Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Brothers

ORA to provide multiple ratings to GYA-PHRF fleets

by Offshore Racing Rule 9 Oct 2020 16:23 BST
ORA to provide multiple ratings to GYA-PHRF fleets © Offshore Racing Rule

Beginning in January, 2021, the Offshore Racing Association (ORA) will issue handicap ratings for the nearly 500 boats in the Gulf Yachting Association's PHRF fleet, which is spread from western Florida to New Orleans.

GYA fleet members will receive PHRF ratings for two course configurations and light- or medium-strength winds, each based on the ORA's proprietary velocity prediction program (VPP). They will also receive benchmark ratings for spinnaker and non-spinnaker configurations to set class breaks.

The certificates will have a total of five spinnaker and five non-spinnakers ratings. Race organizers will have the option of applying the rating with a windward-leeward or random-leg configuration and wind strength for a given race—or they can select from the benchmark ratings, which average the other four.

According to Tom Beery, GYA-PHRF chairman and chief administrator, "For years we've tried to develop a multi-course rating system—recognizing that a single course is lacking in equity—but without great success primarily due to the subjective nature of assigning ratings. The addition of two different wind speeds is further desirable," he says. "On the Gulf Coast, we have light conditions in summer and stronger breezes in the fall and spring."

Beery also points out that use of the ORA system will reduce the workload on PHRF handicappers and administrators dramatically: "Previously, for a new boat, I would provide a lot of research to our Area Handicappers for their input on a provisional rating. Provisional ratings and appeals were then reviewed quarterly, and all ratings were considered at the annual board meeting based on our 40-year database of race results."

The new ratings supplied by ORA Rating Services are VPP "time on distance" ratings, converted to conventional PHRF ratings based on the relative difference to a control-boat rating. The GYA has chosen the J/35 spinnaker rating of 72 as the control-boat base rating for all conversions.

Beery has chaired the committee for 40 years and at age 81 believes a system based on the ORA's science will provide fairer, more competitive racing and be much more manageable for his successors. The GYA-PHRF Committee will still ultimately control the ratings, but Beery expects they will rely mainly on the ratings delivered by ORA Rating Services.

Jay Tyson, head of ORA Rating Services, says, "The ORA is in business to make it easier for organizing authorities and race committees to deliver fair racing to sailors." Tyson adds that ORA Rating Services can be customized to provide Beery and others like him with relevant boat-specific data plus management and rating processing to reduce their workload and deliver ratings to help them strengthen their fleets.

Using its VPP technology, ORA Rating Services provides custom services to help PHRF raters and race committees. It can also assist with scoring, certificate processing, reporting, training, and other services to help PHRF Fleets.

ORA Rating Services currently assists with ratings for PHRF fleets in Southern California, as well.

For more on ORA Rating Services, contact:
Jay Tyson, ORA Rating Services -
John Horton, Executive Director -

For GYA-PHRF, contact Tom Beery, GYA-PHRF chairman

Related Articles

Marc Blees sets sights high at Rolex TP52 Worlds
Former top Finn and Star helm turned offshore racer assembles a crew Former top Dutch Finn and Star boat helm turned leading offshore racer, Code Zero's Marc Blees will field a team at next week's 10 boat Rolex TP52 World Championship in Palma, Mallorca. Posted on 21 Oct
5.5 Metre Alpen Cup day 1
John B leads after windy first day at Torbole The 5.5 Metre Alpen Cup at Circolo Vela Torbole, on Lake Garda, Italy, is normally the opening event of the season, but it has been cancelled the last two years because of Covid. Posted on 21 Oct
IOCA UK Gill End of Season Championships
100 Optimists return after 6 hours of racing, as sun sets over Torbay Exactly 100 of the UK's top young Optimist sailors enjoyed two days of glorious autumn sunshine, last weekend, on the English Riviera as the IOCA UK Gill End of Season Championships returned to Torbay for the first time in five years. Posted on 21 Oct
Osprey Inland Championships at Blithfield
Epic and challenging conditions which included full buoyancy checks The forecast did not look promising and along with the national fuel shortage numbers were sure to be affected. On Friday night the first teams arrived with a few managing a quick shake down sail as the dusk fell, among them Richard and Mark Hartley. Posted on 21 Oct
Sailing Chandlery RS200 Northern Tour 2021 Overall
Congratulations to Ollie Groves and Esther Parkhurst from Beaver SC Congratulations to Ollie Groves and Esther Parkhurst from Beaver SC, winners of the Sailing Chandlery RS200 Northern Tour 2021. Posted on 21 Oct
2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race preview
The Mediterranean's quintessential offshore race Rolex has supported this annual 606-nautical mile (975 kilometre) race and its organizers, the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC), since 2002. Posted on 21 Oct
2024 Vendée Globe Notice of Race published
Rules of participation are put in place three years before the start The SAEM Vendée, the organizing entity behind the Vendée Globe, has just published the Notice of Race which details the rules for competing in the 10th edition of the Vendée Globe. Posted on 21 Oct
The Ocean Cleanup proves viability of technology
With trash collected from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch The Ocean Cleanup, the non-profit developing and scaling technologies to rid the oceans of plastic, announces proof of technology upon returning to Victoria Harbour with trash collected from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Posted on 21 Oct
RS400 Supercup at Tynemouth
Four sprint races held within the harbour The RS400 fleet at Tynemouth signed off the season with a 13 boat home fleet taking to the water for four sprint races within the harbour, the event was ran with the aim of getting our 15 boat strong fleet all on the water. Posted on 21 Oct
Blithfield Barrel 2021/22 Preview
The Midlands Premiere Winter Race Series Blithfield Sailing club are all geared up ready to welcome everyone back for the 21/22 Blithfield Barrel. Posted on 21 Oct