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Displaying items by tag: ORC

Would Tom Kneen's JPK 11.80 Sunrise have still won the Rolex Fastnet Race 2021 if it had been sailed on the old course, with Plymouth rather than Cherbourg as the finish? Imponderable it may be, but it's a question of renewed interest as the row rumbles on about the in-race shortening of the recent Rolex Middle Sea Race 2021.

This course shortening was done in view of a developing northeasterly storm which soon made the harbour-mouth finish dangerously impossible for smaller boats still at sea. But as everyone is now well aware, it meant that Sunrise – already finished and in port along with two-thirds of the fleet – had to make do with second overall, after looking for a while as though she was about to achieve the magnificent double of Fastnet and Middle Sea overall victories in one season, achieved with such style that it would all have been done and dusted within the space of three months.

But the unhappy outcome instead caused an almighty row, and some of us sought shelter in trying to analyse it from a different point of view. The affable but very keen and obviously extremely effective Tom Kneen is a loyal member of the Royal Western Yacht Club in Plymouth, and he happily admitted that in the RORC members' poll about the change to the Fastnet course, he had voted in favour of the traditional finish in Plymouth rather than race the extra 90 miles to a new big-scale welcome in Cherbourg.

The traditional Fastnet finish at Plymouth and the 2021 version with the finish at Cherbourg. It's possible that the extra 90 miles to Cherbourg gave the Plymouth-base Sunrise her overall win.The traditional Fastnet finish at Plymouth and the 2021 version with the finish at Cherbourg. It's possible that the extra 90 miles to Cherbourg gave the Plymouth-base Sunrise her overall win.

Ironically, it may well be that the extra 90 miles "imposition" gave Sunrise her clearcut win. She had been reasonably well-placed but not winning at earlier stages, thus it was the lengthened final stage after the Bishop Rock and up the middle of the English Channel in a private breeze – a feat repeated with almost equal success by Ronan O Siochru's Desert Star from Dun Laoghaire – which saw Sunrise get so clearly into the Glitter Zone.

But having been given a portal to overall success by the long-planned extension of the Fastnet Race, Sunrise then found the door to a Middle Sea repeat slammed shut in her face by the sudden imposition of a course shortening. Some may raise their eyes to heaven and say: "The Lord Giveth, the Lord Taketh Away". But the more grounded have raised – not for the first time – the question of whether well-meaning amateurs should have ultimate control of the running of any major event in which the combined long-term expense of involvement by a huge fleet – whether amateur or professional – is a figure running into tens and probably hundreds of millions of euro.

The crew of Sunrise celebrating what looked like becoming a remarkable double at their finish of the Middle Sea Race 2021 in Malta. Photo: North SailsThe crew of Sunrise celebrating what looked like becoming a remarkable double at their finish of the Middle Sea Race 2021 in Malta. Photo: North Sails

Instinctively, many of us will incline to the support of the enthusiastic amateurs. But the harsher judges will quote Damon Runyon who, on enquiring about the activities of one of his Manhattan acquaintances, was told that: "He is doing the best he can", to which Runyon responded that he found this to be a very over-crowded profession.

VOLUNTARY ADMINISTRATORS

The voluntary race administrators in the Royal Malta Yacht Club came in for huge flak and this week issued what is in effect a mea culpa and a promise to do better in future. But it's going to rumble on like the Palme volcano for some time yet, and just yesterday Peter Ryan, the Chairman of ISORA, suggested they should now declare two sets of results as though they'd been running two races of different lengths in parallel all along, which if nothing else would lead to dancing in the streets in the Silversmiths' Quarter in Valetta.

And there have been suggestions that the RORC "should consider its position in relation to the Middle Sea Race", which is polite-speak for saying that the RORC should at least think about withdrawing its active support from what is essentially the Royal Malta YC's premier event. But nothing happens in a vacuum, and people making this extreme proposal are failing to take note that there's a turf war (ridiculous to have a turf war at sea, but there you are) going on between the ORC and the IRC measurement systems.

One of the starts from the harbour in the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2021. The wind was already from the northeast, and a severe storm – which caused fatalities in nearby Sicily – made the harbour entrance extremely dangerous by the time the smaller boats were finishing.One of the starts from the harbour in the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2021. The wind was already from the northeast, and a severe storm – which caused fatalities in nearby Sicily – made the harbour entrance extremely dangerous by the time the smaller boats were finishing.

