ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet

2012 ORC Worlds start line.
Organizers from Kieler Yacht-Club and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) are pleased to announce that a third course area will be opened for competition when racing starts for the 2014 ORC World Championship on Monday, August 4th, and continues through Saturday, August 9th. This third area will minimize excessive crowding in the record-sized fleet of 176 entries and allow for a better distribution of boats into each of the race course areas.

'The resources necessary to conduct a proper world-class event are considerable,' said Hans-Eckhard von der Mosel, KYC Chairman of the 2014 ORC Worlds. 'In our planning we did not imagine such a strong turnout in entries, so we are very fortunate to have found the support for this third course area, and thank those donors who have made this possible. The racing will now be better, faster and more fair with this new feature.'

The new course area will accompany another feature of the event to make for better racing in this huge fleet: Group Sailing. A technique of fleet management usually found in dinghy and Olympic classes, race managers at KYC led by Principal Race Officer Stefan Kunstmann will use this to divide the two largest ORC classes into two groups of equal and manageable size.

February 26, 2015. Leg 4 to Auckland onboard Dongfeng Race Team. Day 18. When the rain squall passed, Charles Caudrelier finally saw how much ground Azzam had taken, and it wasn't as pretty as this sunset. Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15
© Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race

'Having over 70 boats from 30 to 40 feet in length on a starting line is not an attractive prospect to any race officer at any race, much less a major championship,' said Kunstmann. 'By dividing into groups of 30 or so boats we can have better control on the quality of both the starts and the course layout. This allows for us to be faster and more accurate at adjusting courses as needed for wind shifts, we will have fewer recalls at the starts, and thus more time available to race.'

The groups will race in a Qualifying Series held over Monday to Thursday, 4-7 August, with each group changing daily according to the previous day's results. The results after racing is completed on Thursday will then determine the top 30 competing yachts who will race in a Gold fleet to be eligible for the World Championship titles and trophies, and a Silver fleet to race for prizes to be awarded for this group.

Another innovation for the 2014 Worlds fleet will be use of the RaceQs tracking system for competitors during races of the event. Using an app developed for iPhone and Android, competitors can track their progress during races and afterwards upload the data so that everyone can enjoy 3D replays of the regatta. A dedicated page for this feature has been established.

Racing in the 2014 ORC World Championship, an annual offshore racing event sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), consists of two short offshore races and nine inshore races, with all sailing held in the vicinity of the Kieler Bucht north and east of the regatta venue at Kiel-Schilksee Harbor.

For more information about the 2014 ORC World Championship, visit the event website.