IRC for cruisers

flaming

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The danger is perhaps twofold.
Firstly, people are buying racing boats which when they become obsolete, won't be saleable to cruising sailors.
Secondly there will be a greater divide between the serious race boats and the 'club level' boats. I've got a mate who races a moderate amount on a Sigma 38, including the Fastnet last year. They are thinking of giving up.
There don't seem to be many younger people or boats joining the 'amateur' fleets to replace the old blokes who are going back to Phantom and Solo Dinghies.
Yes, all of this.

The good news is that IRC is doing a pretty good job of keeping boats competitive, not perfect, but also not terrible. And the weird silver lining of there being literally no small racing boats rating less than 1.000 available to buy now is that the lowest rating band is kind of frozen in time. So J92s and 1/2 tonners are duking it out with Sigma 38s just as if it's still the early 2000s. Ok for now, but doesn't bode well for future fleet health...

But when you try and get serious, especially offshore, then the game has moved on and if you want to be in the chocolates you will need to splash the cash.

I've been saying for a while that we're due a big reset in yacht racing, but I'm not sure what it is... Right now the only new race boats being sold are Cape 31s and D/H offshore racers. Time will tell if the Capes become a fixture or if they fade away again. The issue with the D/H boats is that they're not coming out for any crewed racing. Which does rather limit the available fleet for inshore round the cans in moderately affordable boats.

I do get Chiara's point about using smaller keelboats for that sort of racing. But whilst I've enjoyed that sort of small boat racing when I've done it, I get the biggest kick out of building a team and bringing 8-9 people together for 1 purpose. And frankly the weekend regattas where we end up in the pub for a meal all together are just so much more fun than when I've been on a boat of 3 people.
 

olly_love

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I think running cost and ease of sailing has made a big change in what is being raced,
A sigma or 40.7 needs 10-12 crew to get it round and is 40 ft ish long.
Flamings 1010 or our SJ320 are half the sail budget to run in terms of cloth area and mooring/yard fees. Also with loads being lighter and less complex deck layouts less experienced crew come in.

one thing we do find is that getting crew is less easy for less "sexy" boats.
if people are looking on a crew list and see a JPK10.10 or a Sigma 38 i know which i would rather race.

that being said we have made the decision to not have 3Di sails anymore and moved to either panneled or membraine by a smaller sail maker,
a 3Di main for our boat is nearly 6.5k now where as an equivalent is 3.5k, we can just have more for less.
 

flaming

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that being said we have made the decision to not have 3Di sails anymore and moved to either panneled or membraine by a smaller sail maker,
a 3Di main for our boat is nearly 6.5k now where as an equivalent is 3.5k, we can just have more for less.
That's interesting.

I will be very interested in what sort of competitive life you get out of them. Whilst the 3DI is pricey, the competitive life does seem to be pretty good... What I've done is have the previous main and J1 recut, and we use them for the "lesser" events, saving the best 3DI sails for the nationals, Dartmouth week etc. I'm hoping that I'll get at least 5 seasons out of a main that way.
 

olly_love

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That was our thought, we get 4-5 seasons out of sails, but our J1 costs were around 2k vs 4.5k so thoughts are we get 3 seasons then it becomes a wednesday night sail, and get another so effectivly 6 years for the same cost.

our kites have always been GP sails and brilliant, all AirX and over half the cost
 

flaming

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That was our thought, we get 4-5 seasons out of sails, but our J1 costs were around 2k vs 4.5k so thoughts are we get 3 seasons then it becomes a wednesday night sail, and get another so effectivly 6 years for the same cost.

our kites have always been GP sails and brilliant, all AirX and over half the cost
I can certainly see that logic... If I see you in Hamble this weekend I may well buttonhole you for a chat!
 

Chiara’s slave

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We have had our recent sails made by Ullman. If I come up against another DF920 I’ll know for sure, but they feel pretty good. I never did get North to answer my emails or phone messages, I assume they didn’t fancy the job.
 

PeterV

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One series of 6 races done, nearly half way through a second so perhaps time for an update. The crew is clearly getting better, spinnaker is going up and down faster and we’ve even managed a drop, repack and hoist again on a more complex course. We came halfway up the fleet in the first series. It’s quite clear though that the biggest factor is the tide! We can sail very well in a race, be right in among the faster boats halfway through the race and still come at the bottom when it’s a beat against the tide to the finish. If the course is across tide or with the tide our results are a lot better. That’s just a function of being one of the slowest boats in the fleet.
We know we’re sailing well and we’re enjoying it so the main objective of the NHC and our sailing is fulfilled.
 
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