A major Atlantic storm has struck parts of England and Wales leaving three people dead and a trail of devastation in its wake. Several sailors were rescued in the build-up to the St Jude’s Storm, which battered boats along the southern regions of the United Kingdom.

Flights, train and ferry services were cancelled as gale-force winds and heavy rain swept through overnight and into this morning, leaving thousands of homes without power.

Cruise passengers’ cars were damaged when ‘severe seas and 70mph winds’ hit the Port of Dover.

The Met Office recorded a maximum wind gust of 99mph at 6am at Needles Old Battery, Isle of Wight.

Three people have been reported dead: a teenager in Kent and a man in Watford were killed by falling trees, another man was found dead in a collapsed house in west London after a falling tree caused a suspected gas explosion.

A teenager is also feared dead after being swept out to sea, while swimming off Newhaven’s West Beach, yesterday afternoon.

 

Sailors rescued

Weather warnings were issued by the Met Office ahead of the storm’s arrival and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) called for boat owners to secure their vessels and then ‘stay away from the sea.’

But for some, last-minute preparations resulted in rescues.

Yesterday morning, Poole all-weather lifeboat was tasked to assist two people on an eight-metre yacht, who had got into difficulty while securing the cruiser’s lines in Poole Harbour.

As they prepared for the imminent storms, the yacht slipped its mooring and drifted into Whitley Lake, on the north eastern corner of Poole Harbour.

The lifeboat crew found the vessel heeled over in a precarious position and aground. The lifeboat crew attached a line to the yacht but could not get alongside in the shallow water. The inshore lifeboat attended and helped to get the vessel afloat and upright.

The yacht was returned to its mooring and made secure.

RNLI volunteer deputy coxswain Glen Mallen said: ‘With conditions worsening, the vessel would have not weathered the storm, it was a challenge to get it upright with the conditions out in the Harbour, but a job well done.’

Marooned as the storm approached

The Dart D Class lifeboat also rescued two yachtsmen trapped on their yacht as a storm approached.

The two sailors were marooned on their 28ft Falmouth workboat, moored above Dittisham on the River Dart. They had gone to check the yacht in their small inflatable tender with an outboard. By the time they had finished the weather conditions had deteriorated and with a severe storm approaching, they requested help.

They were taken on board the lifeboat and taken in near gale conditions, with their tender, to Dittisham.

Car damage at Europe’s busiest international ferry port

The Port of Dover has now re-opened and ferry services have resumed from the Eastern Docks with the Port’s tugs in assistance to ensure the safety of its customers.

Whilst there has only been some relatively minor superficial damage to the Eastern Docks, the Western Docks bore the brunt of the storm with around 50 Fred Olsen cruise customer cars, parked at the terminal, being damaged by the severe seas overtopping breakwaters in the high winds which at times were gusting above 70 miles per hour.

The Port of Dover confirms it will be providing every assistance to its cruise customers in dealing with insurance claims, onward travel arrangements or any other requirement to support them following this very unfortunate turn of events.

Mike Rodwell, Managing Director at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, said: ‘Together with the Port of Dover, we will do everything we possibly can to ensure that none of our customers is inconvenienced due to this storm and will be liaising closely with them to prepare for their arrival in Dover next week.’

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As severe weather is forecast over the weekend boaters are advised to secure their mooring lines and check their boat, or ask their marina to do it. Boaters should brace themselves for severe weather and storms over the weekend and into next week, says the Met Office.

There will be heavy spells of rain and strong winds over the next couple of days, while on Sunday night and Monday morning there is a risk that a significant storm could develop, with the southern half of the UK expected to be worst hit and the potential for winds of more than 80mph, particularly along the coast.

Eddy Carroll, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: “This storm doesn’t exist at the moment, but our forecasts models predict it is likely to develop in the west Atlantic on Saturday. Then it’s likely to rapidly intensify just west of the UK late on Sunday before tracking across England and Wales early on Monday.

“There is still a chance this storm may take a more southerly track and miss the UK, bringing impacts elsewhere in northern Europe, but people should be aware there is a risk of severe weather and significant disruption. With that in mind, people should keep up to date with and act on the advice in our forecasts and warnings as the situation develops.”

Meanwhile, Barry Goldman, chief operating officer for the Port of Jersey, said boatowners should check their moorings ahead of the predicted weather.

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Number of visitors to boat show up 2% over last year to 111,963

As the sun shone down on the last evening of the PSP Southampton Boat Show, organisers were left to celebrate a increase in attendance over last year, bucking a trend seen at most other major European shows.

