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#corby25 – A Corby 25 IRC cruiser–racer built by Harley Yachts, is on market, just in time for competition at the ICRA Nationals in Dun Laoghaire in June and Cork Week in July.

Thunderbird has been well maintained and stored inside every winter. The 2004 build is advertised on Afloat Boats for Sale site through Northern Ireland broker Whyboats Northern Ireland.

One of the most successful designs drawn by John Corby, these 25–footers have been extremely successful in Ireland, the UK and wins include the Irish IRC nationals Class 2 from 2007 to 2001 and Cork Week - IRC 5 in 2010 and 2008. The Corby 25 was awarded Yacht of the Year in 2009.

On sale at €25,000, Thunderbirds are go! Full advert here.

Published in Boat Sales

#icranats – Take sixty-one offshore racers, recruited from Ireland's leading sailing centres. Place them in a bay of stunning beauty, set among spectacular mountains perhaps, but nevertheless a bay which is inescapably located right on Ireland's Atlantic weather frontier. Then take a witch's brew of weather, with at least three different low pressure areas circling with malice around your race area on an axis of about 400 miles.

That done, carefully calibrate the line of the Polar jetstream so that its most vivid red hues on the charts are located precisely over your chosen location, massively accentuating the power of any breezes or rainstorms occuring within its ambit. Then sit back and contemplate the extreme results of your wicked work. And what you have is precisely the setup which developed as the four day WIORA Championship and ICRA Nationals were staged at Tralee Bay.

For the ICRA Nats from Thursday June 13th to Saturday June 15th, they'd scheduled six races in a no-discard series. They did well to get a series with the minimum staging of three races, two on the Thursday in champagne sailing conditions, and then as the weather went down the tubes on Friday, just one hour long event in filthy rain to hit the quota.

Sailingwise, Saturday was totally blown out. But they'd a result already, and of course by having the incorporated WIORA series starting a day earlier, the most enthusiastic participants saw themselves as losing only one day's racing out of a four day series. Horses for courses, perhaps, but for some determined western sailors, this was exactly as it should have been. They're singularly proud of the fact that WIORA has held an annual championship since 1976 – it's an education to read on their website the champions list of gallant western boats and skippers going back 37 years – while ICRA is the new boy on the block, still wet behind the ears with its foundation as recently as 2002.

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Tralee Bay, a place of stunning beauty a great sailing venue twice visited by the ICRA national fleet. Photo Bob Bateman

The lead-in to the series at Tralee was deceptive, as the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race of June 7th, used by many as a feeder, was gentle summer sailing at its very best. The very best, that is, if you won on a rising breeze from the back of the fleet, which is what Tralee skipper Brian O'Sullivan and his crew managed with their veteran Oyster 37 Amazing Grace. But maybe not so good for the O'Leary family with their Baltimore/Crosshaven Ker 39 Antix, which achieved line honours in handsome style in Dingle, only to see their placing slip to 14th overall as the tail-enders became the leaders.

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The Oyster 37 Amazing Grace from the host club. Photo: Bob Bateman

So as the boats gathered in Fenit a couple of days later, there was keen anticipation to see if the pattern of the Dingle race results could be reversed. And there was a completely new boat in the picture too. The latest race machine from X Yachts of Denmark, the XP33, made her debut only last November. But Conor Fanning of X Yachts secured one for Ireland, and with Colin Byrne of Dun Laoghaire on the helm and the legendary Jochem Visser on the strength, clearly this boat Bon Exemple was one to watch.

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IRC one champion Bon Exemple, is the new Xp33 design. Photo: Bob Bateman

Not all boats had entered both championships, so the WIORA Overall Results posted soon after Friday's gloomy token race have notable absentees. In IRC0 the four entries appropriately had a western champion, Martin Breen's Reflex 38 Discover Ireland with Denise Phelan's Ker 37 from Jump Juice second five points behind. But in IRC 1 the points margin was in a different league – the XP 33 was put of sight with just 5 points, while John Gordon's X332 from Mayo had 20. Another western boat, Ray McGibney's Dehler 34 Dis-a-Ray from Foynes, won IRC2 with 9 points from two Corby 25s, Liam Burke's Tribal from Galway on 14, and Rob Allen's Smile of Kirush and Galway on 20. IRC 3 saw an east coast winner, Barry Cunningham's Quarter Tonner Quest from the RIYC by 10 points from the 15.5 of the host club's Gary Fort with his J/24 Jaguar.

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Antix, the Ker 39, is the IRC Zero champion. Photo: Bob Bateman

When the ICRA imprimatur came into play on the Thursday, the competition notably intensified, and the pace of sunny Thursday was maintained into Friday's "grand soft day, thank God". The Antix crew were in fighting form in the five boat IRC 0, but fair play to the Galwaymen on Lynx Clipper, they were only 2.5 points adrift at the end, Antix on 5.5 to Lynx's 8, while ICRA Commodore Nobby Reilly of Howth took third with co-owner Alan Chambers on their Mills 36 Crazy Horse Mills 36, only 1.5 points behind Lynx.

The big turnout in IRC 1 saw Bon Exemple resume her successful debut, but not until after she'd trailed Pat Kelly from Rush with his J/109 Storm – the Fingal flyers finished only two points behind the hyper-hot new X boat, and another J/109, Ian Nagle's Jelly Baby from Cork, was in the hunt too, finishing on 10 to be 3 points clear of Paul O'Higgins Corby 33 from Dun Laoghaire.

