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Against the Tide, the six-part international documentary series about the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – the only global ocean race to be contested by people from all walks of life – is to be launched in the UK next week.

Six hour-long episodes capture every emotional twist and turn, high and low of the 35,000-mile race, following the participants in the ten-month-long challenge of a lifetime. Many of the crew had never set foot on a boat before beginning their pre-race training. From their first rookie steps to becoming a highly skilled ocean racer, the series charts their progress as they deal with the immense power of the world's oceans and everything Mother Nature can throw at them.

Dramatic footage captures a man overboard in the middle of the south Atlantic, dismastings, the devastating loss of a yacht and the terrifying experience of a yacht being rolled in the near hurricane conditions in the remote waters of the north Pacific. These heart-stopping scenes combine with the euphoria of race victories, personal voyages of discovery and the cementing of friendships that will last a lifetime.

As the race draws to its final, nail-biting conclusion and the emotional homecoming to a hero's welcome, Against the Tide captures the reactions of the racers after the event, to discover exactly how this unforgettable experience has changed their lives forever.

The international TV series, created by an award winning UK production team, is being snapped up by broadcasters around the world, including the Discovery Channel. The programmes will premiere on Discovery's UK free-to-air channel QUEST in a peak mid-week slot from next Wednesday, 2 March at 9pm.

TV series Producer John Nolan says, "The Clipper Race is a remarkable human adventure played out on the high seas. Our team had unrestricted access to the crews to follow their incredible journey around the world. The series provides a unique insight into the roller coaster of emotions and experiences as novice sailors from all walks of life discover how they cope when Mother Nature throws everything she's got at them.

"We're delighted with the programmes and have received an enthusiastic reception from broadcasters such as Discovery Channel. It will be seen by millions of viewers around the world."

The biennial race was established in 1996 by legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who became the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world more than 40 years ago. He is chairman of the race which is almost full for the next event starting this summer and is already signing up crew for 2013.

Sir Robin says, "There is huge demand for this unique adventure which gives people of all ages and walks of life the opportunity to experience the thrill of ocean racing, Clipper provides extensive training and safety is our number one priority. So when our crews and their professional skippers encounter the dramatic challenges of the world's oceans, they can call upon their training and numerous safety drills to respond quickly and effectively. Taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is a great personal achievement of which they can be justly proud and the television series captures it perfectly."

Watch Against the Tide on QUEST (Freeview channel 38, Sky channel 154, BT Vision channel 38, Virgin Media channel 179) from Wednesday 2 March at 2100 GMT.

The series has been produced by North One Television, one of Europe's biggest and most successful independent media companies. It is recognised as a global producer of world class entertainment, factual, digital, sport and live event programming and has won scores of awards for its shows. It is part of the ALL3MEDIA group. www.northonetv.com

Published in Maritime TV
Shooting of Sky's sailing TV movie "Treasure Island" took to the seas as the three-masted barque, Earl of Pembroke entered Dublin Bay today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Circling above the 174-tonnes barque was a helicopter equipped with cameras. The 1948 built former timber cargo-trading vessel was not under sail, except for a lonesome single sail when off The Muglins, Dalkey Island. Instead the vessel used her own 300hp motor engine.
EARL_OF_PEMBROKE

Earl of Pembroke with helicopter above off The Muglins. Photo. Jehan Ashmore/ShipSNAPS

The two-part production starring Emmy award winning actor Eddie Izzard, is to play the role of iconic one-legged pirate, Long John Silver in the classic Robert Louis Stevenson 18th century tale of adventure and treasure. Also starring is Rupert Penry-Jones, best known for his spy role in the BBC TV series Spooks.

Since arrival to Dun Laoghaire in mid-November the 145-foot Earl of Pembroke has been undergoing modifications at the Carlisle Pier in preparation of the film. The barque is owned by the Cornwall based SquareSail which specialises in tall ships for film productions. The ship's silver-screen credits include Cutthroat Island, Frenchman's Creek, Hornblower Series III and Longitude.

The Treasure Island shoot involves two Dun Laoghaire based companies, Parallel Film Productions and the Irish National Sailing School (INSS) which is providing marine co-ordination services. The drama was commissioned for the Sky 1 HD TV channel and the director is Steve Barron (Arabian Nights, Merlin, England Manager).

