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Every cruiser-racing enthusiast dreams of a perfect boat which doesn’t have the inevitable whiff of diesel about her, has minimal maintenance, enjoys the benefit of a genuinely lifting keel, and yet with keel down, she sails like a real zippy performance cruiser writes W M Nixon.

Well, Rory Staunton – who has links with Mayo in general and Clew Bay in particular – became convinced that this was the only way to go. And after further study, he discovered that many of the leading international builders had closed down their research and development departments during the recession, and didn’t plan on working on anything really revolutionary until business was well up again, and staying up.

He felt there was a gap in the market, and went to designer Guy Whitehouse and renowned marine innovator Jo Richards (both specialists of considerable repute) to get the design for a boat around 34ft long which would be trailerable yet have a real keel when it’s lowered, and would be powered by an electric motor relying for range on the latest in battery technology.

In addition, she would naturally have twin rudders but with the luxury of wheel steering with a moveable wheel which can be hauled to whichever side of the cockpit suits. She would have a virtually wood-free and easily-cleaned yet luxurious interior, complete with electric cooker. And in general, she would be an impressive amount of good new-concept things all in one package.

mayo boat2 The adjustable steering wheel position is just one of many unusual features, all in the one boat. Photo: Teresa Cowley

It may sound too good to be true. But the prototype was sailing in Clew Bay last month. She’s been back to the workshops for further adjustments, and this weekend she’s on display and available for appraisals, tyre kicking, test sails and whatever at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

So if you’re interested, do please go along - and let us know what you think in the comments section below. There’s so much fancy technology in this w1Da as she’s called (we gather it’s something to do with the Wild Atlantic Way) that all and any expert opinion (and non-expert too) will be very welcome.

As for someone who unveils a new sailing cruiser in the very last weekend of November with snow forecast, we couldn’t possibly comment on that…

Published in Marine Trade

East Coast sailing fans are expecting a big weekend for the 'Taste of Greystones' Regatta this Sunday and, as the name suggests, Greystones Regatta in County Wicklow is about a night–out followed by a morning's racing. 'The night out is guaranteed, says Greystones Sailing Club Commodore, Darragh Cafferkey, 'the racing now lies with the wind gods'. 

'All this week the weather forecasts have been bouncing from five to 25–knots and from factor 50 to umbrellas', Cafferkey told Afloat.ie

It must surely be a case of third time lucky for the Wicklow initiative because the last two editions have been cut short due to lack of wind

As Afloat.ie reported earlier this week, 55 boats are already entered – and that's ahead of 2016 numbers at this stage – to the extent that Cafferkey, himself a top Irish Sea Offshore campaigner, estimates 140 boats are expected for the raft–up at Greystones Marina in preparation for the two race series on Sunday morning that marks the end of the Summer sailing season on the East coast.

In 2013, the inaugural regatta attracted 68 boats, in 2014, this had grown to 80 and in 2015 the regatta broke the 100–mark with 2016 witnessing further growth.

Greystones Wicklow sailing 0556Cruiser–racers will race on two separate courses this year at the Taste of Greystones Regatta in County Wicklow Photo: Afloat.ie

This year the event will be split into two courses with Class 1, 2, 3 racing on North course and White Sails in two fleets on South Course.

As Afloat.ie reported in August 2013, the regatta was originally established in a format that would attract all the East Coast clubs that don’t typically travel, it has grown in size with the following clubs all confirming feeder races.

Bobby kerr sailing sigma33 1700Dublin Bay's Bobby Kerr is a past competitor at Greystones sailing his Sigma 33 Leeuwin from the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Photo: Afloat.ie

Wexford/Courtown will race to Arklow and join the Arklow fleet for a race to Greystones Harbour.

Wicklow Sailing Club, Bray Sailing Club, Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club and Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club have all confirmed races to Greystones on Saturday, Caffekey told Afloat.ie

Dublin Bay will have a feeder race available for all classes and ISORA have over 25 entries confirmed for its race to Greystones.

Over ten boats from Howth have also entered meaning almost every club on the East coast plan to attend.

checkmate Wicklow sailing 0609Dave Cullen's champion Checkmate is a regular competitor off Wicklow Photo: Afloat.ie

A feature of the event is that it is run both on IRC/Standard ECHO and current ECHO. IRC/Standard Echo with only a few points between them means all boats regardless of certs can race based on the boat' s rating, according to Cafferkey.

Astrix sonata Hunter 2015Frazer Meredith's Astrix, a Hunter Sonata, is heading for Greystones Photo: Afloat.ie

The current Echo means that the many non Dublin Bay clubs can use their own local ratings to come to a joint event . There is a limit on current echo to 3%+/- the boats standard handicap.

It is this decision four years ago that made it realistic for all East Coast clubs to come and compete. 'So prizes based on your boat and prizes based on your club performance. Something for everybody', Cafferkey says.

The support of sponsor BJ Marine has allowed Greystones Sailing Club organisers extend hospitality at its new club house that opened over a year ago on the South Pier, to include berth, BBQ, beer in Club and Beachouse plus Breakfast on Sunday. 'Throw in some Musto discounts, Water, bars and sandwiches on the water and there is little left uncovered', Cafferkey says.

First gun at Greystones on Sunday is at 10.55am.

