Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: J24

With just over a week to go until the start of the J/24 National Championships on Ireland's second-biggest lake, the entry has hit 30 with at least another three boats promised to enter writes JP McCaldin

This is the largest entry ever, surpassing the 29 at the Royal St George in 1999, and almost triple the entry of the last time the event headed North in 2014.

The class can claim fairly to be an all-Ireland class with entries from Kerry to Derry, Cork to Carrickfergus, Malahide to Mullaghmore, Dublin, Foynes, Athlone, Sligo and many points in between. The largest entry is from the host club who have mustered 8 boats with a 9th chartered to Royal Cork’s U25 team. The event boasts at least 5 under 25 teams and at least four past Irish champions.

No team has dominated 2019 with the two completed events so far this season both coming down to the last race and going to different winners. Team McCormack in Stouche, Foynes YC, took the Southerns in May in Fenit by a single point and fresh from their victory in the Mermaid nationals are among the favourites. The Easterns in Howth in June again came down to the last race with Fergus Kelliher and team on Jibe, Tralee Bay SC, taking their first event win in the J24. Local team and 2017 champions El Riccio have been the bridesmaid on both occasions can they go one better on home waters? Multiple Irish champion Cillian Dixon the Howth u25 team graduate and his team on Headcase are sure to be in the mix, as will the Ushers from Greystones who were victorious on the last visit to the Erne in September 2018. No preview of runners and riders would be complete without a mention of Flor O'Driscoll and his Hard on Port team who are even more successful in winning in Ulster than his beloved Munster rugby team.

With the fleet split into gold, silver and bronze fleets after day 1 there will be something to race for, for everyone throughout the fleet. The winner automatically qualifies for the worlds in Poole in 2020 with extra qualification points available for the runners up. Pure one design racing will be enforced with a day of measurement prior to the event, several crew are rumoured to have been on diets to make the 400kg crew weight limit. To ensure on fair sailing on the water umpiring will be provided by Gordon Davies and Derek Bothwell, the classes adopted race officer, and his team will provide championship standard races.

With generous sponsorship from North Sails, Fermanagh and Omagh council,, Sport NI and Experience Enniskillen, the entry has been kept to a minimum, and great prizes guaranteed throughout the fleet.

Published in J24
Tagged under

The J/24 Eastern Championships took place last weekend at Howth Yacht Club writes Elaine O'Mahoney. The two-day event was run in conjunction with the Squib Easterns which made for a very busy lifting schedule for the cranes at HYC with thirty-five boats between both fleets.

The weekend brought challenging weather conditions for OOD Derek Bothwell and his team and wind shifts of 20 to 40 degrees were commonplace throughout day one keeping the race team very busy. While the seventeen J/24s taking part were racing windward-leeward courses the OOD was also laying a trapezoid course for the Squib fleet with a rolling start, Squibs followed by J24s.

1. J24 EasternsThe J24 Easterns fleet at Howth

After a brief delay waiting for the wind to settle race one got off in just over 10kts westerly breeze. Mark Usher on Jumpin Jive IRL3060 took the early lead which he held all the way to the finish and left the battle for places to the remainder of the fleet behind him. The changes in wind direction meant there was a considerable delay before the next race. When race two eventually got underway the J24 fleet had the benefit of seeing the strengthening tide push the Squib fleet over the line for two general recalls and were on their best behaviour to get a clear start first time. In race two and three, Fergus Kelliher’s Jibe IRL4252 from Tralee Bay Sailing Club and JP McCaldin’s IRL5219 El Rico from Lough Erne Yacht Club traded the first two places. After seven hours on the water, the fleet was happy to head for home and a well-earned dinner in Howth Yacht Club.

2. J24 Easterns Jibe ahead of Gala RacingJibe ahead of Gala Racing at the J24 Easterns at HYC

Sunday brought sunshine and more settled wind direction from the south but this time the challenge was wind strength. Race four started in a steady 6-knots but was shortened on the second beat as winds lessened. Simon McGibney’s Gala Racing IRL5278 took first place. Thankfully wind, as forecast, increased to 8 to 10 knots as the morning progressed enabling the OOD to complete two more races. Steve Atkinson’s Bád IRL4628 from Carrickfergus Sailing Club won race five. The final result for the overall winner came down to the final race between JP McCaldin’s El Rico and Fergus Kelliher’s Jibe. While Headcase IRL4247, helmed by Killian Dickson, won their first race of the event, Jibe’s third place finish ahead of El Rico’s sixth was enough for them to take their first regional championship win in the Gold Fleet.

