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Boat of the Year Judges Seek 'Something Special' for ICRA's Top Yacht of 2012

7th November 2012
Boat of the Year Judges Seek 'Something Special' for ICRA's Top Yacht of 2012

#icra – Nominees for ICRA's Boat of the Year for 2012 include the reigning champion boat, Pat Kelly's Storm, a J109 from Rush and Howth. Also in the running is Martin Breen's Reflex 38 from Galway Bay Sailing Club sailed this season as 'NUI Galway' but ICRAs Denis Kiely says the ultimate winner of the award to be made at the ICRA conference on November 17 will be the boat that demonstrates an 'extraordinary' year. The 2012 nomination list released by ICRA is below.

There are three Royal Cork boats nominated and two from the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

George Kenefick's modified quarter tonner Tiger is in the running too after its performance in Howth at the ICRA National Championships in May and its Corinthian win of the Quarter ton Cup in the UK

Dave Cullen's modified half tonner King One is also nominated. The Howth yacht captured a huge haul of trophies at Ramsgate week.

 'What did each boat do that lifts it out of the pack and places it above all others in 2012 will be a deciding factor says Kiely.

'If there is something special that deserves to be recognised then a headcount of wins in various regattas may not be the determining factor' he adds.

Kiely says there are two stages in the judges decision process. Does the boat have a good season record at national level i.e. performance in a series of top level regattas, and then what is special that makes it worthy of the overall accolade?

Kiely points to the fact that when the original Boat of the year award was made to Voodoo Chile in 2006. 'It was its Round Ireland race win that made it special - a 32 ft boat winning the RI overall. Of course she also had a big programme besides this that but it was the RI win that was special that year' he says.


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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)