The IRC is very much identified with the RORC, while the ORC has its own setup. And even as quiet territorial expansions are taking place on various fronts with new events emanating from both camps - the interesting Finnish-connected RORC race in the Baltic is one example – a proposed marriage between the World Championships of both systems appears to have resulted in the IRC being left stranded at the altar without a word of explanation.

In this febrile atmosphere, were the RORC to dump on the Royal Malta, it's always possible that the ORC's organisation might step into the breach, for the Middle Sea Race now has a momentum and vitality of its own, and it will happen each year regardless of politicking ashore.

A public spat online was inevitable, and in time we'll be persuaded that it has cleared the air, for that's the way these things happen even if various waters are temporarily muddied. But in global sailing, however big the row, it will only have been in the ha'penny place by comparison with the controversies which are now in the DNA of the America's Cup, which has been a joy and delight for m'learned friends ever since the original hand-written Deed of Gift – inkily scratched on parchment in 1857 – went on to become a Protocol in 1882 which was then revised in 1887.

PROTOCOL FATIGUE

In Ireland, we may well be suffering from Protocol Fatigue these days, but regardless of our feelings, the long-awaited Protocol for the next staging of the America's Cup – AC37 – will be revealed on Wednesday, November 17th by defenders Team New Zealand and the Challenger of Record, Royal Yacht Squadron Racing Ltd.

Doubtless, there'll be many bumps in the road between now and then, just as there have been bumps to the point of chasms in getting to where they are now. It's an uneven progress, with the professional/amateur divide still involved to such an extent that when the New York Yacht Club recently announced that they were "passing" on direct club participation this time around, in a subsequent statement the New Zealanders described the NYYC Commodore as a "Corinthian".

The New York Yacht Club's summer base of Harbour Court, Rhode Island. The Kiwi's description of the Commodore as "Corinthian" did not quite seem to have the usual complimentary intent.The New York Yacht Club's summer base of Harbour Court, Rhode Island. The Kiwi's description of the Commodore as "Corinthian" did not quite seem to have the usual complimentary intent.

This is normally a term of approval, but there was a distinct feeling that approval was not the intention in this case. In addition to the increasingly complex legalities, it made things personal, and that is not a good place to be in a situation like this.

But then this "situation" has become a world of its own. So much so, in fact, that the America's Cup legalities have provided the makings of its own department in the University of Auckland, and it has already graduated its own PhD in the shape of Dr Hamish Ross, who published his latest findings this week. You've probably read it already, but even so, it's a good browse for a November Saturday morning:

LEGAL OPINION

In eleven days' time, the Protocol for the 37th America's Cup is due to be revealed, eight months after Royal Yacht Squadron Racing Limited filed a notice challenge under the Deed of Gift.

What can we expect and what is likely to be left unanswered?

Sources close to the Defender indicate that the all-important venue selection is yet to be made and may not be announced until as late as March 2022. This will not be welcome news to the Challenger of Record, who will be getting impatient. It has a right to fall back onto the Deed default match terms if relations become strained, which will likely result in a commercial black hole.

Given the selected venue may impact the yacht to be raced, publication of the Class Rule may be similarly delayed, although it was at least agreed last March, that it would be in the AC75 class used in Auckland. There are always refinements to be made. If there is a meaningful push towards costs savings, as has been announced, look for more supplied or common design elements in the same way as the foil systems were supplied for AC36 in Auckland.

Unfortunately, the Deed requirement that the competing yachts must be "constructed in the country" of the respective competing yacht clubs puts the brakes on what could be achieved. In the past, this requirement has sometimes been interpreted rather liberally focusing on the hull, but many would agree that the Deed probably only requires an assembly of components, which can be sourced from anywhere, to create a yacht.
The "construction in-country" term of the Deed has never been fully tested in a court or jury, although the issue was on the table at the end of the 2010 match. Expect sailing restrictions and launch dates to remain to limit the advantages of well-funded competitors.

Dr Hamish Ross took his PhD at Auckland University in America's Cup law.Dr Hamish Ross took his PhD at Auckland University in America's Cup law.