Published in Greystones Harbour

Both the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) and the Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) have just launched their respective websites for the ICRA National Championships which will take place at the Crosshaven club from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th June.

Online entry is now open and available at www.cruiserracing.ie and www.royalcork.com

Along with nine National IRC and ECHO Titles the event will also host the Corinthian Cup and for the first time a new ICRA Coastal Cup. A minimum of six races are scheduled but with the option to sail additional races at the discretion of the RO, determined by factors such as the weather. Racing is scheduled to start at 1400 on Friday 9th. Closing date for the early entry fee is 12th May, 2017. The Notice of Race can be downloaded below.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club have been working closely with Kinsale Yacht Club on scheduling of event dates with Sovereign’s Cup taking place two weeks later, boat storage in between events and even some delivery opportunities. The first 20 o line entries to the ICRA National Championships (non-Munster) will be offered the option of having their boat delivered after the ICRA event by sea from Crosshaven to Kinsale for Sovereigns Cup on June 21st to 24th. Further details to follow. To facilitate planning the organising committee would encourage all boat owners to enter early.

Published in ICRA

In these hectic times, with volatility a fact of life, the new buzzword is “manageability” writes W M Nixon. It may not provide slogans which set the world on fire. You won’t see people marching in their droves along O’Connell Street with “Manageability Now!!” screaming from their placards. But it rings a bell with many of us.

For life’s not so bad when you live in a house of manageable size and drive around in an economical car which may not be the height of luxury, but it doesn’t break the bank. And if sailing and cruising is your thing, you hope to do so in a boat which is of sufficient size to provide proper standing headroom, a worthwhile galley, a civilized number of bunks, and a decent-sized accessible toilet, but nevertheless is of an overall length which won’t attract exorbitant marina and mooring fees. If you can do that with a boat which manages the complete package by also having a decent performance potential, then it’s a reasonable deal, and the Westerly Merlin 27 provides it.

We’ve commented in this column before on the very useful, robust and no-nonsense boats which resulted from the team-up between volume boatbuilder Westerly Marine and up-and-coming designer Ed Dubois, who at the time was making his mark as a designer of successful offshore racers, but later was very much associated with the top end of the market, veering into superyachts.

westerly merlin2With every bunk filled, you could sleep six, but 3 to 4 would provide for civilised cruising, and she could be comfortably sailed by two.

Thus this 27ft–Westerly Merlin of 1985 vintage is a fascinating snapshot of a certain stage in the career of both designer and builder. But for those who are more interested in the boats themselves rather than a highfalutin analysis of some bigger picture, the news is that the Westerly Merlin provides a perfect example of double potential. She would be ideal for someone taking their first tentative steps in proper cruising. But equally she might be the very answer for an experienced cruising enthusiast who wants to continue cruising, but finds that his or her present boat is too big for their current needs.

She’s simple and sensible. A fractional rig takes the heavy weight out of controlling the genoa. And a straightforward transom-hung rudder keeps everything visible and accessible in the steering department, while maximizing the amount of space available within the hull for other purposes.

There’s a sense of balance about the overall concept. The cockpit is big enough without being excessively roomy, there really is a proper galley with a grown-up cooker, and the conveniently-located toilet has ample space.

The owner – a leading member of the Cruising Association of Ireland – like a good sailing performance, so to minimize drag he has fitted a Kiwi prop to transmit the power from a more-than-adequate 25HP Beta diesel which was newly-installed just eight years ago. The boat has been well cruised on both sides of the Irish Sea and along our southern and southwestern seaboards, as well as deep into Scotland, and she’s keen to go again. On view in Greystones, in good order, and sensibly priced at €20,750. Read the full listing here.

Published in Boat Sales
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Beautiful sunshine and a wide range of wind speeds greeted the participants of the two day training weekend organised by Simon McGibney from ICRA/WIORA and Des McWilliam and Graham Curran of UK McWilliam Sailmakers. This was the second year of the training clinic, successfully hosted again by Tralee Bay Sailing Club with boats from the Royal Western Yacht Club, Galway Bay Sailing Club, Foynes Yacht Club and Tralee Bay Sailing Club taking part.

Building on the format developed last year the weekend began with an early start for a long day on the water with OOD Peter Moore and his team from TBSC. Des and Graham were on the water in RIBs and followed the fleet throughout the day, observing and videoing race starts, mark roundings, tacks, gybes, sail trim etc. They also went onboard boats to watch crews as they went through procedures and throughout the day were able to interject with advice when required.

The race team got in seven races on a windward leeward course with the addition of a gate to ensure boats completed gybing manoeuvres downwind. To keep racing interesting crews had to listen out for any ‘special instructions’ from the OOD such as every boat must put in a certain number of tacks before the windward mark. Racing was very close with an evenly matched fleet of boats competing. The weekend also included practice race starts which consisted of eight races starts run off one after another with just three minute countdowns. Exhausting work for crews but great for practicing skills! Saturday drew to a close with BBQ in clubhouse overlooking the beautiful Tralee Bay a full debrief session an each of the skills where crews had the opportunity to watch some of the recorded footage of the day. After the debrief session Elaine O’Mahoney from Foynes Yacht Club ran a very entertaining nautical quiz, which the participants really enjoyed.

