Yacht handicapping fees will rise by 12.5% for the coming season.
An average sized boat, such as a Sigma 33, will now have total handicapping costs of €177 in 2016 as opposed to €162 in 2015. This breaksdown as follows: ECHO registration is €42. IRC online registration is €13.50 per metre, an increase of €1.50 per metre (12.5%)
The Irish Sailing Association (ISA) is the administrator for both the local ECHO and international IRC handicap systems. IRC certs are processed for the ISA by the London based Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) who govern the IRC rule.
The ISA's CEO Harry Hermon says IRC fees are set in € for Irish boats at the beginning of each year. 'The IRC fee structure sent out with the renewals in January 2016 and showed a 12% increase which is due to the sterling exchange rates. There are no changes to the ECHO fees for 2016. Handicap fees will not be reviewed again until 2017'
Ireland has a national cruiser racer fleet estimated between 500–700 boats.
Meanwhile, handicaps will be a focus at the 2016 ICRA conference when it gets underway at the Castletroy Hotel in Lmerick on Saturday, March 5th.
The pow–wow will receive a presentation from the promoters of the ORC handicapping system that is gaining popularity as an alternative to IRC. Florida's recent Key West Regatta in Florida was split between the two systems.
Speaking to the Irish Times last Friday, former ICRA commodore Norbert Reilly said: “We have no idea what ORC is but would like to know and especially why it is making so much progress overseas.
ICRA also plan a review of the ECHO system for 2016.