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The Royal Yachting Association has decided that in light of the current Covid-19 situation it is in the best interests of all parties to postpone its 2021 British Youth Sailing National Championships.

The regatta, the UK’s premier youth racing event, was due to take place from April 4 to 9 hosted by Plymouth Youth Sailing Club in Plymouth, Devon.

Typically, the annual event is attended by some Irish youth sailors, north and south of the border.

With the UK currently in lockdown and likely to revert to the tier system once restrictions ease, the decision has been made to delay the regatta until the summer.

This will give organisers the time to plan for the best possible event, as well as giving time for the nationwide vaccination programme to take effect.

We are also very mindful that the young sailors will have lost training time over the winter and this gives them time to be ready for such an event.

It is hoped the rescheduled event will take place at the same venue the week commencing August 9, 2021. It is intended that further details and any Notice of Race will be shared before the end of January. More here

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Following last month’s news that its Northern Ireland branch’s cruising gathering is going online for 2021, the RYA has scheduled its first virtual cruising conference for the wider UK on Sunday 21 March.

The conference will cover the issues that matter most to cruisers, including post-Brexit guidance, training insights, real-life stories from fellow cruisers, as well as the latest developments in safety.

As always it will deliver informative and eye-opening talks from a range of speakers. And there will also be opportunities for the audience to get involved and a chance to ask your question to the experts.

The RYA says the event programme will be announced soon, and booking will go live shortly via rya.org.uk

Published in Cruising
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The RYA has published a new document outlining where British recreational boaters stand post-Brexit — with a deal still not struck eight days before the transition period ends.

In its end-of-year summary, which details what is currently understood about a raft of issues that will affect recreational boaters from 1 January, the RYA estimates that “up to 33,000 British people who go boating in Europe could be affected by Customs and VAT issues which would be applied to them retrospectively”.

It adds: “These are ordinary people who, as UK nationals and residents, have followed the rules and utilised freedoms that were available to them from the UK’s membership of the EU.

The document hits out at “inconsistent advice” from MH Revenue & Customs over the last two years — and says late-arriving clarity meant “insufficient time” for affected boat owners to qualify for Returned Goods Relief (RGR), leaving many liable to “double taxation”.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the latest advice from HMRC is for boat owners to carry proof of their vessel’s VAT-paid status at all times — a situation that could be particularly onerous for those who’ve built their own boat.

“At the moment many thousands of British boat owners are facing enormous personal and financial disruption to their lives despite adhering to the law of their country at that time. In many instances, it may even force them to sell their boat,” it states.

The summary also covers Schengen Area rules and new border control regimes both in the UK and the EU’s maritime countries, as well as the changing situation for recognised training centres and instructors working in the EU.

“We have all followed the latest drama of the trade deal negotiations on the daily news recently, but the reality is that sectoral issues have not featured in the high-level discussions involving politicians and negotiators on both sides,” RYA director of external affairs Howard Pridding says.

“That is why the RYA has endeavoured to seek answers from Government officials on the key issues for boaters. As 2020 draws to a close, we have put all that we know together in one document on our website.

“The early months of 2021 are going to deliver uncertainty and many challenges as we enter a post-Brexit era. The RYA Government Affairs Team will be continuing to represent members’ interests and strive to find the clarity that is currently lacking in many areas and we will keep members informed of developments through our website and RYA social media channels.”

Published in Cruising
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Ahead of the 2021-2024 Racing Rules of Sailing which come into effect on 1 January, the RYA has released an update to the World Sailing Rules App — giving sailors access to a ‘one-stop shop’ for the 2021-2024 rules and associated documents.

Launched in 2016, the multilingual app was developed by the RYA in partnership with World Sailing and has proven popular with racing sailors and officials worldwide, ensuring they have all the relevant rules information at their fingertips.

Steen Ingerslev, RYA publications manager said: “We are delighted to be working with World Sailing once again. We’ve made huge advances with RYA eBooks and digital resources in recent years ensuring popular app features like the ‘Integrated eBook’ are more accessible than ever before.”

The ‘Integrated eBook’ links all the rules documents together, enabling the user to navigate seamlessly between the rules and cases, highlighting a number of cases for each rule in both overview and full case detail formats.

