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The J24 National Championships, being raced as part of the Monday.com Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships at Howth Yacht Club on Friday, were the only class to manage a race with winds of less than three knots across three race courses. 

Racing had to be abandoned for the IRC classes due to lack of wind, despite all efforts to start the fleets at 11:45 am. However, the sub-three-knot variable winds and haze persisted well into the afternoon, making it impossible to begin the annual event for the cruiser-racer divisions.

'There's nothing anyone could have asked of the race management teams today that would have made a difference,' ICRA Commodore David Cullen, who is competing in Class Zero, said.

Abandonment flags fly on the Howth Yacht Club Committee Vessel Photo: AfloatAbandonment flags fly on the Howth Yacht Club Committee Vessel Starpoint on day one of the ICRA Nationals Photo: Afloat

Kinsale Yacht Club's Under 25 Kinsailor team are now top of the J24 leaderboard after their win on a windward leeward course in the northernmost race area. Wicklow Sailing Club's Conor Haughton in Jade took second. Third was Diarmaid Mullen's Smugairle róin. See the results below.

Eight boats were scrutinised on Friday as part of competition rules, and organisers report 'good compliance'. However, some boats had to return for items such as anchors, flares and fire extinguishers. The organisers say more boats will be subject to checks on Saturday.

Despite the forecast of more light winds, organisers plan to restart the IRC championship on Saturday with up to four races scheduled.

The racing will continue until Sunday, hopefully giving organisers ample opportunity to make up for the lost time on Friday.

As previously noted by Afloat's WM Nixon, the ICRA Nats 2023 event is a contemporary take on a time-honoured tradition in the North Dublin harbour.

Published in ICRA
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When the three-day Irish Cruiser-Racing Association monday.com-sponsored annual National Championship gets underway today (Friday) at Howth, it will be the combination of a modern innovation in Irish sailing, which is barely twenty years old, and a local regatta tradition of major significance going back 170 years.

For it was in the not-so-distant yet seemingly remote days of 2002 that those sage observer-participants of the Irish cruiser-racer scene - Fintan Cairns of Dun Laoghaire and the late Jim Donegan of Cork - rightly concluded that the cruiser-racer fleets played such a significant and growing role in our sailing that they needed their own Irish Cruiser-Racing Association to represent and promote their interests.

And beyond that, they perceptively envisioned that their new baby of ICRA would give such extra heft to the popularity of cruiser-racing that at season’s end the title of ICRA “Boat of the Year” would become one of sailing’s most coveted titles. And equally, it would build a strong feeling that ICRA should stage its own stand-alone National Championship, ideally at least three days long.

SUCCESS OF ICRA CONCEPT HAS CONFLICTING RESULTS

Ironically, the success of the first ideal has contributed to the difficulty of fulfilling the second. With ICRA flexing its muscles, established regatta organisers have had a national body to which they can quickly refer when any problems involving their large cruiser-racer entry arise.

Champion John Maybury at the ICRA Nats 2022, when the series was within Volvo Cork Week 2022, with the platform party including RCYC Admiral Kieran O’Connell (right). Photo: Robert BatemanChampion John Maybury at the ICRA Nats 2022, when the series was within Volvo Cork Week 2022, with the platform party including RCYC Admiral Kieran O’Connell (right). Photo: Robert Bateman

Thus the pre-event setting of class rating bands for ICRA boats has now assumed the sort of pre-regatta interest which in times past would be focused on which of the One-Design classes would have the biggest turnout. Yet this inevitable re-focusing has in turn so strengthened the significance of the ICRA presence at all major regattas that local club organisers very much prefer the large Cruiser-Racer presence to be a central part of their event, rather than take on the challenge of including the ICRA Nats as a part of – yet still semi-separate championship – within their established event.

