ORC Congress confirms 2024 World Championship in USA

Published on November 6th, 2022

The 53rd meeting of the ORC Congress had representatives from 46 nations and World Sailing approve recommended improvements to the ORC rating system which has issued nearly 14,000 certificates for monohulls, multihulls, and Superyachts this year to date in 2022.

Among the decisions was to host the 2024 ORC World Championship in Newport, RI. Never before held in the USA, a previous attempt in 2020 had the event cancelled due to the pandemic. Since then, the ORC rule has gained a stronger footing in North America, with prominent events such as the Mackinac races, Big Boat Series, and SORC using the handicap system.

At the Congress, reports and recommended improvements were made from the International Technical Committee (ITC), the Race Management, Rating Officers, Measurement, Offshore Classes and Events, Promotion and Development and Management Committees based on 40 submissions from 10 nations. Among the numerous approved innovations are the following:

1. An improved Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) that uses three key changes to the force model for 2023:

• After two years of research, a Neural Network-based Residuary Resistance force model will be now be used that has been validated through a performance analysis made of a diverse test fleet of designs.
• The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)-based aerodynamic de-powering model has been improved so that there is no longer any subjective effects (eg, default righting moment) that affect the handicap polars.
• With help from the ITC’s Research Associates group of nine prominent sailors, designers and sail designers, the sail force coefficients of Headsails set Flying (HSF’s) have been adjusted to more accurately match their rated and actual performance.

“The end result of these improvements are a more fair treatment of both modern fast boat designs that we see in our championship fleets,” said ITC Chairman Andy Claughton, “and better treatment of older legacy designs as well, such as the Cal 40 and ULDB Sleds in the USA fleets.”

2. An embrace of a suggestion made by world-class navigator Stan Honey to use high resolution weather models to predict the wind conditions so that ratings can be calculated based on these conditions and the race course geometry. ORC will develop software to enable race committees to generate the ratings and distribute them prior to racing so that competitors may not only have more accurate ratings but also better predict their performance in corrected time on the race course.

3. Starting in 2024, ORC World and Continental Championship events will offer a new distribution of CDL-defined class limits that will offer a new Class 0 in addition to Classes A, B and C. This new distribution divides the diverse ORC fleet into divisions that are more fair and competitive, and will allow for a total of four championship titles in each event.

4. The format of the 2023 ORC Championship will have a more flexible format to encourage more coastal races in addition to the long offshore race and multiple windward/leeward races.

5. Future ORC events will embrace initiatives to promote greater participation by youth and women sailors, and will also help encourage sustainability practices at its events. The 2023 ORC Championship, for example, is planning to have prizes dedicated to teams that have 50% or more females on their crew.

Numerous other approved changes will be described in the minutes of the Congress meeting and published at www.orc.org/meetings. Currently posted are minutes from the various committees at this same web page.

Confirmed 2023 ORC events:
23 April-1 May – ORC European Championship – Malta, MLT
19-21 May – ORC Mediterranean Championship – Sorrento, ITA
10-18 June – ORC DH European Championship – Helsingor, DEN
4-12 August – ORC World Championship – Kiel, GER
9-15 Sept – ORC DH World Championship – Barcelona, ESP
23-29 Sept – ORC Sportboat European Championship – Kalamaki, GRE

Confirmed 2024 ORC events:
10-15 June – ORC Double Handed World Championship – Oslo, NOR
12-18 Aug – ORC European Championship – Mariehamn, FIN
27 Sept-5 Oct – ORC World Championship – Newport, USA

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