Merry Dancer, 1938 Fife design

Boats that take part in regattas for classic and vintage yachts are decided into three main categories: Vintage Yachts, Classic Yachts and Spirit of Tradition Yachts.

The regulations for the Rule and for Vintage and Classic Yacht regattas, published regularly by the Comité International de la Méditerranée (CIM), defines Vintage Yachts as wood or Metal boats launched before 31 December 1949.
Classic Yachts are wood or metal boats launched before 31 December 1975.
Spirit of Tradition Yachts are boats that, although made using modern techniques and materials, were built after 1970 and have a style matching traditional designs. There are other categories, such as Vintage Yacht Replicas (yachts that, irrespective of their launching date, were built in conformity to designs dated prior to 1950) and Classic Yacht Replicas (yachts that, independently from their launch date, were built in conformity to a design dated prior to 1976).

During each event, other classes of boat can be formed depending on their type. For example: Metric Classes (12 mR, the 8 Metre mR, 6 metre mR, 5.50 mR, etc), the Big Boats (boats measuring over 30 metres), J-Class or classes including historical one-designs such as Dragons).

To enable sometimes very different boats to race against each other, each one has a Rating, the result of a formula that takes into account many parameters, amongst which the age of the boat, length, rigging and sail surface. This coefficient is then entered into another formula to determine the Time Correction Factor (TCF), a factor that establishes how many seconds per mile must be deducted from the real time, to calculate the compensated time that boats are ranked by. This information appears on the Rating Certificate, issued for each boat by the Technical Commission in each national association for classic yachts, and is renewed each year. Source: press article HERE