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Round Ireland Champ Piet Vroon from Holland is in Wicklow town for Saturday night's celebration of the 30th Round Ireland. Vroon, 80, who has already picked up the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Yacht of the Year award is back in Wicklow and it is certain exploits during Ireland's offshore race in July will be relived when Vroon lifts the Round Ireland trophy at the Park Hotel in Newtownmountkennedy. The Wicklow Sailing Club prize giving includes a new Irish Cruiser Racing Association trophy (ICRA) and the inaugural winner is a local boat, Aquelina (The Tyrrell fmaily) from Arklow.

Among the attendance at the offshore night of the year is 19 crew from visiting UK competitor Malta Puma.

More on the Round Ireland Yacht Race:

Round Ireland Yacht Race 2010 Review

Round Ireland Yacht Race, Ireland's top offshore fixture

A Round up of 80 stories on the 2010 Round Ireland Yacht Race

 

Published in Round Ireland

After nearly two weeks of voting Matt Davis offshore sailing achievements in Raging Bull tops the readers opinion poll on ICRA's Boat of the Year award.  Since the poll started on October 7th, 900 votes have been cast and the lead at the top of the reader poll has changed several times between Errislannan, Marinercove.ie and ISORA's Raging Bull. You can vote too on the left hand side of the home page of this website. There has also been comment in Afloat's forum section suggesting there should be a number of overall awards HERE.

Published in ICRA

Raging Bull overtook Errislannan in Afloat readers opinion poll at lunch time on who will win the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) Boat of the Year Award, in just over a month's time. Over 350 voters have given their opinion so far on the ten boat shortlist produced by Afloat. Errislannan proved an early poll topper since voting began last Thursday but as late as lunchtime today votes for Raging Bull saw a dramatic lift, bringing the Irish Sea offshore champion ahead of the Top Cork week Sigma 38. At 2pm a third of the votes cast were for Raging Bull. Errislannan was on 31%. Tiger had 16% and was in third place ahead of Antix with 31 votes. The poll is located on the left hand column of the home page. Cast your vote now!

poll2

 

Published in ICRA
A Commodores' Cup dinner to celebrate the historic achievement of the Irish Team winning the Rolex Commodores Cup in August 2010 will be held at the Royal Cork Yacht Club on November 13th at 19.30 hrs.

Team Ireland boats, Antix - Anthony O Leary, Marinerscove.ie - Dave Dwyer and Roxy 6 - Rob Davies and Andrew Creighton, will be represented on the night.

The dinner cost will be €30 and booking will be on first come/first served basis. Book with [email protected] or call 021 4831023.

Published in Commodores Cup

Will it be Antix, Marinerscove or Roxy's year? It might be hard to ignore the sailing performance of 2010 but there have been some fine non-Commodore's cup performances too. The judges decision may well be final at the Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA) conference on November 13th but before then we're taking our annual look down the likely candidates and letting YOU decide who you think should be Boat of the Year. Vote now in our Poll on the left hand column of the home page!

Published in ICRA
The Irish Cruiser Racer (ICRA) Conference takes place on Saturday, November 13th at Carrigaline Court Hotel in Carrigaline, Co. Cork. The day-long conference chaired by Commodore Barry Rose with two sessions 11-1 and 2-4pm will take in all aspects of cruiser racing including how Ireland won this year's Commodores Cup. A special event is being arranged to mark the Cup coming to Ireland for the first time.
Published in ICRA

The SCORA (South Coast Offshore Racing Association) Championships will take place out of Cove Sailing Club on September 25th/26. From September 24th any competitors travelling to this event and who will be entering the O'Flynn Exhams Solicitors Autumn Regatta the following week will be provided with berthage or moorings free of charge at the Royal Cork Yacht Club right through to the end of the Autumn League.

Published in SCORA
27th August 2010

Success at Last!

The world trophy for offshore cruiser racing is in Irish hands and Cork has dominated the successful assault on the Commodore's Cup in the hallowed waters of Cowes, centre of British yachting writes Tom MacSweeney.

Several times in previous years the Irish team were favourites, leading the event, with the cup seemingly in their grasp, but were beaten on the last day of the event. This year they led from the opening day. Maintaining their lead to the finish after five days of racing.

Putting just one team of three boats into the competition this year proved the best approach. Like other competing nations such as the UK and France, Ireland had entered previously entered several teams. But the result was internal rivalry that did not bring overall Irish victory.

On Saturday last as the Commodore's Cup fleet of 30 boats, representing 10 nations, headed into the Solent off Cowes for the final day's racing, Ireland was again in the lead. The crews of the Irish team's three boats - Antix, Marinerscove.ie and Roxy 6, were conscious of what had happened to their predecessors and how victory had been snatched away on the last day.

Throughout the week they had built a commanding lead, each of the team boats achieving top fleet positions racing in three different classes. It seemed they were almost certain to win the cup, but those thoughts were being forced aside, almost as if concentrating on them might jinx the final outcome.

