Following last year's IRM Class mini series at the event, this year Cowes Combined Clubs have agreed in principle that as well as the series continuing throughout the week in 2004, top trophies will be awarded to IRM.
Last year's three day series, which ran Saturday to Monday, attracted 19 boats ranging in size from the Farr 52's to Mumm 30's and it was Peter HARRISON'S Farr 52 Chernikeeff 2 which won the series outright. This time it is expected that the class will be bound by a lower TCF which is likely to limit the fleet to the bigger boats, probably splitting at the Farr 40/Ker 11.3 and faster. It is felt that this will produce a showcase fleet of around 20 boats.
"This is excellent news for the class and for IRM racing in general. Of course not only does this mean that there should be a full IRM class offering top level, close racing for similar types of performance race boats right through the week, but it removes these boats from the IRC class series, which should greatly enhance their racing."
Comments Steph MERRY, Chair of the IRM Class Association, "We have always advocated that the grand prix racers should race each other and not be involved with IRC racing, which is, after all a rule designed for cruiser-racers. I am sure that we will have an excellent series of high quality racing. We are delighted with this news and thank the Cowes Combined Clubs for this recognition."
"As we move towards a new grand prix rule there are signs that it will be similar to IRM and so the more events that continue to promote top flight racing for this type of fast, exciting high performance boat, the better.
Between Cork's Grand Prix class and Cowes and other IRM regattas through the season there has never been a better time to get involved with the class."
With the potential fleet including four Farr 52's, seven IC 45's and three Farr 40's as well as the Ker 11.3's including a number of competitive charter options, the IRM Class is shaping up to be the most competitive performance handicap class at Cowes.