Ireland has twice won the Cup under the burgee of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association. Captain Anthony O'Leary of Royal Cork Yacht Club and his three boat teams sailed to victory in 2010 and 2014 but inspite of plans to field two teams to defend the Cup in 2016, no Irish defence materialised.
As announced earlier this year, the Cowes-based championship will be held from 8-16th June and will follow the successful Commodores' Cup race format, with a variety of different courses ranging from inshore, coastal and offshore - 10 races in all using the Spinlock IRC rating system.
It still remains to be seen, however, if these innovations are enough to galvanise Irish cruiser-racers into mounting a campaign for the Cup in eight month's time.
New for 2018 are the following:
1. Competitors wishing to enter the Commodores' Cup are invited to create teams of three boats with a rating between 0.995 and 1.270 with a max DLR of 210
2. Teams can represent a club, a region or a nation. For national representation, authorisation may be required from the appropriate MNA
3. The Commodores' Cup maintains its Corinthian ethos with only one professional sailor allowed on each boat
4. Boats that race with two females or two crew under 25, or one female and one under 25, are allowed an extra crew member
5. There is no crew weight limit, only the crew number limit on their IRC rating certificate.
The Notice of Race for the 2018 IRC European Championship, incorporating the Commodores' Cup, is now available.
The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) welcomes expressions of interest for the event, and online entry will be open from Monday 8th January 2018.