IRC racing in the UK, where the rule was conceived.

Sailing World Magazine just released their IRC Handbook for 2010 where they look at how this relatively new design rule for racing boats of different designs is progressing across the U.S.

I wrote an article for the Handbook on Long Island Sound as a hot spot for IRC racing. I have raced IOR and IMS on the Sound but there seems to be a quantum leap in competition levels since IRC came to town.

Like any handicap rule, there is some secrecy to the algorithms the rules committee uses in the formula. But they give just enough information in the rule to allow top designers and owners of any sailboat, to make smart modifications to improve their performance and race on a relatively level playing field.

Sailing World Magazine

By its nature, handicap racing is imperfect. That is why since 1900, when North America and Europe couldn’t make amends between the Universal Rule and International Rule respectively, we have gone through a number of different handicaps. IRC, however, looks to be well thought out with close racing. Maybe this one will last. Check out Sailing World’s Handbook and see why handicap racing is actually pretty exciting. Unique boats, racing with different strengths, some flash new designs to get your blood flowing, what’s not to like?