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Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat assisted three persons after their yacht capsized and sank close to Hare Island on Lough Der. SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO.

At 17.04hrs Saturday September 10, Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat was requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard following a report of two persons in the water off Hare Island, on Lough Derg. At 17.15hrs, the lifeboat was launched with Helm Colin knight, Johnny Hoare and Ger Egan on board, and was on scene 17.20hrs. The wind was southwest, force 6, with a 5ft to 6ft swell, visibility was good.

When the RNL lifeboat arrived on scene, a passing yacht was recovering two persons onto their yacht, but had lost a visual on the third person. The lifeboat immediately carried out a search pattern, located the third casualty some four or five hundred metres away, and recovered them to the lifeboat.

Lifeboat Helm Colin Knight said "these three people were very very lucky; the passing yacht only became aware of their plight when, on tacking, one of sailors heard calls for help on the wind and raised the alarm". He continued, "the persons were in the water for at least thirty minutes, in fairly hostile conditions, when the only boat in the vicinity heard their calls for help, someone was looking after them today".

Tasked by Valentia Coast Guard, the Irish Coast Guard Search & Rescue Helicopter team, Rescue 115, took off from their base at Shannon at 17.34hrs. Killaloe Coast Guard had also launched to assist. After establishing that the RNLI lifeboat could be at their station within 5 minutes, Rescue 115 requested the crew to take the casualties to Dromineer from where they5 would transfer the casualties to hospital.

The RNLI lifeboat returned to the yacht, and took a second casualty on board. Killaloe Coast Guard boat took the third person. All were then rushed back to Drominneer where they were met by the helicopter and transferred to Limerick Regional hospital for further treatment.

The lifeboat then returned to 'The Hare' to see if the sunken vessel was a navigational hazard, but there was no sign of wreckage or of the yacht. The lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 18.50hrs.

 

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Dun Laoghaire Yacht Clubs are voicing concerns about the impact on sailing if a 'cruise ship jetty' is constructed as part of the recently published harbour masterplan.

Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, National Yacht Club, Royal Alfred Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht Club and Royal St George Yacht Club. are also concerned about access to the water if a proposed 'pedestrian walkway' in front of the waterfront clubs was completed.

The clubs have engaged 'professional help' to prepare a submission to outine the concerns.

Also seen as a problem is the 'lack of sufficient facilities in the masterplan for hosting significant international sailing events'.

A survey in 2009 by the Irish Marine Federation (IMF) calculated a €3million spend by participants connected with the 500-boat Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta. The clubs have previously stated they see the harbour's future as a leisure facility.

A masterplan model was on display by the Harbour Company in the month of August.

Writing to members in the current edition of the National Yacht Club's newsletter commodore Paul Barrington says the clubs 'hope to further engage with the harbour [company] to find a mutually acceptable way forward'.

Water Rat: Harbour Plan is a Curate's Egg

 

 

Published in Dublin Bay
The infamous Celtic Mist is set to be used to track one of the most elusive marine animals in Irish waters.
The Irish Examiner reports that one of the first duties of the yacht under its new ownership by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will be to track down the blue whale, the last of which was spotted off the Irish coast in 2009.
"We’ve made two sightings of the blue whale on the shelf edge but with the Celtic Mist we will be able to go out there for a few weeks and sit there and wait for them," said the IWDG's Dr Simon Berrow.
"Hopefully we will find some more when we bring the Celtic Mist out there. They are very rare."
The blue whale is regarded as the largest animal to have ever lived on earth. They also have an average lifespan of well over 100 years.
As previously reported by Afloat.ie, Celtic Mist was gifted by the Haughey family to the IWDG earlier this year to assist in its marine conservation work.
The yacht competed in a leg of the 2011 Tall Ships Race from Waterford to Scotland before moving to its new home in Co Clare, where it will be refitted for its new life as a research vessel.

The infamous Celtic Mist is set to be used to track one of the most elusive marine animals in Irish waters.

