Yachting Boating World: Work is now underway to repair the partially collapsed ramp at the main Olympic sailing venue at Marina da Glória at Guanabara Bay. No one was injured in the incident.
The structure collapsed on 30 July, less than a week before the start of the Rio 2016 Games on 5 August. No-one was injured in the incident.
Competition sailing is expected to begin on 8 August. The ramp is the main access point for boats to reach the water.
A coach boat pontoon was also damaged. Repair work is now underway and is expected to take four days. It is being carried out by the construction company which initially built the main ramp.
World Sailing, the international governing body for the sport, said that training would not be affected as alternate boat ramps are available.
There is permanent ramp to the side of the damaged structure at Marina da Gloria. There is also a ramp at Flamengo Beach. World Sailing added that it will be “closely monitoring the efforts”.
14 April The sailing venue for the Rio 2016 Olympics has been expanded and modernised, and was opened to the public on 7 April.
For almost a decade, access to the Marina da Glória was restricted to boat users. Now, following the €17.1 million refit, Rio’s residents and visitors have access to new leisure facilities.
As well as being expanded and redesigned, the marina has been completely integrated with Flamengo Park, one of the most popular leisure areas in Rio de Janeiro.
“Before, the Marina da Glória did not welcome locals. Today, it is a new, revitalised space with its arms wide open for visitors,” said Marco Aurélio Sá Ribeiro, President of the Brazilian Sailing Confederation.
Located on Guanabara Bay, Marina da Glória has already hosted two test events, in August 2014 and August 2015.
The Rio 2016 Organising Committee will take over the site on 13 July, ahead of the Olympic regattas in August and the Paralympic competitions in September.
“We have complied with our commitments, ahead of time. The facility we are handing over is ready. Our focus now will be on operations,” stated Ricardo Leyser, Brazilian Minister of Sports.
As part of the renovation, the capacity of the venue has been significantly increased. The number of berths in the water has gone from 140 to 415 and the number of dry stacks has increased from 70 to 240.
The marina’s jetties have been redesigned, new electricity and water infrastructure installed and a modern pavilion for athletes has been completed. A car park with space for 470 cars has been built and security for the boats has been improved.
As well as the investment in new sailing facilities, the marina now contains an extensive leisure area for the general public, including four restaurants, a delicatessen, bicycle path and bike racks.
After the Paralympic Games, the venue will be used for sports, cultural events and entertainment. The marina will also offer sailing and diving courses as well as boat rentals and will have a special area for fishing.
The opening of the marina comes as controversy continues over the cleanliness of the water of Guanabara Bay.
Last year, the Associated Press published findings of a five-month study into water quality in the bay. It found evidence of viruses linked to human sewage which can cause stomach or respiratory ailments.
As part of Rio’s bid to host the Olympics, Brazilian authorities had pledged to clean up the polluted bay.
The International Olympic Committee says local organisers have followed testing procedures of the water established by the World Health Organization (WHO) that focus on testing for bacteria and not viruses, and that it has “had reassurances” from the WHO “that there is no significant risk” to the health of competitors.
On 7 April, the same day as the opening of Marina da Glória, Brazilian police gathered samples from some of Rio de Janeiro’s largest sewage treatment plants to determine whether the facilities are actually treating sewage.
AP also reported that documents were sized from at least six sewage plants as part of the police investigation into Rio’s state water and sewage utility, Cedae.
Meanwhile, World Sailing, the international governing body for the sport, has declared itself “satisfied” with preparations for the sailing regattas for the Rio 2016 Olympics. It comes following a four-day visit to Rio at the end of March.
The delegation heard about efforts to improve the situation, such the construction of pipe belt to prevent sewage entering the water near the Marina da Glória venue, and the use of eco-barriers to stop floating debris from entering the bay from rivers.
A World Sailing statement said: “The health and safety of sailors competing at Rio 2016 is paramount and World Sailing remain focused on delivering an excellent Olympic Sailing Competition on a safe and fair field of play.”
World Sailing medical commission representative Dr Nebojša Nikolic, said: “I am satisfied with the planning work that is being done ahead of the Games to ensure that the welfare of sailors remains the top priority and that appropriate water testing and protocols are in place to inform decision making at the Games.”
“We will continue to monitor water testing data closely and to educate sailors and officials on what they can do themselves to reduce health risks ahead of the Games,” he concluded.
Also present in the World Sailing delegation were CEO Andy Hunt, technical delegates Alastair Fox and Scott Perry, and events committee chairman Pablo Masseroni. They met with the Rio 2016 Olympics organising committee, the city and state governments, the state environment institute (INEA) and Rio’s state water and sewage utility, Cedae.
The governing body stressed that having seven racing areas and three reserve days for each of the 10 sailing events provides great flexibility.
The statement added: “Contingency plans for all scenarios from water quality to wind conditions are in place and World Sailing remains confident in delivering a memorable and successful Olympic sailing competition.”
The Rio 2016 Olympics take place 5-21 August and the Paralympics 7-18 September.
Yachting Monthly: Sailors, beach-goers and other water users are being asked to help out with the Great British Beach Clean from 16-19 September 2016.
The Marine Conservation Society is asking for sailors, as well as other beach-lovers to volunteer to join them on the beaches for the Great British Beach Clean in September.
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) wants to tackle the huge quantity of litter washing up on the UK’s shores, and the charity says it cannot do it without public support. They urgently need volunteers to take part in the UK’s biggest beach clean and litter survey, which takes place on the third weekend in September.
In 2015, just over 6,000 volunteers cleaned 340 beaches, recording the largest amount of litter per kilometre – a staggering 3,298 pieces.
