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An extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association has been called for Wednesday, March 21.

It will be held in the Maldron Hotel in Portlaoise at 7.30 p.m. and a new Executive Committee will be voted into position.

The meeting follows the controversy which has arisen within the Association. A new “interim constitution” is also be voted on by members at the meeting.

Nominations are open for any member to go forward for election to the Executive.

A list of the candidates is to be made available on the ICRA website three days before the Portlaoise meeting.

Current Commodore Simon McGibney has written to members of ICRA expressing the hope that the meeting will be a “productive session that enables ICRA to take relevant steps towards renewing its commitment to cruiser racing in Ireland.”

ICRA Statement on Feb 13 2018: 

The ICRA Executive held an emergency meeting on Friday 9th February, in light of the discussions that were held in Limerick (20th January) on our long term plan. In order to ensure that ICRA continues to receive the strong support of members, it was agreed to review the constitution, reinforce good governance, transparency and accountability.

1- Notice of EGM

It was agreed that an EGM would be held as quickly as possible, with all members invited to attend. In order to do this before the sailing season begins in earnest, and due to the cluttered rugby and sailing calendar during March, the date of the meeting was agreed as Wednesday the 21st March 2018 in the Maldron Hotel, Portlaoise at 7.30pm. Members will be as defined in the interim constitution. At the EGM the new interim constitution would be voted on by members. The interim constitution will be available on the ICRA website within two weeks.

2- New ICRA Executive

In line with the new interim constitution a new executive will be voted in by members at the EGM. Any member who wishes to stand as a member of the executive is encouraged to put forward their candidacy by completing the form on the ICRA website and submitting it no later than 1 week before the meeting (Wednesday 14 March 2018 at 7.30pm.). Any member putting their candidacy forward needs to be proposed and seconded by members. The completed form signed by proposer and seconder, plus a copy of their 2017-2018 IRC or ECHO cert need to be brought to the EGM. The current committee will endeavour to make list of candidates that have put themselves forward made available on the website 3 days before the event.

I look forward to sharing a productive session that enables ICRA to take relevant steps towards renewing its commitment to Cruiser Racing in Ireland.

Simon McGibney
ICRA Commodore

Published in ICRA
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The International Rating Certificate (IRC) has made a flying start to 2018 with increased numbers of rating applications in the first month of the year and nearly 1000 certificates issued in January. RORC says 'This is very positive for IRC as certificates are not automatically renewed. Owners must apply for a new certificate through their local IRC Rule Authority and advise any changes to the boat’s configuration before the certificate is issued by the RORC Rating Office or UNCL Centre de Calcul, joint owners and administrators of IRC'.

In Ireland, Irish Sailing says they have have had 50 IRC revalidation applications plus four trial cert applications so far this season. According to Chief Executive Harry Hermon,  this is trending 'exactly the same as last year'. 

2017 saw total Irish certs of 419 (includes all applications – revalidation, new, trial, amendment etc) so the view is that this will be the same in 2018, with a 'possible small increase'.  

March/April/May/June are the peak months for IRC applications in Ireland.

Changes to the IRC rating calculations are implemented every January to cater for technical innovations in yacht design, a practice implemented by the IRC Technical Committee to foster close racing and protect the main fleet while remaining progressive.

Over the last 12 months the Technical Committee has been studying the effects of foils and how they are rated. Boats such as Infiniti 46 Maverick using the Dynamic Stability System will see a change in her rating from which she will benefit for the upcoming RORC Caribbean 600. Other developments for Spinlock IRC 2018 include changes to the calculations affecting: the rating of spinnaker area, sports boats, and boats that set headsails from bowsprits and do not carry spinnakers.

The ‘dayboat’ classification has also been removed from the Rule, leaving assessment of boats’ Offshore Special Regulations compliance to event organisers.

Published in RORC
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“These are difficult times for the Association. While robust debate is welcome and encouraged, respect for all must remain in all of our dealings with each other,” the Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association, Simon McGibney, has said, in the midst of what has been described by other members as “a deep division” developing.

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association website has published the Notice of Race for the ICRA National Championships to be held in Galway Bay from August 16 to 18 and urges owners to REGISTER NOW. The notice includes the WIORA, West of Ireland Racing Association, West Coast Championships from August 15th to 17th.There is a strong list of sponsors, headed by Galway Port and both events will be run, the Notice says, in conjunction with Galway Bay Sailing Club. There is an offer of a reduced “early bird entry fee” and the Latest News Updates on the site declare that the Championships ARE A GO! And that “top-notch preparations are well underway…”

Perhaps, understandably, there is no word on the website about the dissension within the ranks of ICRA about the choice of Galway, nor that the disagreement has developed into wrangling between different members of the ICRA Executive and some outrage over comments made by one officer that the dispute within ICRA’s ranks was “a naked attempt to browbeat and intimidate officers in an effort to take over the Association by a small group…”

The Commodore of ICRA Simon McGibney called for an emergency meeting and indicated there would be a statement following that.

What appears to have happened, I have been told, is that “an attitude of aggression developed within ICRA” and that a number of members felt it was losing its way, there was concern expressed from some quarters that there was too much “fragmentation”, others that the Association had changed too much from a “fun organisation.. with a welcome into every club” into a bureaucratic, complicated structure.

While the source of disagreement appeared to arise from the choice of Galway for this year’s National Championships and an ICRA survey which showed a lack of support, sources have told me that there is more to the disagreement than just that….

Former Commodore, Norbert Reilly, whose resignation and comments that the Association may have reached its sell-by date, raised a lot of concern, had written to Executive members last June suggesting that everyone on the Executive would retire and hand-over to a new Committee. That didn’t receive much of a response and he resigned.

In the past few days I’ve been told that moves have been made to break the stand-off.

When ICRA was originally started I remember being told it would focus on national representation for boat owners, organising a national cruiser championship and getting an Irish team to win the Commodore’s Cup. All that has been achieved, so ICRA has been a success in that regard. But differences of opinion can emerge in a time of change. It is regrettable that this has led to some bitterness express in recent exchanges.

ICRA has been working on a five-year plan, but there is a view that a shorter-term approach is also needed.

At a time when it has been claimed, as in the annual report of the South Coast Offshore Racing Association, that interest in racing is increasing, the sport needs unity, not dissension at national organisational level.

• Listen to the Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney

After 16 years of progressive existence it needs to negotiate choppy waters.

The present Commodore, Simon McGibney, says that the Association is at the stage where it needs an “in-depth” look at its future.

Former Commodore Norbert Reilly, who has resigned from ICRA, said it has been “getting in the way of its own plan for the past two years” and that it is probably a good time to wind up ICRA…

Differences over genuinely held views do occur in organisations, with the best of intentions on both sides, but when the greatest loss can be for the future of the organisation, all racing sailors should be concerned.

The disagreement originally appeared to centre on the choice of Galway for the ICRA Nationals this year, but the underlying problems in ICRA are deeper than that and it is regrettable that Galway Bay Sailing should be the focus.

ICRA’S own unpublished survey reported warning signals about the Championships, with value for money down to 5.83 per cent. The Red C survey also said that “none of the sailors from Classes 0, 1, 2 or non-Spinnaker A said they would go to Galway. There was support in Class 3 and 4 and Corinthian B. August was identified as an issue for crews and the distance for boats to travel. “Galway is a lovely place but with the best will in the world I can't see myself making the trip. It's OK for boats that can be trailed but otherwise a stage too far….” summarised the opinion…

ICRA has been a strong source of development for committed racers and good for the sport, but there are others who would like to see ICRA spread itself wider and to encompass the ‘club sailor’ and to stimulate racing at this level. A revival of cruiser interest has been reported in some areas and stimulating the ‘club racers,’ encouraging young sailors to advance from dinghies into these cruisers could provide a system to supply crews, helms and owners to the more heavily-oriented racing boats in the future. The age profile of cruiser racing sailors has advanced so new ideas should be welcome.

The resignation of Norbert Reilly, who gave a lot of time to ICRA, is regrettable. Perhaps there can be a positive development. The postponement of the scheduled ICRA annual meeting until the Autumn and the production of a long-term plan could be a positive move, but it would be good for sailing to have wide involvement, including those who have disagreed with the Association, in the preparation of that plan.

• Listen to the Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) has postponed next month's annual conference until the Autumn. It follows 'strong representations' about its timing aired at this month's symposium in Limerick. The goal now, according to the ICRA executive, is to have 'a fully thought out set of proposals' prepared for the Autumn. 

Positive outcomes from the work shop aim to map a five–year–plan but at the same time resignation of a board member over a 'controversial decision' to stage the national championships in Galway has meant choppy waters for the voluntary body.

ICRA has been in existence now for 16 years and has organised 16 national championships and annual conferences in that time.

In addition, ICRA has been developing a training and development role for cruiser racing in recent years. ICRA is recognised by Irish Sailing [IS, formerly ISA] as the national body to perform these tasks.

According to Commodore Simon McGibney, 'ICRA is now at the point where it feels the need to take an 'in depth look at its role' in the future'. 

Outcomes documented at January's strategic workshop include the first steps 'to enable the production of an ICRA Strategic Plan'.

A draft document released from the workshop last Friday says: 'The focus will be will to ensure that there is a shared understanding of the environment in which ICRA operates, the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation, the relationship with key stakeholders, shared Vision and Mission before moving into strategic goals and strategies.’The working document also sets some strategic goals: 

  • Continue to Hold a First Class Nationals
  • Continue to improve high standards
  • Improve social aspects of events
  • Create a National Training Programme for Cruiser Racing Sailors
  • Increase Participation in Cruiser Racing
  • Improve Communication
  • Improve ICRA Governance
Published in ICRA
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The IRC Yearbook arrived in the post as I prepared to write this week’s Podcast. It is sent out together with your notice to renew your Handicap for the season ahead. Only, ‘oops’, the word ‘Handicap’ is no longer acceptable.

Peter Wykeham-Martin, Chairman of the IRC Congress, writes an editorial in the yearbook where he asks all IRC Certificate holders, or as it has been called for many years, a ‘Handicap’ to “please don’t use the word ‘handicap’ when talking about IRC.”

“Handicaps,” he says, “are what you bet on in horse racing and include a jockey’s form.”

“Rating,” Peter declares, “is what we use in IRC to assess a boat’s potential performance – the ability, or lack of ability of the helmsman and crew is not included.”

Is Chairman Wykeham-Martin writing with ‘tongue-in-cheek’ or is he having a ‘dig’ at ECHO ‘handicap’ system – Oops - there’s that word again?

He’ll have a bit of a job to eradicate the description ‘handicap’ from racing, but maybe the desire to do so is part of the changes which are announced in IRC in the very first page of the Yearbook. There are seven Rule Changes listed, plus ‘Definitions’ and other changes.

Amongst them the ‘default’ values for mainsail widths have been deleted, as this was considered inconsistent with the Rule on Headsails.

One of the more fundamental changes in the Rules is the deletion of the ‘Dayboat Definition and Rule 24.’ IRC and its predecessor CHS - remember that ‘handicap system’ –had defined a Dayboat as one which could not comply with Offshore Special Regulations and so Rule 24 stipulated a minimum self-righting angle and items that IRC-rated or ‘handicapped’ depending upon your regard for words and the Chairman’s view, should carry. In quite a few instances ‘Dayboat’ definition seemed to have a relevance to lifelines and, so could refer to boats from 1720s to J Class Yachts.

If you are an IRC holder, look it all up in the yearbook, but don’t mention the word ‘handicap’ if you want to ‘rate’ with the IRC afficionados!

