ECHO Class Rules 2021


ICRA supports and promotes the ISA policy of dual scoring at all its events. An ECHO certificate is mandatory for all entrants from Ireland. An ECHO rating may be assigned to boats with IRC certificates from other areas.

ECHO racing may be more approachable for new entrants to racing, may encourage boats who do not have the time or resources to compete at the top level and should ensure that more boats have an interest in results as the regatta nears its end.

ECHO however works best when applied to a constant fleet which always races together. It is more problematic when applied to a disparate fleet such as is found at a national event.

Currently at the ICRA Nationals we start all boats at their standard ECHO rating which is usually within a few points of the IRC rating. In practice this means that the leading boats on IRC are nearly always the winners on ECHO as well. This is not in keeping with our policy on events.

Proposed ECHO rating mechanism

In order to assign suitable ratings to boats a number of assumptions will have to be made:

  1. The standard of racing at events around the country is reasonably similar.
  2. Boats are doing their best in each race.
  3. An owner with a new boat is performing at the same level as in their previous boat.
  4. Visiting boats (eg from the UK) are taken to be high performance teams unless previous data from listed events is available.
  5. U25 teams are rated at the standard ECHO for their boat.
  6. Irish boats for which no data is available will be assigned the standard ECHO rating for their boat plus 2.5%.

Data will be drawn from a variety of events.

Level 1 events

ICRA 2017, Cork Week 2018, VDLR 2017, Sovereigns Cup 2017, HYC Wave Regatta 2018

Level 2 events

WIORA 2017, RCYC Autumn league 2018, KYC Spring series 2019, DBSC Summer series 2018 (Thurs Overall). Calves Week 2018, ISORA overall 2018. HYC Autumn League 2018.

(Note that 2017 results from ICRA and WIORA are the latest available)


Boats should be divided into 6 groups based on their IRC results:

Group 1 (Standard ECHO X 1.10)

Class win in a level 1 event (with at least 6 boats in class)

Group 2 (Standard ECHO X 1.05)

2nd or 3rd in a level 1 event (with at least 6 boats in class)

1st or 2nd in a level 1 event with less than 6 boats in class

Class win in a level 2 event

Two podium finishes in level 2 events

Group 3 (Standard ECHO X 1.025)

2nd or 3rd in a level 2 event

3rd place in a level 1 event with less than 6 boats in class.

Boats with an IRL number for which  no data from listed events is available.

Group 4 (Standard ECHO)

Generally finish in top third of fleet and do not reach groups 1 to 3.

Group 5 (Standard ECHO X 0.975)

Generally finish in middle third of fleet and do not reach groups 1 to 3.

Group 6 (Standard ECHO X 0.95)

Generally finish in bottom third of fleet and do not reach groups 1 to 3.

Handicap Adjustment

Handicaps are adjusted automatically after each race using a progressive handicap system with a 75/25 split (New handicap is 75% of previous handicap plus 25% of performance index). The RC reserve the right to prospectively adjust handicaps in some circumstances or to exclude some races from handicap calculation. The RC also reserves the right to apply a handicap outside these guidelines.

ECHO and IRC Certification

ECHO, as the national performance handicap system, is mandatory for all boats wishing to take part in cruiser racing.  All boats are also encouraged to take up an endorsed IRC certificate.

Policy Rationale

We promote that policy because of a belief that it encourages high levels of participation in cruiser racing.

There are no exceptions to the policy of mandatory ECHO certification so I’m afraid that if you require IRC certification then you will have to take an ECHO cert as well.

Dual Scoring

The Irish Sailing Association and Irish Cruiser Racing Association strongly recommend that all cruiser races be dual scored under ECHO and IRC rating and handicap systems.  The purpose of this policy is to encourage participation by all cruiser boats in cruiser racing.


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