Audi ORCi World Championship, organized by Merenkävijät Sailing Club and the Finnish Offshore Sailors Association, is being held from 4th to 11th August 2012.
With over six months to go before the start of racing the event has already attracted 42 entries from six countries. Based on the historic fortress island of Särkkä in Helsinki harbor, this 14th annual ISAF-sanctioned event is expected to attract an additional 30-40 teams from another four countries in boats ranging from 33 to 60 feet in length, and when racing is finished will crown two new offshore World Champions.
The Audi ORCi World Championship will top a long list of over 125 national and international ORC events held in 40 countries for 2012, with most now listed online
. Among these are two major continental events, the ORCi European Championship at YC Punta Ala in Italy, held over 23-30 June, and the ORCi Mediterranean Championship, held over 10-16 June in Cres, Croatia, site of the 2011 World Championship event that drew 119 entries from 16 countries.
ORC National Championships will also be held this year in 14 countries on three continents, including Germany, Latvia, Peru, Holland, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Russia, Croatia, Norway, Cyprus and Austria. Other ORC national and regional championship events are also being planned but are not yet finalized, including an ORC Iberian Championship for Portugal and Spain, an ORC National Championship for Portugal, and an ORC Brazilian Championship.
'This is an impressive calendar of events for this year, more than held last year,' said ORC Chairman Bruno Finzi. 'We're also becoming more active in ensuring that the quality of these regattas is improving to the standards we outline in the ORC Green Book and to the high expectations of the sailors. This year's World Championship in Helsinki, for example, we have full confidence will be a fantastic world-class event for all involved: sailors, organizers, media, sponsors and other participants.'
Among the entries committed to race in Helsinki are some past World Champions keen on winning World titles once again. These include Christian Plump from Germany, who won the 2010 ORCi World Championship in Class A in Flensburg, Germany on his Rodman 42 Beluga Sailing Team but this year will be campaigning his new J/V 42 Elena Nova. Jurgen Klinghardt, who won the Class B World title in Flensburg, will also be in Helsinki with his German team on his X-332 Sport patent 3. Even current World Champions Alberto Rossi with his Farr 40 Enfant Terrible and Giuseppe Giuffre with his M-37 Low Noise have hinted that they may come from Italy to defend their respective Class A and Class B titles earned last year in Cres.
Planning for the event has been organized to attract a variety of interests for all participants leading up to, during and after the racing.
'We have already had seminars given by rating and design experts from the international sailing community, and plan to have more seminars in the coming months,' said Merenkävijät Sailing Club Manager Pekka Lopmeri. 'We are also promoting Baltic Offshore Week over 1-4 August as a tune-up event for the Worlds, as well as the X-41 World Championship immediately following the ORCi Worlds. And while the teams are racing on their courses in the Gulf of Finland, on shore there will be many events affiliated with the Helsinki being named the World Design Capital 2012, including performances made by international rock artists in the Flow Festival.' ORCi World Championship website