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ICRA Awarded Sailing Club of the Year

11th May 2011
ICRA Awarded Sailing Club of the Year

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association is the Mitsubishi Motors/Irish Independent Sailing Club of the Year for 2011, with the members recording remarkable achievements both locally and internationally.The award was celebrated in style last night in Dun Laoghaire. Scroll down for photos.

Commodore Barry Rose received the Ship's Wheel trophy tonight from Frank A. Keane, Chairman of Mitsubishi Motors Ireland, at a reception in the Royal St. George Yacht Club, which itself played a significant part in what was a remarkable year for the ICRA.

In the more than three decades of the Sailing Club of the Year award, no organisation as young as seven years-old has ever won the title. Yet, this nimble and hands-on organisation, formed in 2003 to represent and promote the Cruiser Racing sector in Ireland, managed to eclipse the more than Irish 120 clubs eligible for the award.


William Nixon of Afloat and the Irish Independent (second from left) and Frank Keane of Mitubishi Motors (centre)  present ICRA's Denis Kiely (left), Commodore Barry Rose and Fintan Cairns (right) with the Ships wheel trophy last night. Photo: Gareth Craig. Scroll down for more photos.

As an organisation run by sailor for sailors, 2010 saw the energetic membership of the ICRA achieve great success. In May, with the Royal St George Yacht Club Committee under ISA Volunteer of the year Brian Craig, they hosted a magnificent ICRA National Championships with a record entry of nearly 130 boats.

Following this, an ICRA selected and supported Irish Sailing team achieved victory at the highest level in the Solent, winning the Commodores Cup for the first time for Ireland. Having participated in this event for thirty years, this was a historic and proud achievement for Irish Sailing and the Irish Cruiser Racing Association.

If that wasn't enough, the ICRA continued to work tirelessly in co-ordinating the race handicapping systems in both IRC and Echo, while also organizing the annual conference.

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association is the 32nd recipient of the award, which was devised to honour and encourage the efforts of sailing clubs and associations nationwide. Team

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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)