The production follows 'Neverland' a two-part prequel to the Peter Pan story also produced by Parallel Films. Neverland was shot on the coast at Dalkey Sound, Killiney Hill in Co. Dublin and neighbouring Co. Wicklow. Both productions are part of a multi-million pound investment by Sky for their high-definition (HD) drama department.

In the New Year the Treasure Island production moves to Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. The drama is scheduled to be released in Christmas 2012.

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Previewing Ireland's Tall Ships 2011 Season


Can Ireland Get a New Tall Ship?

Published in Tall Ships
Emmy award winning actor Eddie Izzard is to star in a sailing remake of "Treasure Island" which will feature the 145-foot tall-ship 'Earl of Pembroke' which arrived into Dun Laoghaire Harbour yesterday, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The British comedian, voice-over artist and actor will play in the role of the iconic one-legged pirate, Long John Silver in the classic Robert Louis Stevenson 18th century tale of adventure and treasure. Also starring is Rupert Penry-Jones, best known for his spy role in the BBC TV series Spooks.

Shooting is scheduled for a five-week period, starting late November in Dublin and Cork. The Earl of Pembroke is currently berthed at Dun Laoghaire's Carlisle Pier, where SquareSail crew are adapting the vessel in preparation for shooting which includes the use of the East Pier Battery. Also assisting the shoot will be the Irish National Sailing School (INSS) based in Dun Laoghaire, which for over twenty years has provided marine co-ordination services for film and TV work.

The two-part, 120 minute drama was commissioned for the Sky 1 HD TV channel. The director is Steve Barron (Arabian Nights, Merlin, England Manager) and the producer is Laurie Borg (Made in Dagenham, Little Voice, Sense and Sensibility). Also coming on-board the film-team are Irish costume designer, Lorna Marie Mugan (Killing Bono) and line producer Des Martin (Tara Road).

In the New Year the production moves to the Caribbean island nation of Puerto Rico. It is expected that the drama be released on Sky 1 HD TV in Christmas 2012.

The Earl of Pembroke is owned by Cornwall based SquareSail which specialises in providing tall-ships for film productions. The Swedish built vessel was launched as Orion in 1948 and worked bringing timber from Scandinavia to the UK. In 1974 the vessel was laid-up for several years until SquareSail purchased her in 1979. She underwent an extensive restoration programme to emerge in 1994 in the appearance of an 18th century barque.

Setting 9,500 square foot of sails, the tall-ship has 14 sails. Should the winds be slack, the 174 ton vessel has a MAN 6 –cylinder, 300hp engine which drives a three-bladed propeller. As for her silver-screen credits, they include Cutthroat Island, Frenchman's Creek, Hornblower Series III and Longitude.

Treasure Island follows the recent filming of Neverland which included shooting locations in Dalkey and Killiney in Co. Dublin and neighbouring Co. Wicklow. Both productions are part of a multi-million pound investment by Sky for their high-definition (HD) drama department.

Looking for further reading on Tall Ships in Ireland? Click the links below:

Click this link to read all our Tall Ships Stories on one handy page


Previewing Ireland's Tall Ships 2011 Season


Can Ireland Get a New Tall Ship?

Published in Tall Ships
22nd April 2010

Welcome to Afloat TV

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Since 2003 the team behind Afloat magazine has also been producing high-end, internationally appealing and entertaining factual documentaries on the Irish waterways. The production team are a mix of creative, technical and business people whose expertise guarantees an innovative approach to production and a high-quality finished product. The focus is on marine based programmes which entertain and educate. The work has been broadcast on RTE One and internationally on Sky Channels.

 

The Bay

Screened on RTE One in 2005.

Take a trip around the one half of Ireland's capital city you probably know the least. A new four-part documentary series, The Bay will be screened over four consecutive Wednesdays in May. Using spectacular aerial and underwater footage, the series features a combination of personality-led interviews and themes to tell the story of Dublin's unique waterway. Dublin Bay stretches over six kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine. And that's why The Bay was made. The series introduces viewers to the rich diversity of activities and personalities around the bay, while also touching on the serious environmental and political issues facing it. Find out more about the bay here.

 

The Harbour

Screened on RTE One in 2007.

