The Big Mac - 25th anniversary meeting

rick.jones's picture

At the AGM it was decided that the committee would organise just one event this year, but aim to make it a big one. We would like to see lots of members join in, especially those who haven't attended any of our events in the past.

We have fixed the dates as 25th July to 1st August, and are finalising our thoughts as to the venue. We shortlisted three: the Broads, the Blackwater, and Chichester Harbour. The favourite among those at the meeting was the Blackwater, and we are looking at the logistics to make sure it is viable, and will offer a range of sailing for all preferences.

The dates are Wednesday-to-Wednesday, and we will cater for anyone who only has the weekend free to join us in the middle.

Watch this space for more announcements.

Rick Jones (Treasurer) 1994 Mac 19 "White Lightning", Isle of Wight

148 Comments

rick.jones's picture

Here's some more details:

Here's some more details:

We have confirmed the event will be based on the Blackwater in Essex, 25th July to 2nd August.

We hope as many boats and boat owners as possible will be able to attend to celebrate our 25th year of MOA sailing.

The Plan is as follows:

  • Arrrive Tuesday 24th evening or Wednnesday 25th at Bradwell Marina, River Blackwater, Essex, CM0 7RB.
  • Wednesday 25th: Shake-down sail in large Blackwater River estuary and sea-food lunch at West Mersea, picking up moorings.
    Probably return to stay at stay at Bradwell.
  • Thurday 26th: Sail to River Crouch, stay the night at Burnham Yacht Harbour (about 17nm marina-to-marina).
  • Friday 27th: Explore Crouch under motor on rising tide in morning then return to Bradwell meet newcomers.
  • Saturday 28th: Assist launches and sail to Tollesbury Marina. Short trip, but options for some estuary sailing before arrival (spot Radio Caroline!).
    Evening Gala Dinner, landlubbers join by road.
  • Sunday 29th: Explore upper reaches of River Blackwater as tide rises, then return to Bradwell.
  • Monday 30th: Sail to Walton Backwaters staying at Titchmarsh Marina (about 22nm).
  • Tuesday 31st: Explore Nature reserve on water or foot. Optionally sail to River Orwell (about 5nm), stay at Suffolk Yacht Harbour or Shotley Marina.
  • Wednesday 1st: Return to Bradwell possibly stopping at Brightlingsea for lunch.
  • Thursday 2nd: Pull out and head home.

If the weather is not suitable, then exploring and spending more time around Tollesbury, West Mersea, Brightlingsea and upper reaches of the Blackwater is possible, even locking up into inland waterways at Heybridge. This is also an option for anyone who would prefer not to make the coastal trip to Walton. We will be quite happy to split into two groups for the Monday to Wednesday, so as to suit all tastes.

This whole area dies out to a large extent at low tide with brackish pools, so is home to wading birds and other wildlife, and hopefully some nice light (photographers take note!). Walton Backwaters is a nature reserve where birds are plentiful and seals bay bask.

Depending on the mix of boats and abilities there is a day or two within this program to allow slippage.

All in all I hope it will provide a nice mixture of sailing, as well as motorised exploration of river scenery. Only one night is planned to be on river moorings. By the end we should have explored much of this coast.

The central sailing area is sheltered from most wind directions so is very suitable for less confident sailors, as well as offering poorer weather options for everyone, but also providing opportunities for cruising to the North and South.

Even if you only have half the week or just a weekend available, or simply would like to jump on a boat for the day, you will still be very welcome. Anyone who doesn't want to sail can join us for the Saturday evening!

On which note ... we hope that as many boat owners as possible will join us for the Saturday night at Tollesbury (even if you don't join us for any sailing). where we will hold a Gala Dinner at the Harbour View Restaurant. It will be a great time to relax and chat on the deck, swap boat ideas, tell more tales over dinner, plus celebrate our 25th anniversary.

We're looking forward to meeting lots of the members at the end of July! The lead organisers of this event are Roly Simpson and Simon Armitage.

Rick Jones (Treasurer) 1994 Mac 19 "White Lightning", Isle of Wight

david.claassen's picture

Rick and all,

Rick and all,

Early days yet, but it looks good for me (and possibly some family) to be a part of this event. I wanted to explore some of these areas anyway and this is a good timeframe as of now. I don't know yet where/when I will meet up with the group. If there is still anyone based on the Orwell or Deben perhaps we could travel south together to join the rest? I do still have to repack trailer bearings and work on my surge brakes, but that should be done by mid-April. Sound like a good time!

