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Howth Yacht Club's Dave Cullen Takes Over as ICRA Commodore

5th March 2022
ICRA Commodore Dave Cullen
ICRA Commodore Dave Cullen

Howth Yacht Club sailor Dave Cullen has been elected ICRA Commodore at this morning's cruiser-racer AGM in Dun Laoghaire.

The top appointment was announced after the election of a new 11-member executive.

The 2018 Half Ton Classic Cup World Champion replaces the outgoing Commodore Richard Colwell, who held the post for four years. 

The 2022 ICRA Executive CommitteeThe 2021 ICRA Executive Committee was re-elected at the agm with Dave Cullen taking over as Commodore from outgoing Richard Colwell

Cullen, who competes in both inshore offshore cruiser disciplines, took the opportunity at the National Yacht Club hosted meeting to thank his HYC clubmate for his 'dedication and hard work' and described Colwell as a 'driving force' behind Irish cruiser-racer affairs. Colwell remains on the newly elected committee.

Cullen takes over the tiller at a time when recruitment of new sailors into the national fleet, including under-25 and female participation, is top of ICRA's agenda.

Published in ICRA, Howth YC 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)