Graham Curran onboard Huntress

Graham Curran of UK McWilliam Sailmakers onboard Huntress 

There was plenty of chat about the live results that were efficiently provided by ICRA’s scoring guru Denis Kiely and could be accessed by competitors between races out on the water on ICRA’s website www.cruiserracing.ie.

Racing on Sunday began early again – something about being ashore for a Kerry/Dublin football match! The training team got in another seven races to bring the tally to fourteen for the two day training clinic. The weekend concluded with a final debrief session with Des and Graham and a lot of happy crews went home with a bit more knowledge on how to improve their racing. Looking forward to the next one! Would highly recommend this training clinic to any club to organise. Contact can made with Des through here 

Published in ICRA

#sovscup –  It's only now, with clear signs that the Irish economy is on track to return to vigorous health so long as everyone is reasonably sensible, that we can look for a real upturn in sailing enthusiasm. But with a good fleet getting great racing in the four day ICRA Nats/Sovereigns Cup in Kinsale, there's no denying a growing atmosphere of optimism. WM Nixon muses on the new mood, sets Kinsale in the local and national context, and speculates on the cast of thousands who might be on the podium when the championship finishes this evening.

When Ireland was still reeling from the savage economic downturn which followed the Celtic Tiger years, active numbers in sailing showed a marked decline. The nadir was reached in 2012, when the Irish Cruiser Racer Association failed to raise a three boat team to defend the Commodore's Cup which had been won so stylishly by Anthony O'Leary and his squad in 2010.

That it should have come to this.......After all, at the height of the boom years, there'd been three Irish Commodore's Cup teams competing for the same trophy. So the 2012 No Show served to emphasize the severity of the decline. But ICRA gritted its teeth, and planned accordingly. While Anthony O'Leary quietly beavered away under the radar on what was virtually a solo run in putting together a Commodore's Cup team which was to make a triumphant return to the fray in 2014, the national offshore racing authority had meanwhile been calculating the odds on getting good turnouts in its annual Irish championship.

There were hopes that there would continue to be a respectable turnout when the ICRA Nats were staged in Dublin Bay, as they'd be with the Royal Irish YC in Dublin Bay in 2014. And those hopes were duly fulfilled, even if many boats were racing with older sails than would have been the case in the boom years, while new boats were as rare as hen's teeth.

But for the first of the unforeseeable years beyond 2014, it was reckoned new thinking was required, and ICRA's number cruncher Denis Kiely came up with the notion that for 2015, it would make sense to run the ICRA Nats in conjunction with the established biennial Sovereigns Cup Regatta in Kinsale. To most, it seemed a good idea. A superb venue. And a very experienced race management team with a fine track record in the Sovereigns and other major events. All they needed to demonstrate their capabilities was a decent fleet. But with active cruiser-racer numbers weakened on the south coast, a decent turnout could not be taken for granted without some magic Ingredient X to encourage boats to travel from other areas.

Like it or not, the two words "National Championship" are Ingredient X. And in ICRA's case, there's multiple value, as their National Championship provides racing for a total of nine classes, and seven of those classes are racing under both IRC and ECHO.

It takes a while to get your head round all this, but it means that tonight there could be a total of sixteen different crews who can rightfully claim to be National Champions. Add in further multiple permutations which might just emerge among the minor places, and it's within the remoter realms of possibility that about half of the 109 boats taking part will be able to claim, when they've finally wended their way home along most of the coasts of Ireland and beyond, to have had a podium place in a National Championship.

So what's not to like? For a sailing community emerging from an economic recession so disastrous we still haven't really grasped its extent and depth, an event which aims to provide something for half the people in the audience is just the ticket. And if harsh critics say that this is fantasy sailing, the photos – particularly from yesterday's sun-blessed racing – tell us otherwise.

And as for the venue, well, there's something unreal about Kinsale anyway. It seems too good to be true. Yet it is there, and it's for real. And all the factors which saw it relinquish its position as the south coast's premier Naval Port from around 1750 onwards work together to make it the perfect sailing venue for our own times.

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Toytown harbour – Kinsale's compact size made it obsolete as a naval port as ship sizes grew from 1750 onwards, but the same factors make it perfect as a sailing venue today.

For Kinsale is a sort of Toytown. When it was at its height of naval importance, ships were much smaller, and harbour towns had to be as compact as possible to provide them with defence. But as ship sizes grew rapidly, Cork Harbour began to take over, and on Cork Harbour, it was Cobh with its big, new and confident sea-facing terraces of houses which became the expression of a growing naval presence.

By contrast, Kinsale in its great naval period around two or three centuries ago had generally smaller houses which clustered along both sides of a winding and very narrow main street which ran along the shoreline, but didn't provide a waterfront as we know it now. And though the Royal Navy had shifted its emphasis to Cork Harbour, Kinsale continued to house an army garrison to keep the place busy. That's why Kinsale is such a fascinating place to visit by boat. What you see is not what you're going to get. The "new" waterfront may be gradually developing, but the real Kinsale with its myriad of good restaurants and pubs is to be found in a rabbit warren of little streets which hark back to a much earlier age.