MCS Beachwatch Manager, Lauren Eyles says it’s crucial we do something to tackle rising litter levels:
‘Over the last decade, we’ve recorded a huge hike in the amount of litter found on our beaches – up by over 65 per cent. We need help and anyone can simply volunteer to take part.’
This year’s MCS Great British Beach Clean takes place on the 16, 17, 18, and 19 September, and will involve thousands of volunteers taking to the beaches all and around the UK coast. They’ll clean up and record the rubbish they find. The event is being supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said:‘
It’s really important for everyone to learn about the dangers of marine litter and I’m delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting the Marine Conservation Society who are tackling this important cause. I would urge anyone who has the time to spare to take part in this beach clean.”
Some of our best-loved marine wildlife is under threat from hazardous litter in our seas. Hundreds of species of marine wildlife accidentally eat, or become tangled up in litter – and it’s also hazardous to people.
Find out more at www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch or telephone 01989 566017.
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK charity dedicated to the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. MCS campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, and protection of marine life. Through education, community involvement and collaboration, MCS raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas and promotes individual, industry and government action to protect the marine environment.
Motorboat & Yachting: The Perpetuus project to harness tidal energy off the Isle of Wight will be going ahead after receiving MMO approval.
Located in a 5km2 area off St Catherine’s Point (pictured above), the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC) should generate a peak power output of 30MW.
Approval for the onshore development was granted by the Isle of Wight Council last year, and this week the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) gave its approval for the offshore infrastructure to be built.
Project director Mark Francis said: “We are delighted with the decision. PTEC will be pivotal to the future growth and success of the UK’s tidal energy industry.”
PTEC has been in development since 2010 and now the developers hope to be able to begin construction in 2017, with a view to generating electricity by the end of 2018.
The tidal energy project has worked closely with boating organisations and the organisers of the Round the Island Race to ensure minimal disruption.
What’s more, PTEC chairman Rob Stevens (pictured right) has strong links to the boating community, having worked as CEO of the British Marine Federation from 2005-2012.
Mr Francis added: “We now look forward to working with the MMO, local planning authority and all relevant stakeholders in completing the final development phase before we begin construction.”
Motorboat & Yachting: The City of Edinburgh Council planning committee has granted planning consent to the revised masterplan for Edinburgh Marina the 300-berth marina, residential, retail and spa hotel development.
The scheme will be the focal point of Granton Harbour’s regeneration, just 2.5 miles from Edinburgh City Centre.
Edinburgh Marina is believed to be the first new marina next to a capital city in Europe for several decades, providing a major boost to inward investment in Edinburgh of over £300m.
The Edinburgh Marina development will deliver 2,094 new homes as well as local employment opportunities for up to 800 people, whilst the new masterplan provides for improved marine services, including a community boatyard and improved facilities for the Royal Forth and Forth Corinthian yacht clubs.
The revised scheme also makes provision for the proposed new transport facilities in the area, including the extension of the tram service.
A spokesman for the developers, Granton Central Developments Limited, said: ‘We are thrilled that consent has now been granted for the revised masterplan, due in part to the fantastic support of the local community who we would like to thank for their ongoing support. This is a wonderful Christmas present for the people of Granton, who have been forced to live for far too long with Granton Harbour in its current state.
‘We’re very excited to start working towards bringing Granton Harbour to life.
Practical Boat Owner: Cruising Association members have reported that small yachts are being chased by boats carrying migrants from Libya to Europe.
An estimated 600,000 migrants are waiting to cross from Libya to Europe. Under the cover of darkness, boats leave the African continent full of desperate refugees but the CA is advising boaters in the area to be wary, stand clear and inform the relevant Search and Rescue service.
Hundreds of unseaworthy boats with too many people on-board are making the crossing to Italy, Malta and Greece on a daily basis. Many of the boats are lost at sea, a few are intercepted, but those that do make it across, dump the passengers up to half a mile from the beaches, forcing them to swim the final part of their journey.
A spokesman for the CA said: ‘There are reports of small yachts being chased by migrant boats. Amongst the genuine migrants are almost certainly a number of traffickers who will not want you giving away their position, and may even try to commandeer your yacht to save themselves.
‘Not only would this place you in some danger but most of us are neither trained nor equipped to deal with this number of desperate people.
Our advice would be to alter course away from any migrant vessel and to only make a VHF call when several miles away – preferably over their horizon.”
CA member, Vyv Cox, said: ‘Friends anchored on the east coast of Symi were awoken by the sounds of people struggling in the water.
‘They were immigrants who had been dumped in the water a few hundred yards offshore, the traffickers making off rapidly.
‘Our friends helped many of these people using their dinghy but were later charged by the coastguard with being the traffickers! It took them quite a lot of discussion to prove their innocence.’
Another CA member pointed out: In every case [in Greece at least], you should note that, in principle, it is forbidden to carry onboard anyone else other than those specifically mentioned in a yacht’s crew list. In a rescue situation, skippers will have to provide assistance, but only after they inform the authorities, as they risk their yacht being confiscated up until proven extra passengers onboard were part of a rescue operation, not human trafficking.
‘If a small yacht picks up migrants (or anyone for that matter) at sea without first informing the Greek authorities the yacht owner runs the risk of being prosecuted as a people trafficker and the confiscation of their boat. Similar rules may also exist in Italy?’
With so many boats crossing though the well-trodden Mediterranean, there is a chance blue water cruisers will come across one of these boats. However, while it may be human nature to help, care should be taken to ensure the safety of those on board the pleasure boat.