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Displaying items by tag: Wicklow Sailing Club

#roundireland – Round Ireland race organisers have increased the maximum race entry to 100 yachts following what has been deemed 'an historic expansion' of the Round Ireland Yacht Race that will facilitate yachts of all sizes taking part, it was announced this evening in Dun Laoghaire.

As previously reported by in October,  Wicklow Sailing Club, which organises the race, has linked up with the Royal Irish Yacht Club to provide full pre-race management facilities in Dún Laoghaire for the larger yachts which are unable to berth in Wicklow Port. Through the introduction of a fully-equipped shore base in Dún Laoghaire, larger boats can now berth and enjoy full pre-race facilities in advance of the Race departure from Wicklow.

The Round Ireland Yacht Race is now in its 34th year and is Ireland's premier offshore sailing race attracting entrants from across Europe and as far afield as Russia, the USA and New Zealand. It will depart Wicklow on Sunday 28th June 2014 at 2.00 pm

There will be no changes to the Race itself, other than increasing the maximum number of entries from 75 to 100 yachts. Wicklow Sailing Club will continue to run the race under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Race will start and finish in Wicklow.

Organisers at Wicklow Sailing Club expect that this landmark expansion of the Round Ireland through the new association with the Royal Irish Yacht Club is set to give the Race a significantly higher international profile and attract the attention of the larger, ocean racing, fleet.


Peter Shearer, Commodore Wicklow Sailing Club, Paddy McSwiney, Commodore Royal Irish Yacht Club, and Theo Phelan, Race Organiser at the launch of the 2014 Round Ireland Yacht Race at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire.


Theo Phelan, Race Organiser , Paddy McSwiney, Commodore Royal Irish Yacht Club, and Sadie Phelan President Wicklow Sailing Club 

Race Organiser, Theo Phelan:

"Discussions on expanding the Race have been ongoing for some time arising from expressions of interest from owners of the larger offshore racing yachts seeking entry conditions to our race. Internationally, completing the race is considered a significant feat as the race is one of the most gruelling and challenging sailing competitions in the yacht racing calendar.

"The course, starting and finishing in Wicklow, brings entrants through widely different sea types and coastlines, from the Atlantic ocean to the more sheltered Irish Sea, with difficult tidal gates, particularly around the North Eastern coast and navigational challenges requiring day and night tactical decisions at every change of forecast."


Round Ireland Race committee: (back row) David Ryan, Kevin Johnson, John Harte, John Johnson and Charlie Kavanagh (front) Peter Shearer, Commodore Wicklow Sailing Club, Theo Phelan, Race Organiser and Paddy McSwiney Commodore Royal Irish

Whilst 2014 could see an increase in larger yachts entering the Round Ireland, organisers say that the changes introduced to the management format this year should attract a significantly greater interest in entries for 2016 and subsequent events:

"Huge planning goes into preparing for this race as there are very strict qualifying criteria for crew, yachts and equipment. Knowledge of medical response, survival at sea certificates and a minimum of 300 nautical mile offshore experience are basic to entry as both crew and yacht need to be prepared for all conditions. In 1994 for example, there were 17 retirals from the Race arising from adverse weather and equipment failure. A year's planning to participate in this race would not be unusual and already there will be skippers of larger yachts putting plans in place for 2016."

The Round Ireland Yacht Race is the only RORC race based in Ireland. It is regarded as equivalent in terms of rating points to the Fastnet Race, the classic offshore race, which runs in alternate years to the Round Ireland.

In a final comment the Commodore of Wicklow Sailing Club, Peter Shearer, stated: "The endorsement of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the largest yacht racing organisation in the world, together with the stated support of the Irish Sailing Association for our new venture bodes well for the forthcoming event in 2014 and for our endeavour to develop the full potential of the Round Ireland Yacht Race."


John Sinnott, president Wicklow Town and District Chamber of Commerce with Dutch Sailing guests Linda and Ronald Koelink

#rdirl – The world's largest yachts will be able to contest the Round Ireland offshore race in June thanks to a new formal arrangement drawn up last month between race organiser's Wicklow Sailing Club (WSC) and the Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) in Dun Laoghaire.