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Kinsale's rabbit warren of little old streets dates back a long time

k4.jpgThe contemporary waterfront of Kinsale is on reclaimed land along the original uneven and marshy shore. The houses on the south side of the main street had their backs to the sea, and Kinsale YC (on the extreme left) is a mixture of old and new, with the modern south-facing part of the building, looking towards KYC marina, added to the back of a handsome town house which faces north away from the harbour.

k5.jpgOnce upon a time, this was the most important trading and naval port on the south coast, but Kinsale today is all about sailing and fishing.

It has an attractively prosperous and busy air to it all, but it's not so long ago that Kinsale seemed a place in irreversible decay. Time was, though, when it had enough people in business in the 1800s to support busy local sailing, and the Royal Cork YC's most famous trophy, the Kinsale Kettle of 1859, attests to this, while a regatta was reported as early as 1839. The Thuillier family set much of the waterborne pace, and John Thuillier's fascinating book Kinsale Harbour – A History (Collins Press, 2014) puts a complex story into perspective.

Ship and boat building was part of the scene, but sometimes the shipwright branch of the Thuilliers built a yacht, the most famous being the 35ft cutter Tertia from 1898. According to Lloyd's Register, she was designed by a local clergyman, the Reverend Welsted, but the folk in Kinsale reckon the Thuillier brothers put manners on the Reverend's vague drawings to make Tertia a real performer.

Certainly around Kinsale she's remembered as a boat which – during the 1920s and '30s – used to give Harry Donegan's famous Gull a hard time on the competitive course, particularly in the legendary August weekend "ocean race" from Cork Harbour to Kinsale. But inter-harbour rivalry is such that around Cork Harbour – where she was ultimately based, ending her days as a fishing boat in Cobh - she's remembered as the boat in which a very young crew, under the command of the then 15-year-old Clayton Love Jnr, sailed from Cork Harbour to Dublin Bay early in the summer of 1944. Ireland was so cut off from much of the rest of the planet during World War II that it was only when the young sailors arrived into Dun Laoghaire that they found they'd been making their voyage during D-Day, but that's a story for another day.

k6.jpg

Tertia, designed and built in Kinsale in 1898. In June 1944, she was cruised from Cork Harbour to Dublin Bay, but her crew of schoolboys only found out after they'd arrived in Dun Laoghaire that D-Day had happened while they were at sea.

By the late 1940s, Kinsale was only a shadow of its former sailing self, but some such as John Henry Thuillier and Dick Hegarty continued to keep the faith, and by the 1950s Kinsale Sailing Cub – nowadays Kinsale Yacht Club – was in being, the pace gradually increasing until it today it is one of Ireland's top ten, and was the Mitsubishi Motors "Club of the Year" in 1998 and 2014.

With its glorious yet compact natural harbour leading into the midst of the hospitable and historic town, Kinsale is Ireland's most popular international cruising destination. But as has been seen these past three days, it lends itself equally well to being a racing venue, and with the weather picking up as the current four day regatta has progressed, we face into the final day with top sport guaranteed.

As for the number of visiting boats, they have been the making of the event. The Royal Irish YC – hosts for the 2014 ICRAs – have sent seventeen spread across most classes, while Howth – who step up to the plate to host the 2016 ICRA Nats – have sent fifteen, with their Kinsale HQ established in The White Lady.

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Team spirit. The successful squad from Howth YC have established their Command HQ in Kinsale in The White Lady. Photo: Kevin Burke

k7.jpg
The veteran X332 Equinox (Ross McDonald). As the wind has freshened, Equinox has consolidated her lead in Div 2, even though the three Half Tonners had shown ahead in the early races.

k8.jpg
The successful modified Half Tonner Harmony (Jonny Swan and Jim Freyne) clearly subscribes to the theory that best speed downwind in light airs is best obtained through keeping weight well away from the stern.

It seems the Howth men and women are in serious training for 2016 already, as they're in there battling at the top of several classes, and even with today's races still to be sailed, your money would be very safe betting on a Howth boat to win Division 2, as they're in the top four places after six races.

The series started in a gentle and muggy southerly breeze, and in the soft going the light breeze specialists did mighty well, with the three hot Howth Half Tonners – Dave Cullen's Checkmate XV, Jonny Swan & Jim Freyne's Harmony, and the Evans brothers' Big Picture – vying for the lead.

But as the breeze sharpened over the next couple of days towards yesterday's sunny power-blast which saw sails torn, spars broken, and four crewmen over the side, Ross McDonald's veteran X332 Equinox found conditions increasingly to her liking, and last night as the discard swung into place, she moved clear on top with a discarded fourth while counting four bullets and a third.

ICRA Commodore Nobby Reilly – also from Howth – has likewise been having a good series up in Class 0 with the Mills 36 Crazy Horse, which he co-owns with Alan Chambers. Crazy Horse's performance hasn't been at all impaired by having the great Dave Harte of Schull on board, though the notching of discards had been to the advantage of Andy Williams from south Devon with the Ker 40 Keronimo (Class 0 find great inspiration in the names of Native American chieftains) which was only two points adrift on the Horse.

k9.jpg
The Mills 36 Crazy Horse (Nobby Reilly & Alan Chambers) has the points lead in Division 0 going into the final day's racing in the ICRA Nats this morning.

