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Due to an opportunity for its owners overseas Dublin City's only powerboat training school, City Powerboat School is on the market. The Irish Sailing Association recognised training establishment is advertised in next week's edition of Afloat magazine. The school operates in the 'highly visible' River Liffey area. School principal Felix Finlay says 'the position of the school in Dublin City has attracted many enquiries, for not only powerboat training courses, but sail training, tourism activities, and educational opportunities'. More here.

Published in Marine Trade

For the first time since 1998, Dublin City will welcome back sailing's International Tall Ships Races, presented by Szczecin, Poland. As final host port for the 2012 Tall Ship Races, the event will see up to 100 Tall Ships sail into Dublin for a four day Festival and celebration, from Thursday the 23rd August to Sunday 26th August, 2012. Ships from as far away as Chile, Mexico, Argentina, USA and European and Baltic countries including Italy and Norway will chart their course to Dublin.

Over 5000 participants will compete in these "experience of a lifetime" races and there will be opportunities for young trainees from Dublin to be selected to participate in the races. The event offers young people a unique setting for developing essential life skills like team building, leadership, multi-cultural understanding and friendship with participants from up to 50 countries taking part.

The Lord Mayor said, "The visit of the Tall Ships to Dublin will be the biggest event in Ireland in 2012. It will provide a major boost to all city businesses and will enhance Dublin's position as a major International event destination. It should be great fun for everyone, young and old".

The next 18 months will see opportunities for businesses to get involved in sponsorship of the event such as the Trainee Recruitment Programme. These magnificent ships will also take bookings for corporate hospitality and it is expected that 1.5 million visitors from home and abroad will attend a full programme of activity and entertainment for all ages during the festival.

Commenting at the launch of the Tall Ships 2012, Mr. Enda Connellan, Chair of the Tall Ships Steering Group said, "When Dublin last hosted the Tall Ships Races in 1998 it reminded us all of the rich history and close associations between the port and the city that has grown up around it. When the Tall Ships return in August next year they will be greeted by a significantly altered skyline that now includes the Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin Convention Centre, the Spire, the Grand Canal Theatre and the O2. One million citizens visited the Tall Ships festival then and I have no doubt that many more will experience the carnival atmosphere when these magnificent sailing ships return to Dublin in 2012"

The races in 2012 will visit the ports of St. Malo in France, Lisbon in Portugal, Cadiz and La Coruna in Spain, from where they will set sail on the last leg of their races to their final host port, Dublin.

Eamonn O'Reilly, CEO of Dublin Port Company that manages Dublin Port said, "I am delighted to welcome the Tall Ships Races to Dublin Port, Ireland's premier port. The Port handles 50% of all Ireland's imports and exports, making it a significant facilitator of Ireland's economy. In addition it welcomes 1.7 million tourists through the ferry companies operating there and 2010 saw an additional 130,000 tourists and crew from the 85 cruise ship calls to the Port "

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

There will be no match racing on the south coast this year following a rejig of the fixtures calendar.

After two years of expansion for match racing in terms of events the theme for 2011 is consolidation.

Changes to the ISA SailFleet schedule for the boats mean that we have had to go through a rejigging of the match racing calendar.

The major impact is that Royal Cork YC are to take the boats latter than originally hoped meaning that they will be unable to host a leg of the Tour.

With Kinsale not taking part in the SailFleet scheme this year that means no match racing on the south coast for the first time in a couple of years.

With no tie up with the Dun Laoghaire Festival of Cultures available this year a date of July 23rd and 24th has been settled on for the Ireland vs The World International.

The highlight of last year this event will once again pit Irelands 6 best match racers against 6 teams from the rest of the world. Once again National and Tour champion John Sheehy will captain the Irish team.

The Leinster Match Racing Open, to be hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club, has been moved to July 16th and 17th to allow it to act as qualification for the Irish team for the following weekend and to give Laura Dillion and the Gladiators (Sam Hunt, Paddy Blackley, Peter Bayly, Richard Murphy) competitive practice immediately before heading over to Poland to represent the country at the ISAF Nations Cup.

Howth Yacht Club's, Dublin Match Racing Open stays with a date of September 3rd and 4th before we head for Lough Derg and the Womens (October 15th and 16th) and Open National Championships (November 5th And 6th).

