Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

80 Boat ICRA Nationals Fleet Prepares to Race at the National Yacht Club (Download Class Divisions Here!)

31st August 2021
After a win at 60-boat Calves Week in West Cork in August, Frank Whelan's new J122 Kaya from Greystones makes her ICRA debut on Friday on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat
After a win at 60-boat Calves Week in West Cork in August, Frank Whelan's new J122 Kaya from Greystones makes her ICRA debut on Friday on Dublin Bay Credit: Afloat

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships returns to Dublin Bay this weekend (September 3-5th) and brings one of the biggest Division Zero fleets the cruiser-racer body has ever seen.

An expected fleet of 13 Zeros is bigger than the fleet of ten that raced in the 2019 Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

The National Yacht Club will host the championships, the biggest test for Irish cruiser-racers since West Cork's Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale in June and Calves Week in August.

In all, a total fleet of almost 80 boats has been mustered, and that's a welcome boost for the championships that was cancelled twice last year in the pandemic.

Class divisions are downloadable below (as an excel file) for the weekend championships as another strong fleet of Division One yachts is unveiled by ICRA, with 25 or so entries anticipated. 

National titles

The arrival of the championships mean national titles in four IRC classes plus a white sails event will be decided on the Bay by next Sunday.

A total of 17 clubs from Ireland's North, South and East coasts will be represented by 77 crews, a slight reduction in overall numbers (100 boats in 2019) attributed to the country's gradual reopening after Covid-19.

ICRA Nationals - A total of 17 clubs from Ireland's North, South and East coasts will be represented Photo: AfloatICRA Nationals - 17 clubs from Ireland's North, South and East coasts will be represented. Photo: Afloat

“This year’s event is an opportunity for re-building crews and team bonding,” said Richard Colwell, Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association. "This year hasn't been without regular club racing, but the ICRA championships will be the biggest test of the year with so many clubs represented in the fleet."

The ICRA series will be hosted by the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire. The Covid restrictions in place mean that with a maximum of 200 to be accommodated in one location, the championships will have to spread out a little. After consultation with the other waterfront clubs, Royal St George and Royal Irish members will be hosted by their respective clubs. Visiting boats and their crews will be hosted at the National Yacht Club.The ICRA series will be hosted by the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire. The Covid restrictions mean that the championships will have to spread out a little, with a maximum of 200 to be accommodated in one location. After consultation with the other waterfront clubs, Royal St George and Royal Irish members will be hosted by their respective clubs. Visiting boats and their crews will be hosted at the National Yacht Club.

ICRA Courses

Many former national champions are participating across all classes. Two inshore fleets, with Class 1 in White Fleet and Class 2, 3 and non-spinnaker in Orange fleet, will race windward/leeward and round the cans. Class 0 will race a mixture of coastal and windward/leeward courses, starting from the same line as Class 1.

International Race Officers Jack Roy and Con Murphy are running racing afloat. At the same time, Ailbe Millerick and Bill O'Hara will lead ICRA's Protest Committee, who will, as in 2019, be on the water to witness racing.

Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 SamatomRobert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom will be racing in a bumper Class Zero Photo: Adam Winkelmann

After a great season with his previous boat Eleuthera, Frank Whelan's J122 Kaya from Greystones Sailing Club could well be the form boat in Division Zero, though with a slew of rivals in this hotly contested class. Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice from the Royal Cork YC and Paul O'Higgins' JPK1080 Rockabill VI from the Royal Irish YC are certain to be in the mix with Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom from Howth YC.

Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump JuiceConor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice Photo: Bob Bateman

After overall victory in Kinsale for the Sovereign's Cup in June, Mike & Richard Evans' J99 Snapshot will again try to disrupt the J109 fleet's dominance of Division 1. However, Stuart Cranston's Ker 32 Hijacker from Strangford Lough could add a fresh challenge.

