Displaying items by tag: COVID19
The past weekend’s good weather tempted a group of jet-skiers who subsequently ran into difficulty in Clew Bay, as The Irish Times reports.
Achill Island RNLI launched its lifeboat on Saturday evening (25 April) to reports of three men on personal water craft needing assistance between Newport in Rosmoney — waters considered treacherous for even the most experienced of mariners.
All three were towed to Rosmoney with a locally owned RIB in an operation that also involed the Irish Coast Guard and An Garda Síochána.
Gardai also mounted further patrols of Lough Derg, where earlier this month they had exercised their emergency powers to warn inland waterways users to stay at home as measures to control coronavirus remain in place.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
The president of Tokyo 2020 says the Olympic Games already postponed to next year “will be scrapped” if it cannot go ahead at its rescheduled date.
As RTE News reports, Yoshiro Mori was responding to concerns that a vaccine for the coronavirus — which has infected more than three million and killed over 200,000 worldwide — may not be readily available before July 2021, when the delayed Tokyo games are now set to begin.
But Mori, a former prime minister of Japan, said he was confident that “we will have won the battle” against Covid-19 by next summer.
A Tokyo 2020 spokesperson later insisted that Mori’s comment about potentially cancelling the next Olympics was “in his own thoughts”.
RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.
A British sailing industry figure is looking to form a Special Interest Group (SIG) of clubs, classes, sailors, trade and other stakeholders to lobby for the safe restarting of racing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
SailRacer managing director Simon Lovesey says the aim is to develop strategies and plans to allow sailing and racing to resume as soon as sensible (and safe) and, if need be, to lobby for fair treatment of sailing particularly among the grassroots of Britain’s sailing community.
“As and when the [UK] Government looks to ease restrictions, my concern is that sailing will be treated the same as much broader sectors, so clubs will be lumped in with bars and restaurants, and sailing events as festivals,” he says.
“The indications are these broad sectors will only be allowed to restart near the end of any easing of restrictions. In Holland, sailing events are categorised as festivals, which are prohibited from operating until September at the earliest.
“So, it is important we learn to live with the situation and make adaptations to allow some activities to be undertaken.
“With suitable adaptations, sailing and boating should be able to address many of the self-distancing requirements, and I understand the virus cannot be transmitted via water. Sailing brings many health benefits: physical, mental and plenty of the all important respiratory gains.”
Lovesey reminds that Downing Street has set a deadline of this Thursday 30 April for submissions of evidence from sporting individuals and groups to illustrate the impact of Covid-19 on their sector, and suggestions of how to adapt and innovate to deal with the current situation.
He believes a more focused contribution from clubs and classes alongside the RYA’s presumed submission “will give the opportunity to convey more of the details and in particular the grassroots element of sailing” that the broad remit of the larger body may not include.
Any parties interested in taking part in the suggested Restart Racing Action Group can contact Simon Lovesey at [email protected]
Outdoor activities that allow for physical distancing will be the first priority when relaxing restrictions on organised sports, the chief executive of Sport Ireland has said.
Speaking at a press briefing with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Friday last (24 April), as The Irish Times reports, John Treacy suggested that sports such as golf, which are performed in the open air with significant distance between competitors, would be among the first for review.
Sports Minister Brendan Griffin also confirmed, according to The Times, that Sport Ireland has classified various sports depending on whether they are judged to be low, medium or high risk of spreading Covid-19.
Though there was no mention of single-handed sailing classes, canoeing was expressly cited along those classed as low-risk.
But Minister Griffin stressed that “planning is an an early stage and none of this has been cleared by the National Public Health Emergency Team”.
He added: “We want to be ready to go when we get the nod. It would be important for national morale if some sport could return.”
The Laser Masters was one of a number of events that fell to the current restrictions against Covid-19 as the Irish Laser Class Association postponed all events in the class until August at the earliest.
These include the Laser Radial Europeans, which had been scheduled to be hosted by Ballyholme Yacht Club from 4-11 July but are now moving to a different, ‘warmer’ venue if a date can be found in October or November.
Plans are still in the offing for the Laser Nationals at the Royal Cork from 20 August to go ahead as scheduled, pending Government advice.
Viking Marine has teamed up with athletic sportswear brand Swimzi in the global effort to help fight Covid-19 and to support our frontline workers at the HSE.
You can show your support by purchasing a charity ‘Let’s BEAT this’ swim cap. All profits will go locally to St Micheal’s Hospital in Dun Laoghaire and to Beaumont Hospital, where the daughter Viking Marine MD Ian O’Meara is currently part of the medical team on the frontline.
As of lunchtime today, Sunday 26 April, already a tenth of the modest target of 300 caps have been purchased.