This was a hugely competitive event with no boat dominating the series and six different winners in each of the six races. All participants complemented Howth Yacht Club for hosting a fantastic event and in particular the crane operators for their efficiency and the OOD Derek Bothwell for completing all six scheduled races in extremely challenging conditions.

The next event in the J/24 calendar is the J/24 National Championships at Lough Erne Yacht Club from the 23rd to the 25th August. The fleet are pushing for thirty boats to take part. Any boats needing crew or logistics to do with the event are encouraged to contact Lough Erne Yacht Club or the J/24 Association who will assist in any way they can.

Gold Fleet:
1st Jibe Fergus Kelliher Tralee Bay Sailing Club
2nd El Rico JP McCaldin Lough Erne Yacht Club
3rd Headcase O’Byrne, Ryan & Others Howth Yacht Club/Lough Ree Yacht Club/Mayo Sailing Club

Silver Fleet:
1st Gala Racing Simon McGibney Foynes Yacht Club
2nd Jana Colm O’Flaherty Sligo Yacht Club
3rd Gossip Brian Rafferty Sligo Yacht Club

Full results here

Published in J24
Tagged under

The J24 Southern Championships were held at Tralee Bay Sailing Club over the weekend of 24/25 May. Fifteen boats travelled from all over Ireland for the event including four local boats.

Racing was scheduled at 1125 on Saturday but contrary to the forecast there wasn’t a puff of wind. Eventually a light breeze filled in from the NW and PRO Peter Moore sent the fleet off on two laps of a windward-leeward course, The breeze was shifty and fickle but eventually, all boats finished within the time limit. There was a further delay as the wind strengthened and backed to the SW.

Race 2 was all action as Janx Spirit lead at the leeward mark for the final time only for a problem with their spinnaker to allow Stouche through. Stouche lost a crew overboard though at their next tack wnd could only finish in 6th. Race three and four were more orderly affairs although the wind had increased to 20 knots or more.

Overnight Stouche lead on 6 points with Il Ricco and Gossip hard on their heels both on 7 points.

Sunday morning was fresh and sunny with a steady NW breeze. Peter started bang on time and race 5 finished with Gala Racing in 1st followed by Stouche and Il Ricco. It was still wide open for the final race and Il Ricco lead for most of the way to take another win. Stouche was 3rd at the leeward mark but just edged out Janx Spirit to claim 2nd at the finish line.

A protest delayed the final results but eventually, Stouche was declared the winner on 10 points with Il Ricco second on 11 and gossip 3rd on 15. The silver fleet was won by Gala Racing with Yachtzee second and Crazyhorse 3rd. The under 25 team prize went to Janx Spirit.

J24 Southern Championships Results

Sail No Boat Type of Boat Owner Points Place R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6
IRL4215 Stouche D. McCormack 10 1 2 6 3 1 2 2
5219 Il Ricco JP. McCaldin 11 2 1 5 1 5 3 1
IRL4212 Gossip B. Raftery 15 3 3 1 4 3 9 4
IRL4252 Jibe F. Kelliher 27 4 4 4 7 11 5 7
IRL8824 Janx Spirit Tadg O'Loinsigh 30 5 6 3 6 12 14 3
IRL5278 Gala Racing McGibney/O'Mahony 32 6 8 8 12 7 1 8
IRL5067 Jana C. O'Flaherty 32 7 5 14 2 4 7 18
IRL3060 Jumpin Jive M. Usher 33 8 10 9 5 6 8 5
IRL4794 Hard on Port F. O'Driscoll 38 9 12 7 13 2 4 18
IRL4532 Jelegnite F. Ryan 42 10 11 2 8 10 12 11
IRL5285 YachtZee D. O'Donovan 43 11 9 12 10 13 6 6
IRL4533 Crazyhorse L. McBride 49 12 7 13 9 8 13 12
IRL4188 Jasper 2 FoynesU25 50 13 13 11 11 9 10 9
IRL400 Jaguar G. Fort 60 14 14 10 15 18 11 10
GB4083 Jenepi Daly/Magowan 71 15 15 15 14 14 15 13
IR4384 Proud Mary McGibney/O'Mahony 90 16 18 18 18 18 18 18
IRL4628 Bad S. Atkinson 90 16 18 18 18 18 18 18

Published in J24
Tagged under
9th December 2018

Gerry Gilligan, RIP

Gerry Gilligan, who was very widely known and loved in Irish sailing has died. Gerry was an avid and accomplished GP14 dinghy and J/24 helmsman and sailor, and will be very much missed writes Michael Clarke.

