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#Sinking - How fast can a yacht sink? The video above shows just how swiftly one's dreams can disappear into the murky depths.

The clip, via Elaine Bunting's blog at Yachting World, captures the Sweden Yachts 45 Ciao in the waters north-east of the Cocos islands in the Indian Ocean last September as its rudder is damaged by impact with an object below the surface, quite possibly a whale.

Within the space of just five minutes, the fully functioning vessel is reduced to flotsam, its crew Srecko and Olga Pust escaped to their liferaft for rescue at the last possible moment despite their valiant efforts to save the yacht.

"The boat had been their home for several years while cruising, and they were to lose almost everything in the sinking," said Bunting.

Published in News Update

#NEWS UPDATE - The Independent reports that the wreckage of a vessel has been found in the search for a missing yachtswoman off the Devon and Cornwall coast.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, 65-year-old Ona Unwin left Falmouth in Cornwall on Friday in a yacht purchased just the day before.

She was last reported in Mousehole, near Penzance, on Saturday evening after rounding the bottom of the Cornish coast. Relatives raised the alarm on Sunday after she failed to return home to Bideford in Devon.

Devon and Cornwall Police were with members of Unwin's family yesterday afternoon when air and sea search crews discovered the wreckage near Sennan Cove in Cornwall which is believed to be that of her 31-foot Seagair yacht.

No evidence of a body was seen on board the wreck, and a police spokesman said investigations are ongoing.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Unwin is thought to have dismissed safety warnings about "treacherous" weather in the region over the weekend when she set out.

"I was amazed when I found out that she had set sail," said Jerry Hobkirk, proprietor of Falmouth Yacht Brokers which sold her the yacht last Thursday. "If I had known, we would have stopped her."

Published in News Update

#rnil – A French yacht with a fouled propelller  on passage to Kinsale in foggy conditions has been towed safely to Crosshaven in Co. Cork by the RNLI. At 7.20pm last night, Valentia Coast Guard tasked Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat to assist a 12m yacht with two people on board, 2 miles south of Power Head that had a fouled propellor. Weather conditions at the time were calm with heavy fog banks rolling off the coast.

Roberts Head is midway between the mouth of Cork Harbour and Kinsale the French registered yacht was on passage to Kinsale when they became entangled in an old lobster pot line and were effectively anchored. Crosshaven Lifeboat under the command of Ian Venner with crew Ritchie Kelleher and Vincent Fleming cut away the line and took the yacht in tow, arriving back in Crosshaven some 2 hours later.

The yacht was safely berthed at the Boatyard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI – A yacht with engine difficulties just two miles east of Adams Island near Glandore Harbour, West Cork made a call for assistance as variable wind conditions impeded its progress. The alarm was raised last night at 20:04.

Baltimore lifeboat responded. The Tamar class lifeboat (with a top speed of 25 knots) made good speed to rendezvous with the distressed vessel.

Coxswain Kieran Cotter assessed the situation of the two male yachtsmen on board the 35–foot yacht and decided the best course of action was to tow the yacht into Union Hall 65 minutes away. Having secured the yacht safely the lifeboat returned to Baltimore.

On board the lifeboat were Coxswain Kieran Cotter, Cathal Cottrell, Micheal Cottrell, Jerry Smith, Diarmuid Collins and Brian McSweeney

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#boatsforsale– Crosshaven boatyard has just reduced the price of a 1982 Beneteau First 32 on its books from €25,900 to €19,900 which broker Hugh Mockler says reflects 'excellent value'. Full details of the yacht are on the boats for sale site. The yard also says the boat has been well looked after. She comes with a 28HP Volvo diesel engine. Loads of sails including furling genoa and pretty much ready to go afloat. Full advert here.

Published in Boat Sales

#BRAY – We reported on storm damage in Skerries last week when the Irish Sea Champion yacht Raging Bull broke her moorings and it looks like the north-easterlies have caused similar problems further down the East coast at Bray Harbour in County Wicklow.  The youtube video posted by 'dreambmx1' shows a yacht breaking free of moorings in Bray harbour last week due to to the extreme conditions. It is understood six boats have been lifted out in Bray over the past few days with boats showing varying degrees of damage. Some boats remain afloat according to the Bray Sailing Club webcam.

