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Two Rolex winners in ORC classes at the Rolex Big Boat Series

by Offshore Racing Congress 20 Sep 08:48 PDT
Big Boat Series - Crowded starts were a feature of ORC Class B racing © Rolex / Daniel Forster

After seven races sailed over four days on breezy San Francisco Bay, there are two new skippers who are wearing Rolex watches for winning their ORC classes in the St Francis Yacht Club's Rolex Big Boat Series.

On impressive scores of 1-1-2-1-4-1-3, Paul Dorsey's Carkeek 40 ADJUDICATOR team from San Diego YC (shown below) won the St Francis Perpetual Trophy, the oldest trophy in the event, first awarded when the regatta began in 1964 and annually presented to the winner of the "premier handicap division," this year being ORC Class A.

Scott Easom's J/100 EIGHT BALL team (shown below) earned a convincing victory in ORC Class B on scores of 1-2-1-1-1-4-1 against all larger yachts in her class. The team was awarded the Atlantic Perpetual Trophy, a bell from the schooner Atlantic that in 1905 sailed a transatlantic course record that stood of nearly 100 years, and Easom a Rolex timepiece.

"I've talked to people I know who travel the world for sailing and they think highly of ORC, said Easom. I've been studying the results from ORC racing in Europe and I like the results and the boats that are winning. A lot of production boats seem to be doing well, which is good for the sport."

ORC scoring was based on three course models custom-crafted to condense the matrix of wind angles and speeds into single-number TCC's. These included a 50-50 Windward-Leeward model, a 60-40 model (3 beats and 2 runs), and a SF Bay tour model based on the geometry of the final day's single long race. Each course type was calculated for a Medium and Heavy mix of wind speeds, so race managers could select the model that best matched the conditions of the race.

For the first three days these conditions were the classic seabreeze that builds from 12 knots at midday to over 20 knots in the afternoon, with the Medium and Heavy scoring models selected for use by race managers.

The last day's unusual southerly brought rain squalls and blustery breeze, and prompted a recalculation of the traditional "Bay Tour" race course model to reflect the new wind direction.

Corrected times were close in both classes: for example, in a 50-50 race scored in Medium conditions on the second day of racing, the top 7 boats - the top 2 from the Class A performance boats and the top 5 from the Class B cruiser/racers - finished within 2 minutes in corrected time on the same 10.3 mile course. This is encouraging news for organizers who may consider the option of distilling overall winners from multiple class results.

"We feel the ORC system worked well," said Regatta Chair Susan Runhe. "We appreciate the help from ORC and US Sailing to build the models and scratch sheets, and be on hand to advise our Race Committee and competitors on how to use the system for fair racing."

Summary of top-three cumulative scores in the ORC classes:

Class A

1 ADJUDICATOR Carkeek 40 1-1-2-1-4-1-3 13 points
2 ARSENAL J/125 4-4-4-2-1-2-1 18
3 KUAI Melges 32 3-2-3-3-2-3-2 18

Class B

1 EIGHT BALL J/100 1-2-1-1-1-4-1 11 points
2 PEREGRINE J/120 1-1-6-4-3-1-2 19
3 CHANCE J/120 4-3-3-5-2-3-4 24

More information and complete results can be found on the event website.

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