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Displaying items by tag: Cork

#TALL SHIPS - The flagship vessel for an Asgard-type sail training programme in Cork has been locked up in a boatyard since 2007, the Irish Examiner reports.

The Omar B was supposed to be the focus of a Youthreach project based in Bantry for early school leavers. But the schooner has spent the last four-plus years in storage in Baltimore, and has been deteriorating due to lack of maintenance - despite the scheme still notionally running, the newspaper report says.

Five two-man dinghies purchased with grant money have also reportedly spent most of 2011 in storage.

Co Cork's VEC has now put the €150,000 sailing programme under review following concerns over storage costs and lack of direction for the project.

The 75ft Omar B was donated to the CCVEC by owner and builder Don Attig in 2003 and refitted for use by students thanks to generous voluntary funding. Attig said the boat was of immense benefit to students who would not otherwise be in education.

The Irish Examiner has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Tall Ships

#ANGLING - Ireland's south coast will play host to the first Irish Bass Festival this July.

Created and organised by Absolute Fishing, the lure angling event is open to all shore anglers at various venues between Tramore and Dungarvan in Co Waterford, which provide some of the best bass fishing in Europe.

The Irish Bass Festival will operate on catch-and-release rules, with anglers having to photograph their fish, using their own measuring board combined with a unique ID card provided by the organisers.

Competing anglers are also free to roam and fish anywhere along the coastline from Wexford to Cork - provided they're back in time to register their fish!

Details on requirements, reception and fishing times are available on the Irish Bass Festival website HERE.

Published in Angling
2nd February 2012

Fastnet Line Closes For Good

#FERRY NEWS - The Fastnet Line ferry service between Cork and Swansea is to close with the loss of 78 jobs.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the operator had been in examinership since last November, and a restructured business plan had been submitted with a view to resuming high-season service in April.

However, in a statement the owners of the Fastnet Line said they had been unable to raise the €1m-plus investment required and that the examinership had "failed".

All 78 jobs will be lost as the company is set to be placed in receivership or liquidation later today.

The Fastnet Line - which was worth around €30 million to Cork in tourist spending - made its maiden voyage from Swansea to Cork in 2010, and was the only direct passenger and freight link between Wales and the south coast of Ireland.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Ferry

#CORK WEEK – South Africa's Tokoloshe, Holland's Tonnerre de Breskens, Hong Kong's Signal 8 and Ireland's own Ker 39 Antix will make up one of the most competitive class zero divisions for Cork Week in many years and the early news such an international line up is bound for Cork Harbour is a major advance for Crosshaven organisers, Royal Cork Yacht Club.

From Cape Town, South Africa Mike Bartholomew will be racing at Cork Week with his Mills 40, Tokoloshe. The sleek blue hull has been tremendously successful and was in fine form last year, winning the prestigious Britannia Cup at Cowes week. A previous winner of at the Scottish Series and RORC Easter Challenge, Tokoloshe has a fine racing pedigree and represented South Africa in the 2010 Rolex Commodores' Cup.

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South Africa's Tokoloshe is heading for Cork Week in July

Mike Bartholomew explains why he is returning to Cork Week having missed the 2010 edition.

"At the start of the year, we planned out our season and Cork Week wasn't going to feature. However, we have changed our plans and will be in Crosshaven in July. The reason behind it is the relaxation of the rules about sailors classed as professionals. Tokoloshe is based in Hamble and most of the crew live in the village and work in the marine industry. None of them are paid to sail on Tokoloshe but because they are classed by ISAF as pros, this caused a major problem when entering Cork Week. I am delighted that the rules have been relaxed because we love coming to Cork Week, fantastic racing and a great atmosphere ashore, it really does tick all the boxes."

From Breskens, Holland Piet Vroon will be racing his Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens. 2010 RORC Yacht of the Year and Overall Round Ireland winner, Tonnerre has been one of the most successful yachts on the international racing circuit. Piet is now in his 80s and knows a thing or two about yacht racing. He has competed in 26 Fastnet Races, as skipper including last year's record-breaking race. Whilst Piet may well be one of the oldest competitors at Cork Week, his crew is composes of young aspiring sailors but none of them are paid to sail, that is Piet's way.

"I don't care much for the huge parties in the event village after racing but the boys love it. I prefer to relax in the evenings and get recharged for the next day's racing. The race management at Cork Week is first class and the variety of courses is excellent, one big advantage at Cork Week is that, besides the Harbour Course, there is very little tide, which means far better courses than say Cowes Week. I was introduced to Crosshaven by Dennis Doyle many years ago and I have been coming ever since."

signal 8 JMCW

Jamie McWilliam returns from hong Kong with Signal 8

From Hong Kong, Cork Week will be welcoming back one of their son's Jamie McWilliam with his brand new Ker 40, Signal 8. The McWilliam family needs no introduction to Cork Week regulars. However, Jamie has lived in Hong Kong for many years and missed out in 2010.

