Solid Start to ORC World Championships

Published on July 18th, 2016

Copenhagen, Denmark (July 18, 2016) – Favorable 8-15 knot conditions in the opening day of the ORC World Championship 2016 gave race managers from the Royal Danish YC and the Egaa Sailing Club the opportunity to hold three inshore races, with three teams claiming the top of the leaderboard in each of three classes racing here off Skovshoved.

In Class A, it’s a Swedish team hailing from just a few miles to the east in Malmo that is on top of a pack of 13 racers and cruiser/racer designs: Fredrik Alexandersson’s Swan 45 Stell has come out of the starting blocks strong on a 1-3-2 score line, only 1 point ahead of Tarok VII, Erik Berth’s similar Swan 45 design from this side of the straits. Tarok in turn is only one point ahead of a completely different boat type positioned now in third place, Yakimenko Vadim’s TP 52 Freccia Rossa.

It’s often said that sailboat racing is “a game of inches,” and in handicap racing this is measured in the time allowances calculated for each boat’s actual performance relative to their potential determined by the science of the ORC rating system. In today’s medium air and flat-water, the racing was extremely close both on the water and in corrected time, with the margins of victory measured in only seconds after an hour of racing.

For example, Tarok VII defeated Stell in Race 2 by 19 seconds on the water after over an hour of racing, but in corrected time this translated to only 13 seconds because Tarok is rated slightly faster than her sistership due to slight differences in their respective speed-producing elements, such as sail area, crew weight, etc. Freccia Rossa meanwhile finished this 8.16-mile race over 13 minutes faster, but in corrected time defeated Tarok for first place by only 13 seconds.

The closeness of these time margins is a testament both to the abilities of the crews and the accuracy of the ORC rating system to fairly rate dissimilar boat types.

It’s interesting to note that in the last race’s breezier 15-knot conditions the high-performance boats started to come into their own, but not by high margins in corrected time. In Class A Race 3 was won by Dennis Gehrlein’s GP 42 Silva Neo from Germany, the Bronze medalist in this class in the Kiel Worlds in 2014, by 5 minutes over Stell on the water, but by the slimmest of margins in corrected time: only 3 seconds.

This tight racing was similarly close in the other classes, who were on shorter courses of about the same length in elapsed race time. This includes the two groups in Class C, where Bo Teichmann’s J/112E Lance 12, being sailed by a mixed German and Dutch team that includes racing legend Bouwe Bekking, is on top of this group of 59 teams on impressive scores of 2-3-1. Runner-up in the class is last year’s Class C European champion, Patrik Forsgren’s modified First 36.7 Pro4U/Malin. But this Swedish team’s 9 points is also shared with two other teams: Steen Christiansen’s local-based and brand new Italia 9.98 Happy Hour and another new Italia 9.98 – Jascha Bach’s Dutch Bachyachting Racing Team – who happens to have the boat’s designer aboard, Matteo Polli from Italy.

Polli’s expertise was also applied in Class B, where new appendages and a new optimized sail plan on a proven design racing in ORC – the X-41 – has resulted in impressive results today…once the class got off the line after several starting line recalls.

Overall in Class B Aaro Cantell’s X-41 Normet from Finland is leading by one point over Mati Sepp’s Estonian X-41 Premium, although the two are racing separately and leading respectively in the Blue and Yellow fleets in this class. While Normet is already a well-known performer, having recently won the Baltic Offshore ORC Championship in Talinn last month, Polli has worked with Sepp’s Premium on further optimization by changing the keel to be lower in its center of gravity and increased sail area for more horsepower in the light and medium conditions.

As a result, Sepp’s winning results today in the first two races’s lighter airs by significant margins over their competitors has helped achieve this goal.

Sitting in third place overall and winner of Race 3 in the Blue group is Claus Landmark’s Mills-designed Landmark 43 Santa from Norway, who was a Silver medal performer in Class A in the 2014 Kiel Worlds.

Due to a weather forecast of light air tomorrow, race managers are opting to run another inshore rather than offshore race, with the Warning Signal scheduled for 10:00 AM local time. Racing continues to July 23.

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Background: Since 1969, ORC has provided the most scientific and transparent VPP-based rating system in the world, used to create fair racing among a broad variety of boat types. Over 10,000 ORC certificates were issued by 39 rating offices around the world in 2015, and ORC organizes the annual ORC World Championship, an inshore and offshore event sanctioned by World Sailing, the international governing body of the sport of sailing

Source: ORC Class

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