A rules mode in the settings allows the user to select Windsurfing, Team, Match, Radio or Kiteboard Racing amendments for their convenience. They can also select a country, enabling any translated rules and showing the local prescriptions from any participating National Authority.

The World Sailing Rules App can be downloaded for free through the Apple App Store and Google Play. If you’ve already downloaded the 2017-2020 version, it will be automatically updated. The ‘Integrated eBook’ will be available shortly as an in-app purchase.

Published in World Sailing

Strangford Sailing Club has been named among the finalists for RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year 2021.

Ten clubs across the UK have been selected by the RYA Awards Panel, with online voting now open.

The Co Down club is the only Northern Ireland finalist this year for the annual gong, which saw Strangford Lough Yacht Club and East Antrim Boat Club in the running this time last year.

The RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year award, supported by Gallagher, recognises the outstanding achievement of sailing clubs across the UK and promotes the hard work and dedication that goes into running a successful club.

Voting closes on Monday 25 January, and the award presentations and overall winner announcement will be made at the RYA Virtual Dinghy Show on 27-28 February.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

Rules determining UK owned boats’ VAT status will be subject to change after 31st December 2020 and Global marine transport and logistics provider Peters & May has is reminding UK boat owners with vessels outside the UK that as the Brexit transition period comes to an end at 11 pm 31st December 2020, the rules determining boats’ VAT status will be subject to change.

The latest information available from HMRC is that from 1st January 2021 the rule that yachts must return to the UK within 3 years of having last left the UK/EU in order to be entitled to Returned Goods Relief (RGR) on duty & VAT will be strictly enforced.

‘Whether RGR is applicable will be dependent on it not having undergone any repairs whilst outside the EU that increased its value when it last left the UK/EU and the amount of time it has been overseas, the date of its reimport into the UK and whether the place from where is it returning is inside the Customs Territory of the EU,’ says the company’s Sea Freight and Customs Manager Adam Towgood. He continues, ‘In order to claim the VAT relief element of RGR, it must also have not changed ownership since it last departed. Where a boat does not meet RGR criteria, duty and VAT will be payable to HMRC upon reimport’.

HMRC has recently announced the grant of a 12-month extension exclusively for boats that are currently within the EU, having departed the UK before 31st December 2017. These now have until 31st December 2021 to be reimported to the UK and claim RGR.

As Afloat reported previously, Ireland could see an influx after Christmas of visiting boaters from Northern Ireland seeking to secure the VAT and duty status of their vessels as the Brexit transition period ends.

Adam continues, ‘To ensure that there is no VAT payable to HMRC on the reimportation of their boats we are urging UK boat owners to take early action. Owners need to be aware of the dates of their boats’ movements and time away from the UK and act accordingly to claim Returned Goods Relief. A summary of whether HMRC will allow a claim to RGR according to the departure and arrival dates has been posted to our website and shared on social media channels.’

Peters & May has availability on sailing schedules from the Med which will arrive in the UK before the end of December 2020. Owners choosing Peters & May as their transport provide will benefit from the company’s experts managing the Customs clearance process on their behalf.

The Peters & May team has experience working with HMRC and understands the relevant VAT rulings. An integral part of the company’s yacht transportation service is the completion of complicated paperwork on behalf of the owner.

Adam Towgood says, ‘Navigating the import process and paperwork can be a minefield for owners not accustomed to the technicalities and governing rulings. We work closely with our customers to ensure their boat’s journey home goes smoothly and all relevant legal documentation is completed.’

Further information may be obtained by visiting the HMRC website or the website of the UK’s National Governing Body for sailing, the RYA.

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Ireland could see an influx after Christmas of visiting boaters from Northern Ireland seeking to secure the VAT and duty status of their vessels as the Brexit transition period ends.

The suggestion comes after the UK’s Royal Yachting Association earlier this week welcomed “greater clarity” on the position of the customs status of boats from the European Commission.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, British boaters resident in the UK and the EU alike have feared being left in limbo regarding the tax and duty status of their vessels — and facing hefty charges when selling on or even relocating across territories.

The situation could still see a depression of the used boat market in Great Britain as EU-based buyers may be dissuaded by significant import levies.

Addressing UK boaters’ concerns, Howard Pridding, the RYA’s director of external affairs, said: “The Commission is no longer saying that any boat lying in the UK at the end of the transition period will not be eligible for Returned Goods Relief (RGR) as the boat will not have been exported.

