Friday, 10.30 - 11pm

Seascapes Friday 23 May 2014



The maritime programme for this island nation presented and produced by Marcus Connaughton.

Hello and welcome aboard   this week’s edition of your maritime programme Seascapes – we have a report from the opening of the new pontoon at Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club with Austin Finn and Commodore of the club Joan Delaney ; Dermot Desmond has the latest from the Mission to Seafarers in Dublin Port – Seascapes listener Oliver Hawes of The World Ships Society responds to our call for views on to the naming of the new naval vessel the LE Samuel Beckett ; more on the Clipper Ventures Round the World Yacht Race ; ..............first this week on Seascapes to the Ocean to City Maritime Festival which is now in its tenth year and features An Rás Mór a long-distance rowing race attracting hundreds of participants annually is in its tenth year, its grown from its origins as a race for traditional fixed-seat boats into an all-inclusive rowing event, embracing everything from traditional wooden working boats, currachs, skiffs, gigs and longboats to contemporary ocean racing shells, kayaks and canoes. With thousands of spectators each year, the race is a real flagship event for Cork Harbour; one of the largest natural harbours in the world........ earlier this week we talked to Donagh MacCartain about the festival...Paul Gallagher and Donagh MacArtain we hear finally from Joya Kuin of The Ocean to City Festival and An Ras Mor.....


Taking place in the environs of Cork Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world, Ocean to City is a true flagship event celebrating Ireland's unique maritime culture and heritage. Ocean to City offers something for everyone; from cheering on the spectacular fleet of boats at the many vantage points along the race, to a variety of boat trips, harbour tours, surf and sail tasters, kayak excursions, films, markets, music, craic and free family entertainment. This year's festival programme is full of opportunities for the people of Cork to get out on the water and get a taste of maritime culture.


Kicking off this Saturday 17 May, as a pre-festival fundraiser, is the 3rd Inter-firm Dragon Boat Challenge – watch the River Lee come to life to the beating of drums, the splashing of paddles and the laughter of crews, such as Apple and Musgraves, who are competing for the much-coveted Dragon Trophy.


The festival offers a dramatic new way to explore the city with Corkumnavigation, Meitheal Mara's tidal guidebook exploring the 29 bridges and 8 weirs around the central island of Cork. Water thirsty folk can also enjoy the River Lee Kayak Expedition - paddling along the city quays and out to Blackrock Castle to see the city from a different view. All throughout the festival there are also lots of sailing, sea kayaking, surfing and power-boating tasters on offer for those seeking adventure.


Land-lovers will also enjoy some of the festival’s more specialised events; Currach Exhibition Uisce agus Adhmad and the City to Ocean - Cruise of Cork Harbour or a Jaws Movie Night aboard the Bryan J.  Kids especially will enjoy Cllr. Kieran McCarthy's Make a Model Boat project, which is back on the June 1st at Cork's Lough. Last year over 60 boats were submitted and this year promises all sorts of weird and wonderful creations.


The highlight of the festival, the 28km Ocean to City race An Rás Mór, takes place on Saturday May 31st. Now in its tenth year, it has grown from its origins as a race for traditional fixed-seat boats into an all-inclusive rowing event; embracing everything from traditional wooden working boats, currachs, skiffs, gigs and longboats to contemporary ocean racing shells, kayaks and canoes. The race attracts about 500 participants annually and this year includes crews from England, Scotland, The Netherlands, Spain and Canada.


For the big race day, Cork city and Harbour are awash with activities of all sorts. Spectators can follow the spectacular fleet of boats by bicycle, by boat or from the finish line at Lapp’s Quay. Join a group of cyclists heading to Passage West for a first glimpse of boats; or stay close to the action and hop aboard the classic schooner Spirit of Oysterhaven to accompany the race through Cork Harbour.


Plan your race day with a stop along the route and some free family entertainment at one of the prime vantage points; visit the festivities at Cobh's promenade, at the Passage West Picnic or watch the Youth Race set off with celebrations at Blackrock Castle.  The finish line at Lapp’s Quay will be a big party with live broadcasts and updates from the “Stream Team” along the route, a street market, Naval Tours of the L.E Aisling, kayak demos, street spectacle, music and much more.


Ocean to City is organised by Meitheal Mara, a community boatyard and nationally accredited training centre in the heart of Cork city. Meitheal Mara is dedicated to promoting and fostering maritime culture and traditional skills through currach and wooden boat building.


For more information on the festival please visit or see the festival brochure for more details.


The Clipper Ventures Round the World Yacht Race is headed for Derry next month.....the Mayor of Derry , Martin Reilly is very enthusiastic about the prospect of the yachts arriving into the city which has a Maritime Festival planned.......


It’s been a tense 24 hours for the 12-strong matched fleet, as the battle to be the first team across the Scoring Gate and secure 3, 2, 1 points respectively, meant a fierce battle ensued. Henri Lloyd fought of stiff competition and stormed to victory to the claim the maximum points.   

