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ICRA Plan to Increase Cruiser Racer Numbers

28th February 2021
An under 25 team racing in a RStGYC J80 keelboat on Dublin Bay
An under 25 team racing in a RStGYC J80 keelboat on Dublin Bay Credit: Afloat

There will be more boats on the water in the season ahead, crewed by young sailors supported by the Irish Cruiser Racing Association's Under 25 programme which has been so successful that ICRA is now working with the national sailing organisation on developing a further stage of the project, to encourage those finishing it to buy their own boats and increase the size of cruiser fleets at clubs around the country.

"We are now seeing the positive result of what started many years ago at Howth Yacht Club in focusing on the Under 25s, which was then taken up by ICRA, by clubs around the country. It is really encouraging," Commodore Richard Colwell told me in advance of the annual general meeting of ICRA on Saturday, March 6.

Despite the unpredictability of the challenges sailing faces due to the continuing Covid 19 pandemic, he is hopeful that the season ahead will be a good one.

ICRA Commodore, Richard ColwellICRA Commodore, Richard Colwell - ICRA is encouraging young crews to buy their own boats and increase the size of cruiser fleets at clubs around the country

"There may still be difficulties early in the season, but later in the Summer I am hopeful that there will be more opportunities and our national championships are well placed in September," he says on this week's podcast, where we follow up on the theme highlighted in last week's edition. This was where Daragh Connolly, the new Commodore of SCORA, the South Coast Offshore Racing Association, described the growing interest of young sailors in cruiser racing and going offshore.

Anthony O'Leary's Antix Beag, from Royal Cork, a customised 1720 sailing Photo: Bob BatemanAnthony O'Leary's Antix Beag, from Royal Cork, a customised 1720 sailing Photo: Bob Bateman

I started the Podcast by asking Richard Colwell how hopeful he is for the season ahead:

As previously reported on, RTÉ and Met Éireann's Evelyn Cusack will head the line-up of speakers and presentations at the ICRA AGM which the Commodore will start at 10.30 am with an update. The conference will be on Zoom, due to pandemic restrictions and registration for it is open.

This will be followed at 10.40 am by Evelyn Cusack's half-hour presentation on forecasting the weather. And at 11.10 am, international yacht designer Mark Mills will give a brief talk on his line of work.

After a short break, there will be briefings on the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race by Adam Winkelmann, Sovereigns Cup by Anthony O’Neil, Dun Laoghaire Regatta by Con Murphy, ICRA Nationals by Ric Morris and ISORA from Peter Ryan.

Published in Tom MacSweeney, ICRA, SCORA Team

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