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#irishsailing – After five years of economic contraction, there are signs of recovery, and the 2014 Irish sailing season has also got off to a flying start. W M Nixon looks at various signs of new energy and initiatives, and sees how they might be affecting stories which have been run on this blog and in the Afloat.ie website during the past year. But he concedes that further cost reductions will be necessary for the good of the sport.

A year ago, any talk of green shoots in Ireland was almost entirely metaphorical. And it was in the economic sphere, though even there they were still few and far between, with many soon stunted. But out in the farmers' fields themselves, out where the grass should have been growing, there was scarcely a sign of life as we were still trapped in the coldest and most miserable Spring in living memory, and all forms of growth and recovery were blighted by it.

Sailing and boating, of all sports, are the most affected by Ireland's climatic conditions. Not only is the mood among participants strongly influenced by weather which sometimes can get anyone down, but without reasonable breezes, sailing events are seriously impaired. "We got a result!" may well be the PRO's final desperate claim after pulling some sort of a points table and leaderboard out of a series bedevilled either by too much or too little wind. But it's so much better to have a series bathed in sunshine and blessed by fine breezes, with enough races sailed for the crews to go home tired but happy without needing recourse to any of those weasel words which show you're only trying to justify a weekend of frustration.

Things could not be more different this year. The Spring of 2014 has been perfection, boats are going afloat on time and in reasonable weather conditions, and the first little crop of events and results are very encouraging indeed - so encouraging, in fact, that "little crop" doesn't do them justice.

That said, two of the nearer events which gave special cause for Irish celebration did not have perfect weather throughout. The Youth Sailing Nationals at Howth may have ended on a high with a great breeze in an early taste of summer sunshine, but one day out of the four was lost to bad weather. But the sting of that was lessened by the decision for "no racing all day" being taken at 1100hrs, which allows other leisure options to kick in.

The IRC Easter Championship in the Solent concluded through Easter Monday literally with "Darkness at Noon" – the heavy clouds and torrential rain on an almost windless day saw the final races being sailed with nav lights on. But there had been excellent racing on earlier days, and a very excellent result with Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix from Cork the clear supreme champion.

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Doing the business. Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix settling into the groove on the way to the top place in the Easter IRC Championship. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

That in turn augured well for Ireland's Commodore's Cup chances, which then received a further boost last weekend when the crew of another Irish team wannabe, Quokka with Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling, had a winning weekend in the Warsash series with their temporary mount Tarka in anticipation of Quokka's return from the Caribbean at the end of May.

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The Colours Match team racing between UCD and Trinity served up top sport in the Liffey, with Trinity winning. Photo: W M Nixon

Meanwhile the universities racing has been brought to life, for although UCD had a convincing win in the racing with the SailFleet J/80s to become the Irish team for the Student Yachting Worlds in France in the Autumn, before April was out the Colours Match in the Liffey under the burgee of the Royal Alfed YC, team-raced in Fireflies, saw Trinity take the honours in convincing style.

But if we're looking for something which really did set things freshly alight, it was out in Hyeres where the ISAF Championship saw the northern duo of Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern take silver in the 49er, almost immediately moving them up the global rankings from 33 to 11, a quantum leap and no mistake.

The potential for serious success by these two has been fairly obvious for some time, but anyone who sails boats will know only too well how many factors have to come into alignment to get you up among the magic metals at the end of the day.

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Stars of the silver sea – the Seaton/McGovern team took a silver medal for Ireland at Hyeres.

That their new global status was almost immediately acknowledged by this rankings improvement will in turn add heft to everything they do and say. Thus when, some time ago, the Ryan/Seaton equipe suggested that the 2016 Olympics sailing waters in Brazil are so off the standard as to be a health hazard, it attracted polite attention. But now that they're Number 11, and still counting down, much more notice is taken. And the fact that the Vice President of the International Olympic Committee has suggested, with something approaching despair, that the facilities in Brazil just aren't going to be ready for 2016 at any standard, all gives added legs to the statement from Ireland's 49er crew.

This in turn makes us wonder where world sailing might go in 2016 if the Brazilian setup is still Work in Progress. With tongue only slightly in cheek, we suggest they need look no further than West Cork, where Baltimore Sailing Club has been expanding its facilities to meet increased demand as a club which last year introduced something like 700 people to sailing. That BSC and current Mitsubishi Motors "Club of the Year" Kinsale YC further east along the West Cork coast have both been putting in premises up-grade during the past year, while other clubs have been having it tough, and just about hanging in there in some cases, surely gives pause for thought.

