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North Sails Ireland was on and off the water, last week in Kinsale for the biennial Sovereign's Cup supporting our customers and all the competitors writes Maurice O'Connell

My colleague Shane Hughes raced aboard the Wright's "Mata", winning the super-competitive Irish Half-ton Cup and finishing second overall in IRC 2. This adds to their victory in the ICRA's in Dun Laoghaire two weeks ago and their 2nd in the Scottish Series - well done guys. What a season so far!

Nigel Biggs on "Checkmate XVIII" won IRC 2 with my friend and colleague from North Sails UK Neil Mackley aboard. Nice one Biggzee and Strapper!

Nigel BiggsNigel Biggs on "Checkmate XVIII"  Photo: Bob Bateman

I was racing aboard Conor Phelan's "Jump Juice" in IRC 0 but we couldn't stop Frank Whelan's GS 43 "Eleuthera". "Eleuthera" won IRC 0 with straight bullets and took home the overall Sovereign's Cup Trophy for the week. Well done guys.

Eleuthera Grand Soleil Frank Whelan Eleuthera crew celebrate Photo: Bob Bateman

A million thanks to our North Sails service team Richard and Chris Marshall for looking after the overnight sail service to keep everyone going the next day.

Alpaca tingleThe Tingle's Alpaca Photo: Bob Bateman

We'd like to offer our special congratulations to the Tingle family in finished 2nd overall in IRC 1. This family Corinthian crew nearly delivered a huge upset, finishing only three points off 1st overall and won two races in fine style. Congratulation also to Brian Jones, his family and teammates on "Jelly Baby" for finishing 3rd overall.

Six-time Paralympian John Twomey (and my teammate from the 2004 Athens Paralympics) won White Sails 2 in his Blazer 23 "Shillelagh", also scoring the perfect score of four bullets. Well done Tomb Raider! Steffi and Windsor The Wonderful finished 2nd in "Demelza" and "Valfreya" finished 3rd to round out the full podium in WS 2 for North Sails-powered boats.

John Twomey ShillelaghJohn Twomey's Shillelagh Photo: Bob Bateman

The Dragon class saw a clean sweep for North Sails-powered boats with "Phantom", "Jaguar Sailing Team" and "Serafina" filling the podium positions.

Martin Byrne Dragon2 Martin Byrne's Dragon Jaguar Photo: Bob Bateman

Other North-Sails -powered podium finishers were Conor Doyle's beautiful Xp50 "Freya" (2nd in IRC Coastal), Dave Cullen's half-tonner "Checkmate XV" (3rd in IRC 2), Denis Murphy's GS 40 "Nieulargo" (3rd in IRC 1), David Riome's Sigma 33 "Valfreya" (3rd in WS 2) and Tom Durcan / Clive O'Shea's "T-Bone" (3rd in the 1720 class).

Well done and thank you to our customers, all the competitors and the KYC organising team led by Bobby Nash. It was great seeing you all and we look forward to catching up at the next big event - Volvo Dun Laoghaire Week on July 11th.

North Sails Results at 2019 Sovereign's Cup


1. "Eluethera" GS 43 Frank Whelan *
2. "Jump Juice" Ker 36.7 Conor Phelan
3. "Nieulargo" GS 40 Denis Murphy


2. "Alpaca" Paul & Deirdre Tingle X34
3. "Jelly Baby" Brian Jones & Family J109 *


1. "Checkmate XVIII" Nigel Biggs Half-tonner
2. "Mata" Wright Brothers Half-tonner
3. "Checkmate XV" Dave Cullen Half-tonner

Half-Ton Class

1. "Mata" Wright Brothers Half-tonner
2. "Checkmate XVIII" Nigel Biggs Half-tonner
3. "Checkmate XV" Dave Cullen Half-tonner

White Sails 2

1. "Shilelagh" John Twomey Blazer 23
2. "Demelza" Windsor Laudan & Steffi Ennis Shamrock
3. "Valfreya" David Riome Sigma 33

Coastal IRC

2. "Freya" Conor Doyle Xp50


1. "Phantom" Peter Dowring/Neil Hegarty/David Williams
2. Jaguar Racing Martin Byrne
3. "Serafina" Brian Goggin


3. "T-Bone" Tom Durcan & Clive O'Shea

North Sails Ireland acknowledge with thanks Bob Bateman's photography in this article

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The D2D race was, in many ways, similar to the 2009 race which I did on the X41 "Legally Blonde" writes Maurice O'Connell in this post-race review. Similar to then, strong northerlies made for a very very fast trip with downwind sail changes the order of the day. The race started at 6 pm, we were at the Tuskar Rock at 2 am and at the Fastnet at 6 pm the next day - unreal!

