The future is looking very bright indeed for the J24 Association of Ireland with seven under twenty-five age group teams from around the country taking part at the J24 National Championships next week from at the 8th to the 10th June being hosted by Foynes Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary.
The J24 Class Association of Ireland has advocated on many an occasion that the J24 is the perfect transition from dinghies to keelboat racing. It is very evident that this route can be successful with seven teams confirming their entry in this year’s event.
With the very successful under twenty-five programme being run by Howth Yacht Club, various clubs around the country are starting to emulate that success.
The under twenty teams confirmed for this year’s National Championship are from Howth Yacht Club (three teams), Royal Cork Yacht Club (two teams), NUIG Galway and host club Foynes Yacht Club.
It is also worth noting that Sligo Yacht Club has purchased a J24 for club use and there is a J24 being sailed out of Mullaghmore Sailing Club with an under twenty-five team.
"Irish Sailing has given organisers the green light to create an under twenty-five National Title, the first of its kind for the J24s"
The J24 Class Association of Ireland and Harry Hermon CEO of Irish Sailing have given organisers the green light to create an under twenty-five National Title, the first of its kind for the J24s.
Another first for the J24 Nationals championships will be that there will be on the water Jury Boat, looking after fair sailing. This is been trialled at this year’s Nationals as a response from members to encourage more participation on a level playing field.
The National feet will be split into three fleets – Gold, Silver and Bronze. Bronze fleet is for the less experienced and the boats short of crew and is there not to make up the numbers, but there to learn and have the fun associated with the National event. Howth Yacht Club is sending in addition to their under twenty-five teams, a ‘Try Racing’ team from their Adult training programme, the Bronze fleet dovetails nicely into this programme.
“The J24 under twenty-five national title is an excellent initiative; this is a very attractive way to retain young people within our sport from the transition from dinghies to keelboat. I would like to endorse the event and wish the competitors, officials, organisers a very successful National Championships and best of luck to the new J24 Under Twenty Five National Champion, says Jack Roy, President Irish Sailing
“My mandate is about getting new people involved in the class with a particular focus on the under twenty-five’s. It is a great reflection on the class with the numbers at the J24 events and they are known to be fun and friendly. I must pay credit to the major effort from host club to make it happen” says Brian McDowell, President J24 Class Association of Ireland.
Event organisers have set an ambitious target of thirty entries with twenty-three entries confirmed to date. They would like to call on any other J24 owners out there to get in touch if there is anything they can help with to encourage them to enter.