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Rolex Sydney Hobart 2011 ORCi versus IRC as handicap rule

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 29 Dec 2011
Ragamuffin - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2011 © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo http://www.regattanews.com
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.

Standings At racetime 03:04:20 - 29 December 2011, 5:20pm
  EST. ELAPSED   EST. CORR.
YACHT NAME DIV LAT LONG DTG SOG COG TIME & SPEED H'CAP TIME & SPEED

ORCI Overall
1 Wild Rose 3 42° 22' S 148° 34' E 98.8 4.5 210 03:18:06:40 7.0 1.003 03:18:22:53 7.0  
R Hickman (34) NSW 10nm E of Cape Sonnerat 30 Dec, 7:06am
    Time to Win 03:18:41:25 30 Dec, 7:41am
2 Victoire 2 42° 54' S 148° 10' E 61.8 8.1 218 03:12:59:15 7.4 1.0689 03:18:50:35 6.9  
Darryl Hodgkinson (1) NSW 16nm S of Maria Island 30 Dec, 1:59am
    Time to Win 03:13:05:57 30 Dec, 2:05am
3 Ragamuffin 1 Finished 03:00:04:42 8.7 1.262 03:18:57:46 6.9  
Syd Fischer (42) NSW   29 Dec, 1:04pm
4 Jazz 1 Finished 02:23:53:56 8.7 1.2677 03:19:08:46 6.9  
Chris Bull (4) NSW   29 Dec, 12:53pm
5 Balance 2 42° 51' S 148° 15' E 66.6 7.2 208 03:13:09:55 7.4 1.0742 03:19:29:04 6.9  
Paul Clitheroe (4) NSW 13nm S of Maria Island 30 Dec, 2:09am
    Time to Win 03:12:40:45 30 Dec, 1:40am
6 Calm 1 Finished 02:23:42:55 8.8 1.2805 03:19:49:53 6.8  
Jason Van der Slot (6) VIC   29 Dec, 12:42pm
7 Two True 3 42° 33' S 148° 31' E 87.6 6.6 219 03:16:34:51 7.1 1.0384 03:19:58:56 6.8  
Andrew Saies (6) SA 15nm SE of Cape Sonnerat 30 Dec, 5:34am
    Time to Win 03:15:35:55 30 Dec, 4:35am
8 Lunchtime Legend 3 42° 20' S 148° 46' E 104.8 6.9 223 03:18:05:05 7.0 1.0309 03:20:52:06 6.8  
Robbo Robertson (10) QLD 19nm E of Cape Sonnerat 30 Dec, 7:05am
    Time to Win 03:16:14:09 30 Dec, 5:14am
9 Last Tango 2 42° 28' S 148° 28' E 90.9 6.3 214 03:16:49:02 7.1 1.0555 03:21:44:48 6.7  
Phillip King (14) NSW 10nm SE of Cape Sonnerat 30 Dec, 5:49am
    Time to Win 03:14:10:46 30 Dec, 3:10am
10 Patrice Six 2 42° 30' S 148° 33' E 91.2 5.7 215 03:16:48:35 7.1 1.0573 03:21:53:55 6.7  
Tony Kirby (27) NSW 14nm SE of Cape Sonnerat 30 Dec, 5:48am
    Time to Win 03:14:01:58 30 Dec, 3:01am
11 Deloitte As One 3 42° 11' S 148° 45' E 111.9 7.2 217 03:19:07:58 6.9 1.0338 03:22:12:47 6.7  
Chris Lewin (4) NSW 21nm NE of Cape Sonnerat 30 Dec, 8:07am
    Time to Win 03:15:59:18 30 Dec, 4:59am
12 Ella Bache 3 42° 11' S 148° 46' E 112.7 6.8 212 03:19:16:15 6.9 1.0362 03:22:34:29 6.6  
Jessica Watson NSW 21nm NE of Cape Sonnerat 30 Dec, 8:16am
    Time to Win 03:15:47:04 30 Dec, 4:47am
13 Minerva 1 42° 41' S 148° 18' E 76.8 5.0 224 03:14:32:50 7.3 1.1015 03:23:19:54 6.6 Deduced Reckoning
Edward Cox (1) NSW 6nm E of Maria Island 30 Dec, 3:32am
    Time to Win 03:10:34:50 29 Dec, 11:34pm
14 Carina 3 41° 43' S 149° 05' E 143.4 7.0 200 03:22:44:05 6.6 1.0083 03:23:31:16 6.6  
Rives Potts USA 41nm SE of St Helens Point 30 Dec, 11:44am
    Time to Win 03:18:12:49 30 Dec, 7:12am
15 Copernicus 3 41° 25' S 148° 56' E 157.8 7.0 203 04:01:00:19 6.5 0.9894 03:23:58:37 6.5  
Greg Zyner (4) NSW 27nm E of St Helens Point 30 Dec, 2:00pm
    Time to Win 03:19:56:13 30 Dec, 8:56am
16 AFR Midnight Rambler 1 42° 51' S 148° 17' E 67.4 7.4 205 03:13:15:54 7.4 1.1297 04:00:19:26 6.5  
Ed Psaltis (30) NSW 13nm SE of Maria Island 30 Dec, 2:15am
    Time to Win 03:08:31:08 29 Dec, 9:31pm
17 Martela 3 41° 31' S 149° 10' E 156.3 7.2 211 04:02:06:30 6.4 0.984 04:00:32:19 6.5  