Listen to the Podcast here.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) is running a workshop to examine the future role of ICRA this month.

ICRA has issued an invitation to clubs and individuals that are key to the development of cruiser racing with a view to develop a plan to chart the way forward for ICRA.

ICRA has been in existence now for 16 years and has organised 16 national championships and annual conferences in that time.

In addition ICRA has been developing a training and development role for cruiser racing in recent years. ICRA is recognised by Irish Sailing [IS, formerly ISA] as the national body to perform these tasks.

ICRA is now at the point where it feels the need to take an 'in depth look at its role' in the future. 

Following this workshop a draft plan will be prepared and circulated with a view to being approved at the ICRA annual conference on Saturday, 24th February, 2018.

The meeting will take the form of a brainstorming session led by Steve Griffiths of gcass, who is a former Strategy Development manager with World Rugby and Head of Organisation Development with that body over an eighteen year period.

Published in ICRA
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A successful new development in the national sailing programme will inevitably be something of a revolution. Yet if those managing the event handle it in the right way, the changeover can take place without people thinking that anything really revolutionary – in the sense of a sudden and complete change – has taken place. W M Nixon takes a look at the successful unveiling of the new-style Wave Regatta planned for his home port of Howth for next year’s June Bank Holiday Weekend.

Preparation is everything. Quiet work behind the scenes in trying to visualize every practical and administrative glitch which might arise, and how best to deal with it well before it becomes a problem, is essential. Getting key people – decision-makers and can-do people, local, regional and national – firmly on side, is absolutely essential.

Testing the waters of consumer opinion with trial announcements and proposals, and the occasional test run maybe disguised as something else, is also part of the process. Yet revealing too much of what is taking shape before it is really ready to go public can do more harm than good.

Thus when Howth Yacht Club’s Wave Regatta 2018 was unveiled after a crisp and businesslike Annual General Meeting in the clubhouse on Thursday night, not only was it a very complete and appealing concept in itself, but it emerged fully formed, and in a style well presented to an audience filled with fresh enthusiasm.

howth wave2Howth’s modern marina/clubhouse complex (above) is in stark contrast to the situation pre-1987 (below) when the ISORA racers and the fishing fleet had to share the same small space. The boat at centre is the famous S&S-designed Sunstone (Tom & Vicky Jackson) which in her racing days with ISORA was known as Dai Mouse III.

howth wave3

After all, Commodore Joe McPeake had just finished chairing an AGM whose mood was enthusiastic after the publication of a set of figures which showed that the huge extra voluntary effort and support which the club has received from many of its members during the past 18 months has paid real dividends. While the improving mood had become increasingly apparent as the season progressed, by Thursday night if you could somehow have linked it to the National Grid, you’d have lit the village with it.

Inevitably, Howth gets compared to the big southside clubs of Dun Laoghaire, and the way their huge reservoir of personnel resources - further augmented by the overall administration of Dublin Bay Sailing Club, and with the large marina run as a commercial venture – frees up a enormous pool of talent to keep a high-powered show on the road. For when all is said and done, only Dun Laoghaire - with its unique selection of stately shoreside facilities - could stage an event like the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

But in Howth, the one club has to do everything. So instead of trying to rival Dun Laoghaire, today’s Howth sailors see their strength in being themselves in their own special peninsular port, which is neither Dublin nor northside nor remotely southside. On the contrary, it’s emphatically part of Fingal. And it’s indisputably Eastside. On top of all that, as its basic geology is twice as old as anywhere nearby, it is Ireland which is the add-on to Howth, rather than the other way round.

However, that’s not in anyone’s mind in Howth at all this weekend, as we realize the leap of the imagination which has transformed some long-established Howth events by combining them with new concepts, and then steering the whole package into a significant gap in the market which had been hidden there in plain sight for all to see.