As I am closer than some, please let me know how I can be of assistance.

David Claassen

Logan's Run (26M)

David Claassen

"Logan's Run"

2006 26M

Hi, David,

Hi, David,

Have you any first (or even second) hand experience or knowledge about the Walton Backwaters you can share?

Thanks

Simon Armitage

Sowenna 26M.

david.claassen's picture

Simon,

Simon,

I have only spent a week on the Backwaters, and so do not consider myself an expert. It is an amazing place to explore so long as you keep the tides and water level in mind. Loads of shallow areas, plenty of spots to drop a hook and enjoy both scenery and wildlife, and some times that are not real useful due to low water. When I was there, I took a slow, lazy approach to exploring the nooks and crannies. I would not call it a good place for hard, fast sailing though. The seals are brilliant.

Hope this helps,

David

Logans Run 26M

David Claassen

"Logan's Run"

2006 26M

All being well I plan to join

All being well I plan to join you for some or all of the meet. I am at Levington (Suffolk Yacht Harbour) on the Orwell so a short sail to Blackwaters for me. Stone Point (entrance to the Blackwaters) is my go to anchorage for lunch on a day trip or overnight - protected, good depth, seals and birds. Not sailed much further in than that as constricted sailing so I sail more south of the shipping lane into Felixstowe. Few trips in were on the motor, turn round and return.

I like Burnham and the marina there is good, but it is quite a long slog up the Stour with little in the way of scenery IMO.

Graham

TaiTai (Tattoo 26)

david.claassen's picture

Graham,

Graham,

I would be tempted to put in at Woolverstone or Titchmarsh. Maybe if the calendar works out, we can head down south together?

Nice to see your interest!

David

Logan's Run 26M

David Claassen

"Logan's Run"

2006 26M

This early local interest is

This early local interest is encouraging. Looking forwad to meeting you guys. ...and seeing a Tattoo!

Roly

David - absolutely if our

David - absolutely if our respective timing works out we can venture down there in a convoy.

We have been sailing our 26M

We have been sailing our 26M Tarka out of Tollesbury marina for a few years now – day sailing out of the marina. We can get in and out 2 hours each side of the tide. The limiting factor is the inner concrete sill which retains water in the marina. We are permanently afloat (except for the biannual winter take out for hull cleaning). Facilities are good at the marina and the food usually excellent at the clubhouse. The marina has a large slipway and has recently installed a new boat lift which can save the need to immerse the trailer in salt water (but at a cost and you need to book in advance). We chose the 26M specifically for the Blackwater with its shoal draft and the ability to get home on the tide when the wind drops. We also find that we can get more or less anywhere within the estuary and home again on a single tide if we want to use the motor and sail. There are plenty of good anchorages and havens to discover but you do need to work the tides as the sailing area reduces considerably at low tide and large areas dry out. There are lock gates at Haybridge basin that have limited access hours to the inner harbour as well as limited room that can get full with visiting yachts in summer. The outer harbour dries out.

Be aware that if you visit Bradwell waterside by road it’s 25 miles to drive round to the other side of the estuary at Tollesbury and even further to Brightlingsea (51miles).

Brightlingsea, Tollesbury, Bradwell, and Haybridge basin all have some permanent floating moorings alongside or on pontoons with shore access and there are several swinging moorings as well as safe anchorages within the Blackwater. Osea Island also has a good anchorage but no moorings alongside.

We look forward to meeting some other Mac owners during the meeting but aren’t sure of our own plans just yet.

Mike & Dot - Tarka 26M

David,

David,

Thank you for your feedback on the Backwaters. I am sure we won't abuse the Nature Reserve and will treat it with respect.

Simon Armitage

Sowenna 26 M

Mike,

Mike,

I have been sailing out of Bradwell for several years, as well, now. I chose it because I can get out of and back into the marina 24/7 regardless of tides and also, for me, it is quicker to get to from home. I moved Sowenna here after 2 years at Gallions Point on the River Thames seeking a different kind of sailing/boating.

When I first arrived at Bradwell there were 5 Macs all moored in a row, now there is only me and possibly one other.

Like Tollesbury there is a hoist at Bradwell for those who don't want to dip their trailers in the briny, also at a cost and needing prior booking.

And Tollesbury is just across the river from Bradwell, not too far away.

http://www.visitmyharbour.com/harbours/east-coast/blackwater-marinas/cha...

Hopefully, we will meet up at the Big Mac if not before.

Simon Armitage

Sowenna 26 M

Having just received the

Having just received the somewhat abbreviated magazine, M.O.A.N., which has prompted me to check the forum, I am delighted to learn of the proposed end of July meeting at Bradwell.

As I'm based up the River Crouch at North Fambridge Marina I guess I MUST attend and certainly look forward to doing so.

Peter Bertorelli

Odin 820 "Hakuna Matata"

Hi, Peter,

Hi, Peter,

Just a thought but as the 'fleet' is coming to Burnham Marina on 26th would it be easier for you to meet up there and then sail to the Blackwater together on 27th?

Simon.

Moorings etc.

Moorings etc.

The people at Bradwell Marina , Burnham Marina and Titchmarsh Marina have asked for mooring requests to be co-ordinated so I have volunteered to do that.

So, can the the BIG MACers who wish to be based at Bradwell for the duration ( http://www.bradwellmarina.com/) please respond with name, boat name, type, arrival date and departure date. If I can get the majority of bookings done sooner rather than later, it will take the strain off the admin.

Plenty of room to park boats and trailers and a slipway to launch about 1 1/2 hours either side of High Water. Also a hoist is available.

Similarly those heading for the Crouch (http://www.burnhamyachtharbour.co.uk/) and needing an overnight mooring on night of 26th July give me the same information

Tollesbury Marina (http://www.tollesbury-marina.co.uk/) is happy to take individual bookings but I am happy to co-ordinate that as well to make things easier. Night of 28th July.

I will be in touch later about numbers and special dietary requirements for the Anniversary Dinner.

And similarly for those going to the Walton Backwaters (http://www.titchmarshmarina.co.uk/) and needing a mooring on the night of 30th July.

If anyone is heading for the Orwell after the Backwaters, and Brightlinsea on the return (http://www.brightlingseaharbour.org/index.php) let me know and I will see what I can do, but I will be leaving the rally on the Sunday 29th July. Sorry about that.

Please do get back to me ASAP as the East Coast is a popular sailing destination and visitors moorings get booked up fairly rapidly. At the time of posting, there is plenty of availability.

Hope the weather improves and if there is anything else, don't hesitate to make contact.

Simon Armitage

Sowenna 26M

david.claassen's picture

Simon,

Simon,

I am considering launching at either Bradwell or Tollesbury on the evening of the 27th. Are there still berths available at Bradwell?

Thanks!

David

David Claassen

"Logan's Run"

2006 26M

rick.jones's picture

Hi Simon

Hi Simon

Thanks for your work on this. I don't know if any of us can be sure exactly where we'll be each night, as the actual plan is likely to be weather dependent, not to mention the unscheduled calamities that tend to befall Macs on rallies!

I intend to Join as much sailing as possible, so I expect to be staying at all the marinas listed, assuming things all go well.

Boat: White Lightning, Mac 19, 5.8m. I intend to arrive on 24th and leave on 2nd.

And to save you asking later, I will be solo (1 for the dinner), and no special diet.

Rick Jones (Treasurer) 1994 Mac 19 "White Lightning", Isle of Wight

Thanks for getting back, Rick

Thanks for getting back, Rick,

It is understood that it is weather dependent but having spoken to the Marina people who have pencilled our dates in, it is easier to cancel than leave it too late and discover no availability.

Simon

david.claassen's picture

Simon,

Simon,

My plan at present is to meet up with everyone at Tichmarch on the 28th and stay with the group for the duration. I will plan to launch at Tichmarch.

David Claassen
26M Logan's Run

David Claassen

"Logan's Run"

2006 26M

david.claassen's picture

Simon,

Simon,

On reflection, and after looking at transit times, I think it might be wiser to launch from the slipway at Tollesbury -still on the 28th. Do you think there would be room for one more trailer?

Thank you so much for taking this one. I am starting to really look forward to it!

Regards,

David

David Claassen

"Logan's Run"

2006 26M

I will check out facilities

I will check out facilities at Tollesbury and get back to you. I am sure there must be.

