IRM Association fights back
In his presentation to the meeting, John McWilliam, chairman of the Cork 2002 Race Committee, said that in having a separate class it was important that all the competitive grand prix raceboats sailed in that class and that they were not split between IRM and the IRC cruiser-racer fleet which is such an important Cork Week constituent.
So the CORK Committee are planning to have a formula that defines what boats are put into the IRM Class, based on a DLR (Displacement to Length Ratio) of 145 or below. This includes all the recognised grand prix raceboats including the Farr 52, IC45, Race1 Ker 11.3, Farr 40 and the new Race1 Ker 9.8, as well as one-offs like Peter Morton's Mills 50, Stephen Bailey’s IRM optimised Sydney 40, Jason Ker's one-offs Roaring Meg and ShakerMaker II, Christian Stimpson's new IRM 41 and the new Corby 48, building for Richard Matthews. This move should ensure that all the best racers will compete together in a spectacular IRM class of at least 25 boats; a focus of interest for spectators and media alike.
Other top racing boats that do not automatically come into IRM under this formula, such as John Corby's other one-offs Nokia (ex- Barlo Plastics) and Gloves Off, will be invited to join the grand prix racing fleet in IRM if they wish to enjoy what will undoubtedly be the best racing for big boats in the Cork regatta.
The Association also proposed to Cork that the IRM class should be unrestricted, so that those who wish to race with or against professionals may do so, while ensuring that the racing is at as high a level as possible. This should assist the Cork organisation in achieving its desire that boats with professionals sail in a separate class.
The IRM Class Association heartily congratulated John McWilliam and the Cork Race Committee for taking such a positive initiative. The Association fervently hopes that the RORC will be able to follow this lead in supporting IRM by promoting Grand Prix racing boats in their forthcoming events including the next Admiral's Cup.
A member of the RORC executive committee who was present at the meeting was requested to relay to the RORC the wishes of all those present, that it should actively set out to change the perception among the yachting community that RORC is unwilling to properly promote its IRM Rule. Peter Morton of Farr International, in vociferously supporting IRM, demanded that the RORC get solidly behind both the Rule and the impressive list of owners (many of them RORC members) now enthusiastic to race under IRM, partly as a result of witnessing the fantastically close racing of the Class in the recent Hamble Winter Series, which showed just how great the IRM Rule makes this type of competition.