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2019 ORC Rules, VPP and Worldwide Calendar now available

by ORC Media 8 Jan 10:44 GMT
ORC rules and standards help provide fair ratings and racing at prestigious championship events, such as the 2018 ORC European Championship in Limassol, Cyprus © Nikos Pantis

The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) is pleased to announce the 2019 versions of its Rules and regulations, Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) and Worldwide Calendar of events are now published and are available on the ORC website at www.orc.org. These are available both for the ORC and ORC Superyacht rating systems.

Organized into separate rulebooks and documents, the ORC rules include the International Measurement System (IMS), the ORC Rating System rules for ORC International and ORC Club certificates, the ORC Superyacht Rule, the ORC Sportboat Class Rules, and the ORC Championship Rules, Standard Notice of Race, Standard Sailing Instructions, and the ORC Championship Checklist, collectively known as the "Green Book." These are available for viewing and download at www.orc.org/rules.

The changes to these rules from 2018 are based on input from the users of the ORC system that have representation in the ORC Congress, the ORC Management Committee, the International Technical Committee (ITC), and the technical staff. They were approved at the ORC Congress that met at the Annual General Meeting held over 26-31 October in Sarasota, USA, and are summarized at this link: www,orc.org/changes.

Among the changes are improvements made to the aero- and hydro-dynamic modeling of the ORC VPP based on research, observations and user requests. For example, the model for added resistance due to waves was upgraded, the windage drag due to hiked crew was improved, and the model for crew weight position was improved to be optimized for boat speed and not just heel angle.

The IMS rules provide the framework needed for the quality and consistency of measurement data to operate the ORC system. For this year there are not many changes, but some measurement procedures are clarified and streamlined, such as internal ballast, propeller shafts that are not installed on centerline can now be measured, position of the weights for boom inclinations and minor clarifications on mainsail and mizzen staysail measurements.

The ORC Rating System rules help to keep racing fair among ORC Club and ORCi-rated boats by explaining policy rules and default limits, certificate use and scoring systems. For 2019 numerous clarifications are made in rules for ballast systems, boats with both asymmetric and symmetric spinnakers may now declare that the asymmetric sails are flown only on centerline, and other minor items.

For the ORC's Green Book, new 2019 CDL limits defining the three classes at ORC Championship events have been devised for minimal disruption to the fleet from the 2018 limits.

These new limits are as follows:

  • Class A: 16.50 >= CDL > 11.62 m
  • Class B: 11.62 >= CDL > 9.80 m
  • Class C: 9.80 >= CDL > 8.60 m
The only change was small shift in the Class A-B split at 11.62 m CDL.

And for ORC Club and ORC International certificates, national rating offices may now opt to include a new appendix page of ratings based on specific course models in addition to the standard Long distance/Coastal and Windward/Leeward models shown on current certificates.

Yet for the vast majority of ORC certificate holders, their primary concern is How has my rating changed for 2019? A test run shows that for 90% of the nearly 2000 designs in the ORCi fleet the change in General Purpose Handicap (GPH) was only very small: +/- 0.5%. This is within the normal scale of changes year to year as the system makes incremental progress in accuracy without causing disruptions to the fleet. Moreover, a re-scoring of race results from the major 2018 ORC championships using the 2019 VPP showed little or no changes in scores.

"Yearly rating changes should not be cause for alarm," said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC. "Our process is to make the VPP better and more accurate every year through the substantial investment we make in research and development through the efforts of the ITC. The very small changes for this year means that everyone should continue to enjoy the same close racing they have had with their prior use of the ORC system."

Issuance of valid certificates for the 2019 season is at the discretion of each of the 36 national rating offices in the ORC system - the list of these offices is at www.orc.org/ratingoffices.

The 2019 ORC VPP Documentation will be available soon after the 2019 ORC VPP gets distributed to the 35 independent Rating Offices located around the world. Their timing for issuing new 2019 certificates will vary by country, check with your local rating office for more details. There are also many others who are subscribed to soon receive the final version of the 2019 ORC Designer's version VPP software (DVP) after assisting in providing feedback on the beta versions issued in the last month.

For those interested in subscribing to the 2019 DVP, this is available now at the discount rate of EUR360/year until 15 January, when the price increases to its regular rate of EUR600/year. More information on the 2019 DVP can be found at www.orc.org/dvp.

The 2019 ORC Superyacht (ORCsy) Rules are also now available online from the ORC Superyacht page at www.orc.org/superyacht.

And for those interested in subscribing to the ORC Superyacht DVP, this is also available now for EUR840 for existing subscribers and EUR1200 for new subscribers on the ORC Superyacht page at www.orc.org/index.asp?id=206.

And for those who want to see how the 2019 VPP affects the ratings of their boat or others in the fleet, the ORC's Sailor Services system is also now equipped to run Test certificates, Speed Guides and Target Speeds for nominal prices payable through PayPal. This unique public access system is available after free registry at www.orc.org/sailorservices.

In addition to the 2019 Rules and VPP, the 2019 ORC Worldwide Calendar of Events is also on the website at www.orc.org/calendar. This list of event information has been provided by race organizers, rating offices and others and is continuously updated as new information becomes available.

And the ORC Superyacht Calendar of events is available at www.orc.org/superyacht.

More on ORC rating systems, ORC certificates and events can be found at www.orc.org.

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