All of the above means that here will be no Munster Match Racing Open this year and work continues to find a host for the IUSA Student Match Racing Nationals with Galway a potential for early April. There has been considerable work on the cost of entry for events over the winter and the majority of events will have a basic entry of €330 this year. All events will be run at ISAF grade 3.

Revised calendar

July 16-17th – Leinster Match Racing Open, Royal Irish Yacht Club
July 23-24th – Ireland vs The World International, Royal St George Yacht Club
September 3rd and 4th – Dublin Match Racing Open, Howth Yacht Club
October 15th and 16th - Womens Match Racing Championships, Lough Derg Yacht Club
November 5th and 6th – National Match Racing Championships, Lough Derg Yacht Club

Published in Match Racing
A new masterplan to make Dun Laoghaire a port of call for the cruise liners of the future is on the cards, according to The Irish Times.
Gerry Dunne, chief executive of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, said Ireland's east coast is in need of a facility to cater for cruise ships of the size now being built.
Plans would involve excavating the harbour to a depth of 9.5 metres and building longer berths to accommodate ships that will reach more than 300 metres in length.
Dunne said Dun Laoghaire needed to think about its future as the harbour's "lucrative contract" with Stena for its high-speed ferry service is due to expire in April.
The plans are supported by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and the local chamber of commerce. No details of costs or funding of the project have yet been made available.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company has issued an invitation to tender for a new floating berth for cruise liners despite being refused permission to continue development of the Carlisle Pier site.

A new masterplan to make Dun Laoghaire a port of call for the cruise liners of the future is on the cards, according to The Irish Times.

Gerry Dunne, chief executive of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, said Ireland's east coast is in need of a facility to cater for cruise ships of the size currently being built.

Plans would involve excavating the harbour to a depth of 9.5 metres and building longer berths to accommodate ships that will reach more than 300 metres in length

Dunne said Dun Laoghaire needed to think about its future as the harbour's "lucrative contract" with Stena for its high-speed ferry service is due to expire in April.

The plans are supported by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and the local chamber of commerce. No details of costs or funding of the project have yet been made available. The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company has issued an invitation to tender for a new floating berth for cruise liners despite being refused permission to continue development of the Carlisle Pier site.

Published in Dublin Bay

The Dublin Seaways, one of the two ro-pax sisters that served DFDS Seaways Dublin-Birkenhead route, which closed down last month, has been sold to Stena Line, writes Jehan Ashmore.

DFDS Seaways sold the 21,856grt vessel to Stena North Sea Line for €24m. Stena operate the Killingholme-Hoek van Holland and Harwich-Rotterdam routes though it remains uncertain as to where the 1997 built vessel will be allocated to or possibly chartered.

Only last month, Stena entered into an agreement that offers their freight customers to use DFDS Harwich-Esbjerg and Immingham-Esbjerg routes. In essence Stena buys freight capacity from DFDS vessels through a so called 'space-charter' arrangement. Stena will be marketing the routes under their own brand.

In the meantime the Dublin Seaways is temporary running on DFDS Seaways Rosyth-Zeebrugge route in a freight-only capacity. The Scottish-Belgium route ended taking passengers in mid-December. The North Sea route remains the only ro-ro freight service operating between Scotland and to the continental Europe.

The second ro-pax that served on the Irish Sea route, Liverpool Seaways made a final call to Dublin port on 31 January (click here for picture and related story) prior to sailing for Immingham. She subsequently sailed on a repositioning voyage to the Baltic Sea, initially to take up service on the Kiel-Klaipeda route though the vessel is due to switch to the Karlshamn-Klaipeda route from 21 February.

Liverpool Seaways will be reflagged to the Lithuania flag and will replace the existing route ro-pax vessel, Lisco Optima which transfers to the Kiel route. Incidentally the Lisco Optima (1999 / 25,206grt) like the former Irish Sea sisters was also built at the Visentini shipyard in Donada, Italy.

DFDS Seaways exit of the Irish Sea ferry market also included the closure of the freight-only Dublin-Heysham route served by the 13,704grt Anglia Seaways. It was expected that the vessel would be transferred also to the Baltic, but the vessel remains berthed in Avonmouth Docks.

