Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Biggs' Howth Half Tonner 'Checkmate XVIII' Sails to ICRA Championship Success on Dublin Bay

5th September 2021
First in Class 2 - Nigel Biggs' Checkmate XVIII on her way to overall victory of the ICRA National Championships on Dublin Bay
First in IRC2 - Nigel Biggs' Checkmate XVIII on her way to overall victory of the ICRA National Championships on Dublin Bay Credit: Afloat

In the end, it became a Half Tonner domination of Class Two of the ICRA Championships on Dublin Bay this weekend, where light to medium conditions played right into the hands of the optimised vintage yachts.

All three podium places went to the Howth class with, as predicted, Nigel Biggs' Checkmate XVIII taking the title on nine points with a four-point margin over Jonny Swan in King One. 

Biggs' winning crew were Dave Cullen, Daragh Sheridan, Suzie Murphy, Andy Sargent, Mark Kenny and Niki Potterton.

Third was HYC clubmate Darren Wright in Mata. 

The north Dublin club took ten of the top 12 places in the 15-boat fleet, with 2019's overall ICRA winner, the X-332 Dux (Anthony Gore Grimes), finishing fourth.

Results are here

Jonny Swan at the helm of King OneSecond in IRC2 - Jonny Swan at the helm of King One 

Third in IRC3 - Darren Wright's MataThird in IRC2 - Darren Wright's Mata

The X-332 Dux (Anthony Gore Grimes) finished fourthThe X-332 Dux (Anthony Gore Grimes) finished fourth

Published in ICRA, Half Tonners, Howth YC Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author 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 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. 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)