The new arrangements will see entries berthed at the RIYC in Dun Laoghaire harbour for scrutineering prior to the biennial 704–mile race start off Wicklow harbour on June 28th.

Larger boats have been unable to berth in the confines of Wicklow harbour, a factor WSC believes has restricted the growth of the Round Ireland fleet.  'It means we can now encourage larger boats that have shown an interest in competing but we have been unable to cater for in Wicklow' harbour, WSC Commodore Peter Shearer told

It is understood WSC has entered in to a formal agreement with RIYC for the provision of services prior to the race at Dun Laoghaire, a harbour that can take yachts of any size.

Published in Round Ireland

#rdirl – The 2014 Round Ireland Yacht Race, a highlight of the Irish summer sailing season starts from at 2pm on Saturday, June 28th 2014.  A full Round Ireland notice of race has been published here.

Published in Round Ireland

#RoundIreland– Sole Dutch entry Tonnerre de Breskens skippered by Piet Vroon looked every inch the defending champion when she won the reaching start of a crowded Round Ireland start line in Wicklow this afternoon. SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE PHOTOS BY BOB BATEMAN.

Vroon took six or seven gybes for more breeze before reaching Wicklow head just minutes after the start.

The Dutch yacht , a Ker 46, was followed closely by Laurent Gouy's Ker 39 Inismor and the J133 Spirit of Jacana from Carrickfergus. Also taking the route closest to the shore was Adrian Lee's canting keel Cookson 50 Lee Overlay.

Legendary Irish round the world yacht Green Dragon (the biggest in the fleet) took advantage of the light to medium north westerly winds to hoist a spinnaker and went immediately offshore to clearer air after a congested start of the 2012 Round Ireland Yacht Race start.  There was at least one collision at the committee boat end of the line just moments before the gun.

round ireland race start

The start of the 2012 Round Ireland. Photo: Bob Bateman

The international 38 boat Round Ireland fleet departed as per schedule at noon, ahead of them up to a week long 700-mile sailing odyssey all the way round the coast of Ireland.

The fleet were tightly packed at Wicklow head on a shy port reach with most setting spinnakers.

Old warhourse and double race winner Cavatina took up her position at the rear of the fleet, settling in for her first night at sea and the first tactical challenge presented at Tuskar rock.

Next Round Ireland fleet update tomorrow morning as the fleet move along the Cork Coast

Published in Round Ireland

#roundireland – The Galwegians are rattling the round Ireland cages. Tomorrow's noon start of the biennial Round Ireland Race from Wicklow will see a strong mid-fleet challenge from Galway University with a college-crewed Reflex 38, boosted by a front-of-the-pack show by the veteran Volvo 70 Green Dragon, captained by intrepid Galway skipper Enda O Coineen, the moving force behind the western city's involvement with the Volvo Ocean Race.

No-one would now claim that the gallant old Green Dragon is the fastest Volvo 70 that ever floated. But even the slowest Volvo 70 is potentially much faster than the next quickest racer in tomorrow's 38-boat lineup. So if we were in for a few days of normal Irish summer weather with a bit of breeze now and again, the expectation would be that the course record established by Mike Slade's 100ft Leopard back in 2008 could be knocked sideways.

But whatever the weather is, normal it isn't. It may well be that global warming is to blame. And it is true that even the rain is warmer these days. But there's a lot of it. That in turn has had all sorts of peculiar effects on the wind and weather patterns. Or maybe it's the other way round. Whatever, a couple of days ago we weren't looking at a record breaking scenario, with the possibility of light northerly headwinds off the west coast by Monday. But now it's looking slightly more hopeful with a good possibility of southerlies off the west coast by Monday evening, and only a mercifully small dollop of rain with it – the precipitation may have to be elsewhere, it has an annual week-long date at Wimbledon.

This modest change in the predicted conditions could generate enough power to get the Dragon moving. But meanwhile in the rest of the fleet there are plenty of boats which can give a fair show in any weight of winds, and it's a healthily international fleet now that the RORC have given it the same points status as the Fastnet Race itself – in fact, for the first time, Irish entries are outnumbered by visitors.