Commercial rights will likely largely remain as they have been since Valencia 2007. Will there be a profit-sharing mechanism between competitors as in 2007 and 2013, if there is a financial surplus? It would seem a major venue financial windfall would be unlikely in the current economic climate.

Timing of the match, and the preceding challenger series may be difficult to fix without a venue having been decided. Don't expect to see firm dates yet. The Deed has hemisphere restrictions limiting the times when a match can be held in each hemisphere. There are seasonal weather and oceanographic factors to be considered at any venue.

Additionally, there is the timing of other events to consider. Few would want to take on a head-on commercial and media clash with the Olympics or the Football World Cup, which traditionally sucks out a lot of sports fan eyeballs and commercial sponsorship from the sports sponsorship market.

A profitable venture – the America's Cup 2007 at Valencia. Ireland's Marcus Hutchinson was on the management team, and the event showed a profit.A profitable venture – the America's Cup 2007 at Valencia. Ireland's Marcus Hutchinson was on the management team, and the event showed a profit.

What other events will be held before the start of the challenger series? Expect a warmup regatta or two. There may be a concessionary warm-up regatta in Auckland on the table to try to calm local waters. But these regattas all cost money, a loss of valuable time and never raise enough money for them to be self-funding when an effort is said to be made to reduce costs.

More chance they will be held in the selected venue than holding a global circuit like Sail GP. A defender will always want an opportunity to check-in against the challengers before the match to try and limit any surprises. Expect Sail GP to actively look into holding an event or two in Auckland during the America's Cup match, if Auckland is not the selected venue!

What will prospective challengers be looking for? When will they see the Class Rule? How long will they have to design, build and test a yacht? How much of a design head start have the Defender and the Challenger of Record given themselves? What will it cost them to compete? Can they hire the design, boatbuilding and sailing talent needed?

This will put the nationality rule into sharp focus– can they get approvals from the Defender as an "emerging nation"? Where will it be held? Don't expect billionaires to line up for an unattractive venue with security risks. What advertising space on the yacht do they have to sell to their sponsors and what space will be taken by the event and in what product categories? Will Prada or Louis Vuitton return as a sponsor? Above all, is there a chance to win or is it simply too stacked up against us?

Expect entry fees to remain the same or increase. US$3,350,000 plus a bond of US$1m was the cheapest entry last time. Expect the challenges to again contribute towards the costs of the challenger selection series unless a sponsor agrees to fund it as did Prada last time.

Finally, who gets to amend the Protocol and the Class Rules? Can anyone competitor block a change? Will there be a tyranny of the majority or simply a Defender and Challenger of Record dictatorship?
Drafting a Protocol involves a delicate balance of many issues both sporting and commercial. Get it wrong and it could be 2007-2010 all over again. Nail it, and it will be back to the big America's Cup heydays of Fremantle 1986-87 or Valencia 2007.

INTERESTING TIMES

For the top end of the international sailing world, the next ten days will be extremely interesting, as we can only guess at the global wheeling and dealing and drafting going on behind the scenes. And when the AC37 Protocol is published, we can be quite sure there'll be controversy, which is meat and drink to the communications industry in all its forms.

In fact, controversy is the gift that just keeps on giving. For even after you've agreed a settlement on whatever is causing the current high profile controversy, you can then go on to have a controversy about how the word "controversy" should be properly pronounced… 

Published in W M Nixon

There appears to be no de-escalation of the long-festering row between IRC and the ORC that spilt out into the public domain this week.

The World's two leading rating administrators are locked into a war of words over the staging of the 2022 World Championships.

The latest is an admission from ORC that in its opinion the combined ORC/IRC event in 2018 in The Hague that featured averaging scores in ORC and IRC, was a 'failed solution'.

A World Sailing Offshore Committee has been silent since the matter aired this week. The governing body is scheduled to meet today and there's likely just one item at the top of the agenda but even then, it's not clear if any oil can be poured on these troubled waters via this virtual meeting. 

Bruno Finzi of the ORCBruno Finzi of the ORC

Meanwhile, Bruno Finzi of the ORC has responded to Michael Boyd's Tuesday 'shocked and disappointed' IRC salvo with a 2023 olive branch? Full statement below: 

Statement below from Bruno Finzi and the ORC Management Committee in response to yesterday's IRC press release:

We are sorry the IRC Board has expressed shock and disappointment about our decision with YCCS to issue the Notice of Race for next year's ORC Worlds and chosen to misrepresent our dialogue in their press release.

