DD Motoring: All eyes turn to the Galway International Rally

first_imgIn a preview special of this weekend’s Galway International Rally, Brian McDaid takes a look through an all-star cast of Donegal competitors lead by Declan and Brian Boyle as they prepare to compete on what’s looking like the best Galway Rally in YearsWhen you live and travel along the western coast of Ireland you soon get to know the way trends work with towns and villages closing down. The names left still above shop doors that have long been vacated. Advertisement That’s the way it looked two years ago when we watched the 2017 Galway Rally that just got running and no more that year. It felt the writing was on them famous Galway’s stone walls and the Galway International Rally was going to be only a memory.That winning feeling… Declan and Brian Boyle celebrate on the finishing ramp at the Mt Errigal Hotel as they win the Donegal International a few years back. They will lead the Donegal Crews out on Sunday Morning for Galway International in their Ford Fiesta R5. Photo Brian McDaidThe then Galway Motor Club went back to the drawing board and cut their cloth to suit the needs of the present day competitor and have returned with what looks like a winning package.In a class of his ownThere was only one R class of note running around the West of Ireland last year with the Galway Rally off the road, that was Pope Frances in his Skoda Rapid, as he flew into Knock International Airport and travelled in style for 20km up the road in the modern Skoda on his visit to Knock Shrine. Advertisement One year on and there is an abundance of R5 class Rally cars in the West with the Galway International returning in style. Twenty-five and counting R5’s in top 30 lining up for the 2019 rally start this weekend.CurleyCurley messaged me this week: “Hi Brian, are you for the Galway Rally on Sunday? “I will be, hopefully, sir.,” I replied.“Good On U, I might see you down there over the weekend,” Curley said.Our Curley, not to be mistaking for Curley as in Cathal CB Curley, who also has a Galway connection as he was the first winner of the Galway International Rally in 1971 in a twin cam Escort Mk1 with Austin Frazer co-driving.Our “Curley” is also locally known as Curley Kelly, (Martin) a big rally man with his brother Anthony. Both of them were in my class in the boys school in the early 70s when the other Curley was making himself a household name in rallying circles, and come the weekend we will all be in Galway for the rally.Back to schoolThe 2019 Galway International Rally will have a bit of a back to school ring to it this weekend.All the old familiar names like Kelly and Boyle and even Breen will be in the new R5 class. Declan Boyle’s Fiesta R5 ready for Galway this weekend with Brian Boyle back on the notes.The teacher even moved Manus Kelly over to the passengers’ side of his desk and gave him a steering wheel on the left with Barrett calling the notes from the driver’s side of their Hyundai.Sunday SchoolThe learning curve will be tight on Sunday morning as event organisers have concentrated the event into a single day.Those like the two Moffetts from Monaghan Josh and Sam have their homework done over the last few seasons in class R5, so expect them to be very quick out of the box on Sunday morning.Their biggest challenge will be from the top of the class when world rally material of Craig Breen and Paul Nagle are seeded at Number One.Former works Citroen driver and also a winner of the Circuit of Ireland in 2015 Breen will be the man to watch on the Irish championship opener of the Galway a winter equivalent of the Monte Carlo Rally.Galway is a winter rally and anything can happen when the weather or road conditions change so quickly.The top crews to factor this into their preparation to do well this weekend. Breen is in one of the twenty-some R5s that will take part in the rally with is based a the Clayton Hotel on the outskirts of Galway.Old song new tuneOn Sunday morning, it will not only be the Fields of Athenry that are be lying low, crews will strap themselves in to their new machines and, instead of watching small free birds fly, we’ll enjoy the sweet note of highly tuned Fiestas, Skoda’s, and Hyundai’s as the new breed of rally cars migrate west to compete in the stage around the roads that sit along the Fields of Athenry which is where the rally is based on Sunday.TourishOn the last Galway rally, two years ago Donegal’s Damien Tourish nearly won the national title in a lower powered version of his present Escort. Watching the resurgence of this talented driver over the last few years he will be a