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The Ker 40 Keronimo (Andy Williams, Yealm YC) was a contender for the top slot in Dvision 0, but damage in yesterday's second race has resulted in her withdrawal from today's races. Photo: Courtesy KYC.

However, in the breezy second race yesterday, Keronimo had such a contretemps with her spinnaker that it resulted in serious damage to her pulpit and liferails which cannot be repaired in time for this morning's first race, and she has withdrawn. This means that second overall in Div 0 is now likely to be George Sisk's Farr 42 WOW (RIYC), which is thus doing best in class of the three gallant Dun Laoghaire boats which did the recent Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race before coming back to Kinsale. The other two are the J/109 Dear Prudence (Bourke, Cummins & Lyons, RIYC) currently 16th in Division 1, which has her astern of the twin-ruddered JPK 9.60 Alchimiste (Mike Murphy, NYC) – Alchimiste is 12th, which is some small compensation for being pipped by Dear Prudence by 50 seconds for fourth place in the race to Dingle.

Division 1 is a seriously strong brew, with Olympian Mark Mansfield of Cork helming John Maybury's J/109 Joker from the Royal Irish in what was developing as a battle with the new British J/109 champion, Ian Nagle's Jelly Baby from Royal Cork. But after yesterday's brisk sport, Scottish Series 2015 overall winner Rob McConnell from Dunmore East has got in between the two of them after scoring a first and fourth with his A35 Fool's Gold.

Division 2 we've looked at already, Division 3 sees another Howth boat on top, but this time it's only equal top for Richard Colwell and Ronan Cobbe's Corby 25 Fusion to lead on count-back, as they're level-pegging on 13 points with Tim Goodbody (RIYC) in the Sigma 33 White Magic. Captain Tim is relishing every minute of sport in Kinsale, as he has indicated that as Chairman of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2015 in ten days' time, he won't have time to campaign his own boat on Dublin Bay. White Magic got a first in the second race on Thursday, and with a second and a fourth yesterday, she's very much in contention.

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Tim Goodbody blasting downwind in his Sigma 33 White Mischief in yesterday afternoon's race. He currently lies equal first in Division 3 at Kinsale, and it's his last opportunity for some sport afloat before his duties as Chairman of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta take over completely in ten days time. Photo courtesy KYC

The Quarter Tonners and others in Division 4 are well led by Tony Hayward's Blackfun from Cowes, which – thanks to consistency – is all of ten points ahead of a couple of J/24s, Kilcullen with the Under 25 squad from Howth, and Flor O'Driscoll (who doesn't quite qualify for an Under-25 squad) with Hard on Port from Royal St George YC.

In the two White Sails Divisions which have their starts in civilised style in the harbour off Charles Fort, we just can't sidestep the fact that Howth boats are setting the pace again, with Colm Bermingham's Elan 333 Bite the Bullet three points clear of Paul Tully (DMYC) in his sister-ship White Lotus in Non-Spin Div 1, while Non Spin Div 2 sees HYC's Windsor Laudan and Steph Ennis with the Club Shamrock Demelza (winners in 2014) ahead again in 2015 after logging four wins in the first four races.

Having sailed with this formidable duo in the ICRA Nats 2014, this is no surprise – they're a marvellous testimony to the racing potential of a good old boat well tuned, well cared for, and well sailed. But with plenty of wind expected from the south by this afternoon to round out the ICRA Sovereigns 2015, the Demelza team - together with all the other front runners in all divisions under whatever handicap systems – are going to have to play it cool to bring this great regatta to a safe and successful conclusion before the weather goes down the tubes again tonight.

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Heading out from the start in Kinsale for yet another win. Demelza is probably the most successful of the veteran Club Shamrocks designed by Ron Holland in the 1970s. Currently owned by Windsor Laudan and Steph Ennis, Demelza won Div 2 (Non-spinnaker) in the ICRA Nats 2014 in Dublin Bay, and looks likely to complete a successful defence today at Kinsale. Photo: Peadar Murphy

Results – ICRA Nationals & Sovereign's Cup 2015
Day 3, after 6 races sailed (26th June 2015)

Division 0 IRC

1 Crazy Horse, Norbert Reilly/Alan Chambers (Howth Yacht Club)
2 Keronimo, Andy Williams (Yealm Yacht Club)
3 WOW George Sisk

Division 0 ECHO

1 Godot, John Godkin (Kinsale YC)
2 Forty Licks, Jay Colville, East Down YC
3 Roxstar, Jonathan Anderson, (CCC)

Division 1 IRC

1 Joker 2, John Maybury, (Royal Irish Yacht Club
2 Fool's Gold, Robert McConnell (Wicklow Harbour SC)
3 Jelly Baby, Ian Nagle, (Royal Cork Yacht Club)

