May 2013 LeftMay 2013 Right

Looking to the future

It was a pleasure to see many of you at our recent Annual Public Meeting, and I hope you will find our Annual Report both interesting and informative.

CHC is committed to keeping stakeholders advised of all developments relating to the Cowes Breakwater Project and we include a full delivery update here on this important project for the harbour, Cowes, and the Island. The Commissioners and I welcome your views, ideas and continued support.


With less than 61 hours to go until the first warning signal for the 2013 J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, we advise all skippers to read Local Notice to Mariners No. 18(T) of 2013 regarding traffic restrictions in the Central Solent on Race day, Saturday, 1 June.

 

It's a challenging weekend lying ahead for the CHC team, whose key responsibility is to ensure the safety of all Race competitors whilst they are in our area of jurisdiction.

 

The weather, however, is looking hopeful for Race day, with current forecasts predicting winds of between 8 to 15 knots - and dry with some long sunny spells! We wish all those participating a safe and enjoyable Race.

Best regards,

blue sig

Captain Stuart McIntosh,

Cowes Harbour Master

 

Breakwater ground investigations

During discussions with the short-listed construction contractors for the proposed Outer Harbour breakwater, CHC engineering consultants Atkins have recommended that additional ground investigation work is required to support the tender details for the Cowes Breakwater Project.

Fugro Seacore's jack-up barge Coastal Explorer.

 

Following a tender process the contract will be awarded to Fugro Seacore and the work should be carried out from a medium sized jack-up barge in June. CHC can report that the Homes and Communities Agency has confirmed 160k funding towards this additional ground investigation contract.

 

2013 CHC tide Z-cards

We have produced a 2013 edition of our popular credit card sized fold-up Cowes maps, with tides for the main season - May to October.

These maps show the locations of our marine services and you can pick one up at the Harbour Office, at Shepards Wharf, and Kingston Marine Services.

 

CHC caught on camera!

We have a new album of photographs showing CHC at work in 2013, which you can see here on Flickr.

Keep checking back during the year as we will be adding to the collection.

 

Daring charters

For experienced sailors who are interested in trying out a Daring one design yacht this season, Lallows Boatyard and the Daring Class are supporting a joint venture to make several Darings available for chartering in Cowes.

Daring at Cowes Week 2012.  Chris Boynton. (Apologies for showing a Dragon photo in the April E-news. Ed)

 

If you'd like to know that every time you set sail you're pitting your wits against those of the next crew and not their boat, the Daring provides an ideal solution.

 

To find out more, email Daring Class Captain David Gower, or phone Lallows Boatyard on 01983 292112 and ask for 'Daring charters'.

 

Read the full story on COWES.co.uk.

 

Works licence 03/2013

A works and dredging licence application has been submitted to CHC for Kingston Marine Park.

 

Location: Kingston.

Description of the Proposed Work: The plan proposes the construction of a new hoist dock and 75m section of pontoon at Kingston. Additionally, dredging works to 1.0m above chart datum are also proposed. The technical drawings and details of the intended works are provided here.

 

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We would like to encourage all our readers to share this newsletter with family and friends via the "Forward email" link at the foot of this email.

Alternatively, anyone can just scan the above QR code with their smart phone to register for free CHC E-newsletters. 
 

Please keep in touch!

Cowes Harbour Commission is always happy to gain feedback on its services and on the issues it is tackling on behalf of all harbour users and stakeholders. If you would like to talk to the Harbour Master, Capt. Stuart McIntosh or to Rod Hodgson, the Deputy Harbour Master, please feel free to call into the Harbour Office on Town Quay, phone and make an appointment on:
01983 293952, or

CHC also owns and operates the following commercial services: Shepards Wharf Marina, Kingston Marine Services & Boatyard, Cowes Harbour Moorings, and Cowes Harbour Fuels. 

You can keep up-to-date with all CHC news on our website:
 

CHC Local Notices to Mariners (LNTMs)

Sailors and boaters using Cowes Harbour are advised to regularly check current Notices to Mariners.

Links to recent LNTMs:

No. 18(T) of 2013: Round the Island Race: Saturday 1st of June 2013

No. 17(T) of 2013: Eastern Pair of Yellow Lateral Buoys Marking the Small Craft Channel are Reported as Extinguished

No. 16(T) of 2013: Piling Works at the ISC Pontoons adjacent the Watch House Slipway

No. 15 of 2013: New Cowes General Directions Come into Force on the 2nd of April 2013

No. 14 of 2013: Navigation within the Cowes Harbour Fairway

No. 13 of 2013: Use of Engines by Sailing Vessels in the Inner and Outer Fairways

No. 12 of 2013: Small Craft Channel

No. 11 of 2013: Approaches to Cowes Harbour

No. 10 of 2013: Cowes Roads and Main Harbour Areas Restricted Areas

All current Notices are available on the CHC website.
 
Above: CHC's Annual Public Meeting at the ISC, Cowes.
Positive feedback at Public Meeting

There was a good attendance at CHC's Annual Public Meeting on Thursday evening, 23 May at the Island Sailing Club.

 

Chief Executive Capt. Stuart McIntosh delivered a presentation of the Annual Report 2012-2013, focussing on the importance of Cowes Harbour to the Island and CHC's vision for the harbour, the valuable role played by the Advisory Committee, investment into Kingston Wharf, and an update on the Cowes Breakwater Project.

 

The presentation was well received and this was followed by a constructive question and answer session that demonstrated strong backing for the Commission amongst those present, even where individuals had issues to air.

 

The Annual Report is now available to view and download from the CHC website.

Cowes Breakwater delivery update

A full update on the delivery of the Cowes Breakwater Project formed one of the main topics in the Chief Executive, Capt. Stuart McIntosh's presentation at the Annual Public Meeting held last week. Cowes Harbour Commission re-confirmed the Cowes Breakwater Project as of crucial importance to the harbour and the wider Island community, and is standing by its plans to progress this strategically important scheme.

 

Stuart stressed in the presentation that, whilst the project was perhaps seen as a marine development for the benefit of yachtsmen and harbour users, the main driver for the Commission was the project's vital importance to the local and Island economy, and to employment protection and creation.

Protecting the harbour and Island economy

Cowes Harbour Commission considers that with the current pressures on the local and Island-wide economy - as well as the challenges from other leisure harbours competing for Cowes' prestigious yachting events and business - the delivery of an Outer Harbour breakwater remains vital.  It will help to protect existing jobs, attract more visitors to Cowes, improve and extend the events season, facilitate business growth and development, and enable future investment and employment opportunities in Cowes and East Cowes.

 

Strong base of stakeholder support for breakwater

The strength of the proposed Cowes Breakwater Project lies also in the convincing and extensive endorsement it has received from major stakeholders and harbour users, local Councils, business associations, the CHC Advisory Committee, yacht clubs and Class Associations alike.

 

The new breakwater will make Cowes a "fit for purpose" harbour and be a key component to maintaining and fulfilling the potential of Cowes Harbour as a world centre of sailing and boating excellence, in a highly competitive market, and facilitate its ongoing development for future generations. Simply doing nothing would put at risk this vital position, reputation and capability, with the potential for serious damage to the local economy and employment.

 

Board of Commissioners decide way forward to address funding situation

At its May Board Meeting on Friday, 24 May, Commissioners looked in detail at all the current funding options to progress the Cowes Breakwater Project:-

 

The Commissioners unanimously agreed that every effort will be made to continue working with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to find a funding solution for the breakwater delivery. The Commissioners commented that whilst the HCA has not yet been in a position to confirm funding, it has continued to reiterate its commitment to the Breakwater Project and to progress a funding solution.

 

The Commissioners agreed at their May meeting that HCA partnership investment, backed up by continued support from the Isle of Wight Council, was the only guarantee for the project delivery. The Commissioners acknowledged the importance of engaging with the new, Independent-controlled IW Council at the earliest opportunity, to stress the importance of this project to the Island.

 

Other funding options considered

The Commissioners considered alternative funding options as follows:-

 

Sale of Shepards Wharf and/or Kingston Wharf

The Commissioners agreed that it was not in the best interests of the stakeholders to sell these assets at the present time. CHC's policy for investing in strategically important harbour services and facilities had provided a sound financial base, reducing reliance on harbour dues and enabling the Commission to promote the Breakwater Project. The Commissioners therefore agreed that these important assets needed to be maintained at the present time, not only to protect the Commission's (and its stakeholders') sound financial basis, but also because they will be required as bank security for commercial loans that would still be required for the breakwater funding even if the CHC assets were sold.

