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    Saturday Oops – Cowes week crossing

    August 8, 2011

    This video from Saturday’s opening race at Cowes Week  shows the yacht Atalanta, sail number IRL 7533, in a bit of bother.

    Replay the video and pause at 23 seconds to see a crew member bail out overboard on the windward side.

    The 2002-built Corby 33 Atalanta has an IRL sail number but is most definitely not Irish owned. Previous owner Martin Breen of Galway bought the boat in 2007 and campaigned quite successfully as That’s Life. Here they are chasing down a J 109 in Galway Bay 10 October 2008 with the same shocking pink asymmetric spinnaker.


    Breen sold the boat to a Cheshire sailor named Roly Wilson at the end of the 2010 season and acquired a Reflex 38 which he skippered to the overall win in this year’s Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race.  The boat has a Facebook Page.

    The new owner of the Corby 33 campaigned the boat in the Hamble winter series and the 2011 Solent spring series, thus not a total beginner.  Here are photos from the UK Daily Mail.

    Sailing in the Solent is great fun, but sailors must be, are legally required to be, aware of the shipping channel that bends around the Bramble Bank (shallow) and on up to Frawley and Southampton.  Large vessels in the channel, such as the Hanne Knutsen (265 meters long) above, travel within a 1000 meter by 100 meter “Moving Prohibited Zone” with a Pilot Boat in the lead and often a braking tug attached to the stern.  To maintain steerage, they are steaming at 9 to 12 knots.  NO OTHER vessels are allowed within the prohibited zone.

    Associated British Ports are the harbour authority and are entitled to prosecute the skipper.

    The Cowes Week Sailing Instructions also restrict racers from entering a Moving Prohibited Zone:

    B17.1 Southampton Harbour Byelaws (changing RRS 60)
    (a) Boats shall observe the Associated British Ports (ABP) Southampton Harbour Byelaws 2003 (see page 12) at all times and avoid any close quarters situation with large commercial shipping. Particular note should be made of
    Byelaws 10 & 11 and Associated British Ports Southampton Notice to Mariners No. 3 of 2011 giving details of a moving prohibited zone, which ranks as an obstruction for the purposes of RRS 19 and 20.
    (b) Protests for infringements of B17.1(a) may be brought only by the race committee who may initiate a protest as the result of a report from an ABP Pilot or Patrol boat. Note that ABP may initiate court proceedings against boats that infringe this byelaw.”


    Statement from Cowes Week Limited
    Incident between yacht Atalanta and incoming tanker2000 Saturday 6th August 2011

    Cowes Week Limited has been in contact with the hospital, the owner of the boat, and Associated British Ports (ABP) since the collision between a tanker and the racing yacht Atalanta earlier this afternoon. They are delighted to confirm that the hospital has discharged the injured crew member.
    An official investigation on the incident will be carried out in due course.


    The UK Marine Accident Investigation Board will likely seek to establish the facts of the incident, which may provide an answer to the question: “What the hell did you think you were doing?”

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