Mike & Richard Evans' J99 SnapshotMike & Richard Evans' J/99 Snapshot Photo: Bob Bateman

Of the J109s, John and Brian Hall’s Something Else from the National YC will be looking for a result on home turf but can expect Howth's Colwell with John Murphy on Outrajeous to be on form as well as the Jones family's Jelly Baby from Crosshaven and the Goodbody's White Mischief from the Royal Irish YC.

John and Brian Hall’s Something Else from the National YC Photo: Bob BatemanJohn and Brian Hall’s Something Else from the National YC Photo: Bob Bateman

"We're all set and looking forward it - this is our first regatta in two years - we have a great crew, some of whom have sailed with me for 40 years," said Tim Goodbody (80). "Racing under IRC is great as we can sail with nine up so I can share the helm with Richard when I get tired."

The Royal Irish Yacht Club's John Maybury has made it four in a row at the ICRA National Championships in his Class One J109 Yacht Joker IIThe Royal Irish Yacht Club's John Maybury made it four in a row at the ICRA National Championships in 2019 in his Class One J109 yacht Joker II Photo: Afloat.

Nigel Biggs from Howth YC moves out of his new Flying Fifteen one design and back into Checkmate XVIII and will be the boat to beat in Division 2 after a near-perfect track record of wins in Dublin Bay in recent years. The Wright/De Nieve owned Mata, also from Howth, are likely challengers amongst the half-tonners.

Nigel Biggs'Half Tonner Checkmate XVIII Nigel Biggs' Half Tonner Checkmate XVIII Photo: Afloat

If the event gets breeze, clubmates Dux, an X302 sailed by the Gore-Grimes family, could repeat their 2019 event win though Lindsay Casey and Denis Powers' J97 Windjammer from the Royal St George YC is also tipped for the fresher conditions.

Anthony Gore-Grimes' Dux from Howth Yacht Club emerged overall winner of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships Photo:AfloatAnthony Gore-Grimes' Dux from Howth Yacht Club emerged overall winner of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships Photo: Afloat.

Bray Sailing Club’s Flor O’Driscoll will be taking on the might of the Royal Irish YC with his J24 Hard On Port facing the likes of Paul Colton’s Cri Cri and Barry Cunningham with Jonathan Skerritts' Quest, both revamped quarter-tonners.

"I've always enjoyed the ICRA's as the J24 is rated pretty well under IRC," O'Driscoll said while preparing for East coast championships in Howth. "We raced for the first time in two years in Foynes for the southerns but could have done better with a sixth place."

The Covid-19 pandemic forced the abandonment of much of the 2020 and early 2021 fixtures. Still, measures have been relaxed enough to permit safe competition afloat though shoreside social activities continue to be severely curtailed for this season.

Howth J109 Outrajeous (Richard Colwell and John Murphy) Photo: Bob BatemanHowth J109 Outrajeous (Richard Colwell and John Murphy) Photo: Bob Bateman

"Our main priority is to deliver a strong racing series afloat this year which will certain to be a warm-up for hopefully a full 2022 season," said Richard Colwell, Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association. "While social is more difficult in Covid restrictions, we have worked hard to make sure there will still be limited social activity spread across the Dun Laoghaire waterfront so everyone can enjoy the event as much as possible."

Racing begins this Friday at 1125hrs.

2021 ICRA National Championships Event Schedule

Thursday 6th June

2100hrs Skippers Briefing on Zoom (an invitation will be emailed in advance)

Friday 7th June

0830hrs Breakfast on the forecourt, Coffee & pastries in Club Room bar
1125hrs Racing
1600hrs BBQ on the forecourt
1800hrs Sailing Buffet in Dining Room

Saturday 8th June

0830hrs Breakfast on the forecourt, Coffee & pastries in Club Room bar
1125hrs Racing
1600hrs BBQ on the forecourt
1930hrs Regatta Dinner

Sunday 9th June

0830hrs Breakfast on the forecourt, Coffee & pastries in Club Room bar
1025hrs Racing
1500hrs BBQ on the forecourt
Approx. 1630hrs ICRA National Championships Prize Giving

Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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 2021

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating