The IRC Rule, Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Rating Office and the Union Nationale pour la Course au Large (UNCL), is an ISAF International Rating Systems used throughout the world.
'With the majority of new racing sailboats being designed to IRC, it makes sense to allow them the chance to race under the IRC rule in one of the world's best venues,' said Regatta Co-Director John SWEENEY. 'We aren't abandoning CSA; we are simply offering options to the sailors, and with that, encouraging a larger international fleet.'
SWEENEY further explained that CSA certificate holders are eligible to obtain an IRC rating as well. 'We encourage owners to investigate the requirements, and local measurers can assist in the process,' said SWEENEY.
'With this development, we expect to see competitive racing under both rules and a growing potential for IRC throughout the Caribbean,' said US-IRC Executive Director John MENDEZ, adding that the event will again be part of the US-IRC Gulf Stream Series. 'Yachts that are from the US and already have their certificates can easily join the regatta; I view it like a passport that travels with you wherever you wish to sail.'
The three-day International Rolex Regatta, scheduled for Friday 28 March through to Sunday 30 March 2008, is an annual favourite on the Caribbean racing calendar, catering not only to handicap yachts but also to one-design sailboats of at least 24 feet and beach cats. The regatta's popularity is attributable to its professional race management, dependable trade winds and varied and challenging schedule of races - including both windward-leeward and distance courses. After racing, beachside social activities blend St Thomas Yacht Club's island-style hospitality with the outstanding camaraderie and competition that hundreds of participants have come to expect each year.