From Thursday 16 August, Galway Bay Sailing Club hosts Ireland’s national cruiser racing championships for the first time — and a significant turnout is expected from clubs all along the West Coast.
As David O'Brien writes in the Irish Times today here, the upcoming ICRA Cruiser Nationals are, as the association’s Commodore Simon McGibney puts it, a “reminder of the resurgence of the sailing scene in the West”.
McGibney — also of Foynes Yacht Club at the mouth of the Shannon — lobbied hard for Galway to host the event following the success of 2013’s championships at Tralee Bay, which attracted a 61-strong fleet to the first Western-hosted nationals in ICRA history.
Indeed, nine of the 15 yacht clubs represented in this year’s entry list is based in the West — and both the host club and Foynes will be sending 11 boats each.
Given that four-fifths of the cruiser fleet is based on the East Coast, and that the event faces competition from Calves Week among others, that’s no mean feat.
Meanwhile, as smaller clubs like Garrykennedy and Mullaghmore are taking the opportunity to get noticed on the national scene, smaller boats will also be at the fore in Galway Bay next week.
Corby 25s, J24s and quarter tonners fill out a list of entries that includes the long-standing Class 1 champion Joker II, the J109 sailed by John Maybury who will be defending his title for the third year in a row.
Three other national titles will be decided along with the West of Ireland regionals which kick off what promises to be an exciting few days of racing from Wednesday 15 August
Sailing Instructions and class divisions are downloadable below.
The Nationals and the West Coast Championships are being held between the 15th and 18th of August and feature four days of action packed sailing and social events.
Captain Brian Sheridan from the Port of Galway has generously arranged free cranage and berthage for the duration of the event.
Class divisions in the fleet are expected shortly and will be posted on Afloat.ie
The ICRA National Championships Sailing Instructions are downloadable below as a PDF file