also support almost 100 young people to undertake a voyage to Norway as part of the Races. There will also likely be many other young people partaking in this race by their own means.

Many of the above voyages take place on Spirit of Oysterhaven, Ireland's only operational non-naval Sail Training Vessel. This beautiful 70 foot Classic Schooner was completely refit for purpose and is in it's second full season. This year the vessel looks likely to reach full capacity, which raises the question about the need for further Sail Training vessels in Ireland. A

Outside of the very exciting Belfast Tall Ships Races Festival, which expects record numbers of ships and at least 15 or 20 of the Large Square Riggers (Class A's), there are a number of other local Maritime Festivals which will host Tall Ships and with whom Sail Training Ireland work closely. Namely The Dublin Port River Festival (May 30th - June 1st) and The Irish Maritime Festival in Drogheda (June 19th-21st). Each of these will have a fleet of 6-8 Small and Tall Ships visiting during the Month of June. Ships visiting Dublin can be seen in the attached document.

Further to this, Sail Training Ireland is working closely with The Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust in Liverpool (MAST) to develop an annual programme of Tall Ship Voyages around the Irish Sea, connecting the various cities and festivals and creating an "Annual Irish Sea Initiative".

Noted Guests:

Chairman is Seamus McLoughlin (Former Head of Operations of Dublin Port Company) 

Previous Chair: Kalanne O'Leary (Trustee of Sail Training International)

Amongst our Directors present will be Commodore Hugh Tully, Flag Officer Commanding The Naval Service Brendan Kenny, Assistant Chief Executive of Dublin City Council may attend

Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey may attend Charlie Murphy, Communications Manager of Dublin Port Company will attend Sean Flood – Retired Director and International Sail Training Ambassador

Speakers

William M. Nixon Master of Ceremonies

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke

Seamus McLoughlin Chairman, Sail Training Ireland

Andrew Crowley Spirit of Oysterhaven Trust / Trainee of the Year.

Introducing a video of Spirit of Oysterhaven.

Foroige Trainees Introducing a Video

Neil O'Hagan Atlantic Youth Trust

Announcing the Peace and Reconciliation Voyage Scheme

Carolanna Foley Drogheda Voyage Scheme Account

Oliver Hart Spirit of Oysterhaven Trust

Published in Tall Ships

#TallShips - Four RNLI lifeboats were involved in the rescue of 30 crew from the tall ship Astrid, which sank off the Cork coast earlier today (Wednesday 24 July).

The 42m Dutch training vessel reportedly hit rocks inside the Sovereign Islands at Ballymacus Point, near Kinsale.

All on board were brought to safety when the Kinsale lifeboat transferred the casualties from the sinking ship onto the Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat and a local vessel. They were then taken to Kinsale.

Both Kinsale and Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboats were called out at 12 noon today to go to the immediate aid of the sail training vessel that had got into difficulties on the western entrance to Kinsale Harbour in Cork.

Ballycotton and Crosshaven RNLI were also launched, though the Kinsale RNLI lifeboat was first on scene. There was a 2m swell and winds were force five to six.

The training vessel had lost power and was apparently driven on to rocks by a strong southerly wind at the western entrance to Kinsale Harbour. The grounded vessel was taking on water and a crewmember from Kinsale RNLI was put onboard.

Eighteen of the casualties were taken off the Astrid by Kinsale RNLI lifeboat and transferred to Courtmacsherry lifeboa, before being brought to safety. The remaining 12 were put onto a liferaft deployed by the Astrid’s crew, which was towed to safety by the Kinsale lifeboat and picked up by a local vessel.

The people on board the liferaft were then taken to Kinsale harbour and assessed by medical teams.

Irish Coast Guard helicopters from Waterford and Shannon were also on scene along with ambulances and medical crews from Cork.

Speaking about the call-out, Courtmacsherry RNLI coxswain Sean O’Farrell said: “Everyone was very fortunate. I want to praise the quick thinking of the skipper and the crew from the Astrid. They kept calm and did everything we asked them to do. We were able to get them to safety quickly and a major tragedy was averted. To be able to recover 30 people safely was a great day for everyone involved.”

