IRC Handicap

IRC Rating

IRC is a true rating system, where the yacht’s handicap, expressed as a time correction factor (TCC), is derived solely from the yacht’s measurements and characteristics and is not arbitrarily modified according to the yacht’s perceived performance. So, unless something is materially modified on the yacht, its rating remains constant. Racing under the IRC is thus a true test of helming, tactics, sail trimming, crew work and boat preparation. Ultimately it encourages crews to seek improvement in all these areas. 

The essential parts of the rule are secret to prevent designers pushing the rule to absurd conclusions, as occurred in the latter years of the IOR and IMS. More importantly, this prevents rapid obsolescence of existing designs. Australian policy is that rated boats receive an endorsed certificate, which requires weight and measurements be taken or checked by an official measurer. 

IRC was developed to cater for true cruiser/racers with proper accommodation but does not exclude yachts designed specifically as racing yachts. Such craft will be rated accordingly and will be disadvantaged relative to dual purpose cruiser/racers. The IRC is capable of applying a rating to any ballasted monohull yacht, from heavy cruising yachts to Volvo 70’s. IRC has led other rules in rating of asymmetric spinnakers, carbon masts and canting keels. 

IRC is ultimately governed on a worldwide basis jointly by RORC in the United Kingdom and the UNCL in France, with the  Australian fleet administered by Australian Sailing in Sydney. 

More information is available at the Rating Office website: or visit the Australian Sailing website

Owners may also find the more technical information available from informative.
An electronic (pdf) version of the IRC Yearbook is also available at, although revalidating owners are sent a hard copy with their annual revalidation papers.

Revalidation processing time is typically in the order of 2 weeks, although at peak times, such as when revalidation’s fall due, this can stretch to 3 weeks. Processing can be expedited at additional cost. To be on the safe side, please allow for a 3 week processing time frame, particularly with respect to revalidation or amendments prior to major events. If re-measurements are required, you will also need to allow time for this over and above the processing time.

We draw your attention to Notice of Race clause 4.3.  Owners intending to amend their IRC rating need to be conscious of this clause when planning any amendments or changes to their boats.

Measuring your yacht for IRC

1.    Contact the IRC measurer for information and a copy of the IRC Yearbook.   
2.    Weighing and overhang measurements are taken with the yacht empty with no anchors, safety gear, tankage or equipment on board. 
3.    All changes or modifications to existing yachts must be verified with the measurer. These may include new or additional sails (noting that some sailmakers are qualified to take sail measurements), new keels or rudders and changes in weight or trim. 
4.    Certificates are valid until 31 May each year. 
5.    Revalidation forms are sent out late April each year and it is recommended these be lodged by the 7th May at the latest, for those wishing to compete in the IRC State Championship or the Valmadre or other winter series.

Measuring Fees (incl GST) 

  • Weighing - load cell charge for boats up to 4,000kg $110 per hire (not including lift).
  • Weighing - for boats over 4,000kg - single point load cell and crane hire at Owner's cost.
  • Measurer - $99 per hour . 

Minimum invoice $99.

IRC Fees 
Fees payable to Australian Sailing for revalidation, new ratings, amendments and trial certificates are charged as a function of length overall. Rates are available from Australian Sailing or the local measurer.

Expedited Processing, which guarantees a 5 working day turn around, can be requested but incurs a 100% surcharge on the standard IRC Fees. 

WA Measurer is Ian Ball, please contact Ocean Racing WA for contact details if required. 

IRC is Ocean Racing WA's preferred measured handicapping system.

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