IRC Nationals – it’s make or break time

We’re pleased to announce Bay of Islands Sailing Week has again been selected to host the IRC Nationals, along with the PHRF Nationals and Tornado Nationals, in 2020. However, due to the difficulty we’ve had securing enough boats to race under IRC certificates in the past, this may well be our last ditch attempt to host IRC Nationals in NZ. So we strongly encourage anyone who wants to see IRC racing in NZ continue to get your IRC certificate sorted before BOISW 2020.

Boats with valid IRC certificates will be able to compete for the prestigious Nationals trophies alongside the usual Bay Week honours, at no additional cost.

So if you’re planning to race in Divisions A, B or C at Bay Week in 2020, we’d love to see you competing in the IRC Nationals too. We reckon it will really ‘up the stakes’ of the competition, and there’s a very real chance you could sail away with a highly regarded and internationally recognised trophy.

Who can compete in the IRC Nationals?

Boats in Divisions A, B and C can compete for IRC Class 1, 2 and 3 trophies respectively. This means the IRC Nationals are open to all sorts of boats – not just the ‘formula one’ racers with the highest handicaps.

IRC divisions will be allocated as follows:

IRC Class IRC Rating
1 1.300 & above
2 1.100 – 1.299
3 less than 1.100

To ensure good standards of competition and a fair event, there will be a minimum requirement of 3 boats in each IRC Class to qualify it as a Nationals event. We’d love to see big fleets competing in the IRC Nationals, so we hope you’ll join us in rallying the troops.

What’s so good about IRC?

The subject of handicap systems always inspires debate, so we thought we’d explain what we think is great about IRC, and why we’re keen for the IRC Nationals to be a well-contested and popular event:

  • Keelboats of all shapes and sizes can join in

Any keelboat can be rated under IRC – from classic cruisers to high-tech racers. IRC allows very different boats to race against each other, without preference to ‘big budget’ boats.

  • It’s based on the boat – not performance

IRC is a rating rule, based solely on a boat’s physical characteristics. It isn’t altered from race to race like a performance handicap, so no-one can get a better handicap by racing badly!

  • Designers can’t take advantage of the rating rule

The IRC ‘rule’ isn’t published, which prevents designers from taking advantage of it when designing new boats, and means boats of all ages and types can win races under IRC.

Keen to race in the IRC Nationals?

To race in the IRC Nationals at Bay Week in January 2020, you’ll need an Endorsed IRC Certificate.

  • If your boat has held an IRC Certificate in the past…

It could be super easy to get it revalidated. Contact Kelly Mulcahy at Yachting New Zealand to see how easy it can be.

  • If your boat hasn’t previously held an IRC Certificate…

You’ll need to submit an application form – available from YNZ – and pay a fee. For an Endorsed certificate, you’ll also need to arrange a measurement from an approved IRC Measurer.

If you’re interested in taking part in the IRC Nationals, but you have questions or concerns, please do let us know and we’ll do all we can to help – you can contact the Bay Week Committee directly.