Meanwhile, the Irish Sailing Association has issued the following media statement on behalf of the tall ship Astrid:

Tall Ship Astrid was on a voyage from Southampton to Cherbourg calling in to Kinsale. On board were 23 trainees from France, Ireland, the Netherlands, UK and Spain. The crew were from Belgium and the captain, Pieter de Kam was from the Netherlands.

As the Astrid was leaving Oysterhaven, as part of The Gathering Cruise parade of sail to Kinsale, the vessel experienced engine failure. They notified a nearby RIB which was being helmed by Irish Sailing Association (ISA) CEO Harry Hermon.

The RIB attempted to take a line from Astrid. However, due to the onshore winds and swell this was not possible. Captain de Kam issued a May Day.

The ISA RIB and the yachts in The Gathering Cruise flotilla stood by until the RNLI arrived. There was a safe rescue of all 30 crew who were brought to Kinsale on board the yacht Spirit of Oysterhaven and the lifeboat. All crew were brought to Kinsale Yacht Club where they were provided with showers, food and dry clothing. They were all medically checked and are in good health.

Sail Training Ireland and Kinsale Yacht Club are working together to make arrangements for accommodation and for returning the crew to their homes.

Commenting on the rescue, Captain Pieter de Kam of the Tall Ship Astrid stated: “I would like to thank the lifeboat and the coastguard for the safe rescue of all my crew. We very much appreciate their outstanding work.”

Harry Hermon, CEO of the Irish Sailing Association, commented: “It is thanks to the rescue services that all crew were rescued quickly and safely without injury. I would also like to thank all the sailors from the Gathering Cruise who stood by Astrid providing support to the crew.

"Kinsale Yacht Club has also been fantastic providing food and clothing and helping Sail Training Ireland find accommodation for all the crew”.

Published in Tall Ships

#TallShips – A flotilla of Tallships are to descend along Dublin's North Wall Quay as part of the first ever Dublin Port River Festival, writes Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the capitals newest premier 'riverfest' was officially launched today to mark the three-day festival this June Bank Holiday Weekend (Saturday 1 June to Monday 3 June).

Sail Training Ireland and the Dublin Port Compnay has promoted sailing for all ages to those on board the flotilla which is a combination of A & B class traditional tallships.

The Dublin bound flotilla departed Belfast this week, having attended the Titanic Maritime Festival and they are due to arrive this Friday 31 May (in advance) of the long-weekend riverfest. The hope is to make this initiative an annual sail-training programme to Dublin Port.

According to the festival website, the tallships will be open to the public are Soteria, Gulden Leeuw, Pelican of London, Johanna Lucretia and Irene. The latter pair recently took part in the 'Sail Home to Your Roots' project which culminated with an arrival at the Poolbeg YBC & Marina.

Joining in the festival fun are the Howth 17's which will race 'Between the Bridges' on the Liffey. Also not to be missed is the 'Parade of Sail' again on the river, where up to 60 traditional Old Gaffers sailing craft which will be celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Old Gaffers Association.

The festival is not exclusively all matters maritime but also jammed packed for family entertainment with shore-side stalls, events and activities. For full details of the festival programme visit: www.dublinriverfest.com

Published in Tall Ships

#RiverFestival – The new Dublin Port River Festival as previously reported on Afloat.ie is approaching ever closer when it is to take place over the June Bank Holiday (1-4 June).

The event is part of an active summer season of tall ships gatherings and particularly a journey of a lifetime awaits those on board five Tall Ships which are to sail from Belfast to Dublin for the inaugural festival on the River Liffey.

To those who got bitten by The Tall Ships bug last summer when The Tall Ships Races culminated in Dublin, here's some good news. Once you are over 16, and equipped with a sense of adventure, you can sign up for the 4 day voyage on one of these Tall Ships from Belfast to Dublin.

These splendid vessels will take part in the New Dublin Port River Festival along with Currachs and 'Old Gaffers', with races happening on the river Liffey and in Dublin Bay – again all of which are to take place over the June bank holiday.

