Crew members airlifted to hospital after 70ft boat capsizes off Dun Laoghaire

The incident occurred during the Irish stopover of the Route des Princes inshore race this afternoon.

Updated 20.25

THE FIRST LEG of the 2013 Route de Princes was disrupted this afternoon when a competing boat capsized.

The 3,500-mile inshore race, which sees participants set off in Spain and travel around Ireland before moving on to Plymouth and the finish line in France, was passing Dublin this afternoon when the incident occurred.

As the video below shows, 70ft trimaran Spindrift, skippered by France’s Yann Guichard, was flipped over by gale force winds at around 2.30pm today.

Emergency services acted immediately and two injured crew members were airlifted to Tallaght Hospital. Yann’s brother Jacques was later diagnosed with a fractured pelvis.

“We had 22 to 24 knots of wind on the start line with gusts of up to 30 knots at the lower end of the course,” said Yann. “We were at the limit of weather conditions for our boats and it was not great for racing.

“All the MOD 70s had one reef in the main and staysail. We started a bit below and behind the fleet and found ourselves slightly in a wind shadow. When our rivals had moved away we had a sudden gust which literally flattened us.

I was unable to do anything at the helm, the boat was turned over with a single blow. We let out the staysail immediately, but it was too late as it all happened in a split second. The boat was lifted onto the port float and went over.

“Jacques was with me in the cockpit and we found ourselves in the net – we managed to get out and then we were airlifted. The mast broke in two when Spindrift turned over. The frame of the trimaran was towed away to the port. ”

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