Gathering Sportboats for Better Racing
Published on February 28th, 2017
For 30 years, the NOOD regattas have been offering a national tour of one design racing, but an effort is now underway to support the one-designs that don’t have critical mass to form a fleet, yet still want to get off their trailers and onto the racecourse.
This was the vision of North Sails expert Vince Brun who saw an active group of local sportboats likely to sit out the 2017 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in San Diego on March 17-19. “Many of these boats are really fun to sail, and they should be sailed and not just sit waiting for a one design class to form,” he says.
But rather than add a PHRF class in which the sportboats often sail, the NOOD is seeking a better solution.
In the interest of evolving the event with a more advanced system, one that’s absent of local influence, the NOOD will be using the ORC rating system which has had notable success in Europe with its Sportboat championship fleets. Think like-style boats racing together with agreeable results.
While ORC is internationally prominent, it remains new in the US but fleets are growing and a movement is afoot. Some advantages identified with ORC is that it is science-based, objective, and consistent, and it has the ability to easily issue ORC certificates for existing one-design classes (and boats still in their one-design configuration) without measurement.
For others, ORC Club certificates can be issued based on measured sistership data. To swiftly implement this effort for the Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD, US Sailing and ORC’s Dobbs Davis is standing by to provide any necessary support.
But it gets better.
NOOD Regatta organizers understand the likely reluctance of owners to pay the requisite $100 certificate fee (for 2017) to US Sailing for a single event. Event director Jen Davies has therefore agreed to absorb certificate costs for the first seven entries in order to propel this effort forward for the San Diego regatta. However, this does not apply to one-design classes that already have established NOOD starts (i.e., Flying Tigers).
Like most things new, this effort will take a leap of faith, but the premise is supported by the recent Scuttlebutt survey that overwhelming stated that sportboats need to be racing together. Matching these technical boats with a technical rule makes even more sense.
Source: Sailing World, Scuttlebutt