Dubai: Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) will host the first IRC Middle East Championships on December 17-18. The competition will feature the International Racing Certificate (IRC) rating system, which will allow teams from all over the region to compete against each other while racing different styles of keelboats.
Unlike performance handicap rating, which changes between races depending on how a boat performs, the IRC system provides a rating based on the boat’s physical measurements. The system is a simple way to allow a diversified range of keelboats to race together, creating exciting racing opportunities for the sailing community. DOSC has used the IRC rating system to manage racing for a number of years, but the IRC Middle East Championships marks the first time the system will be used in Dubai for a region-wide racing event.
Regarding the upcoming races, DOSC’s Rear Commodore, John Edward Shiffner commented: “As Dubai Offshore Sailing Club enters its 10th year of racing using the globally recognised IRC rating system, we are delighted to have been given the opportunity by The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), RORC Rating Office and the IRC Board to host the IRC Middle East Championships in 2022. We are immensely grateful for the continued support from our local partners in this event: AGMC BMW, The UAE Sailing and Rowing Federation, Dubai Sports Council and The Community Development Authority.”
Centre of modern keelboat sailing
RORC and IRC oversee some of the world’s greatest sailing events, including the Rolex Fastnet Race, the RORC Caribbean 600, the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the RORC Transatlantic Race and the Rolex China Sea Race. The IRC Middle East Championships, together with the upcoming 30th edition of the Aramex Dubai to Muscat Race, demonstrate how Dubai is becoming the centre of modern keelboat sailing within the region. DOSC plans to develop the event in future years to welcome more sailors from around the world to the UAE’s shores.
Reflecting on the IRC Middle East Championships, Dr Jason Smithwick, Director of the RORC Rating Office, noted: “In recognition of the continued growth in IRC keelboat racing both in Dubai and throughout the Middle East, The Royal Ocean Racing Club, RORC Rating Office and the IRC Board have great pleasure in granting the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club rights to hold the IRC Middle East Championships in 2022.”
He added, “This event will be a significant addition to IRC events around the world and we believe this is a good opportunity to mutually promote Dubai as the regional centre for the sport of modern keelboat sailing. We wish the club, and all competitors, the best for the event.”