Published in News Update

#HOWTH YACHT CLUB – It was another fresh day for the fleets contesting the second series of races in the Key Capital Private Spring Warmers at Howth YC last Saturday, although the north-westerly winds and flat seas made the going a little easier than the previous Saturday.

Some things didn't change, with Class 1, Etchells and J/24s being topped by double-winners on the day. Pat Kelly's Storm headed Ross McDonald's Equinox in both Class 1 races while Dan O'Grady's Kootamundra had a similar success in the Etchells to open up a three point lead over Fetching (Quinn/O'Flaherty).

After a DSQ for sailing through the finishing line on the last downwind leg last weekend, J/24 national champion Flor O'Driscoll in Hard on Port got back to winning ways in both races, beating Mossy Shanahan's Crazyhorse and Fergus O'Kelly's Jibberish into second place respectively.

Having missed the opening day, Sharkbait (Duncan/Moran) had a couple of minutes to spare in both SB3 races, beating RStGYC visitors Seriously Bonkers (Cuppage/Lee) in race 1 and then Dinghy Supplies (Shane Murphy) in race 2, with the latter now heading the overall standings by seven points.

Kevin Darmody's Gecko and Starlet (Bourke & Others) effectively had a match race in Class 3 and it was honours-even after two races, with only a point between them overall. In the Puppeteers, Gold Dust (Walls/Brown) won the first race from Harlequin (Clarke/Egan), who had to be content with another second in race 2, this time behind Trick or Treat (Alan Pearson), the series leader now going into the final day.

There was no racing in Class 2 or Squibs.

The final two races in the Key Capital Private Spring Warmer series are scheduled for next Saturday 28th April.

Published in Howth YC

#BOATS FOR SALE – It's definitely that time of year again when thoughts turn to getting on the water. If you're buying a boat for the first time, it's probably because you've spent a bit of time on one and like the whole idea. One thing we can guarantee: being on the water is great fun, but it's more than that – it's a way of life. If you take to it, you will begin to see the the world from a different perspective and your leisure time will take on a whole new meaning.

Find a boat that Suits You and Your Pocket

The first and most important consideration is that the boat you buy matches your lifestyle, so you need to know what you want on the water.

So, establish what it is that you most want to do with your boat: the size, how far – or how near – you want to travel, how many people you want to accommodate, what sports events you plan to enter, and whether you'll be inland or offshore.

"A good dealer will ask these questions of a prospective client, and find out exactly what it is they expect from their time on the water," says Tadhg Foley of Marine Action Boats in Tipperary. "Forcing an unsuitable boat onto a client will just backfire on the dealer, as they won't come back for their second – or third – boat, so it's best to be definite about your requirements so the dealer can match boat with buyer. Do you want to ski? Are you going fishing? All these things make a big difference in the type of craft you'll need."

Martin Salmon of MGM Boats says it's important that the buyer gets good value from his boat, in that they get to use it often and well. "We'll often include tuition in a boat-buyer's package," he says, "or make sure that there's an engineer and skipper on board when a new boat owner takes delivery – a 'comprehensive handover', because the more the boat is used, the better."

"If a prospective client has been referred to us by an existing client, we'll often show them a selection of craft and suggest they discuss it with the experienced sailor who referred them to us in the first place," says Hugh Mockler of HM Yachts in Crosshaven. "If they're reluctant to join a sailing school, individual tuition on the new boat can easily be arranged, and joining a club is an excellent way to get into the 'time on the water' way of life. With an active social side and maybe the odd cruise-in-company with like-minded companions, the new boater will soon see the benefits", says Hugh.

Brand New or Pre-Owned

Budget is a big consideration, of course, but there are other factors that will affect whether you buy a new or pre-owned boat.

New boats may suit those who are planning to keep their craft for some time, have been on the water before and know exactly what they want.

However, a five-year-old model could be as much as half the price of a new one, giving you a whole lot more boat for your money. Even a year-old boat will have depreciated by between 20-25% since it left the 'showroom'. There's also the possibility that any snags will be have been ironed out by the previous owner, particularly if they're a careful boater. Martin Salmon of MGM says if you're worred about depreciation, then "buying a used boat can be a good investment if you choose carefully. They don't depreciate as much from the purchase price."