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Olympic venue? The extended and up-graded Baltimore Sailing Club is ready and raring to go.

The economic shakeout of the past five years has caused a massive write-down in the value of almost all property and other assets. And in the case of yacht and sailing clubs, there has been a detailed examination of the continuing validity, or otherwise, of established yacht clubs and their traditional business model of quite high subscriptions under-writing other facilities which in turn combine to provide the complete package of an orthodox yacht club.

Inevitably, most clubs are run by officers and committee members who have been involved with the club for many years. Thus, like people who have been running a quality hotel for decades, they may have an inflated notion of what their organisation and its premises are actually worth. Admittedly there's only limited usefulness in comparing a yacht club with a hotel, but lessons can surely be learned. The fact is that hotels today are worth maybe only a third or even less of what they were reckoned to be worth six years ago. And equally, while yachts clubs certainly have a unique package to offer, is it unusual enough and special enough to charge high subscriptions when there are alternative facilities and services available?

The dilemma arises to some extent in all sailing centres. Last week we were discussing the story of the development of Howth YC. Today it is in the seemingly happy situation of having its own marina, thus it theoretically can offer an attractive all-in-one package to any potential member. But the very fact that Howth YC has done so much to help make Howth a colourful and vibrant sailing/fishing port is partly to its own disadvantage. The place has developed as a remarkable focus for top seafood restaurants. This means that the extensive club catering facilities – expected by traditional members - are constantly battling for business with a whole slew of award-winning eateries and characterful pubs nearby.

The problem is more acute in Dun Laoghaire in that the only club within the marina area is the Royal Irish YC. Thus while people may have been loyal members of the National, the Royal St George and the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, they find that after going out in the boat, it's very easy to round out the evening aboard in the marina, chatting among themselves or with other crews on boats nearby, and then head straight for home without making their number in their home clubs at all.

This situation is less in evidence at weekends and during special events. But nevertheless it was causing such a lessening in mid-week club vitality that various steps have been taken, and the Royal St George's move to take over berths in a block booking in the outer marina, and service them by a frequent ferry direct from the clubhouse, is a visionary step.

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The Royal St George YC has introduced a direct ferry service from the clubhouse to its group of berths in the outer marina in Dun Laoghaire. Photo: David O'Brien

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To overcome a lack of direct access to the Dun Laoghaire Marina, the Royal St George YC is running a ferry service from its clubhouse (to right of Stena Ferry, foreground) to the berths in the Outer Marina (upper left) Photo Kevin Dwyer/courtesy ICC.

Nevertheless, in all club administrations there are those who are of the opinion that, whatever the Honorary Treasurers may believe, there has to be a radical re-think of the primary subscription levels. In essence, they're suggesting that the book value of the club has to be written down such that subscriptions are halved. Personally, I haven't much of a notion of how to read a balance sheet, but the dogs in the street know that in the hospitality industry – which, in the broadest sense, is the area in which yacht and sailing clubs operate – values have been savagely slashed, and while charges may still seem high, at least the places are surviving as going concerns.

With continuing reduction in expenses across the board, one area in which there seems to be much work afoot is in the Irish Sailing Association, which in latter days had begun to seem like some hidden corner of the civil service, existing more for the benefit of staff than for the provision of services for sailors. It's amazing to learn that the ISA has sixteen fulltime staff, and a basic annual wages bill of something like €600,000. When you add in the expected benefits, it musty come in total to a very tidy yearly sum.

What on earth do they all do? While you'll invariably find the ISA logo in prominence at some top events, it has to be said that you're entirely unaware of the organisation's existence in any form at more everyday happenings, and it doesn't seem to be because they believe in doing good work by stealth. But with special study groups resulting from the major changes introduced in the ISA setup at the AGM in March, we can only hope that in time the Association will reflect the cost-cutting which has had to be introduced in the clubs, which provide the main part of the ISA's income.

While the administrative structures are rightfully being pared back in many areas of our sport, the coastal infrastructure, on which all forms of seagoing ultimately depend, continues to need maintenance and development. In this area, one very promising green shoot is the news that there are signs of movement in Dunmore East. A dredging programme is getting under way, and just this Tuesday, Minister for Marine Simon Coveney TD convened a meeting in the port to inaugurate a community approach to harbour development which, it is hoped, will help to invigorate the many places around Waterford Estuary, for which Dunmore East has the potential to be the true gateway harbour.

