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Updates for IRC in 2022

Published on October 31st, 2021

Representatives of the International Rating Certificate (IRC) from around the World gathered in October at the annual IRC Congress either virtually or in London to discuss the past IRC season and future developments. A small number of rule changes were proposed by the IRC Technical Committee for 2022 and agreed by Congress.

IRC measurement condition will now explicitly include permanently installed renewable energy features such as solar panels. Autopilots have been the subject of much discussion during the year, and this of course relates in particular to double-handed racing which continues to be very popular both for inshore racing and offshore classics.

One of the IRC rule changes agreed for 2022 now excludes the use of stored power for steering unless permitted by the relevant notice of race. Another rule change relates to whisker poles, recognizing that the ability to set a whisker pole on a headsail to windward is a safety consideration in heavy weather; they now only need to be declared if used to set a headsail to leeward.

There was also a rule change submission from Australia for IRC to allow two concurrent certificates for different configurations, in their case the demand is for offshore versus inshore racing. The principle of two certificates was agreed by Congress and a pilot will be developed to be tested in Australia and other southern hemisphere countries during 2022, with a view to worldwide rollout if it proves successful.

The Technical Committee are also looking at a number of technical developments in IRC, including more equitable treatment of light, powerful boats of 50-70 feet length, an improved method of rating of keel types, and the rating of multiple headsails set simultaneously.

The full IRC Congress 2021 Minutes and other associated documents are online at

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