However, it was a tightly fought battle for the final points up for grabs as the results show that just three minutes separated OneDLL and Old Pulteney who went onto claim second and third place respectively. Skipper of OneDLL, Olly Cotterell, described the close battle that culminated in the top half of the fleet sprinting towards the Scoring Gate.   

“Fast forward to the Scoring Gate and the gap between us Old Pulteney and Derry~Londonderry~Doire is tiny with Switzerland and GREAT Britain still only a few miles behind as Henri Lloyd has managed to creep onto the horizon. This is seriously close racing. I think we managed to hold off a long and sustained attack by Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Old Pulteney to get second through the Scoring Gate.”   Meanwhile, there was disappointment for the Northern Irish team, Derry~Londonderry~Doire, who after being hit by a badly-timed squall missed out on third place by just three minutes. Skipper, Sean McCarter describes the incident:   “We've been battling it out last night and today with Old Pulteney and OneDLL. Each boat has taken turns to share the lead and it's been fractions of a knot here and there. “With about 15 miles to the Scoring Gate and about 1.5 miles separating the three of us, we were not in a great position after hurricane 'Sun-shower'. We opted for the all or nothing, aces high, shot to nothing of an incredibly tight heavyweight kite in 20 knots of breeze.” Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet continues to make gains, GREAT Britain and Switzerland’s game of ‘cat and mouse’ rumbles on with the teams neck and neck on the leaderboard.  Veteran Clipper Race skippers, Pete Stirling, skipper of Jamaica Get All Right and Jan Ridd, skipper of Team Garmin, who both competed in the Clipper 2009-10 Race, continue to prove that their historic rivalry is still very much alive. Pete Stirling, explains:   “As I write this blog we have Team Garmin just 100 metres away on our starboard beam. Despite the fact we would rather be ahead of them with a two or three mile lead this is great for both teams as it keeps the crews focussed on getting the very best speed out of our respective boats. I imagine we will be keeping company for a while longer - perhaps even to the finish line just over 900 miles away - so who knows.”   As an area of light winds forecast threatens to slow down the entire fleet in the next 24 hours, all eyes will be on the Race Viewer as Race 13 - The Grange Hotels Trophy continues.   With some of the skippers knowing the crew of Cheeki Rafiki, the British yacht that was lost in the Atlantic last week, a minute’s silence was held across the fleet on Sunday evening to remember the four sailors. 

     On a sunny yet blustery Sunday afternoon a fortnight ago Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club opened their new pontoon Seascapes spoke to the Commodore of the Club , Joan Delaney



The pontoon was officially opened by the Minister for The Marine , Simon Coveney.....


Next here on Seascapes to Austin Finn of Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club.....





Also in attendance in Dungarvan was Gail McAllister, , ISA Regional Development Officer who has been awarded the prestigious Fitzpatrick Salver by the Cruising Association of Ireland. Congratulations to Gail who runs West Cork Sailing Centre in Adrigole , the award acknowledges   outstanding contributions to Irish cruising. In the past it has been awarded for significant cruises by Irish boats and for work on behalf of sailors in Ireland.You can read more on the Irish Sailing Association website and on the Seascapes webpage......




We asked last week for your comments on the naming of the new naval vessels after distinguished literary figures – there have been comments from Julian Gough writer and musician and distinguished film maker and writer Neil Jordan amongst others objecting to Beckett and Joyce being connected with Naval vessels we had a miniscule response to our invitation however Oliver Hawes a member of The World Ships Society in Cobh did email Seascapes –


“   The name of the new naval vessel is further proof of the disconnect between Government, Civil Service and the maritime community. Despite the great work of Seascapes, I don't think we have made much progress since the foundation of the State in educating our citizens on our proud maritime history.


The Irish Navy had a unique naming scheme for their ships, Irish womens names. Ships like Cliona, Maev, Grainne, Eithne, Deirdre, Niamh were beautiful names from our history and folklore.


   I am surprised that the first minister in the history of the State to fully understand our maritime heritage, thinks that LE Samuel Beckett is a better name for an Irish Naval vessel, because it will bring association with Ireland more than the former names for our ships.


       Judging by the lack of media interest in the commissioning ceremony in Dublin last Saturday, I wonder, if the name Samuel Beckett will mean any more to the general population than the unique names of our other Irish Naval vessels.


Yours , Oliver Hawes, Cobh .....”




“ Next week here on Seascapes we talk to film maker Richie O Donnell about his new documentary on the exploitation of our maritime resources- Atlantic – looking at Ireland ; Newfoundland and Norway ; we’ ll be featuring an in depth conversation with photographer John Carlos about his book Ireland’s Western Islands and we’ll have copies for listeners in our Seascapes competition ......... all that and much more here on your maritime programme until next Friday night – tight lines and fair sailing.”


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.

Music Played on the Show

The Reel Thing

The Reel Thing

Hilary James/Simon Mayor


The Reel Thing

The Reel Thing

Hilary James/Simon Mayor


Sailing By

Sailing By

Bbc Concert Orchestra




Contact the Show

By email:

By post: RTÉ Radio 1,
              Dublin 4

Presenter/Producer: Fergal Keane


Ways to Listen

Radio Player