CROWDED ANNUAL PROGRAMME

Thus in an ideal world, the already-crowded annual national sailing programme would include a comprehensive three or four-day ICRA Nats in all its solitary stand-alone splendour. But the annual setting of the programme is already a matter of dexterous juggling and much trading in barely-available dates So an exhausting and event-packed programme of very mixed weather, such as we’ve already seen in 2023 has meant that the prospects for the late-season turnout and success of the ICRA Nats at Howth in the second weekend of September have not necessarily been viewed with optimism.

“A Force in the Land” – trophies lined up for the 2022 Championship. Photo: Robert Bateman“A Force in the Land” – trophies lined up for the 2022 Championship. Photo: Robert Bateman

Yet it now looks as though the turnout today of race-ready IRC-rated boats will be north of 70 keenly-sailed craft. And with the entry list very strong in quality to offset any queries about quantity, the key problem is whether or not there’ll be enough wind to move them through Howth’s interesting racing waters in any worthwhile way, while managing to keep the Indian summer heatwave temperatures under control.

WEIRD WEATHER OF SEPTEMBER 2023

In the weird weather of September 2023, that’s a big ask. But as for staging weather-optimising regattas, Howth has form – and good form at that. In this year in which they are celebrating being the MG Motor “Sailing Club of the Year 2023”, Commodore Neil Murphy has been leading his members in putting on events of local, regional and national status in which - as you’d expect, with the numerically-largest club in Ireland – HYC members have themselves not been strangers to the podium.

On the international front, not only did they stage the J/24 Europeans within the past 12 months, but as well in 2023 as in 2022, the Howth names have been featuring abroad towards the top of various leaderboards.

Howth Yacht Club as newly-built in 1987 – it has since been extended to complete the curve of the “regatta roof” to the left. Sailing in the foreground are gaff sloop-rigged yachts of the Howth 17ft OD Class, founded 1898. Photo: Jamie BlandfordHowth Yacht Club as newly-built in 1987 – it has since been extended to complete the curve of the “regatta roof” to the left. Sailing in the foreground are gaff sloop-rigged yachts of the Howth 17ft OD Class, founded 1898. Photo: Jamie Blandford

ANCIENT HISTORY OF “REGATTAS”

As to the matter of Howth having regatta history, where could we begin? It was a Viking venue for special sailing events, then the Breton-Norman sailing party which subsequently became the St Lawrence family took over the village and castle in regatta style in 1177, and stayed until 2021. And when - in 1576 - the great western sea queen Grace O’Malley called by while cruiser-racing in the area, she temporarily abducted the son and heir to the castle because she felt the hospitality offered to visiting seafarers did not meet her demanding Connacht requirements.

Howth Castle today. It was smaller when Grace O’Malley sailed to it in 1576, but her subsequently-agreed hospitality requirements were to be scrupulously maintained over the centuries since Howth Castle (left) and Harbour (right) with race area beyond island of Ireland's Eye

THE KIDNAP “RANSOM”

The kidnapped boy was safely returned when it was agreed that the gates of Howth Castle would never be closed in future (even if the main door was much reinforced), and there would always be an extra place at the dinner table for any unexpected but otherwise well-intentioned visitor.

Thanks to this, it can be assumed that hospitality for visiting seafarers has since been kept up to the mark generally, with the inauguration of the Howth rail connection on 30th May 1847 opening up the possibility of regattas as a spectator sport to provide a significant shoreside element.

RAILWAY DAY EXCURSIONS TO WATCH THE BOATS

The viewing figures were augmented by special railway regatta day tickets to such an extent that the railway – originally intended mainly to transport fish from the expanding port – found it worth their while to provide regatta prizes and sponsorship in an era before the entertainment of profitable arena sports had become a central part of life. It was a simpler time when watching boats sailing was still in the heights of daytime entertainment, somewhere along with horse racing and bare knuckle boxing.