The Irish Examiner reports that one of the first duties of the yacht under its new ownership by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will be to track down the blue whale, the last of which was spotted off the Irish coast in 2009.

"We’ve made two sightings of the blue whale on the shelf edge but with the Celtic Mist we will be able to go out there for a few weeks and sit there and wait for them," said the IWDG's Dr Simon Berrow. 

"Hopefully we will find some more when we bring the Celtic Mist out there. They are very rare."

The blue whale is regarded as the largest animal to have ever lived on earth. They also have an average lifespan of well over 100 years.

As previously reported by Afloat.ie, Celtic Mist was gifted by the Haughey family to the IWDG earlier this year to assist in its marine conservation work.

The yacht competed in a leg of the 2011 Tall Ships Race from Waterford to Scotland before moving to its new home in Co Clare, where it will be refitted for its new life as a research vessel.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary returns to New York's Invitational Cup next week for another crack at the Rolex event that has attracted 22 teams.

Despite no previous experience with the Swan 42, Anthony O'Leary's team from the Royal Cork Yacht Club got off to a blazing start at the 2009 Invitational Cup, scoring a third and two firsts in the opening three races. From there the team rode a bit of a roller coaster with three more top-five finishes, a 13th, and two 17ths. The end result was fifth, a bit disappointing given the quick start, but respectable, nonetheless. More importantly, it earned O'Leary and his team a return invitation.

When racing begins on Tuesday, September 13, at the 2011 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex, most of the 22 participating yacht club teams will be fresh from racing at the peak of the sailing season in the northern hemisphere.

Last year, O'Leary was named the Afloat Irish Independent Sailor of the Year for, in part, leading the Irish team to the win at the 2010 Rolex Commodore's Cup.

"We will continue to sail [the Ker 39] Antix up to mid-season in handicap fleets, as our boat is similar in characteristics to the Swan 42," says O'Leary of his preparations for the Invitational Cup. "Closer to September we will focus more on one-design sailing, which is really the ultimate challenge as shown in the Invitational Cup. Apart from our not finishing on the podium, there was not a single disappointing aspect of the 2009 regatta. The entire event was a great experience, superbly organized by a wonderful club."

O'Leary was still assembling his crew, but it will surely include some family members. Son Peter O'Leary sailed in the 2008 Olympics in the Star class while Nicholas O'Leary, a three-time All-Ireland sailing champion, served as the team's tactician during the 2009 Invitational Cup.

Three teams though – the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Cape Yacht Club and Yacht Club Argentino – which hail from below the equator, will be coming from winter to summer to race in Swan 42s for the championship title. "It is an honor for the Yacht Club Argentino (YCA) to participate this coming September," said Commodore Ricardo Galarce. "We are proud of sharing such an important regatta with well-known clubs from different parts of the world.

Besides, it is nice to share with all of them the same objective of competing with fair play and sailing which is what we love doing. We will go to New York Yacht Club's Harbour Court ready to have fun, but we will be doing our best effort to take the cup back to our beloved YCA in Buenos Aires." Galarce explained that even though it is winter in Argentina, the weather is not so cold and the sailors are used to sailing in this season. After the invitation to the event was published in the YCA magazine, any club member who wanted to join the team was encouraged to do so. A team selection was then made taking into account sailing resumes, technical skills and personalities, in order to form a complete, competitive and compatible crew.

Because there was a boat similar to the Swan 42 available for their use in Mar del Plata, the YCA team traveled 400 km to spend a weekend there performing intensive training, "with very good results and lots of learning as regards each of the crew members' functions and movements," said Galarce. "We then carried on our training in Buenos Aires, always trying to sail in boats similar to the Swan 42, which we know is an excellent boat, which demands a lot from its crew." With only two of the crew having previously sailed in Newport – Santiago Braun and Francisco Billoch who each sailed the Onion Patch Series in 1972 – the YCA team is studying the weather forecasts, tides and winds, in order to gain some local knowledge. And the team hopes to become familiar with the Swan 42 in the short time between their arrival and the start of the Invitational Cup. "We know it won't be an easy regatta," concluded Galarce. "We are proud of being able to sail alongside sailors who belong to the most distinguished sailing clubs in the world. We wish them all good luck, and we hope to share great fun on the water."

