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ICRA Announce 2019 & 2020 National Championship Dates & Venues

12th September 2018
The ICRA Nationals returns to the Royal St. George Yacht Club on Dublin Bay in 2019 The ICRA Nationals returns to the Royal St. George Yacht Club on Dublin Bay in 2019 Credit:

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) has announced dates and venues for the ICRA National Championships in 2019 and 2020 plus details of its end of year Annual Conference and AGM.

For 2019 the ICRA National Championships will be held in Dublin Bay, hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club. Allowing time for a tune-up during the domestic spring series or in Scotland for the Kip Regatta and Scottish Series, the Nationals will kick-start an Irish season on the 7th – 9th June, followed by a number of high profile events such as the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race (that sets sails on June 12), Sovereigns Cup (from June 26th to 29th) and Dun Laoghaire Regatta (11th to 14th July).

2020 ICRA Nationals at Royal Cork Yacht Club

In 2020 the Royal Cork Yacht Club holds its 300th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Cork or the Royal Cork's Tricentenary celebrations. To celebrate this significant milestone the 2020 ICRA National Championships will be held in conjunction with Cork Week in July of that year.

Royal Cork Cruiser RacingCruiser Racing returns to the Royal Cork in 2020 with the staging of the ICRA National Championships Photo: Bob Bateman

While no commitments have been made at this time on the location and dates of events after 2020, the committee envisages that the event will return to be hosted by clubs on the East Coast for the following two years.

The annual conference will be held in Lough Derg sailing Club on Saturday the 3rd November. (See more information on the conference below).

ICRA Strategy

One of the key objectives of ICRA strategy is to aim to deliver a 1st class national championships viewed as the pinnacle of inshore yacht racing in Ireland. Over the last 6 months, the ICRA executive has conducted an extensive review with this in mind. This exercise has included direct consultation with members/boat owners in all classes and locations, club representatives across the country, an analysis of where the domestic cruiser racer fleet is currently based including the strength of the
fleet in each region and club and a review of the calendar of events of interest to cruiser racers over the next 6 years.

The following conclusions have been drawn from this exercise:

  1. The rotation of the nationals should reflect where members boats are based. A review of 2017 and 2018 IRC or ECHO certs shows that 59% of members are based on the east coast, 27% on the south coast, and 14% along the western seaboard. While ICRA will of course continue to promote cruiser racing across the whole country, not least through our support of events such as the WIORA championships, the location for the National Championships will be weighted toward the East and South coats over the next few years.
  2. There is a strong demand among boat owners for a standalone National Championship when held in Dublin. Members are concerned to maximise use of their boats during the period that crew are available, with a request to return to a date earlier in the year and a strong preference for June.
  3. In consultation with representatives and owners from clubs on the South Coast, it became clear that it is more difficult task to hold a standalone National Championships event on the South Coast, and that there was a preference for a joint event with established events in the calendar when it takes place on the South Coast.
  4. The Royal Cork Yacht Club hold their 300th anniversary in 2020. The Royal Cork Yacht Club has made a formal request to include the nationals as part of Cork Week that year.

The desire for ICRA moving forward to partner with a major event when holding the National Championships on the South Coast, coupled with the desire to support the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Cork or the Royal Cork's Tricentenary celebrations, led to the decision taken to endorse the event being held in in conjunction with Cork Week 2020.

As such, it was important to the committee that the event is held as a standalone event in Dublin next year, and as such the committee also endorsed that the RstGYC would hold the event in 2019.

A full review of the calendar was undertaken by the committee and the RstGYC, again to ensure that members wishes were reflected that had expressed a desire for a return to date earlier in the year.

A suitable date was agreed as the 7th – 9th June 2019, in order not to clash with other events, and to allow people to take part in the National Championships, before setting off for possible Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race or to Sovereigns Week in Kinsale.

ICRA Conference

The ICRA Annual Conference, will be held in Lough Derg Yacht Club, on Saturday 3rd November, after an invitation to host the event was kindly provided by John Leech. It will include an AGM, for members to elect the ICRA committee that represent them, and to bring the full new constitution into effect. It will also allow time for the current committee to inform members of the proposed strategy for the next five years. The full conference agenda and times will be provided in due course.

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)