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Displaying items by tag: Turkey shoot

Maybe it’s the fact that the days start to get longer again in only a fortnight, but there’s mood of rising optimism in Irish sailing these days writes W M Nixon. There’s an almost measurable buzz in the air which is spearheaded by the pace-setting Fintan Cairns-inspired DBSC Turkey Shoot Series in Dublin Bay, and given substantial extra boosts by long-established Autumn and Winter series going full blast at other centres.

This fresh zest for our sport is supported by more traditionally-minded sailors. They may have preferred to bring their season to a close in October or November with their boats properly laid up for the winter, but the amount of work they have going on behind the scenes to get new initiatives up and running, while keeping existing programmes in good and growing health, is a remarkable reflection on the value of the voluntary effort and input which sailing inspires.

fintan cairns2The Man Who Makes It Happen – Fintan Cairns, main driver of DBSC’s Turkey Shoot series

As one leading big-boat contender in the Turkey Shoot has put it: “If it wasn’t for the continuing enthusiasm of Fintan and his team chivvying us out there every Sunday morning, and then being on station with the Committee Boat to set another excellent course, then I don’t think half of us would think of taking part in a series which takes us right up to the very threshold of Christmas. Yet here it is, week after week for seven Sundays with a splendidly varied fleet of 75 boats, and the mood is euphoric – it feels like the best racing we’ve had all year, and it probably is”.

The regular reports in Afloat.ie give some idea of the pace of the sport and the calibre of the racing, yet although there are so many relatively new contenders involved that it has been commented that the Turkey Shoot 2018 is for all the world like a live Boat Show afloat and racing, it’s somehow reassuring to note that going into this weekend’s race, the overall leader is Sean O’Regan’s vintage Dehler 31 Vespucci.

justina turkey shoot3“Making mince of the Dublin Bay chop” – John Treanor’s new Grand Soleil 34 Justitna. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

That said, if we were to choose a “Marque of the Year” in Irish sailing, the Grand Soleil brand from Italy would definitely be on the shortlist, with John Treanor’s new Grand Soleil 34 Justtina turning many heads in the Turkey Shoot as she makes mince of the Dublin Bay chop.

Through the season, Frank Whelan’s Grand Soleil 44 Eleuthera from Greystones set the pace on both the east and south coasts, while on the south coast the Murphy family’s Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo rounded out a great season by being made the Royal Cork YC’s “Keelboat of the Year”.

gs40 nieulargo4Classy performer – the Murphy family’s Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo brings teak deck style to the front of the fleet. Photo: Bob Bateman

Still on the south coast, as our colleague Tom MacSweeney was reporting, the recent AGM of the South Coast Offshore Racing Association brought a breath of fresh air with the much-approved election of Johanna Murphy of Great Island SC as the first woman sailor to be Commodore. She takes up the role with a clear vision of encouraging coastal passage races, but as such races have to be fitted in with the increasing number of club At Homes, the demand on premium dates is high.

A further challenge was added to the brew at the AGM with a significant presence from Waterford Harbour SC at Dunmore East, seeking to have their historic yet expanding club included in the SCORA programme. This is quite a challenge, as it’s all of 50 nautical miles and more from Cork Harbour to Dunmore East. That’s fine and dandy if the SCORA main fleet race there from Cork Harbour with a grand following breeze, but problems of logistics arise when they face the uphill slog home.

johanna murphy5Early Christmas present for Johannna Murphy of Cork Harbour’s Great Island SC – she’s the new Commodore of the South Coast Offshore Racing Association. Photo: Bob Bateman

Nevertheless in due course there’s no doubt Dunmore East will be back in the offshore racing picture, just as in due course a fleet of J/109s has developed in Dublin Bay as everyone hoped for years would eventually happen. And not only is God in his heaven with ace MOB rescuer Tim Goodbody in the lead in White Mischief in the J/109s racing in the Turkey Shoot, but this week it has been revealed that the latest addition to the class is newly-elected ICRA Commodore Richard Colwell, back in harness with his former longtime campaigning partner Johnny Murphy with their recently-acquired J/109 Outrajeous. They’ll be keeping her at their home port of Howth, increasing the likelihood of further sister-ships there, as they’ll be joining Colm Buckley and Simon Knowles with Indian, and the daddy of them all, Pat Kelly with the all-conquering Storm.

white mischief6Tim Goodbody’s White Mischief gets the best of a J/109 start in the Turkey Shoot series. The class is extending its reach with Outrajeous (Richard Cowell & Johnny Murphy) joining the pair in Howth. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Howth, with its winter Laser Frostbites dating from 1974 and its keelboats Brass Monkey series now in its 32nd year, continues to be a hive of activity. In fact if anything the colourful sailing/fishing harbour as a whole had a problem of success, as it has become such a visitor magnet that, on a good weekend, the quaysides and waterfront roads can get distinctly crowded.

