Minister backs holding ICRA championship with KYC biennial regatta
Simon Coveney lends support to ‘strategic thinking’ behind move at launch of four-day event
The Sovereigns Cup 2015 was launched on board the LE Eithne in Dublin by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney (far right) with Mike Walsh, Kinsale YC regatta director, Norbert Reilly, Irish Cruiser Racing Association commodore and Ensign Ben Crumplin. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport
With just over two months remaining to the start of the four-day Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championship at the Sovereign’s Cup in Kinsale, entries reached the 89-boat mark this week at the launch of the event in Dublin.
Historically, the ICRA championship has been a stand-alone event but calendar congestion led to a decision to double up with the KYC biennial regatta that celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015.
“One of the weaknesses in Irish sailing is that each year we have events competing with each, sometimes on at the same time pulling racing boats from clubs around Ireland and indeed, the UK to different events unnecessarily,” said Coveney. “What we need to focus on now, each summer, is perhaps a smaller number of bigger events that can become international regattas.
“I think that by having the two events on at the same time at the same venue is exactly the type of strategic thinking that we need in Irish Sailing.”
ICRA commodore Norbert Reilly predicted a turnout of between 120-130 boats based on the entry to date.
Kinsale YC last year completed a €1 million refurbishment of its clubhouse and has attracted the support of Cork County Council as main sponsor to highlight the marine leisure potential of coastal towns as well as the Wild Atlantic Way.
ICRA has previously committed to moving the national championships to a venue in Cork and Dublin but also emerging venues such as Tralee Bay SC which hosted the event in 2013.
Meanwhile, strong winds on Cork Harbour forced the abandonment of most of the final day of racing at the ISA Youth National Championships at the Royal Cork Yacht Club. The fleet of 178 sailors in five classes were competing for Irish titles and places in continental squads for the coming season.
Conor O’Beirne of the Royal St George YC topped the Laser Radial class after a nine-race series that included notable overall results by girls who claimed almost half the top ten places.