With the first event of our 2011 racing season less a month away we would like to take this opportunity to summarize our 2010 season, last November's AGM and start to look forward to the upcoming IRC racing season on Lake Ontario which promises to be the best yet.
The Lake Ontario IRC Fleet racing at RCYC
2010 was a real growth year for IRC on Lake Ontario with our fleet again almost doubling in size from the previous year. We went from 25 boats at the 2009 IRC Canadian Championship to a 40 boat fleet at the 2010 edition with over 50 boats contesting the 2010 IRC Lake Ontario Championship Series. Congratulations to Peter Milligan and the crew of his C&C 39 Red Jacket on their overall win at the IRC Canadian Championship. The top ten at the this event was a diverse mix of boats from all three IRC divisions with Andrew Riem's J27 Curved Air taking second and Winston Beckett's Santana 30/30 Fortitude in third. Zoo2, Crime Scene, Max Sand, Starwatch, Notorious, Five-Fifteen and Umi Taka rounded out the top ten overall in this competitive fleet.
Congratulations to Stephen Trevitt and the crew of his J35 Crime Scene on their overall win in the 2010 IRC Lake Ontario Championship Series. The top five in IRC 1 included the strongest group yet with Notorious in first followed by Rags, Press Gang, Maggie Kelly and Amorita. In IRC 2 the series was won by Crime Scene followed by our 2010 IRC Boat of the Year Paul Delacourt's C&C 41 Cesan, Locutus, VikingBlod and the Archambault 35. In the fast growing and hotly contested IRC 3 fleet it was Sandy Steffen's G&S 30 Zoo2 that prevailed followed by our 2009 Boat of the Year Jim McGuinness's Hunter 37 Five-Fifteen with Fortitude, Starwatch and Max Sand rounding out the top five.
Other sanctioned IRC events on Lake Ontario in 2010 included the Susan Hood, Lake Ontario 300, Bronte Rocks and Youngstown Level Regatta. In the Susan Hood Trophy race, the first distance race of the season, it was Chris Rypkema's Umi Taka taking IRC 1 with Murray Gainer's J109 Blue Streak taking IRC 2 in addition to IRC overall and in fact taking first on corrected for the entire Susan Hood fleet. Congratulations to Jeffrey Long and the crew of his Beneteau 36.7 Shane Returns for winning the Bronte Rocks event over a ten boat fleet that included the Archambault 35 in second and Cesan in third. Congratulations also go to Judy and Frank Button on a strong performance aboard their C&C 115 Rags at the Youngstown Level Regatta winning the nine boat strong IRC fleet over Chris Medland's IMX 38 Press Gang in second and Cesan in third. The 2010 edition of the Lake Ontario 300 threw everything the weatherman could dream up at the almost two-hundred boat fleet that included our nineteen boat strong IRC fleet. IRC 1 was won by the Farr 30 Notorious followed by the two Beneteau 40.7's Umi Taka and Mullet in second and third respectively. In IRC 2 it was Red Jacket over the Archambault 35 in second followed by a strong group of J109's led by Blue Streak in third. IRC Overall was taken by Notorious followed by Red Jacket, Umi Taka, Archambault 35 and Mullet with less than two minutes corrected time between Umi Taka and the Archambault and less than ten minutes between the Archambault and Mullet. After better than forty-eight hours on the course that is close racing and we must say that in spite of the storms and tough conditions early in the race only one IRC boat withdrew while in the balance of the fleet there was close to a forty percent withdrawal rate. Our IRC fleet was well prepared, well sailed and should be proud of their accomplishments.