In Australia where the average sailing temperature for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's (CYCA) winter series is 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit), sailing is a year-round activity, and all of the CYCA team members race throughout the year in various club events. Most of the CYCA crew that will travel to Rhode Island sailed together for the first time in April on the Corby 49 Vamp in the New South Wales IRC championships, finishing third overall. Vamp then finished second in Division 1 in the recently concluded CYCA Winter series. "None of us have experience in the Swan 42s although most have sailed in similarly equipped and designed yachts over a range of sizes up to the TP52 class," said David Fuller, CYCA Team Manager. "Whereas we have not had many opportunities to sail together, most of our crew have continued to sharpen their skills on other boats in the various races and regattas along the Australian coast and overseas." CYCA tactician Evan Walker is one of those who have been away from Sydney, having recently been at Weymouth, England, to coach an Elliot 6m team at the 2012 Olympic test event.

Before coming to Newport, however, Walker will be racing as tactician in the Cartagena round of the Audi MedCup with an Australian Soto 40 team. "Hopefully the week of sailing as tactician in Spain will have me hitting my straps by the time I arrive in Newport," said Walker, a CYCA Youth Academy graduate who has seen success as a match racing skipper. "I'm very excited to be competing in the Invitational Cup and I'm sure we'll have an enthusiastic team bonding session on our arrival in Newport." David Hudson, skipper of the team from the Royal Cape Yacht Club (RCYC) in South Africa was also at the Olympic test event. "Regarding our preparation for the Invitational Cup, it's obviously not as convenient for us as it would be if the event took place towards the end of our racing season," said Hudson. "However, winter training in Cape Town is perfectly feasible from a weather point of view. At 34 degrees south we have a Mediterranean climate with warm dry summers and cold wet winters, and although we have recently had some snow on the mountains just to the east of our sailing waters, Cape Town seldom gets really cold."

And while none of the RCYC team has any experience racing Swan 42s, they too have been training on a variety of boats of similar size. "We are all looking forward to the challenge," said Hudson. John Martin, RCYC's Commodore and team manager, lived on yachts from the age of eight and cut his teeth in 1971 aboard a new Swan 37 imported to South Africa specifically to do the Cape to Rio race, starting as bowman and working his way back. So it is very apt for him to be sailing a Swan 42 in this regatta, all these years later.

Not only is Martin the most famous yachtsman in South Africa but also he is well-known internationally. "Newport has great memories for me," said Martin. "During my single- and double-handed sailing career, 1981–1991, I had the honor of winning a few races, most importantly, winning the last leg of the 1986/87 BOC Singlehanded Round the World Race which finished in Newport. It is with great delight that I return with a very competent and competitive sailing team to represent the club of which I have been Commodore for the past three years."

An official practice for the 22 yacht club teams will take place on Monday, September 12, from 1300-1700, followed by the opening ceremony for the Invitational Cup. Five days of racing will ensue, with the first warning signal scheduled for 1100 each day.

The winning team will be confirmed at the conclusion of racing on Saturday, September 17. In addition to Rolex, which for 2011 and 2013 is the presenting sponsor, Sperry Top-Sider and Nautor's Swan have also returned, and are joined by Atlantis WeatherGear, as sponsors to enhance the experience of competitors as well as those who will be following the races.