man to watch on Sunday morning.Damian Tourish on the Galway International Rally in his Escort leading the modified section in 2017 Photo Brian McDaid.Damien and his navigator Domhaill will have every inch of tar and then some on Sunday, which could serve very well on Galway on Sunday in the modified section.The Jennings FactorSeeded at number two, back to back winners of the last two events Fermanagh Flyer, Gary Jennings has only the one plan this weekend and that’s to go for a win.Chatting with his navigator Rory Kennedy earlier this week, with more wins than any other competing on the Galway as co-driver, the five times winner believes his teammate Jennings has few options with their Subaru – with it being not eligible to score points in the championship. other than to go for an outright win.But Rory is more than aware of how much of an uphill battle this will be.Gary Jennings and Rory Kennedy on their way to winning the Galway International Rally in 2017. Photo Brian McDaid.Manus Kelly has three Donegal wins under his belt, he will be fast, as will Donagh Kelly, and Declan Boyle with Brian Boyle back on the notes.All these boys have their homework done for Galway but, there so many more drivers that will be out for a win.Josh and Sam Moffett have both held the tarmac championship title over the last few years.And Breen is world class material so Craig and Paul Nagle have to be favourites for an outright win.The rallying pilgrimage to Galway from Donegal will start as it always does on Friday evening.Instead of Casio Square in Monto Carlo, we will be happy to hit Eyre Square in Galway where on Friday night we sort maps, get coffee, and eat grub to go and then try to figure out where we are going to enjoy the rally on Sunday.DD Motoring: All eyes turn to the Galway International Rally was last modified: February 6th, 2019 by Brian McDaidShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Brian BoyleBrian McDaidDeclan BoyleGalwayGalway Rallyrallylast_img read more

Back to Basics: Essential Packing List for Disney Cruise Line

first_imgShare This!Are you an over-packer when it comes to a Disney cruise? Going on your first cruise and not sure what to pack? Here’s some tips to help keep your bags as light as your spirits!What to Pack for EveryoneThere are some items that are must-have for everyone in your party.Passport/Birth Certificate and ID, travel documents, and insurance cardsFor some cruises, a government-issued ID and birth certificate are acceptable, but I highly recommend a passport for all cruises. For specifics about who needs what, click here. You’ll also want to bring travel documentation (phone numbers if you’re using private transportation to/from the port, info about your plane tickets, etc.), car insurance cards (if you’re driving), and health insurance cards. If you’re boarding your pets, also bring the contact information of the place where you’re boarding them. If you’re delayed coming back, giving them a courtesy call or email is a good idea. Same is true if you have someone watching your house while you’re gone. If you’re delayed, you’ll want to be able to contact them and let them know when you’ll be back.Credit cards and cash (and your DVC membership card)While you are on the cruise, it is largely a cashless system. You don’t pay for your main dining room meals, and everything that you do pay extra for (specialty coffee from Cove Cafe, merchandise, drinks from the bar, and so on) will be charged to your room. I do recommend bringing cash with you, however. Although room service is free, it’s still nice to tip the people who run to bring you Mickey bars at 3 AM. I also really support tipping extra for the four tipped positions that you encounter (stateroom host, head server, server, assistant server). In almost every occasion, they’ve gone so far above and beyond expectations that I firmly believe they’ve more than earned extra beyond the suggested daily amount. Also make sure that you have some money to tip the porters for helping you with your luggage at the port. Carrying dozens of suitcases in 90 degree weather deserves a good tip in my book! If you’re going on port excursions or plan to do a lot of shopping in foreign ports of call, check to see whether U.S. currency is accepted or whether places add a “tourist fee” if you don’t use local currency. Some places I’ve found charge 30% extra for U.S. prices compared to the price in local currency, and that can add up. If you’re a DVC member, make sure to toss in your DVC membership card, as there’s often discounts on board when you have that with you.Stateroom space is at a premium on your