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    2018 Updates in Brief

    This is not an exhaustive list of every development for 2018, but covers the main changes and has been produced to help owners understand changes to IRC ratings.  All these are applied automatically in the software, which is applied across the whole IRC fleet.

    The Full list of Rule changes can be downloaded HERE


    Some ratings have either increased or reduced due to a change in the method used to rate spinnaker area, this is change that has been applied across the complete IRC Fleet and has been phased in over 4 years. 2018 sees the 4thand final phase of this change.  

    Much of this is due to the change in approach to setting the expected spinnaker area, base SPA, within IRC. This was originally based on parameters such as fore triangle area and LWP. However, this is historic and dates from the importance of these dimensions in the Metre rules, RORC rule, IOR etc when CHS was developed. We have recognised this and over the last few years have moved towards a more rational and appropriate method. 

    The aim is to try and ensure all can continue to compete with old and new boats of all types. Relying on methods not directly relevant for over 25 years stifles development and evolution of new designs and improvement in old boats alike. It is hoped that owners and sail designers can see a way of this allowing them to improve their boat and enjoyment of it without the old constraints of IOR and its influences, looking more to the simple question of what works best for them.


    Boats flying headsails from the bowsprit, and not carrying spinnakers, will see an increase in rating. This is to reflect a previously unrated advantage.


    The definition and classification of ‘Dayboats’ have been removed from IRC, so boats previously showing ‘Dayboat’ on the certificate will no longer do so. There is no effect on TCC. However, the presence or not of WS Offshore Special Regulations compliant lifelines is still relevant and noted on the certificate.


    Sportsboats around 28-30 feet have previously seen a reduction in TCC due to a change in rating formulation. This rating formulation  has now been extended down to smaller sportsboats.   


    New Rule 19.6 was introduced for 2017 to address the recent trend of moving material (usually lead) from the Bulb into the keel fin, owners must now declare this and it will be rated.  After further consideration of rating effects, the IRC Technical Committee agreed not to change the rating effect for 2018.


    The rating of boats fitted with foils that provide lift (DSS and other foil designs) has to date been a simple addition to Hull Factor.   With an increase in this style of appendage in IRC racing boats, further research by the IRC Technical Committee during 2017 has resulted in a new method of rating lifting foils, and new definitions have been added for foil measurements.  


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