A series of fortuitous circumstances have brought about the situation whereby the place can offer such an attractive visitor experience. When the harbour was undergoing its massive re-development in the 1980s, the original plan was that all the ancient and often quaint buildings of the West Pier should be swept away to provide the maximum of space for fishing-related work and vehicle movements. But by some miracle they all were saved, and today the colourful line of buildings down the West Pier is home to more popular and varied seafood restaurants than you could count, cheek-by-jowl with marine industry workshops. And the old Mariner’s Hall, originally built as “The Prayer House” for visiting Scottish fishermen, has been saved from demolition and is currently having its roof replaced with such attention to detail that its woodwork will become a special architectural feature.

howth harbour7Howth’s complex and often very busy harbour. Its necessary dredging has now been recognised as a Major Infrastructural Project

But while everything above the water around Howth’s increasingly tidy yet ever busier harbour seems to be going fine, under the sea’s surface things aren’t so good, as bits of the harbour badly need dredging. In the Netherlands where they’re the world leaders in building and maintaining maritime structure, all harbours are automatically dredged every five years at least. But in Howth although the harbour as we know it now dates back to 1982, there has been only piecemeal dredging and channel clearance, and a major infrastructural project is on the cards.

With this in mind, leading Howth fisherman Sean Doran and local Senator Catherine Noone and others set about arranging a top level visit which would bring Howth’s problems home to Government at the highest level. They reckoned that the case would be best put if the Government could meet representatives of all the harbour stakeholders in an effort to gauge how much could be maintained and added to local economic activity by bringing the harbour depths up to the required standards.

leo and joe8Taoiseach Leo Varadker with Howth YC Commodore Joe McPeake in the clubhouse last weekend. Photo: HYC/Brian Turvey

It’s only when you set out to arrange such a gathering that you become fully aware of how many revenue-generating and employment activities a harbour as diverse as Howth can encompass. When local TD and Government Minister Richard Bruton and Senator Noone set out last Saturday afternoon with Fingal Mayor Councillor Anthony Lavin to show Taoiseach Leo Varadkar round Howth Harbour and meet the people who make it work, it was one busy day, with harbourmaster Captain Harry McLoughlin and others taking the fact-finding group on a mission which started with the many fishing enterprises and the shore facilities for the regular summer ferry route to Dublin and Dun Laoghaire, went on with a wide variety of retail and workshop outfits, seemed to take in everything possible to improve the harbour, and then concluded with a much-needed cup of tea in Howth Yacht Club where Commodore Joe McPeake and his team were able to introduce the Taoiseach to sailors at every level from absolute beginners to Olympic 49er Under 23 Gold Medallists Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, while at the same time providing information about how Howth YC’s Quest Sailing School is reaching out to people from every background.

howth group9In Howth YC are (left to right) 49er Under 23 Gold Medallist Robert Dickson, Mayor of Fingal Councillor Anthony Lavin, Taoiseach Leo Varadker, Senator Catherine Noone, Gold Medallist Sean Waddilove and HYC Commodore Joe McPeake, with Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment also in photo. Photo: HYC/Brian Turvey

It was a mutually informative yet pleasantly informal gathering, sweetened by the news that the dredging of Howth Harbour is now agreed as a Major Infrastructural Project. And for any busy yacht or sailing club to be given this opportunity to see itself as others see it, and to see particularly how well - with mutual goodwill - it fits in and interacts with the community around it, well, that was a real tonic for the membership.

But then, having been at the annual dinner of the historic Howth Seventeen Foot Class in the clubhouse the night before, your correspondent was already reassured about the basic good health of HYC. For this might well have been the 120th Annual Dinner of the Howth Seventeens, as they were founded in 1898. But with a convivially packed house with 128 present, the mood was so youthful it could have been the first Annual Dinner of all, for age shall not weary them.

howth seventeens10“Age shall not weary them….” The Howth 17s held what may well have been their 120th Annual Dinner last weekend, but as they know they were founded in 1898, nobody has been counting. Photo: W M Nixon

And even when it does, the Seventeens have a remarkable capacity for renewal, headed in the 1970s by Nick Massey, and more recently kept simmering by Ian Malcolm. Their capacity for re-birth is extraordinary, and thus the Howth Seventeen people are among the most appreciative of a small beautifully-restored yacht which quietly appeared in their marina back in September.