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Dunmore East – can it fulfil its potential as the gateway leisure port for the Waterford Estuary? Photo Kevin Dwyer, courtesy ICC

In a more extreme marine environment, it has been confirmed that €6 million will be spent on improving the pier at Doolin in northwest Clare, the nearest mainland quay to the Aran Islands, which also caters for the tour boats cruising along the Cliffs of Moher. While the locals seem well pleased, I wouldn't get too excited about it. This is one very rugged part of the coast, and when you remember that it took €31 million to extend the pier at Kilronan in Inismor, the main Aran island, and another €14 million to build the little harbour at the north end of Inis Meain, the middle Aran island, then we can only hope that €6 million is going to achieve something more than a few boulders being shifted about in the roaring ocean at Doolin.

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The pier at Doolin is decidedly minimalist, but it provides the shortest sea passage to the Aran Islands. Photo: W M Nixon

But then, in the west all things are possible, and along the ocean seaboard we're told that four thousand signs are being erected to guide people along the Wild Atlantic Way, the new tourism initiative using many smaller coastal roads. Quite so. Frankly, with signage at this level, it will be the Tame Atlantic Way by the time half of them are in place. I have to admit to being a complete curmudgeon in this. In many years of transitting Ireland's west coast by sea and land, one of our favourite areas while driving along the west coast has long been the coast south of Kilkee down to Loop Head, where the cliffs comfortably rival anything the vulgar Cliffs of Moher have to offer, and it is magnificently uncrowded. But not any more, if the Wild Atlantic Way movement has its way.

While I appreciate that visitor numbers have to be kept up and increased whenever and however, it has to be done in a way which appreciates that's what brings people to Ireland (rather than just to Dublin, which is a special case) is an unspoilt landscape. So, four thousand signs just for the one Atlantic Way? Ogden Nash had something to say about this:

"I think that I shall never see,
A billboard lovely as a tree.
But then, until the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all".

Be that as it may, the final sign that suggests things are on the move again is a notice I spotted recently posted at a nearby club, though language pedants might wonder how a notice which manages to mangle so utterly the plural of "dinghy", even to adding a completely superfluous greengrocer's apostrophe, could be seen as encouraging in any way whatsoever.

Well, once you've overcome your opinions about the errors, the underlying message must be good news. More youngsters are evidently coming to sailing this year. And as for the spelling mistake, even that's an improvement. A year ago, the same notice board opened by referring to something called "a dingy", but this time round we have to get to the second line before finding that. And it all comes right for dinghies in the end.

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Sign of the times? Whatever about the spelling, this current notice at an Irish sailing club has an underlying message of good news. Photo: W M Nixon

Published in W M Nixon

#baltimoresc – West Cork's Baltimore Sailing Club has been redeveloped over the winter months thanks to the support of the West Cork Development Partnership and the generosity of members and local businesses. 

The new club house and Comoodore Joan Collins welcomed its first event at the weekend when regular visitors, the Irish Laser Class sailed for Munster honours.

Commenting on the first event in the newly renovated facilities, Commodore Collins said: 'We are delighted to host the Lasers again. The Easter weekend in Baltimore is a stable in the Laser calendar for over 20 years and sailors of all ages from all over Ireland congregate here this weekend every year.

All the contractors worked hard to ensure that the new clubhouse was finished in time and I would like to thank Danske Bank for supporting us in our inaugural event in our new clubhouse. We look forward to welcoming more National and International events to Baltimore over the coming years.'

Published in Racing

#laser – Just days after success in Croatia on the European circuit, Laser sharp Finn Lynch was back in action in home waters to take Laser Munster Championships honours at the brand new Baltimore Sailing Club.

Over 100 sailors were competing for the Easter weekend Danske Bank sponsored event in three Laser classes; 4.7, radial and standard rigs.

Day one saw 10-12 knots of breeze in glorious sunshine. In the first race in the Olympic Laser Standard class Rory Lynch was in first place but it was his brother Finn who was the overall winner with a 5, 2, 1 result in the three races of the day. On Day 2 Finn from the National Yacht Club continued his form with a 4, 1, 1, in the second day to claim victory over Robbie Gilmore from Strangford Lough and in third place Eoin Keller from Lough Derg Yacht Club and Fionn Lyden from Baltimore in fourth place.

