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International Paint Poole Regatta 2024 proud to be hosting GBR IRC National Championship

by Chris Jones 28 Oct 2023 11:28 BST 25-27 May 2024
The International Paint Poole Regatta 2024 will host the GBR IRC Nationals © Ian Roman / International Paint Poole Regatta

In 2024 the IRC National Championship is being held in Poole outside of the Solent, for the first time in history with semi-professional classes ranging from Performance 40's and Cape 31's competing alongside cruiser racers of all shapes and sizes.

Why are the International Paint Poole Regatta committee so excited about this? Well, it's worth discovering a little more about the background to IRC for those who are considering getting into yacht racing or are new to it all.

An introduction and brief history to the International Rating Certificate (IRC)

In the exhilarating world of competitive sailing, precision and fairness are paramount. There would be nothing worse than feeling like you were competing against a much newer, faster boat without any handicap system in place. But ensuring that boats of different sizes and designs can compete on a level playing field is a challenging task. IRC is a globally recognized handicap system that makes it possible for a diverse range of vessels to compete against each other in a fair way, leading to spirited competition at events like the International Paint Poole Regatta.

IRC, was developed and established in 2000 as a joint initiative by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) in the United Kingdom and the Union Nationale pour la Course au Large (UNCL) in France to address the challenges presented by the huge range of sailing boats participating in yacht racing.

How is an IRC Rating is Calculated?

IRC is founded on a mathematical formula that takes various parameters into account to determine a boat's rating. The primary goal is to calculate a boat's corrected time, which compensates for differences in boat design and performance. The key parameters considered when calculating an IRC rating include:

  1. Hull Shape
  2. Sail Area
  3. Stability
  4. Equipment
  5. Performance Data
Once these parameters are factored in, IRC calculates a boat's rating number, which represents the boat's predicted speed in comparison to other boats. The higher the rating number, the faster the boat is expected to be. This number is then used to determine the boat's corrected time in a race.

Types of Boats Covered by IRC Worldwide

IRC is a global recognised inclusive system designed to accommodate a vast array of sailboats. It applies to both monohull and multihull vessels, making it suitable for various styles of racing, from classic long-distance offshore races to "round the can" races in protected waters. Whether you own a cruiser, racer-cruiser, or a full-blooded racing yacht, an IRC rating can be calculated. IRC enables yachts to be grouped into sub-divisions (Super Zero, 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4), which allow boats of similar performance levels to race fairly against one another.

Other Famous Yacht Races that Utilize IRC Rating

Some of the world's most famous yacht races rely on IRC rating to determine a fair competition. Races for example such as: The Rolex Fastnet Race, RORC Caribbean 600, The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, Rolex Middle Sea Race, and the Round the Island Race (Isle of Wight).

In such company, the International Paint Poole Regatta being selected to host the 2024 GBR IRC National Championships really places the Regatta on the global yacht racing map and it is expected that the overall race fleet will be the largest in the regatta's history.

The regatta takes place over the late May Bank Holiday Weekend from the 25th to the 27th May 2024. If you haven't put it into your diary, now is the time. Entries will open soon.

To find out more about the regatta visit pooleregatta.co.uk.

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