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Seascapes Friday 16 August 2013



The maritime programme for this island nation

presented and produced by Marcus Connaughton.

Hello and welcome aboard Seascapes your maritime programme …….this week we feature a man steeped in our maritime traditions and heritage – his father was the Captain of the Lightship Ierne with the Commissioners of Irish Lights and when this seafarer was born his family lived on the vessel – that seafarer is Captain Dermot Gray who is the Master of the Granuaile – the flagship vessel of the Commissioners of Irish Lights – we met up a short while ago and Dermot told Seascapes how he came to have a love for the sea and a lifelong connection with our lighthouses and their traditions and the work of the Commissioners of Irish Lights and the role performed by the Granuaile…..

Captain Dermot Gray Master of the Granuaile the flagship of the Commissioners of Irish Lights.

This coming week sees Heritage Week being celebrated throughout the country with access to public buildings , coastal tours and if you check The Heritage Council website which is or visit your local Tourist Office you can get all the information you require – this weekend at the Custom House in The Port of Cork I’ll be giving a talk on our Maritime Heroes from Bransfield to Crean to Crozier; Admirals Brown and Barry ;John Philip Holland; Ernest Shackleton ; John de Courcy Ireland and Damian Foxall.

The talk begins at 2pm on Saturday – to book You should call 021 4625375 that’s 021 4625375 also you can visit the Irish Naval service Coastal Patrol Vessel the LE Ciara on Albert Quay between 10am and 12.30 and between 2pm and 5pm.

Well known open water swimmer Steve Redmond from Ballydehob in Cork is about to embark on a record breaking challenge to raise funds and awareness for the RNLI. Steve has already made history for being the first man ever to complete the gruelling Seven Oceans Swim And now at the age of 48 he wants to complete one more big challenge and swim the 80 kilometres from Ireland to Wales. He plans to depart from Rosslare in County Wexford in the early hours on Friday next 23rd August, weather permitting and swim non-stop to Wales, arriving in St. David’s approximately 35 hours later. ……

To donate to Steve’s swim in aid of the RNLI please go to: w

The attempt by well known open water swimmer Steve Redmond to swim from Ireland to Wales ended in the early hours of Thursday morning (22 August) on the advice of his support team, which included medical personnel, after he showed signs of hypothermia just hours into the swim. He had left Carne Pier in Wexford earlier and was bound for St. Davids in Wales.

Steve has already made history for being the first man ever to complete the gruelling Seven Oceans Swim and was looking to take on the challenge of being the first person to swim from Ireland to Wales. He was also raising funds for the RNLI.

Speaking on the decision to end the swim John Kearney from Steve’s support team said, “While I know many people will be disappointed, not least Steve himself, we made the right decision to end the attempt. Our main focus and concern was always Steve’s health and when he started displaying worrying signs of hypothermia we felt that with such a long swim ahead of him it was not worth the risk. Steve has swam some of the most gruelling oceans and he knows that everything has to be right and you don’t take chances.

I want to thank everyone for their support for Steve and this swim. It would have been an amazing accomplishment to add his incredible collection of endurance swims.”


Talking of Swims earlier today Fermoy swimmer Owen O Keefe took off from Fermoy Rowing Club to swim the Blackwater to Youghal - You can follow the swim on Twitter via @donalbuckley and you can also track progress with the Sandycove Island SC SPOT Tracker.

Owen will also be using the MapMyRun platform for live tracking. If you’re a member you can get some cool real-time information on the progress of the swim. Search for me on the website and click on “Live Tracking” to check it out. If you’re using your mobile device and we’re friends on MapMyRun just tap on “Live” when you open the app and tap on my name to see the same information.

“Next Friday night here on Seascapes we’ll have details on the latest edition of Irish Angler from David Dinsmore ; the All Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships are taking place next weekend in Carnlough Rowing Club ; as Kinsale Yacht Club gears up for the IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championships we’ll preview the event with John Stallard and Paralympian and IFDS President John Twomey ; and a listener shares a close encounter with a submarine following last week’s story from Larry Butler ; all that and much more here on Seascapes , until next Friday night - tight lines and fair sailing.”

Over 500 people have arrived in Kinsale for the start of the Cork County Council IFDS World Sailing Championships on Sunday 25th August and this number will be boosted by the arrival of more supporters over the coming days.