Winter mooring facilities have been further extended until Sunday 31 May to ease the pressure on the inland boating community, Waterways Ireland has announced.
There will be no additional cost for this extension, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways confirms — as it reminds boaters not to travel to move their vessels under the current Covid-19 restrictions.
Waterways Ireland has also confirmed it will not charge an operating licence fee for the period from April to June 2020, in a move aimed at supporting businesses that operate along the waterways.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, normal pump-out facilities remain available, and electricity and water services have been reconnected following flooding issues earlier this year, though service blocks remain closed in accordance with Government guidelines.
All other on-water activity on Waterways Ireland’s waterways remains suspended until further notice — this includes any boating, paddling, fishing or swimming.
While towpaths remain accessible for local exercise, Waterways Ireland asks the public to exercise their best judgement and continue to observe social distancing protocols.
As reported last month on Afloat.ie, 2020’s Kiel Week (Kieler Woche) in Germany was pushed back from its late June date to September amid the many disruptions to sailing calendars caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
But with the change in date also comes a change in approach, as organisers of the annual regatta promise to get ‘back to basics’ with an event that puts the focus on sailing over spectators.
“The corona pandemic will keep us all busy for many months to come. We are convinced that, unfortunately, it will not yet be possible at the beginning of September to celebrate exuberantly with many people,” says Kiel’s Lord Mayor Ulf Kämpfer.
But he is emphatic that doesn’t mean the event won’t happen, only that it can go ahead in a different form from 5-13 September.
“This year it’s ‘back to the basics’ and ‘sailing plus X’. We want to put the sport of sailing — and with it the historical foundation of Kieler Woche — into the centre of attention as a signal. And we want to see what we can offer the people of Kiel beyond that.”
As for the sailing programme, Kieler Yacht-Club and the co-organising clubs have agreed to offer a platform for the boat classes that have contributed the most to the success of Kieler Woche in recent years.
“We will give an appropriate number of sailors the opportunity to sail the Kieler Woche in the usual scope,” says Dirk Ramhorst, head of organisation of the Kieler Woche regattas. “The observance of regulations and measures concerning handling and hygiene is a matter of course.”
Ramhorst continues: “The regatta cannot be held one-to-one as in June. Flexibility and new ideas are needed now.”
All planning — for example, with regard to the number of participants — is co-ordinated with the Covid-19 restrictions currently in force in Germany until August.
“This will probably also lead to maximum registration numbers in various classes,” says Ramhorst. In addition, the event area in Schilksee will be geared purely to sailing and not to visitors.
And whatever cultural events around Kiel Week deemed possible will be planned over the coming months and adapted according to the current situation, organisers say.
As announced last Tuesday 14 April by Stormont Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey, sports clubs and sporting organisations from the voluntary and community sector, which are unable to receive support from other Covid-19 mitigation funds, will be able to apply to Sport NI for a small grant of £2,000.
This is intended to help with immediate financial commitments to maintain their facilities during the current restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Affiliated clubs may be eligible for a grant to help cover fixed costs, which are no longer supported with revenue as a result of the pandemic. This might cover expenditure on rent/lease payments, heating and lighting, essential ground maintenance and insurance.
There is currently no ‘closing date’ for this grant scheme which is operating on a rolling basis.
RYANI’s chief operating officer Richard Honeyford said: “We very much welcome this funding in order to help affiliated clubs/organisations with the ongoing financial obligations during the coronavirus outbreak and whilst restrictions remain in place.
“We have been updating all affiliates in Northern Ireland on developments and will continue to share the latest information and advice with our clubs. We remain in close contact with Sport NI and other relevant bodies about the issues being faced by clubs during the current crisis and to ensure they are included in any future considerations.
“We would encourage all clubs/organisations to familiarise themselves with the guidance in order to make any application and to contact us if you are in need of support.”
The RYA has prepared guidance to assist clubs, classes and recognised training centres in line with advice from the UK Government and public health agencies.
At the Port of Waterford work is continuing to operate through the Covid-19 global pandemic as an essential link for businesses trading globally from the southeast region and beyond.
Export and import traffic continues through the Port and there was a 23% increase in container traffic and a 15% decrease in bulk throughput in the three months to March 31 this year compared to the same period in 2019.
Overall, the first quarter of the year saw 113 ship movements at Waterford compared to 112 in the same three months in 2019.
Frank Ronan, Chief Executive, Port of Waterford, said: “Protecting public health is clearly the top priority for everyone at present and that’s as it should be. Some of the food and pharmaceutical shipments that we facilitate very much align with that effort.
For more here reports WaterfordLive