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ICRA Encourages Strong Resurgence of Irish Yacht Racing

14th July 2020
ICRA's Boat of the Year Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins)in offshore mode in last weekend's ISORA Viking Marine Coastal Race on Dublin Bay ICRA's Boat of the Year Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins)in offshore mode in last weekend's ISORA Viking Marine Coastal Race on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

While sailing might have been late starting, there is plenty more planned in 2020 writes ICRA Commodore Richard Colwell

After a long winter and a shut down due to COVID 19, that at one point threatened the whole sailing season, the ICRA Committee is delighted to see cruiser racing start again in clubs across the country.

Of course, it’s important that this is done within the guidelines set out by Irish Sailing and Sport Ireland so that as sailors, we remain safe and limit the possibility that our sport is impacted by or contributes to any resurgence of Covid19. To this end, we encourage the cruiser racing fraternity to familiarise themselves with the current COVID 19 regulations, follow the advice from clubs and Irish Sailing, and do our part in keeping the sport safe. Irish Sailing has produced extensive guidelines for running events which we should be helpful to anyone organising an event. Details are here

Yacht racing leagues have returned to Cork Harbour Photo: Bob BatemanYacht racing leagues have returned to Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman 

It is great in this context to see life return to clubs across the country, with many yachts being launched in recent weeks and many more being readied. We are delighted to also see that a large number of yachts have already taken out their ECHO and IRC certificates in readiness for events that are being planned nationwide.

As you know, we were disappointed to have to cancel the ICRA National Championships originally planned to be held in tandem with Cork Week 300. However, our decision to ensure the event would take place by partnering with Howth Yacht Club’s Wave Regatta, rescheduled to 11th -13th September, means crews have time to get their boats up to speed in local racing before the National Championships take place. Details and online entry here

We already have a very strong entry for the ICRA National Championship 2020 / Wave Regatta and we would encourage all boat owners to enter what promises to be the highlight of the shortened season. We will have a number of National Championship titles up for grabs in Corinthian/White Sail, ECHO and IRC classes – with great racing planned for all levels and experience also in collaboration with ISORA.

ISORA and DBSC racing got underway this month on Dublin Bay Photo: AfloatISORA and DBSC racing got underway this month on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

An extensive offshore sailing re-boot programme has been organised by ISORA with Peter Ryan, ICRA Committee member instrumental in its set up. A strong fleet has already taken part in its first two races with plenty more opportunities for boats to enjoy offshore racing and ensure they have suitable qualifications for the Round Ireland Race planned for later in August. Details of both are found here at www.isora.org and www.roundireland.ie

Despite the COVID 19 Lockdown, the ICRA K25 support programme has successfully started this year with a number of brand new under 25 teams set up in Sligo Yacht Club, Mullaghmore Sailing Club and Malahide Sailing Club, all with the support of ICRA grants. Many teams already in place have applied for and have received funding for continuing to run their teams and there will be plenty of opportunities for more teams to apply and take part next year.

Dublin Bay Sailing Club has also extended its season into October whilst the various regional Autumn Leagues now look to be bigger events than before.

Whilst we might have been late starting, there is plenty more sailing planned for the remainder of what looks like a longer season.

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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