Disney cruise.ClothesGo ahead and put out all the clothes that you are planning to take with you. Remember to include formal clothes, day clothes, evening clothes, costumes for pirate night, a multitude of swimwear and coverups, multiple clothing changes each day, and enough shoes to make Imelda Marcos blush. All good? Now, take at least 1/3 of it and put it away. Every cruise I’ve been on (11 so far), I’ve cut back on the amount of clothes I bring, and I still end up coming home with never-worn clothes. Bring one outfit that you use for both Palo and formal night. Think about whether your kids will want to dress up for dinner or are they likely to want to stay in shorts and a shirt. If you want to dress up in the evening, bring a skirt or pants that you can wear for a couple days at dinner (as you’ll likely only wear it for a couple hours each day). Ask yourself if you really need to go over the top for Pirate Night clothes, or will you most likely skip that for a jeans and a pirate-themed t-shirt. Does your child need a costume to match every single character you’re going to see on board? Will your kid likely want to put on a swimsuit cover-up, or will a towel from the pool deck work just as well? If you’re wearing flip flops for 90% of your vacation, how many pairs of socks will you *really* need? One place where I do double up on clothing, however, is swimsuits — I always bring two per person, one to be hanging up to dry and a dry one to change into. Changing into a wet swimsuit can be extremely uncomfortable in a cool stateroom. Also, even though it may seem counter-intuitive for days where temperatures will be creeping into the 80s or 90s, make sure you pack a jacket for everyone. The dining rooms and theaters can be cold, and I’ve even had nights in the Caribbean in July where the breeze on deck has been cold enough I’ve wanted a jacket. Of course checking the weather forecast before you go is a must for cruises to non-tropical ports of call as well.Overnight bag and freezer bagsOn the last night of your cruise, unless you are doing express walk-off in the morning by carrying your own luggage, you’ll put your packed suitcases outside the door to be whisked away to see you after you leave the ship. That means that you’ll somehow need to get your sleep clothes, essential toiletries, and anything else you don’t want in your checked bags off the ship. For people who have been on more than one Disney cruise, your Castaway Club returning guest gift is likely a bag of some kind that can help with that–but the newest design of the bags certainly won’t fit the clothing for a family of four! Make sure to have some sort of overnight bag with you, whether you pack it with you for use on the last day or have everyone use a day pack that they carry with them on embarkation day and take their stuff out on debarkation day. As for the freezer bags, toss in a handful of empty ones to pack wet clothing, as you won’t have a lot of time between your beach day at Castaway Cay or your final dip in the pool and the deadline for the suitcase to be packed.The bag you get as a returning guest is a lovely gift, but it won’t hold a whole family’s overnight needs.ToiletriesYes, you are able to buy essential toiletries on board, but you will pay an up-charge, and they won’t have the full selection of items that you’d find at your local store. Bring travel sizes when possible to help save on space (and put them in a freezer bag in case any of them should leak). For women, this may be a good time to reduce your makeup routine. Especially on tropical cruises, makeup can be almost comical to maintain, and no matter how waterproof you think that mascara is, it won’t survive a day in and out of the pool. Think essentials for hair, makeup, and jewelry, and you’ll still be looking your best because you’ll be looking relaxed and sun-kissed. (Seriously, vacations make you look and feel at least 10 years younger!) One place not to skimp, however, is medicines. At a minimum I bring my allergy medicines (including topical in case of mosquito bites), something in case of stomach distress, and some form of cough and cold medicine. Again, you can find items on board (and in ports of call), but you will pay a premium and they may not have your medicine of choice. Plus, if you end up with the onset of illness at 2 AM, the shops won’t be open to sell you something to relieve your discomfort.Cell phone and power cordYes, I get it — cruises are a great time to unplug. That said, I’m a big fan of bringing a cell phone on board, even if you leave it in airplane mode the entire time. Cell phone cameras are likely as