Congratulations to Paul O'Higgins and his great team on "Rockabill VI" for winning. They sailed an outstanding race, blasting past us on Chris Power-Smith's "Aurelia" at 2 am a few miles from the finish - flying their North Sails A3 asymmetric and 3DL offshore main to keep us in 2nd overall to them. Well done guys - respect!

Rockabill SpinnakerRockabill VI flying her North Sails "Leinster" SK 75 A3 Photo: Afloat
On "Aurelia" we flew our 3Di offshore mainsail, 3Di Code 1 and 2 jibs, our A2 running asymmetric, our new Code Zero and also flew our 3DL "jib top" (high clew headsail reacher). When we were not flying a kite / Code Zero, we were constantly triangulating jib sheeting angles, backstay, outhaul and vang tensions to keep the boat "lit up" until the next sail change. It was great to race with you again guys! 2nd overall in the 2019 D2D, 3rd overall in last year's Round Ireland Race - let's keep the trajectory going!

AureliaAurelia flying her North Sails SK90/SK75 A2 and 3Di 780 Endurance Offshore Mainsail with North Sails Ireland's Maurice "Prof" O'Connell at the helm Photo: Afloat

Well done and huge congratulation also to John O'Gorman and his team on his beautiful SunFast 3600 "Hot Cookie". Their 100% North Sails inventory included a new A4 and A5. In John's words after flying it for the first time, "the new A5 is the business and we were off like a robber's dog when we put it up". They finished strongly at 6.30 am flying their new A4 to score third overall on IRC. Nice one guys.

Hot CookieHot Cookie flying her North Sails SK 75 A2 and 3Di 780M offshore mainsail Photo: Afloat

My North Sails colleague Shane Hughes had a great race too on Rupert Barry's Jeanneau 35 "Relativity" winning IRC 2 by a massive 3hrs and 20 mins. Well done Rupert, Shane and all the "Red Alert" team.

Michael Cotter's majestic "Windfall", flying her full NS inventory was a magnificent sight at the start, flying her 3Di mainsail, 3Di large genoa staysail and A2. That was the last we saw of her! We are delighted that Mick Cotter and his team broke the race record that they set in 2009 on "Whisper".

Windfall D2D Race start 1840Mick Cotter's Windfall flying her 3Di mainsail, 3Di large genoa staysail and A2 Photo: Afloat

D2D North Sails Results

Line Honours

1st "Windfall" Southern Wind 94 Michael Cotter
2nd "Freya" Xp50 Conor Doyle

IRC Overall & ISORA Overall

1st "Rockabill VI" JPK 1080 Paul O'Higgins *
2nd "Aurelia" J122 Chris Power-Smith
3rd "Hot Cookie" Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 John O'Gorman
4th "Ruth" J109 Shanahan family


1st "Rockabill VI" JPK 1080 Paul O'Higgins *
2nd "Aurelia" J122 Chris Power-Smith
3rd "Hot Cookie" Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 John O'Gorman


1st "Red Alert" JOD 35 Rupert Barry *


1st "Ruth" J109 Shanahan family
2nd "Mojito" J109 Peter Dunlop & Victoria Cox


1st "Red Alert" JOD 35 Rupert Barry
2nd "Elandra" Sigma 33 Joe Conway

* denotes partial inventory

Published in North Sails Ireland
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It was a fantastic weekend for North Sails Ireland customers at the ICRAs (IRC Nationals) at the RStGYC writes Maurice O'Connell.

Our wonderful clients won four out of the six IRC divisions plus stacks of podium places, including an amazing first in IRC 1 for John Maybury's J109 "Joker II" for the fourth year running. "Joker II" won by a massive 8 points in this uber-competitive fleet.

Thank you, everyone, for your brilliant sailing.

Thank you also to our service manager Richard Marshall for overnight sail service in the school hall in Deansgrange - keeping our customers at the front of the fleet, day after day.

Finally, we'd like to congratulate the Royal St. George YC and ICRA for organising and running a great event. 

North Sails Results ICRA National Championships 2019

Rockabill VI 1618IRC Zero Champion - "Rockabill VI", JPK 1080, Paul O'Higgins * Photo: Afloat


1. "Rockabill VI" - JPK 1080 Paul O'Higgins *
2. "Forty Licks" - First 40 - Jay Colville
3. "Yoyo" - Sunfast 3600 - Brendan Coghlan

J109 Joker 3348IRC 1 champion "Joker II", J109, John Maybury Photo: Afloat


1. "Joker II" - J109 - John Maybury
2. "Storm II" - J109 - Pat Kelly

Mata Half Tonner 2269IRC 2 champion - "Mata", Half-Tonner, Wright Brothers Photo: Afloat


1. "Mata" - Half-tonner - Wright Brothers
2. "Checkmate XVIII" - Nigel Biggs
3. "Checkmate "Xv" - Dave Cullen


3. "Running Wild" - Impala - Brendan Foley*

IRC 5 (Non-spinnaker)

1. "Demelza" - Shamrock - Windsor Laudan & Steffi Ennis

* denotes partial inventory

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The North Sails Ireland regatta service team will be in Dun Laoghaire this coming weekend for the ICRA Nationals at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

If you need any help with damaged sails or spares please do not hesitate to our Service Manager Richard Marshall who will be leading the North Sails Ireland effort.

Call Richard on 086 6686281 or Prof O'Connell on 086 2364200 and they will be ready to help you.

Come and chat to us at the North Sails box at Dun Laoghaire Marina after racing on Friday and Saturday. The van will be outside ready to take your sails to our overnight service loft.

Hopefully, you won't need us though!

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I'm just back home after a great day's sailing here with Darragh McCormack in Foynes Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary at the Mermaid Munster Championships writes Nigel Young of North Sails Ireland.

I have to say the welcome you get in Foynes YC as a visitor is second to none......From the minute you arrive to the minute you leave you really feel part of the FYC family.

I had been invited to FYC by Darragh to crew with him and check out his National Championship winning sails with my own eyes.

You can read all about that regatta and the Fairy-tale as I like to call it here

This was a unique outing for me as it was only my second time actually racing the Mermaids and the first time racing in a three-man team with my eldest son. Seems like I now have a ready-made crew for any North Sails outings! Thanks Jack...

North Sails everywhere IMG 9454North Sails Ireland took the top three spots overall in the Munster Championships

The day went well with North Sails powered boats taking the top three spots overall in the Munster Championships. I was especially proud to sail with Darragh and my own son Jack finishing first overall. Great class, great club, great people and the North Sails don't seem too bad either!

Read all about the North Sails victory in Foynes here

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The North Sails Ireland Team moved out of home for a few days last week and set up camp in Tarbert for the 2019 Scottish Series writes Nigel Young.

Maurice O'Connell was helping Andrew Craig and his team on the J109 Chimaera in the RC35 Class.

Shane Hughes was sailing with the Wrights on the recently revamped Half Tonner MATA looking after the rig and the new 3Di sails.

Yours truly was found pulling a few ropes and offering trim and rig advice to Jonny Swan and the team on Harmony.

The series offered up the full mix of sailing conditions and our North Sails clients took home a large chunk of the Silverware!

Congratulations to all the winners across all the classes and also to the organisers of this classic early season event held in an amazing natural sailing arena.

Please check out the link here for a more in-depth look at who did well at the regatta.

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The North Sails Ireland team of Nigel Young, Shane Hughes and myself, Maurice O'Connell, head to the Scottish Series today to race with our customers and against our many friends from Ireland and the UK.

J109 Chimaera

I will be racing on Andrew Craig's beautiful J109 "Chimaera" pictured above. Chimaera is showing some great early season form, finishing third in the J109 East Coasts and also winning a number of early-season DBSC races. I will be tactician with Brian Matthews navigating and John White trimming (he of the INSS man-overboard fame in Round Ireland 2018). 

Harmony Half Tonner 3420Johnny Swan's half-tonner "Harmony Photo:

Half Tonner Harmony

Nigel will be racing on Johnny Swan's half-tonner "Harmony". Johnny finished second in 2018 Half-Ton Cup and narrowly missed winning Scottish Series last year. Johnny will be hoping to go one better this year!

Mata Half tonnerThe new Mata Half tonner dockside in Howth Photo: Shane Hughes

Half Tonner Mata

Shane will be racing on the latest addition to the Irish half-ton fleet - the Wright brother's "Mata" from Howth Yacht Club.  The Wright brother's "Mata" is the former "Trastada" and Shane has been working the boat up in HYC over the past month. It will be very interesting to see how she goes!

All of the above will be flying full North Sails inventories.

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Here at North Sails Ireland, we have had a fantastic start to this year's J109 class season writes Maurice O'Connell. The East Coast Championships in the National YC that featured North Sails Ireland as an event sponsor boasted a strong fleet of 10 boats and the overall winner wasn't decided until the finish of the last race.