Simon

Hi, David,

Hi, David,

Just been talking to the chef at Harbour View Tollesbury and there is plenty of room to park a car and trailer and a launching slip and a hoist so all is well and just waiting for the weather. He has confirmed this with Finn at the Marina

Are you bringing crew/guests/passengers for the dinner? No hurry but I will need to firm up numbers for catering come July.

Are you then going to stay on the Blackwater on 29th and cruise the river with the gang?

Are you accompanying them to Titchmarsh and Shotley before returning returning to the Blackwater?

Thanks

Simon

Sowenna 26 M

Hello Simon,

Hello Simon,

In response to your request for our details, I plan to sail from my base at North Fambridge to arrive at Bradwell Marina on Tuesday 24th or Wednesday 25th July subject as ever to tides, weather, luck etc. etc. Then I'll accompany the fleet until the end of the meeting.

My boat is an Odin 820, named "Hakuna Matata".

Yours,

Peter Bertorelli

Thanks for getting back to me

Thanks for getting back to me, Peter. I will feed your info into the relevant Marinas and look forward to meeting up with you and the others.

Hi Simon,

Hi Simon,

Probably only bit I can commit to at the moment is 28th at Tollesbury. Weather permitting, I will run down from the Orwell on 28th and head back on 29th.

Therefore, please reserve me a spot at Tollesbury for night of 28th.

If the weather is foul I will drive down for the dinner.

Many thanks

Graham

Hi, Graham

Hi, Graham

Plenty of room for cars and trailer at Tollesbury.

If you nee any advice or information talk to Finn 01621 869202 / 01621 868471

How many will you be? I will be needing numbers for the caterers come July.

Simon Armitage

Sowenna 26M

Hi all, Im back from my

Hi all, Im back from my travels now. Sorry if anyone tried to call me after recieving the MOAN but it appears Simon has been well in charge.

Ive started to put together a spreadsheet of names , boats , duration , moorings required etc and it seems we so far have 7 boats involved to various degrees. Im not sure whether Mike and Dot have any further thougts about how much they can join in ...hopefully at least the Saturday dinner.

It will be great if you can get down Graham , especially if you can manage to bring your Tai Tai (means wife in Cantonese )

Likewise Peter , great if your can get up to us... however original plan was that we might have sailied to Burnham beore the weekend ....this could be flexible.

Ros and I plan to bring Aranah (26M) arriving 24th July to 2nd August

I shall try to encourage any likely candidates but also maybe others can contact those they know especially in the area.

Looking fwd to it . Aranah still on the driveway with a list of jobs !!

Roly Simpson

Aranah 26M

Hi Roly,

Hi Roly,

Thought taitai is more Mandarin than Cantonese as I seem to recall from my language lessons that the Cantonese have another word for mistress - my Mandarin is getting rusty now. I lived 7 years in Beijing and the term was used in expat circles for ladies that lunched. I found the below description that perfectly describes the indulgence of boat ownership and it being 'financially' a rubbish investment not that the financial dimension is the only dimension to judge boat ownership by.

TAI TAI

noun 1. A term used in Chinese circles for supreme wife (implying situation where a man is wealthy enough to have several "wives') but no longer strictly interpreted. Term now applies to citizens of the world with an Asian viewpoint who have bounds of time and money. A Tai Tai is a privileged lady of means. 2. Supreme of the Supreme is its literal translation. The term implies respect.

To qualify as a Tai Tai, one has to have lots of leisure time, lots of money to spend and lots of gossip to exchange. A Tai Tai would win if Shopping were an Olympic event!

Best regards

Graham

Mike and Bobbie (Hera) still

Mike and Bobbie (Hera) still planning to attend 24th July - 2 August

Looking forward to it!

Good to hear that Mike.

Good to hear that Mike. Looking fwd to seeing you there.

In response to some text message enquiries I made It seems likely that we will be joined by Peter Flood on Stowaway(down from Norfolk) and Ken Chittenden +3 on A La Fin ( up from the Crouch).

So far we have 10 boats interested in taking part at least for some part of the event.

We would love to hear from anyone else that is thinking of coming even if its just for the Saturday meal or people who would just like to crew for one or more days .

Come and try or learn from others.

