A new Skandia Cowes Week IRM/IRC dual scoring system means that racing should be fairer and allow for better racing

The debate on how to run the scoring system for IRM and IRC boats during Skandia Cowes Week has resulted in a system that the organisers believe will be fairer and allow for better racing. Instead of segregating IRM from the IRC classes (with one or the other of the classes not being able to race for the week’s big trophies such as the Britannia Cup) the organisers have, after lots of discussions with IRM owners, decided to allow IRM boats special dispensation to race under a dual scoring system.

Stuart Quarrie (Skandia Cowes Week regatta director) commented: “Last year we gave the 20 IRM boats their own class all week, so that sort of worked, but a lot of the IRM yacht owners really want to sail for the traditional big trophies such as the Britannia Cup.

“So we then had the dilemma of deciding which class we give the big trophies to. Do we give the big cups to this little group of 20 boats or do we give them to the big boats in IRC? And the other problem with IRM is there are not enough boats to split the IRM fleet in to sensible rating boats. Last year we had the Farr 52s, Farr 45s, Farr 40s and Ker 11.3s all racing together, so you end up with Kers and Farr 40s never even seeing the Farr 52s, sailing in different wind and tide conditions, which is not ideal.”

Now the new system means that boats with IRM certificates will race within IRC but have the option to have an IRM result as well. The average corrected speed for all of the IRM boats will be worked out on a daily basis by taking their corrected times and dividing those figures into the boat’s course length. This will provide an overall IRM results list for which there will also be prizes.