Rolex Sydney Hobart 2011 ORCi versus IRC as handicap rule

Ragamuffin - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2011
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2011 and tomorrow the handicap winner for this year’s race will probably be decided. The overall IRC handicap rating winner will receive the prestigious Tattersalls Cup and there will be IRC results for 72 boats sailing in the fleet across four divisions.

At the same time there will be another set of handicap results for yachts sailing under the ORCi handicap rating, 38 boats in three divisions.

Over the years there have been a number of different rating systems for this race. Back in the 1980’s it was IOR, then came IMS, which gave way to IRC, the rule under which the Tattersalls Cup is decided.

With the introduction of the ORCi, offered by the Offshore Racing Council (ORC) as the replacement for IMS, a number of owners (amongst those Syd Fischer) have been in recent years expressing their preference for a measured, transparent rating rule.

Since 2009 under the watch of Past CYCA Commodore Matt Allen, entries under both IRC and ORCi have been accepted for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

It seems the number of boats entered under ORCi is slowly but surely growing, with 38 boats this year ticking both IRC and ORCi options.

The winner of the Sydney Hobart race has won in both IRC and ORC although they are two fundamentally different systems. It will be interesting to compare the two sets of results at the end of this year’s race.

We talked to Matt Allen pre-Hobart about the two rules.

He explained ‘ORCi addresses stability issues where IRC doesn’t. The ORCi stability index is derived from the old IMS stability index which is something that we all know and trust in a comprehensive fashion. It’s used today to determine whether boats meet the stability requires for the Hobart race.

‘ORCi is a transparent rule while IRC is not. There are pros and cons for each rule.

‘I think also measuring the stability is a good thing as long as stability is encouraged. We don’t want to go back to sailing tippy boats. IMS, people thought it was in some respects a good rule but didn’t encourage boats to be stable and didn’t move with the times and possibly didn’t encourage boats to be quick as much as one might have wanted them to be.

‘I think IRC encouraged quick boats at 50 foot plus and has traditionally not encouraged boats under 50 feet or under 45 feet to be all that fast.

‘There is a comment from a lot of countries where they believe that the racer cruiser is more fairly treated in ORCi than IRC.

'They tend to think that some production boats do well under IRC while other brands do not seem to be nearly as well handicapped. Under ORCi they are possibly more evenly treated.

'There is probably a majority of owners that are saying that IRC is working and therefore don’t upset the apple cart and there is also a large group of owners, probably a minority, who are saying well they are not overly happy with IRC and would like to have a look at ORCi.

'It’s the only other rating rule that is probably going to be on the horizon in the foreseeable future. It is something that Australia should keep track of development wise and so I am pleased to see the dual scoring this happens with the Rolex Sydney Hobart race.'

Dobbs Davis from the Offshore Rating Council commented ‘ORC seems to be doing a better job across a broader range of boat types than some of the other rating rules.

‘There is already a measurement protocol place for the category 1 offshore sailors in Australia to get stability measured and they use the IMS protocol to do that.

‘Back in the days of IMS in the late 90s and early 2000s the measurement of stability was there but it was not accurately modelled in the performance of the VPP so the designers have worked around it.

‘That's been gone since 2007 when the ORC invested heavily in better analysis to produce much more accurate results.

‘Under ORCi Fast boats do fine and slow boats do fine. That's the challenge of all these rules, to make them work across the range of boat types. It is a challenge for sure but based on the results that we saw from the recent World Championships where we had 119 boats from 16 countries and in which we had that broad range of boat types, it seems to be working and it seems to be fair.

‘Owners are dissatisfied with strong type forming in the rules. The analysis we did from the last Worlds results show, are not strong type forming tendencies that the ORC type system might work as a good alternative across boat types but most importantly is it offers flexibility.

‘The ORCi scoring can be done on a single number time on time basis if you like or you can choose amongst other options.

‘You can do an offshore single number option. You can do an inshore single number option. You can do a triple number option of time on time across three different wind speeds.

‘It’s a scientific based system with no politics, no guessing. The rule is downloadable.

‘Boats are entering ORCi because they get a certificate anyway to get the stability.

‘The interesting part will come in the next day or two when we will look at the IRC and ORCi results and compare the two.’

Yes it will be and yes we will.

Here is the current ORCi progressive data on the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart race.