Roly Simpson.

quentin.sands's picture

Hello Roly and Simon and Big

Hello Roly and Simon and Big Maccers everywhere. My Big Mac ambitions have been dented by my need to attend a family wedding on Saturday 28th, here in North Yorks. However, as things stand, I hope to bring Mrs Macgregor down to the Blackwater on Monday 23rd. I will depart, at some point, on Friday 27th. This is dependent on finding a crew person but I am hopeful I will. If not, I will offer my services to other skippers. I will continue to monitor this thread and update as plans develop. I am of course bitterly disappointed that I cannot do the full shift.

PS any news from John Richardson? And what about Jon and his 19, Stumpy? Possibles?

Quentin Sands

Mrs MacGregor 26C

Hi Quentin,

Hi Quentin,

'Sonny' is back in the water after 3 weeks on sticks having its bi-annual scrub, service and anti-foul. Just had a shakedown sail with Roly on Tuesday - fab day, wall to wall blue sky, brisk northerly which provided us with 6.8 knots on a beam reach - a good start to the season!

I'm still looking for a tow car, but assuming I can find one, I'll be there. I'd be happy to have crew so if Cabin Boy is still avallable, and after reading your last message, if you turn out to be available, you'd be welcome - I'll keep you posted.

Cheers, John Richardson 'Sonny' 26M

Hi all you Big Macs

Hi all you Big Macs

As some of you know I am new to the Mac and this is my first full season, it is my intention to join you all by sailing up from the Medway on Wednesday 25th. The tides are favourable for the voyage on that day so provided all goes well with my trials over the next weeks and the weather is favourable I will be there.

Whatever happens I will join you for the dinner on Saturday night - please reserve two places for me.

Regards,

John Pompei

ASHANTI 2008 26M

Hi all,

Hi all,

Firstly, apologies for not being in touch earlier about Big Mac.. I'm deep in the midst of setting up a new small business of an electric hire narrowboat on the River Wey in Surrey. Its been taking all my time amongst other things. Heres a link for anyone interested: www.e-weynarrowboathire.com

My Stumpers is still on the drive with a seized trailer, demasted and electrics in bits. Its nagging at me in the back of my mind to get it worked on, but it's justifying spending the time and money on it, this of all months.

So I really havnt felt able to say I'd do this or that and then not do it - bad show that sort of thing. So I've not done anything instead, sorry. The most I can say is I'm really going to try and get up there one way or another - even if I just drive up to get a round in and meet you all. But if I do manage to get the boat ready, I'll just bring it up and have to sort things out then. I hope that this wont cause any probs for the organisers, if it does I'll leave her at home and see if I can beg a lift as crew for a day or two..?

Very best regards

Jon

Hi, Jon,

Hi, Jon,

Any updates yet? So far have put you down for the dinner, just one. Might you nee launching/moorings etc?

Or if not, are you still looking to crew and when so that I or yu can post a crewing request on this site.

Thanks

Simon

Hello Simon,

Hello Simon,

Funny you should email as I was just hard negotiating a hybrid camping/boating trip with the wifey this very morning.! Ive booked a night at Tollesbury marina campsite on the 28th July - and hope to be there for 4ish (tent up in 20 mins - oh yes) and so would love to book at least one seat for dinner if still possible.. There will be myself, wife and 6 year old at the campsite, but I don't know whether the dinner is suitable for the other two, depends on time and whether or not other people mind a 6 yr old girl at the dinner? (she is absolutely fantastic).

Sorry about rubbish communication in general - its a bit of a pain to use the site as I have to reset the password everytime I log-in for some reason Ive never been able to fathom.

I don't think alas old Stumpy is going to make it this time but I will, hell or high water be there on the 28th. If theres any crewing available I should be around till Tues 31st

All the best

Jon

Hi fellow Macowners and

Hi fellow Macowners and friends.

Sorry not to have been in touch about the BIGMAC jamboree recently but have been away celebrating family milestones.

Along with Roly I am noting your comments and attempting to keep the various marinas etc appraised of our plans.

Things are looking good, many have confirmed that they will be attending all or some of the events and there is still time to let us know if you are coming or not. It might help the admin if those NOT attending responded by posting a comment on the website.

I am off again next week but will be back around 10th June when I shall have more time to concentrate on this anniversary event.

