ICRA Nationals Report from Irelands Eye Kilcullen

June 15th, 2016


This past weekend two K25 teams, Irelands eye Kilcullen and Johnny Bravo, competed in the ICRA National Championships in Howth Yacht Club. We were looking forward to what would surely be a high level competition.

We arrived bright and early on Friday morning in order to get a good look at the ‘round the cans’ race course. Due to the lack of wind, however, it was only possible to get one race in before we were sent home. It was a good job that we had tunes to alleviate the boredom of floating around.

Saturday brought some bursts of wind suitable for racing and the race officer did a great job completing four races in quick succession. Our performance improved during the course of the day, unfortunately a gear malfunction in the first race saw what looked like a first place sink into a ninth at the windward mark. Despite this, we stayed positive and put up some decent results, ending the day on a high. Upon docking our bowman Luke felt like going for a swim in the marina. (He definitely didn’t drop the rudder in the water.)

The final day saw the wind go light again. As soon as the race started, I was informed I was on keel duty and was sent down below. Naturally this means that I can’t recall anything about the race but we seemed to be going well and finished in 4th place.

All in all, it was a great regatta with a fantastic atmosphere. We finished in sixth place overall. Congratulations to Cartoon on winning Class 3 and we would also like to congratulate the Johnny Bravo team for their performance in their first ICRA’s.

Special thanks as always to Irelands Eye Knitwear and to McGonigle Watches.


Cian Manley



J/24 British Nationals 2016

June 1st, 2016


We arrived in Poole on Thursday the 26th of May just after 8pm for the J24 British Nationals that weekend. We had taken the ferry to Holyhead and driven almost seven hours through Wales and England. Upon arriving in Poole we dropped the boat off in Parkstone Yacht Club and relaxed for the evening.

Friday morning saw the team up early for weigh in. After skipping breakfast, it turned out we needn’t have bothered as we weighed a combined 395Kg. Five kg under the limit. The rest of the day was spent making sure the boat (Irelands Eye Kilcullen) was primed for the regatta. Naturally this involved multiple coats of polish and tuning the rig after throwing the mast back up. Once Kilcullen was ready to rock. All that was left was to gear ourselves up for Saturday.

On the first day of racing, we found ourselves struggling to place as high as we had hoped in. Our results in the four races (8,7,11,7) left us disappointed, but the team kept a very positive attitude knowing that we had the ability to race at a higher level than we had shown.

Sunday was our best day of the regatta. Our results were (1,1,2,7). We had talked as a group the previous night about our collective and individual need for improvement. We identified our weaknesses and with the help of our coach, Graeme Grant, we came up with solutions that would improve our performance. We won the first race of the day by a few boat lengths, but the second race showed us the level we could sail at when at optimum performance. We ended up winning the race by upwards of two minutes.

Monday saw a dip in our results again, even though we recovered from worse positions in both races to record a (5,6). When the racing finished, We had placed a respectable fifth place overall. Looking forward, we feel we are very capable of doing well in the Europeans next August, but we will need to hone our focus levels to bring the consistency to our racing.

The ICRAs are at in Howth in just under ten days so we are looking forward to defending our title on home “turf”.

Results here



Howth K25 Squad Slick in Sligo at J/24 Northern Championships

May 23rd, 2016

K25 Ladies after racing.


The HYC K25 squad is fast becoming known on the Irish sailing scene as the place to be for high level cadet sailing in Ireland.

Team Irelands Eye Kilcullen gave an unrivalled display of consistency, never dropping out of the top three in any race and wrapping up the championship early on Sunday morning with a race to spare. The team of Cillian Dickson (helm), Sam O’Byrne (trim), Gordon Stirling (tactics/pit), Cian Manley (mast) and Luke Malcolm (bow) were exemplary in team work and fast conservative sailing which saw them succeed in a range of tricky conditions. The team were pushed hard by JP McCauldin on Jamais Encore and the unstoppable, ever present Flor O’Driscoll.

