The Cruising Association of Ireland
Hon Sec John Leahy
Vice Commodore Dennis Woods
Membership Sec Fred Mc Collum
Hon Treasurer Bryan Downey
John Mc Inerney
Around 2002 some active cruising sailors felt a need for a broadly-based organisation to encourage and support non-competitive sailing at all levels. With the encouragement of the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) they met at Howth Yacht Club, founded an independent voluntary association and devised rules and a constitution.
We operate in Ireland, working with the ISA and the Royal Yachting Association (RYANI). Most members have sailing yachts, but we don’t exclude motor yachts and cruising dinghies. Membership is open to all who share our interests for a subscription of €30 a year.
A committee of ten members manages the organisation. We have no paid staff, but the ISA provides some administrative services. We have no premises either, and consider the website to be our home.
We encourage people to go cruising. We organise overnight rallies and longer cruises. We provide a discussion forum for sharing plans. We help clubs share their cruising calendars.
We provide information to help cruising sailors. Our website contains links to reference information, articles, event reports and news. We organise training events.
We represent the interests of cruising sailors to public authorities and private organisations.
We promote cruising in the boating community and to the general public.
Cruising Association (CA) is a much larger UK organisation with similar objectives. Last year saw the launch of the Celtic Section and we are working closely with the organisers.
Irish Cruising Club (ICC) is an older club with similar objectives but a different structure. Its publishing subsidiary is respected for its sailing directions describing the Irish coast in detail.
Irish Sailing Association (ISA) is the sport’s national governing body for Ireland. It manages official training, registration and handicap programmes. It co-ordinates events in collaboration with clubs.
Sailing clubs organise events and activities for their members, and some larger clubs have formal cruising groups. Many cruising sailors don’t belong to a club, and often racing gets more attention than cruising. By publicising club activities we help increase fleet sizes for more successful events.
Activities and Website/Facebook
A small subcommittee manages the website and our Facebook page. We use forum discussions, event reports and committee updates to keep the site interesting and relevant and publish our annual main events in January in the form of a poster. Other events can be added during the year dependent on weather and demand from members.
Through contacts in sailing clubs we learn of rallies, cruises, talks and other activities. With their permission we advertise them and include them on our site
We provide leadership, advice and support on the water during our cruises, such as the Cruise organised by the ISA with 45 entries called “The Gathering Cruise”. All members are however responsible for their own navigation and decision making.
In recent years we have concentrated on the East coast of Ireland for pragmatic reasons. Having found an effective model for organising cruising events we hope to expand into other sailing areas.
We have appointed Vice Commodores to manage our activities in the South (VACANCY) & West (Pierce Cahill in Galway).
In Ulster we have assistance from the Royal Ulster YC with David Meeke being our local representative. David assists with any cruises which pass through his waters.
- Cruising sailors in Ireland and abroad are always welcome to join us.
- John Leahy
- Hon Sec CAI
PHOTO OF ORIGINAL 2002 INAUGURAL MEETING