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ICRA Survey Results on Irish Cruiser-Racing Being Compiled

20th January 2023
ICRA cruiser-racing on Dublin Bay
ICRA cruiser-racing on Dublin Bay Credit: Afloat

The results of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association’s (ICRA) national survey of members to get their views about racing are being compiled. They are expected to be completed and released within the next week.

The survey has been carried out “to make sure that we represent members’ views and constantly strive to improve cruiser racing in Ireland,” according to ICRA, a voluntary organisation, “to support and encourage cruiser racing in Ireland, based on liaising and discussion with members to help promote and watch over racing,” it says. “We welcome anyone who has an interest in promoting the sport.”

The survey has been on online and is wide-ranging, reviewing events held last season and seeking opinions about handicapping and class bands among topics surveyed. It will be used to help formulate future cruise racing development.

One of ICRA’s aims is to encourage more young people into sailing and more women. Its Under 25 programme, which has offered financial support to clubs, is proving successful, it says.

Published in ICRA
Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for He presents the monthly programme Maritime Ireland on Podcast services and Irish radio stations.

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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)