Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Irish Cruiser Racing & Bridging The Youth Gap in Sailing

28th January 2022
Royal Cork's Under 25 crew flying downwind in the club J/24
Royal Cork's Under 25 crew flying downwind in the club J/24 Credit: Bob Bateman

I’m encouraged by the opening of the Under 25 support programme for the season ahead. It is a further positive step towards bridging the gap through which young sailors were lost to the sport. That was when they wanted to move on from dinghy racing to another level, but found other sports offering more inducements. Or so it seemed.

This is the third year of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association’s Under 25 Support programme, which is proving to be a successful development. Difficulties have been identified in encouraging young sailors into cruiser yacht ownership, such as the cost of insurance for young sailors to own their first boat.

Dave Sullivan of Kinsale Yacht Club, in charge of that Cork South Coast club’s Under 25 Keelboat Development project, identified that difficulty in a recent Podcast edition. KYC has bought a boat for their project. It arrived in Ireland just after Christmas and the plan is to have it launched and ready for the club’s March League.

New arrival - as announced on Kinsale Yacht Club's Facebook page

For this Podcast edition, my guest is the Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association, Richard Colwell, who describes the Under 25 programme as the bridge to the future for encouraging young sailors to stay in the sport. He also identifies club training programmes for young sailors to introduce them to cruiser racing, such as that run at the National Yacht Club, as positive developments.

We discuss the growing interest in refurbishing quarter tonners, the season ahead and the highlights of the racing calendar. I started by asking him what he was looking forward to in season 2022.

Listen to the Podcast here.

Tom MacSweeney

About The Author

Tom MacSweeney

Email The Author

Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for He presents the monthly programme Maritime Ireland on Podcast services and Irish radio stations.

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