The Market Will Choose

The Storm Trysail Club and the New York YC announced in October that they had underwritten a non-profit group called USIRC and would begin using IRC to score their major events in 2005. "It's succeeding internationally," says STC's vice commodore Rich du Moulin. "It's not perfect, but it's getting people to participate and they're happy. It's not scientific; it's practical," he adds. Block Island Race Week and all NYYC summer events will use IRC exclusively for non-one-design classes. Annapolis YC, American YC, Larchmont YC, and St. Francis YC will also support USIRC and include divisions in their distance races and inshore regattas. USIRC's mission is to promote the use of IRC and assist clubs and owners in using it, and former boatbuilder Barry Carroll has been hired as its executive director. Although IRC is owned by the RORC in England (www.rorcrating.com), US SAILING will be its administrative arm in the United States, connecting owners with measurers as necessary, and receiving and helping to complete IRC rating applications. Different levels of measurement-and therefore different costs-are required depending on whether a boat is part of a class with tight tolerances or not, and on the intensity of the competition in a given regatta. For info, contact US SAILING: 401-683-0800, irc@ussailing.org. Clubs interested in IRC events: Barry Carroll at sailirc@aol.com. US SAILING is still in the measurement-rule business, too, as several major clubs remain committed to using VPP-based rules such as US SAILING's Americap. Chicago YC's Race to Mackinac will again use Americap in 2005 and the Transpac YC's event will continue to use Americap measurement data fed into a secret VPP customized for its downwind course to Hawaii. At press time, these and other clubs were in discussions with US SAILING to pursue continued improvements to, and user simplification of, VPP rules. The larger shift these developments indicate is that US SAILING in the future will provide technical support to different handicap and rating rules, but increasingly leave the promotion and management side of racing under these rules to individual clubs or groups, such as USIRC. To reflect this shift, US SAILING began reorganizing its big-boat committee structure in October.