The New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex NYYC's Harbour Court will host 22 yacht club teams – representing 16 nations from six different continents – with racing on NYYC Swan 42s on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay from September 10-17, 2011. By country, the roster of participating teams is: Yacht Club Argentino (ARG); Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (AUS); Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (BER); Royal Canadian Yacht Club (CAN); Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (HKG); Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (ESP); Nyländska Jaktklubben (FIN); Itchenor Sailing Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR); Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (GER); Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL); Yacht Club Capri and Yacht Club Punta Ala (ITA); Japan Sailing Federation (JPN); Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (NOR); Clube Naval de Cascais (POR); Royal Cape Yacht Club (RSA); and Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.); Annapolis Yacht Club (Annapolis, Md.); Newport Harbor Yacht Club (Newport Beach, Calif.); and New York Yacht Club (Newport, R.I.) from the USA.

Published in Royal Cork YC
No one needs to be told that the nights are closing in but in a month's time sunset is at 7pm! It's an indication that the lift out season for boats is fast approaching at popular boating centres. In Dun Laoghaire, the National Yacht Club lift out is scheduled for Saturday, 15th October weather permitting.
Published in Boating Fixtures

When Bangor yacht broker Lee Stevenson say it is 'a rare pleasure' to step aboard a yacht of and find her in such good order, its worth listening. That's the case with Sidewinder, a Twister 28 yacht that has just been added to Afloat's boats for sale site this week. 'The build quality is excellent and she's clean, tidy and well maintained – a credit not only to her current owners but to all of her previous owners and sailors' says Stevenson.

Fitted out in 1969 for a boat show, all of the joinery is completed to a very high standard and the interior is still in great condition. Sidewinder has just completed a circumnavigation of Ireland. The full spec inlcuding a downloadable file is here.

 


Our Boats for Sale website has been updated. We've listened to the needs of you, the buyers and sellers to bring you the site Ireland needs for boat trading.

Firstly, our aim is to generate Ireland's largest stock of quality boats for sale, in order to do this we've introduced a modest charge of €10 to list your boat for 60 days. We've simplified the steps involved to advertise your boat, and once you've walked through them here are some of the advantages your boat has to gain maximum exposure...

Your boat will be added to Ireland's largest boating mailing list with over 10,000 subscribers, giving your boat more exposure both at home and abroad

Published in Boat Sales
Search and rescue mapping software developed in Rhode Island was "instrumental" in efforts to retrieve crewmembers from the stricken Rambler 100 off Fastnet last week.
The SARMAP software, developed by ASA (Applied Science Associates, Inc) provides rapid predictions of the movement of drifting objects and missing persons at sea.
For search and rescue units it can provide search patterns and calculate the probability of containment, probability of detection, and probability of success.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Rambler 100 capsized off the Cork coast while competing in last weekend's Rolex Fastnet Race.
The Rambler 100’s personal locator beacon activated when the yacht overturned, which alerted rescuers to the location of the 16 stranded crewmembers still with the vessel, but recovering the five lost at sea required a more advanced approach.
The Irish Coast Guard employed SARMAP’s sophisticated tracking capabilities to predict the movement of the drifting survivors and calculate a precise search area.
ASA President Eoin Howlett commented: “We have successfully worked with the Irish Coast Guard for many years; they are an innovative agency and have a history of implementing the latest in ocean technologies.
"We are very pleased that our software, combined with their rapid decision-making, resulted in such a positive outcome.”

Search and rescue mapping software developed in Rhode Island was "instrumental" in efforts to retrieve crewmembers from the stricken Rambler 100 off Fastnet last week.

The SARMAP software, developed by ASA (Applied Science Associates, Inc) provides rapid predictions of the movement of drifting objects and missing persons at sea. 

For search and rescue units it can provide search patterns and calculate the probability of containment, probability of detection, and probability of success.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Rambler 100 capsized off the Cork coast while competing in last weekend's Rolex Fastnet Race.

The Rambler 100’s personal locator beacon activated when the yacht overturned, which alerted rescuers to the location of the 16 stranded crewmembers still with the vessel, but recovering the five lost at sea required a more advanced approach.

The Irish Coast Guard used SARMAP’s sophisticated tracking capabilities to predict the movement of the drifting survivors and calculate a precise search area.



ASA president Eoin Howlett commented: “We have successfully worked with the Irish Coast Guard for many years; they are an innovative agency and have a history of implementing the latest in ocean technologies. 