"We plan to bring Signal 8 over to compete in the RORC IRC Nationals in June and we have an extensive programme throughout July with our sights firmly set on the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup but Cork Week is most definitely a must.

The key ingredients to a successful regatta are great courses and excellent race management. There are other regattas that can match the superb range of courses at Cork Week but in my opinion, nobody does it better than Cork Week. If I was going to give competitors one good tip, it would be get some local knowledge on board. Back in 2000 on Swan 48 Jacobite, we were sailing towards the finish, rock hopping under Weaver's Point. Keith MacKeown was on board and his house was just yards from the finish line. Keith was lying on the foredeck with his head over the bow as we went in ducking the bricks, it made one hell of a difference to our result."

From Cape Town, South Africa Mike Bartholomew will be racing at Cork Week with his Mills 40, Tokoloshe. The sleek blue hull has been tremendously successful and was in fine form last year, winning the prestigious Britannia Cup at Cowes week. A previous winner of at the Scottish Series and RORC Easter Challenge, Tokoloshe has a fine racing pedigree and represented South Africa in the 2010 Rolex Commodores' Cup.

From Crosshaven, Ireland's Anthony O'Leary from the host club is delighted to be renewing old rivalries at the helm of his Ker 39, Antix.

"It is fantastic to hear that the South African King 40 Tokoloshe is coming to Cork Week and now that Jamie McWilliam will be bringing Signal 8 all the way from Hong Kong as well, it will make for a very competitive division. We three have been both sides of very close results in recent years and it is bound to be a real struggle on the water. Knowing Mike and Jamie, I am sure there will also be plenty of banter at the yacht club after racing!

To win at Cork Week, you have to race consistently well every day; the variety of courses evens out the design differences between the boats. I have no illusions, winning against good opposition is never easy but it makes racing at Cork Week all the more rewarding."

Published in Cork Week

#ANGLING - The Corkman has paid tribute to the late Jack O'Sullivan, one of the best known Irishmen in the coarse angling fraternity.

"He is a man who worked hard to put the town of Fermoy, and the stretches of the River Blackwater that enhance it, to the forefront of tourism," the paper writes.

"For 25 years he led from the front, not just by putting Fermoy on the map as a coarse angling destination but also his country, when he brought the likes of the World Coarse Angling Championships to Fermoy in 1968, and many other prestigious events down through the years."

A founder member of the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland (NCFFI), in 2007 O'Sullivan received a gold medal from the organisation for his services to the Fermoy Coarse Angling Association, and angling tourism both local and national.

The Corkman has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

#MCIB - The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has recommended a ministerial review of stability standards for fishing vessels following its report into the death of a crab fisherman off Co Cork in January last year.

Gerry Hegarty drowned after a wave struck the crab boat Carraig An Iasc, which was fully loaded with crab pots at the time, causing it to capsize and sending its two-man crew into the water.

Hegarty, who was not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) or other buoyancy aid, got into difficulty while attempting to swim ashore with his crewmate and skipper James Fitzgerald, who subsequently raised the alarm.

Lifeboats from Ballycotton and Crosshaven, as well as Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117, were tasked to the incident. Divers from Naval Service vessel LE Emer located the sunken crab boat but no body was found.

A coastguard search of the area continued over a number of days without success. Hegarty's body was eventually recovered on 17 February 2011 at Ringabella Strand in Co Cork.

The MCIB found it probable that the Carraig An Iasc encountered wind or wave action or a combination of both that caused the vessel to heel to an angle beyond which it was able to recover from its loaded condition. The vessel's Code of Practice Declaration of Compliance was valid until 15 July 2013.

The board noted that there have been "a number of incidents caused by overloading boats thus effecting stability", and recommended that the Minister for Transport reviews and revises the stability standards in the current Code of Practice to improve these standards.

It was also recommended that a safety notice be issued to all skippers and owners in the fishing fleet reminding them of their legal responsibility to ensure that all their crew wear PFDs or lifejackets while on deck.

The full report is available to download as a PDF from the MCIB website HERE.

Published in MCIB

 

#CORK – January 2012 kicked off to a good start for the Port of Cork with over 76,000 tons of dry bulk animal feeds unloaded in one week, a record for the Port. The high quantity of feed which was unloaded as part cargo from five large bulk carriers, gives a welcome boost to the quantities of dry bulk material handled by the Port of Cork.

