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ICRA Discusses Initiatives to Increase Participation in Cruiser Racing

17th January 2019

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) held its first meeting of 2019 in Portlaoise on Wednesday, 16th January.

The Committee wasted no time in the new year to get together to finalise objectives for the year and discuss new initiatives to increase participation in cruiser racing nationally. New members of the Committee were welcomed by Commodore Richard Colwell, including Johanna Murphy, GISC, Liam Lynch, TBSC and David Cullen, HYC. Retiring members Colin Morehead, RCYC, Finbarr O’Regan, KYC and Rob McConnell, WSC, were thanked for all their help over the last number of years.

The Committee worked through a list of initiatives and activities that will be actioned during 2019 and beyond to support cruiser racing in Ireland. Commodore Richard Colwell commented “The ICRA Committee is dedicated to building and supporting yacht racing for all. It is our intention to put a renewed focus on training and development of younger sailors to encourage them into cruiser racing, to deliver to the needs of current cruiser racers and to improve communications and transparency to all our members. We intend to publicise several new initiatives in the coming weeks, and have put a great deal of effort already into drawing up strict criteria and guidelines to deliver the annual National Championships of the highest quality”.

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) has the job of bringing together the various aspects of Irish handicap racing in order to promote its interests. Since its inaugural meeting a decade ago, ICRA has built a solid core of interests among 7,000 cruiser racer enthusiasts and built one of the strongest sailing events in the country, attracting over 100 boats.

Published in ICRA
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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)

 

ICRA Nationals 2020

The date for the 2020 edition of the ICRA National Championships is September 11-13th, it will be sailed at Howth Yacht Club as part of WAVE Regatta

ICRA Nationals 2021

The date for the 2021 edition of the ICRA National Championships is 28-31 May at the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay.

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