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Yachties embrace IRC for Summer Pennants

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Hobart yacht owners have embraced IRC as the major handicap system for the Combined Clubs Summer Pennant Series which starts on the River Derwent tomorrow.

So far 28 yacht owners have revalidated their IRC certificates or are in the process of getting rated under this handicap category, double that of last season.

The major objective is to prepare Tasmanian boat owners and race officers for the Australian Yachting Championships to be conducted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in January 2020.

The prestigious National event will follow next year’s 75th Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and other offshore races finishing in Hobart, and is expected to attract a significant fleet.

IRC is the Tattersalls Cup deciding handicap system used in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and most other major yachting events internationally. but in recent seasons the Victoria-designed AMS system has proven popular, although only in Victoria and Tasmania.

Tomorrow’s race has attracted a fleet of 50 keelboats, a river race starting and finishing off Castray Esplanade, Battery Point.

The fleet has been divided into four divisions and all but Division 4 will have results based on IRC, AMS and PHS scoring. Division 4 results will be PHS only.

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However, IRC results from today’s harbour race will be provisional as some certificates have not come through in time to be used in calculated corrected times.

It is possible some will not be here in time for the first Inshore Series race day on Saturday week, 20 October.

Combined Clubs’ sailing manager have agree that boats which have sent in new applications for IRC before race one in the Pennant will be scored in the series once their certificates arrive.

This means they will not be shown in the results on race days, but the results will be recalculated once the certificates arrive. This provision will only apply for race one in each series.

Published results will therefore be provisional until the certificates arrive, and the results are recalculated.

Division 1 of the Combined Club Summer Pennant has attracted an outstanding fleet of 18 boats of which all but one has entered the IRC category.

Heading the crack fleet are last season’s summer pennant winners Intrigue (IRC and AMS) and TasPaints (PHS), short course winner and Australian IRC champion Philosopher.

Fleet pace setters The Fork in the Road, Oskana, Doctor Who are also in the Division fleet, as well as Wild West and Crusader.

Five Division 2 boats and six Division 3 boats also now have applied for IRC ratings, indicative of the boost for club racing using this internationally professionally created rating system.

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Many of the Combined Club Pennant entrants enjoyed excellent lead-up racing in the opening twilight races conducted during the week by Bellerive Yacht Club and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania/Derwent Sailing Squadron in delight sailing conditions.

Words: Peter Campbell

Photos: Peter Watson

12 October 2018