In the Republic of Ireland bulk cargoes have seen an increase of 2% across all ports and this growth is a reflection of the growing confidence in the agricultural sector.

Commercial Manager, Captain Michael McCarthy said: "Unloading over 76,000tonnes of dry bulk animal feeds at Ringaskiddy Deep-water Terminal in five days is an excellent boost for the port. It demonstrates the port's capabilities when it comes to handling large ships with efficient and safe turnaround times. Many of the main feed importers are utilising the Port of Cork's deep-water capacity with Panamax vessels arriving fully laden to lighten before proceeding to other Irish or UK Ports"

Published in Port of Cork

#COASTGUARD - Sikorsky has completed production of a new S-92 helicopter for the Irish Coast Guard under the rescue service's €500 million deal with CHC Ireland.

The US-based helicopter firm and CHC formalised the purchase on Wednesday (21 December) with Irish Coast Guard director Chris Reynolds during a hand-over ceremony at the S-92 commercial helicopter assembly facility in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

Equipped for dedicated search and rescue (SAR) operations, the helicopter will provide coverage for deep Atlantic Ocean missions, service Ireland's offshore islands and provide rescue cover on the west coast from Cork to Galway.

The new aircraft will be based at Shannon and will replace the current coastguard SAR helicopter, a Sikorsky S-61, which has given 20 years of unbroken service.

According to Sikorsky, the S-92 is equipped with advanced systems and hardware, including an automated flight control system that enables the pilot to fly pre-programmed search patterns and perform delicate hover manoeuvres; a wireless intercom allowing a rescue swimmer to communicate with the crew; radio transceivers to communicate with ships and rescue services; a weather radar and infrared sensor; and a digital video system to record rescues.

Reynolds said the new helicopter - which joins four second-hand machines on a 10-year lease - represents a stepped improvement in Ireland's ability to care for and service its seagoing, coastal and island communities.

"I am very happy that the Coast Guard will operate what I consider to be the leading SAR helicopter in the world," he added.

As reported earlier this year on Afloat.ie, the new chopper is part of a deal that raised questions from a Fine Gael TD over allegations that a competing tender did not have a "good reputation".

Fergus O'Dowd questioning the contract with CHC Ireland after receiving documents in which Chris Reynolds said the Air Corps – whose helicopters are supplied by AgustaWestland - were uneqipped for the role and that no cost saving would be made if they took on the service.

Published in Coastguard

#CORKWEEK – Preparations for Cork Week 2012, one of the biggest and most succesful of Ireland's sailing regattas is well underway and this week the Royal Cork Yacht Club has launched a dedicated Cork Week 2012 website.

The event Chairman, Pat Lyons is keen to welcome all participants to the event.

"Once again, Cork Week will strive to keep down costs for all competitors, right across the board, we realise the importance of this in the current climate. However, we will make sure that the event is a memorable occasion. Next year's event will stage the Cork Week Festival, which will be a celebration of Cork's cultural heritage. Cork has a vibrant and artistic community and the festival will showcase that. We want to make Cork Week a unique experience and this will be expressed through performing arts, local cuisine and exhibitions of the history of the region. You will find bouncy castles and face painting at many events but Cork Week will provide far more than that."

Early expressions of interest have been very promising; a substantial big boat fleet is expected, including several that had a thrilling regatta in 2010. Many of the entries for the 2012 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup are also expected, including some of the best overseas yachts from Europe and further afield, including a strong team from Hong Kong.

storm2

Storm - a J109 favourite for Cork Week 2012 - Photo: Bob Bateman

The J/109 Irish National Championship will take place during Cork Week with 20 or more yachts expected from Ireland and overseas. Favourites for the national title include Pat Kelly's Storm, Irish IRC Boat of the Year and Glenn Cahill's Joie de Vivre. Paul Heys of J Boats also reports that the new J/111 class will also be well represented with at least six of the new breed debuting in their first major European Regatta.

corkweek aerial

Crosshaven, the venue, as always, for Cork Week 2012 - Photo: Bob Bateman

For the smaller IRC boats, the fleet is set to be just as competitive, the variety of sailing conditions and courses is a great all round test of the yacht and the crew and the yachts in IRC Two and Three make up a substantial percentage of the sailors racing at Cork Week. The committee hopes that the reduction in costs right across the board should be of great benefit to those boats in particular.

