The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) and the SuperYacht Racing Association (SYRA) have released onlinethe 2016 version of the ORC SuperYacht Rule (ORCsy). These rules are intended to be valid for use now in any regatta this year using ORCsy.
The Designer version of the 2016 Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) that forms the core of the ORCsy is also now available to those designers, project managers and sailors interested in running their own test certificates in the ORCsy rule. This DVP version is available at the ORCsy website.
An online application for a certificate, measurement guidelines, a schedule of certificate fees and an overview of the system is also now available on the ORC Superyacht page.
The process of handicapping widely disparate Superyachts represents one of the most formidable challenges any rule authority can undertake since a fleet of these boats typically includes schooners, sloops and ketches of varying lengths. And with displacements ranging from 50 to 600 tons and huge differences in yacht type, size and shape, these yachts are exceptionally difficult to handicap in a fair and transparent manner.
In late 2014 at the request of the SYRA, ORC took on this challenge after decades of work developing the ORCi VPP and ORC Rules. Collaborating with the SYRA, a dedicated working team has focused exclusively on the task of gathering and analyzing measurement data of these magnificent yachts, which is sometimes also supplemented by observations made on site at Superyacht events and when necessary re-issuing updated ORCsy rating certificates. The ORCsy team has also created scoring software to manage staggered or pursuit starting procedures and different ratings used in varied wind and sea state conditions.
ORC has also created a Superyacht section on its website to give owners and captains/team managers access to the ORCsy Sailor Service system, an online portal that is a unique feature to ORC rating systems. Here is where designers and technical advisors can purchase the VPP for their testing and other users can run test certificates on their own using the online portal.
Transparency is an important principle for ORC, who is fully committed to having its rule systems fully accessible and implementing and administering ORCsy in the same professional manner that they have with their conventional sailboat rating rules (ORCi and ORC Club). It is this important feature that has helped make ORC rating systems the most popular in the world, with over 10,000 certificates issued in 39 countries in 2015.
The first use of ORCsy in 2016 will be at the Superyacht Challenge Antigua, held this week over January 28-31 in Antigua. This year’s entries includes yachts from 90 to 147 feet, including some of the world’s latest superyachts to be commissioned to make their racing debut at the event. The magnificent fleet will take part in three days of spectacular racing, with daily pursuit races along the stunning south coast of Antigua and laid back social events. Representatives from ORC on hand to score the regatta and be available to answer any questions on the ORCsy rule are Paolo Massarini and Gennaro Aveta.
The Superyacht Challenge Antigua does not determine an overall winner, however yachts are separated into two classes, Corsairs and Buccaneers. The top three yachts in each class win a barrel of Antiguan rum to celebrate their achievements. Awards are also made for the fastest yacht on the water and the best corrected time, using the ORCsy rating system. The best crew work observed by the race committee, led by International Race Officer John Coveney, will also receive an award.
Other superyacht racing events using the ORCsy handicap rule during the 2016 winter Caribbean season will be the YC Costa Smeralda’s Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous being held 9-12 March, featuring 25 luxurious yachts racing on courses set in the British Virgin Islands, followed by the St Barths Bucket Regatta held over 17-20 March, featuring 39 yachts of varied sizes and types racing around the island of St Barthlemey in the French West Indies.
For more information on ORCsy, visit orc.org/superyacht.