As for the type of boat to buy, the choice is very wide – there are over 40 types out there, and one of them will fit you. Again, it's very much dependant on what you want from your water-based experience. See our 'What's on Offer' guide to boat types and uses.

Brokerage or Private Sale?

As with any big purchase, if you're buying a new boat it's recommended you either buy direct from the manufacturing boatyard or from one of their officially-appointed dealers. Any boat advertised as new that does not appear to originate from either of these sources should be checked out carefully with the boat builder.

There are several routes to buying used boats: from a dealer who has boats in stock as part-exchange; from a broker who sells the boat on behalf of the owner; or from the owners themselves, in a private sale.

Donal McClement of Crosshaven Boatyard in Cork recommends the use of a reputable broker for advice. "The vendor pays the broker's fees, not the buyer, and you have the advantage of the years of experience a broker can bring to the transaction. It's well worth it."

All the necessary paperwork and checks should be in place when buying from dealers and brokers, and their reputation and future business success depends on making their clients happy.

The majority of private sellers are genuine. However, there's a possibility that you're being offered a boat for sale that's stolen, or there's a fraudulent transaction going on. This is the risk taken when not buying from an established business. However, there are precautions you can take to protect yourself and your boating future.

Set the Conditions Before You View

It's a good idea to decide before viewing any boat that you will not buy the first boat you see, or even on the same day you see it. The initial viewing should be part one of a sequence of events to ensure the boat you fancy is really the one for you.

The first view – If it's a new boat, your first visit will be to look over the boat and others in the same range, probably. You'll want to find out about optional extras, colours, delivery lead times, warranty, part exchange (if applicable) and payment terms, as well as price.

A used boat should be checked out for condition; identify any rectification, repairs or improvement work that might need to be done, confirm the asking price and payment terms, and decide if, having examined the boat, you want a sea trial.

The sea trial – If you can take the boat out the first day you see it, so much the better. If not, arrange another time for a sea trial – you have to know how the boat handles on the water.

If it's a power boat, it's good if the engine is cold and not already warmed up when you're taking it out. It could be that it's difficult to start or it may smoke a lot from cold, and with an already-warm engine it's impossible to tell.

Check the boat's steering and handling capabilities at slow speeds, in confined situations. If it's a sea-going boat, see how much it rolls and pitches, taking waves of different sizes at alternative angles; and if it's a planing boat, check how quickly and easily it gets on the plane. Make a mental note of the sea conditions – a boat's performance is relative to the sea condition in which it's operating.

If it's a sailing boat, try different points of sail, sailing into and away from the wind and check the boat's manoeuvrability, stability and performance of the sails and rigging under load. And also check how the boat performs on the engine. At the end of the sea trial, re-examine the bilges, engine compartment and the boat generally for any evidence of oil or water leaks.

Remember also to check used boats for title, charges and theft. "The single most important thing you need, if your boat is a post-1985 model, is proof of payment of VAT," says Donal McClement. "If VAT is paid in one member state, it is considered paid in all member states." Proof of VAT payment can take the form of the original invoice or VAT receipt: "It's unlikely that people would have the VAT receipt, though, as it would come from the original dealer," says Donal. "However, liability rests with the buyer if no proof of payment is provided."

With a used boat there are some checks and information gathering that you should carry out. These checks concern EU RCD compliance, validation of Hull Indentification Number (HIN) number, Declaration of Conformity, the aforementioned evidence of VAT compliance and searches for finance outstanding.

Again, according to Donal at Crosshaven, the CE plate/stamp on the boat is vitally important, so make sure it's there.

When you've seen evidence of build and VAT compliance, and have all of the information that you need to carry out your basic security checks, you should take some time to 'think about it' and get these checks done.

Assuming the boat passes your essential security checks, and that this boat is definitely the one for you, arrange for a professional surveyor to examine the boat. Use a reputable surveyor.

