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Bayview and Chicago Mac Races adopt ORC

by ORC Media 1 Nov 2020 13:35 PST July 2021
Each year hundreds of entries race to Mackinac Island from starts in Chicago and Port Huron, Michigan. These are the largest freshwater races in the USA © Chicago YC

Bayview Yacht Club and the Mackinac Race Authority announced it will adopt the ORC Rating System to score the 97th consecutive Bayview Mackinac Race which starts on 24 July 2021. This decision is in conjunction with Chicago Yacht Club who is making the same change for its 112th Race to Mackinac, which starts on 16th and 17th July 2021.

Every summer the races to Mackinac are the focal point events in the Great Lakes sailing scene, with typical combined entry counts that can annually exceed over 500 yachts. They start, respectively, in Port Huron, Michigan and Chicago, and both finish at Mackinac Island in Michigan, where the post-race celebrations are extremely popular with participants and their families.

"The adoption of the ORC Rating System will offer competitors a handicap rule with full transparency that is more widely used in premier regattas like the Bayview Mackinac Race throughout North America and Worldwide. The expectation is that competitors will have a better user experience, access to more resources and a race with a rating rule that is transparent and easy to understand at the same, or in many cases lower, costs." said C.J. Ruffing, 2021 Bayview Mackinac Race Chairman.

"As an organizing authority, we always strive to have boats compete using a rating rule that is predictable, sustainable, transparent, and flexible resulting in accurate ratings to support fair racing," said Martin Sandoval, Commodore of Chicago YC. "We will be working with the ORC technical staff along with the US Sailing Offshore office to facilitate this transition."

The ORC Rating System uses science and technology to develop a boat's handicap to allow fair racing between dissimilar boats. By entering specific measurements into computer software ORC measures how a racing crew can reach their boat's theoretical performance potential in various wind conditions. This Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) allows the race organizers to correct the elapsed time of competing boats to score them on the same level.

"We believe that ORC has become the dominant player and can bring significant technical resources to the race and its competitors. Many of us that race outside the Great Lakes have already raced using the ORC Rule and have experienced the value ORC brings. From the competitor's standpoint there will be little change other than a potential reduction in cost," said Chris Clark, last year's Bayview Mackinac Race Chairman.

"US Sailing is well positioned to support the sailors and organizers in the transition of rating rules with the use of the Universal Certificate System (UCS). The UCS allows the existing measurement data to be transmitted to the ORC rating rule in the already familiar portal for owners. US Sailing is pleased to work with both the Bayview and Chicago Mackinac fleets as they navigate the adoption of the ORC rule for their races and look forward to successful events in 2021 and beyond," said Nathan Titcomb, Offshore Director for US Sailing.

"We are very pleased to work closely with both Chicago and Bayview Yacht Clubs for these important and prestigious races on the offshore racing calendar. Our staff, alongside US Sailing, is ready to support the race organizers and competitors in every way possible so they may enjoy competitive and fair racing," said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC.

The Bayview Yacht Club, Mackinac Race Authority and Chicago Yacht Club are all committed to ensuring that all sailors interested in competing have ample opportunities to learn about the new rating rule, with more information to be posted on the Bayview Mackinac Race website, www.bycmack.com and the Chicago Mackinac Race website, at cycracetomackinac.com.

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

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