StandingsAt racetime 03:04:20 - 29 December 2011, 5:20pm

ORCI Overall
1Wild Rose342° 22' S148° 34' E98.84.521003:18:06:407.01.00303:18:22:537.0 
R Hickman (34) NSW10nm E of Cape Sonnerat30 Dec, 7:06am
  Time to Win03:18:41:25 30 Dec, 7:41am
2Victoire242° 54' S148° 10' E61.88.121803:12:59:157.41.068903:18:50:356.9 
Darryl Hodgkinson (1) NSW16nm S of Maria Island30 Dec, 1:59am
  Time to Win03:13:05:57 30 Dec, 2:05am
Syd Fischer (42) NSW 29 Dec, 1:04pm
Chris Bull (4) NSW 29 Dec, 12:53pm
5Balance242° 51' S148° 15' E66.67.220803:13:09:557.41.074203:19:29:046.9 
Paul Clitheroe (4) NSW13nm S of Maria Island30 Dec, 2:09am
  Time to Win03:12:40:45 30 Dec, 1:40am
Jason Van der Slot (6) VIC 29 Dec, 12:42pm
7Two True342° 33' S148° 31' E87.66.621903:16:34:517.11.038403:19:58:566.8 
Andrew Saies (6) SA15nm SE of Cape Sonnerat30 Dec, 5:34am
  Time to Win03:15:35:55 30 Dec, 4:35am
8Lunchtime Legend342° 20' S148° 46' E104.86.922303:18:05:057.01.030903:20:52:066.8 
Robbo Robertson (10) QLD19nm E of Cape Sonnerat30 Dec, 7:05am
  Time to Win03:16:14:09 30 Dec, 5:14am
9Last Tango242° 28' S148° 28' E90.96.321403:16:49:027.11.055503:21:44:486.7 
Phillip King (14) NSW10nm SE of Cape Sonnerat30 Dec, 5:49am
  Time to Win03:14:10:46 30 Dec, 3:10am
10Patrice Six242° 30' S148° 33' E91.25.721503:16:48:357.11.057303:21:53:556.7 
Tony Kirby (27) NSW14nm SE of Cape Sonnerat30 Dec, 5:48am
  Time to Win03:14:01:58 30 Dec, 3:01am
11Deloitte As One342° 11' S148° 45' E111.97.221703:19:07:586.91.033803:22:12:476.7 
Chris Lewin (4) NSW21nm NE of Cape Sonnerat30 Dec, 8:07am
  Time to Win03:15:59:18 30 Dec, 4:59am
12Ella Bache342° 11' S148° 46' E112.76.821203:19:16:156.91.036203:22:34:296.6 
Jessica Watson NSW21nm NE of Cape Sonnerat30 Dec, 8:16am
  Time to Win03:15:47:04 30 Dec, 4:47am
13Minerva142° 41' S148° 18' E76.85.022403:14:32:507.31.101503:23:19:546.6Deduced Reckoning
Edward Cox (1) NSW6nm E of Maria Island30 Dec, 3:32am
  Time to Win03:10:34:50 29 Dec, 11:34pm
14Carina341° 43' S149° 05' E143.47.020003:22:44:056.61.008303:23:31:166.6 
Rives Potts USA41nm SE of St Helens Point30 Dec, 11:44am
  Time to Win03:18:12:49 30 Dec, 7:12am
15Copernicus341° 25' S148° 56' E157.87.020304:01:00:196.50.989403:23:58:376.5 
Greg Zyner (4) NSW27nm E of St Helens Point30 Dec, 2:00pm
  Time to Win03:19:56:13 30 Dec, 8:56am
16AFR Midnight Rambler142° 51' S148° 17' E67.47.420503:13:15:547.41.129704:00:19:266.5 
Ed Psaltis (30) NSW13nm SE of Maria Island30 Dec, 2:15am
  Time to Win03:08:31:08 29 Dec, 9:31pm
17Martela341° 31' S149° 10' E156.37.221104:02:06:306.40.98404:00:32:196.5 
Anthony Williams (4) TAS39nm E of St Helens Point30 Dec, 3:06pm
  Time to Win03:20:26:29 30 Dec, 9:26am
18Kiss Goodbye to MS241° 59' S148° 37' E120.66.120703:20:58:206.81.041704:00:50:576.5 