Division 1 ECHO

1 Adrenalin, Joe McDonald (National Yacht Club)
2 Indecision, Declan Hayes (RIYC)
3 Gringo, Tony Fox (NYC)

Division 2 IRC

1 Equinox, Ross McDonald, (HYC)
2 Harmony, Jonny Swan/JamesFreyne, (HYC)
3 Checkmate XV, Davie Cullen (HYC

Division 2 ECHO

1 Harmony, Jonny Swan/JamesFreyne, (HYC)
2 Dexterity, Foynes Team (Foynes YC)
3 Black Velvet, Leslie Parnell (RIYC)

Division 3 IRC

1 Fusion, Richard Cowell, (HYC)
2 White Mischief, Timothy Goodbody, (RIYC)
3 Bad Company, Desmond, Ivers, Deasy (RCYC)

Division 3 ECHO

1 Powder Monkey, Liam Lynch, (Tralee Bay SC)
2 Maximus, Paddy Kyne (HYC)
3 White Mischief, Timothy Goodbody, (RIYC)

Division 4 IRC

1 Blackfun, Tony Hayward (Cowes)
2 Kilcullen, (HYC)
3 Hard on Port, Flor O'Driscoll (RSt.GYC)

Division 4 ECHO

1 Seven Whistler, Rene Wubben (WHSC)
2 Kilcullen (HYC)
3 No-Gnomes, Leonard Donnery, (RCYC)

J109

1 Joker 2, John Maybury (RIYC)
2 Jelly Baby, Ian Nagle (RCYC)
3 Storm, Pat Kelly (Rush SC/HYC)

Quarter Tonner

1 Blackfun, Tony Hayward (Cowes)
2 Anchor Challenge, Paul Gibbons (RCYC)
3 Quest, Barry Cunnigham (RIYC)

White Sail Division 1 IRC

1 Bite the Bullet, Colm Bermingham, (HYC)
2 White Lotus, Paul Tully, (Dun Laoghaire Motor YC)
3 Baccarat, Brian & Anthony McCarthy (KYC)

White Sail Divison 1 ECHO

1 Baccarat, Anthony/Brian McCarthy (KYC)
2 White Tiger, Tony O'Brien (KYC)
3 Cimarron IV (KYC)

White Sail Division 2 IRC

1 Demelza, Windsor Laudan, (HYC)
2 Loch Greine, Tom O'Mahony (RCYC)
3 Saoirse, Richard Hanley (KYC)

White Sail Division 2 ECHO

1 Privateer, Dermot Lanigan (KYC)
2 Valfreya, David Riome (KYC)
3 Demelza, Windsor Laudan, (HYC)

Published in W M Nixon

#cruiserracing – The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championship has released final handicap divisions for its national championships at Kinsale Yacht Club from 24th-27th June. 

Over 110 boats have entered the four-day event that will decide four national titles as well as the biennial Sovereign's Cup.

Sailing instructions have also been published and the organisers have defered the final date for receipt of Validated IRC Certificates to 19th June.

Although provisional divisions were published by Afloat a month ago, the final cut has only been released this weekend. The divisions are downloadable below.

 

 

Published in ICRA

#cruiserracing – The 2015 ICRA cruiser national championships will be sailed in conjunction with Kinsale Yacht Club's Sovereign's Cup regatta, the Cruiser–Racer conference heard at the weekend. Eight races are planned over four days.

The full Notice of Race for the Wednesday June 24 to Saturday, 27th event has been published and is available to download below as a PDF document and details are below. A Notice of Race for the White Sails Cup is also downloadable below.

ICRA NATIONALS & SOVEREIGN’S CUP 2015

1 ORGANISING AUTHORITY [OA]
1.1 The Organising Authority (OA) is Kinsale Yacht Club in conjuction with the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA)
1.2 The Event is the ICRA Nationals and Sovereign's Cup 2015 and incorporates the Irish 1/4 Ton Cup.
1.3 For more information contact regatta drector on: +353 21 4773 433 email: [email protected]

2 RULES AND ELIGIBILITY
The Event is governed by the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the prescriptions of the Irish Sailing Association (ISA), the IRC Rating Rule parts A-C, the ISA ECHO Performance Handicap System, the rules of ICRA, the Quarter Ton class rules
Safety: The regatta is an ISAF Category 5 event. The OA reminds all persons in charge of their obligations in this regard. Copies of the Special Regulations are available from the ISAF website at www.sailing.org
2.1 To be eligible to compete in the Event boats shall, except when sailing under Quarter Ton Class rules
2.1.1 Comply with the definition of a cruiser in the ICRA Constitution;
2.1.2 Have an IRC rating or ECHO standard within the range .800 to 1.250;
2.1.3 Comply with the relevant IRC rating and ECHO handicapping rules

3 ADVERTISING
3.1. The OA reserves the right to refuse entry to the Event, if there is in its opinion, a conflict between a competitor's sponsor and the Event sponsor.
3.2. Boats may be required to display advertising chosen and supplied by the OA.

4 CLASSIFICATION
4.1 ISAF Regulation 22, Sailor Classification Code, will apply. Category 3 sailor allowance per class is set out in the table below.

It is the personal responsibility of every sailor to determine their ISAF Regulation 22 status. Apart from the exceptions set out in the table below, ISAF Group 3 competitors, including competitors who are not classified but who satisfy the requirements of the Group 3 definition, are not permitted to sail in the event. The OA may request a competing boats crew list together with related ISAF sailor IDs
4.2 Group 3 competitors are not permitted to helm except in an emergency.
4.3 Competitors who require an ISAF Classification should apply, in good time, on www.sailing.org/isafsailor

5 CREW LIMITATIONS
IRC Rule 22.4 is deleted. There is no limit on crew number or crew weight as required for boats rated as One Designs or restricted by
Class Rules.

