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 2001 0.928
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 planing 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 but 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.