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GP14 World Championships Statement on Monday's 'Major Rescue' on Strangford Lough

13th August 2014
GP14 World Championships Statement on Monday's 'Major Rescue' on Strangford Lough

#gp14 – Following the 'major rescue' incident during the GP14 Worlds at East Down Yacht Club on Monday afternoon, championship organisers issued the following statement to 'reassure' members:

'Today was the first day of the event with race 1 starting at 12.00 in wind speeds of 17 knots. 88 boats were "Tallied Out" (This is a safety system that ensures the event organisers know which boats are on the water and who is in each boat). Towards the finish of the first race the Race Officer decided that due to worsening weather conditions the second race of the day would be cancelled. The signal for race cancellation was displayed and the safety boat crews were informed that racing for the day was finished. The fleet started to head ashore when a strong squall of 31 Knots passed over the race area. The effect of this was that some of the GP14 Boats capsized, this is not an unusual situation and crews are trained on how to "Right" their boat. Unfortunately a further stronger squall registering 37 Knots followed the first, capsizing a further number of the fleet.

Apparent media reports of 80 boats being capsized would be incorrect as there would have been no more than 10-12 Boats capsized at any one time. The capsizes where being successfully handled by the competitors and the team of 13 safety boats that had been accompanying the racing fleet. The Race officer then made the correct decision, as a precaution, to contact the Coast Guard should the weather conditions worsen and in fact the weather conditions improved after 15 minutes.

As regards injuries apart from 2 competitors with suspected broken limbs no one in the event was seriously injured other than minor scratches, cut and bruises, consistent with the sport at this level'.

Published in GP14 Team

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