This is the 23ft Laurent Giles-designed L Class Iduna, originally built in 1938 and bought in 1948 by the late Roger Bourke of Limerick and Foynes. Iduna is now owned by his son Robert for whom she has been restored by Howth master-shipwright Johnny Leonard, who is indeed connected to the great County Cork boat-building clan.

Iduna dec11The restored 80-year-old Iduna, brought to new life by Johnny Leonard of Howth. Photo: W M Nixon

Iduna, as restored by those Leonard skills, simply glows – there’s no other word for it. And in time when finishing jobs have been completed, she’ll be based in Dun Laoghaire though her home port will always be Foynes, as her owner moves between bases in Limerick and Dublin. But for now, she’s an adornment in Howth marina, and anyone feeling the winter glooms only has to go and look at her to feel better.

In fact, the health benefits of seeing a good boat restoration cannot be underestimated, and down West Cork way they almost have a regional service in this feel-good factor, what with Ilen being restored at Oldcourt where Saoirse is now being re-built, while across at Ballydehob, Tiernan Roe has the fine job of restoring The Lady Min underway for the O’Keeffe family of Schull, and nearby Rui Ferreira – already well proven in classic boat restoration and new-build - has Dublin Bay Water Wag No 49 under new construction for Martin Byrne.

water wag fortynine12Rui Ferreira of Ballydehob with the new Water Wag, no 49 to a design from 1900. Photo: Ian Malcolm

This is being done to such an exquisite standard that you’d think she should be put straight into a glass case for permanent display purposes. Between all these restorations and new-build projects, together with the good news about re-vitalised sailing enthusiasm and increased government awareness of harbour needs, there’s a fresh zing to the sea air which launches Irish sailing towards 2019 with vigorous optimism.

water wag fortynine13The classic Water Wag, designed 118 years ago by Maimie Doyle, daughter of boatbuilder James Doyle. Photo: Ian Malcol

water wag fortynine14Rui Ferreira is renowned for his attention to detail in classic boat-building, and with Water Wag 49 he has excelled himself. Photo: Ian Malcolm

Published in Dublin Bay

Overall leader Vespucci will be among the first to start in race six of the Citroen South Dublin DBSC Turkey Shoot Series this Sunday on Dublin Bay.

The Dehler 31 starts as part of a 21-boat group in the first of four starts for the record-breaking 75-boat fleet.

Download the handicaps and start times for Sunday's winter race below.

Published in Turkey Shoot
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Sean O'Regan's Dehler 31 Vespucci has jumped into the overall lead of the Citroen South Dublin Turkey Shoot Series after five races sailed at the Royal Irish Yacht Club hosted event.

The Dehler has broken the stranglehold of the J109 design but Ruth and Jalapeno still hold second and third respectively.

Download overall results to date below.

The penultimate race of the series starts this Sunday.

Published in Turkey Shoot
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Handicaps and starts for next Sunday have been issued by DBSC Turkey Shoot organisers.

The seven-race series sponsored by Citroen South Dublin heads into its fifth race with J109s firmly in the lead and taking the top three places overall in the 75 boat fleet. Read our race four report here.

 

Published in Dublin Bay
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The crew that recovered a man overboard and then retired from the race last Sunday has moved into the overall lead of the DBSC Citroen South Dublin Turkey Shoot Series.

After four races sailed, and one discard applied, Tim and Richard Goodbody's J109 White Mischief leads the record 75-boat fleet. Second is J109 National Champion Joggerknot and in a big show of strength for the J design, third is another J109, Jalapeno. 

Download overall results below.

In a fourth race, full of drama last Sunday, redress was given to the boats involved in men overboard retrievals and to those assisting boats that were dismasted in big seas and 15-knot breezes. Read Afloat.ie's report here from one of the MOBs.

The Goodbody's crew were early leaders in this seven race series but lost out overall in race two to the Sunfast 3600, Hot Cookie

The fifth race takes place this Sunday morning. Lighter winds are forecast.

Published in Turkey Shoot
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More great sailing conditions of 15 knots or more and another great turnout for Dublin Bay Sailing Club's Citroen South Dublin Turkey Shoot as it passed the halfway stage of the series in yesterday's fourth race off Dun Laoghaire.

With race start times from 10 am, some (black sail) boats are on the race track from 8. 30 am such is the level of competition now generated for the popular series.

With four separate starts for the 75-boat fleet and some keen jostling for the pin end, Race Officer Henry Leonard got the fleets away promptly for three rounds of a course that featured a near one-kilometre beat, a gybe mark, and a downwind to the West Pier Outfall mark before a finish off that pier's lighthouse.