Ten years after the railway had reached Howth in 1847, annual railway-company-sponsored regattas were a regular feature. While most of the yachts were home-ported at Kingstown, those with the RWYC were of the 1828-founded Royal Western Yacht Club, whose fleet had dispersed from Kilrush on the Shannon Estuary after the Great Famine of 1846-49Ten years after the railway had reached Howth in 1847, annual railway-company-sponsored regattas were a regular feature. While most of the yachts were home-ported at Kingstown, those with the RWYC were of the 1828-founded Royal Western Yacht Club, whose fleet had dispersed from Kilrush on the Shannon Estuary after the Great Famine of 1846-49

Thus regattas at Howth long pre-date any local sailing clubs, which didn’t start to become established at the port until 1895. But with its 2,000-plus membership and extensive marina/clubhouse complex now providing a significant element of the economy both of Howth Harbour and its Peninsula, Howth itself is a significant part of the ICRA engine, and the fact that current ICRA Commodore Dave Cullen is a longtime and successful Howth sailor is part of the pattern.

Dave Cullen of Howth, current Commodore of ICRA. After many successful years racing Classic Half Tonners including winning the Worlds, he now campaigns the First 50 Checkmate XX with Nigel Biggs, their successes in 2023 including winning the Coastal Division in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta in July. Photo: Robert BatemanDave Cullen of Howth, current Commodore of ICRA. After many successful years racing Classic Half Tonners including winning the Worlds, he now campaigns the First 50 Checkmate XX with Nigel Biggs, their successes in 2023 including winning the Coastal Division in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta in July. Photo: Robert Bateman

This Howth input also arises with the remarkable role played by the American-originating range of cruiser-racing J/Boats. It is simply impossible to imagine the current Irish sailing scene without the extensive J/Boat range – first founded in 1977 - playing a key role in it.

GROWTH OF ICRA/HOWTH U25 J/24 DEVELOPMENT SCHEME

Thus the single largest numerical presence will be the 18 boats racing in what is also the J/24 Nationals. It was another Howth-based ICRA Commodore, Nobby Reilly in 2012, who first suggested that a scheme should be set up whereby ICRA and the leading clubs would provide tangible support for Under 25s to race J/24s, and gradually this idea has taken root from its Howth origins.

Its success has been such that one product of the scheme, the all-Ireland crew on Headcase helmed by Cillian Dickson of Lough Ree and Howth, are currently in Thessaloniki in Greece and about to start racing in the J/24 Worlds, having just travelled from Hungary where they won the J/24 Europeans.

Kinsailor (right) on the hunt at the J/24 Europeans at Howth in 2022, when she finished on the podium and was top Irish boatKinsailor (right) on the hunt at the J/24 Europeans at Howth in 2022, when she finished on the podium and was top Irish boat

Meanwhile, the top Irish boat in the 2022 Euros in Howth, the similarly U25-developed Kinsailor from Kinsale with Micheal O Suillebhain as helm, is surely among the front runners at Howth after a convincing display at the J-Cup in Dun Laoghaire a fortnight ago.

J/109s STILL ON TARGET

However, it is the J/24s’ big sister, the ever-young J/109, which seems to have been conceived and developed with Irish needs most specifically in demand. Thus the defending overall champion, after the ICRA Nats 2022 were held within Volvo Cork Week last year, is John Maybury’sJ/109 Joker 2 of the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire, while clubmate Barry Cunningham with sister-ship Chimaera was top boat in the recent J/Cup.

In her time, Chimaera has won at home and abroad, with previous owner Andrew Craig of Dun Laoghaire making his exit from the class in some style with the overall win at the Scottish Series, while racing in Scotland has also provided a happy hunting ground for another top contending J/109, Pat Kelly’s Storm from Rush SC.

SNAPSHOT IN THE HUNT, SWUZZLE BUBBLING, AND FINAL CALL II ON TARGET

A newer, slightly smaller J/Boat is the host club’s Mike & Richie Evans’ J/99 Snapshot, ICRA “Boat of the Year” 2022 and a winner here, there and everywhere looking to hit that extra sweet spot of speed to guarantee success in home waters.

