#ICRA – The Irish Cruiser Racing Association's (ICRA) new Commodore seeks to increase participation in cruiser racing during his five year term in office. In his opening address to delegates at the ICRA conference on Saturday Norbert Reilly said he believes the expansion potential for Irish sailing – up to three or four time its existing size – is huge compared to other sports as participation in competitive sailing can be much longer than in other sports.
Experienced keelboat campaigner Reilly, the new man at the helm of cruiser racer sailing in Ireland, said that as well as building on the successes of his predecessors in 2013 ICRA wants to recruit new people into sailing to replace those lost during the recession.
A new ICRA crew training programme will be introduced and the initiative will be club based. It will run to uniform ICRA standards at a number of sailing centres with a programme drawn up by former national sailing coach Dave Harte now based in Schull. The aim is to train crews, such as the role of bowman, to a quality standard for local, national and international events.
The ICRA conference was told quality training for new people would produce a valuable supply of crews to help sail the existing fleet. It will provide a 'route to the boats' for newcomers that can also boost flagging yacht club memberships.
Reilly currently races the Dublin based Mills 36 Crazy Horse and has been running cruiser racer campaigns from Howth since the 1980s including the well known Comanche Raider.