"We are very pleased that our software, combined with their rapid decision-making, resulted in such a positive outcome.”

Published in Fastnet
25th August 2011

Storm Wins Howth IRC Race

HOWTH YACHT CLUB. WEDNESDAY SERIES 3 (O'ALL) 24/08/2011 Class 1 IRC: 1, Storm P Kelly (3.00); 2, Tiger Hughes/Harris (9.00); 3, Trinculo M Fleming (9.00); Class 1 HPH: 1, Storm P Kelly (3.00); 2, Trinculo M Fleming (7.00); 3, Tiger Hughes/Harris (9.00); Class 2 IRC: 1, Sunburn I Byrne (8.00); 2, Superhero Byrne/Banahan (10.00); 3, Dux A Gore-Grimes (11.00); Class 2 HPH: 1, MiniMumm Cobbe/McDonald (8.00); 2, Superhero Byrne/Banahan (11.00); 3, Sunburn I Byrne (13.00); Class 3 IRC: 1, Alliance V Gaffney (9.00); 2, Starlet Bourke/Others (13.00); 3, Pinnochio N Davidson (23.00); Class 3 HPH: 1, Alliance V Gaffney (14.00); 2, Rossinver C Scott (17.00); 3, Starlet Bourke/Others (18.00); White Sails HPH: 1, Sojourn Blandford/Lacy (14.00); 2, Empress 111 FitzPatrick/Glennon (19.00); 3, Arcturus D & P McCabe (20.00); White Sails IRC: 1, Bite the Bullet C Bermingham (8.00); 2, Tantrum 3 O'Leary/Klimche (16.00); 3, On the Rox J & C Boyle (22.00)
Published in Howth YC

It might have been the year that records tumbled  but 2011 wasn't a good year for the Irish contingent in the Fastnet yacht race. There were a dozen Irish boats or boats of Irish interest at least but all of them failed to shine in the massive 330 boat fleet. Adrian Lee's Cookson 50 Lee Overlay Partners - which as Ger O'Rourke's Chieftain was overall winner in 2007 - had been 10th overall at the Fastnet, but like Tonnerre de Breskens, which slipped back to 32nd at the finish, the Lee boat's race went south and she finished 57th. Full Results here.

This year's event living up to its reputation as the most gruelling and tactically challenging of the classic offshore races. As usual the 608 mile long course took the boats from the start line off Cowes, Isles of Wight towards the Fastnet Rock off southwest Ireland, back around the outside of the Scilly Isles off southwest England to the finish line in Plymouth.

On Sunday 14 August, 314 boats set sail - the largest ever Rolex Fastnet Race fleet - up from the previous record of 303. This was due to a new initiative from race's organisers, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, to invite 'professional' offshore classes, able to compete under their own class rules, over and above the IRC fleet, that was capped at a maximum of 300 entries. The result was the most diverse selection of yachts ever assembled in a single offshore yacht race with the new initiative attracting many high-profile international racing teams. Thus in the same race some of the world's fastest multihulls such as the 140-foot long trimaran, Maxi Banque Populaire were lining up with Contessa 32s and pilot cutters with the complete pantheon of racing yachts in between.

A coup for the event was the participation of three Volvo Open 70s, the only occasion these boats would race together prior to this autumn's start of the fully crewed round the world race. The 'pro' classes also saw the race debut of the two Multi One Design 70 foot trimarans, and attracted six IMOCA 60s, best known for competing in the singlehanded non-stop round the world race, the Vendee Globe, plus an impressive fleet of 20 of their smaller cousins, the Class 40.

Leading the charge in the IRC fleet were the two 100 foot maxis Rambler 100 and ICAP Leopard, followed by the Farr 80 Beau Geste and Mini Maxis such as the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race winner, Niklas Zennstrom's JV72, Ran, and Andres Soriano's Mills 68, Alegre, but the bulk of the record-sized fleet were more regular yachts with amateur crews from a total of 20 nations. For many, participation in the Rolex Fastnet Race was the highlight of their sailing seasons, for others the pinnacle of their sailing careers.

