Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Plenty of Topics For ICRA's 'Round Table' Discussion in Limerick

3rd March 2017
Cruiser–Racer sailors are gathering in Limerick tomorrow for ICRA's National Conference Cruiser–Racer sailors are gathering in Limerick tomorrow for ICRA's National Conference Credit: Bob Bateman

There will be plenty of items for discussion when ICRA Commodore Simon McGibney opens up a 'round table' discussion on his advertised theme of 'we have to talk about cruiser racing' at the ICRA conference in Limerick tomorrow.

A move towards more coastal racing at Dublin Bay Sailing Club as well as the axing of its Cruiser Challenge event reflect changing trends on Dublin Bay.

Water Rat has the 'temerity' to raise the question of the overcrowded keelboat fixture list as cruiser–racer fans prepare for five major events between June 9 and July 9.

Former Howth Commodore Brian Turvey argues that ICRA must take on the role of a national handicapping authority if ECHO and IRC systems are to remain relevant and win over ‘What’s The Pointers’IRC is something ex-pat helmsman Gordon Maguire discussed recently in the Australian Sailing media too.

News from RORC that a 100–strong fleet will contest the 2018 in Euros in Cowes along with the Commodore's Cup gives Ireland a new opportunity to contest an event first sailed at Cork Week last year but wih new rating bands in place for 2018, what Irish small boats are eligible?

Afloat's informal readers poll for the ICRA Boat of the Year award shows Dublin J109 Joker II and Half tonner Harmony neck and neck after over 2,200 votes cast but of course the judges may decide otherwise from the 12–boat shortlist. 4.30pm tomorrow in Limerick will reveal all.

The conference starts tomorrow at 10.30 at the Castletroy Hotel in Limerick.

Published in ICRA

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven't put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full-time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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)