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Displaying items by tag: György Fináczy

#Finn - For the more veteran sailing enthusiasts, Johnny Durcan’s recent brush with death may have brought to mind a similar incident in Dun Laoghaire during the 1970 Finn Europeans.

“I was completely waterlogged. My lungs were full of water. I had given up,” says Gerardo Seeliger of that fateful day on Dublin Bay when his Finn came a cropper in high winds.

However, much like Australia’s Simon Hoffman and Spain’s Santiago Alegre went to Durcan’s rescue, Seeliger owes his own life to Hungarian Finn sailor György Fináczy — who had spotted the Spaniard’s upturned hull and abandoned his own race to pull him out of the water.

Back then, Hungary was behind the Iron Curtain, placing restrictions on its citizens’ travel abroad. That meant Fináczy was unable to receive the special prize for good sportsmanship from the Spanish Olympic committee as nominated by Seeliger.

However, sailing competitions were an exception — prompting the inaugural Palamos Christmas Race, which started with just Seeliger and Fináczy but soon grew into one of the world’s premier Finn class events.

It’s 47 years since that dramatic day in Dun Laoghaire, and both Seeliger and Fináczy have since become legends in their class. This week they met for the first time in 30 years at the Finn Gold Cup in Hungary, where Baltimore’s Fionn Lyden and Donaghadee’s Oisin McClelland, at 44th and 49th respectively overall, are battling for position going into day five.

Published in Tokyo 2020

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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