Published in Ferry
The planned connection of Dublin's main coastal and canal cycling routes has been put on hold following "intensive lobbying", the Dublin Observer reports.
Planning permission had already been granted by Dublin Ciy Council for the completion of the €10m project to connect Portobello and the Grand Canal with East Wall Road via the Docklands.
But the council is now "re-evaluating" the section between Docklands and Fairview Park following complaints from East Wall residents, prompting the suspension of €4 million of funding by the Department of Transport.
Council officials and councillors have also apparently disagreed on what public consultation had happened with residents in the East Wall area regarding the cycle route.
Fine Gael Cllr Naoise Ó Muirí has argued that the "rationale for the strident opposition from within East Wall seemed pretty flimsy at best".
The Dublin Observer has more on the story HERE.

The planned connection of Dublin's main coastal and canal cycling routes has been put on hold following "intensive lobbying", the Dublin Observer reports.

Planning permission had already been granted by Dublin Ciy Council for the completion of the €10m project to connect Portobello and the Grand Canal with East Wall Road via the Docklands.

But the council is now "re-evaluating" the section between Docklands and Fairview Park following complaints from East Wall residents, prompting the suspension of €4 million of funding by the Department of Transport.

Council officials and councillors have also apparently disagreed on what public consultation had happened with residents in the East Wall area regarding the cycle route.

Fine Gael Cllr Naoise Ó Muirí has argued that the "rationale for the strident opposition from within East Wall seemed pretty flimsy at best".

The Dublin Observer has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay
Foot-passengers will soon no longer have the choice in taking the ferry over to Merseyside, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Dublin-Liverpool (Birkenhead) route, operated by DFDS Seaways which is due to close on 31 January, is the only ferry operator that facilitates the inclusion of foot-passengers between the Liffey and the Mersey. P&O (Irish Sea) cater only for passengers accompanied with their vehicles and freight-trucks. As for Seatruck Ferries this is primarily a freight operation, though a very limited number of spaces are available for cars (up to two people).

Closure of the Birkenhead route will see the withdrawal of the 21,856 grt Italian built sister-ships Dublin Seaways and Liverpool Seaways. There are a number of options being investigated as to where the ro-pax pair will go, they may be deployed on other DFDS Seaways routes or placed on a sale charter arrangement.

In addition the Danish-owned shipping company is to close the freight-only Dublin-Heysham route this month. The route is served by the 13,074 grt Anglia Seaways which has a 114-trailer capacity. The vessel is due to be transferred to the Baltic Sea, according to DFDS Seaways which also operates an extensive route network in the North Sea.

Unlike DFDS Seaways use of the double river-berth terminal at Birkenhead, on the Wirral Peninsula, P&O and Seatruck vessels navigate through locks into the extensive Liverpool Docks system. Interestingly all three operators use sister-ships with P&O running the Dutch built ro-pax's Norbank and Norbay and Seatruck Ferries Spanish built Clipper Pace and Clipper Pennant.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Waterways Ireland has confirmed that further dredging of the Grand Canal in Dublin will commence this month and continue till the end of April.
The canal will be closed to navigation from Lock C4 at Baggot Street to Lock 1 at Suir Road for the removal of sediment and rubbish between Mespil Road and Portobello Harbour, making the canal navigable for a large range of boats.
Traffic management plans have been agreed with Dublin City Council to keep disruption to a minimum, and discussions have taken place with the National Parks and Wildlife Service on measures to minimise the impact on sensitive habitats along the canal.

Waterways Ireland has confirmed that further dredging of the Grand Canal in Dublin will commence this month and continue till the end of April on the inland waterway.

The canal will be closed to navigation from Lock C4 at Baggot Street to Lock 1 at Suir Road for the removal of sediment and rubbish between Mespil Road and Portobello Harbour, making the canal navigable for a large range of boats.

Traffic management plans have been agreed with Dublin City Council to keep disruption to a minimum, and discussions have taken place with the National Parks and Wildlife Service on measures to minimise the impact on sensitive habitats along the canal.

Published in Inland Waterways
At this quiet time of the year, vessels from Irish Sea ferry operators are taken off routes to undergo annual dry-docking, writes Jehan Ashmore.

