New scheme launched to help local racing

Published on November 5th, 2014

Getting people to race their boats means minimizing the hurdles of entry. Getting a handicap rating is a significant hurdle in both expense and logistics. Jenny Howells describes an effort to address this issue…

British sailing clubs that would like to start using the Spinlock IRC rating system for their club racing can now benefit from a new scheme being offered by the Lymington-based Rating Office, the technical centre of the RORC and administrators of the IRC rating system.

Spinlock IRC ‘Start Up’ offers discounts on rating application fees for club members in the first two years, encouraging the development of an IRC fleet for local racing. 2014 saw the successful introduction of IRC at Flushing Sailing Club in the South West and Blackwater Joint Racing Committee on the East Coast, both having taken advantage of this scheme to kickstart their IRC club racing.

Spinlock IRC certificates issued via Start Up are valid for all IRC racing including open events, but are specifically aimed at club racing. IRC rating provides competitive racing to all types of boats, and has also been successfully used for dual scoring with the RYA’s National Handicap for Cruisers (NHC), providing a pathway into racing for those less experienced.

A discount of 50% is applied in the first year for new applications, and 25% in the second year for revalidations. The Start Up scheme is open to clubs introducing IRC racing for the first time, for members’ boats that have not held an IRC rating in the last five years. All it requires is an enthusiastic flag officer or club member who would like to co-ordinate the scheme within their club and liaise with the Rating Office. To make life easier for owners, the IRC database holds standard hull data for hundreds of production designs, so a minimum amount of measurement is needed.

Clubs that would like to bump-start their IRC racing can find more information at

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