IRC2 had an even better geographical spread of top boats, underlining the truly national nature of this event. Indeed, in this class it was international, as winner Nigel Biggs with his Half Tonner Checkmate may race for RStGYC in Ireland, but he's from North Wales, and you're as likely to find him competing in the Solent. Normally it's a direct ding-dong between Checkmate and David Cullen's classic Half Tonner King One from Howth, but Ray McGibney from Foynes with his veteran Dehler 34 Dis-a-Ray pulled off a coup by getting between them with second on 9 points while King One was third on 12, fourth going to Paul & Deirdre Tingle of Cork with the Corby 25 Alpaca while sister ship Tribal (Liam Burke, Galway) was fifth.

Barry Cunningham of Dun Laoghaire in IRC3 was the only skipper to pull off the double of winning overall in both WIORA and ICRA with his sweet little Humphreys Quarter Tonner Quest. The enthusiastic Losty team from Cobh with their restored French Quarter Tonner Illes Pitiuses were second on 8 points to Quest's 5, while local helm Gary Fort was in the frame again, third on 9 points with his J/24 Jaguar, well clear of fourth placed Alliance II, Vincent Gaffney's interesting and rare Laser 28 from Howth, on 16 points.

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The marina in Fenit was the base for the60-boat ICRA championship fleet. Photo: Bob Bateman

When Tralee Bay SC staged the Irish Intervarsity Team Racing Opens for 26 teams back on the St Patrick's Weekend in March, they had great luck with the weather – reasonably gentle sunny conditions, while most of the rest of Ireland continued ion th grip of winter. So maybe the Kerrymen used up their quota of good weather luck three months ago. But although the last day may have been blown out on Tralee Bay for the ICRA Nats, when the sailing was good, it was very good indeed, and the images from this championship show sailing at its best.

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Champions with ICRA commodore Nobby Reilly (centre) at TBSC. Photo: Gareth Craig

The 2013 Irish Cruiser racer national champions are:

Class 0 IRC

Antix Anthony O Leary. RCYC 

Class 0 Echo

Discover Ireland Martin Breen GBSC 

Class 1 IRC

Bon Example Colin Byrne RIYC

Class 1 Echo

Joker 11 John Maybury RIYC 

Class 2 IRC

Checkmate Nigel Biggs RST G 

Class 2 Echo

Surfdancer Charlie Mc Donnell RCYC 

Class 3 IRC

Quest Barry Cunningham RIYC 

Class 3 Echo

Jaguar Gary Fort TBSC 

Corinthian Cup

Growler Diarmuid Dineen TBSC IRC Non Spinnaker

Ridire Ban Mike Mc Donnell TBSC Echo Non Spinnaker

Published in ICRA

FINE DAY FOR SPRING WARMER FINALE

Howth Yacht Club's Spring Warmer Sailing Series, sponsored by Key Capital Private, came to a close on Saturday afternoon after the eight classes completed the six-race series in conditions which, while pleasant, were particularly frustrating for the race officers. With the winds shifting from northerly to easterly as the day wore on, it was no surprise that the starts for both races were delayed until conditions settled.

In terms of numbers, the SB3s had the biggest entry with 17, with a dozen or so out each week. Sharkbait (Duncan/Moran) and Yeti (Sean Craig, RStGYC) dominated proceedings on the last day, notching 1st and 2nd respectively in both races. While that was no doubt satisfying, it wasn’t enough to prevent the consistent Eoin Quinlan in ‘Shockwave’ from taking the overall prize.

The Quinn/O’Flaherty partnership in Fetching has been the crew to beat in the Etchells from day one and while Kootamundra Wattle and Jabberwocky took turns to win on the last day, two second places was more than enough for Fetching to head the fleet overall. That their discard was a second place speaks volumes for their dominance.

Class 1 was a three-boat affair but it was Storm (Pat Kelly) who headed Equinox (Ross McDonald) with two wins to take the overall honours by two points on IRC, although the order was reversed under ECHO.

Xtra Time (M&P Arthurs, MYC) enjoyed success in the first race but it was never going to be enough to upset the odds on Maximus (Pat Kyne) winning the Class 2 trophy on IRC, with the Howth boat also winning on ECHO as well.

Over on the ‘inshore course’, Class 2 was effectively a match-race between two boats – Gecko and Starlet – who took it in turns to win the races so that in the end they couldn’t be separated and had to share the spoils.

Lough Erne visitor JP McCaldin got away well to win the first race and with two guns and two seconds over the first two weekends had the luxury of retiring from the final race knowing that the series was wrapped up. Scandal from MYC (with Mossy Shanahan on helm) won well in the last race to share second overall with Flor O’Driscoll’s Hard On Port.

The only perfect score of the series was in the Puppeteers where Dave Clarke’s Harlequin topped the fleet with a peerless six guns and the margin of victory was such that they also won on handicap. Eclipse (A & R Hegarty) had a satisfactory series, finishing runner-up on both scratch and handicap.

Visiting boats dominated the Squibs from day one and while Royal North entry Toy for the Boys (P.Wallace) won the penultimate race, normal service was resumed with Lola (F.Whelan, RStGYC) in the last, to take the title by a clear four points from another George boat Nimble (O’Hare & others). 

Published in Howth YC

ICRA members sailing in Dun Laoghaire will be interested to know that North Sails Ireland have announced they are to run an overnight sail repair service during the Liebherr Cruiser Nationals. The service will be run out of the Stena Line ferry terminal in Dun Laoghaire.

Contact details for the North Sails Ireland are available on their website: www.northsails.ie

Published in ICRA
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