pole dancers

What’s the difference between a spinnaker pole, a jockey pole, a whisker pole, a reaching strut and a jib stick? If you thought defining those distinctions was no more than yachting pedantry then think again. Using a whisker pole could now cost your boat up to a half-point penalty on IRC handicap.

The IRC published a Q&A paper in late April backgrounding that decision and say there was no negative reaction from Northern Hemisphere owners. But it seems to be a different story Down Under where the ruling comes into effect on June 1. A forum of owners convened yesterday by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia heard some powerful arguments against the rating change.

There was rebellion in the air, and this disquiet among the owners of competitive offshore yachts in Australia may even lead to a push for the overall prize in the Sydney-Hobart race to switch from the prevailing IRC rating system to ORCi…

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