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ICRA Yacht Race Collision on Dublin Bay Causes 'Serious Damage'

5th September 2021
Howth yacht Samaton 'makes contact' with Magic Touch at a mark rounding at the ICRA National Championships
Howth yacht Samaton 'makes contact' with Magic Touch at a mark rounding at the ICRA National Championships. Photo sequence below Credit: Afloat

Two boats suffered 'serious damage' and were unable to compete in the rest of the ICRA 2021 Championships at the National Yacht Club due to a collision at the top of a windward leg in the first race on Saturday morning.

During the race, both Class Zero and One ICRA fleets were competing in different races on the same course and were rounding the windward and spreader marks on the second lap in 14-16 knots of breeze.

As Magic Touch (IRL44444), a Greystones-based First 34.7 competing in Class One, and Samatom (GBR 9244R), a Grand Soleil 44 from Howth, competing in Class Zero, rounded the spreader mark, Samatom's bow 'made contact' with Magic Touch on her port aft quarter as the sequence of pictures below show.

The impact was big enough to spin the smaller boat around almost 180 degrees.

Immediately after the incident, both boats radioed the Race Committee and stated they were retiring from the race with damage. Neither boat competed in any further racing on Saturday or Sunday of the Championships.

Both boats lodged protests over the incident. 

The ICRA protest committee chaired by International Rules Judge Bill O'Hara heard both protests on Saturday night, and it found the following facts: 

  1. MagicTouch rounded the windward mark clear ahead of Samatom, heading towards the Offset mark (6-8 BL from W mark). Two other boats were above and outside MagicTouch.
  2. MagicTouch was slower than Samatom, which was coming from astern at a higher speed.
  3. As MagicTouch entered the zone of the mark, she was clear ahead. Shortly afterwards, Samatom established an overlap from astern.
  4. When MagicTouch bore away to round the mark, Samatom altered course in an attempt to avoid a contact.
  5. Samatom made contact causing serious damage.
  6. The wind was 14/16 knots.

As both boats retired, no penalty could be applied, the jury decided. The full jury decision and conclusion, along with other case details, is here

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)


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.

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