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Richard Breese

Rule Changes (Clarification for RTI) - IRC Rating

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There are two ways of obtaining an IRC Rating for a Sonata:

1) Apply as a "One Design" in this case the rating office will take the "best performance" case (e.g. a sails that measure perfectly to the maximum size permitted by the class rules and a boat that is stripped out to the absolute lightest possible to still comply with class rules), this is an easy way to get an IRC rating because you don't have to measure anything (provided it was measured previously and within one design) - in 2012 this resulted in a rating on 0.824.


2) You can get everything measured by a RORC measurer which will mean that your boat is rated for exactly the sail area it carries, weight etc etc (this would be a rather expensive option).

So 1) is the easiest BUT you are penalised under IRC if your boat happens to have put on a little weight over the years or your sails have shrunk a little. Given that the sail measurements and the weight of the boat are the areas of performance that can vary the most whist remaining within one design class rules it makes sense to go for the "half way house" and use standard rig and hull data whilst having the sails measured and the boat weighed. This is what I did, it turns out that my boat is 96kg heavier than the previously rated weight (1335kg vs 1240kg) and the sails are a little under the class maximum (what sail-maker would cut right to the mm to the class maximum anyway) but well within the min / max figures stated in the class rules.

So (notwithstanding the instruments topic elsewhere) my Sonata still complies with the class rules in terms of measurements and weight but my IRC rating is 0.818.

However having come round the IOW as second Sonata on the water in this years RTI (after a great scrap with Hobo - thanks for that, we really enjoyed it) I was told that I was excluded from the results due to the fact that I have a different IRC rating from 0.824, this in my view is completely independent from being within the one design class (I can't find anywhere in the class rule that states what IRC rating is allowed).

The Impala class association seem to have a much more sensible approach to the IRC rating as detailed on their website http://www.impala28....about-2/rating/ they actively encourage people to optimise their rating under IRC even if just to be rated with what you have as opposed to being rated as the fastest possible boat with in the class rules, this is great for the class as you have a more competitive boat when racing IRC but you can still have One Design racing within the class rules as well.

I would propose that the Sonata Class placing in "Round The Island" next year be based on the Sonata placings "on the water" regardless of IRC Rating and corrected time positions, yes this could mean that if I can get close enough to BFG (doubtful the way he smokes away downwind) then I could beat him on IRC but loose out in the Sonata class but this would seem entirely fair given that the reason for my "better" IRC rating is that my boat is theoretically slower.

So - lets discuss....


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Ha! Thanks, Richard for the nice comments about our downwind performance - I will pass it on to Max, our foredeck, who is mostly responsible. Yes, you and I have discussed your IRC rating before and not come to a conclusion. What I am going to do is throw this open to the Class. I have a vested interest. It could be a bit unfair for me to put forward my personal views. I was the one who canned the separate Sonata Class start in the RTI. I thought at the time for the best of reasons. I still think I was right to decide that. For those not directly involved, I asked ISC to let Sonatas race RTI IRC in an appropriate class start but with the proviso that we retained our, rather nice, salver for the first Sonata home from that start. What you, Richard, are asking, if I understand you correctly, is that you be placed as a Sonata in the 'Race within a Race' for Sonatas, albeit with a different IRC rating from the rest of us, as, in that context, you were a Sonata. We all have to be rated IRC to enable us to compete in the RTI. What the Class should decide is whether, actually, you are a Sonata, or something else. If yes, then ok, you can ask for a place to be recorded in the 'Race within a Race'. If not, then not.

What is clear is that the first Sonata home gets the Salver. After that, I am prepared to take advice, as stated, from the Class. Your comments please!

And, Richard, thanks for your prompt responses to my other posts. Nice to know someone out there is watching and getting involved.


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I think a Sonata should be a Sonata if an only if it complies with the Class Rules. It must be totally irrelevant what your IRC certificate says. The Sonata Class rules (quite rightly) make no mention of IRC, or indeed any othe handicap system.

If we have a Sonata class race for the RTI (I'm in favour) that's a level rating race. If the same bats are also racing in a larger class under IRC that's fine too. I see no reason why the two should be connected, and Richard's exclusion because his boat had a LOWER IRC rating seems top me to be quite illogical.

I think there are historical precedents for this. I'm sure that Contessa 32s had slightly differing CHS handicaps but still raced as a level racing class as a race within a race in a number of events.

Anyway, I think that we should put something to that effect into the Class Rules so that the injustice served on Richard cannot happen again.


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