An email was sent on 4 October explaining to them our frustration over their insistence to replicate what we knew was a failed solution of averaging scores in ORC and IRC, as done in 2018 in The Hague. The feedback from the sailors at this event was very negative, and even the minutes of the 2021 IRC Congress admits this as well.

We feel we need to listen to the sailors on what is acceptable to them and not use an ineffectual scoring solution based purely on politics. Our proposal of using ORC scoring for inshore races and IRC scoring for offshore races seems the appropriate solution and we still believe would be acceptable to the constituency.

We, therefore, fail to see why the decision by YCCS and ORC to issue the ORC Worlds 2022 Notice of Race on 21 October could be a surprise: this is only 8 months prior to the start of this event. We also informed them of this on 4 October, their IRC Board meeting was on 6 October, and the IRC Congress was held on 16 October, and yet we still heard nothing from them before our announcement.

Regardless, we are available to re-engage in these discussions for a combined ORC/IRC event in 2023.

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London's Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) is considering staging its own separate IRC World Championships to "preserve the rights of sailors using our rating system" following a rival ORC decision last week to launch its separate championship in 2022. 

The international war of words broke out between the two leading yacht rating systems over the proposed scrapping of a previously 'agreed' combined World Championships for 2022. 

In a statement, IRC Board Chairman Michael Boyd says: "It appears that ORC has no wish to honour our shared commitment to hold joint World Championships made at the World Sailing Annual Meeting in Barcelona in 2016. We hope that this is not true, and we continue to be open to constructive dialogue.

Michael Boyd IRC Board ChairmanMichael Boyd, IRC Board Chairman

Boyd says the decision by the ORC to issue a Notice of Race for an exclusive ORC World Championship in Porto Cervo, Italy, in June 2022 cancels the previously agreed joint IRC/ORC event.

Boyd, who is a Dublin Bay-based yachtsman, says, "The IRC Board, RORC and UNCL were shocked and disappointed to read the ORC/YCCS Notice of Race". 

"This was a totally unexpected unilateral decision at a time when we thought negotiations were continuing to finalise a combined scoring system", he says.

"This action has damaged the foundation of trust and respect, which is essential for progress. If we cannot re-engage, we must consider our options to exercise our right to hold separate IRC World Championships to preserve the rights of sailors using our rating system to compete internationally at the highest level", Boyd concludes.

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Organisers from the Kalev Yacht Club and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) have announced a change to the Notice of Race that will broaden participation in the 2021 ORC World Championship being held over 6-14 August 2021 in Tallinn, Estonia.

Currently, there are 120 entries from 14 countries that are divided into three classes, the largest turnout of entries at an ORC World Championship in five years since the 2016 ORC World Championship at the Royal Danish YC in Skovshoved, Denmark.

Due to this strong interest, organisers for the Tallinn Worlds have chosen to amend the Notice of Race to accommodate all existing and possibly even more entries since there is a capacity limit of 50 boats on each starting line. Currently, Class A has 7 entries, Class B has 38 entries, and Class C has 75 entries, and World Championship titles are awarded in each of these three classes.

The NOR change would allow organisers to divide a class that has at least 60 paid entries by 1 June into two groups within the same class. A plan for heat scoring, if needed for a class being raced in two groups, would be published on 15 July.

Having been the site of the 1980 Olympic Sailing events and with sailing and iceboating being major and very successful watersports activities here ever since, the City of Tallinn is a major supporter of the 2021 ORC World Championship, investing more than €800K in total in this and other sporting events taking place in Tallinn this year.

More here

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The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) are pleased to announce the next biennial ORC/IRC World Championship will be held in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy. Dates for the event are to be 18-26 June 2022.

The event will be the second World Championship held using both of these two World Sailing-recognised international rating systems since this year’s event planned to be in the USA at New York Yacht Club had to be cancelled due to pandemic restrictions. The first combined ORC/IRC Worlds was held in 2018 in The Hague, Netherlands and attracted 85 yachts from 15 nations.