Defending champion Piet Vroon of the Netherlands is back with his extremely effective Ker 46 Tonnere de Breskens, while the leading French contender is Laurent Gouy (he has Connacht connections, and lists Clifden BC as his club) with his Ker 39 Inismor, which has already been in successful contention this season in RORC events between France and England.

If reasonable breezes appear, the most fancied of the home contingent would have to be Dun Laoghaire's Adrian Lee with the Cookson 50 Lee Overlay Partners, which as Ger O'Rourke of Limerick's Chieftain was overall winner of the breezy 2007 Fastnet Race. In Lee's ownership, this boat secured herself a special place in sailing history by winning the inaugural Caribbean 600 race, an annual event which now has a central role in the international sailing programme. But light airs are not a Cookson 50's favourite conditions, though with a bit of bite to the breeze, this canting keel machine becomes a flyer.

The Reflex 38 NUI Galway was the winner of last year's Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Race, and with Cathal Clarke as skipper has the obvious potential, with her pacing being marked by sister ship Visit Malta Puma (James Gair).

Slightly down the size scale there are three J/109s which will sharpen each other's performance – Jedi (Andrew Sarratt) and Joker II (John Maybury) from Dun Laoghaire, and the Pwllheli challenger Sgrech (Stephen Tudor), whose crew lineup includes top ISORA honcho Peter Ryan of the NYC. Further up the J Boat range, the senior northern entry, Bruce Douglas's Spirit of Jacana from Carrickfergus, is a J/133 with a good racing record – she was top Irish boat in last year's Fastnet.

With light winds expected in the northeast part of Ireland on Wednesday, the smaller craft still trundling up the west and northwest coasts in the southerlies my be doing best, and yet again it could be the evergreen Noray 38 Cavatina (Ian Hickey, Royal Cork) which does the business. Lowest rated of all is the oldest boat in the fleet, the 1966 Sparkman & Stephens 36 Sarnia (Michael Creedon, National YC). One of the Italian-built fore-runners of the Swan 36 (same hull lines, different coachroof), Sarnia is something of a classic, and could do very well if the food doesn't run short and they simply keep plodding along. Let's hear it for Sarnia and vintage Italian style.

The Round Ireland Race will be just about done and dusted next weekend as the Volvo Ocean Race gears up in Lorient for the final stage to Galway on July 1st, where it's possible that the concluding inshore race will decide the top places. Ireland's brightest hopes are riding with Damian Foxall of Kerry aboard Franck Cammas's French entry Groupama. They now have a fairly comfortable points lead after the continuing implosion of Spain's Telefonica, skippered by Iker Martinez. But as the Telefonica experience has painfully demonstrated, a couple of gear breakages and one mistaken tactical call are all that is needed to knock the wheels off even the most promising effort. Current points: Groupama (Franck Cammas, France) 219; Puma (Ken Read, USA) 196; Camper (Chris Nicholson, NZ) 191; Telefonica (Iker Martinez, Spain) 191; Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker, GBR) 122; Sanya (Mike Sanderson, NZ) 39.

The revival of the old International Quarter Ton class continues apace (people simply have to do something in times of recession), and there's a strong Irish contingent of restored little boats in the three-day Coutts Quarter Ton Regatta starting in Cowes on Monday, headed by current Irish "Sailor of the Year" George Kenefick of Cork with Tiger – he's defending the Corinthian title. With more than thirty boats from several European countries, it's shaping up to be a cracker. So maybe this is where it's at in these straitened times. Certainly it looks much healthier than the Commodore's Cup in late July, which is basically just four British teams taking on Hong Kong, France and Benelux – it's far indeed from a cast of thousands in a blockbuster production.

W M Nixon's sailing column is in the Irish Independent on Saturdays

Published in Round Ireland

#roundireland – The countdown has begun for Sunday's Round Ireland Yacht Race where NUI Galway is supporting the first ever university-backed entry into the 700-mile  race. Ten NUI Galway students and graduates will be on the start line in Wicklow this Sunday at 12 noon.

The race is a non-stop circumnavigation of Ireland by sea and will take anything from anything from four to six days. The NUI Galway crew is one of the youngest teams to ever compete in the event. Sailing together in the NUI Galway sailing club over the past few years has built up the trust and camaraderie which they will rely on during the race. The team have loaned a 38-ft racing yacht for the race.