It was a great event for North Sails in that the overall winner, Tim and Richard Goodbody's "White Mischief" raced the event using her three-year-old North 3Di jibs and her six-year-old A2 spinnaker. This was a fantastic testament to our sails' outstanding durability and performance lifespan. She also flew her 2018 3Di mainsail and her 2018 A4 spinnaker on the Sunday.

Jalapeno flying her 3Di Main Superkote A2Jalapeno flying her 3Di Main and Superkote A2 Spinnaker

Second overall was "Jalapeno", skipped by Paul Barrington who flew her new 3Di Code 1 jib to win the DBSC coastal series on the Saturday which set her up for the battle with "White Mischief" on the Sunday.

Third overall was class captain Andrew Craig's "Chimaera" flying her full North Sails inventory including her 2019 Code 1 and 2 jibs.

Chimaera flying her 3Di Mainsail Superkote Composite A2 SpinnakerChimaera flying her 3Di Mainsail and Superkote Composite A2 Spinnaker

"Our great clients did us proud last weekend and congratulations to "White Mischief" in winning with her 2016 jibs and 2012 spinnaker. Even though "White Mischief" regularly wins in DBSC racing, we are really delighted that her three and six-year-old sails are still performing at the top end of the championship fleet", said Nigel Young, manager of North Sails Ireland.

The next class event will be the National Championships in October, which will be again sponsored by North Sails.

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North Sails Ireland have just fitted a new mainsail for Glen Finegan's lovely Discovery 67, Tangaroa 2 which has recently arrived from Scotland writes Maurice 'Prof' O'Connell.

Glen is returning to Ireland, having worked abroad for many years.

Working on the new mainsail for "Tangaroa" was a joy and we are really pleased with the result. This will set Glen and his crew up for many years of happy cruising. Safe travels guys!

Here is a quote from Glen: "Our new mainsail fits beautifully. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised given the care and attention taken by Prof and the North Sails team from the moment I placed the order. We are looking forward to our first trip south with it this weekend and putting it through its paces but my first impressions are excellent!".

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Here at North Sails Ireland, we are blessed with a top level service department lead by the very skilled Richard Marshall from Cobh writes Nigel Young. There is nothing Richard and his team cannot do with fabrics of any kind and the fact that he is also a top-flight sailor in his own right also helps!

Richard Marshall

Richard and his team have been servicing all of the North Sails products sold in Ireland since 2004 and together we have developed some really nice repair techniques over the last sixteen years.

Richard is really well known for dominating local sailing with his wooden Bolero Woody back in the day. Six years running South Coast Champion. He has also raced on many other local boats including Illes Pitiuses at the Quarter Ton Cup with Jason and Dominic Losty. I had to remind him about the fact he was also Dutch Melges 24 Championship back in 2015 with yours truly and Colm Dunne from that was a great regatta.

Richard MarshallRichard Marshall, Colm Dunne and Nigel Young racing a Melges 24

The Service team in Cobh has a full understanding of what's required to repair and service all of the North Sails products including the unique to North 3Di sails. These sails require specialist repair techniques and materials but having said that they are not often in the repair loft due to the lack of film in the sails!

However when they do need service why would you buy a state of the art car and then take it to your local garage for repairs? The simple answer is that you wouldn't do it obviously and you should not do it with your state of the art North Sails either!

There is no other sail loft in Ireland qualified to repair 3Di sails so you should take care to make sure you always use the North Sails Service Team to look after your sails. North Sails also often use custom unique to North sail fittings so to be certain your sails are in the very best condition after any service work you really need to be calling us for help.

Paul Keal NS ServicePaul Keal

Paul Keal

Paul Keal has been a key part of the North Sails Service Team since 2012. He is a very experienced sailmaker having served his time with North Sails in England looking after the spinnaker department and working on One Design and Maxi boat sails during his time there. Paul has been sail making for almost thirty years on and off in Europe and the States and if he keeps going he will soon be catching me up! Paul like Richard is a very good sailor and that helps him to fully understand the needs of the clients when working on their sails.

You know when you put your sails in for service here at North Sails they are in very safe hands with years of knowledge.

Also, do not forget that as mentioned at the top of the page Richard and his team can make anything in almost any fabric. Marine upholstery, covers, spray hoods, dodgers and winter covers also a speciality.

We also offer a sail washing service in partnership with Tip Top Laundry in the south coast of England. When it comes to sails, covers and anything at all to do with the engine above the deck you are in great hands.

NS Winter CoverA North Sails Ireland winter cover

For any sail service or cover requirements please do not hesitate to contact any of the North Sails Team.

You can find us all here...

Sail FAST!

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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)


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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