For the 2011 season we have two feature IRC events to be hosted in the Lake Ontario region. First will be the Suunto IRC Canadian Championship to be hosted by the Port Credit YC as part of LYRA, July 29-31. Two weeks later will see the 2011 IRC North American Championship hosted by the RCYC, August 11-14. A substantial IRC fleet is expected at both these events and with over 30 new boats signed up to be IRC measured in the coming weeks we have every confidence of exceeding our 40 boat fleet of last years IRC Canadians and seeing well over 60 boats attend the IRC NA's. Again this year there will be a Lake Ontario Championship Series with 70% of the races to count and all tie-breakers in effect. The four regatta events that make up the series this year includes the ABYC Open, RCYC Open, PCYC Open and the EYC Open and we will have our own IRC circle at these events with a renewed effort and guarantee of quality race committee work from LORC. All Lake Ontario Championship Series events will feature three IRC divisions with revised division splits to make the racing closer than ever. Also note that UK-Halsey has again sponsored our IRC Lake Ontario fleet and this year will be supplying all IRC division flags free of charge. We appreciate their ongoing commitment to our IRC fleet. Please go to www.lorc.org to get information on events, division splits and how to get your division flag from UK-Halsey. As we are sure many of you have noticed an IRC Lake Ontario event poster was created this year and was first distributed at the Toronto Boatshow in January and has since been distributed to all yacht clubs around Lake Ontario. This racing calendar notes all our sanctioned IRC events that will take place on Lake Ontario in 2011. We have a variety of regional regatta's and distance races on the calendar this year including PCYC's Susan Hood Trophy race, the RHYC's Rock the Hammer Regatta, PCYC's Lake Ontario 300, the Youngstown Level Regatta and the BHYC's Bronte Rocks Regatta.
Elimination of Regional Dues
We are pleased to announce that for 2011 we are suspending the collection of regional IRC dues as we have negotiated a new financial agreement with the CYA. With this development it means the only direct cost to boat owners to race in IRC are those related to obtaining or renewing your IRC rating certificate.
John Crawley and our dedicated team of IRC measurers will be very busy this spring with over 30 new boats currently scheduled to be measured and about 70 certificate renewals to be processed from our existing members. We have an extensive measurement program organised at locations around the lake this spring including sessions in Toronto, Rochester, Niagara on the Lake, Port Stanley, Hamilton and elsewhere. Please contact our IRC Chief Measurer John Crawely at email@example.com to be included in a measurement session or if you have any questions regarding IRC measurement or obtaining an IRC rating certificate. In addition to John we have measurers Peter Wallace in Toronto, Tony Shepperd in Sarnia and our newest measurer Terry Polidor in Rochester all ready to help boat owners get in on the close racing action of IRC.
IRC Rule Change
There is one IRC rule change for 2011 that all competitors should note. This year crew limitations that were always optional under the IRC rule in the past are now written into the rule. What this means to you the competitor depends on your individual situation. Your crew number limit is indicated on your IRC rating certificate. If you carry no more crew than is indicated on your certificate then the weight limit is not invoked. If you wish to carry more crew than your certificate number you may do so as long as your total crew weight does not exceed your certificate crew number times 85kg. It is really very simple and probably will not adversely effect many boats. At our fall AGM we voted to accept this rule as written for all sanctioned IRC events on Lake Ontario in 2011 but also voted to only weigh crew at the IRC Canadians and NA's for any boats carrying more than their certificate crew number in these events. For the balance of our events this year it will be the owners responsibility to ensure their crew conforms to the rule. All owners that received their IRC certificate renewal forms in the past few months also received a copy of the 2011 IRC Yearbook and all rule information is contained in the yearbook. If you do not have a yearbook and would like to receive one please contact Kevin Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to encourage competitors to sign up for all our IRC events as early as possible. Not only does this encourage others to participate but makes it immensely easier for our event hosts. Our IRC fleet has consistently been the largest contingent at all open regatta events in recent years so our commitment has a significant effect on regatta organisers. We would especially ask for everyone to register early for the IRC NA's as this is our premier event in the region this year and it is a stand-alone IRC event. Tremendous effort is going into making this a very special event. Please go to www.yachtscoring.com to register. It is not necessary to pay the entry fee until the early entry deadline but your preregistration will be appreciated by all involved.
We are looking forward to the upcoming season and seeing all of you out on the water.
The Lake Ontario IRC Executive Committee