Tony Warren (3) VIC25nm NE of Cape Sonnerat30 Dec, 9:58am
  Time to Win03:15:19:16 30 Dec, 4:19am
19Sweethart341° 53' S148° 52' E130.25.320703:23:23:576.61.019404:01:15:006.5 
Laurence Pidgeon (4) QLD36nm NE of Cape Sonnerat30 Dec, 12:23pm
  Time to Win03:17:13:53 30 Dec, 6:13am
Peter Millard (2) NSW 29 Dec, 1:34am
21Patrice IV241° 59' S148° 53' E125.55.921303:21:50:226.71.045704:02:07:406.4 
Shane Wiseman SA32nm NE of Cape Sonnerat30 Dec, 10:50am
  Time to Win03:14:59:13 30 Dec, 3:59am
22Jazz Player242° 10' S148° 56' E117.07.921403:19:44:096.81.07204:02:20:276.4Deduced Reckoning
Andrew Lawrence (2) VIC28nm E of Cape Sonnerat30 Dec, 8:44am
  Time to Win03:12:51:11 30 Dec, 1:51am
23One For The Road341° 58' S148° 49' E124.96.521003:23:03:256.61.036104:02:29:196.4 
Kym Butler (3) NSW31nm NE of Cape Sonnerat30 Dec, 12:03pm
  Time to Win03:15:47:35 30 Dec, 4:47am
24Not Negotiable340° 11' S149° 32' E236.27.420604:17:30:515.50.868804:02:37:166.4 
John Rayner TAS56nm E of Flinders Island31 Dec, 6:30am
  Time to Win04:08:41:56 30 Dec, 9:41pm
25Knee Deep143° 00' S148° 01' E55.17.920203:11:58:327.51.176604:02:48:206.4 
Philip Childs (4) WA14nm N of Tasman Island30 Dec, 12:58am
  Time to Win03:05:18:34 29 Dec, 6:18pm
26Chutzpah142° 43' S148° 15' E73.86.520303:14:32:487.31.158904:04:17:566.3 
Bruce Taylor (30) VIC6nm SE of Maria Island30 Dec, 3:32am
  Time to Win03:06:29:25 29 Dec, 7:29pm
27Outrageous Fortune241° 41' S149° 00' E144.05.818903:22:40:456.61.061704:04:31:156.3 
Quintin Fowler New Zealand37nm SE of St Helens Point30 Dec, 11:40am
  Time to Win03:13:40:34 30 Dec, 2:40am
28Nutcracker341° 00' S149° 00' E182.17.520804:05:41:556.20.9904:04:40:546.2 
Robert Davis / David Clancy VIC29nm E of Eddystone Pt30 Dec, 6:41pm
  Time to Win03:19:52:52 30 Dec, 8:52am
29Chancellor341° 10' S148° 42' E168.96.420004:03:52:446.31.019104:05:47:126.2 
Ted Tooher (6) NSW17nm NE of St Helens Point30 Dec, 4:52pm
  Time to Win03:17:15:27 30 Dec, 6:15am
30Optimus Prime143° 00' S148° 12' E57.67.419503:13:08:097.41.205804:06:39:246.1Deduced Reckoning
Trevor Taylor (3) WA17nm NE of Tasman Island30 Dec, 2:08am
31Samurai Jack241° 12' S149° 02' E171.57.719804:03:02:466.31.074404:10:24:555.9 
Michael Lazzarini (1) QLD31nm E of St Helens Point30 Dec, 4:02pm
  Time to Win03:12:39:48 30 Dec, 1:39am
Jim Cooney (1) NSW 29 Dec, 4:27pm
33Fullynpushing340° 40' S149° 08' E203.57.420104:08:21:286.01.035604:12:04:225.8 
Andrew Griffiths VIC41nm NE of Eddystone Pt30 Dec, 9:21pm
  Time to Win03:15:50:07 30 Dec, 4:50am
 Accenture Yeah Baby*1Retired - at Port      
Marc Ryckmans (5) NSW  
 Alacrity*2Retired - at Port      
Chris Percy QLD  
 Celestial*1Retired - at Port      
Sam Haynes (1) NSW  
 Duende*1Retired - at Port      
Damien Parkes (24) NSW  
 Pretty Fly III*1Retired - at Port      
Colin Woods (5) NSW