Class Association

U.K. J/109 Class changes rules to align it with IRC fleet

The J/109 has frequently been one of the largest cruiser racer classes at Cowes Week. Similarly, the J/109 has been very successfully raced fully crewed and short-handed under IRC with notable performances in the Fastnet Race in 2015.

This week the U.K. class held an Extraordinary General Meeting during Lendy Cowes Week, to approve a change in the rules which will make it easier for the IRC focussed boats to take part in class racing, and J-109 class boats to participate in IRC events.

The change is to move from overlapping headsails to non-overlapping headsails, allow in-haulers and provide for flexibility in forestay setup.  This change will make the boats easier to sail, without compromising boat speed.  Boats will be able to use the same set-up for both racing formats without having to own two different sets of headsails.

The changes will come into effect for the season beginning in 2021, but during a two year transitional period spanning the 2019 and 2020 seasons, boats will be able to compete in boat for boat, one design racing under either the existing or the amended rules.

The Irish J/109 fleet made a similar, and successful change a few years ago, and they have seen a real boost in J/109 numbers. It is hoped that J/109s from the U.K., Ireland. and all over Northern Europe will find it easier to race together at flagship events such as Cowes Week.

Newly elected class Chairman, Simon Perry commented: “We hope these changes will help to maintain the J/109 as one of the most successful one design, cruiser/racer classes in the UK & Ireland, and promote greater participation in one design events.

For information on the J/109 UK & Ireland class, email

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