ORC makes Charleston debut


22 April 2017

  Ever innovative, Sperry Charleston Race Week has this year been the first regatta in the US to adopt use of the international ORC rating system for all course areas racing around buoys under handicap. Four classes of 27 teams are competing in three course areas, divided by size, speed and boat type, with racing being fairly close in most classes.

Proof of this may be found in ORC Class A where the fastest and slowest-rated boats are tied in points after 3 races. Tony Langley’s TP 52 Gladiator has made their debut at Race Week loaded with talent and experience from the grand prix 52SuperSeries circuit, yet its Robin Team’s pro-am team on his J/122 Teamwork whose consistent runner-up scores keeps them tied on 6 points each.

“Our crew has been sailing together for a long time,” says Team, a perennial champion at Race Week, “and we really enjoyed the racing today. ORC seems to be working well, but beating Gladiator will be tough, and the other guys are getting better every race too.”

Chuck O’Malley, tactician on Gerry Taylor’s Cape Fear 38 Tangent, said despite their optimization for PHRF they too felt the ratings were fair – the lead ORC Class B by three points. “The time allowances seem about right. I think our advantage today was because we’re able to go through the chop a little better relative to our competitors – we’re just a little heavier and longer to get through the waves.”

And inshore on Circle 3 the ORC Class C Sportboat class expanded from last year’s handful of GP 26’s to include a broader size range of boats up to 33 feet in length. Last year’s champion, Mike Beasley’s GP 26 Rattle ‘n Rum, is off to a strong start with 3 bullets in 4 races. “We’re sailing well, I think mostly offwind where we’ve learned to sail the boat hot and fast. These GP’s are fantastic, and the ratings are fair, but you got to work at it to win.”

And on the other inshore course on Circle 1, Steve Vincent’s B-25 Fully Involved is clean-sweeping ORC Class D with straight bullets while enjoying this course area’s proximity to the scenic downtown Charleston waterfront.



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