It is no secret that the Rating Office, the technical arm of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and gatekeeper for the IRC rating rule in the UK, supports the use of local and national performance handicaps. Far from being in competition with IRC, properly administered handicap systems complement it by bringing new people into the sport and igniting their competitive spirit.
'Safety' & 'stability' are the watchwords when offshore racing
The priorities for most competitors doing the Royal Ocean Racing Club's prestigious Rolex Fastnet Race in 2013 will be undertaking enough races to qualify the skipper and crew for the Race whilst also ensuring safety gear, provisions and logistics are all in order. However, two administrative items to tick off on their long 'To Do' lists will be having a current Spinlock IRC rating certificate, and the stability information required by RORC to ensure the boat is suitable to take part in the 600 mile offshore race starting on Sunday 11 August. For these, owners will be seeking the services of either the UK-based RORC Rating Office or their French counterpart, UNCL in Paris.
The full IRC Rule text can appear long and complex to the untrained eye! While there is no substitute for being familiar with all the rules, while you are examining them this simplified version might be helpful. However, this version is not definitive and there may be exceptions – do not rely on this document in a protest meeting!