Y’all remember this kerfuffle, yes? Looks like the right thing has been done to allow people to pole out a headsail (ahem, to weather) when running.
IRC Rule 11.1: Changes to Class Rules and 21.3.6: Whisker Poles
With effect from 1 June 2021, in IRC 2021 Rules, amend IRC Rule 21.3.6 regarding whisker poles and IRC Rule 11.1 regarding IRC Rules that can be changed:
Amend IRC rule 11.1:
11.1 A Rule Authority Prescription or Notice of Race may vary the requirements of IRC Rules 8.6, 9.6, 14.1, 15.1, 21.1.5 (d) (e) and (f), 21.3.6, 21.8.4, and 22.4. Any Rule Authority prescriptions shall have been approved by the national IRC Owners’ Association when such exists. No other IRC Rules may be amended.
Amend IRC rule 21.3.6:
21.3.6 A boat shall declare using any spar as a whisker pole to set a headsail or a flying headsail. This rule may be amended by a Notice of Race.
It has been brought to our attention that in heavy weather a whisker pole may be used to set a headsail to windward when it is unsafe or undesirable to set a spinnaker. If a Race Organiser believes this may be the case for their race, then they may consider that this circumstance should not result in a rating effect and therefore may decide to not apply IRC Rule 21.3.6.
Example of a rule amendment to 21.3.6 in a Notice of Race may be as follows:
IRC Rule 21.3.6 does not apply. A whisker pole to set a headsail may be used without IRC declaration.
For the avoidance of doubt outriggers are not permitted in accordance with IRC Rule 21.3.2 and Racing Rules of Sailing 55.
IRC Policy Steering Group
1 June 2021