Keelboat owners embracing IRC ratings

Hobart yacht owners are quickly embracing the international
rating rule, IRC, as the major handicap system for Combined
Clubs racing this coming season.
At least a dozen owners have already signed up to get an IRC
rating with the Combined Clubs working group anticipating
there will be between 40 and 50 boats racing under IRC this
Last season there were 14 boats entered in the IRC Category
of Group 1 of the Combined Clubs summer pennant series.
The Combined Clubs sailing programme for the River Derwent
and offshore for the summer of 2018-19 has clear objectives:
to encourage more owners to have their boats IRC rated and to
introduce IRC style courses.

The major objective is to prepare Tasmanian boat owners and
race officers for the Australian Yachting Championships to be
conducted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in January
The prestigious National event will follow next year’s 75 th
Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and other offshore races finishing in
Hobart, and is expected to attract a significant fleet, including a
large local IRC fleet.
The Combined Clubs summer pennant series gets under way
on Saturday, 13 October with the first of nine race days, with
other major events being the new Combined Clubs Inshore
Series and the inaugural Tasmanian IRC Championships.
The Combined Clubs Offshore Trophy has been expanded to
include the DSS’ Pipe Opener Series night race on Friday
week, 21 September and the BYC’s Ise of Caves Race on 24
October in addition to the RYCT’s Maria Island Race in
November and the Bruny Island Race next February.

“In particular, we are encouraging Group 2 and 3 boat owners
to get an IRC certificate,” Combined Clubs spokesman, Vice
Commodore Nick Connor from the DSS said this week. “At
present, some 20 additional owners have confirmed they will
get an IRC certificate for the coming season.
“The Derwent Sailing Squadron, the Royal Yacht Club of
Tasmania and the Bellerive Yacht Club have agreed to jointly
assist owners obtain an IRC rating.
“We are planning to give IRC rated boats value for their money
by adding IRC scoring to the DSS/RYCT twilight racing using
the IRC non-spinnaker rating, and will explore other
opportunities to use the IRC rating.
“The overall winner of the Launceston to Hobart Race will also
be decided on IRC scoring,” added Vice Commodore Connor.
The traditional Combined Clubs Opening Day of the Yachting
Season 2018-19 will be held on Saturday, 6 October, organised
by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
Leading this year’s Parade of Sail will be DSS Commodore
Steve Chau aboard his Young 88, Young Lion.
The Combined Clubs Summer Pennant remains as a nine-race
series but this season there will be four long race days and five
river race days, as opposed to five and four last summer.
Races will be scheduled approximately every second Saturday,
with the first race of the season scheduled for 13 October.

The new Combined Clubs Inshore Series will be held over four
race days with a 12:55 hours start and a target of two races
each day and a maximum of three.
IRC style courses will be a mix of ‘all points of sail’ in order to
ensure all IRC certificate holders ‘get value for their nominal

Dates for the Combined Clubs Inshore Series will be: Saturday,
20 October (RYCT), Saturday, 8 December (DSS), Saturday, 2
March (BYC), Saturday, 23 March (jointly conducted by all
clubs). All will have mid-river starts.
The inaugural Tasmanian IRC Championship, conducted under
the auspices of Australian Sailing and hosted by the Derwent Sailing Squadron,  will be held on 8-9 December and will decide the Tasmanian Keelboat IRC and PHS champions across divisions.

Words:  Peter Campbell

Photos:  Peter Watson, Peter Campbell, Michelle Denney

14 September 2018

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