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notes for r▲ce org▲nisers 1.


The following document offers guidance to Race Organisers for racing under IRC Rules. It includes issues a Race Organiser may wish to consider and gives suitable wording that might be used. In many places, the detail will need tailoring to suit the specific circumstances and Race Committees are of course free to do this. The RORC Rating Office is happy to provide advice and detail if required. Please contact

The full title for IRC is International Rating Certificate, abbreviated to ‘IRC’ for everyday use. At the simplest level, all a Race Committee need say in its Sailing Instructions is: “The IRC Rules [year], Parts A, B, and C (or D) shall apply”. At the end of the race they calculate each boat’s corrected time (CT) to the nearest second by multiplying her elapsed time (ET) by her TCC (CT=ET*TCC) and publish a set of results with the lowest corrected time winning. In many circumstances, this will suffice.

Up to date lists of all currently rated boats can be found on 2.

Notice of Race

Before getting to the racecourse, various IRC Rules need consideration and possible attention within the Notice of Race for an event. IRC Rule 11, Changes to Class Rules, confirms which IRC Rules may be changed. Note that any changes to IRC Rules must be included in the Notice of Race, not just the Sailing Instructions. Rule 11 also gives IRC Rule Authorities the right to invoke National IRC prescriptions and these too must be referenced in the Notice of Race.

2.1 Certificate Validity – ‘Certificate Year’

With a growing number of boats travelling the world to compete in major races, it becomes increasingly important for Race Organisers to a) specify which IRC ‘certificate year’ the event is to be held under and b) check certificate validity.

Organising Authorities should explicitly specify which year’s IRC Rules apply. Simply requiring a ‘valid IRC certificate’ is insufficient. Secondly, organisers of international events should check boats’ certificate year and advise as appropriate.

The specific issue is that the ‘certificate year’ varies from the Northern to the Southern Hemispheres for the first five months of each calendar year. For Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South America and most Asian countries, the start of the IRC new year is delayed until June to match the sailing seasons in those countries.

Thus, a ‘south’ boat coming north in the early part of the year will need to revalidate her certificate earlier than if she were staying at home. Her certificate remains valid in her home country, but if she has travelled to a Northern Hemisphere country, it will not be valid there. Similarly, a ‘north’ boat racing in a south country in the first five months of a year will need to produce a certificate for the correct year. The Rating Authority will advise and assist as necessary.

2.2 Advertising

IRC includes two separate, but almost identical sections. Part C (Rules 16-24) is IRC with advertising permitted. Part D is IRC with advertising not permitted. It is up to Organising Authorities to specify in their Notices of Race which shall apply. If neither is explicitly specified, Part C shall apply. i.e. the default is that advertising is permitted. Parts A and B, the common Parts of the IRC Rule, will always apply. The NOR may therefore state for IRC racing with advertising:

The IRC Rules [YEAR] Parts A, B, and C shall apply. and without advertising:

The IRC Rules [YEAR] Parts A, B, and D shall apply.

In general Part C is recommended. Organising Authorities should consider carefully before invoking Part D, IRC without advertising. If visiting competitors from further afield than the immediate locality are expected, it is recommended that racing should be held under Part C, IRC with advertising permitted.

Additionally, if it is likely that any ‘Class’ boats will be competing, note should be taken of the advertising rules of those Classes in deciding the appropriate IRC Rules. If for instance one or more Classes have decided to permit advertising, then to run racing under IRC Part D might prevent those boats from competing.

OR 2.3 Rating Changes

It is generally undesirable to allow boats to change rating shortly before or during a regatta or short series of races. Allowing this to happen offers a competitor the opportunity to refine his rating by, for instance, the inclusion/ omission of sails depending on anticipated weather conditions. Additionally, and from a logistical and administrative point of view, it is desirable for ratings to have been submitted a few days prior to the start of the event. Suitable wording is:

Notice of Race: x.0

Boats shall submit a copy of their IRC certificate not later than [time/date]. No alteration to a boat’s TCC will be permitted after this date, except as a result of a rating protest, or to correct Rating Authority errors.

2.4 RRS 52 Manual Power

IRC Rule 15.1 deletes RRS 52, Manual Power. All boats are permitted to use stored power for the adjustment and operation of sails and moveable appendages, if rated to do so. This recognises the number of boats now fitted with powered sail handling and other equipment. Deletion of RRS 52 also permits boats to use autopilots, recognising the steadily increasing trend towards short-handed racing.

IRC Rule 15.1 may, however, be modified by a Notice of Race, so Organising Authorities may wish to re-impose RRS 52, either entirely or in a limited manner to suit the particular circumstances. Noting the variety of restrictions that might be included, it is not possible to suggest a specific clause for a Notice of Race.

2.5 Crew Limits 2.5.1 Crew Number/Weight

The IRC Rule invokes a crew weight limit as the default position unless this is changed by a Notice of Race. IRC Rule 22.4.2 says: 22.4.2

The crew weight shall not exceed 85kg multiplied by the Crew Number printed on the certificate.

The calculated crew weight is also printed on the certificate.

For events wishing not to impose any crew weight or number limit, a suitable clause would be:

Notice of Race: IRC Rule 22.4.2 shall not apply. There will be no limitations on crew weight except as required for boats rated as one-designs which shall comply with IRC Rule 22.4.1.

If an Organising Authority wished to remove all crew limitations, including for one-designs, then a suitable clause would be:

Notice of Race: IRC Rule 22.4 shall not apply. There will be no limitations on crew weight.

Alternatively, Race Committees may wish to apply additional or different limitations. It is recommended that when any Crew Number or weight limitations are in force, race management authorities should publish a list of crew limits. There are many options which might be stated in a Notice of Race, a few of which follow:

Notice of Race: EITHER

x.1 Maximum Crew Number. IRC Rule 22.4.2 is deleted and replaced by “The maximum number of crew while racing shall be the Crew Number printed on her certificate. There is no weight limit.”

x.1 Maximum Crew Number. IRC Rule 22.4.2 is deleted and replaced by “The maximum number of crew while racing shall be the Crew Number printed on her certificate plus/minus x. There is no weight limit.”


x.1 Maximum Crew Weight. IRC Rule 22.4.2 is deleted and replaced by: “The maximum total weight of crew in kilograms while racing shall not exceed the product of the Crew Number printed on her certificate multiplied by 80 (or other suitable value). There is no maximum number of crew.”

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