ECHO and IRC Handicapping

IRC handicapped boat

Welcome to the ISA ECHO & IRC Handicapping
ECHO Standards and IRC Rating Certificates in Ireland are issued by the ISA. The ISA is the IRC Rule Authority in Ireland.

Rating and Handicapping Policies:

ECHO is a performance based handicapping system and as such can be very simply summed up as a system that ranks boats in any fleet from fastest to slowest [or vice versa] and handicaps them accordingly. A boat with a higher average speed should always have a higher handicap than a boat with a lower average speed, or, which is the same thing, a boat should not have a lower handicap than a boat that regularly finishes behind it - on the water.

This principle is explained in greater detail in the document here. It answers the basic questions about the nature of ECHO and also explains the difference in approach between ECHO and IRC.

The excel file is for those who want to examine the ECHO calculations in more detail.

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.   

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.

Click here to access to our shop and apply online for an ECHO & IRC

ECHO & IRC Listing

The list of valid ECHO Standards and IRC TCC Ratings as issued to boats by the ISA to date is now available for sailors to view. A boat which is not listed shall not be scored in a race under ECHO or IRC handicap systems.
When a Notice of Race requires an ECHO or IRC certificate to be held a boat shall hold a current and valid certificate. The validity of certificates expires on December 31 in any year. 


The rule applies from January 1 for the current year. All ratings issued in the year are run according to the current year version of the rule. Any boat requiring an Amendment, Trial or Short Handed Rating will need to hold her current year IRC Certificate before either can be issued.


ECHO & IRC Rating Certificate is issued annually and is valid until the 31st of December. Any change to the ownership or measured data of a boat will invalidate the certificate.


An ECHO & IRC Revalidation Form for the new season is sent to each boat owner holding an ECHO and/or IRC Certificate(s) in the previous year, along with an IRC Yearbook, by post in the first week of January.


The delivery time for IRC Certificates can take up to 20 working days and ECHO Certificates up to 5 days from receipt here of all required details. If we do not have all the data required we cannot start the process until you or your measurer supplies it.

Expedited Service

Applications for IRC Certificates requiring guaranteed 5 working days processing may incur an Expedited Fee (fee x 2). Please include “EPF” or “Expedited” in the subject line of your E-mail.


Many regattas require boats to hold an endorsed IRC. This means that the data on her certificate has been recorded by an approved IRC Measurer. The recorded data is subject to very rigid standards and owners are advised to check with us or an IRC Measurer before making changes to their boats.
Boats with standard certificates should also check with us before making changes, this includes adding new sails.


Click here for the current and previous IRC Rule from the RORC IRC Rating Office
Click here for IRC Measurement Manual

Contact Information:
Liz Hall
ISA Administrator
Phone: 01 2710104

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