The choice of YCCS has been accepted and approved by the ORC Offshore Classes and Events Committee and the IRC Board, so now the planning of details may begin on the format, scoring and other topics once a Working Party is formed from members representing ORC, IRC, and YCCS.

As in previous planning for the combined Worlds, three full-crew classes segregated by size and speed will be competing for three World Champion titles. A Notice of Race is expected to be issued in mid-2021, about one year in advance of the start of racing.

Michael Illbruck, Commodore of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, said “We are extremely pleased and honoured to have been appointed to organize the 2022 ORC/IRC World Championship. We will use the two years at our disposal to work on all the details of the event, on both the sporting and social fronts. Watching this impressive and varied fleet competing on the waters of Sardinia will be thrilling!”

“We are looking forward to bringing a World Championship to the Mediterranean region after a 3-year absence,” said ORC Chairman Bruno Finzi. “We expect this to be a very popular regatta, with many participating teams not only from this region but also from around the world because Porto Cervo is widely recognized as being one of the world’s greatest sailing venues.”

“The RORC and our partners in IRC, Union Nationale pour la Course au Large (UNCL), are delighted that the second joint ORC/IRC World Championship is being held in the Mediterranean and being run by the YCCS,” said RORC Commodore Steven Anderson. “The YCCS has an excellent reputation for its management of yachting events and this championship will attract a world-class fleet of boats.”

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The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) is highlighting the transparency of its rating system in advance of this year's AGM that will be conducted online.

Some Rating rule systems for yachts are often operated behind closed doors, with decisions and policies made without user input and rule formulations left unpublished to protect “rule integrity” and other such opaqueness. The underlying justification for this policy often lies in an imperious assumption that the rule makers know what’s best, with no formalised system of feedback to solicit input for improvements to the rules.

The promoters of ORC say this is not the case with its own technology rating, where, they say, the principles of transparency are practised each year at this time during the Annual Meeting. Submissions sent by users of the system through their national authority will be discussed in open committee sessions, with proposals and their rationales published in advance, as are the committee agendas, so that the public may observe and (at the discretion of the Chairman) also participate in the discussions.

This year the meetings of the ORC AGM are being held on ZOOM over Saturday, October 31 – Saturday, November 7, and members of the big boat sailing public are invited to observe by registering in advance at www.orc.org/meetings. Here the full schedule of committee meetings, their agendas and submissions are also published.

Once meeting minutes are created – usually within days – these too are published, along with approvals of changes made by the Congress. The new rules, policies and formulations are then published as soon as possible after January 1st in time for the new year’s racing season.

More on ORC here

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The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) has announced its publication of the inaugural edition of the ORC Race Management Guide.

The 24-page manual “contains ideas learned from decades of successful race management experience in events that range from local club contests to world championships held all over the world”.

While written to assist race managers, the guide is also expected to be useful to owners and sailors for improving their understanding of how ORC’s science-based handicap rating system works in theory and practice.

“Every year we work with organisers of world and continental championships to maintain the highest standards for their events, and we thought it would be useful to gather what we have learned into this book,” said Hans-Eckhard ‘Ecky’ von der Mosel, who is based at Kieler Yacht Club in Germany, host of the 2014 ORC World Championship.

“We also realised we need to help those who are not at this level but also want to provide fair and fun racing to the sailors. It has taken some time, but we have this now completed and I am very happy with the results of all the work, and very thankful for the various input from all our colleagues and specialists.”

The comprehensive guide is divided into three broad categories — Event Structure, Scoring and Best Practices —and is focused on how these rules apply to racing with handicap ratings.

While it is not intended to train race managers on the basic skills of how to lay a course, start a race or implement course changes (as these skills are assumed), it should nonetheless be a useful reference for both new and experienced race managers to improve their game.

The guide is also expected to evolve in content along with the trends in the sport and as ORC rules and guidelines change, so as that new content will be added with new editions that are offered on a regular basis.

A simplified Quick Guide version is also anticipated for those race organisers who are brand new to ORC, and this will follow soon.

“A major role for ORC is not only developing accurate and transparent technical tools for fair racing,” said Bruno Finzi, chairman of ORC, “but also the guidance through experience on how best to use these tools.