Off the Royal Yacht Squadron platform, the fleet starts began with the multihulls and culminating with the canting keel monohulls and VO70s, the boats enduring a stiff beat out of the Solent and into the English Channel in the best Rolex Fastnet Race tradition. With winds gusting to 30 knots at the exit to the Solent at Hurst Narrows, there were the first dramas of the race with the Class 40, Eutourist Serv-System and the trimaran, Strontium Dog (GBR) dismasting, plus two collisions.
As expected Banque Populaire, Gitana 11 and the two MOD70s trimarans set off at lightning speed down the race course. While Gitana 11, skippered by Vendee Globe and Volvo Ocean Race skipper Seb Josse was constantly nipping at her heels, the world's fastest offshore boat, Maxi Banque Populaire, skippered by French offshore legend Loick Peyron, as expected proved the pace-setter. After being on the wind all the way to the Rock, the trimaran took off on a reach on her way back to the finish in Plymouth. Crossing the line Monday evening in a time of just 1 day, 8 hours, and 48 minutes, the world's fastest racing trimaran established a new outright record for the Rolex Fastnet Race - some 7 hours and 39 minutes quicker than that of the best previous time set by a multihull.

Unfortunately as this was happening, drama was unfolding close by the Fastnet Rock. While Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard, two-time line honours winner in this event, led the monohull fleet down the English Channel and into the Celtic Sea, George David's Rambler 100 finally overhauled them on the way to the Rock. Rambler 100 rounded the Rock at 17:25 BST and turned south for the Pantaenius offset mark into 25-30 knot headwinds and a sizable short sharp sea. Shortly after this, the fin for her canting keel snapped just below the hull exit causing her to capsize almost instantaneously.

Three crew were lucky and climbed straight on to the upturned hull as she capsized, the rest ended up in the water, including four who had been down below at the time. With a massive struggle in the difficult conditions, the majority of her 21 crew, managed to clamber up on top of the upturned hull, while five, including skipper George David, alarmingly drifted away from the boat. Fortunately, the five tied themselves together, and they were recovered after having spent 2.5 hours in the water, while the remainder of the crew were picked up by the lifeboat from nearby Baltimore. Incredibly, everyone was rescued - this through the combined heroic efforts of the Valentia MRCC, the Baltimore Lifeboat, and the dive vessel, Wave Chieftain. The shaken crew were taken to Baltimore while David's partner Wendy Touton was airlifted to hospital, suffering from hypothermia, and later released. Remembering the 1979 Fastnet disaster, many local residents in Baltimore offered the shaken Rambler crew unparalleled hospitality upon their arrival.

After the terrible Rambler incident, Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard once again took the lead in the monohull fleet, but after rounding the Fastnet Rock and cracking off, the 100 foot maxi was rapidly overhauled on the leg back to the Scilly Isles by the three VO70s. After a spectacular race where each of the three boats, Abu Dhabi, Groupama 4 and Team Sanya held the lead at some point, Groupama 4 led back from the Fastnet Rock only to be pipped at the post by the Farr-designed Abu Dhabi, skippered by double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker - with just 4 minutes 42 seconds separating her from Groupama 4, skippered by French non-stop round the world record holder Franck Cammas. In the process, Abu Dhabi also broke ICAP Leopard's monohull record for the Rolex Fastnet Race with an elapsed time for the course of 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes.
Following them in mid-Tuesday morning, was a similarly tight finish between the IMOCA 60s with 2004-5 Vendee Globe winner Vincent Riou completing the course in 1 day, 23 hours, and 21 minutes, ahead of double Barcelona World Race winner Jean-Pierre Dick on Virbac Paprec 2 and double Velux 5 Oceans winner Bernard Stamm aboard his new Cheminees Poujoulat, the top three separated by less than five minutes.

Prior to the start of this Rolex Fastnet Race the forecast for brisk winds for the first two days followed by light conditions mid-week, indicated that the event would favour the larger, faster boats on handicap.

After ICAP Leopard, the next IRC arrival was Niklas Zennström's Rán at 12:53:44 BST on Tuesday, in an elapsed time of 2 days 3 minutes and 44 seconds and even upon her arrival the silver hulled Judel Vrolijk 72 was looking strong to take the overall prize in the Rolex Fastnet for a second consecutive time. Her race had been made easier with her immediate competition retiring - the Farr 80 Beau Geste, with a crack in her deck and Andres Soriano's Mills 68 Alegre, with a broken rudder tip.

On Wednesday, pace in the Rolex Fastnet Race slowed with the onset of a high pressure system over parts of the race course, leaving many yachts becalmed, particularly around the Scilly Isles and along the south coast of Cornwall. The light winds continued into Thursday as the bulk of the fleet approached the Plymouth finish. Boats arrived with wind, only to be stalled on a foul tide, so there were several virtual restarts approaching the line and on Thursday night after the tide turned over a period of just two hours, an armada of 105 boats crossed the finish line, the crews arriving with tales of prolonged periods they had to anchor to avoid going backwards.

Niklas Zennström's Rán was confirmed as the overall winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race, the first time a boat had won consecutive races since Carina II in the 1950s.

"It's fantastic, really, really good," said Zennström of his second victory. "Everyone on the team is very happy and very pleased. I think we've never sailed better as a team. We sailed the boat very hard, we were never kind of relaxed, we were very focused all the time and we pushed the boat a lot."

With the exception of Rán in IRC Z, ICAP Leopard in the Canting Keel class and Rives
Potts' McCurdy & Rhodes 48 Carina (USA) in IRC 2, French teams won the three other IRC classes and held the majority of positions on the podium. IRC 1 went to regular RORC race competitors Nicolas Loday and Jean Claude Nicoleau on their Grand Soleil 43 Codiam. Class 3 was won by Noel Racine's aboard his JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew, while once again in IRC 4 victory went to Jean Yves Chateau's Nicholson 33, Iromiguy, overall winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race in 2007.

Eddie Warden Owen, CEO of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, summarised: "It's been a really interesting race because it offered everything: It's been a tough race - not just because of the wind conditions on the first two days, but also tough getting back for the little boats because they have had very little wind, they've parked up. And we had the Rambler incident and the first boat arriving after just 32 hours. Then the Volvo guys finishing within five minutes was amazing and the Class 40s had a really close finish. Maybird and Morwenna, the two pilot cutters, are having their own battle out there - they'll be in next week. So this Fastnet's been full of opportunities for people, an experience for everybody involved in it."

As of 1200 BST there were six boats still racing, expected to finish today, including Edith Gray, Freebird, Brisbane Star, Rainbow UK, Morwenna, while Maybird is due in early Sunday morning.

 

 

Published in Fastnet
Wicklow RNLI all-weather lifeboat launched just before 5pm last night (Saturday 20th August) to assist a yacht in difficulties seven miles south east of Wicklow harbour. The alarm was raised when the skipper sent a distress call to the Coast Guard, after his vessel sustained damage to the mast and rigging and a rope had fouled the propeller.

The yacht with two persons onboard was taking part in a race along the Wicklow coast when the mast and rigging was damaged, the skipper attempted to use the engine but a rope had fouled the propeller leaving the vessel drifting helplessly.

wicklowlifeboat

Wicklow lifeboat tows the yacht to safety last night

The lifeboat crew under the command of Coxswain Ciaran Doyle located the stricken yacht about one mile east of the North Arklow buoy and was alongside less than 30 minutes after launching. Once a towline had been rigged by the lifeboat crew the casualty was taken under tow to Wicklow harbour. The yacht was secured alongside the south quay at 7pm and the two sailors were landed safely ashore. This was the second incident the volunteer crew responded to over the weekend.

 

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 7 of 15

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