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52nd ORC Congress looks forward to 2022…and beyond

by Offshore Racing Congress 14 Nov 2021 19:36 PST 6-8 & 12-14 November 2021
52nd Annual General Meeting of the ORC Congress © Offshore Racing Congress

The 52nd Annual Meeting of the Offshore Racing Congress was held in two parts: Zoom committee meetings held over 6-8 November followed by both in-person meetings in Athens and Zoom conferences held over 12-14 November. Minutes for these meetings can be found at www.orc.org/meetings.

Today in the concluding meeting of the ORC Congress a thorough overview was given of the 2021 season and what improvements and events lie ahead in 2022 and beyond. Delegates from among the 45 countries that use the ORC Rating System heard reports from among several Committees that have met in the last week to give their recommendations on several important items:

  • Submissions from national rating authorities to changes rules and policies
  • Changes in membership of the Committees
  • Improvements to the ORC VPP in formulating ratings for 2022
  • Locations and dates of major 2022 and 2023 ORC championship events
  • Report from Treasurer Patrick Lindqvist on the strong financial health of the organization
Notable among decisions approved by the Congress are the following:

The Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) changes made by the International Technical Committee (ITC) led by Andy Claughton focused on mostly small adjustments to improve accuracy, with a significant review made of the aerodynamic model. Improvements to the wind gradient model and better force coefficients for asymmetric spinnakers predict a closer match of observed upwind and downwind performance among 25 sample designs evaluated within the 1800 boats in the ORC test fleet.

Overseen by ORC Management Committee members Ecky van der Mosel & Jose Frers, ORC Chairman Bruno Finzi receives from ORC VPP programmer Davide Battistin a hard copy of the Fortran code of ORC VPP Mark I. This is now replaced by Mark II that is faster & more flexible to handle multihulls and boats with foils and other modern design features.

Overall the change in ratings in the 2021 fleet for 2022 is anticipated to be only <0.5%.

ITC has also helped confirm that a new scoring concept introduced last year called the All Purpose Handicap (APH) does better at providing a single-number representation of a boat's performance averaged across the entire range of windspeeds. ORC has not yet eliminated the General Purpose Handicap (GPH) on certificates, but is moving towards phasing this out of supported use.

Another interesting item related to scoring is the adoption of the new terms "Polar Curve Scoring" and "Scoring Wind" to replace Performance Curve Scoring and Implied Wind, respectively. The reason is to encourage broader adoption of PCS as a scoring method since it is the most accurate of all offered by ORC.

After three years of development work, ITC expects this year to finally roll out for more general use the new ORC Multihull Rule (ORCmh), beta-tested this year and slated for further testing in the first half of 2022.

ITC Chairman Andy Claughton has also been approved to devide of the Committee into a technical production group and an expansion of designers to oversee suggested changes to the VPP. These include Quentin Lucet from VPLP (FRA), Mark Mills (IRL), Adolfo Carrau from Botin Partners (ESP), and Bruce Nelson (USA).

The Congress also approved the adoption of a recommended upgrade to the Aerodynamic model based on a more modern wind gradient model and new force coefficients for asymmetric sails. They also listened to an explanation of the ongoing work on the hydrodynamic research on residuary resistance, expected to be adopted into the VPP in 2023.

Overall, Chairman Bruno Finzi reported the ORC system has done well in 2021, coming close to returning to pre-pandemic levels of certificates and boats in the fleets that use the system. At this time in 2020 there were 7413 ORC Club and ORCi certificates issued, compared to 9326 issued thus far in 2021 now...an increase of 26%.

The largest spike in ORC statistics in 2021 was in the USA, where in 2020 there were only 346 certificates issued compared to 1040 now - a 300% increase!

Finzi also expects an even better year in 2022 with next year's ORC championship events to include the ORC Mediterranean Championship in Sarrento, Italy in May, the 2022 ORC World Championship in Porto Cervo, Italy in June, the ORC European Double-Handed Championship in Sweden in July, the 2022 ORCi European Championship in Hanko, Norway in August.

Bids for 2023 ORC championship events were approved for the 2023 ORC Worlds in Kiel, Germany the 2023 ORC Europeans in Malta, and 2023 ORC DH Europeans in Barcelona, which may be upgraded to the latest World Sailing-approved event in the ORC portfolio, the ORC Double Handed World Championship. An expression of interest was also received for the 2024 ORC Worlds to return to the USA since being cancelled in 2020.

For more detailed information on the discussions and decisions made at the ORC Annual Meeting, visit www.orc.org/meetings.

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