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492Race Officer Henry Leonard underneath the DBSC Turkey Shoot flag Photo: Afloat.ie

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492Great racing for all types of cruisers in the second start

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492

Ruffian 4670

Mixed sportboats

A great turnout of mixed sportsboats saw a keenly contested start with the 1720 Wolfe, full of Royal St. George One design talent, including Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring, Bill Nolan and John O'Connor, winning the pin end battle. 

Turkey Shoot 3501Ten seconds to go to the mixed Sportsboat third start and the race is on for the pin end...

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492....intense concentration on the RSTGYC 1720 skippered by Dragon ace Neil Hegarty

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492....five seconds...

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492With one boat clearly over as the gun goes, Hegarty nails the start....
Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492....and the RStGYC 1720 gets clean away at the pin

As well as 1720s, there are several J70s and J80s competing, including one of the Royal St. George's newly refurbished J80 fleet. 

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492J70 Jheetah

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492(Above and below) One of the Royal St. George's newly refurbished J80 fleet

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492In 15 knots and an edd tide, the outfall buoy proved a tricky leeward mark in race four

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492(above and below) The Royal St. George Yacht Club's Wolfe was a clear sportsboat winner on the water in race four

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492

Big J109 turnout

In the fourth start of the day, a great mix of cruisers zero and one came to the line to challenge any summer turnout. The Grand Soleil 34 debutante JustTina was out again as was the Farr 42 Wow. Both Sunfast 3600s were on the line, as was the former Turkey Shoot winner Mermaid, a Beneteau 50, and the top DBSC J97 Windjammer too, but the most popular type was the J109 that made up six of the sixteen-boat fleet.

It was nip and tuck, right off the line for the two top J109s in the country and when White Mischief (Tim Goodbody) and Juggerknot (Andrew Algeo) split tacks halfway up the first beat there was only a boat length between them. White Mischief rounded first and looked to gain initially downwind but the intriguing dogfight was shortlived because White Mischief was diverted to come to the rescue of a Man overboard. Read more here.

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492In the fourth start, top Irish J109s fight for the pin end....

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492Seconds after the start White Mischief, to weather, gets a nose out in front of national champion Juggerknot....

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492...but it is short lived as Juggerknot skipper Andrew Algeo powers off (above and below)

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492By the weather mark, White Mischief leads Juggerknot by two boat lengths or more

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492J109 Ruth

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492Sunfast 3600 YoYo

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492J97 Windjammer

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492Grand Soleil 34 Justtina

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492A mix of cruisers at the gybe mark includes Yoyo (Sunfast 3600), Dear Prudence, a J109, and the J122 Jib and Tonic

Sailing coach Maurice O'Connell shot the video below from the stern of Brendan Coghlan's "YoYo" (O'Connell was tactician). Olympic squad Laser sailor Ewan McMahon (in blue cap) was trimming the kite. The video shows the last leeward mark rounding (the yellow out fall mark off the back of the West Pier).

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492Overall Turkey Shoot leader, the Beneteau 31.7 Camira

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492J109 Jalapeno

Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492Turkey Shoot Henry Leonard 3492

Race four results to follow on Afloat.ie's dedicated Turkey Shoot section here

Published in Turkey Shoot
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Today's fourth race of the DBSC Turkey Shoot Series on Dublin Bay had a man overboard incident where a sailor was successfully rescued from the water by a competing boat. Here, Martin Byrne, a former Edinburgh Cup Dragon Champion, tells how he fell overboard from his 1720 Sportsboat 'Nick of Time' and was successfully recovered by Tim Goodbody's J109 White Mischief crew.

I was helming the 1720 A Stitch in Time. We were on the run on the second round of the race. After planing down an especially big wave the boat heeled to windward and as we were all positioned well aft I lost my balance and with nothing to hold onto and I fell overboard.

Stitch in time 0585Helmsman Martin Byrne fell overboard when the 1720 sportsboat heeled to windward in big seas Photo: Afloat.ie

My immediate thought was that I very grateful for my lifejacket and knew that I would be able to tread water until someone picked me up. However, this took a lot longer than I expected. My own boat were in difficulties as they struggled to get the spinnaker down and sail back to retrieve me. It was then that Tim & Richard Goodbody on the J109 White Mischief noticed that I was in trouble as I hailed them for assistance.

"I lost my balance and with nothing to hold onto and I fell overboard"

I was very cold by this stage and as the waves were breaking over me I began to swallow a lot of seawater. White Mischief was dropping all their sails and preparing to pick me up. It was difficult for me to swim with a full set of winter sailing gear on and I was beginning to get very tired. Eventually, they manoeuvred astern towards me and because of the very low overhang at the back of the J109 they were easily able to pull me aboard.