Cutting the Middleman

Bernard Gallagher of Dublin's BJ Marine believes purchasers get the best value from their local dealer: "Most Irish boatyards are dealing direct with the manufacturer, so there's no middle man." Gallagher says the larger manufacturers are offering very good value to their dealers; "We've never bought better, so we can pass on those savings to our customers." He also says it's never been easier to check the value of boats, with access to the internet and boating publications.

So, before entering into negotiations with a seller, you need to decide what price you're prepared to offer and at what price you're prepared to settle.

With a new boat, it's quite rare to pay the brochure price. What you may be offered as a discount depends on many factors such as availability, demand, and model age – it's all down to timing and negotiation.

With used boats, it's less straightforward. The simplest way is to compare the boat you're interested in with other boats for sale of the same make and model. But be sure you're comparing like with like. Age, condition and specification make a difference as well as the ancillary equipment that's included in the sale, so make allowances for any differences in these.

Negotiating A Deal

New boats – Timing is important when buying a new boat. Special deals are often available during boat shows, towards the financial year-end of the boat builder or dealer, and when a model is due to be superseded by an updated version. So do all your research, be aware of model cycles, decide what you want to buy and then try to negotiate at the best time.

If discounts aren't on offer or are lower than you would wish, you might do better to negotiate the inclusion of ancillary equipment in the price; items such as ropes, fenders, lifejackets, GPS, depth sounders, chart plotters and even deck cushions, a CD system or a cooler bag. The value to you is higher than it costs the dealer to supply these items, so having some of them 'thrown in' can be a good compromise.

Used boats – With used boats, the selling price might represent great value as it is, but then again it might not: only your research will tell you which way round it is.

However, any combination of the following should help you to persuade the seller that there is room for negotiation:

• Ancillary equipment that is missing, in poor condition, not working, out of date or not included in the sale;

• Faults and rectification work required and identified by you or your boat surveyor;

• Lack of documentation such as:

– Original sales invoice and evidence of VAT compliance

– Builders certificate and CE declaration of conformity

– Boat manual

– Service history

– Current safety certificate on a canal boat

– VHF radio licence (if applicable). Note: Donal McClement of Crosshaven Boatyard reminded us that the VHF radio licence stays with the craft, "it used to stay with the owner, but now belongs to the boat."

Financing Your Boat

When buying through a dealer or broker, expect to be asked for a deposit, which may be non-refundable if you back out of the transaction. So be sure that you want to buy and have the funds available before you commit.

If you require finance, dealer and brokers may be able to introduce you to alternative sources of borrowing (for which they may receive a commission, so bear this in mind when negotiating).

MGM waiver their commission in lots of cases, according to Salmon. "In the current fiscal climate where finance companies are looking at every detail, it's more important to have the client get finance for the boat they want."

With a marine mortgage, you can normally obtain up to 80% of the purchase price secured against your boat. Before granting a marine mortgage the finance house will require a full, out-of-water survey and valuation on boats other than brand new boats. The lender will also check that there is no finance outstanding on a new boat.

Dealing with a private individual is slightly more complex. They are not professional sellers and will not necessarily know how to formalise the transaction to help protect not only themselves but you as well. So it is as much in your interests as theirs to ensure all potential purchasing disasters are avoided.

What's out there?

Inland Boats

Canal and narrowboats – Usually built of steel, the hulls can last a lifetime if minded. Ideal for pottering peacefully about the canals and less tidal rivers at about 4mph, for days or even weeks at a time. These boats are low maintenance, very economic on fuel and often include most home comforts.

River boats – Usually built of GRP and lighter than their steel counterparts, they're more powerful than narrowboats so can be used comfortably in tidal rivers as well as the odd excursion out to sea in calm conditions. They are, however, more expensive to operate and maintain.

Sea-going boats

Bowriders, cuddy boats, dinghies, dorys and ribs – All different types of day boats that are the ultimate in flexibility whether it's usage, power, speed, manoeuvrability or access to land, coves and beaches. They can be comfortable in calm and slight seas as well as a pleasure to cruise at the appropriate speed up rivers. These boats can usually be trailed and so can be towed to different locations throughout the country, as well as abroad, providing access to a multitude of sea, lake and river locations.

