IRC classes: close rating and close racing
Several classes around the UK are using IRC rating to form a close-rating fleet and this has proved very popular with tight racing and quality events. Within these classes similar boats race together, providing the best possible basis for close competition using IRC as the main rule with additional rules such as construction and displacement length ratio to keep the boats as similar as possible. Although IRC caters for a vast diversity of boat types and sizes to facilitate fair racing between different designs, it is the case in any rating rule that they can provide the closest racing in all conditions and courses when similar types of boats race together.

If you are considering setting up a similar class in your area the Rating Office will be happy to help, please contact us at
The Plymouth-based RC1000 class has had a very successful year having started two seasons ago, with more boats planning to join in next year. Creating a class of similar type and size yachts to race together within a tight rating band makes for an enjoyable competitive experience and sharpens up everyone’s skills and boat handling.

New for 2023 will be a RC1000 National Championships on 22nd & 23rd July 2023, this will count towards the series results but will also be a stand-alone National Championships giving not just the local boats but all out of port boats which fit into the RC1000 category a chance of being crowned the RC1000 National Champion 2023; a big fleet for this major event is anticipated.

Image: Paul Gibbins

NEW for 2023: a new RC900 IRC class has been proposed in the Plymouth area and at the time of writing around 15 boats from a number of local clubs and regional ports have showin interest. The Notice of Race will be published soon at The class is looking for more Sonatas, Albin Ballads, J/24s, Impalas and Laser 28s to make this a great series!

If you are interested please contact Chris Arscott for further information
Image: RORC/Paul Wyeth
2023 will be the seventh season for the HP30 class, and with a dozen boats entered the racing looks set to continue to be exciting and demanding.
The season points championship comprises seven main events across the summer, including RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup, the Royal Southern Summer Series, Round the Island Race and Cowes Week. This year the HP30 National Championships will be run during Cowes Week, with a mixture of windward / leeward racing and classic round the cans competition.
The fleet comprises a mixture of light-displacement race boats with IRC ratings between 1.050 and 1.100 including MC31’s, Farr280s, FarEast28Rs and one Lutra30. Whilst there are no restrictions on the number of professionals who can compete in each team, the majority of boats are fully Corinthian and owner driven.
The RC35 Class, based on the Clyde in Scotland, brings together similar boats within a close IRC rating band and other qualifying criteria including limitations on dry sailing and sail purchases. The class works with owners and crews to develop the best racing experience possible as well as training and social events.

The RC35 Championship covers 7 events (6 to count) and includes an RC35 Championship weekend as well as one ‘away’ regatta.

The 2022 Vantage Health and Life RC35 Championship was another very close season with tight racing in a great variety of locations and conditions.

Image: Rib Tony
Image: RORC/Paul Wyeth
The new Grand Prix Zero class had its inaugural event at the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Vice Admiral’s Cup in May 2022, and the GP Zero Series had teams racing at five established regattas in the Solent from May to October.

The class was created for owners seeking ways for performance orientated boats to compete against one another in the UK and beyond; the rating band includes IC37s all the way to TP52s with the potential to extend it if the majority of GP Zero owners agree.

The class has enjoyed a successful season, including overall victory for Carkeek CF520 Rán in the 2022 IRC National Championship, by 0.005 of a point.

The Performance 40 class raced in 6 events across 2022, peaking with 16 boats at the Taittinger regatta run by the Royal Solent Yacht Club. Sailplane, sailed by Jean-Eudes Renier was this season's winner.

For 2023 the P40 class is taking on a new form. The new season will involve a combined offshore and inshore program which ties in with the 2023 Fastnet Campaign. Boats will be competing for three trophies: inshore champion; offshore champion and the P40 season overall trophy with the best combined overall score.

Inshore: Spring Champs - 22/ 23rd April; Royal Southern May - 6/7th May; Royal Thames - 9/10 September; Royal Southern - 16/17th September;
RYS - October - 14/15th

Offshore: 16th June- Morgan Cup; 7th July- St Malo; 1st September- Castle Rock

We’ve had a fantastic signup thus far and we are looking forward to what next year brings. The calendar for the 2023 season can be found on the revamped P40 website.

Image: Paul Wyeth
The classic fleet continues to enjoy good racing using IRC rating, including British Classic Yacht Club events and Hamble Classics. British Classic Yacht Club
The growing Cape 31 fleet not only races one design but a large number of the boats hold IRC certificates because, as one commentator put it, "they just love racing".