For the overall shape of the 2018 National Sailing Programme is unusual. The biennial Volvo Round Ireland Race from Wicklow has been shifted to the last weekend of June, presumably because its time-honoured slot right on the mid-summer weekend around June 23rd would have clashed with the finish of the Volvo Ocean Race itself in The Hague at the same time.

So with the Volvo Round Ireland on June 30th, Volvo Cork Week in its turn was moved back to July 16th to 21st. And while those who seek a fun regatta with holiday overtones have Calves Week in Schull from August 7th to 10th, those in pursuit of racing with recognised national titles at the end of it have the ICRA Nationals at Galway from 15th to 18th August.

What it meant to those in Howth was that there wasn’t a major cruiser-racer championship on Ireland’s East Coast for the entire season, and particularly not in June and early July when the heavies generally expect an event of this type. But that realisation came after they’d already set in motion a project to re-invigorate their traditional Lambay Race, which has been staged annually since at least 1904 and maybe earlier.

howth wave4The classic Lambay Race. Howth 17s Aura and Pauline racing along the coastline of Ireland’s most unspoilt island. Photo John Deane

In times past, with smaller craft such as the 1898-established Howth 17s (happily still with us, and stronger as a class than ever), simply racing round the island of Lambay from Howth was enough for a long day’s race. But with newer and much bigger craft joining the mix, all sorts of ways had to be found to increase the length of the Lambay Race for the big boats, while retaining its character. Yet by this stage, the programme generally was becoming crowded, with the revival of ISORA posing new problems of rival events.

cruiser racers lambay5Cruiser-racers in the Lambay Race. Todays faster boats expect a longer race than the traditional 16-mile course

A partial solution was reached this year when the ever-obliging ISORA Chairman Peter Ryan agreed to incorporate the annual Lambay Race as the main section of an ISORA Race which would start with the Lambay fleet and sail through its course and finish line, but then race on to a finish in Dublin Bay to provide the kind of distance ISORA expects.

However, for 2018, the Lambay Race on Saturday June 2nd will be a fully-fledged ISORA event in its own right. But it will literally be a Lambay-Race-With-Knobs-On for the Cruiser-Racer classes, as the organisers are planning a morning start and probably taking in Rockabill and the Kish to provide a perfect miniature offshore course.

dave cullen6Dave Cullen, Director of Racing for the Wave Regatta, on the tiller of his classic Half Tonner Checkmate XV. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Having the full ISORA imprimatur on this extended Lambay Race provides the new Wave Regatta with the massive corner-stone which enables the Organising Committee, chaired by former HYC Commodore Brian Turvey, to build a full three-day programme around it, for they can be confident that local One Design Classes such as the Puppeteer 22s and the Howth 17s will already be doing the Lambay Race in its traditional form. As well, Sportsboat Classes like the SB20s and the 1720s will also have the option of a start. And if the IRC Class divisions are made in the right way, we’ll have the J/109s, the J/80s and the J/24s racing as classes-within-classes to add that bit of extra zing.

As the possibilities became clearer, one extra bit of information encouraged the Howth group to go for it big time in promoting an event with three days of solid racing as a viable biennial alternative to the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. This was the news that, in future, in every even year the annual ICRA Nationals will be staged at a non-Dublin venue – August’s Galway venue is the start of this process.

This meant that the Howth team really had to get their skates on in order to have a realistic proposition and programme in place in time for an official unveiling at Thursday’s HYC AGM on December 14th. Even with test runs on various aspects of the main idea during the past couple of seasons, the actual countdown time was short enough, but by Thursday night such a complete package could be put on display that they were able to tell us that Fingal County Council were giving major support, there was every encouragement from the Harbour Authority, and HYC member Michael Wright had come on to the Committee to act as shoreside hospitality director, while also bringing in the support of his Wright Hospitality Group.

j80 howth sound7One of HYC’s club-owned J/80s in Howth Sound. With an additional club-owned flotilla from the Royal St George YC, the IRC-compliant J/80s will have a choice of options for Wave Regatta
In fact, these days with its proliferation of characterful restaurants and hospitality hotspots, Howth’s shoreside entertainment is soon in place. So it’s the programme afloat which has to match it, and here the organisers have hit the target by having Irish Sailing President Jack Roy take on the role as one of the senior Race Officers, another being former President David Lovegrove. Howth-based Race Officers such as David Lovegrove and Harry Gallagher have long made a major input into Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, so all these top men afloat are accustomed to working with each other in the most demanding situations.