Speedboats, sports boats and sport fishers – These are high-powered, high-speed boats, great at riding the waves out at sea and delivering the thrills and spills of watersports, whether it's waterskiing, wakeboarding, keeping up with the fish or simply the excitement of speed.

Motor boats and motor sailors – These are the motor boats that are built more for the sea than the river, and are typically the boats you'd find moored in marinas around the coast. Generally, they fall into three categories:

Planing Boats are designed to rise up and ride on top of the water, ideally operating at a high speed. They are perfect for transporting people from marina to marina and to stay overnight on, whether it's along the coast of Ireland or over to the UK, the Channel Islands or maybe even to France. They're also great for day use to find those calm bays from which to anchor off by a quiet beach or lunch and a swim, or maybe a visit on land, using a small on-board dinghy.

Displacement Boats are designed to glide through the water at slow speeds, moving the water out of the way, pushing it sideways and down. They are very stable and comfortable in moderate or rough seas. Built for overnight and sometimes 'live-aboard' use, whether in a marina, ashore, or on a buoy, these boats are ideal for those who wish to travel distances economically and have plenty of time to get there.

Semi-displacement boats fall between the planing and displacement boats. They're comfortable, stable, with less tendency to roll than the steel displacement boats, the semi-displacement is intended to give you the best of both worlds – higher top speed with comfort at the lower speed. Having a smaller draft, this type of boat is often designed for river use as well as for offshore.

Sailing Yachts – These boats obtain their power from the wind with the use of sails and normally have a small engine to navigate rivers (for use if 'sailing' is restricted or not allowed) or manoeuvre in harbours and marinas. There are many types of sailing boat but what they have in common is that they provide a comfortable, peaceful yet exhilarating experience on the water that is also comparatively economic.

However, sailing requires you to understand and deal with many of the elements – wind, tide, prevailing currents – and means you must plan your journeys carefully to ensure that you don't get caught out by the weather and tidal gates, not to mention navigation skills, or a lack of them.

However, for those who want to be at one with the sea and have the time to acquire the skills needed to get out in a sailboat, there's nothing more wonderful.

Putting your boat up for sale

Clean it, start it and check it

There are lots of boats for sale and probably quite a few like yours on the market at the same time you want to sell yours, so if you want to sell your boat more quickly than the rest, then it needs to stand out from others. That requires effort and a little investment.

Your boat needs to be clean. For example, the hull, the superstructure, the decks, rails, windows, carpets, curtains, galley surfaces, toilet, bilges, engine compartment, fenders, canvas covers and sails need to look as clean and tidy as possible while it is up for sale.

Check in particular that the engine(s) start easily from cold, as well as from warm, that rigging and sails operate smoothly, and that the navigation lights work, as should the horn, bilge pumps, internal lights, winches, heating, gas appliances, generator, cooking facilities, taps, and toilets.

Check the engine oil and water levels, and check for worn hoses, connectors and fuel lines that would be better replaced. Also, if there is any ancillary equipment that you plan not to include in the sale of your boat, remove it, at least when the boat is being viewed. Within reason, replace or refurbish anything that simply won't clean up, is badly worn, or is not working.

Paperwork you need to sell

To obtain top price for your boat, you should ensure that all your boat documents are in order.

Documents of compliance If your boat was manufactured after June 16th 1998 you should have a 'Declaration of Conformity', stating that your boat complies with the EU Recreational Craft Directive. If you've lost this piece of paper, there should be the boat builder's CE plate inside your boat; the original manufacturer will be shown on the plate and you can contact them for a duplicate declaration.

The more service and maintenance records that you possess, the more you can justify a top price for your boat.

Additionally you should have your boat's original sales invoice which shows that the VAT on your boat was accounted for. Once more, if you have lost this, contact the boat builder. If they didn't sell the boat directly themselves, they should know who did. When you know who sold the boat originally, you can contact them for a copy of the original sales invoice.

Assessing what it's worth

To decide what price at which to sell your boat, do what the buyers do – research the current market. This means looking through magazines like Afloat and noting what prices are being asked by brokers and dealers – and private advertisers – for your type of boat. Remember that your boat may well be worth more than those you've seen advertised, depending on several factors including specification and condition.

