Highttech Yachten versus Serienschiffe unter IRC

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From Brendan Foley - Tiamat IRL 12345 (Mills 40), Ireland Team Green, Commodores Cup '06:

Re: Bruce Williams and Fietje Judel's comments about IRC rewarding the hightech boat versus the club production cruiser... this may well be true if you compare a rarely raced club racer with a campaigning grand prix one off.

However if you look at recent Commodore's Cups you will see that production boats have bettered the one-offs. Take 2006... the French turned up with a aft of production boats and won the event, as they had done so the previous time as well. In both events Beneteau's, X Yacht's, J's and Archambault's all featured in the top ranks. The Mills, Corbys and Kers on balance did not outshine these production boats. All the crews were of similar quality and all had the best sails and preparation.

In light of this it seems clear that IRC can be equitable in terms of rating production versus one off boats. This is very good for cruiser/racing as it shows that your 200K Beneteau if sailed well enough can beat a 400K one off. Furthermore, local performance based rules such as Echo (similar to golf handicap - the more you win the harder your handicap) used in Ireland to run club racing shows how the club racer with little high tech investment can compete with a high tech grand prix campaigned boat. People are voting with their feet and the recent successes of IRC in the US and Scandinavia show it's ability to attract the best racers and therefore provide a format for the best international competition.

In summary IRC has created a format where high tech innovation and development is possible and encouraged but where an 'off the shelf' boat can also have a realistic chance of winning. We also all know of high tech boats sailed under IRC that do not do well as they are badly sailed. Therefore high tech does not equal an unfair advantage. You still have to sail better that the rest to win. Surely this what we all want?

GER-OO Mitglieder

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