The past few months have been very busy for the NUI Galway crew says skipper Cathal Clarke: "We have been following a tough training plan, attending safety courses and getting professional coaching. We recently competed in our first offshore race as a crew across the Irish Sea from Wales to Wicklow and were very happy with a second place result. The aims of this campaign are high, with a lot of experienced sailors on board; we will certainly be looking for good results."

Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience at NUI Galway, said: "The determination and drive of this crew is to be admired, especially given that they are one of the youngest crews to participate in the race. They have worked very hard and displayed incredible determination and dedication over recent months in their preparation for the race. The University actively promotes leadership and team building skills and is delighted to support this crew to further develop these attributes as they compete in the Round Ireland Race. We wish them every success."

Published in Round Ireland

#roundireland – Galway sailor Enda O'Coineen will skipper the Green Dragon in Sunday's Round Ireland Race from Wicklow. The last minute Volvo 70 entry (that is awaiting an IRC handicap cert) has been confirmed by Wicklow Sailing Club and brings the fleet size to 38 boats, just two boats less than the 2010 fleet. 

Green Dragon project director Cillian McGovern has confirmed a 16-strong crew for the boat with Irish 49er sailor Ben Lynch, Kiwi professional sailor Alistair Moore and Commodore of the New Zealand Yacht Squadron Ross Masters on board.


The Green Dragon crew get in some last minute training with old salt Mr. Tayto in Dun Laoghaire

An exotic fleet contains not only the 2009 Irish Round the world yacht but also eight double-handers, a number of canting keelers and three Class 40 yachts.

Sunday's start will also include more British than Irish entries, it is the first time the Irish offshore fixture counts for the same points as the Fastnet race in the 2012 Royal Ocean Racing Club programme.

Race organiser Dennis Noonan reports that the defending champion Tonnerre de Breskens from Holland who competed last weekend in Cowes at the British IRC Championships is currenlty on her way to Wicklow.  Modifications to the Dutch entry for the 700-mile race include a deeper keel.

A large proportion of entries for the race are due to be inspected in Dun Laoghaire using the convenience of the town marina over the next 48 hours.

Published in Round Ireland

#roundireland – There will be more British than Irish entries in this month's Round Ireland race that has been boosted by a number of last minute entries.

Only last week race organiser Dennis Noonan told the Irish Times Sailing Column he expected only 33 entries but a surge of entries at the weekend has brought that figure tantalisingly close to the 2010 fleet size of 40. 37 boats are now entered and Noonan says there is a prospect of at least two more by the race start on Sunday, June 24th.

There are only 12 Irish boats compared to 18 English entries. The balance of the international fleet is made up with two boats from Northern Ireland, two from France,  the defending champion from Holland and one from the USA.

Among the Irish starters is last week's winner of the ISORA race from Pwllheli to Wicklow, the yacht Lulabelle is being sailed as a double-handed entry by Liam Coyne and Fireball dinghy champion Brian Flahive.

Coyne and Flahive will count victory in last weekend’s Lynxmet mast-sponsored race as a major boost. Lula Belle is one of a handful of double-handed entries for the Round Ireland Race.

