How To Obtain an IRC Rating

The IRC rule has only been used in one major event in the United States, and with the shift to IRC for several events in 2005, certificate processing may take a little extra time. It makes sense to file your rating application early, even before you have complete data for your boat. If a race you plan to compete in during 2005 will use IRC, here’s how to get started:

  1. Print out an application at www.ussailing.org/offshore/irc so you can see what’s needed. On the US SAILING site there are also detailed descriptions of the measurements, so explore and learn about them while you’re there.
  2. Contact race organizers for the events you plan to sail and find out what kind of certificate you’ll need—a Standard IRC certificate or Endorsed certificate. The Standard certificate requires only owner-declared data while an Endorsed certificate means your measurement data has been checked by an official measurer. 
  3. Fill out your application—No matter what kind of certificate you need, the only way to really get to know the information needed is to try filling out the form. Even if you plan to get your boat formally measured, fill out a sample form and read the info online.
  4. Check with your sailmaker, if possible, to verify your rig and sail measurements, including how to measure your sails. Also look at measurements affecting downwind sails and other sails such as roller-furling headsails. 
  5. Submit your application early, even if some data is missing. If your boat is shrink-wrapped in a snow bank behind three other boats in a boatyard, don’t worry—send in the form with what you’ve got. It’ll save time later if the rating office has set up a file for your boat; they’ll also give you advice on how to fill in the blanks.
  6. Even if you want an Endorsed certificate but can’t get measured yet, file the info for a Standard certificate and upgrade later. If there’s data available on your boat already, the rating office may save you time and money.
  7. Whether you need a measurer or not, you may look up the list of certified measurers at www.us-irc.org and call one near you for advice. If they come out to measure your boat, you’ll be paying their fee, but they will also serve as a resource, offering guidance, information, and advice over the phone at no charge.

 » Reprinted with permission from the US-IRC HANDBOOK published by SAILING WORLD magazine.