Over the ten days of the event, 111,963 visitors came through the gates, up 2% on last year’s figure, despite some changeable autumn weather that saw a number of torrential downpours over the course of the show.

More than 120 boats made their debuts at Southampton, with the number of exhibitors totalling more than 600, representing 22 countries around the word.Murray Ellis, MD of show organiser National Boat Shows, said: “This year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show has been another world-class event. Visitors have enjoyed their day out with us and a good number have taken the opportunity to try different types of boating and watersports”.  

“Seeing marine businesses making sales here confirms this show as a strong selling platform; people visit our Southampton show to buy boats and this has been very evident this year.”This is reflected in exhibitor comments from the show. Ashley Overton, sales director of boat dealer Ancasta, said: “Not only is there a feel-good factor, but after several years people are putting hands in their pockets and spending money.

“Sales have been good; we’re up on last year, on both power and sail boats”, Ian Braham, head of finance house Lombard, meanwhile, said marine finance enquiries at the show were up 10% compared to last year, and that business in the first six months of the year was up a significant 26% over the first half of 2012.

Read full article from Motorboat & Yachting – click here

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Engineers in Italy have succeeded in setting the cruise ship Costa Concordia upright, 20 months after it ran aground off the island of Giglio. They said that the unprecedented salvage effort “reached degree zero [vertical], which was our target”.
In the operation that took all of Monday and most of the night, they used cables and metal water tanks to roll the ship onto a platform.

The Costa Concordia capsized in January 2012, killing 32 people. The bodies of two of the victims of the disaster, by the island of Giglio, have never been found. There are hopes that they may be located during the operation.

Months of work lie ahead, assessing and repairing damage to the ship, before it can be towed away to be destroyed – probably next spring.

‘Double Titanic’

The ship was declared completely upright shortly after 04:00 local time (02:00 GMT) on Tuesday. Franco Gabrielli, the head of Italy’s Civil Protection Authority, said the vessel was now sitting on a platform built on the sea bed. “A perfect operation, I must say,” said Franco Porcellacchia, leader of the technical team for Costa Cruise, the owner of the ship.

He added that no environmental spill had been detected so far – one of the main aims given the pristine waters of the marine sanctuary in which it capsized. “I think the whole team is proud of what they achieved because a lot of people didn’t think it could be done,” said salvage master Nick Sloane.

When the vessel was finally righted in the early hours of Tuesday morning, there was a giant cheer from people gathered at Giglio harbour, says the BBC’s Matthew Price, and rescue workers have been out celebrating with coffees.

As daylight broke, the now-upright, brown hulk of the ship was visible – its hull muddy and crushed from 20 months spent submerged on its side.

Read full article from BBC News – click here

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A total of 7,475 visitors flocked to the opening day of the PSP Southampton Boat Show 2013.

Numbers were down seven per cent on last year’s first day, which attracted 8,014 people but organisers said advance ticket sales were going strong, with more tickets sold in the last 24 hours compared to the same period a year ago.

Britain’s best-loved boat show got underway on Friday with a hive of activity, world launches and special guests who braved the mixed conditions of sunshine and showers.

The celebrity cast of The Mayflower Theatre’s Christmas pantomime: ‘Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates’ got the show off to a dramatic start, as Brian Conley and Lesley Joseph – of ITV’s Birds of a Feather fame – posed on a replica Phoenician ship.

Lesley said: ‘It’s fantastic, the show is wonderful and the boats are amazing, it’s like entering Fantasy Island.

‘I have a little Scow dinghy myself. I learnt to sail about 20 years ago and although I’ve been too busy to do much lately, I love being on the sea whenever I can.’

Brian said: ‘I’ve had my fair share of moments on boats over the years, I’ve got a few friends who own boats but some of the superyachts here are amazing, like works of art.

‘I won’t be getting one unless I win the lottery or unless lots of people come and see me in the pantomime with the lovely Lesley Joseph.’

Something for everyone

Royal Marines joined PSP’s managing director Frank Dixie, marketing director Jo Dixie-Goodwin and National Boat Shows managing director Murray Ellis for the official ribbon cutting.

Murray said: ‘We are pleased to present an astounding 30 world debuts, 48 UK debuts, three European launches and 39 boats which are brand new to the PSP Southampton Boat Show.

‘This, teamed with new marine technology and the host of attractions which are on offer for visitors to try, means that this year’s Show really does offer something for everyone.’

