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IRC European Championship heads to Cowes

 
The IRC European Championship this year will take place out of one of its spiritual homes. Coming to Cowes for the third edition and for the first time in the UK.

A record-sized fleet will compete in the 2018 IRC European Championship at Cowes. With strong entries already being fielded by the Netherlands, Denmark, the USA and France.

It will be one of the most prestigious regattas ever run for IRC, the rating rule created and managed jointly by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Union Course au Large in France.

53 boats took part in the south of France in 2017 and the fleet is expected to top 80 boats this year.

Racing will be held over Saturday 9 to Saturday 16 June, run by the RORC with Stuart Childerley presiding as PRO.

The event is open to yachts with IRC TCCs of 0.995-1.270. This equates to Sun Fast 3200, X34s, HOD35 at the smaller end up to FAST 40+s at the top.

The fleet will be split into classes, but at the end of the week a single IRC European Champion will be crowned.

Last year's winner was the St Tropez-based JPK 10.10 Expresso 2 skippered by Guy Claeys, but perhaps it could be third time lucky for the big boats?

Already FAST40+ yachts including James Neville's Ino XXX and Mike Bartholomew's Tokoloshe have signed up for the event.

The race format for the IRC Europeans will be a challenging mix of inshores and offshores - similar to that used previously for Commodores' Cups.

It will comprise up to 10 inshore races (including windward-leewards, round the cans, some reaching starts, etc), a race around the Isle of Wight (carrying a 1.5x points coefficient) and a 150 nautical mile/30-36 hour offshore race (set in the central Channel to suit the wind direction and strength and coming with a 2x coefficient).

Incorporating the Commodores' Cup

France also has a title to defend as the IRC European Championship will this year incorporate the Commodores' Cup, the RORC's biennial event for three boat teams with amateur crews.

Any boats entering the IRC Europeans can be part of Commodores' Cup teams, however as the Commodores' Cup is a competition for Corinthian crew, boats entering in this will be limited to having one World Sailing categories Group 3 'professional' aboard.

The number of pros on board is unrestricted on boats only entering the IRC Europeans.

For more information go to: www.rorc.org or contact the RORC Race Team on: +44 (0)1983 295144, Email: [email protected]

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