The 19 boat fleet was the largest in the recent history of the class and this made for excellent racing. Saturday saw light and shifty wind, peppered with showers and the occasional 20 knot squall, making the racecourse extremely challenging for the competitors who travelled from all over Ireland.

The K25 girl’s squad, ably assisted by bowman Ryan Synnott, also competed at the event, racing on-board Brian McDowell’s Scandal. They made a promising debut and were often at the business end of the fleet. The hard work the crew has put in over the last few months in preparation for the match racing season was apparent as they had excellent starts and made good tactical decisions over the two days. With a bit more exposure to J/24 boat-handling the team will certainly be in contention for the top prizes in their next event. This was an invaluable learning experience for the team who had some promising races and are looking forward to hopefully hitting the podium after some solid training over the next few months!


HYC member Alan Blay was on board JP McCaldrin’s ‘Jamais Encore’ who were fast all weekend and placed in a deserving 2nd place.


Huge thanks to Sligo Yacht Club for a fantastic weekend of racing off Rosses Point and HYC’s Derek Bothwell for running 6 great races in extremely challenging conditions.


As always, massive thanks to all who make the K25 Squad possible, coach Graeme Grant for his words of wisdom on and off the water as well as all the helpers in Sligo who made us feel so welcome and ran a fantastic weekend of racing.


Both K25 teams will be back in action next weekend as Irelands Eye Kilcullen travel to Poole for the British National Championships and the K25 ladies team take on the Sportsboat Cup in Howth Yacht Club.


Full results are available here


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K25 Training Plan 2016

November 15th, 2015

Click the link below so see our training plan for the 2016 season. It includes a detailed description of everything we think it takes to race a J24.

K25 Training Plan 2016

What we learned from the SB20

September 7th, 2015

Three days of racing the SB20 have really tested us but we’ve also really enjoyed the challenge of the new boat. After winning the J24 nationals we had just two weeks to train. We benefited from having plenty of advice given to us and most of that advice told us that we should limit our expectations, that it would be extremely difficult to compete at the top of the fleet at our first event. It was sound advice. (more…)

Room for Improvement after Day 2 of ‘SB’ing

September 5th, 2015

We picked up where we left of yesterday at the SB20 nationals today with big winds, choppy seas and close racing. The first race saw us reach the windward mark mid fleet before a mistake with the kite cost us a few places downwind. (more…)

Getting to Know the SB20

September 4th, 2015

We’ve had an interesting first day of the SB20 Nationals in Dun Laoghaire. We left HYC at 8:30 this morning to get across the bay in time for registration and safety checks before the first gun at 12:55. We had anticipated a broad reach over but with the wind a bit more west of the (more…)

K25 ‘B’ Team Report on the J24 Nationals

August 27th, 2015

The crew of Johnny Bravo collect their prizes for second place in the silver fleet.


The newly formed HYC K25 ‘B’ team took part in their first event this weekend at the J24 Nationals in Lough Derg. The team of Alex Shackleton, Thomas Natin, Orlagh Thompson, Medb Glackin and Ciaran White sailed onboard Johnny Bravo. (more…)

K25 Win J24 Nationals

August 24th, 2015



After a tough final day on Lough Derg the K25 team have won the J24 Nationals. We finished the final day with a 2,1,1,2 to wrap up the championship with five wins from seven and 12 points to spare. Stefan Hyde, with Eamonn Bourke and Graeme Grant on board, finished second, beating Lough Erne sailor JP Mc Caldin into third. The K25 guys on Jonny Bravo finished a very credible 8th place and signed off with a fourth place in the final race of their first event. (more…)

No Racing on Day Two of the Nationals

August 22nd, 2015
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With light wind forecast for today the plan was to give the bottom of the boat a scrub before we went racing. Cian volunteered to do this, and he completed the job successfully with only a few regrets. The team then took to the glassy water hoping (more…)