Tim Goodbody white Mischief 4786Tim Goodbody (right) and the J109 White Mischief crew recovered Martin Byrne from the water Photo: Afloat.ie

So no lasting damage but extremely grateful for the quick thinking, good seamanship and selfless action by the crew of White Mischief.

Published in Turkey Shoot
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The new Grand Soleil 34 'Justtina' that is cutting a dash as it debuts on Irish waters at the DBSC Turkey Shoot marks a return to sailing for her skipper John Treanor who forged a love for yacht racing on his first Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead ISORA race over 30 years ago.

"I set out to buy a boat that could be cruised by just myself and my wife (Tina). Hence the easy single handed set up", Treanor told Afloat.ie,  "But at the same time, having raced in my youth, I wanted to buy something that could cruise fast and had the potential to race well if I chose to do so".

Grand Soleil 34 Justtina 0809Its long windows and wide stern make this Small Grand Soleil instantly recognisable. The deck plan has been arranged for easy singlehanded or shorthanded racing, and that was a feature that appealed to new owner John Treanor

Grand Soleil 34 Justtina 0809This new Grand Soleil model is an attempt to produce a boat with the same impact that the previous Finot-designed GS34 had

Treanor says he set out to buy a J112E but when he went to look at the boat at Key Yachting in the UK he also saw the GS 34 which had just arrived and he says "it seemed to better match my requirements than the J". 

Grand Soleil 34 Justtina 0809Christened 'Justtina', the name honours John Treanor's wife and sailing partner, Tina

Below he relates the story of how the boat was purchased and his plans for her.

"Myself and Tina subsequently saw the two boats side by side at the Southhampton Boat Show and I got the clear instruction “You are buying the Grand Soleil”.

A few weeks later, I sailed the tiller version on a blustery day in Southhampton.

Grand Soleil 34 Justtina 0809Justina has an aluminium mast with high performance tapered profile 9/10 fractional rig, has two sweepback spreaders in order to maximize jib roach and a 9/10 forestay

The tiller just didn’t work for me as the helming angle was wrong and the tiller tended to kick aggressively upwards in the gusts. In addition, the tiller intrudes into the open layout of the cockpit and reduces the free movement of the crew.

Grand Soleil 34 Justtina 0809John Treanor on the wheel of Justtina with support from Maurice O'Connell of North Sails Ireland (left). He opted for the twin wheel version that allows much more cockpit space

However, I am sure that an out and out racing owner would probably opt for the tiller version. Ultimately I opted for the twin wheel version.

Regarding performance, the boat is currently been sailed with a very limited sail wardrobe and the rig has not yet been set up properly.

In addition, to say that it is not been helmed very well (my fault) would be an understatement!

Despite all that, she performs well on the water and on the odd occasion when I do my job right she can point as high and sail faster than the 109s. Which is better than I expected.

Downwind she can’t sail as deep as the 109s but with a proper kite would probably sail faster than them.

Grand Soleil 34 Justtina 0854The design aim of the GS34 is to create an offshore racing boat that is both easy to sail at maximum performance and a very comfortable fast cruiser

Grand Soleil 34 Justtina 0809

Grand Soleil 34 Justtina 0809

Regarding my plans for next season, I am not based full time in Ireland so that somewhat limits my ability to take part in long series racing.

So, for now, I plan to do the ICRAs followed by D2D then back to Cork for Sovereigns Week and back for the Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

I will try to do a couple of ISORAs (my first ever racing experience was a Dunlaoghaire to Holyhead ISORA over 30 years ago)

And then a few weeks based in Crookhaven in August.

Published in Turkey Shoot

The fourth race of the DBSC Citroen South Dublin Turkey Shoot Series will see a discard applied to the overall results.

Handicaps and Starts for next Sunday's racing on Dublin Bay are downloadable below.

After an epic third race, the 75-boat fleet is currently led by the Beneteau 31.7 national champion, Camira.

The seven-race series hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club continues until December 16th.

Published in Turkey Shoot
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The Beneteau 31.7 National Champion Camira from the Royal Irish Yacht Club leads the Citroen South Dublin sponsored DBSC Turkey Shoot Series after three races sailed. The Dublin Bay regular skippered by Peter Beamish leads by two points overall from the dark-hulled J122 Jib and Tonic (Morgan Crowe) on 57 points. The J109 Jalapeno (Paul Barrington) from the National Yacht Club is third overall in the 75-boat fleet.

One time fleet leader, the Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie has dropped back to ninth overall after last week's choppy race in 15-knots.  See race three photo report here.

Four races are left to sail with a discard set to kick in next week.

Download overall results below.

Published in Turkey Shoot
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