Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

ICRA maintopper

Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) News & Updates
Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Tony Scannell (left) with 2025 Sovereign's Cup Regatta Director Michael O'Sullivan and KYC Sailing Secretary Michele Kennelly and an array of KYC trophies
Michael O'Sullivan has been appointed Regatta Director for Kinsale Yacht Club's 2025 Sovereign's Cup, incorporating the ICRA National Championships. O'Sullivan will oversee the event scheduled for June 25th to 28th. "This appointment marks a significant step in ensuring the success…
Jelly Baby is one of four J122s but the only Royal Cork one, racing in IRC Zero at Volvo Cork Week Regatta
Next week's 2024 Volvo Cork Week Regatta has released its 'initial' class bands for a 60-boat spinnaker fleet racing across four IRC divisions: Zero, One, Two and Three.  Each division is published below (and downloadable as an excel file) with…
Dun Laoghaire's Royal Irish Yacht Club hosts three weeks of top class keelboat racing this September
With eight weeks to go to the start of the first of three separate major sailing events at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, Royal Irish Yacht Club organisers report good local and international entries registering for three weeks of keelboat racing on…
Royal Cork Yacht Club's May Coastal Race winner in IRC was Ronan and John Downing’s Miss Whiplash
There has been strong support for evening cruiser racing at the Royal Cork Yacht Club since it began last month. The number of yachts taking part is considerably higher than last season. “It has been a fantastic show,” Rear Admiral…
The Magic Moment. The Dubois 40 Irish Independent, with Tim Goodbody (RIYC) as lead helm, rounds the Fastnet Rock on the way to the overall win in 1987
The Royal Irish Yacht Club of Dun Laoghaire is so far the only club in Ireland which has indicated to Denis Byrne, Commodore of the governing Irish Cruiser-Racer Association and Vice Admiral of the Royal Cork YC, that it is…
Royal Cork Half Tonner 'Swuzzlebubble' (David and James Dwyer) is the ICRA Boat of the Year 2023
Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) has announced the rules for its 2024 Boat of the Year (BOTY) competition with the introduction of a new ECHO trophy for the first time. The BOTY competition is based on a boat's performance in the…
For the 2024 season RORC has issued an IRC clarification about the setting of headsails (staysail)
The first keynote speaker at February's well-attended Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) Conference at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire was Dr Jason Smithwick (technical director of RORC). Jason outlined the composition of the IRC Technical Committee and…
Royal Cork Yacht Club's Denis Byrne was elected Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association at the 2024 national cruiser conference and AGM and will lead the national cruiser-racer body for the next two years
The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) has laid out its plans for the forthcoming 2024 season, and it features a packed calendar of events that will, among other things, produce the ICRA Boat of the Year 2024 by the end…
Jonathan Anderson's Scottish J122E yacht 'El Gran Senor', pictured leading the Sovereign's Cup Coastal Division in the first race off Kinsale in 2023. The boat, which now has new owners, Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox, will be renamed 'Mojito' and will take part in the 2024 ISORA races, the IRC Welsh Championships, Cork Week, the J Cup, IRC Europeans, and the ICRA Nationals before returning to Wales for the Pwllheli Challenge at the end of September
The potent J122E cruiser-racer Scottish 'El Gran Senor' from the Clyde Cruising Club will be renamed under new ownership when she embarks on her 2024 summer season, which includes next month's ISORA 2024 Offshore Series on the Irish Sea, Cork…
Finished job - Quarter tonner Purple Haze' Arrives on Strangford Lough with (from left to right) yacht designer John Corby, skipper Stuart Cranston and Will Watson, Head Painter
The Ker 32 Hijacker was a popular competitor owned by Stuart Cranston of Strangford Lough YC at Whiterock and the nearby Down Cruising club, but he was struggling to get enough regular crew (eight) so downsizing was the answer, and…
Denis Byrne of Crosshaven is multi-tasking in 2024 as Commodore of ICRA and Vice Admiral of the Royal Cork YC
Royal Cork Yacht Club's Denis Byrne has been elected Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association at today's national cruiser conference and AGM and will lead the national cruiser-racer body for the next two years. Byrne takes over from Howth Yacht Club's Dave Cullen,…
The 2025 edition of Kinsale Yacht Club's Sovereign's Cup and ICRA National Championships will be held from June 25-28, 2025
The 2025 ICRA National Championships will be held at Kinsale Yacht Club it has been confirmed.  Newly elected ICRA commodore Denis Byrne announced at Saturday's AGM that after examining several submissions, the cruiser-racer national championships would return to the biennial…
Sailing history comes alive in Half Ton Classic racing at Kinsale. The 1976 Farr-designed Swuzzlebubble - now owned by James Dwyer of Royal Cork – is current ICRA “Boat of the Year”, while the blue Humphreys-designed 1985 Checkmate XV won outgoing ICRA Commodore Dave Cullen of Howth the Half Ton Classics Cup in Belgium in 2018
The weather may have decided that winter is far from gone in the last couple of days, but in Dun Laoghaire this morning, the annual conference of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association at the Royal Irish YC remembers only sun-filled…
Kinsale's Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt will recall their Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl Sydney Hobart Race campaign at February 10th's ICRA conference in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Kinsale's Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt who competed in the Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl in December's Sydney Hobart will be keynote speakers at next weekend's (Saturday, February 10th) ICRA conference at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.…
Brendan Foley's First Class 8, 'Allig8r' from the Royal St. George Yacht Club, competing in the 2023 ICRA National Championships at Howth Yacht Club. The 2024 event will be staged by the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire from 30th August- 1st September
The Notice of Race and online entry has been published for the Unio-sponsored ICRA National Championships 2024 at the Royal Irish Yacht Club this August. Organisers plan to split fleets into Class 0, Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 and…
 ICRA Commodore Dave Cullen
The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) has provided more details of its 2024 conference, which will be hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Saturday 10 February. This year’s keynote speaker will be Jason Smithwick, director of the RORC…

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) Information

The creation of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) began in a very low key way in the autumn of 2002 with an exploratory meeting between Denis Kiely, Jim Donegan and Fintan Cairns in the Granville Hotel in Waterford, and the first conference was held in February 2003 in Kilkenny.

While numbers of cruiser-racers were large, their specific locations were widespread, but there was simply no denying the numerical strength and majority power of the Cork-Dublin axis. To get what was then a very novel concept up and running, this strength of numbers had to be acknowledged, and the first National Championship in 2003 reflected this, as it was staged in Howth.

ICRA was run by a dedicated group of volunteers each of whom brought their special talents to the organisation. Jim Donegan, the elder statesman, was so much more interested in the wellbeing of the new organisation than in personal advancement that he insisted on Fintan Cairns being the first Commodore, while the distinguished Cork sailor was more than content to be Vice Commodore.

ICRA National Championships

Initially, the highlight of the ICRA season was the National Championship, which is essentially self-limiting, as it is restricted to boats which have or would be eligible for an IRC Rating. Boats not actually rated but eligible were catered for by ICRA’s ace number-cruncher Denis Kiely, who took Ireland’s long-established native rating system ECHO to new heights, thereby providing for extra entries which brought fleet numbers at most annual national championships to comfortably above the hundred mark, particularly at the height of the boom years. 

ICRA Boat of the Year (Winners 2004-2019)