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Big Breeze & Big Names for All Ireland Champs at Royal Cork Yacht Club in National 18s

29th September 2021
National 18 dinghies will be used in the 2021 All Ireland Sailing Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club
National 18 dinghies will be used in the 2021 All Ireland Sailing Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club Credit: Bob Bateman

50mph winds forecast for Saturday morning's first gun may yet cause problems for the 2021 All Ireland Sailing Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven this weekend. 

Sixteen invitees from the fleets of cruisers, one-design keelboats and IRC cruisers will race in National 18 dinghies for the annual celebration of the sport.

A complete list of invitees for the Cork Harbour competition is below. A class nominates competitors for their achievements subject to specific guidelines. Significantly the invitees are all male. 

A 2004 Athens Olympic partnership gets back together for the event as GP14 representative Ger Owens takes crew Ross Killian with him for his trapeze skills. Owens has made a clean sweep of the GP14 season.

Ger Owens (left)Ger Owens

On form ICRA representative Nigel Biggs won the IRC 2 crown in August and the Flying Fifteen East Coasts in September, an indication that switching boats is no obstacle to the Howth sailor. 

Early weather forecasts indicate Saturday will be unsailable in Cork HarbourEarly weather forecasts indicate Saturday will be unsailable in Cork Harbour

This year, there's a strong representation from the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire with five members competing, including former winner Sean Craig who races this year with the NYC's Tadhg Donnelly. 

Wild card invitees include Laser sailor Tom Higgins sailing with his brother Jack. Robert O'Leary from the 1720 class will sail with his brother Peter, a partnership well forged in the Star keelboat.

National 18s racing in Cork HarbourNational 18s racing in Cork Harbour

This year's National 18 champion Ewen Barry is also competing. 

European Champion Charlie Cullen – the youngest competitor at just 19 – is a first-time nomination for the foiling Waszp class; Philip Doran with brother Simon; 2019 All Ireland champion Michael O'Connor of the SB20 class will sail with his winning crew from previous years, Davy Taylor.

Charlie Cullen Charlie Cullen

Hammy Baker, President of the Irish Flying Fifteen class, and RYA Northern Ireland's Performance Director is competing. Fellow Northern Ireland ace JP McCaldin from Lough Erne is representing the J/24 keelboat class.

Hammy BakerHammy Baker

Strong westerlies are forecast from early on Saturday morning. While the harbour has plenty of sheltered race areas, the competition relies on the generosity of owners donating boats. Strong winds bring with it the risk of damage to the borrowed fleet, especially as the poor forecast exists for the whole weekend.

2021 All Ireland Sailing Invitees

Michael O'Connor

SB20/2019 Champ

Royal St. George Yacht Club

Davy Taylor

Nigel Biggs


Howth Yacht Club

Daragh Sheridan

Ger Owens


Royal St. George Yacht Club

Ross Killian

Philip Doran


National Yacht Club

Simon Doran

Robert O'Leary


Baltimore Sailing Club

Peter O'Leary

Marty O'Leary


Greystones Sailing Club

Kevin Johnson

JP Mccaldin


Lough Erne Yacht Club

Carolyn Mccaldin

Ross Kearney


Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club

Geoff Edwards

Harman Murtagh


Lough Ree Yacht Club

Jonathan Horgan

Sean Craig

Laser radial

Royal St. George Yacht Club

Tadhg Donnelly

Alistair Kissane


Howth Yacht Club/National Yacht Club

Conor Kinsella

Charlie Cullen


Royal St. George Yacht Club

Ben Hogan

Tom Higgins

Laser Standard

Royal St. George Yacht Club

Jack Higgins

Patrick Boardman


Rush Sailing Club/Howth Yacht Club

David Kelly

Hammy Baker

Flying Fifteen

Strangford Lough YC / Quoile YC

Steven Kane

Ewen Barry

National 18

Royal Cork Yacht Club

Dion Barrett Team

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At A Glance – All Ireland Sailing Championships 2021

The 2021 Irish Sailing Senior All Ireland Championship will take place at the Royal Cork YC in National 18s, 2 & 3 October.

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