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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Festivals

Tomorrow morning walkers at Dun Laoghaire Harbour's pier-heads will have close-up views of the departing Solitaire du Figaro race fleet and a French Navy patrol vessel, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At 11 o'clock the third race-leg heads for Les Sables d'Olonne, Vendée, a distance of 475 miles. They will be accompanied by the (OPV) offshore patrol vessel PSP Cormoran (P677) which is scheduled to depart in advance at 10 o'clock so to allow the boats to gather in Dublin Bay. From there the PSP Cormoran will act as an escort 'guard-ship'. A role in which she has been engaged since the prestigious solo-sailor race started a fortnight ago.

The 447 tonnes OPV provides communication liaison and assistance should the forty six sailors require during the arduous race including SAR. As such the vessel can deploy a rapid response high speed RIB-craft from an internal dock-well located at the stern.

Otherwise the RIB is used to board fishing vessels as part of fishery monitoring duties and patrolling France's Exclusive Economic Zone out to 200 nautical miles (370 km). She is a Flamant class OPV and was built in 1997 by the Cherbourg based shipyard Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie. The 54m/177-ft craft is equipped with two 12.7mm machine guns.

As Dun Laoghaire is the only international port of call during the four-leg stages of the 1,695 nautical miles (3,390kms) the hosting of the Irish harbour is a welcomed boost to the sailing community and the local economy. Leading off the Carlisle Pier are pontoons where the one-design boats are moored and opposite is the East Pier jetty berth where the PSP Cormoran is docked.

Also at the East Pier is a festival market which is part of the Festival des Bateaux. The three-day festival ends tomorrow and was organised by the race-hosts the National Yacht Club, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. For further festival details click HERE.

The presence of a foreign naval visitor to the harbour was more commonplace particularly during festivals held in the 1980's. In addition to the French, navies from Belgium, The Netherlands were regular festival participants.

Published in Navy
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