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Visitors berthed in Crosshaven for the 2011 event. Photo: Bob Bateman

The 1720 Class has been having a renaissance in Ireland and a large fleet of the exciting yachts is expected. Purpose built for the Cork Week courses, there are 26 1720s in Cork alone and others are expected from abroad. Charter opportunities are available.

1720s

1720s comepting at this year's European Championships in Baltimore

It has also been decided to allow professional sailors to race at Cork Week in any of the classes, as Racing Chairman, Anthony O'Leary explains.

"We don't want to prevent anybody from coming to Cork Week and we have decided to take away any of the barriers to people who want to come and enjoy some wonderful racing. Competitors can expect a variety of courses set in open water, coastal and in the harbour, which should test the crew handling and get just about every sail out of the bag. We are blessed with some superb sailing grounds and we are intent on making full use of them. The focus for Cork Week is the same as it has always been, great sailing and a fabulous atmosphere ashore."

The management team is also keen to encourage participation by charter companies and corporate entries and plans are in place to offer assistance to ensure that Cork Week is a fun-filled regatta for all.

Published in Cork Week

#SHIPPING – The Irish Exporters Association launched its Trade and Transport Analysis 2011 today (13th Dec) in Cork and its findings confirmed that 2010 was a story of recovery after two straight years of decline in 2008 and 2009. Importantly, the recovery trend has not continued into 2011, and exporters fear that shipping lines may not be able to continue the service levels they need to meet new market requirements.

Speaking at the launch of the Trade and Transport Analysis 2011 at the Port of Cork, Mr John Whelan, Chief Executive at the Irish Exporters Association, said that the analysis shows;

•             export volumes have now returned to the  pre –recession levels

•             but import volumes are still 12.9% below 2007 levels. The analysis further shows that airfreight imports are down by 36% indicating a dramatic loss in high value luxury imports, whereas sea-freight imports are down by over 9%, reflecting the depressed domestic economy.

Mr Brendan Keating, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Cork, welcoming exporters to the launch event stated; ''A 9% increase in exports are expected through the Port of Cork during 2011, which is very positive for the region.''

He went on to say the Port of Cork is committed to supporting the growth of international trade  and meeting the needs of exporters and importers of goods , particularly from the distant but rapidly growing Asian and South American markets . He also pointed to the Ports commitment by sponsoring the Deep Sea Shipping Award with the Irish Exporters Association. He concluded by saying; "The Port of Cork is happy to be associated with the Irish Exporters Association in producing the Trade and Transport Analysis 2011."

"The growth in exports volumes to pre –recession levels reflects the rapid' V ' shaped bounce back by the export sector  which was achieved despite the  depressed  international economic environment," said Mr Whelan.  However, he went on to say, the continued low volume of imports is inevitably putting huge strain on the shipping lines and airfreight lines servicing the country. "Exporters are concerned that the continued loss of volumes will lead to a deterioration of competitive services from shipping lines and haulage contractors, less revenue for ports and ultimately higher transport costs for our manufacturing export sector."

He further stated; "Major job losses in  manufacturing industry  will accelerate  unless a new integrated  transport strategy  is put in place to enable Irish exporters to effectively transport  key  imports from the major Asian supply industries into Ireland and manufacture and distribute  exports  into  Europe and America as well as back to Asia."

John Whelan then said; "In this context exporters find it befalling that  in the recent Budget that added costs were put onto the transport sector  without making allowances for the export sector . Once again we are asking the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar T.D. to introduce a Special Diesel User Rebate to support transport and export industry to ensure we have a level playing field in Europe with competitors from other EU member states who enjoy this kind of support from their governments."

The publication launched today, sponsored by the Port of Cork, looks in detail at all of the various modes of transport that are currently used to export and to import.  The publication also looks at the risk factors to Irish trade which need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.  High up on that list is the lack of regular air freight routes into and out of Ireland which accounts for  37% by value of all exports or almost €33 billion were carried by air in 2010.  However, this may not be the full picture because the CSO figures only indicate the mode of transport used to move the goods across the border of the Irish state and does not take into account which mode of transport is used after that point.  It therefore seems likely that the figures for air freight quoted above may in fact not reflect the total potential airfreight value as it is likely that a proportion of air freight is leaving Ireland by other modes in order to be air freighted from hubs in the UK or continental Europe to their final destination.

Mr Whelan concluded by saying that Ireland must continue to reinforce its existing strengths as one of the most open and globalized economies in the world (currently ranked Number Two on the Ernst & Young Globalization Index). "We must build on our progress so far by effectively resolving our transport challenges in an imaginative way and with a strong sense of urgency and determination."

Published in Ports & Shipping
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