17–year–old Lynch came to Baltimore following a strong performance at the Split Olympic week where he finished tenth overall but much more importantly earned a place on the Irish Olympic sailing team and a second Laser spot for Ireland at the Olympic qualifier in Santander, Spain in September.  Lynch will join London 2012's James Espey (currently lying 70th from 128 starters after day one at the ISAF world cup in Hyeres) to fight for Ireland's single space on the Rio startline. 

In the 37 strong Radial class, after day one Ryan Glynn from Ballyholme YC was ahead of Daragh O'Shea, Kinsale YC, Jack Higgins, Royal St George Yacht Club and local sailor Mark Hassett and Erica Ruigrok from Rush SC. Day Two saw stronger steadier breezes and the day started with Erica Ruigrok winning the first race with Mark Bolger from Royal St George/Baltimore SC winning the second race from strong local competition from Dermot Lyden and Mark Hassett. The final race was won by Ryan Glynn who was the overall winner by an impressive margin of 23 points with Mark Hassett in second place, Erica Ruigrok from Rush SC in third and Mark Bolger finishing fourth.

In the 4.7 class Johnny Durcan from RCYC who was the overnight leader went on to win the event with Rory Caslin from the National YC and Daniel Raymond also from the National YC in Dun Laoghaire finishing in second and third respectively.

Published in Laser

A temporary floating pontoon for visiting boats is present during the summer season that makes it easier for boaters to enjoy this extensive harbour with good anchorage. The pontoon is suitable for up to seven or eight boats and is used by a mix of cruising boats, ribs and local fishing boats.

Published in Irish Marinas

#optimist – 150 Optimist sailors, with boats and parents in tow, are converging on Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork today for what looks to be the largest turn out to date for the annual Optimist Spring training clinic.

Sailors from seven to fifteen years of age will sail in a range of groups, from the pre-regatta groups for those just starting out on their sailing career, to sailors who compete internationally as part of the Irish Optimist squad.

Traditionally, the week's coaching is provided by the best of coaches, and this year will be no different, with a mix of top Irish and international coaches arriving to give sailors a kickstart to the 2013 season.

There is a range of activities arranged, both on and off the water, including a fitness camp for children who are not sailing, a mid-week disco, and the traditional forum for parents and the Optimist Association (IODAI).

Published in Optimist

Commodore's Cup Captain Anthony O'Leary led the 1720 National Championships from start to finish at Baltimore SC this weekend. He finished the seven race series with four first places. The full results are HERE. There was drama this afternoon when a competitor in the 18-boat fleet was rescued by Baltimore lifeboat. Lifeboat report of the incident HERE

Published in 1720

A light westerly breeze of eight to ten knots arrived in time for the start of Baltimore regatta on Bank holiday Monday. Race Officer Neil Prendeville sent the various fleets on a course through the Gascanane Sound and around the Calve Islands. The inclusion of the Amelia Buoy as a windward mark caused the race officers some anxious moments when the Irish Lights vessel 'Granuaile' lifted the mark during a routine maintenance operation just as the fleet appeared south of the Calves. However, the slow progress of the racing yachts allowed enough time to complete the operation, and the resulting spinnaker run back to Baltimore created a spectacular colourful background in Roaring Water Bay.

In Class Zero IRC Northern Ireland entry 'Crackerjack' scored her first victory of the regatta when owner L.J. Mc Mahon claimed the Regatta Cup. In Echo a fully crewed 'Loco' gave Schull Commodore Morgan O' Donovan the first local win of the regatta..

In Class One IRC Simon Coveney's 'Wavetrain' had a comprehensive victory over Ian Nagle's 'Jelly Baby'while in Echo Donal O'Leary's 'D Tox' took the spoils.

In Class Two IRC Conor Ronan's Corby 26 'Ruthless' had thirteen seconds to spare over Bad Company, while in Echo the Dann/Murphy duo in 'Val Kriss' had an equally narrow victory over the Appelbe family in 'Cochise'.

In Class Three IRC David Keneficks 'Tiger'held off a strong challenge from Cove sailing Clubs 'Bedlam',while in Echo victory went to long time event supporter Padraig O'Donovan of KYC sailing 'Chameleon'.

