High wind produces close results in Charleston


23 April 2017

  A hallmark of ORC scoring is the ability to customize ratings to windspeeds and course models that produce corrected time results that are generally closer and more fair than single-number rating systems. Using the Triple Number system, ratings for the ORC classes will vary on windward/leeward courses with ranges of Low, Medium and High wind speeds.

In today’s High conditions (>14 knots), this closeness was demonstrated today most clearly in the ORC C class, where the 9 boats competing on inshore Circle 3 saw not only scoring places determined within seconds in corrected time, but even tied to within one second after over 30 minutes of racing. As they did yesterday, this class sailed four races today for a total of 8 thusfar in the series.

With crisp boat handling, smart tactics, and blazing speed, Mike Beasley’s GP 26 Rattle n Rum continued to extend their lead from yesterday and are dominating the class. Yet in today’s first race (Race 5) they had to share 4th-place points with sistership Hall Pass, Jim Carkhuff’s Jim Donovan-designed GP 26. And the winner of this race were the students of College of Charleston, who are campaigning their Melges 30 Cougar, but their margin of victory was not by much: only 20 seconds ahead of Hawk Caldwell’s Henderson 30 Short Bus.

As racing continued through the day, more ties in corrected time emerged in this class: in the next race it was Short Bus that had to share 3rd place points with Marcus Durlach’s local-based team on his Melges 32 Fearless. And in Race 8 Fearless had to share 3rd place points again with Cougar. “The racing here has been outstanding,” said Caldwell, “because we are fighting not only boat-for-boat, but closely in corrected time as well. The system seems to really be working well.”
The next tightest class using ORC scoring is Class A, where somewhat expectedly as the largest boat in the class Tony Langley’s TP 52 Gladiator has been enjoying the big wind and big waves on the offshore course area with two bullets and a second earned today. And with six races completed, discards now apply to the score lines giving them a 3-point lead going into tomorrow’s final two races.

Yet Robin Team’s J/122 Teamwork continues to be a giant-killer, being consistently close to Langley in corrected time and taking the win in the last race. “This is a different kind of racing than one-designs,” said Teamwork tactician Jonathan Bartlett. “With ORC you are racing the clock, so we are focused on sailing our numbers and trying to not get tangled tactically. We’ve been together as a team for years, so we just need to sail clean and we can do well.”

A post-race discussion among ORC teams indicated a desire for more coastal courses in event formats, and a possibility to have more custom course scoring options.



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