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50 years of ORC

by ORC Media 30 Aug 2019 06:05 PDT
SSAB ORC European Championship 2019, Sweden © MarcS

In 1965 there were rumors the 1968 Olympic Games might include an offshore racing class and in 1966 the International Yacht Racing Union asked the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Cruising Club of America (CCA) to try to frame one international rule.

Both clubs agreed, and at the April 1967 meeting of the Offshore Rules Coordinating Committee an International Technical Committee (ITC) was established. Olin Stephens was the chairman joined by designer Dick Carter, Gustav Plym, Ricas van de Stadt, and Paul Spens. Measurers David Fayle and Robin Glover completed the committee.

Between April 1967 and November 1968 the committee met on a number of occasions and the ORCC considered the draft of a new International Offshore Rule (IOR) at its November 1968 meeting in London. It was then unanimously agreed to recommend to all national authorities that the Rule should become operative in the 1969 season.

On 1 November 1969 the ORCC held its final meeting and approved the Constitution for the new Offshore Rating Council (ORC), renamed the Offshore Racing Congress in 2002. Members of the Congress are nominated from nations that use the system, and their representation is in proportion to the number of certificates issued in that country. The USA and GBR have permanent legacy seats in the Congress being founding members of the organization.

Now, 50 years later, ORC through its national rating offices is the largest measurement-based rating system in the world, issuing over 10,000 certificates to yachts in 40 countries, ranging from Sportboats to Superyachts, and soon Multihulls as well.

The next meeting of the ORC Committees and Congress will be in Bermuda over October 25 - 30th, 2019 coinciding with the World Sailing Annual Conference. The ORC Annual Meeting schedule is posted at www.orc.org/meetings, and observers are welcome to attend most Committee meetings and the Congress.

Submissions to the committees from the national authorities for suggestions to improve the system are due now - these and the agendas for the committees will be posted soon.

"We are very proud of our Committee and Congress members and the staff for their continued dedication to providing the highest quality in rating products and services," said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC. "We feel this helps the sport grow and thrive when a scientific and transparent system is used for the benefit of the sailing community worldwide."

More on ORC rating systems, ORC certificates and events can be found at www.orc.org.

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