Once you've carried out your assessment, then you can decide at what price to advertise.

If you sell through a broker, they'll be able to advise you. If you're selling privately, you should aim to set your price just below that advertised by brokers for an identical boat, leaving you room for negotiation, to end up with a satisfactory price. However, if you want to sell it quickly, then you may have to think again. It's up to you.

Go for broker?

When selling your boat, you do have a choice: to let a professional do it for you by using a dealer or independent broker, or whether to handle the sale yourself. There are benefits and drawbacks to both – and the decision can only be made by you.

Choosing a broker or dealer

The benefit of using either a dealer or a broker is that they make the job of selling your boat comparatively easy and worry-free for you. They'll manage the sale from beginning to end.

They'll deal with the advertising, sea or river trials, liaise with surveyors, rectification work contractors employed on your behalf, assist with negotiations and deal with all the paperwork. And, in some cases, they'll even berth or store your boat in their yard free of charge, to enhance their display of boats for sale and make it easier to show potential buyers your boat.

But this comes at a cost. You can expect to pay a sales commission of between 6% and 10% of your boat's selling price, plus VAT. The percentage charged principally depends upon your boat's value; the lower the boat value, the higher the percentage charged.

Additionally, you may incur charges for storage, cleaning, maintenance, a contribution towards advertising, sea or river trials as well as underwrite surveyor and rectification costs. All of this, together with the sales commission percentage, needs to be negotiated and agreed to in writing with the broker or dealer concerned.

Selling your Boat Privately

If you choose to sell your boat privately, you'll get the benefit of saving the costs of a dealer or broker, but you'll need to get organised.

If you've followed this guide so far, you'll already have assembled the paperwork that will not only enhance the value of your boat but makes it easier to sell.

Your Advertising Campaign

Now you need to plan your advertising campaign. Check local press to see what your options are and how much they cost. Afloat, for instance, would include your ad on their website as well as their printed magazine, so it's not just paper advertising but high-profile internet promotion.

Decide what size of ad and what duration you wish. It's a good idea to take some good quality photographs of your boat and, in the text of your advert, include all of those items that will help set your boat apart from the rest, justify your sales price and attract potential buyers. Don't forget to include full details of your boat's description and specification.

Also ensure to include full contact details and make sure they're correct. If possible, supply both daytime and evening contact numbers, mobile and landline, as well as an email address if possible.

Dealing with Enquiries

Make a list of potential dates and times that buyers can view and test your boat so that when the telephone rings, you have all of that information to hand and can deal with the enquiry professionally.

Negotiating the Sale

The secret to sales negotiation is to be well prepared.

If you've followed the steps contained in this guide, you will already know how a potential buyer is going to try to dive the price down. So work out either how you plan to counter this or by how much – if anything – you're prepared to adjust your price for any items that may be spotted by a potential buyer.

Also, think abut whether there is anything that you can 'trade' with, that has less of a value to you than money off the selling price. This may satisfy the buyer's need to obtain a discount and at the same time be acceptable to you.

With boats, the first offer you receive can often be the best offer, so think carefully before turning down an offer that falls just short of your asking price or the price that you were originally prepared to accept. It may be some while before you receive another.

Cash is King

Unfortunately, cheques or banker's drafts are no longer totally secure methods of receiving payment.

With a banker's draft, you should ensure that your bank has honoured the draft before signing the boat over to the buyer, as payment is no longer guaranteed. This method helps protect you legally in the event of a cheque or draft not being honoured. To ensure that a cheque is going to be honoured, ask your bank for an express clearance. A charge will likely apply for this service.

Also, do not accept a cheque for an amount more than your asking price! Some sellers have actually accepted a cheque made payable to a third party for more than their asking price and then issued 'change' for the difference – and been surprised that they lost both boat and money.

Even cash could be counterfeit – unlikely, but possible – so when accepting cash as settlement, it'll be for you to make the judgment as to the trustworthiness of your purchaser.

Minimizing Your Risk

To reduce the chance of losing boat and/or money, always get the full name, address, telephone number/s and email address of a prospective buyer, and check them out as best you can before agreeing to anything. For instance, find a reason to send an email that needs a reply, and yet another reason to telephone the prospect and check how the telephone is answered.

If the purchaser lives near you, carry out a 'drive by' to see if the car that they drove to come view your boat is the one in the driveway. And if they're buying your boat 'blind' – that is, they've never been to view your boat – alarm bells should be ringing loudly. Have you ever bought a boat blind? Would you ever? If you wouldn't, why should they? Exactly.

Published in Afloat Guide

#KINSALE – In contrast to last week's bruising battle, a dying, shifting breeze, pleasant sunshine and shortened courses were the order of the day for competitors in the North Sails sponsored third week of the Kinsale Yacht Club Spring Series writes Peadar Muphy.

OD Donal Hayes sent the White Sail fleets out from Charles Fort to Hake Head, but had to end the race there to ensure that all finished before the zephyrs died out. Nonetheless, in White Sail One the three leading boats crossed the line within 19 seconds on the water, with Stephen Lysaght's Reavra claiming the bullet by one second from the Murphy, Hennessy and Dann team on Val Kriss. Peter Kelly's Magic Elfin popped up in third place again after being blown out last week. Overall it's tight at the head of affairs, with the top six separated by just four points - Reavra holding a one point lead from both Dave Ross' Sonas and Val Kriss.

In White Sail Two, the Lannigan's Privateer claimed an impressive bullet, by six seconds on corrected time, from the in form Windrose skippered by Billy Joyce. The ladies on Guiness Kann came home in third position with the Goode and Forde duo also in third overall on 10 points. Dave Cullinane's Delos is in second on eight points and Windrose is a further point ahead. With discards in White Sail not applying until five races have been completed, it's likely that both of these classes will see a final day shoot out for the podium spots.

Out near the Bulman Buoy, OD Tony Ireson set about giving the Class Three and Class Four fleets a challenging coastal course that gave sufficient options for shortening given the conditions. Both fleets headed out to Black Head and then east to the Sovereign Mark. In lottery-like conditions, the Marron and O'Connell partnership on Bandit, found themselves parked up and enviously monitoring Class Three rival Padraig O'Donovan's progress on Chameleon. In the game of Snakes and Ladders, they got their chance later and grabbed it and went on to score a crushing victory, claiming their fifth bullet in succession in IRC and leading Chameleon home by over 30 minutes and the Ryan/Tyler team on Away on Business by over 40 minutes on corrected time. Bandit is on out on her own at the top of the IRC Three leader board, with the discard coming in to play this week. Finbarr Dorgan's No Half Measures retains second spot on eight points, even though she missed this week's events and Chameleon lies in third spot a further four points in arrears. In ECHO Three, the finishing order was the same, albeit much closer with the progressive handicapping well reflecting the boats' potential. Overall, No Half Measures holds onto top spot with Bandit and Chamelon tied on points just one point behind.

In IRC Four, Alan Mulcahy's yellow-hulled Sundancer led Richard Hanley's Saoirse home in the sunshine for the third race in a row with Michael Murphy's Shelly D claiming the third spot. The three have this class to themselves and this week's action reflected the overall picture, with Sundancer holding a two point lead from Saoirse, with Shelly D four points further adrift. In ECHO Four, Hanley's Saoirse claimed the bullet, with Shelly D pushing Sundancer down to third spot on the day. Overall, Saoirse holds a slender one point advantage over Sundancer, with the Higgins and Morrison pairing on La Maraquita holding onto third spot, despite retiring from Sunday's lengthy challenge.

