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A short history of the Spain's Barcelona Boat Show, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, reveals how tenacious European marine companies can be in spite of economic recessions.

In June 1963, a group of personalities who are linked to sports and the nautical industry, with Juan Antonio Samaranch at the forefront and the support of Fira de Barcelona, set up the first edition of the Barcelona Boat Show. The event, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, has had a long and successful run and is, today, the sector's biggest commercial platform in Spain, its main meeting point and an international leader.

The Barcelona Boat Show is created in 1963 with the aim of boosting the sports and recreational nautical industry and promoting nautical sports. At the time, there are only a few specialised companies and marinas and an absolute lack of knowledge among the Spanish population about the possibilities of navigation. Nonetheless, thanks to the enthusiasm and drive of a group of people passionate about boating and the few professionals that existed at the time, the show manages to open its doors successfully with the participation of 150 exhibiting companies in hall 1 of Fira de Barcelona's Montjuïc exhibition centre.

After the success of the first edition, which took place within the framework of the very popular Feria de Muestras, it was agreed that the show would be an annual monographic event. In 1965, in the international category, it starts to exercise its role as a voice for the concerns of the sector, a function it has maintained until today.

Only two years later, in 1967, the nautical industry's first major boom takes place: new ports are opened, boats are built with their own design or under licence from foreign shipyards, boats can be seen in the sea, wood starts to give way too fibre glass and ranges grow considerably. In line with this development, the show sees a significant increase in exhibitors in 1969 and its organising committee prioritizes the growth of young people's enthusiasm for the sea -the appearance of the Optimist in '68 being crucial to this.

The sector undertakes actions to raise the government's awareness of the importance of carrying out reforms on registration procedures and taxation, with the aim of boosting an industry and trade that are forecast to grow and generate wealth and jobs for the country. The same year, the Law of Marinas is enacted; this is a basic toll for the expansion of the nautical industry in Spain and is considered to be one the Boat Show's most important contributions to the sector.

The 70s: the boom of tourism and nautical sports
The sector becomes more and more professional and, in the 70s, there is a notable increase in enthusiasts, although the figures show a big gap between Spain and other countries. For example, while in Spain the ratio is one boat for each 1,500 inhabitants, in Italy it is one per 192 and, in Scandinavian countries, it is one per 62. In any case, the government gives signs of its interest in the sector and the show; and in 1973, it grants it the golden plaque for tourist merit, aware of the importance of nautical tourism in Spain.

The show also continues to reinforce its sports aspect as a complement to its commercial side. Boat Show Trophy Races are organised and awards are given to the best sportspersons of the year, such as the Spanish Optimist team, which become World Champions in the races held in Sweden.

Ecology starts to make an appearance with the exhibition of the Dephins, the first electric engines. In 1976, the event receives the name of "International Boat and Sports Show" and opens up to the camping and caravanning sector.  Samaranch, who has been president of the show since its beginnings, leaves the post in 1978, having been appointed Spain's ambassador in the Soviet Union and Outer Mongolia. He is replaced by Jacinto Ballesté, also member of the founding team. In 1979, the Asociación Española de Puertos Deportivos y Turismo is founded and its secretariat is installed in the Boat Show with Jorge Salvat at the helm. This represents one further step in the sector's development.

The 80s: the popularisation of nautical activities
The 80s bring many changes and innovations: the foundations to make the show more international are laid, it is split into sectors and the dates are brought forward in order to allow shipyards to programme their purchases and production. These changes are positive for the event, which sees the number of exhibitors and exhibition floor space grow, up to the middle of this decade. New nautical sports, such as windsurfing, take off and the first solar panels to be installed on board are exhibited. Boat charters and hire start to have a place in the show, with proposals to attract a public eager to navigate but unable to afford a boat of their own.

The number of new products presented by exhibitors also increases. Electronic equipment becomes smaller and cheaper and bow propellers for medium-length boats are introduced, making it easier to dock and cast off.

Activities to bring the public into contact with the nautical world increase, with navigation courses, steering with a tow, submarine photograph contests, navigational simulators, announcement of races, etc. Associations, federations, and institutions hold more and more assemblies, juntas and meetings within the setting of the show. In short, the show, which receives the Creu de Sant Jordi (Saint Georges' Cross) from the Generalitat de Catalunya in 1988, is confirmed as the sector's meeting point.

The 90s: the first on-water show
The 90s start with optimism. In 1992, the Barcelona Olympic Games are held, which represents a turning point for tourism, including the nautical industry: charter companies are consolidated and new marinas are built.