The opening day saw the world debuts of Princess Yachts International’s 43, V48 and 88 Motor Yachts, the Fairline Squadron 48 and Sunseeker’s Manhattan 55, 68 and 80 Sport Yachts to name but a few.

Sunseeker’s launch event included music from Iolla Grace and Amore, and a guest appearance from Top Gear star Richard Hammond.

Other first day highlights included Sailing Rallies’ world launch of its brand new Baltic Sailing event; the unveiling of the new Lifedge Waterproof Case for iPhone5s on the Scanstrut stand; and the naming ceremony for the Global Ocean Race where Mike Gascoyne’s Akilaria RC3 Class 40 Caterham Challenge and the Forty (1) Design Class 40 of Team Concise were christened together with crews, team principals, press and visitors joining the celebrations.

Show highlights

The 10-day show runs until Sunday, playing host to thousands of boats, brands, products and suppliers all set on one of Europe’s largest purpose-built marinas with over 2km of pontoons.

Visitors can get on the water, pick up new skills or refresh old ones with On The Water’s Try-A-Boat, Get Afloat and Go Solo from the Artemis Offshore Academy, plus free classes at the Skipper Skills attraction and the RYA Active Marina Experience.

Find out more and book tickets at www.southamptonboatshow.com

 

Read full article from Pratical Boat Owner – click here

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Sealine is back and Beneteau launches the latest addition to its Monte Carlo lineup, the MC4, with more models to come next year, plus there’s a new Jeanneau Leader 38: it’s Cannes Boat Show time

The Festival De La Plaisance de Cannes, or as it’s more commonly referred to, the Cannes Boat Show, kicked off in the south of France yesterday in searing sunshine – a far cry from the temperatures back in Blightly, which were decidedly autumnal.

Beneteau Group used the show to launch its new Jeanneau Leader 38, as well as the Monte Carlo 4, little sister to the MC5 launched earlier this year. Beneteau also announced that it will be launching an MC5S in spring 2014 and an MC6 the following autumn.

MBM also managed to step aboard the Magellano 53 and the Atlantis 50, both being marketed under the Azimut banner.

Elsewhere it was the turn of Sealine to discuss its plans for the future under the guidance of its new owner, the Hanse Group. Jens Gerhardt, CEO of Hanse Group, admitted to a room full of journalists that when he first made noises about buying the Sealine brand his friends and colleagues thought he was “insane”.

Luckily for Sealine, Gerhardt persevered and Aurelius AG, which owns Hanse Group, now has the intellectual property rights for the Sealine brand and six boat models.

The builder will now press on with plans to launch the Sealine F380 in Dusseldorf next year with more models to follow, including the possibility of a smaller Sealine in the not too distant future. Gerhardt said, “The range has to be enlarged downwards as well as upwards so we have to do something for that (the small boat) market as well.”

Read all about this year’s Southampton Boat Show, which starts on Friday.

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Pendennis, Burgess and IPC Superyacht Media have teamed up to host an exclusive party to meet Red Arrows pilots after their display at the Monaco Yacht Show. Following the announcement from Superyacht UK earlier this year that the Red Arrows will be flying once again at the Monaco Yacht Show, long term supporters Pendennis, Burgess and IPC Superyacht Media have signed up as Platinum sponsors of the event for 2013. As well as their involvement with the exclusive breakwater reception, providing one of the finest vantage points for VIP guests to view the display, the three Platinum sponsors have also teamed up to host a “Meet the Pilots” event, offering invited crew and guests the opportunity to party with the Reds at the well-known Monaco venue, Stars’n’Bars.

Toby Allies, Sales & Marketing Director at Pendennis commented: “Pendennis is delighted to be supporting the Red Arrows display in our 25th anniversary year. The event is a fantastic example of Great British excellence and we have been working closely with the display team’s Aeronautical Director to ensure a breathtaking display over Monaco harbour.  We, along with Burgess Crew Services and IPC Superyacht Media, are very much looking forward to welcoming the pilots to our celebration later that day.”

The Red Arrows aeronautical display is being organised by Superyacht UK in recognition of their 10th anniversary, and will take place over the Monaco Yacht Show on Thursday 26th September at 2pm.

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Dalian Wanda’s acquisition makes Sunseeker well placed to ride expected wave of boat buying in China. Sunseeker is now officially a Chinese-owned firm after Dalian Wanda today completed its £320 million acquisition of the Poole-based boatbuilder.
News of the takeover first broke in early June, with a confirmation coming on 19 June that the Chinese company, with interests in commercial property and tourism, was looking to buy the UK’s biggest boatbuilder.