Speaking this week of her voyage from Liverpool to Drogheda on the Johanna Leucretia, Mel Gibney said 'This whole thing has been a brilliant experience, Highly recommended.'

As previously reported, last weekend Drogheda hosted The Fringe Festival and Maritime Festival which incorporated 16 local youth joining 'The Prolific' Tall Ship crew in a voyage from Liverpool to Drogheda.

Speaking as the ships sailed up the River Boyne, Minister Fergus O'Dowd TD commented 'These Sail Training Voyages can prove hugely important in personal development and in ones' personal sense of achievement - We're thrilled to hear the great stories from the 16 locals, who participated in this voyage.

Sail Training can be a truly life changing experience, so don't miss your opportunity to participate this summer. The five ships will leave Belfast on the 28 May and arrive in Dublin Port on 1 June.

There are berths still available on board the ships during this voyage for anyone that would like to experience life at sea on a traditional Tall Ship.

Age group from 16-99 years are accepted and 'No experience needed!...

If you cannot make these dates Ocean Youth Trust Scotland and The European Organisation 'Youth in Action' are also running sail training voyages in July and August around Ireland – So log on to www.sailtrainingireland.com for further information.

 

Published in Tall Ships

#TallShips -Funding will be made available for 20 young people from Drogheda to sail at reduced rates during the Tall Ship Sailing Voyages which is to involve six tall ships sailing from Liverpool to the Irish port.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the event is part of the Drogheda Fringe and Maritime Tall Ships Festival (4-6 May), when the tall ships sail from Merseyside to the Co. Louth port between 28 April-3 May.

The vessels will be open to the public open during the festival Bank Holiday Weekend. On the following day of 6 May, a 'Parade of Sail' is to see the tallships depart the Boyne.

Sail Training Ireland and Drogheda Port Company have worked together to raise sponsorship from local businesses in Drogheda to part-fund voyages for young people aged 16-30 to sail across the Irish Sea.

Bursary's of €250 are being allocated through local organisations that work with young people, community, charity and voluntary organisations.

This brings the voyage cost to €135 per person. Any organisations such as youth groups, sports-clubs, schools, charities etc that are interested in nominating their members should contact Sail Training Ireland. Bursaries will be administered on a case by case basis.

The voyages are also available in general to anyone aged 16-99. Visit www.irishsailtraining.com for information these and other voyages.

If you are interested in taking part in this voyage please contact Sail Training Ireland at: [email protected] or (01) 8876046 / 086 0346038

 

Published in Tall Ships

#TallShips - Sail Training Ireland and Dutch based At Sea Sail Training are to the host the "Gathering at Sea" between 14-28 July.

This event will see the Tall Ship Astrid sail from Southampton to Cherbourg via Kinsale.

The 14 day voyage is part funded by the European Youth in Action Project and is the goal of International Exchanges to unite youngsters from all over Europe.

Sailing a vessel together is the best way to experience each other's cultures in real life. As we would like to offer this experience to as many young people as possible, we apply for funding with the EU program Youth in Action.

The Astrid, "Gathering at Sea" is available for 15-25 year olds and the European Union exchange programme as stated above to take in the following ports of Southampton to Cherbourg via Kinsale. Participating countries are from France, The Netherlands, UK and Ireland.

The costs are: €925 (normal fee €1,295), due to funding from the EU the price is reduced and where there is to be a 70 % of the transfer costs back). For further details contact Monique in At Sea Sail Training at this email: [email protected]

Published in Tall Ships

#DroghedaTALLSHIPS – Drogheda Port is to welcome an inaugural gathering of tallships during the Drogheda Fringe Festival in May, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The sight of these tallships heading up the Boyne and to berth along the town's quay's, will be eagerly awaited and with the sense of adventure that goes with it.

The public will be able to board the six tallships along the Ballast and Deepwater Quays, on the Bank Holiday weekend of (4-5 May), before the flotilla head for Liverpool.
In fact, Drogheda, is the first port of call for these vessels which are also to visit Dublin, Belfast, Cobh, Gloucester, Liverpool, Whitehaven and Warrenpoint during May and June.