The number of motor boats at the show increases, especially large units and fisher-cruisers, as do new products presented by exhibitors; new materials, such as the composite, the latest design and equipment proposals and the latest technological advances, above all in the field of electronics, are exhibited. The concepts of sustainability and ecology take hold in the nautical world, even in recreational fishing.

The show is also consolidated as the meeting point for the sector, which is more and more professionalized, taking its concerns to the administration via the new associations that continue to arise. It also becomes a setting for the announcement of important races.

Nonetheless, during this decade, the show's main new feature is its arrival at the sea. As an addition to the Montjuïc exhibition centre, in 1995, Port Vell is set up for the first time to provide the setting for the On-Water Show with larger national and international boats. The same year, Jordi Montserrat takes over from Miguel Rafart as director of the show. In 1998, Fira de Barcelona's Administrative Board appoints Jorge Salvat as President Emeritus, after having been the show's president for 19 editions. He is replaced by the well-known impresario Enrique Puig.

A new century: the number of nautical enthusiasts grows
Enthusiasm for nautical activities multiplies and the show begins to develop in spectacular fashion. One of the highlights occurs in 2002, coinciding with the disappearance of the peseta and the introduction of the euro: the event moves to the new, modern Gran Via exhibition centre, maintaining the On-Water Show in Port Vell. In response to sector demands, the dates are also changed to the first week in November, in order to give continuity and avoid coinciding with other international shows.

Between 2002 and 2007, the Boat Show continues to grow, boosting the leisure activities and nautical sports sectors and showcasing national and world premiers. It is also the venue for meetings of international organisations with the presence of personalities related to the nautical industry from around the world, such as the International Sailing Federation (2003). New organisations are created within the show's framework, such as the Asociación Española de Clubes Náuticos and the Asociación Nacional de Empresas Náuticas, ANEN (2006). In 2007, Jordi Freixas is appointed new director of the show to replace Jordi Montserrat.

After years of optimism, the sector begins to show signs of recession in 2008, which leads to concern that a world scale economic crisis is on the horizon. That year, Enrique Puig, the show's president, passes away and, for that edition, the president emeritus, Jorge Salvat, steps in. In 2009, Luis Conde is appointed the new president.

From that year, the effects of the crisis are heightened. Until now, the show has been carrying out actions to support companies, reinforcing its role as the main platform for energising trade and the sector's main setting, from which to express its needs and look for solutions to tackle the difficult economic situation.

Despite the recession, nautical companies have stood out for their efforts and commitment to technological innovation with the development of new, safer, sustainable and environmentally-friendly products. At the same time, lovers of the sea, who continue to grow in numbers, are looking for new formulas via which to enjoy the sea, and interest in charter and shared property is growing.

Published in Marine Trade

The last Stena line ferry sailing from Dun Laoghaire featured on the RTE News headlines last night. The ferry link is stopping because of a decline in passenger numbers and the high cost of fuel, say the operators, Stena.

The report by John Kilraine, interviewed Harbour Boss Gerry Dunne who spoke about the master plan for the harbour, how the harbour company hoped that Stena could rebuild the route, the bid to attract cruise ships and the east coast port's future as a marine leisure centre.

The masterplan is to go through the planning processs piece by piece and harbour yacht clubs have concerns over aspects of the plan.

Last night's bulletin also reported the harbour company intends to open a 'sea water baths' in the harbour next year and a diaspora centre in 2013. The RTE report is here.

See also:

Plan is a Curate's Egg

 

Dun Laoghaire Yacht Clubs are voicing concerns about the impact on sailing if a 'cruise ship jetty' is constructed as part of the recently published harbour masterplan.

Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, National Yacht Club, Royal Alfred Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht Club and Royal St George Yacht Club. are also concerned about access to the water if a proposed 'pedestrian walkway' in front of the waterfront clubs was completed.

The clubs have engaged 'professional help' to prepare a submission to outine the concerns.

Also seen as a problem is the 'lack of sufficient facilities in the masterplan for hosting significant international sailing events'.

A survey in 2009 by the Irish Marine Federation (IMF) calculated a €3million spend by participants connected with the 500-boat Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta. The clubs have previously stated they see the harbour's future as a leisure facility.

A masterplan model was on display by the Harbour Company in the month of August.

Writing to members in the current edition of the National Yacht Club's newsletter commodore Paul Barrington says the clubs 'hope to further engage with the harbour [company] to find a mutually acceptable way forward'.