A mile or more south of the Bulman Buoy, OD Tony Small and team set up the windward-leeward courses for classes zero, one and two. All fleets were well-behaved for the first races' starts, with both the Class Two and the combined Class Zero and One fleets getting away cleanly. The top mark was initially laid west of the Sovereign Mark, and the shifting breeze and the wind shadow from the Sovereign Rocks presented plenty of opportunities for big gains and losses. In IRC 2, Brian Goggin's Allure came home first by 14 seconds on corrected time from Clem and Wendy McElligott's Sea Hawk with the RCYC team on Bad Company just 19 seconds further behind. There was a delay and then an abandoned sequence before the breeze settled sufficiently to lay a new windward mark. In the second race, John O'Regan and company on The Main Four read the conditions best and came home to claim the bullet from the consistent Sea Hawk and Allure in third. Overall in IRC Two, Brian Goggins' Allure leads the way, with the Desmond, Ivers and Deasy outfit on Bad Company in second overall, despite having a race to forget in their latter outing on Sunday. Fortunately for them the discard is in play at this stage and gives Bad Company a three point lead from the KYC team on Sea Hawk. In ECHO 2, Sea Hawk leads overall after a bullet and third in the two races. The Main 4 made it a clean sweep in the second race and now holds second place overall in ECHO Two five points behind Sea Hawk, having discarded a ninth place finish from the first race where Lady Luck did not shine on them on their side of the beat. Bad Company lies a further two points astern.

In Class One, the Nagle and O'Malley team on Jelly Baby had a good day at the office claiming two bullets in IRC One. David Scott's Eos was hot on their heels in the first race, finishing just six seconds behind on corrected time, but they were called over the line at the start of the second race and in the very light and fluky conditions, getting back to the correct side of the start line proved costly. Dan Buckley's J109 Justus was as ever ready to pounce on any mistake and took the second place on offer to go with the third place she scored in the first race, while the Carroll Brothers on Chancer grabbed third place in the second race. Overall in IRC One, Jelly Baby has a two point lead over Eos, and is currently in the comfortable position of discarding a second place finish. Justus is a further six points adrift in third. In ECHO One, Justus and Chancer claimed their first wins of the series, while overall Jelly Baby holds a one point advantage over Aidan Heffernan's Indulgence, which was unable to repeat her heroics of last week. She's tied on points with Justus at this time.

Kieran Twomey's Gloves Off continues to set the standard in Class Zero IRC, scoring an emphatic victory in the first race of the day coming home almost seven minutes ahead of Tom Roche's Meridian on corrected time. Conor Doyle's consistent Freya came home third, but in the second race she chose the perfect line through all the holes in the breeze to round the top mark first and as the run to the finish line was transformed by a massive swing in the wind into a beat, reacted swiftly to claim the bullet by six seconds on corrected time from Gloves Off, which had taken a somewhat circuitous route through the wind holes to the top mark, but made amends on the way to the finish line. Tony O'Brien's White Tiger somehow avoided the melee at the start of the second race which saw both Meridian and Eos over the line and revelled in the conditions to claim a comfortable third. Overall, Gloves Off holds a one point lead over Freya with John Godkin's Godot 9.5 points behind, but with White Tiger and Meridian hot on her heals.

In IRC Restricted, Jelly Baby tops the table overall, with Eos three points off the pace. Freya and Justus lie a further eight points behind.

Published in Kinsale

#MISSING SAILORS - The US Coast Guard last night suspended its search for four yacht crew members - including two Irish sailors - who went missing after what's being described as San Francisco's worst ever sailing accident, Fox News reports.

Petty Officer Caleb Critchfield told the Associated Press: "There's a window of survivability and we searched well beyond that window."

Boats and aircraft had combed over 5,000 square miles of ocean in a marathon 30-hour operation before the search was halted at sunset last night. It is not expected to resume.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the missing include Irish yachtsmen Alan Cahill, originally from Blarney in Co Cork, and his friend Elmer Morrissey, who had moved to the US for work only last year, according to friends and colleagues on Facebook.

The two men, along with fellow crew Jordan Fromm, Alexis Busch and Marc Kasanin, were thrown into the frigid water after their 38-foot yacht Low Speed Chase ran aground at the Farallon Islands, some 25 miles off the coast of San Francisco in northern California.

Three other crewmembers, including the boat's owner and skipper James Bradford, were rescued from the rocks shortly after the incident. The body of Kasanin, 45, was recovered from the water hours later.

The boat had been competing in the Full Crew Farallones Race with 40 other yachts between San Francisco and the islands when the tragedy occurred.

Known for its rough conditions with 14-foot swells and winds of up to 20 knots, the near-century old tradition has "never been for the faint of heart".

Published in News Update
Page 3 of 15

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