With the team boats all from the Royal Cork, one competing in each class, the sailors all knowing each other, there was to be no repeat of previous years. Then there had been internal skirmishing between the several Irish teams on the final day, jockeying for positions, but seemingly focus to bring overall victory.

sailingDB_MG_0301

Ireland celebrates victory in Cowes last weekend. Photo: David Branigan

There was plenty of skirmishing and jockeying with opponents on the start line for the final race last Saturday when one French boat tried to protest Antix out of Class 1 in an incident before the start. Anthony O'Leary, skippering Antix, kept his cool and took a penalty time turn allowed under the rules, avoiding what could have been a messy protest. The crew of Antix sailed her so well that she made up lost time at the start during the race. When the French protested at the end of the race, they lost out, having overlooked that Antix had taken the penalty before the race started

Sweet justice for an Irish team when one remembers what happened in another world cup sport!

Strong, gusty winds, dominated the final day, but all three Irish boats sailed well. Antix finished second in Class 1, while Dave Dwyer's Marinerscover.ie revelled in the conditions with another first place in Class 2 while Rob Davies' Roxy 6 was second in Class 3, keeping the Irish team out in front, aggregated on the overall results.

At the rather upper class Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, it was a great sight when the 50-strong Irish contingent of crews, team management and shore support staff were invited on stage at the presentation ceremony. Their haul of prizes included being the best European team at the event, the best team in both offshore and inshore races during the week and of course, the Commodore's Cup, a long-awaited victory.

After the formalities, Cowes echoed to the sound of the Irish singing The Fields of Athenry in the Pier View pub which had been unofficial headquarters for the team during the week.

The team was organised by the Irish Cruiser Racing Association under the auspices of the Irish Sailing Association. Management was led by Commodore Barry Rose from the RCYC, with Denis Kiely from Kinsale Yacht Club; Mike Broughton, Norbert Reilly and Fintan Cairns, former ICRA Commodore. He had led previous attempts to win the cup.

This is a great achievement, adding to the standing of Irish sailing internationally. All those involved, the boat owners, skippers, crew, team management and shore support deserve the highest praise. That Cork has had such a dominant involvement in Ireland's victory is marvellous.

In youth sailing, Cork sailors are continuing to stamp their mark nationally. I have been highlighting the achievements of young Optimist sailors, which were added to at the national class championships, sailed at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club. This is based in Dunmore East where huge swells are typical conditions as the seas roll into that fishing port.

Peter McCann from the Royal Cork sailed magnificently to become Senior Open and National Champion. Second to him was Peter Crosbie, also from the RCYC. Daire Cournane, a member of both the RCYC and Kinsale YC dominated the junior fleet, winning the open and national championship titles.
Another young sailor has caused so much controversy that the World Sailing Speed Record Council has decided it will no longer give recognition to records for "youngest" sailors, "to avoid encouraging dangerous sailing attempts." Guinness World Records has made a similar decision. Both were announced as 14-year-old Dutch girl Laura Dekker began a bid to become the youngest person to sail alone around the world. She had planned to leave from Portugal, but Portugese law does not allow minors to sail alone. So she left from Gibraltar instead.
A Dutch Court previously blocked her attempt at the request of child protection agencies, though her parents, experienced sailors, have supported her. Born on a yacht, she maintains she is competent to make the voyage which will not be non-stop. Dekker will call at several ports.
Earlier this year Australian Jessica Watson completed a non-stop 210-day round-the-world voyage at the age of 16. In June another 16-year-old, Abby Sunderland, was rescued in the Indian Ocean when she and her boat got into difficulties.
If Laura Dekker does complete her voyage, it will not get official record recognition.
• This article is reprinted by permission of the CORK EVENING ECHO in which Tom MacSweeney writes maritime columns twice weekly. Evening Echo website: www.eecho.ie

Published in Island Nation
21st August 2010

Jury Gives Roxy Race Win

Last night, Ireland was among several teams that presented appeals to the International Jury that awarded full redress to Rockall III of the Hong Kong team for missing a course change in Thursday race. Initially, Ireland's lead increased to 40.5 points but after redress was awarded, Hong Kong were 31.5 points behind going into today's penultimate race.

After three hours of deliberations, the outcome was that Ireland's Roxy replaced as the  race winner. Rockall was joint second, resulting in a two point gain to Ireland.

Published in Commodores Cup
Tagged under

Following good performances by Ireland's three boats in the Rolex Commodore's Cup in Cowes yesterday plus the reinstatement of Roxy 6 in the jury room, Ireland has extended its overall lead to 36 points with just the final, high-scoring race tomorrow (Saturday) remaining as the last hurdle to cross for the Irish Cruising Racing Association.

Now on 66.5 points to second placed Hong Kong's 100.5, the Irish team's position at the Rolex Commodores' Cup is looking all but unassailable. With just one inshore race to go today it would now take a major disaster in all three classes for the immaculate Irish to lose their grip of the trophy that has eluded them for so long.

Yesterday the 29 strong fleet (one down with Paul Turner's Artemis in GBR Black out of the competition with a damaged keel) sailed anti-clockwise around the Isle of Wight, the results from this 55-nautical-mile carrying a points co-efficient of 1.5x. This was held in southwesterly wind that peaked at around 24 knots as the boats battled their down the western Solent towards the Needles in lumpy wind against tide conditions.