In Class Four the Hanley brothers in 'Saoirse' claimed victory in both divisions ahead of "Chinook" in IRC and Tete-A-Tete in Echo.

In a highly competitive White Sail One class Frank Whelans 'Blow Wind Blow' had a comfortable win over Donal Heffernans 'Aisling', while in White Sail Two the trophies went to local boats with Kieran Dwyer's 'Brazen Huzie' snatching victory from Dave Waters' 'Genevieve'.

Victory in the large 1720 class went to 'Smile'n Wave' ahead of 'Malarky' and Two to Tango.

Published in Calves Week
14th July 2009

Baltimore Sailing Club

Baltimore Sailing Club was founded in 1956 as a summer sailing club. From its inception it has been successfully developing leisure and competitive sailing in Baltimore Harbour. The Club over the years has continued to expand and teach safe sailing skills to young people from all backgrounds. With a function room, kitchen and bar it is very active in the summer months running sailing events, courses and many social activities.

Situated in West Cork on the edge of Roaringwater Bay. The clubhouse is on the pier and close to all facilities. Baltimore Harbour is a busy fishing village all year around with a regular ferry service to the many islands.

Baltimore is also a RNLI community with the local lifeboat house in the village. Many local people give freely of their time and energy to help make our coastal waters safer for all mariners. All crewmembers automatically become honorary members of Baltimore Sailing Club.

Baltimore is a sheltered harbour and a favourite spot for many Irish sailors and foreign cruising boats. There are excellent facilities, a pontoon to tie up at, or one may anchor off. There are some fine restaurants and pubs.

Within Roaringwater Bay there are numerous places to sail to. The famous Fastnet Rock Lighthouse is 14 miles out from Baltimore. Cape Clear Island with a lovely small harbour is the most southerly island off Ireland. Schull and Crookhaven are within in easy reach for the cruising person. Sherkin Island across the bay from Baltimore has a fine pier and a pontoon, belonging to the Island's hotel. For smaller boats there are many islands some uninhabited which have beautiful coves and some sandy beaches to day sail to.

The highlight of the summer season is the Baltimore Regatta always held on the 1st Monday in August. There are many activities and yachts converge on the harbour for a race out around the Islands. These yachts then partake in a week of regattas aroun Roaringwater Bay, now known as Calves Week.

 

History – The following are extracts from archives, compiled by Richard Perry, courtesy of the Baltimore Club website


The club premises had originally started in Salters Shed in the Harbour and was gradually added to.

The exact year of the foundation of Baltimore Sailing Club is somewhat uncertain! Above the bar, in the Club House, is the formal list of Commodores starting in 1952. In a letter, dated 3rd August 1976, Frank Murphy, who was the first Secretary of the club, stated that the club was founded in the summer of 1953. The Minutes of a Meeting held at Messrs Salters Baltimore on Saturday 28th July 1956 state that "It was unanimously felt that a Sailing Club should be formed.

Present were Thomas Fuller, Davis Wolfe, Hugh Musgrave, Ivo Kennedy, Robin Atkins, Alan Marten and Frank Murphy. At that meeting, on the proposal of Mr Musgrave, seconded by Mr Murphy, Mr Thomas Fuller was elected Commodore and on the proposal of Mr. Fuller, seconded by Mr Musgrave, Mr Frank Murphy was elected Secretary

The following Committee was appointed, which would also act as Sailing Committee: Commodore, Secretary, Robin Atkins and Pip Marten. Baltimore Sailing Club appeared to be the most suitable name but it was decided to withold a decision on this until the next meeting". So there are three years with a claim to be the start date!

There is no doubt that there was dinghy sailing before 1953, first at Tragumna and then at Baltimore and since the official list of Commodores starts in 1952, this should be the start year. It also enables us to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Club in 2002! Those who contest this can organise celebrations in 2003 and 2006!

The most interesting account of the founding of the Baltimore Sailing Club is contained in a letter from Frank Murphy to John Newenham (Commodore 1976) dated 3rd August 1976 from which I quote:

"You asked me about Tom and the foundation of the Club. The real background is not generally known. Tom was always deeply concerned at the emigration from Baltimore and Skibbereen and spent much time and money here and abroad, and over a long period, in attempts to establish industries to give employment, but without success. I went with him in one of these efforts which took us to Zurich in 1952. Eventually we discussed expanding and developing the indigenous industry of boat building and promoting Baltimore and the islands as a resort for centreboard sailing which would also benefit local tourism.The first step was to get the people who came there "doing it". Apart from a few motor boats there was only an International 12', one unclassified 12' and an old 2.1/2 ton yacht.