“Instead they have differentiated the advice based on where the boat is registered and where the owner is established.

“The Commission’s interpretation of the law provides important guidance, but the final decision on what actually happens when a boat is imported rests with the authorities in the country in which that import is taking place.”

Pridding also noted the European Commission has confirmed the RYA’s suspicions “that documentation (such as a T2L, customs opinion letter or other supporting documentation) issued by the UK before the end of the transition period will not be valid in the EU as of the end of the transition period.

“However, we would recommend that boat owners keep hold of such documents, as they may provide useful evidence of the boat’s history and could be helpful when dealing with customs authorities in the EU27 in the future,” he added.

Meanwhile, as talks continue, it’s also expected that UK boats in the EU will be given a year’s grace to return to Great Britain before losing their UK VAT-paid status.

The situation is less clear for boats currently lying in Northern Ireland, as the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol is still under negotiation.

Nevertheless, a source close to Afloat.ie has suggested Ireland might now “expect to see a lot of Northern Ireland boats” and even boats from Wales “come [to the Republic] after Christmas to be in the EU” and then return to Great Britain in the New Year in the hopes of retaining their current VAT and duty status.

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RYA Scotland currently employs 12 staff in a wide range of roles, from performance to training, to development alongside administrators. There are also around 60 volunteers contributing and leading its work for the boating community in Scotland. The organisation is expanding the team with recruitment underway for a new Training Development Officer role and two Regional Development Officers.

The Training Development Officer post is in Edinburgh and the Regional Development Officers are based in Inverness and Edinburgh.

The Training Development Officer role aims to inspire curious coaches and instructors in Scotland to thrive, through innovative and accessible development opportunities. With the support of sportscotland, a new Regional Development Officer post is being created to help grow the reach and support for clubs and centres in the North of Scotland and the Islands.

The other Regional post is for the East of Scotland, to continue the work that has been done in this area already.

Closing date 12 noon on 18th November 2020.

Interviews will be held online week beginning 30th November 2020.

Full details of the roles are available here

Published in Jobs
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Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is quiet this weekend after the Royal Yachting Association’s last-minute cancelation of the UK Youth Nationals.

The RYA says it made the decision “to safeguard sailors and their families, volunteers, race officials and event staff in light of the severe weather forecast and in the context of the current COVID-19 situation”.

Mark Nicholls, RYA youth racing manager and Youth National Championships event director, said: “It is hugely disappointing to have to cancel the 2020 Youth Nationals for the 29er, 420 and ILCA 6 classes, and it was not a decision that was taken lightly.

“However we have always maintained that we would only go ahead with this event if we could do so safely, and with a forecast for heavy winds combined with COVID-19 restrictions we feel that cancelling the regatta is the best option to protect the welfare of all involved.”

RYA director of racing Ian Walker added: “We have been dealing with a constantly changing situation and while we desperately wanted to host this event for all the young sailors who have had such a difficult year, in the end it has all conspired against us.

“Despite this, we will continue to try and support training and racing for so long as it is safe to do so. Our thanks go to all our stakeholders for their support and understanding, but especially the team at WPNSA who have been incredible as always.”

The RYA says refunds will be issued for all competitors, with details to come.

Meanwhile, next weekend’s RYA Olympic Ranker, Youth Nationals and 470 Nationals regatta at Weymouth and Portland from October 30 to November 1 is still on course as of time of publication.

Published in Youth Sailing
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The RYA Dinghy Show is to be a virtual event for 2021 due to the current escalation of Covid-19.

The show had been due to take place over the weekend of 27-28 February at its new venue, Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Organisers, the RYA says it is now exploring the opportunities for dinghy sailing fans to enjoy highlights of the show from the safety of their homes.

A webinar consultation has shown a substantial majority preferring to postpone until 2022 to due to the high levels of uncertainty around what restrictions may still be in place in February 2021.

"This combined with underlying seasonal risk factors has led us to make the difficult decision to run the event virtually," an RYA spokesman said. "Although nothing can fully replace the unique atmosphere of the RYA Dinghy Show, we're committed to giving our visitors an exciting online experience with virtual exhibitors including clubs and classes, expert talks, coaching sessions and much, much more."

More from RYA here

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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020

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