22nd September 2022
ICRA’s U25 programme supporting success at the highest level
With the ICRA U25 Support Programme now in it’s fourth year and currently supporting eleven U25 squads in clubs all over the country. This programme is showing just what is possible when the energy and enthusiasm of youth is given the financial support and mentoring it needs to succeed.
Following the success the KYC U25 squad, in the cleverly named KINSAILOR, had through the 2022 season, ending with an incredible 3rd overall at the J24 European Championships in Howth. We asked them to put on paper a little about the squad and their journey so far. Below is team member, Mikey Carroll, summary of their journey so far.
In the summer of 2021, the younger members of the club took an interest in the ICRA Under 25 scheme. This scheme, between the financial support and the guiding information provided, helped us to approach our club with the idea of getting a boat. With massive support from the club and all its members, it wasn’t long before we had a J24 launched and ready to race.
We started our campaign in April of this year. We enjoyed some club league racing as we got to grips with the boat. We had a lot to learn in terms of boat handling and maintenance. Our first event was the nationals in Foynes in July where we placed 8th overall. This event was an eye opener for us and we quickly realized how important boat knowledge and boat handling were for this particular class. We were happy with the result but felt we still had a lot to learn and had plenty of speed left to find in the boat. Since then we have come a long way with a massive helping hand from all involved in the class and especially the boys on Headcase.
By the time the Easterns came round in late August we had improved enormously. Our boat handling was much better and we had learned a few tricks in the boat cleaning/polishing department! We achieved second place only to Headcase who had achieved a very strong set of results across Europe over the summer. The Europeans was a different experience. It was our first time racing Kinsailor in a fleet of over 20 boats. We started with an inconsistent 27th and 2nd on the first day. As the regatta progressed we improved and started to handle the bigger fleet racing better. 3rd overall was something we had wished for, but not expected. It was a fantastic reward for the time we had put into the boat over the summer.
ICRA’s Under 25 Development is without doubt, a support programme, that all clubs should look at for the development of youth sailing and offering their clubs young sailors an opportunity to run their own boat and their own campaign.
Mikey Carroll (KYC U25 Squad Member)