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Displaying items by tag: Coronavirus

The International J/24 Class Association has agreed with the Italian Federation of Sailing to cancel the 2020 J/24 European Championship, which had been scheduled for 29 April to 5 May 2020 at Porto San Rocco near Trieste in Italy.

“After consulting the members of the organising committee and the J/24 class, cancelling the European Championship is the responsible and wise decision to make at this time,” said Roberto Sponza, 2020 J/24 European Championship event chairperson.

As reported yesterday on Afloat.ie, all sailing events in Italy have been suspended until Friday 3 April as the country enforces strict measures to control the spread of the virus.

“At this time, we must confront the possibility that these restrictions within Italy could be extended or ended,” said Sponza. “Other European governments may impose similar restrictions on travel in the near future.

“All these restrictions have impact on the competitors who have registered for this year’s European Championship.”

The cancellation will also apply to the 2020 Italian Open National Championship scheduled for May 28-June 2 at Porto San Rocco.

All eyes are now on the World Cup Series event in Genoa, which is expected to begin on Sunday 12 April and represents the final opportunity for Irish sailors and others to grab a spot at Tokyo 2020.

In the US state of California, authorities are preparing to receive passengers aboard a virus-hit cruise liner held off San Francisco.

Nineteen crew members and two passengers, reports BBC News, on the Grand Princess have tested positive for Covid-19.

The vessel, which is carrying about 3,500 people from 54 countries, has docked in Oakland after five days stuck offshore.

The US has reported more than 560 coronavirus cases and 24 deaths.

Cases of the virus have been recorded in 34 states plus Washington DC.

For more click here.

In addition earlier today, RTÉ News understands there are a number of Irish citizens on board the Grand Princess and that one of the senior crew members is Irish.

Since BBC's coverage this evening an updated RTE story was posted.

Due to the number of coronavirus cases reported in Italy as a consequence of the global COVID-19 epidemic, the Italian Sailing Federation has suspended all events and competitions on a national basis until next April 3rd.

Only after that date, will organisers be able to confirm if the ROLEX Capri Sailing Week will regularly take place.

The prestigious 66th event was due to be held on the island of Capri and in the gulfs of Naples, Salerno and Gaeta. The week is slated to include the ORC European Championship 2020, and the Italian Offshore Championship 2020 as part of the IMA Mediterranean Offshore Challenge 2020-2021.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, the sports national governing body released a statement last Friday to say that ‘following HSE advice’ on Coronavirus, all events are going ahead as scheduled'.  

The statement also says “Should the position escalate and we feel that any updated advice will necessitate restrictions on sailing events in Ireland, we will send out a notice".

Published in News Update
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A cruise ship flagged in the US is understood to be carrying a number of Irish citizens, as well as 21 confirmed coronavirus cases, has been given permission to dock, with its passengers to disembark in Oakland on Monday.

According to RTE News, nineteen crew members and two American passengers are confirmed as having the virus on board the Grand Princess - out of 45 people tested.

(Afloat adds last month a sister of the 'Grand' class cruise ship, Diamond Princess docked in Japan from where British and Irish passengers were evacuated to the UK for quarantine).

The department of Foreign Affairs has said the consulate in San Francisco is in touch with local authorities and monitoring the situation closely.

Authorities have ordered the vessel to remain at sea off the coast of San Francisco, where it was due to dock yesterday following a 14-day trip to Hawaii, after it emerged that a passenger on a previous voyage had contracted the virus and later died.

The vessel will instead go to nearby Oakland on Monday and begin disembarking passengers in need of "acute medical treatment," vessel owner Princess Cruises said in a statement.

The ship's crew will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship, the company added.

For more including details of another cruise ship effected by the outbreak and more click here. 

Irish Sailing confirms it is following HSE advice regarding COVID-19/coronavirus, which at present does not prohibit public gatherings and/or impose travel restrictions other than to China and northern Italy.

“Until further advice is issued, we will assume that all events are able to go ahead as scheduled,” says Irish Sailing chief executive Harry Hermon.

“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the Government is not recommending that ‘at this stage’ any planned large gatherings are cancelled. He also appealed for people not to take unilateral action when it come to closing schools or cancelling events.

“Should the position escalate and we feel that any updated advice will necessitate restrictions on sailing events in Ireland, we will send out a notice through our newsletter.”