In the case of Irish Ferries, their Rosslare-Pembroke Dock route vessel, Isle of Inishmore arrived on the Mersey yesterday at the Cammell Laird dry-dock facility in Birkenhead.

The 1997 Dutch-built Isle of Inishmore had relieved the 50,938 tonnes 'flagship' Ulysses from the Dublin-Holyhead route which too had gone to Birkenhead for maintenance since January 4th.

The Ulysses is now back on service and the company's French routes cruiseferry, Oscar Wilde is covering the Isle of Inishmore's absence from Rosslare-Pembroke Dock sailings.

Continental services to France on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route will resume on February 16th when the Oscar Wilde returns from her overall. The Bahamas flagged vessel will re-open seasonal Rosslare-Roscoff sailings starting on May 13th.

In addition to conventional tonnage Irish Ferries also operate the fast-craft catamaran Jonathan Swift in tandem with Ulysses on the Dublin-Holyhead route. The Ulysses takes 3 hours 25 minutes while the 39-knot catamaran craft marketed as the Dublin 'Swift' is advertised with a scheduled passage time of 1 hour and 49 minutes.

The Australian-built catamaran was taken off the central corridor route yesterday to be drydocked also in Birkenhead until January 18th. Dublin Swift sailings return to the Dublin-Holyhead route on February 19th with the first crossing to depart at 14.30 hours from the capital port.

For the latest information on ferry sailings and reservations click: www.irishferries.com

Published in Ports & Shipping
An exciting sailing opportunity for Irish amateur sailors to learn the ropes onboard the Belem, a 115-year French barque, is to take place when the vessel set sails from Lorient in Brittany on 27 June, writes Jehan Ashmore. 
The vessel is scheduled to arrive in Cork on 1 July where the ship will remain in port until departing on 4 July. The barque will then head for Roscoff with an en-route call to the Scilly Isles, before docking in France with an afternoon arrival on 8 July.

If you are interested in this adventure, registration is open until 1 March for those registering through the Alliance Française. A special Alliance Française price (excluding insurance) costs €780 and for €660 for those under 20 years of age. To book your place email: [email protected]

In July last year, the Belem, was chartered to make a special voyage to Dublin to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Alliance Française in the capital. Taking part in the passage from Roscoff were 17 Irish people who joined in the crew. The four-day visit also celebrated the French national day, Bastille Day (14 July) which formed part of the inaugural French Market, held on the quayside close to the Convention Centre.

The ship was launched on June 10th 1896 and built in Nantes. She was named the Belem, after the north Brazilian port where the Crouan family had founded a trading post a few generations earlier. For nearly two decades the Belem sailed the Atlantic, carrying a diverse range of cargo but mostly spices, sugar and cocoa beans. The Belem would sail upriver on the River Seine to supply the cocoa beans for a Paris-based chocolate-maker.

During her long and varied career, the barque was sold to Arthur Ernest Guinness in 1921. Under the control of the Irish brewing dynasty, the vessel was renamed Fantôme II. The Guinness family established a strong attachment to the vessel which was completely refurbished from a working cargo vessel into that of a luxurious appointed yacht capable of accommodating 40 guests. Part of the work included an extension to the deckhouse for the purposes of a floating office, so business could be conducted, wherever the vessel happened to be.

In the period between March 1923 to March 1924 the Fantome went on a round the world tour going through the Panama Canal on the way out and returning via the Suez Canal.

Since 1987 the Belem has provided sail-training opportunities and is owned and operated by the Belem Fondation, a Paris based organisation set up by the Caisses d'Epargne, BPCE Group, after they bought back the ship in 1979. The principle role of the foundation is to keep the three masted barque as part of France's National Heritage. The vessel's historical and cultural significance was recognised in 1984 when the French government listed the barque as an historic monument.

Aside the role of sail training the Belem is unique in that she continues to carry occasional commercial cargo. In recent years the vessel has carried cargoes of wine from Bordeaux to Montreal in the Canadian French speaking province of Quebec. For information about Alliance Française in Ireland logon HERE in addition to the history and work of the Belem Foundation by clicking here.

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
Page 10 of 14

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