He was a good friend and strong supporter of Lough Erne Yacht Club and our recent Autumn J/24 Series in which he first competed with Barry Humphreys in TJ then in his own newly acquired J/24 Jana. The funeral notice is below: 

Gerry Gilligan, Parkhill, Ballyshannon Co. Donegal. Peacefully at his residence. Veterinary Surgeon. Remains will repose at his residence today (Sunday 9 December) from 4pm until 10pm and on Monday from 2pm until 10pm. House private at all other times. Remains will arrive in St. Patrick's Church, Ballyshannon on Tuesday for 12pm Funeral Mass followed by interment in Saint Ninnidh's Cemetery, Bundoran.

Published in J24
Tagged under

Mark Usher of Greystones Sailing Club is Ireland’s new 2018 Northern J/24 Champion helming Jumpin Jive in a six-race championship on Lough Erne in boisterous very windy conditions on 29 & 30 September. This top crew counted three firsts and two seconds in their nett final score (7). A month previous, the Jumpin Jive team had emerged second among the three Irish boats in the 2018 World J/24 Championship – a record 89 strong World J/24 fleet on Lake Garda, Italy.

Lough Erne YC hosted this event as part of bicentenary celebrations, 1818-2018. Boats and helms came from ten clubs, Greystones, Foynes, Kilrush, Bray, Carrickfergus, Erne, Sligo, Lough Ree, Lough Swilly and Mullaghmore SC (Bronagh Carvill, only woman helm in LEYC boat Jeriatrix).

JnJ Champion crewIrish Northern J/24 Champion, Mark Usher & crew, at the prizegiving with June Clarke and John Carton, LEYC Commodore

Sponsors were Waterways Ireland and Modern Tyres. There was much praise for event committee chair and organiser, LEYC Fleet Captain June Clarke, unanimously elected also to the Committee of the J/24 Association of Ireland at Friday evening’s AGM. The fleet was bisected, Gold fleet, modern J/24s and six Silver fleet, all old Westerly boats built about 1980.

Second Gold and overall, Simon McGibney’s Gala Racing, road-towed north from Kilrush, counted a first and second in nett 15 points. Third, the fleet’s senior sailor, Flor O’Driscoll, from Bray, counted only a first in his nett 15 equal points. Fourth, from Carrickfergus, Steve Atkinson’s Bád had best place a second in nett 21. Fifth Gold and best home club LEYC boat, Diarmuid O’Donovan counted two fourths in nett 24 points. Mark McCormack’s Stouche, best of three Irish in Italy’s World event emerged sixth on Lough Erne – wild and windier than Lake Garda! Ninth Gold was Tim Rippey’s Jigalo, LEYC, best a fifth place. This excellent J/24 was twice borrowed to win in a World Championship, but seriously lacked crew weight this very windy weekend.

Luke McBride, Lough Swilly, helming Bandit, clearly topped the Silver fleet. Bandit is also top scoring boat in the 2018 LEYC Autumn Sunday series. Ken Draper, Sligo in Jevan was second Silver and Barry Humphreys, LEYC, third Silver in TJ. Bronagh Carvill, building J/24 helming experience, did very well in 1979 vintage Jeriatrix with a very light crew for the conditions.

LEYC’s third successful Autumn Sunday J/24 series, four races each afternoon then a BBQ, had attracted a dozen J/24s, local and visiting. Scoring includes the six Championship races, 22 in all, including the two final Sundays, 7 & 14 October. Down in Kilrush, a similar October endeavour is planned for six J/24s. Local J/24 events like these have happened all round the world near 40 years past - J24s still being the world’s most popular and widespread keelboat class.

Published in J24
Tagged under

The J24 National Championships concluded at Foynes Yacht Club today in a light to moderate westerly breeze. OOD Derek Bothwell was able to start on schedule for the first time this weekend after hours spent waiting around for wind. Race six of the championships got off to a clear start with the fleet splitting both left and right on the course in a flooding tide. Gala Racing, who went right on the first beat and left on the second, got their first win of the championships followed by HYC’s under 25 team Scandal in 2nd and Tim Corcoran on Crazyhorse in third.

Download results below

As the tide strengthened and wind lightened the race course was shortened before the start of the final race of the event. Flor O’Driscoll tacked off to the right immediately after the start keeping further right than any other boat and emerged with a clear lead by the windward mark. A battle for second developed between Jibe, Crazyhorse and Jumpin Jive who exchanged places numerous times on both the upwind and downwind legs with Crazyhorse finishing in 2nd just ahead of Jumpin Jive.

J24 Under 25 National Champions 2018J24 Under 25 National Champions 2018 – the crew of Scandal 

With the championship complete and boats lifted out attention turned to the prizegiving. There were multiple changes in positions in the fleet after the final two races. In Gold, Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Stefan Hyde on Maurice Johnson and Partners is the new J24 National Champion for 2018. The new under 25 National Champion is Harry Cronin and Scandal from Howth Yacht Club.

A number of initiatives brought in for this year’s event were very successful. The trialling of On the Water Judging conducted by Gordon Davies was well received by the competitors. Also the introduction of a Bronze Fleet made for competitive sailing for all competitors.

The association acknowledged the support of the sponsors of the event and ICRA for their support and finally the host club and its members for a great weekend of sailing! 

GOLD Fleet

1st – Maurice Johnson and Partners – Stefan Hyde
2nd – Crazyhorse – Tim Corcoran
3rd – Hard on Port – Flor O’Driscoll

1st – Gala Racing – Simon McGibney
2nd – FYC Under 25 Team – Michael Lynch
3rd – Kilcullen – Colin O’Sullivan

1st – Jevan – Ken Draper/Adam Sutor
2nd – Blue Jay – Brian McDowell
3rd – NUIG Galway – Aaron O’Reilly

1st – Scandal – Harry Cronin
2nd – FYC Under 25 – Michael Lynch
3rd – Kilcullen – Colin O’Sullivan

Published in J24
Tagged under

With no visible wind this morning OOD Derek Bothwell issued a two-hour postponement to the start of day two of the J24 National Championships at Foynes Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary. A perfectly timed postponement for many competitors who wished to watch the Ireland v Australia match. And just as the final whistle in the match blew the AP came down to head to the race area with the prospect of wind!

However, wind did not fill in as expected and a further AP was signalled afloat which resulted in some swimming and more ice cream and a lot of moving of marks to find the right race course in a fickle and patchy wind and baking sunshine. With time running out and at least one more race needed to complete the championship the first gun for race one was finally signalled at 1730hrs in a freshening westerly breeze.

As the race one start counted down the OOD drew competitor’s attention to the ebbing tide pushing competitors over the line and urged caution and a clear start was had. Two leaders emerged by the first windward mark with Martin Reilly’s Crazyhorse leading ahead of Darragh McCormack’s Stouche who held those positions to the finish.

In a day when even one race looked unlikely the fleet were delighted to be able to compete in a second race however as the tide increased in strength less caution was used at the start of race two resulting in a general recall and the U flag being raised and a number of boats still caught OCS on the second attempt. The breeze was up again which made for some spectacular close racing and numerous position changes throughout the race. Jibe, helmed by Fergus Kelliher from Tralee Bay Sailing Club, took his first win of the event followed Stefan Hyde in 2nd.

A championship dinner took place in the clubhouse that evening with a few short speeches from Foynes Commodore James McCormack and J24 President Brian McDowell both complimenting the race committee on getting in five race thus far and expressing their delight in the seeing the seven u25 teams taking part and highlighting the importance of bringing our young sailors from dinghies into keelboat racing.

A successful championship to date and hopeful of more sailing on today!

Published in J24
Tagged under

Derek Bothwell, PRO, assisted by Ray McGibney of the host club at Foynes Yacht Club greeted the twenty boat J24 fleet on a beautiful sun filled morning with very little breeze. Being optimistic about a sea breeze filling in it was let known at the briefing that the fleet would be heading out to the start on time. Returning to the J24 fleet, International Judge Gordon Davies highlighted the importance of sailing being a self-policing sport and drew competitor’s attention to the new On the Water Judging System which would be enforced on the water today.

Brian McDowell, J24 President, who has been working closely with the Irish Cruiser Racing Association over the last number of months on the development of under 25 teams as a natural pathway from dinghies to cruisers, announced that ICRA was also supporting the u25 initiative by way of entry grants. These were warmly and enthusiastically received by all the sailors.

At an initially sunny but windless Friday the twenty-one boat fleet was treated to an ice cream on the water courtesy of the host club before the breeze was switched on for three frantic races.

Racing got underway in a light southwesterly wind. Finbarr Ryan’s Jelignite led the fleet to the windward mark, with the rest of the fleet hot on his heels and extended to the finish. Simon McGibney on Gala Racing finished in 2nd, with the RCYC Under 25 Team finished a very impressive 3rd on their very first outing, helmed by Tom McGrath.

Race two got underway in a freshening breeze, Stefan Hyde, Morris Johnson and Partners, led to the finish line, with the J24 legend Flor O’Driscoll, on Hard on Port in second and Jumpin Jive helmed by Mark Usher in 3rd.

Before the start of race 3, the wind shifted to a more northerly direction and moderated. Stefan Hyde took the honours again, with Sligo boat Crazy Horse, helmed by Tim Corcoran in 2nd, and local boat Darragh McCormack in 3rd.

Race results below

Published in J24
Tagged under

The future is looking very bright indeed for the J24 Association of Ireland with seven under twenty-five age group teams from around the country taking part at the J24 National Championships next week from at the 8th to the 10th June being hosted by Foynes Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary

The J24 Class Association of Ireland has advocated on many an occasion that the J24 is the perfect transition from dinghies to keelboat racing. It is very evident that this route can be successful with seven teams confirming their entry in this year’s event.

With the very successful under twenty-five programme being run by Howth Yacht Club, various clubs around the country are starting to emulate that success.

The under twenty teams confirmed for this year’s National Championship are from Howth Yacht Club (three teams), Royal Cork Yacht Club (two teams), NUIG Galway and host club Foynes Yacht Club.

It is also worth noting that Sligo Yacht Club has purchased a J24 for club use and there is a J24 being sailed out of Mullaghmore Sailing Club with an under twenty-five team.

"Irish Sailing has given organisers the green light to create an under twenty-five National Title, the first of its kind for the J24s"

The J24 Class Association of Ireland and Harry Hermon CEO of Irish Sailing have given organisers the green light to create an under twenty-five National Title, the first of its kind for the J24s.

Another first for the J24 Nationals championships will be that there will be on the water Jury Boat, looking after fair sailing. This is been trialled at this year’s Nationals as a response from members to encourage more participation on a level playing field.

The National feet will be split into three fleets – Gold, Silver and Bronze. Bronze fleet is for the less experienced and the boats short of crew and is there not to make up the numbers, but there to learn and have the fun associated with the National event. Howth Yacht Club is sending in addition to their under twenty-five teams, a ‘Try Racing’ team from their Adult training programme, the Bronze fleet dovetails nicely into this programme.

“The J24 under twenty-five national title is an excellent initiative; this is a very attractive way to retain young people within our sport from the transition from dinghies to keelboat. I would like to endorse the event and wish the competitors, officials, organisers a very successful National Championships and best of luck to the new J24 Under Twenty Five National Champion, says Jack Roy, President Irish Sailing

“My mandate is about getting new people involved in the class with a particular focus on the under twenty-five’s. It is a great reflection on the class with the numbers at the J24 events and they are known to be fun and friendly. I must pay credit to the major effort from host club to make it happen” says Brian McDowell, President J24 Class Association of Ireland.

Event organisers have set an ambitious target of thirty entries with twenty-three entries confirmed to date. They would like to call on any other J24 owners out there to get in touch if there is anything they can help with to encourage them to enter.

Published in J24
Tagged under

The J24 Association has been growing its fleet steadily over the past few years and last year had an impressive 26 boats at the National Championships in Sligo. This year the J24 Association are keen to improve on that number at their National Championships in Foynes in Limerick on the 8th to 10th June. While the target is always 30 boats this would be an exceptional achievement given just two years ago the Irish Nationals had 14 boats taking part.

The association have been targeting a number of areas to help in this development. One of these areas is the Under 25 teams. This follows the success of the K25 teams in Howth Yacht Club and this year an additional two u25 teams have sprung up on the west coast; one from Foynes and one from NUIG Galway with the potential of one or two others from either the south or Northwest regions. Five u25 teams have already entered in the Nationals the J24 Assoc. have agreed there will be an u25 National Champion if there are six teams.

Gordon Davies Race Judge 1Race Judge Gordon Davies will be in attendance in Foynes. Photo:

Another area targeted to bring J24 boats back into one design racing is the introduction of a Bronze Fleet at the Nationals. Again, six boats permitting. To facilitate safer sailing and any potential ‘differences of opinion’ with regard to the Rules of Racing, at this year’s Nationals there will be longer start lines and umpires on the water, led by International ISAF Judge, Gordon Davies.

"With less than five weeks to go the entry list is already at 20 boats"

The association have also been actively contacting J24 owners to aid them in getting boats back in the water, linking potential sellers up with new buyers and lending out road trailers to move boats from event to event.

With less than five weeks to go the entry list is already at 20 boats. The J24 Association and Foynes Yacht Club are encouraging J24 owners to get their entries in as soon as possible. The message is don’t be stuck getting there. Contact either the J24 association or FYC and they will help you out.

Published in J24
Tagged under
Page 2 of 7

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)


Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2020?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

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.

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating