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Howth's Successful Team Snapshot Bring It All Back Home After ICRA Conference In Dun Laoghaire

6th March 2023
Home Are The Heroes. Howth YC Commodore Neil Murphy with Team Snapshot for their welcome home complete with ICRA
Home Are The Heroes. Howth YC Commodore Neil Murphy with Team Snapshot for their welcome home complete with ICRA "Boat of the Year"Trophy, back row from left: Eric Phillips, co-skipper Richard Evans, Commodore Neil Murphy, co-skipper Michael Evans, Laura Dillon & Desmond Flood, front row from left: Dianna Kissane, Daragh White, John Phelan & Graham Curran

Co-skippers Mike & Richie Evans of ICRA Boat of the Year, the J/99 Snapshot, had a relaxed and celebratory winding-down with crew, friends, family, and fellow Howth YC members when they returned to base from the ICRA AGM & Annual Conference in the Royal St George YC in Dun Laoghaire at the weekend. They'd been under the additional pressure of making the key presentation at the Dun Laoghaire gathering, but by the time they and the Trophy had made it safely back to the peninsula, it was a matter of just going with the flow of comradely festivity.

Nevertheless, there was talk of Snapshot's coming season, with the Scottish Series in late May very much in the reckoning, while the Welsh IRC Championship in Pwllheli in mid-May needs to be considered, and they are of course, defending champions at the biennial Sovereign's Cup in Kinsale at the end of June.

But more immediately on the agenda is this Saturday's (March 11th) annual dinghy race round Ireland's Eye, in which several Snapshotters are involved, with Mike Evans himself campaigning his RS800 and hoping for a good head-to-head with three visiting International 14s and other exotics.

Published in ICRA, Howth YC
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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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)