Water Rat: Harbour Plan is a Curate's Egg

 

 

Published in Dublin Bay

While it might be an exaggeration to say that all of the 21 crew members of Rambler 100 owe their lives to the Irish Search and Rescue service, there are certainly five people whose future prospects were greatly improved by the operation off the Fastnet Rock on August 15th. A lot of media focus has been on Coxswain Kieran Cotter and the crew of Baltimore Lifeboat as well as lifeboat mechanic Jerry Smith, whose dive boat, on charter to the media team of one of the competitors, was on hand to search and recover the five drifting crew. There is no question that this focus is appropriate. RNLI crews all over the UK and Ireland deserve the attention, not only because of their extraordinary voluntary dedication to the cause, but also because such publicity helps swell the coffers of the charity. The service could not operate without the generosity of the donors and incidents such as these help fill the blue boat-shaped boxes held by even more RNLI volunteers.

Rambler_rescue_pheado_2

Saved: Ireland's Rescue Services Answered the Call of the capsized Supermaxi Rambler 100 off the Fastnet Rock. Photo: Team Phaedo


The dramatic stories and pictures dominating the media show the front line of a quite wonderful resource that is Search and Rescue in Ireland today. Baltimore Lifeboat was at the coal face of an intricate network of operations, triggered by the crew's EPIRBs. Irish Coast Guard radio officers in Valentia responded almost immediately tasking the rescue resources, working the phones and computers to confirm that this was not an accidentally triggered EPIRB, contacting RORC HQ, determining search patterns and relaying the information to the scene. It was the backroom contacts between RORC and the Coast Guard in endeavouring to contact Rambler 100 using satellite phones that confirmed the possibility of a catastrophic incident involving the Supermaxi. The subsequent tasking of the Shannon and Waterford based Sikorsky helicopters led to the medevac of crew member Wendy Touton and timely treatment of her hypothermic condition, initially by the on-board paramedics and later at Tralee General hospital. And Coast Guard involvement didn't end with the successful rescue – the shoreside operation to provide food and shelter in Baltimore was coordinated by Coast Guard personnel and the salvage operation of the hull of Rambler 100 was overseen by the Irish Coast Guard.

Rambler_rescue_phaedo_4

Rambler crew are recovered from the water after a SAR operation by the Irish Coastguard Photo: Team Phaedo. More photos here.


That Ireland has probably one of the best Search and Rescue services in the world goes back to the campaign initiated in 1988 by Joan McGinley, following the death, within sight of land of Donegal fisherman John Oglesby, whose leg was severed in a trawl winch. Eamon Doherty, the late former Garda Commissioner chaired the review group established in response to the campaign and his report led to the establishment of the Irish Marine Emergency Service, subsequently the Irish Coast Guard. Under the guidance of Director Capt Liam Kirwan, the new service moved quickly to become not only the central co-ordinating body for Search and Rescue, but developed its own resources, notably the helicopters, previously tasked in from Irish Air Corps and UK SAR.
Another element that will feature in the Rambler 100 incident is the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB), set up from recommendations arising from a review of the handling of investigations into marine casualties.

It might be thought that the incident is now closed, but there are many unanswered questions and the investigation will be looking at these and making recommendations that should improve safety in this sector. These questions will include EPIRB performance, liferaft deployment and grab bag usage, but perhaps the key issue yet to be determined is why the response from fellow competitors didn't appear to happen. Even if Channel 16 wasn't being actively monitored, and if not why not, shouldn't the Mayday set off by the Coast Guard have set off the DSC alerts on the radios of Rambler 100's fellow competitors? Had the incident occurred several hours later or earlier when Rambler 100 could have been up to 100 miles from the nearest land, when conditions worsened, we could be looking at much more serious consequences.

It is heartening to think that, in this small country of ours in troubled times, not only do we have a shining star in our search, rescue, recovery and restore system, involving professionals and volunteers cooperating for the greater good, we also have a system that determines the nature of incidents so that we can all learn from the experience.
And let us not forget those people and services, such as the Gardai, Navy, Army and the community of Baltimore who are outside the media spotlight who contributed to this happy ending.

Afloat's Latest Coastguard News

Afloat's Latest RNLI Lifeboat News

Afloat's Latest MCIB News

 

 

Published in Water Rat
Marine Academy students from Plymouth on the English south coast who have been taking part in the 2011 Tall Ships Race have certainly proved they are able-bodied sailors.

Not only has their ship, The Moosk been placed third in class in the first leg of the race, but they were awarded the youngest crew trophy and won their skipper's weight in food and drink having been the first 2011 tall ship to arrive at Unst.

Eighteen of the St Budeaux School's 14-19 year olds have been involved in the international event which started in Waterford, Ireland and included ports of call at Greenock, Scotland and Lerwick in the Shetland Isles, continuing to Stavanger in Norway before finally dropping anchor at Halmstad in Sweden at the beginning of August.

The 18 students who successfully completed a rigorous selection before finally becoming crew for a section of the race on the tall ship Moosk were split into three groups.

The first six sailed from Plymouth to Waterford where six more Marine Academy students took over and raced in the first leg, Race One, from Waterford to Greenock. Once in Greenock, the crew changed again and the final six students sailed to Lerwick before returning home this weekend.
The young sailors are buoyed up with their successes.
In their latest messages on Facebook they say: "Wahoo just arrived in Lerwick, we've had an amazing time already. We've been to Unst and rounded Mukkle Flugga, the most northern point in Britain. We won the Captain's Weight in Unst - proud - and had a parade with Vikings. All in all it's been amazing so far."
Marine Academy Plymouth is planning a celebration evening in September for the students who joined hundreds of other youngsters crewing ships from Russia, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Colombia, Spain and France.
Helen Mathieson principal at Marine Academy Plymouth said: "The success of all our young people taking part in the fantastic event which is the Tall Ships Race is a very fitting end to the  Marine Academy Plymouth's first year.
"All the students who have taken part have learned so much - about themselves, what they can achieve and how they can make success happen by working with others.  All of them have been part of winning teams and have felt the joy of making it happen for themselves; their horizons have been widened by the whole experience."

Published in Tall Ships
A public consultation on the future of Cork Harbour is open until 15 July.
Copies of the 300-page Cork Harbour Study are currently available at Cork County Council offices and online at www.corkcoco.ie, The Southern Star reports.
The study outlines possibilities for the long-term future of the coastline in and around the harbour, including but not limited to the development of disused or under-used areas, and sustainable patterns of settlement and industry.
Ideas the report puts forward for public debate include a new marina for Cobh, more shoreline pedestrian and cycleways, a new container terminal at Ringaskiddy and initiatives for marine-related employment.
"A balance between the development and amenity roles of Cork Harbour is only likely to be maintained if there is public support for this," said outgoing Cork Mayor Kevin Murphy. "Greater use and better public access to its amenities and recreational facilities will make this more likely."

A public consultation on the future of Cork Harbour is open until 15 July.

Copies of the 300-page Cork Harbour Study are currently available at Cork County Council offices and online at www.corkcoco.ie, The Southern Star reports.

The study outlines possibilities for the long-term future of the coastline in and around the harbour, including but not limited to the development of disused or under-used areas, and sustainable patterns of settlement and industry.

Ideas the report puts forward for public debate include a new marina for Cobh, more shoreline pedestrian and cycleways, a new container terminal at Ringaskiddy and initiatives for marine-related employment.

"A balance between the development and amenity roles of Cork Harbour is only likely to be maintained if there is public support for this," said outgoing Cork Mayor Kevin Murphy. "Greater use and better public access to its amenities and recreational facilities will make this more likely."

Published in Cork Harbour

Visiting Castletownbere this weekend, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, announced a 'Special Assistance for Young Fishermen' scheme. Fishermen under 40 years of age who have not previously owned a fishing vessel can avail of grant aid up to 15% (to a maximum of €50,000) of the acquisition cost of a second-hand whitefish vessel.

Speaking about the scheme the Minister called it, "a positive stepping stone for future entrepreneurship within the fishing industry". He also highlighted how "new blood and fresh thinking are essential for the ongoing development of any industry. This Scheme will assist and enable young fishermen who have a proven track record within the sector to set themselves up as managers of their own vessels, set their own targets and goals, and hopefully impart their knowledge to those they take on to work with them."

The Minister also announced €84,000 in grant aid for seven seafood companies in the Cork area under the BIM Seafood Value Adding Scheme. The grant aid underpins an overall investment of €213,500 in the area.

As he announced the grant aid, the Minister congratulated the companies on their successful projects, "Focusing on innovating and adding value will secure a long term, competitive future for Irish seafood companies. It is heartening to witness the level of ingenuity and creativity coming from these companies, backed by a sound business capacity. It really bodes well for the seafood industry's future in Cork".

The Minister has also requested that BIM would begin a comprehensive economic survey of the Castletownbere area to determine the level of seafood activity in the area and establish its economic importance for the region. Minister Coveney said "This Report will provide hard economic evidence on the dependence and economic importance of seafood in the region. This will help to inform future policy making for the area at Local, National and EU level. With the completion of world class harbour facilities in Castletownbere in the coming months it is vitally important that everybody can work together to maximise the true economic potential of the Region. I feel this study by BIM, highlighting the economic importance of the Seafood sector for the Region, will help to drive on the development of the industry in West Cork and Castletownbere in particular".

