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Australian IRC owners grumbling about Volvo 60's.

by News Editor on 4 Nov 2000
The battle for the hearts, minds & wallets of Australian racing yacht owners took another twist this week.

Over the last few years, on the Australian scene the simpler IRC, previously known as Channel Handicap system has been gaining strength, as Grand Prix yacht owners looked for a less complex handicapping system than the IMS system.

However the CYCA's decision to allow water ballasted Volvo 60's to race again this year in the IRC division for the Telstra Sydney Hobart race has changed the nature of the IRC fleet.

The inclusion of the water ballasted Volvo 60's in the IRC class has made a division win by the smaller non water ballasted IRC boats, such as Farr 40's & Sydney 41 virtually impossible.

This may be one of the reasons there is not a single Farr 40 entry in this years Telstra Sydney to Hobart fleet.

It will interesting to see whether this years race the CYCA will allow the Volvo 60's to add to their ballast by placing most of their sail inventory up on the windward rail. This is is the standard practice in their own class racing, but is not allowed within the IRC rules.

Certainly there have been mumblings amongst the local IRC owners, who have declined to be named, that they will be viewing this years Telstra Sydney to Hobart TV footage of the fast travelling Volvo 60's to see if this practice continues.

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