#icra – A series of feeder races to Kerry for the 2013 Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA) Nationals at Tralee Bay Sailing Club (TBSC) could swell numbers to 70 boats or higher for the Fenit event according to estimates coming from ICRA's annual conference in Kilkenny on Saturday. PDFs of the Notice of Race, entry form and event advert and flyer are available for download below.
The major event for Fenit Bay next season will be preceded by the WIORA West Coast Championships (June 12 - 14th 2013) and as both events will be staged in the same week along with a shore based family based Sea Breeze festival, the Kingdom is preparing for a big celebration of sailing 'craic' next Summer.
TBSC are also aiming to contribute to 'The Gathering' initiative by inviting overseas crews to sail back home for a racing week in the most westerly port in Europe.
Championship organiser Brian O'Sullivan previewed the June 13-15 event for the ICRA delegates on Saturday and there was a lively discussion on making the national championship a no-discard event as well as writing new alternative on the water penalties into this year's sailing instructions.
O'Sullivan confirmed feeder races will include the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle (D2D) race (June 8th) with D2D race organiser Martin Crotty offering to accommodate as many ICRA racers for the 180–mile race from the National Yacht Club. Races from Galway and Cork have also been designed to encourage as many boats as possible to head west.
Estimates indicate that a 40-boat WIORA fleet will be supplemented by at least 30 or more Dublin and Cork visitors giving respectable championship fleet sizes.
Although ICRA and Fenit organisers concede the remote location from the big Dublin cruiser fleets might be an obstacle on reasons of cost in the current climate, the decision is nevertheless in keeping with ICRA's ethos of sharing the championships around the coast on a yearly basis. (The next championships is scheduled for Dun Laoghaire at the Royal Irish YC in 2014).
Course types were also discussed on Saturday. Research from the 2012 ICRA championships in Howth showed cruiser racer fans are split on course types. Some favour windward leeward courses but others are keener on round the cans course configurations. International Race Officer Alan Crosbie will lead the race management team on the water.
A mix of courses produces more accurate results under the IRC handicap rule and as there appears to be a ground swell away from pure windward-leeward courses the intention in Fenit is to run three separate course types over the two seven race WIORA and ICRA series from Brandon Point to Kerry Head.