good as any point-and-shoot camera you’d be likely to pack, and the Disney Cruise Line app is an extremely helpful tool at your fingertips. Thinking about packing a flashlight or a travel alarm clock? Your phone likely has those built in. Think you’ll need to do a lot of writing on your phone to create the next great novel at sea? I bring a folding Bluetooth keyboard to use with my phone (or, if I’m going all out, my iPad mini) instead of bringing a full laptop. Also, because I know that I use electronics a lot, I do bring a portable battery and its charger. It may be useful to bring a waterproof case for your phone if you plan to use it near water (or near a frozen drink of your choice), and a small cell phone purse can be a wonderful thing to carry that phone for both guys and gals.Sun protection gearAlthough this advice can be less important on Alaska or European cruises, it is absolutely essential for cruises to tropical destinations–don’t skip on sun protection gear. Sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen are a must, and I’d also recommend a rash guard if you plan to spend a lot of time out at the beach. If you know that no matter what you do, you’re likely to be peeling before the end of your cruise, also pack some after-care lotion or aloe.Stateroom-identifying decorationsThis may seem like a bit of a waste of space, but I’ve found it is incredibly helpful to pack some sort of decorative magnet to put on your stateroom door. Yes, you will know your stateroom number by the end of your cruise — but for the first few days, having something on the door will save you steps as you won’t keep walking past it. (Speaking from experience here. Who knew the distance between forward and midship was that short?)What to Pack for AdultsSpecialty clothesIf your cruise includes a meal at Palo or Remy, make sure you read the dress code requirements and pack accordingly. If it doesn’t, give some serious thought to whether you want to dress up at all for dinner. Yes, all cruises have a formal night (and some have a semi-formal night). It isn’t a requirement to dress up, however. Feel uncomfortable being the only person not in tux and tails? Don’t fear — many people opt to skip the ballgowns on formal night. Still not sure you want to feel out of place? Formal night is a great night to do a casual dinner in Cabanas. Are you a hardcore fitness buff? Know that you won’t be able to go the length of your cruise without hitting the gym? Want to do the Castaway Cay 5k? You’ll want to bring workout gear, but ask yourself how much you really need to bring.If attending Palo or Remy, you will need to bring special clothes.HeadphonesWhether your plan includes listening to Enya encouraging you to Sail away, sail away, sail away, or Moana helping you see how far you’ll go, it doesn’t take a lot of room to toss in a pair of earbuds, and it can be a nice thing to have for sitting on a deck chair and watching the sunset.R&R itemsAlthough this fits in the “try not to overdo it” category, even though there’s plenty to do on a Disney cruise, sometimes it is nice to take some down time with a good book (or eBook reader), or play some cards on your verandah. Don’t bring the whole library or full-size board games (which are available on board the ship), but tossing a couple small items in your bag can be a fun diversion on a lazy sea day.What to Pack for KidsI’ve written my list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to packing for young kids here, but a few items bear special emphasis for kids up through the tween years.BlanketFor young children, a lightweight travel blanket can be a wonderful addition to your suitcase. During the day, your stateroom host converts the folding couch bed back to a couch. For afternoon naps, it’s still a great place to sleep, but a travel blanket makes it that much more comfy. And if the kid’s not using it, a parent might also enjoy cuddling up under a blankie for a quick nap.Special friendsYou also will want to bring a “special friend” for young kids, especially if it is the first cruise and they need a friend to help them get to sleep. But be careful not to overdo it — I’ve seen many stories about a favorite friend who got left behind on the ship. Keeping track of one friend is easy, but the whole menagerie may be hard.ToysOn my first cruise, our daughter was turning two and we brought toys. Lots and lots of toys. We put them in a drawer in the room…..and that’s where they stayed for the duration of the cruise. There was so much to do that she simply didn’t have time to play with those toys. I’ve also seen people try to bring sand