Adding value to Irish seafood is a key strategic driver for BIM as Ireland's seafood development agency and they estimate that an additional €50 million in value added seafood sales can be created by 2012. The opening of BIM's Seafood Development Centre in 2009 has encouraged significant uplift in new product development and innovation, with 178 seafood companies availing of its services in 2010. For more information on the Seafood Value Adding Scheme visit www.bim.ie

 

Published in Fishing
Tagged under
A new EU-funded project is tracking the movements of seabirds along the Atlantic coastlines of Ireland, the UK, France, Spain and Portugal.
The Future of the Atlantic Marine Environment (FAME) project aims to pinpoint areas that are important for Europe's seabirds. This knowledge may assist in the selection of marine conservation areas to protect declining species.
According to Surfbirds News, the researchers are taping tiny GPS trackers to the backs of seabirds, allowing the scientists to accurately pinpoint their movements between the birds' nesting colonies and the areas of sea they use to find food.
"Up to know we've known very little about the movements of these birds when they venture out to sea to find food," said seabird scientist Dr Ellie Owen. "But now, just when these birds need our help, we're on the cusp of filling this information void with vitally-important data."
Surfbird News has more on the story HERE.

A new EU-funded project is tracking the movements of seabirds along the Atlantic coastlines of Ireland, the UK, France, Spain and Portugal.

The Future of the Atlantic Marine Environment (FAME) project aims to pinpoint areas that are important for Europe's seabirds. This knowledge may assist in the selection of marine conservation areas to protect declining species.

According to Surfbirds News, the researchers are taping tiny GPS trackers to the backs of seabirds, allowing the scientists to accurately pinpoint their movements between the birds' nesting colonies and the areas of sea they use to find food.

"Up to now we've known very little about the movements of these birds when they venture out to sea to find food," said seabird scientist Dr Ellie Owen. "But now, just when these birds need our help, we're on the cusp of filling this information void with vitally-important data."

Surfbirds News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Hundreds of schoolchildren protested at Stormont last week to call for new laws to protect Northern Ireland's coastal waters, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
The group handed a petition with 4,000 signatures to Environment Minister Alex Attwood urging the introduction of a Marine Bill which would provide special marine conservation zones and restrict harmful maritime activities.
At present, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with no legal safeguards for the protection of its coastline.
The Northern Ireland Marine Task Force, which is heading the campaign, says "over-reaching legislation" is needed to preserve the North's marine wildlife and plantlife habitats.
The Belfast Telegraph has more in the story HERE.

Hundreds of schoolchildren protested at Stormont last week to call for new laws to protect Northern Ireland's coastal waters, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The group handed a petition with 4,000 signatures to Environment Minister Alex Attwood urging the introduction of a Marine Bill which would provide special marine conservation zones and restrict harmful maritime activities.

At present, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with no legal safeguards for the protection of its coastline.

The Northern Ireland Marine Task Force, which is heading the campaign, says "over-reaching legislation" is needed to preserve the North's marine wildlife and plantlife habitats.

The Belfast Telegraph has more in the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
The first Cork Harbour Summer School, hosted by Meitheal Mara, takes place on Friday 10 June at the Custom House Offices of the Port of Cork.
The school, to be opened by Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney, will bring together speakers from the principal authorities with responsibility for the harbour and people with a vision for its future.
The summet school will encourage a better appreciation of Cork Harbour as a resource, with a focus on subjects from leisure in a working port to history and heritage, marine recreation, leisure tourism, and getting people afloat.
There will also be ample time for mingling and exchange of views informally between contributors and audience, which is an important part of the school.
The Cork Harbour Summer School is part of Ocean to City, Cork’s maritime festival with a programme of activities from Friday 3 to Sunday 12 June.
The event is free for individuals. RSVP no later than Friday 3 June.
More details about the Cork Harbour Summer School programme is available HERE.

The first Cork Harbour Summer School, hosted by Meitheal Mara, takes place on Friday 10 June at the Custom House Offices of the Port of Cork.

The school, to be opened by Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney, will bring together speakers from the principal authorities with responsibility for the harbour and people with a vision for its future.

The summer school will encourage a better appreciation of Cork Harbour as a resource, with a focus on subjects from leisure in a working port to history and heritage, marine recreation, leisure tourism, and getting people afloat.

There will also be ample time for mingling and exchange of views informally between contributors and audience, which is an important part of the school.

The Cork Harbour Summer School is part of Ocean to City, Cork’s maritime festival with a programme of activities from Friday 3 to Sunday 12 June.

The event is free for individuals. RSVP no later than Friday 3 June.

More details about the Cork Harbour Summer School programme are available HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour
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