They’re also accustomed to inter-acting with the “customers” after racing, and it was their reports of overseas visitors to the Dun Laoghaire Regatta expressing a wish to take part in some sort of major event in the Greater Dublin area every year which encouraged the Howth team to think that, with proper planning, they could provide an alternate biennial regatta which would be different from Dun Laoghaire, yet express the same mood of good but not too serious sport afloat, and high-powered entertainment ashore, with an emphasis on attracting younger participants.

jack roy8Irish Sailing President Jack Roy will be a Race Officer at Howth’s new event

Flexibility is the approach. For those who wish to do just the Lambay Race on the Saturday, that’s fine. But for those who want the Full Irish of a really good programme of sport, there’ll be three races on Friday 1st June, and three more on Sunday June 3rd, while the Bank Holiday Monday will be given over to a Family Day which was very popular in 2017, and will be further developed next year.

As with everything to do with sailing in Ireland, the weather factor will be considerable. But for those of us who have done more than a few Lambay Races, the good memories linger best, and they’re of an effortless regatta atmosphere with an element of local pride, for it’s the coast of Fingal we’ve been racing along, one of all Ireland’s finest islands we’ve been racing round, and it’s our own home port under the hill that we’ve raced home to.

Which makes it fine for those who live locally. But the Wave Regatta Committee, in which Dave Cullen plays a key role as one of the leading ideas experts while officially he’s called Director of Racing, realise that the fact of Howth being on a peninsula and the village being largely residential, with a shortage of hotel bedrooms, can provide a challenge for those who live elsewhere, but want to keep their boats race-ready rather than as floating caravans.

So HYC have hired 30 campervans which will be available for rent in the car-park beside the club, and as well local sailors have made it clear they’ll be more than hospitable in providing accommodation. As for the problem of the DART from Dun Laoghaire not starting until late on a Sunday morning, they’ve swung a deal with Dublin Bay Cruises whereby the familiar blue-hulled St Brigid will depart her berth in Dun Laoghaire at 08:15 Sunday morning, bound for Howth and the final day of racing.

st brigid9The Dublin Bay Cruise vessel St Brigid will run a ferry service from Dun Laoghaire to Howth on the Sunday morning

It’s that sort of off-the-wall yet actually very sound idea which gives us some idea of the thought which is going into this new Wave Regatta at Howth. You can do a lot of sailing in three days if everything is in place, and this team is determined that it will be.

Meanwhile, let’s hear it for the home squad, the new HYC Club Officers who were elected on Thursday night, and will have their agenda will filled throughout their time in office, as plans for 2018 include the establishment of a fully-fledged Sailing School within the club. They are: Commodore: Joe McPeake; Vice Commodore: Ian Byrne; Rear Commodore: Paddy Judge; Rear Commodore: Ian Malcolm; Hon. Secretary: Bernie Condy; Hon. Sailing Secretary: Caroline Koster; Honorary Treasurer: David Mulligan.

joe mcpeake10HYC Commodore Joe McPeake

Published in W M Nixon
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The Annual General Meeting of the 2017 West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA) took place at the Dromoland Inn in Co. Clare earlier this week. Among the items discussed on the night was the combined 2018 WIORA ICRA Championships which will be run in Galway Bay next August. In acknowledging that combining events can mean an increase in costs to boat owners and participants, and as a gesture of goodwill and thanks to its members for their continued support, WIORA have voted to suspend membership fees for 2018. The venue for the 2019 West Coast Championships was also decided at the AGM with Foynes Yacht Club being awarded the event.

After twelve years in his role as Honorary Secretary of the Association, Thomas Whelan from the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland, stepped down at the AGM. WIORA Commodore, Simon McGibney, the WIORA committee and its members would like to sincerely thank Thomas for all his years of service and contribution to promoting cruiser racing along the west coast and wish him the very best of luck with his new found free time next year.

Published in WIORA
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Connor Phelan's Jump juice will be among the winners saluted tonight at the South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) agm and prizegiving that will be held in the Royal Cork Yacht Club at 7.45pm writes Bob Bateman.

Cruiser–racer fortunes are on the up in Cork harbour according to SCORA Commodore Kieran O'Connell who gave a recent confident forecast that fleet numbers are on the 'way back'.

SCORA Yachts1 Tom McCarthy's Whistling Dixie was third in ECHO White Sails division. Photo: Bob Bateman

untitled 0733Conor Phelan's Jump juice is among the winners at SCORA tonight Photo: Bob Bateman

As well as Phelan's Class Zero and One victory, among tonight's other highlights is Tom Roche's first in ECHO in the same division with Kinsale Yacht Club entry Meridian.

RCYC entry Bad Company (Desmond, Ivers) was the IRC two winner with Waterford Harbour yacht Slack Alice skippered by Shane Statham second.

untitled 9Kinsale Yacht Club entry Meridian (Tom Roche) Photo: Bob Bateman

SCORA Yachts2Dan Buckley's Justus (yellow spinnaker) was third in IRC Zero Photo: Bob Bateman

A full list of prizewinners are below.

Among the matters for discussion at tonight' meeting will be the perennial question of Class Bands for handicapping. This is because the IRC certs change and consequently bands need updating on a regular basis.

SCORA Yachts5Waterford Harbour Sailing Club's Flyover, a Sigma 33, skippered by David Marchant was the IRC 3 winner Photo: Bob Bateman

Agenda

1. Finance
2. SCORA Leagues
3. Combine club league in Cork
4. Class handicap bands for 2018
5. ICRA Training Grants
6. ICRA Crew Point
7. AOB
8. Prize Giving

List of 2017 prizewinners: Scora league

Jump juice             Connor Phelan         1st IRC 0/1           2nd Echo

Meridian               Tom Roche               1st Echo 0/1        2rd Echo  

Justus                     Dan Buckley               3rd IRC 0/1           3rd Echo        

Slack Alice             Shane Statham         2nd IRC 2             3rd Echo

Bad Company     Desmond,Ivers           1st IRC 2             2nd Echo

Artful Dodger       Finbarr O Regan       1st Echo 2             3rd IRC

Cracker                 Denis Byrne               3rd Echo 3

Ye Gotta Wanna Dave Lane and Sinead Enright             3rd IRC 3

No Gnomes         Leonard Donnery       2nd IRC 3           2nd Echo

Flyover               David Marchant         1st IRC 3             1st Echo

Nieulargo            Denis Murphy          1st IRC W/S 1       2nd Echo

Indulgence           Aidan Heffernan       1st Echo W/S 1     2nd IRC

Magnet                 Kieran O Brien             3rd IRC W/S 1    3rd Echo

Prometheus         Paul Murray                 1st IRC W/S 2      

Bandit                   Richard Leonard         2nd IRC W/S 2    2nd Echo

Whistling Dixie   Tom Mc Carthy            3rd Echo W/S 2

Aramis                   Pat Vaughan              1st Echo W/S 2     2nd IRC

Scora Cork Harbour league

Alpacca                Paul Tingle                         1st all in IRC

No Gnomes         Leonard Donnery             1st all in Echo

Indulgance           Aidan   Heffernan             1st W/S IRC

Sea Dragon           Frank Caul                         1st W/S Echo

Published in SCORA
Page 7 of 36

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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