6 DIVISIONS
6.1 Entrants will be divided into DIVISIONS which will not be finalised until after the closing date of 12th June, 2015.
6.2 The composition of divisions will be determined at the sole discretion of the OA on receipt of the entries, having regard to the following criteria:
6.2.1 The need for a reasonable number of boats in each division;
6.2.2 Having as close a spread as possible in the range of handicaps in each division.
6.2.3 Extra divisions from those used in previous years, with different breakpoints, may be created.
6.2.4 It is the intention to include a division which will group all ¼ tonners
6.3 The OA reserves the absolute discretion, in the interests of fair sailing for all competitors, to allocate any boat to any division.

7 PROGRAM OF RACES
7.1 The Skippers Briefing will be held at 1800 Tuesday 23rd June 2015 in Kinsale Yacht Club.
7.2 Racing is scheduled to be held on Wednesday 24th June to Saturday 27th June 2015.
7.3 The scheduled times of the first warning signals for each days racing will be 1155
7.4 On the last scheduled day no warning signal will be made after 1530, except in the case of a race where a postponement, abandonment or general
recall has been signalled.
7.5 Races will be scheduled to achieve a program of eight races maximum over the Event

8 SCORING & DISCARDS
8.1 The Low Point scoring system of Appendix A will apply.
8.2 Three races are required to be completed to constitute a Championship.
8.3 If 5 or more races are completed 1 discard shall apply.

9 FEES
9.1 The cut off criteria for Early Entry Fee is 14th February 2015. Closing date for entries is 30th May, 2015 unless extended by the OA.

ENTRY FEE: Early Entry By 14th April Thereafter
Over 45' to 50' E390 E410 E470
Over 42' to 45' E370 E385 E445
Over 38' to 42' E330 E345 E395
Over 32' to 38 E290 E305 E350
Over 28' to 32' E270 E285 E325
28' and under E250 E260 E300

9.2 The entry fee includes marina berthing for the competing boat from Tuesday night 23rd June to Saturday night 27th June inclusive and includes 5 additional nights that can be taken free of charge anytime during the summer of 2015.
9.3 There will be an additional fee of €50 euros per boat per lift (payable on the pier) for craning in and out facilities for boats arriving by road by prior
arrangement.
9.4 Entries may be made online through the event website
9.5 Entries are accepted at the sole discretion of the OA.
9.6 Entries are accepted for the full Championship only - boats may not enter for individual races.

10. RATINGS & HANDICAPS
10.1. IRC certificates shall be ENDORSED and have a VALIDITY DATE no later than 12th June, 2015 and are required to race in all IRC Divisions with the exception of Class 5, White Sail IRC when an unendorsed IRC certificate will suffice.
10.1.1. No alteration in a boat's TCC will be permitted after this cut-off date except as a result of a rating protest, or to correct Rating Office errors. Such errors shall be certified in writing as such by the Rating Office.
10.1.2. A boat's owner and any other person in charge shall ensure that the boat is maintained to comply with her measurement and that her rating certificate
remains valid for all races in the series.
10.1.3. If, for any reason, a boat's TCC is changed after the cut-off date above it shall be the duty of the boat's owner or any other person in charge to inform the OA of any change immediately and any increased TCC shall be applied to all races in calculating her series score. This provision is subject to 10.1.5
10.1.4. The name/s of the equipment inspector/s and/or measurer/s shall be published on the official notice board for the duration of the event [RRS 78]
10.1.5. The validity date may be extended in extraordinary circumstances at the sole discretion of the OA. The boat seeking the extension shall apply in
good time in writing setting out the grounds for the extension.
10.2. A copy of the boat's current IRC Endorsed certificate shall be included with the entry form or submitted at registration. This copy shall be available for inspection by another competitor at any time.
10.3. The OA reserves the right to inspect any boat to ensure compliance with IRC certificates.
10.4. Each entry will be assigned an initial ECHO Handicap based on current ECHO Handicap data gathered from the various handicap authorities. A
system of progressive ECHO handicapping, where each boat's handicap is automatically adjusted on the basis of performance in each race, will apply.
The act of handicap adjustment or failure to adjust will not be grounds for a request for redress. (This changes RRS 62)

11. HAUL OUT RESTRICTIONS
Boats shall not be hauled out once launched and during the Event except with and according to the terms of prior written permission of the OA.

12. PRIZES
Overall Prizes and trophies will be awarded under IRC and ECHO.
12.1 The Sovereign's Cup will be presented to the boat which in the opinion of the Regatta Committee performs to the highest standard under IRC.
12.2 The Portcullis Trophy will be presented to the boat which in the opinion of the Regatta Committee performs to the highest standard under ECHO.
12.3 A White Sail Trophy will be presented to the boat which in the opinion of the Regatta Committee performs to the highest standard under white sail
12.4 The Irish Quarter Ton Championship Trophy will be presented to the Quarter Tonner with the lowest points score under IRC.
12.5 The Michelle Dunne Prix D'elegance Trophy will be presented to the boat and crew which in the opinion of the Regatta Committee is the best turned
out at the regatta.
12.5 Final prize giving for the ICRA Nationals and Sovereigns Cup and Irish National Quarter Ton Cup Regatta will take place on Saturday 29th June in
Kinsale Yacht club.

