Irc Update

Last year U.S. proponents of IRC racing were primarily focused on laying the groundwork needed to educate owners and sailors unfamiliar with IRC racing and its measurement process. According to US-IRC, the group leading this effort, it was a successful year with measurers trained in many regions and 535 certificates issued. The focus now, says US-IRC's Barry Carroll, is to refine the measurement process and get more events to embrace the rule.

Carroll says his group will make a major push on the West Coast this year as the Seattle area is showing a strong interest, and he expects more activity on the Great Lakes with Chicago Mac Race organizers offering dual scoring (ORR and IRC) for those who request it and turn in IRC certificates with their entries.

In order to facilitate the demand for certificates, Carroll says US-IRC will continue to improve measurer training; improving accuracy and shortening the turnaround time getting data into owners' hands. Seminars are being planned for early spring to encourage owners to revalidate their certificates early. "The turnaround time is one week, minimum," says Carroll, "and obviously it will be longer than that as the sailing season gets closer, so we're encouraging everyone to revalidate early."

Carroll is also encouraged by the actions of three major race-boat manufacturers-Beneteau, J/Boats, and Nautors' Swan, which will be delivering certain models of new boats with IRC certificates-making them IRC race-ready right out of the box.

At www.us-irc.org, naval architect Greg Stewart has posted his interpretation of trends in IRC designs and offers recommendations for improving a boat's competitiveness under-the rule. These improvements deal mainly with sail measurement, hull trim, keel weight, and rig type.

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