In the big boat class, Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix scored another win, her fourth this week, giving her by far the lowest points score of all the boats at the Rolex Commodores' Cup. She won on corrected by a minute, once again from her sistership, Bernard Gouy's Inis Mor racing in France Yellow.

"The start was very tricky," commented Dave Lenz, Antix' tactician and one of the crews two permitted professional sailors. "There was tide, not much breeze and while you weren't crossing the line on starboard, you wanted the left because of the effective bias there." Surprisingly only one boat, Inspara (RSA), was swept over the line by the tide and had to re-start.

Antix did well heading down the western Solent, managing to get into clear air which Lenz says was key. At the Needles the going got very bumpy thanks to the strong wind and tidal situation. "It was quite rough down there - we saw 23-24 knots and some short sharp pretty big waves." From the Needles the wind dropped to around 17-19 knots, but they were pushing tide which momentarily turned in their favour after they rounded St Catherine's Point, the southernmost tip of the Isle of Wight, turning foul again as they approached the eastern entrance to the Solent. "I thought it was going to be lower visibility, but it was alright," concluded Lenz.

"There was huge apprehension today but now we know where we are and we just have to hold it together," Dave Dwyer said last night. "There's no sense of winning, just get the job done."

"Tomorrow is a double-points day and full failure is 60 points," said Dwyer. "It would take three boats having full failure and though the odds are against that, we're going to be very, very careful and approach the race conservatively which is the approach since the start of the week."

"We had a good solid day," said Barry Rose, ICRA Commodore. "The Irish team will be taking the same approach we've had all week: hard work and grind out the best result possible."

In the medium and small boat classes, it was a good day for France with a win for Géry Trentesaux and Marc de Saint Denis' First 40 Coup de Coeur for France Blue in the former and Marc Alperovitch and Jerome Huillard's A-35 Prime Time for France Yellow in the latter.

Marc de Saint Denis, Commodore of the Union Nationale Course Au Large, said that they spent much of the race match racing their sistership, La Réponse co-owned by Peter Morton and Andrew McIrvine, Saint Denis' equivalent at the Royal Ocean Racing Club. "In general, it's him beating us. So today we managed to reverse the situation, - we managed to overtake little by little, especially at the finish where an important tactical decision had to be made between the winds and the tide."

The Coup de Coeur crew made their greatest gains on the reach to St Catherine's Point. "We didn't make so many mistakes today - it's not always like this, so we are very happy to be able to 'count' this race, a race that was interesting tactically, but also with a stunning landscape, which on the Isle of Wight is really special. The Solent is a splendid place to race, the wind conditions and current are very variable."

As to the level of competition this year Saint Denis thinks it is very good, but that now the Irish team is virtually untouchable.

Among the small boats today's winner Prime Time made a good start, but suffered on the leg from the Needles to St Catherine's Point when they did not go in close enough to the Isle of Wight to get out of the tide.

"At St Cats we weren't too bad and then we really pushed hard after that," said helmsman Jérôme Huillard. "And the reach on the way back went quite well and we worked really hard on the boat because we knew it was going to be down to seconds." In the event the small boat class today saw the closest finish with Prime Time correcting out just 18 seconds ahead of Francois Blossier's A-35 sistership RealAx, which scored her best result of the regatta. Unusually French boats took the top four spots in the small boat class today.

"The boat is going fast, not in all conditions but today was okay. On a reach we are not super good, but today we really worked hard," concluded Huillard.

South Africa continue to suffer at this regatta, now lying in eighth place overall. Small boat in the team is the J/109 Inspara, skippered by David Hudson. Hudson runs the Race Ahead, an organisation that aims to nurture sailing talent among under privileged youths in South Africa. Aboard for this regatta, his stars in the making are Wandisile Xayimpi and Marlon Jones.

Helping the Inspara team this regatta is also Mark Sadler, skipper of Team Shosholoza, South Africa's 32nd America's Cup challenger. "Dave Hudson who has chartered this J/109 asked me to come and help him out. He races Laser SB3s a lot with his guys, but most of them are dinghy sailors. So I'm here just to help them adapt to big boat sailing."

Sadler says while he competed at Cowes Week with the team, he hasn't sailed much in the UK before and today was his first lap of the Isle of Wight. "It was fantastic. Great tourism! This run has been fun."

They finished eighth today, and Sadler concedes that they haven't had the best regatta. He is not used to the Solent, and the boat has had its weak points compared to the competition. "It is okay. We are enjoying it, but I don't think we can do much better than where we are."

Tomorrow is the final day of the Rolex Commodores' Cup. This will be marked by a single inshore race in the Solent that scores double points. While the Ireland team is in good shape to take home the Trophy, the final places on the podium remain wide open with 8.5 points separating the second placed Hong Kong team from France Blue in third.

Top Five Teams - Provisional Positions after completion of 7 races

Team / Points / Place

Ireland / 64.5 / 1

Hong Kong/ 100.5 / 2

France Blue / 109/ 3

France Yellow /126 / 4

GBR Red / 128/ 5

 

Published in Commodores Cup
Page 35 of 39

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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