PHRF & IRC ClubHandicap Racing Fleets

Handicap Racing Fleets

PHRF

PHRF (Performance Handicap Racing Fleet) is a handicapping system used in yacht racing which endeavors to allow dissimilar classes of sailboats to be raced against each other. The aim is to cancel out the inherent advantages and disadvantages of each class of boats, so that results reflect crew skill rather than equipment superiority.

Design characteristics of boats yield different performance characteristics in various seas and winds. PHRF does not address these differences. The result is that it is not difficult to predict which boats have a better chance of winning based on conditions during a race. This is especially true where design characteristics are extremely different. An example would be a light displacement, planning hull verses a heavy displacement non-planning hull.

IRC (Unendorsed IRC Certificates)

IRC permits and encourages owner declared measurement data: aka self declared measurements.

Unendorsed IRC is a more modern VPP based rule which can apply a rating to any mono-hull yacht.

Boat owners will now be able to apply for an ‘unendorsed’ IRC certificate – one where they get a rating by simply measuring the boat themselves, saving on the time and expense of weighing and measurement by an official measurer.

The use of unendorsed certificates is very common in most other countries who have used IRC, and the decision to allow unendorsed certificates will help the PNW’s IRC fleet grow by making the process substantially cheaper and easier for the owners.  This is identical to the way IRC is administered in New Zealand.

It considers such features as asymmetric spinnakers, carbon masts, canting keels, and water ballast, all of which have been permitted for several years. Furthermore, the rule is reviewed annually in light of new developments and past results. On this front, Brittain’s Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) seeks and actively welcomes input and comment from the users.