36 Entries at June 10th

Peter HallNYCAdelieFirst 34.7IRL 9631
James TyrrellArklow SCAquelinaJ 122IRL 1281
Ian HickeyRCYCCavatinaGranada 38IRL 3861
Steven AndersonRORCCracklin’ RosieCorby 40 GBR851R
Nick MartinRORCDiablo-jJ 105GBR 9205R
Catherine PourreSNT (France)EarwenClass 40FRA 88
Payne & YoungPoolbeg BCEnglish MickBeneteau First 47.7GBR 4771R
Rod StuartCCCEOSElan 10GBR 9192R
Diarmuid GoodRCYCExhaleX362 SportIRL 8991
Nigel ColleyGuernsey YCFastrak VIIISunfast 3200GBR 4690R
Nicholas BateArmy SAFujitsuArchambault A40RCGBR 1429L
Laurent GouyClifden BCInis MorKer39FRA 35439
Ronan O’SiochruDMYCIOSS- Desert StarSunfast 37IRL1397
Andrew SarrattRIYC & RStGYCJediJ1098088
John MayburyRIYCJoker 2J109IRL 1206
Neil EatoughR St.G YCLancasrtianStarlight 46GBR 7682T
Coyne /FlahiveWSCLC Tyres LulabelleBeneteau 36.7IRL3607
Adrian LeeRORC RStGLee Overlay PartnersCookson 50IRL
Paul EganRStGLegally BlondeBeneteau 31.7IRL 3175
Julian MetherellR Thames YCMaxvmg FortissimoAkilaria Class 40GBR 97
Peter DunlopPwllheli SCMidnight MojitoElan 350GBR 1549R
Tom SperreyRORCNightfallArcona 430GBR 6643
Sir Geoffrey MulcahyRTYC/RSYCNoonmark VISwan 56GBR 5698R
Cathal ClarkeWIORA-NUIGSCNUI GalwayReflex 387386
Mike JaquesRORCNunatakJ120GBR9604R
Floate & NortonIOM YC & WSCOcean TangoDehler 34GBR 6848T
Jerry CollinsRStGPersistanceSigma 38IRL 8237
Kirsteen DonaldsonRORCPyxisX332GBR 5963T
Michael CreedonNYCSarinaS & SIRL 2260
Stephen TudorCH Pwllheli SCSgrechJ109GBR 9319R
A, B & J DouglasCarrickfergus SCSpirit of JacanaJ 133IRL 1335
Dan WalshAmerican YC NYTeam Wild GooseOwenClarke Class 40GBR 38
P W VroonRORCTonnerre de Breskens 3Ker 46NED 46
T. Fair & D. FletcherBallyholme YCTwisterBeneteau 31.7GBR 1505R
Sailing LogicRORCVisit Malta PumaReflex 38GBR 7383R
Paul JacksonRORC -JOGWild SpiritJeanneau 40SOGBR 8799T
Published in Round Ireland

#ROUND IRELAND RACE – Adrian Lee's Cookson 50 in the big boat division of this year's Round Ireland race along with Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy's, Noonmark VI, a Swan 56 with a top crew, are just two of 25 entries received so far for Ireland's top offshore fixture that starts in six weeks time.

Billed by the hosts as one of Europe's major yacht racing events next month's Round Ireland Yacht Race 2012, which starts in Wicklow Harbour on 24th June, is being held for the 17th time since the biennial, non-stop, 704–mile circumnavigation of this island started in 1980.

Twenty five starters, to-date, have confirmed entry with anticipation high for further additions before the closing date for entries on the 8th June.

The Round Ireland Yacht Race is run under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the largest yacht racing organisation in the world. The RORC include the Round Ireland Yacht Race as one of the premier challenges in their calendar of seventeen international races this year.

In the class 1 entries, one to watch will be Piet Vroon, in Tonnerre de Breskens 3 from Holland, who has dominated the RORC racing calendar from Fastnet to the Caribbean and is making a welcome return to Wicklow Sailing Club. Round Ireland also welcomes Dan Walsh, from the USA, together with six of his fellow sailors from the American Yacht Club of New York, who have chartered the yacht, Fujifilm, which will sail under the name of "Team Wild Goose", a Class 40 which also comes with an international racing pedigree.

Having left Howth a few years ago, Cracklin' Rosie is now returning under the helm of Londoner, Steven Anderson while the intrepid ladies, Kristeen Donaldson and Judith Eastwood, have entered their yacht PYXIS in the gruelling two-handed class. While on the subject of the ladies keep an eye on Allie Smith aboard Visit Malta Puma who won her class in the 2010 race and is determined to take the trophy back home again.

The west of Ireland is well represented with Inis Mor from Clifden BC, and NUI Galway from Galway University Sailing Club while Cork and Dun Laoghaire have lately shown a stronger interest. Of local Wicklow interest is the return this year of club member, Brian Flahive, to the two handed class in LC Tyres Lulabelle to be sailed under the WSC burgee.

Approximately half of the yachts entered in the Round Ireland Yacht Race are RORC racers based in England and include entries from the RAF and the Army Sailing Clubs. Boats from Scotland, Wales and Guernsey will also join the fleet in Wicklow. All in all a formidable entry of top rated racers, even at this early date.

