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109 km/hr or 59 knots, that’s the speed achieved by Australian Paul Larsen on his sailing boat the ‘Vestas Sailrocket 2’ last week in Namibia. This is the new world record of sailing speed, previously detained by a kitesurf in 2010 (55.65 knots). Aptly enough, the project is sponsored by Vestas, world leader in wind energy. Click the picture below to see a video of this fascinating event. More on the project on the website:

Sailrocket record – click on the picture for a video of the event.

Sustainable Tourism, An Opportunity for Spike Island

With Spike Island’s Master Plan hitting the media, today in the Irish Examiner, we wish to highlight interesting web resources on sustainable tourism, here in Ireland and abroad. Many of the ideas and principles explored in these videos and websites inspiredf the Sustainability Strategy of the Spike Island master plan. Sustainable tourism promotes a virtuous circle of respect for our natural resources, doing ethical & profitable business and fostering the social, cultural and economic development of the host community – for the well-being and enjoyment of the visitors.

Source: DolphinWatch Carrigaholt

Starting with Irish sustainable tourism initiatives:

Loop Head, winner of the Ireland EDEN Award for Sustainable Tourism has managed to successfully develop
its tourism Industry while respecting the sensitivities of the local environment.

EcoTourism Ireland’s main goal is to assist ecotourism enterprises to manage tourism more sustainably. Their programmes help design, co-ordinate and test sustainable solutions on the ground. They also develop tools and guidelines to replicate good practice elsewhere.

DolphinWatch Carrigaholt offers dolphin watch tours in the Loophead peninsula. The company is certified by EcoTourism Ireland and has a very thourough environmental policy.

Sustainable Tourism Ireland promotes responsible tourism and organises ‘Green Tours’ in Dublin. Check out their video!

Spike Island Master Plan approved by Cork County Council

The vision for Spike Island to become a major new international tourist destination is revealed, with the recent publication of the Master Plan, by Cork County Council.

Compiled by a team of experts, lead by Scott Tallon Walker and destination specialists, CHL Consulting, the document plans out  the magnificent opportunity to create a new 100 acre national park on the water, with the 40 acre Mitchel Fort at its centre, renovated and developed as a complex of cultural heritage attractions and museums.

Geared to meet the challenges of current funding, the project calls for the leveraging of the island’s unique historic and geographic characteristics to offer a variety of visitor experiences, from community based projects, to adventure tourism to re-enactments of military and penal life, to  exhibitions, a major aquarium and learning centre dedicated to oceanography and the expansive marine resources of Ireland’s Continental Shelf. The project promotes the clustering of economic development potential in the lower harbour area through phased investment in quality ferry services and  linkages  between Cobh, Spike, Haulbowline and other waterside villages and attractions.

XD Consulting is proud to have been invited to join the design team and contribute to the sustainability strategy of this landmark project for the Cork region. Sustainable development was embedded in the guiding principles for the approach to the development of the proof of Concept and the Masterplan by the awarding authority, Cork County Council, as was retained as an important theme for the project, including from a tourism perspective. “Our vision for Spike island is to work with the environmental and historical assets of  the  island  as  a  basis  for  its  long-term  sustainable  future. Spike island has a strong tradition of self sustenance, by the very nature of its isolation yet strategic importance.  Sustainability should become an underlying criterion,  demonstrating  state-of-the-art  practice  in  sustainable  tourism development, embedded and evident in all aspects of the island, as well as being a live laboratory for innovative environmental and energy technologies.”

Links: Cork County Council, Spike Island