707 Handicap Racing
The Class Association's view is that 707s are best raced within a one-design class. However, not everybody lives near an existing fleet, and establishing a new fleet often involves a period of handicap racing while numbers build. You may also want to take part in specific events that don't have a 707 class.
These are the known handicaps under which 707s raced in 2001.
|IRC 2016||0.910 - 0.916|
|Royal Southampton club class||0.940|
|PY (at PEYC)||927|
The 707 can perform well under IRC, which is the most widely used handicap system for yacht racing in the UK. For example, in the 2001 Hoya Round the Island Race, the leading 707 would have won the Gold Roman Bowl had they been sailing in IRC instead of in the 707 class (although the leading Mumm 30 would have done even better). That race, in a fresh southerly, involved little beating and a lot of planeing reaches, and it is those conditions which best suit a 707 in IRC. A 707 won the two-handed Weymouth to Cowes race a few years ago by miles in a F5 SW breeze and doubtless there are other examples.
It is instructive to consider the following. John Corby is arguably the most successful designer of one-off IRC boats in the last five years. The Corby 25 is a foot longer than the 707. It is nearly twice the displacement, with all the difference in the keel. It has an overlapping genoa. It rates 2% faster than a 707, which is exactly what you would expect from the greater waterline length i.e. it pays nothing in terms of rating for it's much greater stiffness. It costs nearly twice the price of a new 707. Clearly the design objectives for an optimised IRC boat, versus a fun-to-sail one-design with a price tag capable of building a large fleet, are not the same. That's not to say you cannot have success racing a 707 in IRC, but it is well to have realistic expectations.
See Buying for information on acquiring an IRC rating.
The Sportsboat Rating (SBR) was introduced during the sports boat boom of the mid-90's to provide a forum for non-OD sportsboats to race, given that they are too light displacement to be competitive under IRC around most courses. In the Solent, at the time of writing (2001) the SBR fleet has been in decline recently, as owners interested in that kind of boat have gravitated to class racing for 707s, 1720s and Mumm 30's. Elsewhere, 707s race under SBR in the Scottish Series.
As a recognised one-design, class-compliant 707s can sail under SBR without the requirement for registration or fee.