Handicapping widely disparate SuperYachts represents one of the most
formidable challenges any rule authority can undertake. A SuperYacht
fleet typically includes schooners, sloops and ketches of varying
lengths and with displacements ranging from 50 to 600 tons and the
huge disparity in yacht type, size and shape is exceptionally
difficult to handicap.
The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) is uniquely suited to undertake this challenge after decades of work developing the ORCi VPP and ORC Rules. From the outset it was clear that SuperYachts and their unique characteristics present a unique handicapping challenge for a number of different reasons and those issues needed to be addressed in a new rule.
ORC has thus created the ORC SuperYacht Rule (ORCsy) with the guidance and cooperation of the world’s leading organizer of SuperYacht events, the Super Yacht Racing Association (SYRA: www.superyra.org). It must be clear that selecting a handicap rule for any regatta is a decision that is made by each individual Regatta Organizer. It is not a decision made by SYRA and SYRA does not administer the rule.
This project was developed over 2014 and 2015 and includes the collection of all information related to yachts intending to participate in SuperYacht regattas around the world. This data is made available through the cooperation of designers, sailmakers, builders and suppliers to these magnificent yachts.
To fairly rate them under handicap, a dedicated VPP has been created, developed and tested during the 2015 racing season. This performance model is unique to SuperYachts and is supported by the unique features typical of yachts this size.
There is a new online form available now to apply for an ORCsy certificate. Sources of data to complete the application include the yacht’s stability booklet, 3D drawings of the hull, or, ideally, the yacht’s offset file, and any other supporting materials, including the deck plan, GA, tanks plan and sailplan drawings, etc. The accuracy of this data will in turn result in an accurate performance prediction for each applying SuperYacht.
The ORC has selected a dedicated working team focused on this task and capable of analyzing this data, which is sometime 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 the different ratings used in varied wind and sea state conditions.
As ORCsy certificates are issued, they are loaded into an accessible database managed by ORC. The number of ORCsy certificates in this database is now more than 100 yachts and includes those that competed during the 2015 season in 7 SYRA events in the Caribbean and Mediterranean where the ORCsy rule has been successfully utilized in all.
During this first season of use, the ORCsy VPP had been steadily developed and improved by ORC and SYRA, reaching a total of 48 revisions to accommodate the different features and improvements needed through ORCsy use in different races, yacht variations and natural development. This year there were 107 ORCsy certificates issued, all controlled and issued by the ORC Central Office.
A dedicated ORC SuperYacht section has been organized on the ORC web site to give access to SuperYacht owners and captains/team managers to the ORCsy Sailor Service system, an online portal unique 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.
The ORCsy team is now fully committed for the 2016 season, starting at the end of January in Antigua.
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.
More details on the ORCsy Rule are described in the other chapters of this SuperYacht website.