Sowenna is still on the hard, I am so far behind, but I will be applying some anti-fouling tomorrow and hope to be in the water by Friday, just in time for me to disappear again.

I am wel jel of those of you who have launched and enjoyed some fine sailing weather.

I am off to Greece having chartered a Bavaria 46 to sail the Ionian Islands. Sowenna's co-owner and my son in law, Jon and my daughter Holly are coming over from Australia to attend a family wedding in Florence, then they dash to Athens and transfer to Lefkada to pick up the yacht. Meantime Caroline and I will be responsible for victualling as our journey to Greece is more straightforward and we get there earlier. We get to choose the best cabins. The rest of the crew are Jon's Mum and his brother Jim who came on our 'Round the Island' adventure.

Good sailing

Simon Armitage

Sowenna 26M

Can anyone recommend a

Can anyone recommend a suitable chart for the Blackwater trip?

Jim Susan Pen Gwyn.

Hi, Jim,

Hi, Jim,

I hope I haven't missed any postings but are you coming to all/part of te rally and do you nee anything?

Best Wishes

Simon.

Hi, Jim,

Hi, Jim,

Imray 2000.4 Harwich Approaches and Walton Backwaters covers the Naze up to Harwich.

Imray 2000.6 covers the River Blackwater from Maldon to Bradwell but not the estuary.

Imray C1 (The Thames Estuary) covers the Medway up to Ipswich but is a BIG chart.

And then, of course is the East Coast Pilot.

You can do some passage planning by using Navionics which can be found on the website under members area, charts, but am I teaching a grandmother to suck eggs? Probably!

Good Luck and looking forward to meeting up .

Simon Armitage

Sowenna 26(M) which will be launched next week, just when I am away.

At some stage, in the  near

At some stage, in the near future, we will need to think about the menu for the Gala Dinner at Tollesbury so can you let me kow if you have any dietary requirements.

Thanks in advance

Simon

Sorry I'm in Devon with poor

Sorry I'm in Devon with poor Internet.

Jim and Susan does that mean we might see you with Pen Gwyn?

Regards. Roly

We are based at Tollesbury

We are based at Tollesbury and use the Navionics electronic charts on our Raymarine Dragonfly as well as on an iPad - it has tidal stream data and good charting of the Blackwater Estuary as well as the whole coast. We also have and use the paper charts for the area which are Admiralty small A2 sheets "Admiralty Leisure Folios - Thames Estuary - Essex and Suffolk Coast (SCF5607)" . The local bouyage into Tollesbury is also covered in the excellent East coast Pilot by Imray which also has good descriptions of the whole area.

We will be attending the Gala Dinner - 2 places please - (it's only 100m from our mooring!) and look forward to meeting other Macgregor owners. Not sure yet which other days we will be about but hope to make some of the events on the water.

Mike and Dot Clarke Tarka M26

Mike, I do apologise for

Mike, I do apologise for referring to you as Michael Moore in a recent posting. You may berate me at the dinner.

Simon

david.claassen's picture

I do not yet know if we will

I do not yet know if we will be 1 or 2 for the Gala Dinner. No special dietary requirements. I am starting to really look forward to this event!

David Claassen

"Logan's Run"

2006 26M

Hi Rick et al

Hi Rick et al

Apologies for not being in Contact for a while!

Looking forward to seeing you all at some point on the Big Mac event.

Based at Brightlingsea now.

Just an idea, a visit up to Wivenhoe on the River Colne. is always good if for any reason any boats do not wish to venture into the North Sea.

The Wivenhoe sailing club has a pontoon for visitors and there are some excellent pubs (The Black Buoy for one!).

See you soon.

Hi, Andrew

Hi, Andrew

No rush but have you an idea of what part of the rally you will attend.

Just updating the spreadsheet re dinner/moorings/berths etc.

Thanks

Simon

Hello Simon, Roly and all

Hello Simon, Roly and all

Just to confirm that 'Sonny' will be at Bradwell Marina on Tuesday 24tb July. Quentin is joining me (and maybe Gavin) but they have to leave on the Friday. I will stay on for the bigmac dinner (no diet issues,) and will probably pull out Sunday and return home.

Regards to all, John Richardson 'Sonny' 26M

Regretfully, I will now not

Regretfully, I will now not be able to make the event as I will be abroad on business.

Best regards

Graham

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