Times change, especially in yacht racing as new materials, technologies and techniques drive change to our boats, sails and even the nature of racing itself. In Solent racing terms we have seen many things come and go. Long offshore races have been supplanted by shorter courses, mainly to cross Channel destinations. Solent races around fixed marks fell from favour in the face of the rise of the windward leeward. Many traditional Club Regatta weekends have seen entries dwindle. What is next?
This Association was formed to assist in providing the best possible racing in the Solent area, for owners and crews of IRC-rated yachts.
The founding members feel that there are a number of specific ways to set about this.
- Review and revitalise the IRC Solent Series.
- Persuade Solent area Clubs to work more closely to avoid fixture clashes and to develop a program which allows owners to know where and when similarly rated yachts will be competing.
- Canvas and then represent the views of IRC owners with regard to race types, fixtures and the rule.
The IRC Solent Series was first envisaged as a reincarnation of the Solent Points Championship which ran successfully some 20 to 30 years ago. The plan involved a series of races around the Solent on days when participating Clubs would agree not only not to run competing events, but indeed to actively promote the nominated events at other Clubs. It has seen a moderate success, and the annual series should be more attractive to a wide range of competitors.
There are sometimes too many competing events in the Solent. From RORC and JOG offshores, through Class Championships, to Club Regattas and specialist Short Handed events, the choice is often mind boggling. As a result, many boats sit idle simply because owners cannot guess where they might find similar boats to race against. Fleets are fragmented. This Association feels that some innovate solutions can be explored. Some Clubs are genuinely willing to enter into partnerships where they drop events and support another Club’s events, in exchange for reciprocal support. Clubs may be willing to concentrate certain events on rating and size bands, again in a sharing relationship with other Clubs. In this way an owner say, of a First 31.7 rating 0.955 could have a much better idea of where and when to find a good fleet of similar boats to race against. There are many IRC rated yachts in the Solent who race very rarely, and there are literally hundreds of unrated yachts who can perhaps be persuaded to join in the fun if they can see what is being attempted.
The views of existing IRC owners are vital to understanding the type of racing that is wanted, the sort of Solent program that would excite them, and how they see the IRC rule working for them. This is our task, and we need your help.
On this site you will be able to find program information for the IRC Solent Series, along with dates of most other principal IRC events. We hope you will find the site useful and informative.