toys, snorkels, and all sorts of things to use on Castaway Cay. Save your self some sanity and leave large amounts of toys at home. Maybe bring something for a young child to do during mealtime (as meals can be lengthy affairs), and maybe a small bucket and shovel for Castaway Cay. In the kids’ area on the island, Scuttle’s Cove, they have plenty of toys for the kids to play with in the sand, so whenever our daughter wants to play in the sand, off to the kids’ area she goes!Baby and toddler essentialsFor really young kids, bringing diapers, swim diapers, or training pants, plus wipes and diaper rash cream is good for peace of mind, even though it can take up a lot of suitcase space. And although there’s an abundance of food on board, if your child will have a total meltdown without a morning snack of Cheerios, it doesn’t hurt to toss a sealed box in your suitcase.Those Pesky Questionable ItemsAlthough not on my list every time, there are a few other items that I consider if I have room. If I don’t, and I find I really want them, most of them are available on board. These include:Cups and water bottles. Yes, cups are available at the drink stations. I do prefer my own reusable Tervis cup and water bottle, however, and having a secure lid makes me feel better when carrying three drinks down to my stateroom.Popcorn bucket. For a short cruise, I don’t bring one. For a long cruise, where I’m likely to see several movies and a multitude of evening shows, the popcorn bucket provides savings. If I’m really not feeling like packing it, I pick one up on the first day. Easy peasy.Spare eyeglasses. I’m now at the point where seeing anything in print without eyeglasses becomes a bit of a challenge. An extra pair doesn’t take up much room, and gives me security that I’ll be able to see everything clearly in the odd event my regular glasses break.Cooling cloths. I only bring these if I know that I’m going to be on a port excursion where it is likely to be hot or if I expect to have an outside muster station on a day with an uncomfortably high temperature. Otherwise, no need.Lanyard. Yes, you’ll get a free one unless it is your first cruise. I have one that I like with multiple pockets for the couple of cards that I need to carry different cards. It isn’t a must, but since I’m wearing it, I’m not *technically* packing it, right?Magnetic whiteboard and marker. If I’m just traveling with my family, we tend to use the chat function in the DCL app on our cell phones to keep in touch. If I’m traveling with less tech-dependent people, a whiteboard on the stateroom allows for notes to be left about who is where and doing what.Insect repellent. Yes, Zika (and other mosquito-borne illnesses) are still a thing in parts of the world. Truth told, I’ve only gotten one mosquito bite in all my sailings, and that was on a sea day after leaving Florida. Still, if you are traveling to a place with a high likelihood of mosquitoes or doing excursions that would take you to their favorite habitats, packing insect repellent is a good idea. Depending on the cruise, I have seen industrial size mosquito repellent lotion bottles available for use when going ashore, but it is not a guarantee.If all else fails, you can buy what you need or want on ship.By paring down our packing list over the years, we now carry less luggage for an 11-night cruise than we did for a 7-night cruise when we started cruising. For short cruises, I’m pretty determined to see if we can make it work with just one carry-on backpack per person. Staterooms are small, storage is at a premium, and negotiating luggage can be a source of stress. Remember, there’s very little that you can’t buy on ship or in port if you really need it, so give it a whirl packing light.Have any other must-bring items that make your list? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

G E Shipping to Buy Gas Carrier Oldie

first_imgzoom India-based Great Eastern Shipping Company Limited (G E Shipping) has decided to expand its fleet with a secondhand medium gas carrier. The company signed a contract with an undisclosed seller to buy the 36,567 cbm ship.As informed, the 1996-built vessel is expected to join G E Shipping’s fleet in Q1 FY19.In September 2017, the company also acquired a secondhand medium gas carrier Gas Columbia that was renamed Jag Vijaya.What is more, Great Eastern bought earlier this month a very large gas carrier, British Councillor, according to data provided by VesselsValue.The company’s current fleet stands at 47 vessels, comprising 32 tankers and 15 dry bulk carriers with an average age of 10.37 years aggregating 3.88 million dwt.last_img