Dalian Wanda is headed by Wang Jianlin, the owner a Sunseeker Predator 108 and reportedly China’s richest person. In a statement issued today, he said: “We are excited to embark on the next chapter in the development of Sunseeker’s business and look forward to building upon the company’s reputation of excellence. “Wanda is well positioned to help Sunseeker capitalise on the trend we see for China and other growth markets to contribute significantly to global expansion in the luxury yacht sector over the next few years.”

Dalian Wanda has taken a 91.81% stake in the company, with Sunseeker management holding the remaining 8.19%. Following news of the takeover in June, Suneeeker moved quickly to ease concerns that the company would be shipped offshore.

This was later underlined by the Chinese company, which said Sunseeker would remain headquartered in Poole and maintain its British production bases and workforce.
If predictions about boat ownership in China hold true – with one official estimate suggesting the number of boats could jump from 3,000 currently to 100,000 by 2020 – this deal places Sunseeker at the crest of a massive boatbuying wave in China.

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Race 8 was one of surprises, except for one, the result in the defining race of the LV Cup. Emirates Team New Zealand is the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup and will be the Challengers for the 34th Americas Cup which starts on 7 Sept. But unlike the procession of wins that the score line suggests, this race was one of surprises, at least in the opening stages.

The weather threw the first curved ball at an event that has been dealt more than it’s fair share of hurdles. From too much breeze, to barely any and thick fog with it, Race 8 started in conditions that we haven’t seen before in San Francisco. As the fog rolled in under the Golden Gate Bridge the visibility was so bad that the TV helicopters couldn’t provide the overhead pictures that we’ve become so used to.

“It’s a little different coming into the pre-start when you don’t know where the other boat is,” said Kiwi skipper Dean Barker after the race.

A match race in the pre-start provided the next surprise as the two boats replicated the kind of jostling more commonly seen in monohull racing. But as the seconds counted down it was the Kiwis who got the better start once again, starting to windward and overhauling the Italians to the first mark. But just as we thought we’d seen it all in this one sided LV series, out came the code zeros for the downwind leg. The light conditions meant that foiling was not going to happen and both boats opted for the additional power that these furling sails provided.

Kiwis win LVC

Emirates Team New Zealand is the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup and will be the Challengers for the 34th Americas Cup which starts on 7 Sept. But unlike the procession of wins that the score line suggests, this race was one of surprises, at least in the opening stages.

The weather threw the first curved ball at an event that has been dealt more than it’s fair share of hurdles. From too much breeze, to barely any and thick fog with it, Race 8 started in conditions that we haven’t seen before in San Francisco. As the fog rolled in under the Golden Gate Bridge the visibility was so bad that the TV helicopters couldn’t provide the overhead pictures that we’ve become so used to.

“It’s a little different coming into the pre-start when you don’t know where the other boat is,” said Kiwi skipper Dean Barker after the race.

A match race in the pre-start provided the next surprise as the two boats replicated the kind of jostling more commonly seen in monohull racing. But as the seconds counted down it was the Kiwis who got the better start once again, starting to windward and overhauling the Italians to the first mark. But just as we thought we’d seen it all in this one sided LV series, out came the code zeros for the downwind leg. The light conditions meant that foiling was not going to happen and both boats opted for the additional power that these furling sails provided.

 

But that was where the surprises finished and the familiar dominance of the Kiwis took over. By the bottom mark Emirates Team New Zealand was 1min 31 seconds ahead.

As the race unfolded the picture got worse for Italian fans. With the Kiwis sailing upwind at 19knots to the Italians 17knots the race was only going one way. By the weather mark the Kiwis had opened up a lead of 1000m as they turned to head downwind for the last time.

On this leg the breeze had increased to around 12-14knots and it was back to foiling with no code zero, at least not for the Kiwis. The Italians did hoist and set their zero but it was too little too late. The game was over for Luna Rossa, you could see it in their body language and hear it in skipper Chris Draper’s voice as he called for the gybes.

By the finish they were 3min 31seconds behind.

“It hurts bad to lose 7:1 but the Kiwis did a great job. We’re sad but proud,” said Chris Draper. For Barker, the win wasn’t a surprise as much as a relief, after a few scares along the way they had made it through the Louis Vuitton series to win for a third time and gain the right to challenge for the 34th America’s Cup. “It’s a step along the way,” said skipper Dean Barker. “This is all part of the preparation. We won the LV Cup but came up short in 2007 in Valencia so we’re going to be giving it all for the Cup.

Read more at Yachtingworld – click here

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