This event is one of the Irish Sports Council - The Gathering funded events and in the spirit of the national tourism initiative all competitors were invited to bring family and friends to Ireland for the event. This drive was led by John Twomey, 10-time Irish Paralympian and current President of the International Federation of Disabled Sailing.

“Over the years fellow sailors have listened to me talking about Ireland and the beauty of Kinsale and the west cork region so when Kinsale won the bid to host this event, friends from all over the world committed to travelling” Stated John Twomey, Paralympic sailor for Providence Team IRL.

In addition to the participants and families, Kinsale has been visited by a number of Diplomatic delegations from Russia and the Czech Republic with further visits planned from other Ambassadors including the Australian and Dutch delegations over the coming week. Carlo Croce, President of ISAF (International Sailing Association Federation) will visit Kinsale for the final days racing, as will a number of international TV crews who are filming documentaries on the event.

The event will be officially opened on Sunday 25th August at 6pm in the James O’Neill Memorial building in the centre of Kinsale by Mayor of Kinsale Cllr Tony Cierans and Cork MEP Brian Crowley. A parade to Kinsale Yacht Club to present nation’s flags will follow the official opening.

There will be a practice race on Sunday 25th August at noon and racing will commence on Monday 26th August with two races scheduled daily starting at 12 noon until Friday 30th August.

The organising committee, led by Regatta Director John Stallard, have been working solidly for over two years to host this major event. Kinsale Yacht Club was redeveloped in the last year without grants and public funding and €800,000 was invested through fundraising by the members and a bank loan that was secured.

Kinsale Marina has been closed to visiting boats for the duration of the event and berth holders were asked to relocate their boats for up to three weeks as approximately one third of the marina was required to host the competing boats and support boats.

“We are very grateful to the Kinsale Yacht Club members who have assisted the organising committee but this is also much bigger than just a sailing event. Cork County Council and every business owner in the town has worked with us so we can showcase Kinsale and so that all our visitors can enjoy our wonderful tourism product” stated John Stallard, Event Director.

Over 100 people have volunteered for the week for various roles from meet & greet, stewards, race office, administration and on the water support.

Earlier this week the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), together with the International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS), announced the four ‘Ones to Watch’ athletes for the World Championships and upcoming Paralympic cycle. The IPC’s ‘Ones to Watch’ initiative showcases the top athletes around the world on the road to the next Paralympic Games, and all four of the identified sailors have won medals on the Paralympic stage with their stories have increasingly become known throughout the media. All four athletes will be competing in Kinsale next week.

Headlining the list is Great Britain’s Helena Lucas, the gold medallist in the 2.4mR single-person keelboat at London 2012. She was the only female athlete competing in her event at the last Paralympics and has become a household name in Great Britain for her performance on the Weymouth waters. Germany’s Heiko Kroeger joins Lucas on the list as another athlete in the single-person keelboat event. Kroeger finished second behind Lucas at London 2012, but the Sydney 2000 Paralympic champion is a veteran in the sport, and with Audi sponsoring him is aiming to reach the top of the podium in Rio for the first time in 16 years.

The final two selections – Norway’s Aleksander Wang-Hansen and the Netherlands’ Udo Hessels – compete in the sonar three-person keelboat event. Hessels, who won the event in London with teammates Marcel van de Veen and Mischa Rossen, has been sailing competitively since he was 25, when he took up the sport as part of his rehabilitation after suffering a spinal-cord injury due to a tumour in his back. Wang-Hansen finished with the bronze medal at London 2012 and comes from a sporting family. He is the older brother of Sebastian Wang-Hansen, who competed at the London 2012 Olympics in windsurfing, and he is the cousin a Mats Wang-Hansen, who was a world champion in sailing back in 2000.

For more information see

Seascapes Friday 16th August 2013

features Captain Dermot Gray -Master of the Granuaile -Commissioners of Irish Lights.

About The Show

Seascapes, the RTÉ maritime programme with Fergal Keane. Seascapes brings you around our coasts and onto traditional and modern boats and yachts for a taste of the great outdoors. Whether you are a trawlerman or a yachtie, Seascapes will be of interest to you.



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Presenter/Producer: Fergal Keane

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