It’s one of the largest natural harbours in the world – and those living near Cork Harbour insist that it’s also one of the most interesting. This was the last port of call for the most famous liner in history, the Titanic, but it has been transformed into a centre for chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Giraffe wander along its shores, from which tens of thousands of men and women left Ireland, most of them never to return. The harbour is home to the oldest yacht club in the world, and to the Irish Navy. This deep waterway has also become a vital cog in the Irish economy. ‘The Harbour’ is not a history programme, nor is it a news focus. It’s simply an exploration of this famous waterway, its colour and its characters. Find out more about the harbour here.

 

The Estuary

Screened on RTE One in 2007.

The story of the Shannon estuary might well be one of neglect, except that against the odds this waterway has become one of Ireland's greatest natural resources. Windswept, sitting on the edge of the Atlantic, often ignored by the nation. The story of the Shannon estuary might well be one of neglect, except that against the odds this waterway has become one of Ireland's greatest natural resources. A new four-part documentary series, from the makers of RTÉ's The Bay and The Harbour series, uncovers the secrets of the Shannon Estuary. From flying boats to film-making, wildlife to wind-farms, the series reveals how a 100km-stretch of the Shannon waterway has become a hotbed for innovation in Ireland. Up to 40% of Irish energy needs are met here, on the shores of a waterway that is also home to Ireland's second largest airport, a 10,000 student university and a massive cargo port. Ireland - and the world - has learned from the estuary. The first duty free shop was opened here, along with the first industrial free zone. Over the years, thousands of business and political leaders from across the globe have come to Shannon to discover its secret - in the hope that they might copy it. Long before Ireland heard of green energy, this place was producing it. Listen in to dolphin conversations beneath the Shannon's waterline. Uncover the mystery of the Ark, the church on wheels built by a priest who prayed when the tide went out. Narrated by Brenda Fricker, the series aired on Friday nights at 7.30pm on RTÉ One from May 4th 2007. Find out more about the estuary here.

 

The Navy

Screened on RTE One in 2007.

60 years of the Irish Naval Service. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Irish Naval Service, this 3 x half-long feature documentary shows how the Service has evolved into a multi-tasking, multi-disciplinary force. Most Irish people rarely come into contact with the Naval Service, and so are unaware of the range of activities it undertakes. This documentary provides an ideal opportunity to reveal the full extent of the Service’s duties – and the commitment of those who serve on Ireland’s fleet.

The Regattas

Screened on RTE One, 2007 and Sky Sports in 2009.

Sailing featured in RTE’s Christmas schedules this year, with the broadcast of a half-hour documentary feature on the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2007. The production, entitled ‘The Regatta’, was shot over four days in Dublin Bay during this year’s regatta. Made by Baily Films, the company behind earlier critically-acclaimed water-based documentaries The Bay, The Harbour, The Estuary and The Navy, it features spectacular on-board footage from a range of craft competing in the event. The Regatta takes viewers both on board the competing craft, and behind the scenes, to examine the challenges thrown up by organising such a large-scale event on the bay. The Regatta was broadcast on RTE 1 on Saturday, December 22, at 4.20pm.

IN DEVELOPMENT


Afloat TV projects at an advanced stage of development include:

The Edge of Ireland


Ireland’s attitude to the seas that surround her is one of the most curious in the world. An island nation, with more coastline than most other European nations, most of her citizens look inland.

Yet no-one in Ireland lives further than 100 kilometres from the sea, and the majority of the population are housed within 10 kilometres of the coast.

More than any other European nation, our history is written on our shores. The very first settlers clung to it, fearing to explore inland. The shores fed and sustained them, and continued to sustain communities from Malin Head to Mizen Head for the next 9,000 years.

From the fort of Dun Aengus to the fields at Carnsore Point, from Inishvickillane to Bull Island, the coastline holds a key to our understanding of Ireland and ourselves.

The Edge of Ireland will uncover that hidden history of Ireland, and explore what the future holds for our coastline. Travelling around the coast, it will use local and national experts to relate individual accounts of how the sea has connected with the land to shape a local community or the nation at large.

The six half-hour series will be presented thematically, rather than using a linear journey up and down the coastline.

CONTACT

If you're keen on promoting Ireland's waterways and would like to get involved with Afloat TV please email us here.

Published in Afloat TV

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