 

The Commissioners agreed that any non-strategic assets would be considered for disposal in order to maximise cash reserves.

 

* Breakwater charitable trust

Commissioners are giving serious consideration to the principles and potential benefits of setting up a charitable trust as one of the preferred options for funding the shortfall in the Cowes Breakwater Project. The basis for this proposal is that the Breakwater Project is a stakeholder project, aimed at providing long-term sustainable benefit to the harbour, local community and all the stakeholders. It is therefore a public benefit project.

 

A breakwater charitable trust would potentially have the following advantages:

 

- Enable organisations, companies or individuals to make donations to the breakwater charity, potentially linked to naming rights, in a cost effective manner.

 

- Provide financial advantages during both the construction phase and for future lifetime maintenance.

 

The Commissioners have taken initial legal advice that indicates that the Breakwater Project meets the outline objectives for an application to set up a charitable trust. The Advisory Committee and stakeholders were consulted on the principle of setting up a charitable trust and after receiving their support CHC has begun to take this forward.

 

* European and national grant aid

Commissioners will continue efforts to investigate all possible grant aid funding sources and opportunities.

 

Commissioners' Pledge!

The Commissioners concluded their presentation at the Annual Public Meeting with a pledge of their commitment to continuing to work with the Homes and Community Agency and Isle of Wight Council, and the other stakeholder partners, to deliver the Cowes Breakwater for the long-term prosperity and future of Cowes and the Isle of Wight. They also thanked the audience and stakeholders for their continued strong support and backing for the project.

 

Further information on the Cowes Breakwater Project is available at:

www.cowesharbourcommission.co.uk/outerharbourplan

www.COWES.co.uk/breakwater

New Commissioner for Cowes Harbour

Simon Treherne has been invited to join the Board of Cowes Harbour Commission, following the announcement of the departure of Jamie Clark who will be standing down as a Commissioner at the end of May after completion of his second term of office.

 

Simon is an experienced corporate solicitor who has worked across many industry sectors, including marina development and yacht manufacturing. CHC will benefit from Simon's experience of working on several large infrastructure projects, which will undoubtedly strengthen its ability to deliver the proposed Cowes Outer Harbour Breakwater, as well as his impressive record as a board member and partner of Blake Lapthorn, one of the UK's leading law firms.

 

Following the news of his appointment as a Commissioner for CHC, Simon commented: "Cowes Harbour is one of the jewels of the Island, with Cowes' yachting heritage giving the Island a worldwide reputation. I believe that the development of Cowes Harbour represents one of the 'big bets' for the Island as both an opportunity to further enhance the profile of Cowes in the yachting world and an opportunity to bring business and jobs to the Island."

 

Simon and his wife have two children and decided to make the Isle of Wight their home seven years ago when they moved to Horringford, near Arreton: "The Island is a wonderful place to live with a family if you have money or a job, but the Island is desperately short of job opportunities," continued Simon. "We need projects like the Cowes Breakwater Project to succeed not only to benefit Cowes Harbour and its existing users but also to benefit the wider community by encouraging the development of the harbour, making the harbour more attractive to business and the creation of new jobs."

 

This Commissioner appointment was made from a strong short-list of five candidates following a new and more open selection process. The panel included both a stakeholder representative from the CHC Advisory Committee and an external independent, and had a majority of non-CHC members.

 

Chairman of Cowes Harbour Commission, Roger Mathias said: "I'm delighted to welcome Simon to the CHC Board and look forward to working with him. With his broad commercial experience, both as a lawyer and as a board member running his own firm, he will be a great asset to the Commission and to Cowes."

 

Roger added: "I would also like to express my thanks to Jamie Clark for his highly valued contribution over the last six years as Commissioner.

 

The new Commissioner will be introduced to the Board at their June meeting.

Training with the Marine Police Unit

At the beginning of May, CHC took part in a workshop with the Hampshire Marine Policing Unit, to provide insight and awareness to CHC afloat staff regarding enforcement activities in Cowes Harbour.

The training consisted of number of presentations and scenario discussion exercises from experienced Marine Police Officers, which allowed CHC staff to consider and practice their enforcement responsibilities in a variety of different situations. The training was considered valuable by all who participated.

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