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Displaying items by tag: PPE

Covid-19 personal protective equipment has posed a “lethal threat to nature”, a new study by scientists involving Britain’s Natural History Museum (NHM) has found.

Billions of face masks and gloves produced for protection from the virus are making plastic pollution “an even greater issue”, the study has said.

While no longer as “prevalent” as they once were, the disposable masks and gloves could stay in the environment for “tens if not hundreds of years”, it warns.

Entanglements were one of the most prevalent threats, with some animals being killed after becoming caught in the plastic debris, the study drawing on community science observations from around the world has noted.

The paper’s co-author, NHM principal curator and curator in charge of birds at the museum Dr Alex Bond, says that “we really don't know how big a problem pandemic waste could be”.

“As many areas of the world had restrictions on non-essential movement, we will never be able to know the true extent of the issue, but this study gives us a snapshot into the sheer diversity of species that were affected,” he says.

The study captures only 114 observations from around the world, representing “just a fraction of the much larger impacts of COVID-19 waste on wildlife”.

At the pandemic’s height, estimated global demand was for over 129 billion disposable masks per month.

“We filter out most litter in our environment, as it represents examples such as crisp packets or cigarette butts that we've seen for years or decades,” Dr Bond explains.

“When PPE [personal protective equipment] flooded our waste management systems in the early days of the pandemic, it was a lot more obvious because it was new,” he says.

“Now we don't even flinch when we see a blue face mask on the ground. It's rapidly become part of our everyday experience of waste in our environment,” he says.

Published in Marine Wildlife

The Royal Cork Yacht Club has congratulated members of its U25 Academy who have been getting involved in UK Sailmakers Ireland’s recent PPE-making efforts.

After closing its Crosshaven loft to customers in mid-March, UK Sailmakers Ireland last month took on the mammoth task of switching from its usual sail wardrobes to scrubs and masks for frontline HSE workers in the fight against coronavirus.

Among those pitching in were Erica Rhodes, Leah Hanlon, Griff Kelleher and David Jones, who earned the praise of their home club on social media.

Published in Royal Cork YC
Tagged under

UK Sailmakers in Cork Harbour have busy fulfilling the many orders for gowns for healthcare workers in the frontline against COVID-19.

As Afloat reported previously, sailmaker Barry Hayes and his team at Crosshaven have been deploying their resources to help make Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for local healthcare workers at the front line in the fight against this disease.

"We hope the rainbow colours bring a touch of joy to those working tirelessly on the frontline",  Hayes said on social media.

First conceived by UK Sailmakers Norway, the UK lofts in New York, Canada and the Irish loft have made refinements on the design and material selection.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

RORC Fastnet Race

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge.

For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between.

The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish for 2021 is in Cherbourg via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Cherbourg.

Fastnet Race - FAQs

The 49th edition of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, UK on Sunday 8th August 2021.

The next two editions of the race in 2021 and 2023 will finish in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin at the head of the Normandy peninsula, France

Over 300. A record fleet is once again anticipated for the world's largest offshore yacht race.

The international fleet attracts both enthusiastic amateur, the seasoned offshore racer, as well as out-and-out professionals from all corners of the world.

Boats of all shapes, sizes and age take part in this historic race, from 9m-34m (30-110ft) – and everything in between.

The Fastnet Race multihull course record is: 1 day 4 hours 2 minutes and 26 seconds (2019, Ultim Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier)

The Fastnet Race monohull course record is: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing).

David and Peter Askew's American VO70 Wizard won the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race, claiming the Fastnet Challenge Cup for 1st in IRC Overall.

Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001.

The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result.

The winner of the first Fastnet Race was the former pilot cutter Jolie Brise, a boat that is still sailing today.

Cork sailor Henry P F Donegan (1870-1940), who gave his total support for the Fastnet Race from its inception in 1925 and competed in the inaugural race in his 43ft cutter Gull from Cork.

Ireland has won the Fastnet Race twice. In 1987 the Dubois 40 Irish Independent won the Fastnet Race overall for the first time and then in 2007 – all of twenty years after Irish Independent’s win – Ireland secured the overall win again this time thanks to Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain from the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland in Kilrush.

©Afloat 2020

Fastnet Race 2023 Date

The 2023 50th Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Saturday, 22nd July 2023

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At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 695 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Cherbourg
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result.

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