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Mixed Fortunes for Northern Ireland Yachts at the ICRA Nationals on Dublin Bay

7th September 2021
The Joubert/Nievelt designed Quarter Tonner Snoopy (Martin Mahon) with bases at Courtown Sailing Club in Wexford and Royal Ulster on Belfast Lough is the ICRA IRC Class 3 National Champion
The Joubert/Nievelt designed Quarter Tonner Snoopy (Martin Mahon) with bases at Courtown Sailing Club in Wexford and Royal Ulster on Belfast Lough is the ICRA IRC Class 3 National Champion Credit: Afloat

Snoopy, the Joubert/Nievelt designed Quarter Tonner with bases at Courtown Sailing Club in Wexford and Royal Ulster on Belfast Lough can most certainly be classed Top Dog after Marty Mahon's consistent top three performance at the ICRA Nationals in Dublin Bay last weekend. The annual championship regatta resumed after a 25-month gap due to the Covid crisis, with 80 crews entered from 17 clubs around Ireland to decide four titles under the IRC rating system.

The event was run with precision and afforded superb competition in all five classes. Of particular interest in Northern Ireland Waters was the performance of the five boats from that region, Forty Licks and Game Changer in Class 0, Hijacker and Le Basculer in Class 1 and Snoopy in Class 3.

Forty Licks, Jay Colville's First 40CR from RUYC, had an excellent regatta taking second overall in IRC ZeroForty Licks, Jay Colville's First 40CR from RUYC, had an excellent regatta taking second overall in IRC Zero

Shaun Doran's Beneteau 40.7 Game Changer, from Cockle Island Boat Club, finished fourth in IRC ZeroShaun Douglas's Beneteau 40.7 Game Changer, from Cockle Island Boat Club, finished fourth in IRC Zero

Marty Mahon was delighted with the win in Snoopy; " It meant a lot to everyone to be back out racing after such a long period so many thanks to ICRA and the National Yacht Club. It was a shame to see Quest have to retire from the regatta. They are great friends and supported us all the way. Very much looking forward to meeting them on the start line at the next event. On a personal note, it meant a huge amount to me to be out racing with close friends and family from home. It was really special.

A big thanks to my brothers James and Sean, our super crew of Brian Allen, Jonathan Sutton, David Switzer, Matthew O'Gorman and most of all, my wife Joanne for the surprise birthday present of Snoopy this year."

The Snoopy crew on their way to overall IRC 3 victory on Dublin Bay The Snoopy crew on their way to overall IRC 3 victory on Dublin Bay...

...and toasting success dockside at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour...and toasting success dockside at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Forty Licks, Jay Colville's First 40CR from RUYC, had an excellent regatta, managing to squeeze into second overall between Kaya, Frank Whelan's J 122 from Greystones Sailing Club and Jump Juice from Royal Cork. Kaya emerged overall winners of the annual Irish Cruiser Racing Association National championships with four straight wins, which meant the final day wasn't needed for Whelan's team, who won the Class Zero title, as well as the overall event win.

Only Forty Licks came close to challenging the Wicklow boat by counting four top three results. Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice from the Royal Cork YC took third place. Colville was pleased with their performance; "Despite not having sailed as a team for two years, my crew is awesome, the best – and they stay consistent. The wind strengths were perfect for racing. My thanks go to all at ICRA and the Dun Laoghaire clubs".

Stuart Cranston's Strangford Lough YC Ker 32 HijackerStuart Cranston's Strangford Lough YC Ker 32 Hijacker

Le Basculer, Mike Spence's Archambault A35 from Killyleagh Yacht ClubLe Basculer, Mike Spence's Archambault A35 from Killyleagh Yacht Club

And another Belfast Lough boat, Shaun Douglas's Beneteau 40.7 Game Changer, from the small Groomsport club, Cockle Island Boat Club, finished fourth, having given Jump Juice from Royal Cork a run for their money. They finished on equal points (17), with the tie split in Jump Juice's favour.

In the Class 1 B fleet, the two Strangford Lough Le Basculer, Mike Spence's Archambault A35 from Killyleagh Yacht Club and Stuart Cranston's Strangford Lough YC Ker 32 finished 4th and 5th.

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

Email The Author

Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down.

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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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