"To win the Round Ireland Yacht Race, your crew have to race consistently well, all day and all night, every day; given the challenging Irish coastline, it is not an easy course. Three thousand miles for open seas to build up before they hit you on the West coast can be daunting. I have no illusions, winning against good opposition is never easy but it makes racing the Round Ireland Yacht Race all the more rewarding" said Theo Phelan, Race Organiser for the Round Ireland 2012 Yacht Race.

Entries received to May 10th 2012

EntrantCLUBBoat NameBoat Type
Mike Jaques RORC Nunatak J120
Simon Costain RAFYC Fortitude Pogo Class 40
Nicholas Bate Army Sailing Association Fujitsu Archambault A40RC
Laurent Gouy Clifden BC Inis Mor Ker39
Kirsteen Donaldson RORC Pyxis X332
Steven Anderson RORC Cracklin' Rosie Corby 40
Nigel Colley Guernsey YC Fastrak VIII Sunfast 3200
Neil Eatough R St.G YC Lancasrtian Starlight 46
Cathal Clarke WIORA-NUIGSC NUI Galway Reflex 38
Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy R Thames YC R SouthernYC Noonmark VI Swan 56
Rod Stuart CCC EOS Elan 10
Dan Walsh American YC NY Team Wild Goose OwenClarke Class 40
Paul Jackson RORC -JOG Wild Spirit Jeanneau 40SO
P W Vroon RORC Tonnerre de Breskens 3 Ker 46
Ian Hickey RCYC Cavatina Granada 38
Adrian Lee RORC RStG Lee Overlay Partners Cookson 50
Derry Good RCYC Exhale X362 sport
Mark Denton Maxvmg Fortissimo Akilaria Class 40
Stephen Tudor Pwllheli Sgrech J 109
Bruce Douglas Carrickfergus Spirit of Jacana J 133
David Fletcher Ballyholme YC Twister First 31.7
Allie Smith RORC Visit Malta Puma Reflex 38
Ronan O'Siochru NYC /RORC Irish Offshore Sailing School Sunfast 37
Nick Martin RORC Diablo-j J 105
Coyne /Flahive WSC LC Tyres Lulabelle Beneteau 36.7
Published in Round Ireland

#RIR – Early British offshore entries account for 50% of the yachts entered so far for next month's Round Ireland Yacht Race from Wicklow, an offshore offshore fixture that for the first time counts for the same points as the Rolex Fastnet race in the international Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) season. It's an indicator the 2012 Round Ireland is quietly taking shape inspite of the recession.

16 boats are already entered say Wicklow Sailing Club, eight are subject to confirmation but another 17, including many of the Irish Sea's 18-boat ISORA fleet are highly likely, giving the 2012 race a healthy 30-40 boat turnout when it sets sail just over six weeks time from Wicklow Bay. In particularly Welsh and Dublin Bay J109 yachts are setting the pace in the first two Irish Sea races to Wicklow and Holyhead respectively.

Although event chairman Dennis Noonan would not reveal the identity of an Open 60 today it is expected the boat and skipper will be confirmed at tomorrow night's official launch in Wicklow town. It will add spice to a fleet that has among its number the Round Ireland defending champion, Dutch entry Tonerre de Breskens skippered by Piet Vroon.

No official entry list has yet been published for the 2012 race but notable entries include a woman's double-hander for the first time. A New York based Open 40 Wild Goose is also debuting on the 704-mile course. Other boats include a regular Round Ireland entry that has been so close to an overall win but never won it;  Laurent Gouy's Inismor. Simon Costain's Fortitude, a Pogo Class 40 is in as well as the British Army Sailing Association 40 footer Fujitsu; Paul Egan's Legally Blonde from Dun Laoghaire is sailing again. Nigel Colley's Fastrak VIII, a new Jeanneau Sun Fast 3200 is also entered. Another UK entry is Round Ireland veteran Mike Jacques of Nunatak.

One of the earliest campaigns to declare was a crew of NUI Galway students and graduates who are campaigning a 38-foot yacht in the non–stop race. The student's first training session, around the Aran Islands is carried as a youtube clip above.

This year, the Round Ireland start gun goes at 12:00 on Sunday, 24 June.

Published in Round Ireland
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