A group of sailors have launched an online petition in the hopes of persuading World Sailing to cancel the upcoming World Cup Series event in Genoa due to the risks of COVID-19, particularly in Northern Italy.

Calling themselves Sailors Against Coronavirus, the group — apparently based in Spain — argues that it is “irresponsible and possibly dangerous to host the Hempel Sailing World Cup in Genoa due to the risks of COVID-19”.

They add: “Having hundreds of sailors, coaches and staff from all over the world stay in Northern Italy and return to their home countries would undue global efforts to contain the virus.

“It is the responsibility of World Sailing to provide safe events for their competitors. Many sailing federations are required compete in Genoa to qualify for the Olympics, which forces them to decide between their safety and a chance to compete at the Olympic Games.

“World Sailing should make the responsible decision to cancel the event and chose a safer location for final Olympic qualifications.”

The Hempel Sailing World Cup Series event in Genoa is scheduled to start on Saturday 11 April and is the last chance for Irish sailors to claim a spot at Tokyo 2020.

Published in World Sailing

The Dubai International Boat Show that was scheduled to take place next week has been postponed to November “in light of the evolving global developments” around the spread of coronavirus.

International Boat Industry says the major trade show, which has been set to run from 10-14 March, will now take place from 24-28 November to coincide with Expo Dubai 2020.

In a statement, organisers said: “Our decision comes after much deliberation in consultation with the event’s main industry stakeholders and partners, who have strongly endorsed our prioritisation of the collective interests of both the global exhibitors and the key buyers from the region.”

The statement also read: “Whilst the UAE remains completely safe for travel, and has deployed the strictest medical and hygiene protocols, we fully recognise that for some specific shows, we have a high majority of key participants significant to the event’s programme that are unable to travel due to restrictions in their home country. We continue to focus on prioritising the delivery of a strong international participation in these extraordinary times.”

A decision has not yet been reached on whether the Dubai International Superyacht Summit, also scheduled for next week, will go ahead. News on this event is expected by Wednesday (4 March).

IBI News has more on the story HERE.

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Evacuated British and Irish nationals from the coronavirus-hit cruise ship (Diamond Princess) in Japan have arrived at a UK hospital where they will spend the next two weeks in quarantine.

Coaches carrying 30 British and two Irish citizens arrived at the Arrowe Park hospital, Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula this (Saturday) evening.

The group had travelled from an airbase in Wiltshire after leaving Tokyo on a flight late on Friday night.

They have so far tested negative for the virus.

Arrowe Park Hospital was previously used to quarantine 83 British nationals who were flown back to the UK from Wuhan.

For more BBC News has a report here

The world's largest box-carrier, Maersk Line has reported improved profits in 2019 despite bearish global container growth.

However, A.P. Moller-Maersk (APMM), the parent company of the container shipping giant, warned that the spread of the coronavirus and the shutdown of large parts of the Chinese economy would be damaging for 2020 first quarter earnings given its impact on the group’s liner, logistics and warehousing activities.

“We estimate that right now that factories in China are operating at 50-60% capacity and will be ramping up to around 90% capacity by the first week of March,” said Søren Skou, CEO of APMM, in an earnings call earlier this morning.

Maersk Line has already cancelled 50 sailings in addition to services that were blanked for Chinese New Year holidays and factory closures in late January.

Lloyds Loading List has much more on the container-carrier. 

As Afloat reported earlier today, the Irish Exporters Association warned a number of Irish companies are going to be impacted by the coronavirus.

The Irish Exporters Association chief executive has warned that a number of Irish companies are going to be impacted by the coronavirus.

Simon McKeever told RTÉ radio’s News at One that markets are being affected by the virus as it is difficult to get items into and out of China. He also said that members are also beginning to see a slow down in payments from China as businesses have closed because of the virus.

The lack of components from China will have an impact at micro level for a number of Irish companies, he said as the production of source items has come to a halt.

His members are saying that the difficulties caused by the virus will have “an acute impact” in four to six weeks and even if the peak of the virus has passed, there could still be a six to eight week tail back as logistical systems get back on line.

Freight companies are also having to ship into other countries as Chinese ports are full, he said.

The Irish Examiner has more here relating to Irish people on board two cruise ships where the virus has been detected. 

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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