There were increasing numbers of young people both local and summer visitors who could be interested and taught to sail; to start a club was an obvious necessity. I wanted to push on with it but Tom was against doing so until we could be sure of more support. In the early summer of 1953 two more International 12's arrived; in the week following a third was bought in Crosshaven and, when I called to Tom on the Saturday, he had already heard all and declared we start the club immediately and was passing the news all around for a meeting that night, which was duly held in Salter's Lounge (now Bushe's Bar).

He was elected Commodore, and henceforth he and Olive gave it most of their spare time, winter and summer. For years they never missed a weekend on the pier, in fact I only remember one absence in all their years of office when they had to attend the funeral of a relative in England."

Tom Fuller remained Commodore of the Club until 1966. His successor was Frank Murphy who held the position for a year, followed by Hugh Musgrave for two years. Since then the post has been held 17 Commodores, changing approximately every two years. Above all Baltimore Sailing Club was a family club run on a completely voluntary basis. Today many of the children and grandchildren of the founding families are most active participants. There are a total of approximately 200 members.

Undoubtedly the events which put Baltimore on the Sailing Map of Ireland were the Dinghy Weeks. The first one was held in 1960 and was a huge success. By 1969 the Dinghy Week fleet had risen to 250 boats! In the early days Pip Marten was oustanding in that he would turn his hand to absolutely anything which needed to be repaired or done.

He was a good friend of Tom Fuller and a great help to him. Pip was Treasurer for several years. He now lives in Wisborough Green in Sussex and remembers the early days of the club very well. The dinghy weeks were great events. Reg Fraser (Marys Murphy's uncle) illuminated the village, castle and church with flood lights. There was a huge amount of work for the Dinghy Weeks. The Ladies Committee had their own bank account from which all the catering was done. They went out for quotes for a whole range of foodstuffs and kitchen equipment well before the event.

In the early days, starts were in the cove between the Rocket House next to the Baltimore House Hotel (now the Field's residence) and a car parked on the grass opposite on Coney Island (now tree covered) in which Olive Fuller sat and beeped the horn. As the fleet grew the start was moved to Fishery Point.

Baltimore Sailing Club
, Baltimore, West Cork. Email: [email protected]

About Baltimore Sailing Club

· Situated in West Cork, the village of Baltimore is just outside Skibbereen.

· Baltimore Sailing Club was founded 1952 and is located on the pier in Baltimore.

· Run by a voluntary committee drawn from local and visiting members.

· 300 members (local and international)

· Current Commodore: Joan Collins from Baltimore.

· From its inception the Club has been successfully developing leisure and competitive sailing in Baltimore Harbour and has continued to expand and teach safe sailing skills to young people from all backgrounds. With a function room, kitchen and bar it is very active in the summer months running sailing events, courses and many social activities.

· Baltimore Harbour is a busy fishing village all year around with a regular ferry service to the many islands.

2014 – New Clubhouse project

The project was seen through to fruition under the leadership of former Commodore, Tony O'Driscoll and his team of volunteers.
Architect:
John McCarthy of McCarthy O'Brien Architects – Dublin/Baltimore.
Builder:
Mikey Joe Leonard – Baltimore.
Works carried out:
· The existing shower rooms which were both cramped and substandard were replaced by a new larger shower block adjoining the existing building. This allowed for the original shower room areas to be adapted as additional teaching/meeting/social space within the main building and replace the marquee previously used to accommodate functions and events.

· New permanent storage facilities now also replace the previous portakabin store.

· The removal of these temporary structures in turn improves dinghy parking facilities.

· Urgent remedial works including replacement of the corrugated iron roof and rewiring were also carried out.

· Materials included white render finish, iroko timber cladding, aluclad windows and zinc cladding to the roofs as appropriate to the prominent location in the village harbour setting.

· Solar collectors are located on the south facing roof of the changing rooms to provide hot water and some underfloor heating to the changing rooms.

· The works commenced in September 2013 and despite the severe weather conditions at the beginning of the year were sufficiently complete to accommodate the Laser Dinghy Munster Championships, a large sailing event in Easter 2014.

Published in Clubs
Page 4 of 4

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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