The managers and staff of the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) are pleased to announce the 2021 version of the VPP and Rules are now published and ready for use. The rule books are uploaded and available for viewing and download at www.orc.org/rules and the VPP software has been delivered to ORC’s national Rating Offices around the world for them to issue certificates when ready for their regions.
The specific changes to the Rules from 2020 are summarized on the ORC website at this link: www.orc.org/changes. The 2021 editions of the ORC VPP Documentation and the ORC Race Management Guidebook will be updated and available within the next several weeks.
While there were very few changes to the VPP and rules for 2021, there have been substantial improvements made to the main product of ORC: the ORC certificate. The new designs for ORC Club and ORC International certificates will now offer the information on a boat’s measurements and rating options in a way that is both complete and easier to read.
Firstly, both certificate types are now color-coded: light Blue for ORC Club and dark Blue for ORC International, which is shown on all pages. The type of certificate – General, Double Handed, One Design or the new Non-Spinnaker – will also be prominently shown on the first page. The first page of all types is the same, with the boat’s name, sail number, General Purpose Handicap (GPH) and Class Division Length (CDL) shown within the colored label field, along with a scale drawing of the boat, the rig and sails, basic boat dimensions and a table of rated boat speed values for various wind speeds and angles.
The second page is also the same now for all certificate types and is dedicated to the multiple scoring options available for use in the ORC system. Time allowances in the basic options – All Purpose and Windward/Leeward – are shown on the top half of the page, while the bottom half may show a variety of more options depending on the preferences within the region of each rating office. These include popular options such as Triple Number, Predominant Upwind and Downwind, and race-specific models.
The third page has more detailed information on the boat, hull, appendages, rig, flotation and stability data, and the measurement inventory of items aboard when measured. ORCi certificates automatically display this data that is provided by measurers, while this page is optionally displayed on ORC Club certificates since the data may be assumed and is at the discretion of the national rating office.
A fourth page is also part of all ORCi certificates and contains detailed measurements of all sails of all types declared on the certificate and used to calculate ratings.
There have been no changes made to 2021 ORC Superyacht certificate designs.
Another innovation for 2021 is the ability for rating officers to issue not only standard and Double Handed ORC Club and ORCi certificates to co-exist for the same boat at the same time, but the addition of the new Non-Spinnaker certificate as well. Since the Scoring page is now standard on all certificate types, the same scoring options are now available whether racing with a full crew, Double Handed or Non-Spinnaker. This gives even greater flexible use of ORC ratings and scoring to serve the needs of sailors without requiring the intervention of the rating office.
As new certificates get issued by rating offices, they will be uploaded to ORC’s free web-based public-access portal, the ORC Sailor Services. Here copies of current and past certificates going back to 2009 are available for free, along with many 100’s of measurement records from the earlier IMS era. Self-service test certificates may be run here, as well as Speed Guides of polar performance and upwind and downwind Target Speeds for windward/leeward racing.
“Our Management Committee is pleased with the staff working so hard in the last few months since the Annual Meeting to complete this ambitious project, among all their other tasks,” said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC. “We feel race managers and our customers will appreciate this effort to make the ORC system easier to access and understand, particularly among our many new users this year.”