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ICRA Invites Under 25 Keelboat Programme Grant Applications

25th January 2021
A Royal Cork Under 25 1720 sportsboat in Cork Harbour A Royal Cork Under 25 1720 sportsboat in Cork Harbour Credit: Bob Bateman

The ICRA/ISA Under 25 Keelboat Support Programme is open for 2021 applications.

The scheme was created as a support programme to help sailing clubs develop their own Under 25 squads and ICRA reported an overwhelming response to the initiative when launched in December 2019.

Seven clubs, from across the country, now have established U25 squads, with another two clubs actively looking for the right platform to start their own programmes. 

The idea behind the programme stems from the belief that while there are a significant number of young sailors that become Irish Sailing instructors and partake in University Team Racing, ICRA says a lot simply drop out of the club racing scene in their 20s. An Under 25 keelboat development programme can offer a place for some of these sailors. Keeping them active in the sport and fostering their commitment as members of their clubs.

In the second of three years of funding for the scheme, successful applicant clubs will be provided with an initial Capital Grant which will assist clubs to buy a keelboat for their U25 squad. The scheme will then continue to provide an annual allowance to assist the club run their U25 programme until it is well established.

ICRA is now inviting Irish Sailing Category 1 clubs to send “Expression of Interest” to apply to join the programme.

Full details about the programme are here

Published in ICRA, Youth Sailing
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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. 

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The date for the 2021 edition of the ICRA National Championships is 3-5 September at the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay.

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