 “Winning here, there and everywhere…” Snapshot on her way to success in the Sovereign’s Cup at Kinsale. Photo: Robert Bateman “Winning here, there and everywhere…” Snapshot on her way to success in the Sovereign’s Cup at Kinsale. Photo: Robert Bateman

Making a return visit to Howth after last being present in 1980 is the extremely likeable Bruce Farr-designed Half Tonner Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble of 1976 New Zealand origins. She last featured in the area in the final race of the 1980 ISORA season across channel to Howth from Abersoch in the ownership of the late Bruce Lyster of RSTGYC, winning to take that year’s ISORA Championship. Now in superbly restored form and looking like new, she is in the ownership of the Dwyer family of Crosshaven, living proof that glassfibre can last just about for ever with TLC, her continuing competitiveness in the right conditions an encouragement for everyone.

Swuzzlebubble coming in to Howth to win the race from Abersoch in August 1980, and the ISORA title with it. Photo: W M NixonSwuzzlebubble coming in to Howth to win the race from Abersoch in August 1980, and the ISORA title with it. Photo: W M Nixon

In sailing as in other sports, competing in an away fixture sometimes adds the vital extra slice of performance that takes those essential extra seconds off the elapsed time, and it is Our Friends In The North, owner John Minnis (RUYC & RNIYC) and helm Gareth Flannigan, with the highly-optimised Archambault 35 Final Call II, who have shown sparks of pure genius and magic extra speed in 2023’s sailing.

 Final Call II from Belfast Lough racing to success in the Wave Regatta at Howth in June 2022. She races today as one of the favourites in the ICRA Nats. Photo: Annraoi Blaney Final Call II from Belfast Lough racing to success in the Wave Regatta at Howth in June 2022. She races today as one of the favourites in the ICRA Nats. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

They’ve broad shoulders, but they’ll surely need them as Final Call II starts racing this morning with a great weight of expectation on her crew. Meanwhile, lead organiser Jill Sommerville and her Howth Yacht Club team are in line with a level of organisation which is a very long way ahead of the modest expectations of the regattas of yore. For Howth is currently in overdrive with the tented village of the weekend’s Howth Maritime Festival on the green beside the clubhouse in tandem with the high-powered sport on the water. All that’s needed is a reasonable sailing wind, and if the skies can stay clear, the sea breeze should do the business.

ICRA Nationals Class Entries 2023

Class Zero

IRL 66 Checkmate XX
GBR 732R Hijacker
IRL 985 Ghost Raider
IRL 2729 Searcher
IRL 3721 ValenTina
IRL 4240 Prima Forte
GBR 7536 HotCookie
IRL 9753 Jelly Baby
IRL 10800 Rockabill VI

 

Class One

IRL 811 Raptor
IRL 1003 Final Call II
IRL 1141 Storm
IRL 1206 Joker 2
GBR 1242r white mischief
IRL 1383 Ruth
IRL 1543 Indian
IRL 1699 Snapshot
IRL 2160 Chimaera
GBR 8933R Bon Exemple
IRL 19109 Outrajeous
FRA 21711 Tribal

 

Class Two 

IRL 977 Crazy Diamond
GBR 1371 Elixir
IRL 1484 Harmony
IRL 1551 Mojo
GBR 2678 Perseverence
IRL 2798 Mata
KZ 3494 Swuzzlebubble
IRL 6909 Extreme Reality
IRL 9970 Lambay Rules

 

Class Three

FRA 111 ALLIG8R
IRL 971 Leeuwin
IRL 988 Dux
IRL 1972 No Excuse
IRL 2507 Impetuous
IRL 3022 Xebec
IRL 3087 Anchor Challenge
IRL 4444 Insider
IRL 4571 Flyover
IRL 7115 Gecko
IRL 7495 Maximus
IRL 8188 Alliance II
IRL 9538 Running Wild
IRL 90210 Snoopy

 

