Following its support of the highly successful J/24 Europeans last year, BMW Ireland is continuing its association with Howth Yacht Club by sponsoring the ICRA National Championships in May, making it the outstanding event in the Club's 2012 calendar of 26 national, regional and local regattas.
The BMW Cruiser Nationals, as the event will be known, will be one of the biggest keelboat racing regatta in Ireland this year. It is expected to attract over 100 entries across Classes 0, 1, 2, 3 and White Sail Division for a 7-race series over three days (Friday 25-Sunday 27 May), with over 700 sailors competing.
A number of Irish Sea offshore races are being planned as 'feeder races' from other sailing centres in Ireland and the UK to further enhance the fleet numbers. It will be the third time Howth has hosted the event, having handled the inaugural ICRA Nationals in 2004 and again in 2008.
Commenting on the sponsorship announcement, Championship Chairman Chris Howard said: "We are naturally delighted that a company of the stature of BMW has seen fit to come on board with Howth Yacht Club again to support this highly prestigious championship and we look forward to welcoming some of Ireland's top sailing talent next May."
John Ives, Managing Director of BMW Ireland, commented: "Our experiences in the sailing world have always been positive and our association with the J/24 Europeans was very worthwhile so we are pleased to maintain our relationship with Howth Yacht Club who we know will provide an event of the highest calibre – afloat and ashore – that reflects well on our brand."
In addition to the BMW Cruiser Nationals, HYC’s calendar of events during 2012 will also include:
- Fingal International Family Cruising Festival – July 7th–15th
- The annual Lambay Races – June
- Spring Warmers series - April
- J/24 Eastern Championships – May
- Corby Cup - May
- Puppeteer National Championships – August
- Fireball National Championships – June
- Laser Leinster Championships - June
- Match Racing Nationals – July
- Dinghy Regatta - July
- Topper Leinster Championships – March
- 420/470 Nationals – August
- Feva/RS200 & 400 Nationals – August
- Howth 17s’ Nationals – August
- Shipman Nationals – August
- Etchells Nationals – September
- Autumn League – September-October
The schedule effectively means Howth YC is hosting an event almost every weekend from April to October.