Offshore Racing Rule looks into 2016

Published on January 22nd, 2016

Offshore Racing Rule, ORR, the North American-based rule invented for sailors and their boats, had a record turnout in 2015 for the Regional Championship Series and was the handicap rule of choice for many classic and new events. In 2016, the use of the ORR is expanding into even more events.

The Acapulco Fleet will be starting off the 2016 season at the end of January using customized course ratings, provided by ORA (Offshore Racing Association), to meet their sailing conditions. Many more event organizers are using ORR as their handicap system of choice in North America due to its customization capabilities, ease of use and attentive customer service.

The Offshore Racing Association, ORR’s Rule owner, received a grant from the Cruising Club of America (CCA) to help finance the re-write of the Offshore Racing Rule Velocity Prediction Program (ORR VPP) which calculates the speed potential of each boat at any combination of wind speed and wind direction. The VPP re-write project was completed by Jim Teeters and his team.

The 2016 ORR VPP has incorporated the latest “wide light” and real world sail testing research into its rating calculations. There is also a new assessment for boats that carry an asymmetrical spinnaker on centerline, where they now have the option to carry a whisker pole for winging out a jib if they choose. The latest ORR VPP’s are now the most scientifically advanced version available for use in handicapping worldwide.

ORA and US SAILING finalized an agreement bringing these two strong organizations closer together in an effort to make the racing experience better. US SAILING will produce certificates and provide measurement services for ORA. The new US SAILING software program will be up and running by March 1. To assist US SAILING with the initial launch, ORA has made arrangements with US SAILING to make sure that 2016 ORR ratings, trial certificates, experimental certificates, renewals and new certificates will be available when requested.

US SAILING will be updating their web page with the renewal applications, new applications, etc. by the end of February and the link will also be available on the ORR website.

ORR-ez (known as TN+ in beta testing) was developed for the North American racing fleet with its central core based on the ORR VPP and is maintained by a dedicated staff that is attentive to the needs of each sailor. ORR-ez handicaps are assigned based on very specific assumptions about the boat’s overall configuration and measurements, using the ORR VPP, owner supplied sail data and hull file geometry as supplied from the ORA database or a constructed hull file. In addition, there is an observed performance factor (OPF).

Each handicapped boat is issued a rating certificate that officially documents the boat’s rating (ORR VPP plus OPF), as well as key measurements and configuration assumptions. Ratings may be adjusted based on observed performance, especially for those boats whose racing abilities may be compromised by design emphasis on cruising capabilities.

Report by Offshore Racing Association.

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