White Sails

IRL 1333 White Lotus
IRL 2070 Out&About
IRL 4073 Splashdance
GBR 8571 Spellbound
IRL 33301 White Pearl
IRL 100 Demelza
GBR 1411t Toughnut

 

J24 National Championships

  Rush 2 Juvenile Delinquent  
IRL 191 Battling J  
IRL 680 Kilcullen  
IRL 1183    
IRL 1234 Lady Caroline  
IRL 3109 Jade  
GBR 4084 Billy Whizz  
IRL 4191 Janx Spirit  
IRL 4212 Cool Jade  
IRL 4217 Hedgehog  
IRL 4236 KINSAILOR  
GBR 4265 smugairle róin  
IRL 4384 Jibberish  
IRL 4532 Jelignite  
IRL 4533 Crazy Horse  
IRL 4794 Hard on Port  
IRL 5067 Jedi  
IRL 5072 Printfix.ie  
IRL 5159 Jibe  
IRL 5219 IL Riccio  
IRL 5278 Hung Jury  
Published in W M Nixon
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The ICRA Cruiser-Racer National Championships at Howth Yacht Club, which incorporates the J24 National Championships, is gearing up to be a strong event, with over 70 boats expected to participate.

Organisers have now revealed the class bands for the three-day Monday.com sponsored championships, which are set to take place on Friday (8th September). The boats will be divided into four classes based on their size and other factors. 

Class 0 will include boats with ratings between 1.036 and 1.155, while Class 1 will be for boats with ratings between 0.986 and 1.035. Class 2 will feature boats with ratings between 0.936 and 0.985, and Class 3 will be for boats with ratings between 0.876 and 0.936. 

 Brendan Foley's First class 8, 'Allig8r' from the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire will compete at the 2023 ICRA Nationals at Howth Photo: Afloat Brendan Foley's First class 8, 'Allig8r' from the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire will compete at the 2023 ICRA Nationals at Howth Photo: Afloat

Apart from these four classes, there will also be a special Non-spinnaker Class 4 & 5, which will be combined into a single start with separate results.

The end-of-season event brings the curtain down on an exciting season, and the organisers are looking forward to welcoming all the participants and spectators to the championship that looks set to benefit from the Indian Summer conditions.

The championships will be the main “on water” feature of the Howth Maritime and Seafood Festival, which takes place over the weekend of the 8th and 10th of September.

ICRA National Championships 2023 Class Bands

  • Class 0: 1.036 to 1.155
  • Class 1: 0.986 to 1.035
  • Class 2: 0.936 to 0.985
  • Class 3: 0.876 to 0.936
Published in ICRA
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The ICRA National championships will be the main “on water” feature of the Howth Maritime and Seafood Festival, which takes place over the weekend of the 8th and 10th of September.

The ICRA Commodore, David Cullen, has reported 52 entries for the Monday.com ICRA National Championships incorporating the J24 National Championships two weeks from now.

Following a challenging racing year of light winds in May and June and wet and windy weather in July and August, the Executive Committee have decided to extend the entry deadline until the 1st of September. So please shake the cobwebs off that cruiser of yours and enter her for this well-organised event.

The organising Committee in Howth Yacht Club is hopeful that the rain will run out and an Indian Summer will provide ideal racing conditions off Howth for the Championships from the 8th- 10th September.

Howth Yacht Club have arranged camping and campervan facilities at Deer Park nearby in order to offer accommodation options for those travelling from around the country.

Entry can be made on this link for the monday.com ICRA National Championships 2023, Incorporating the J24 National Championships. 

This is an open event, and ICRA welcomes all sailors.

Please see the schedule for racing below:

ICRA 2023 National Championships Schedule 2023

ICRA 2023 National Championships Schedule 2023

ICRA 2023 National Championships Schedule 2023

Published in ICRA
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Host club yachts will be among the expected top performers for the ICRA National Championships at Howth Yacht Club this September.

Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) Commodore David Cullen is reporting solid entries for the Monday.com ICRA National Championships incorporating J24 National Championships with six weeks to go.

ICRA and Howth Yacht Club are encouraged to see entry numbers at 40 boats with six weeks left before the event.

Even more encouraging is to see several notable visitor boats attending, including the highly fancied J122 Jelly Baby and QuarterTonner Anchor Challenge from Cork, together with Hijacker and the A35 Final Call II from Northern Ireland.

Dave Cullen and Nigel Bigg's First 50, Checkmate XX from the host club Photo: Michael ChesterDave Cullen and Nigel Bigg's First 50, Checkmate XX from the host club Photo: Michael Chester

Defending 2022 ICRA Overall National Champion, John Maybury's successful "Joker II" is also entered, having recently had massive success in Kinsale during the Sovereign's Cup, whilst several local hot shots, including Snapshot, Dux, Checkmate XX and Storm are ready to fend off all visitors whilst providing a warm welcome at Howth Yacht Club.

Mike and Ritchie Evans's J99 Snaphot will be on home waters for the ICRA Nationals at Howth Photo: Bob BatemanMike and Ritchie Evans's J99 Snaphot will be on home waters for the ICRA Nationals at Howth Photo: Bob Bateman

The J24 fleet will provide a strong presence with up to 25 boats expected, including several Under 25-year-olds; ICRA partly funded K25 boats.

"Howth Yacht Club is hopeful that the rain will run out, and an Indian Summer has been ordered for 8th -10th September, John Leech of ICRA told Afloat.

Howth Yacht Club have arranged camping and campervan facilities at Deerpark nearby to offer accommodation options for those travelling from around the country.

The Howth Harbour Master has been accommodating to the fleet offering temporary berthing in the Fishery Harbour and delivering safe and comfortable facilities to all competitors during the spring tides over the weekend.

Entry can be made on this link for the monday.com ICRA National Championships 2023 incorporating the J24 National Championships.

Published in ICRA
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Thanks to its new sponsor, the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) has opened entry for September's 2023 Irish National Championships with a unique app (link for download below).

As regular Afloat readers will know, the championships were boosted last week by the announcement of monday.com as the title sponsor for the three-day event at Howth Yacht Club from 8th-10th September. 

Organisers expect upwards of 100 boats and more than 1,000 competitors to compete in five classes between Ireland's Eye and Lambay Island off the Fingal coast of North County Dublin.

To mark their sponsorship, monday.com has created a unique application to assist boat owners and crews in managing their demanding schedules using the scheduling and integration features offered by the cloud-based system.

The ICRA National Championships at Howth will also incorporate the J24 National ChampionshipsThe ICRA National Championships at Howth will also incorporate the J24 National Championships

Crew availability, boat maintenance and event planning are all contained within the standard template that will be free for users to download.

In addition to the cruiser-racer classes, the three-day series will also incorporate the J24 National Championships, with upwards of 30 crews expected from all corners of Ireland.

"As we put the spectre of the Covid pandemic well behind us, we're making sure that we have plenty of time to stage a super event both afloat and ashore that Howth is well-known for," commented Jill Sommerville, chairperson of the HYC organising committee. "

Welcoming the development of the monday.com application, ICRA Commodore David Cullen said: "Managing a team can be complex and time-consuming, so anything that helps streamline the process is a great addition for a boat of any size."

Online entry for the event is available now - click here

Crew Management application - click here

Published in ICRA
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Most sailors would have seen themselves as Friday Fun-Folk and Monday Moaners until yesterday (Thursday) evening, when Howth Yacht Club Commodore Neil Murphy announced that the club's big one for 2023, the staging of the ICRA Nationals from September 8th to 10th, would be sponsored by the major international tech-force monday.com with its main Irish face, Providence.