Anthony Williams (4) TAS 39nm E of St Helens Point 30 Dec, 3:06pm
    Time to Win 03:20:26:29 30 Dec, 9:26am
18 Kiss Goodbye to MS 2 41° 59' S 148° 37' E 120.6 6.1 207 03:20:58:20 6.8 1.0417 04:00:50:57 6.5  
Tony Warren (3) VIC 25nm NE of Cape Sonnerat 30 Dec, 9:58am
    Time to Win 03:15:19:16 30 Dec, 4:19am
19 Sweethart 3 41° 53' S 148° 52' E 130.2 5.3 207 03:23:23:57 6.6 1.0194 04:01:15:00 6.5  
Laurence Pidgeon (4) QLD 36nm NE of Cape Sonnerat 30 Dec, 12:23pm
    Time to Win 03:17:13:53 30 Dec, 6:13am
20 Lahana 1 Finished 02:12:34:26 10.4 1.6175 04:01:58:42 6.4  
Peter Millard (2) NSW   29 Dec, 1:34am
21 Patrice IV 2 41° 59' S 148° 53' E 125.5 5.9 213 03:21:50:22 6.7 1.0457 04:02:07:40 6.4  
Shane Wiseman SA 32nm NE of Cape Sonnerat 30 Dec, 10:50am
    Time to Win 03:14:59:13 30 Dec, 3:59am
22 Jazz Player 2 42° 10' S 148° 56' E 117.0 7.9 214 03:19:44:09 6.8 1.072 04:02:20:27 6.4 Deduced Reckoning
Andrew Lawrence (2) VIC 28nm E of Cape Sonnerat 30 Dec, 8:44am
    Time to Win 03:12:51:11 30 Dec, 1:51am
23 One For The Road 3 41° 58' S 148° 49' E 124.9 6.5 210 03:23:03:25 6.6 1.0361 04:02:29:19 6.4  
Kym Butler (3) NSW 31nm NE of Cape Sonnerat 30 Dec, 12:03pm
    Time to Win 03:15:47:35 30 Dec, 4:47am
24 Not Negotiable 3 40° 11' S 149° 32' E 236.2 7.4 206 04:17:30:51 5.5 0.8688 04:02:37:16 6.4  
John Rayner TAS 56nm E of Flinders Island 31 Dec, 6:30am
    Time to Win 04:08:41:56 30 Dec, 9:41pm
25 Knee Deep 1 43° 00' S 148° 01' E 55.1 7.9 202 03:11:58:32 7.5 1.1766 04:02:48:20 6.4  
Philip Childs (4) WA 14nm N of Tasman Island 30 Dec, 12:58am
    Time to Win 03:05:18:34 29 Dec, 6:18pm
26 Chutzpah 1 42° 43' S 148° 15' E 73.8 6.5 203 03:14:32:48 7.3 1.1589 04:04:17:56 6.3  
Bruce Taylor (30) VIC 6nm SE of Maria Island 30 Dec, 3:32am
    Time to Win 03:06:29:25 29 Dec, 7:29pm
27 Outrageous Fortune 2 41° 41' S 149° 00' E 144.0 5.8 189 03:22:40:45 6.6 1.0617 04:04:31:15 6.3  
Quintin Fowler New Zealand 37nm SE of St Helens Point 30 Dec, 11:40am
    Time to Win 03:13:40:34 30 Dec, 2:40am
28 Nutcracker 3 41° 00' S 149° 00' E 182.1 7.5 208 04:05:41:55 6.2 0.99 04:04:40:54 6.2  
Robert Davis / David Clancy VIC 29nm E of Eddystone Pt 30 Dec, 6:41pm
    Time to Win 03:19:52:52 30 Dec, 8:52am
29 Chancellor 3 41° 10' S 148° 42' E 168.9 6.4 200 04:03:52:44 6.3 1.0191 04:05:47:12 6.2  
Ted Tooher (6) NSW 17nm NE of St Helens Point 30 Dec, 4:52pm
    Time to Win 03:17:15:27 30 Dec, 6:15am
30 Optimus Prime 1 43° 00' S 148° 12' E 57.6 7.4 195 03:13:08:09 7.4 1.2058 04:06:39:24 6.1 Deduced Reckoning
Trevor Taylor (3) WA 17nm NE of Tasman Island 30 Dec, 2:08am
31 Samurai Jack 2 41° 12' S 149° 02' E 171.5 7.7 198 04:03:02:46 6.3 1.0744 04:10:24:55 5.9  
Michael Lazzarini (1) QLD 31nm E of St Helens Point 30 Dec, 4:02pm
    Time to Win 03:12:39:48 30 Dec, 1:39am
32 Brindabella 1 Finished 03:03:27:00 8.3 1.4139 04:10:40:44 5.9  
Jim Cooney (1) NSW   29 Dec, 4:27pm
33 Fullynpushing 3 40° 40' S 149° 08' E 203.5 7.4 201 04:08:21:28 6.0 1.0356 04:12:04:22 5.8  
Andrew Griffiths VIC 41nm NE of Eddystone Pt 30 Dec, 9:21pm
    Time to Win 03:15:50:07 30 Dec, 4:50am
  Accenture Yeah Baby* 1 Retired - at Port            
Marc Ryckmans (5) NSW    
  Alacrity* 2 Retired - at Port            
Chris Percy QLD    
  Celestial* 1 Retired - at Port            
Sam Haynes (1) NSW    
  Duende* 1 Retired - at Port            
Damien Parkes (24) NSW    
  Pretty Fly III* 1 Retired - at Port            
Colin Woods (5) NSW    

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