IRC 2021 Rule cover

IRC 2021 applications are now open in MyIRC and we are pleased to be holding new application and revalidation fees for boats under 18m LH at 2020 prices for an initial period - see 2021 fees.

This year there are some exciting and innovative developments in IRC with changes regarding spinnaker pole length, whisker poles and flying headsails.  If you are applying for revalidation you will be asked to confirm some information regarding pole configuration and spinnaker pole length to ensure your boat is correctly rated.

Please read the information below and look at the new Rules and the 'Software changes' document on the IRC website before applying for your rating.



Bowsprit/spinnaker pole configuration - we are asking you to confirm your boat's configuration, and if this question is not answered your new rating will be based on your last declaration when spinnaker and whisker poles were combined. So, for instance, you may be rated for a spinnaker pole when you only have a whisker pole or vice-versa.

SPL (Spinnaker Pole Length) - if there is no change to your spinnaker pole since the boat’s last rating, you will only need to supply this for certain configurations:
0 - No bowsprit or spinnaker pole(s), spinnaker may be tacked on deck - SPL not applicable
1 - Bowsprit only, no spinnaker pole(s) - SPL not applicable
2 - Spinnaker pole(s) only - we will use the previously declared/measured STL (unless you declare a change)
3 - Bowsprit and spinnaker pole(s) - please declare SPL if it is shorter than the last rated STL*.  If no new SPL is supplied we will use the last rated STL also for SPL.
4 - Articulating bowsprit only - SPL not applicable

*If you have an Endorsed IRC certificate and you wish to declare a different spinnaker pole length (SPL) ONLY, with no other data changes that require measurement: For this specific situation we will accept owner measured SPL, but this must be accompanied by a photograph(s) showing the measurement taken to the extremity of the pole. Please note that SPL must be measured on the boat, with the spinnaker pole horizontal and fixed to the mast on the centreline (see the full definition in the Rules). It is not possible to measure SPL with the pole off the boat. If owner measured SPL is supplied then SPL must be officially measured as soon as convenient, for instance when having other data measured on the boat.

Whisker pole - this is now a simple yes/no question. If this question is not answered and you previously declared 'spinnaker and/or whisker pole(s)' then your new rating will include a whisker pole.  The ERS definition of a whisker pole is: "A spar attached to the mast spar and connected to a headsail clew."    A whisker pole may be used to set a headsail to windward (e.g. goose-winged), or to leeward (e.g. a 'reaching strut').    The same pole may be considered and declared a 'spinnaker pole' and/or 'whisker pole', as it is defined by its use, i.e. which sail it is connected to.  See also Whisker Pole Q&A on the IRC website (Rig & Sails section).

If you make no declarations on these items at the time of revalidation, either we will contact you again for the information which will hold up your application, or the certificate will be issued with defaults and an amendment fee will be incurred to correct it necessary.

Flying Headsails – this is a new type of sail to IRC with several rule constraints, we suggest you discuss this new sail type with your sailmaker. There is also a summary of the rules and some questions & answers on the IRC website.

If after reading the rules and documents online you have any questions, please contact us (Please tell us your boat's name, sail number and design when contacting us).

Wishing you good racing in 2021.