It would almost be easier to list the very few services that this state-of-the-art international business development group doesn't provide. But for sailors it's sufficient to say that if you have problems in keeping tabs on your essential racing crew panel, then monday.com will have a system which makes it all much more straightforward and efficient. And as any experienced and successful owner will attest, if you've a system that monitors a race-winning crew panel in an easy and accessible way, then its transference in different forms to business development at any size and level can be taken as a given, as monday.com can give a lot.

But then, so too can ICRA, as their lead representative Richard Colwell of the successful J/109 Outrajeous reminded us. The hard-fought ICRA Nats may be when they go most public, but their season-long monitoring of many events to adjudicate the ICRA Boat of the Year (the current one is the Evans brothers of Howth's J/99 Snapshot) is one of the key analytics of Irish sailing, while their U25 programme has become an international pace-setter.

The championship organisation is being chaired by Jill Sommervile, and though September may now seem a long way distant, she made it very clear that early entrants will get a generous discount, providing a saving which can be usefully re-used when party time comes in September, and Monday is everyone's favourite day of the week.

Published in ICRA
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Following last week's ICRA announcement that the 2024 Cruiser Nationals will return to the Royal Irish Yacht Club in September, ICRA Commodore Dave Cullen has confirmed the Dun Laoghaire dates as 6th-8th September. 

As Afloat previously reported, the RIYC hosts the ICRA's for the third time in 2024.

Cullen told Afloat, "the Royal Irish will put together a very attractive and professionally run event". 

The event will mark the event's 20th anniversary, and the sixth time the cruiser-racer championships will have sailed on the Dublin Bay race track.

Royal Irish previously hosted the ICRAs, one of the key fixtures of the Irish sailing season, in 2006 and 2014, with both events featuring a 100-boat-plus fleet.

2025

Cullen added that ICRA was now inviting expressions of interest from clubs wishing to host the ICRA Nationals in 2025 and asks any interested party to register interest to [email protected] before May 1st.

Published in ICRA
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The Irish Cruiser Racer National Championships return to the Royal Irish Yacht Club for the third time in 2024, the ICRA conference heard on Saturday

The event will mark the event's 20th anniversary, and the sixth time the championships will have sailed on the Dublin Bay race track.

Royal Irish previously hosted the ICRAs, one of the key fixtures of the Irish sailing season, in 2006 and 2014, with both events featuring a 100-boat-plus fleet.

Like this year's edition scheduled for Howth, 2024's event will run in the first week of September.

The Royal Irish Yacht Club is situated in a central location in Dun Laoghaire Harbour with excellent access, and visiting sailors can be sure of a special welcome. 

The clubhouse is located in the prime middle ground of the harbour in front of the town marina, and it is Dun Laoghaire's oldest yacht club. 

Fenit for 2025?

ICRA Commodore Dave Cullen also announced at Saturday's conference that the association is seeking applications for its 21st event in 2025.

Cullen confirmed at least one application had been received; Tralee Bay Sailing Club in County Kerry has sought the event for its Fenit Bay race track, a venue that previously hosted in 2009 and 2013.

Published in ICRA

Co-skippers Mike & Richie Evans of ICRA Boat of the Year, the J/99 Snapshot, had a relaxed and celebratory winding-down with crew, friends, family, and fellow Howth YC members when they returned to base from the ICRA AGM & Annual Conference in the Royal St George YC in Dun Laoghaire at the weekend. They'd been under the additional pressure of making the key presentation at the Dun Laoghaire gathering, but by the time they and the Trophy had made it safely back to the peninsula, it was a matter of just going with the flow of comradely festivity.

Nevertheless, there was talk of Snapshot's coming season, with the Scottish Series in late May very much in the reckoning, while the Welsh IRC Championship in Pwllheli in mid-May needs to be considered, and they are of course, defending champions at the biennial Sovereign's Cup in Kinsale at the end of June.

But more immediately on the agenda is this Saturday's (March 11th) annual dinghy race round Ireland's Eye, in which several Snapshotters are involved, with Mike Evans himself campaigning his RS800 and hoping for a good head-to-head with three visiting International 14s and other exotics.

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