The visit of the tallships to the Co. Louth port, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, is part of Sail Training Ireland's programme of sail training voyages in 2013, where there are more than 500 berths available, for details visit this LINK. It will also be possible to book a passage from Liverpool to Drogheda on one of these traditional sailing ships, just as it was in the 1800's!

Paul Fleming CEO said "Drogheda Port Company is delighted to be hosting the inaugural Tall Ships event. The port has a commercial heritage going back to 1790 and a historical one much further. The soft values of seaports are incredibly important to their local area, and the port community is fully supportive to the opening up of the town to tourism and recreation through the river and our port.

Following on from the first ever cruise ship to call to Drogheda Port, with the arrival of the 122 passenger 'Clipper Adventurer' last year, port officials are pro-actively engaged with tourism interests with a view to developing maritime tourism infrastructure side by side with our important commercial activities.

"Port towns and cities stand apart, and by their nature tend to be more cosmopolitan and welcoming with a unique selling point for tourism. This year will be a significant maritime year for Drogheda, and the Boyne will continue to surprise and demonstrate its true value to the locality".

Local TD Gerald Nash said "the Tall Ships will give us a visual reminder of the past but also a glimpse into the future. We need to maximise the potential of our river in terms of tourism and leisure facilities." It will provide a huge boost to Drogheda not only in terms of visitor numbers and the knock on effect to the local economy, but also in terms of the sheer pleasure it will bring to the people.

Published in Tall Ships

#TALL SHIP- The tallship Tenacious which arrived yesterday to Dublin Port, is to host an Open Day to the public this Sunday 21st October at Sir John Rogerson's Quay, from 10am - 12.30pm and 2pm - 4pm.

The 65m barque is operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust, and alongside her fleetmate Lord Nelson, are the only such tallships in the world that cater for trainee sailors of all physical abilities.

Sail Training Ireland have announced that there are limited places still available for this October's Tall Ship voyages around the Irish Sea aboard the vessel. For further details contact the Irish Branch of the JST on 01 496 0735 and in general by visiting www.jst.org.uk

Published in Tall Ships

The Celtic Mist, the new flagship of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, was berthed in Waterford city for the Tall Ships weekend writes Shay FennellyGifted to the IWDG in May 2011 by the family of a former Irish Prime Minister, Charles Haughey, who declared Irish waters a whale and dolphin sanctuary in 1991.

Celtic Mist left Waterford on Sunday morning in glorious sunshine on passage down the River Suir for the Tall Ships Parade of Sail off Dunmore East watched by thousands of people from the river bank at Passage east, Duncannon and Dunmore East.

Celtic-Mist

Ireland's only entry in the 2011 Tall Ships race from Waterford to Greenock Irish Whale and Dolphin Groups's research vessel Celtic Mist in the Tall Ships Parade of Sail off Dunmore East in Waterford. Photo: Shay Fennelly/Aquaphoto

The Tall Ships fleet was reviewed by Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service Commodore Mark Mellet and Sean Flood Sail Training Ireland (Board) and a Goodwill Ambassador for Sail Training International past the LE Aoife. Over 1200 young people, many who have never been to sea before, are onboard the 50 tall Ships sailing to Greenock.

On board Celtic Mist are Captain Fiacc Brolchain, Gary Davis, Eithne Griffith, Deirdre Slevin, Conor Ryan and trainees Siobhan Ardener (19) from Killarney, Co Kerry, and Keith Cleere (19) from New Ross, Co Wexford.

The race started slowly at 15.00hrs, five miles south of the Hook Lighthouse in 10 knots of wind and blue skies and headed for the Irish Sea to Scotland.

ComMMellet

Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service, Commodore Mark Mellet (left) and Sean Flood Sail Training Ireland (Board) and a Goodwill Ambassador for Sail Training International on board LE Aoife reviewing the Tall Ships fleet as they passed off Dunmore East, County Waterford. Photo: Shay Fennelly/Aquaphoto

 

Published in Tall Ships
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