by Louay Habib
IRC racing in Canada has going from strength to strength, last year’s IRC North American Championships, hosted by the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, attracted 57 entries, mainly from Ontario but also from the United States. Most of the events are open to visitors from overseas and
Kevin Brown was the co-chair of last year’s IRC North American Championships and has been racing in
Why do you think that the IRC fleet in
The Toronto IRC fleet was the first active IRC fleet in
What sort of racing is held in
All our events are open events and we encourage participation from beyond our region, especially for the major championship events. There are boats available for charter and always boats looking for experienced crew to join their teams.
IRC is being used primarily for weekend course racing events but in the last few years has now gained a strengthening foothold in the regional distance race events as well. All around
We have a series of club hosted open regattas that IRC uses as the IRC Lake Ontario Championship Series and between these events there is a 300-mile distance race called the Lake Ontario 300.
In autumn, we have an IRC Fall Series and there are other major standalone regattas throughout the season. We have been the host of the IRC Canadian Championship event for a number of years now and we rotate that event between a number of host clubs in the region. Last year we hosted the IRC North American Championship in
2011 North American IRC Championships/John Crawley
What about smaller keelboat racing, is that popular?
We are working to broaden the appeal of IRC by adding an IRC 4 division this year to many of our events. By having four regular divisions it will mean many boat down to the 24-29' size range will have a competitive place to play at weekend events. Our IRC organization will be subsidising the measurement process this year by subsidising the scale rental and putting on free weighing sessions for larger groups. This will keep the costs down and encourage many more boats to be measured for IRC.
What do you see as the main challenges to increased growth of IRC racing in
I think the cost of measurement and to a lesser extent the need for owners to spend the time to get their boats measured is our greatest hurdle. IRC is seen as a stable and very fair rule by all our members but our challenge is to increase the numbers of boats measured to allow us to make the rating spread in divisions as small as possible and keep everyone competitive within their own group.
Because our regional fleet unites boats from both the Canadian and US sides of
For more information visit Lake Ontario Racing Council IRC section: http://www.lorc.org/IRC.htm