While everyone is very relieved and grateful that the crew of the Scottish-owned Ker 39 Inis Mor were saved after their boat sank at the Saltees at the weekend while on passage to Cork for the up-coming ICRA Nationals, there is still a sense of shock that a boat which was a successful veteran of three Round Ireland Races should have gone down so suddenly writes W M Nixon.
Inis Mor is best known in Irish sailing for her years campaigned by the Gouy family of France, who won an RORC Championship with her thanks to their overall win in the 2012 Round Ireland Race. She was always in the frame, as her other two circuits of Ireland notched her a second and a third. And her gallant owners further endeared themselves to the Irish sailing community through being entered for the Round Ireland Race as representing the Clifden Boat Club, as they have a property in Connemara.
Inis Mor was sold to top Scottish skipper Jonathan Anderson, whose own formidable track record at the sharp end of the fleet made the Anderson/Inis Mor equipe’s debut in Cork a keenly-anticipated event. Thus the news of this sinking, apparently caused by a failed toilet seacock with an ingress of water which was not obvious until it was too late to do anything to effectively seal it off, brings a sense of shock, and an added awareness that in a stripped-down racing boat, almost any equipment failure can have cumulative and potentially disastrous effects if not immediately dealt with.