Following the meeting of the ERS Q&A Panel at the ISAF Annual Conference, an answer to the Q&A posed by IRC regarding backstays and running backstays has now been published on the ISAF website and can be found here: http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/ERSQA00115-.pdf
One way we often describe it is that if you turn the boat upside down and shake it, nothing would fall out (although we don't expect you to actually try this!).
The IRC 2015 Rule text and a summary of the changes are now available to download from the Rules & Definitions page.
The International IRC Congress gathered in Windsor for their annual meeting on 10th October 2014. Download the Minutes and related appendices here.