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Who Will Win ICRA's Irish Boat of the Year Award?

15th November 2012
Who Will Win ICRA's Irish Boat of the Year Award?

#icra – Top handicap cruisers from the popular sailing centres of Howth, Rush, Cork, Galway and Dublin Bay are in the running for ICRA's Boat of the Year award on Saturday and competition judges have already stated a 'special performance' will be required to win the top prize.

Saturday's ICRA conference has an ambitious agenda covering many important topics for the 2013 cruiser racer season ahead, not least the national championships in Tralee and the election of a new Commodore but by 4pm the delegates attention will turn to the Boat of the Year award, an ICRA highlight.

From a short-list of an X-34, two J109s, a Corby 33, two modified quarter tonners, a half tonner and a Ker 39 what boat will win? review the season highs of each of the nominated campaigns (and in no particular order).



Storm II (J109) Pat Kelly, Rush Sailing Club

Reigning ICRA Boat of the Year Storm II might have lost its ICRA National crown in 2012 but Pat Kelly struck was a very close series on an analysis of the results they lost the entire series by just 10 seconds on the last race. Storm II headed for Scotland following the ICRAs and took their best result on Loch Fyne finishing third on count back.

Back in Dublin Kelly scored his first overall win in 30 years of competing in Howth's Lambay Race. Following this Storm II took honours at the RIYC Regatta in Dublin Bay, bringing the trophy northside.  There were also ins in Malahide and Skerries Regattas followed by another win in the September RIYC Regatta. To finish the year off we took five wins and a second in the in Howth Autumn League taking the trophy for the third time in three years and winning overall boat of the series.


Xtravagance (X34) Colin Byrne, Royal Irish Yacht Club

By his own admission the skipper of Xtravagance Colin Byrne says his Dublin Bay based X-34 'didn't have a bad season but equally, we didn't achieve what we wanted to achieve which was to win the ICRAs and to be the top keel boat in Dublin Bay' as they were in 2011. The Royal Irish yacht's results were results included second overall in IRC in the ICRAs and third overall in ECHO.

On Dublin Bay the crew were first overall on Saturdays in DBSC racing in IRC and third overall on Thursdays in IRC. They were second overall on Echo on Saturdays in DBSC. Full DBSC results here for 2012.

The boat also won IRC in the DMYC Regatta and also won the Royal St. George Regatta.


Jelly Baby (J109) Ian Nagle, Royal Cork Yacht Club

The J109 Jelly Baby won a very competitive class at the ICRA Nationals. She also won her class in Cork Week and the J109 Nationals raced as part of the ICRA event and the J109 European title as part Cork Week. Although there were only 4 J 109s in Europeans it was nevertheless a dogfight and only won on the last race on the last day, one of the reasons the Ian Nagle and Paul O'Malley skippered boat has been awarded Royal Cork's own boat of the year trophy.


Antix (Ker 39) Anthony O'Leary, Royal Cork Yacht Club

The Captain of ICRA's victorious Commodore's up team in 2010 won the 2012 Easter Series on the Solent. The Ker 39 won Class 0 in the ICRA Nationals in Howth and was successful again on the Solent coming second in the RORC UK IRC Champs. The Anthony O'Leary skippered boat from Royal Cork was also fourth in class at July's Cork Week.


Tiger (Quarter Tonner) Neil Kenefick, Royal Cork Yacht Club

The Kenefick family quarter tonner won her class at the ICRA Nationals in Howth and abroad retained the Corinthian section at the Quarter Ton Worlds on the Solent. This Royal Cork Yacht set out to defend her title and did so in style with her young crew led by George Kenefick (ably assisted by Mike Budd), leading the fleet with five first places and a black flag.


Illes Pitiuses (Quarter Tonner) Losty Bros, Cove Sailing Club

Illes Pitiuses is a modified Quarter Tonner brought back from the Mediterranean by Jason and Dominic Losty last year. The Fauroux design was renovated in Cowes in the Spring of this year. She was second Corinthian Boat behind Tiger at the Quarter Ton Cup in Cowes in it's first major outing, coming 11th overall.

The Cove boat Won Class II at Calves Week and the overall trophy for the Week. She Won Class III and the Moonduster (all-in IRC) Trophy at the Cobh-Blackrock SCORA Race in Cork Harbour.

Illes Pitiuses topped Class II and won the Qaurter Ton Class at the RCYC Autumn Regatta and placed third in the SCORA League despite completing only half the season in Ireland.


NUI Galway (Reflex 38) Martin Breen, Galway Bay Sailing Club

Following an overall win in the 2011 Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race as 'Galway Harbour' Martin Breen's Relfex 38 was prepared for the 2012 Round Ireland by students of NUIG and raced as 'NUIGALWAY'. The students won Class 2  and were the first Irish fixed keel boat, finishing sixth overall and winners of the ICRA Cup.

They were also class 1 winners in the Pwllheli to Wicklow ISORA race in preparation for June's Round Ireland race.

The boat is raced by a separate inshore crew and in 2012 they competed in the 2012 ICRA Nationals in Howth, Cork Week and Calves Week. In 2013 they will plan to race at the ICRA Nationals in Fenit and also in the Sovereigns Cup in Kinsale.

Offshore the next events planned for this well sailed Relfex 38 are the 2013 Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race, a RORC Channel race followed by the 2013 Fastnet race.


King One (Half Tonner) Dave Cullen, Howth Yacht Club

Dave Cullen's King One did some travelling around this year summarised as follows: the RORC Easter Regatta in Cowes coming third in a Class of 4B in April. At the ICRAs of home waters King One came third in a fleet of 29 boats. It was followed up at the Howth YC regatta next with a third.

Cullen Headed back to UK to compete against the top Belgian half tonners and competed as part of Class 3 at Ramsgate week. They won the initial coastal series, then the Sail East series, the Half Ton Cup and then followed this up with a win in the overall event as the best scoring boat.

King One returned to Ireland for the HYC Autumn League finishing second.

Next year King One is heading overseas on a French campaign.


Rockabill (Corby 33) Paul O'Higgins, Royal Irish Yacht Club

Rockabill V boat boss John Kelly has expressed some surprise at his own boat's nomination adding that the Royal Irish YC entry had an 'uneventful season'. The Corby 33 was second in Howth's Corby Cup, third in IRC one at the ICRA nationals, second at the National Yacht club regatta, second to Gloves Off in Calves Week and second in the RIYC end of season regatta.


White Mischief (Sigma 33) Tim Goodbody, Royal Irish Yacht Club

Taking time out from her one design performance as the boat to beat in the Sigma 33 class on Dublin Bay, Tim Goodbody's White Mischief came to the ICRA Championships in Howth as a Class 3  and won the Echo division and finished second on IRC.  The boat resumed its usual one design position winning her class at the Irish Nationals. In Wales the Royal Irish Yacht took eight wins from eight races at Abersoch Week. On home waters White Mischief took overall wins in the  DBSC Thursdays and Saturdays series too.

Published in ICRA 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)