32 IN­DE­PEN­DENT BEAR

Yachting World - - 50 Yachts -

IRC is now a global rat­ing, but in the 1990s it was known as CHS (Chan­nel Hand­i­cap Sys­tem) to re­flect its An­glo-french fo­cus. Isle of Wight de­signer John Corby built a 41ft one-off, In­de­pen­dent Bear, which was so suc­cess­ful un­der the rule that she de­mol­ished all op­po­si­tion in her first sea­son. Built of glass­fi­bre and Kevlar with a light­weight foam core and car­bon deck, she had a nar­row beam but gained her sta­bil­ity with a very large keel bulb. In­de­pen­dent Bear’s rat­ing was raised a whop­ping 28 points the fol­low­ing year, but she still proved tough to beat. The CHS rule was ad­justed, and saw a trend for wider IRC de­signs de­velop over sub­se­quent years.

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