13 REGISTRATION AND SAILING INSTRUCTIONS
All entrants shall register with the Event Office in the KYC. Sailing Instructions will be available at registration and may be posted on the event website.
Registration will take place on the following days:
Monday 22nd June 1400 – 1700
Tuesday 23rd June 1000 – 1800

14 RACING AREA & COURSES
14.1. Races will be sailed in the waters off Kinsale Harbour.
14.2. The courses to be sailed will be windward leeward or fixed mark courses.
14.3. Competitors are advised to ensure there is a working VHF radio on board each boat as the courses for the Round the Cans races may be called out on VHF.

15. ACCOMODATION & SOCIAL
15.1. Information on local accommodation is available on the Event website.
15.2. Entertainment will be provided after racing each day.
15.3. Competitors are granted temporary membership of KYC for the duration of the Event subject only to the Club rules for withdrawing or withholding
such membership.
15.4. On Friday 26th June KYC will host a Ladies lunch for the wives and partners of the competitors and their guests. Details will be available on the event web page. It is intended that all funds raised during this event will be presented to the Access Sailing Committee from KYC for the promotion of sailing amongst disabled youths at Kinsale yacht Club

16. SAFETY & DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY
16.1. The safety of a boat and her crew is the sole responsibility of the person in charge [RRS 46] who must do their best to ensure that the boat is fully found, thoroughly seaworthy, and manned by an experienced crew who have undergone appropriate training and are fit to face the conditions encountered. The person in charge must be satisfied as to the soundness of hull, spars, sails, rigging and all gear. The person in charge must ensure that all safety equipment is properly maintained and suitably stowed. The crew must be familiar with the use and position of such safety equipment. The person in charge accepts that the responsibility for a boat's decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is theirs and theirs alone. Neither these regulations nor any action of the OA in any way limits or reduces the exclusive responsibility of the owner or the person in charge.
16.2. The wearing of personal flotation devices is strongly recommended at all times
16.3. Competitors participate in the championship at their own risk - see Fundamental Rule 4, Decision to Race. ICRA, KYC, their officers, servants and agents accept no responsibility in respect of loss of life, personal injury or loss of or damage to property sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during or after the event.

17. INSURANCE
It is a condition of entry for each boat owner to have their boat adequately insured against any risk, including civil liability to third parties and to ensure that such insurance remains valid for the entirety of the event.

18. MARINA
18.1 Marina berths will be available, free of charge, from Tuesday 23rd June until 1200 on Sunday 28th June 2015. Berths will be allocated on arrival and are subject to suitable space availability.
18.2 A limited number of marina berths will also be available from Sunday 15th June 2015. The provision of berths will be at the discretion of the OA and
advanced booking is required. Requests for an advanced berth should be made by contacting the KYC Marina Manager.

19. SPONSORSHIP
The Irish Cruiser Racing Association and Kinsale Yacht Club are very pleased to welcome Covestone Asset Management as our sponsor at this year's event.

20. MEDIA WAIVER
Competitors give their consent to the OA to use or so license the use of their name, comments, photographs and likeness as it sees fit for the promotion of cruiser racing. The OA reserves the right to use or to license the use of any images and sound recorded during the Event free of charge,

21 WHITE SAIL/NON–SPINNAKER
White sail/non-spinnaker boats please refer to addendum to this notice of race

Published in ICRA

#cruiserracing – Ireland's three boat team that scored the most comprehensive victory in the 22–year history of the Commodores' Cup were saluted in Galway Harbour at the national cruiser conference yesterday when they lifted ICRA's Boat of the Year award. It was a fitting reward for a team that finished the international team regatta on 268 points, with an unprecedented lead of 173.5 points.

The tale of how the 2014 Commodores' Cup was won was related in full by team captain Anthony O'Leary to WM Nixon immediately after the victory here.

The unrivalled performance that saw the team climb to the top of the ranking early in the competition.

Described as one of the most 'clinically focussed keelboat Irish teams', the three boats Antix (Anthony O'Leary), Quokka (Neil Dowling and Michael Boyd) and Mark Glimcher's Catapult left no stone unturned showing total commitment to optimising their boats so they were fully prepared to arrive at the start line in optimum set up.

ICRA contributed by managing to bring to the team the most sought after weather and tidal expert Mike Broughton, who acted as overall team coach at the event. This role was pivotal in maintaining the focus of the team. Supporting the team in Cowes was ICRA flag officers Fintan Cairns, Norbert Reilly and Barry Rose.

Meanwhile, details of the 2015 ICRA Nationals to be sailed in conjunction with Kinsale's Sovereign's Cup were presented to the Galway conference. The 2015 ICRA Notice of Race can be downloaded here

Published in ICRA

#hardyfisher – A 1992 GRP 20ft Hardy Fisher, two berth is an excellent little cruiser/fishing boat ideal for coastal cruising with a max speed of 22–knots. Powered by a Mariner 75 hp 4 stroke 2004 outboard engine with very low hours. The boat is offered for sale with a galvanized roller coaster road trailer. Click for more details on this Hardy Fisher 20.

Published in Angling
Tagged under
Page 1 of 4

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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