“I congratulate Ecky, his committee and the Staff for working so hard to pull together this knowledge and express this in this important new book. We hope it is well-received in the racing community.”

The ORC Race Management Guide is available for download at www.orc.org/rules and more on ORC rating systems, ORC certificates and events can be found at www.orc.org

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Despite a strong entry list from the United States and abroad including Ireland, and the exhaustive efforts of the New York Yacht Club along with the governing bodies for the ORC and IRC rating rules, the decision has been made to cancel the 2020 ORC/IRC World Championships, originally scheduled for Sept. 25 to Oct. 3 at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I.

As Afloat previously reported, at least two Irish Sea campaigns were scheduled for the championships. Former ISORA champion J109 Mojito (Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox) was making the trip to the Big Apple and a second ISORA contender, Andrew Hall's Jackhammer, a J121, was also slated.

"The impact of the coronavirus has been felt throughout the sporting world," said Christopher J. Culver, Vice Commodore of the New York Yacht Club. "Given the challenges involved with shipping boats and teams to the United States from Europe and elsewhere and the lead time required for foreign teams to make a competitive run at this prestigious world title, we don't feel that a representative world championship is possible."

The 2020 ORC/IRC World Championship was to bring top sailing teams from around the globe to battle on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay for one of three coveted world titles. The regatta would've been scored using a combination of the two most popular rating rules in the sport, ORC and IRC, and racing would've been a mix of around-the-buoys racing and longer, offshore courses.

The 2020 World Championships would've been the first time this regatta was held in the United States in two decades, and early interest exceeded expectations, with 50 boats from eight countries registering for the regatta before the COVID-19 pandemic put the sailing season in doubt.

"We are thankful to the organizers at the New York Yacht Club for all their efforts to attract a strong fleet to what would have been a memorable event,” said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC. "This enthusiasm for high-level handicap racing we hope will continue in the US, and we look forward to being supportive in any way we can in the post-pandemic times ahead.”

"We are saddened to announce the cancellation of the ORC/IRC World Championships, long planned to be held in late September 2020 at the Newport base of the New York Yacht Club," said Michael Boyd, IRC Congress Chairman. "A large number of owners and crews will be very disappointed by our news, but will understand the many challenges posed by COVID-19 to the resumption of our sport, especially at the international level. We have also been conscious of the necessity to make a decision well in advance of the event.

"For some time, we have worked with a dedicated New York Yacht Club team and our ORC counterparts to ensure a memorable regatta, and we thank them for their professionalism and friendship. We were particularly enthusiastic about holding our joint Worlds in North America and in such a special location. We all look forward to the return of IRC yachts to race courses in North America and to getting together in Newport in more favourable times."

While the ORC/IRC World Championships was to be the penultimate event on the New York Yacht Club's 2020 sailing calendar, the Club remains hopeful it will be able to hold a handful of events during the second half of the summer and into the early fall. For the most up-to-date schedule and current regatta information, please visit the Club's website.

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The 2020 ORC/IRC World Championship will be held September 25 to October 3, 2020, at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I but it is not known if any Irish boats are planning to compete.

As Afloat previously reported, the event will feature up to 100 teams from throughout the United States and beyond competing in three classes for three World Champion titles. Racing will be on both inshore courses and offshore races and will use the world's two most popular measurement-based rating systems recognized by World Sailing: IRC and ORC.

A single Irish boat competed at the 2018 Offshore Championships in the Hague in Holland where Waterford Harbour's Fools Gold flew the flag for Irish IRC interests. It remains to be seen if any Irish campaigns will venture across the pond next October but the fact that the double Commodore's Cup-winning captain Anthony O'Leary found the Newport race track so fruitful recently might just encourage further Irish interest in 12 months time. O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club crew took bronze at New York Invitational Cup a month ago in a new Irish designed IRC boat that was tipped recently for success by Irish Olympic helm Mark Mansfield.

Against that, IRC Chief Michael Boyd confirmed this week that the 2020 IRC European Championships will sail this year at Cork Week in July so it is not clear if any Irish skipper will have an appetite for both.

The conventional wisdom says the sailing season in the Northeastern United States ends with the Labor Day holiday, celebrated the first Monday in September. But the locals will tell you that September and October are the best months of the year in Rhode Island and ideal for top-level sailing. Regattas held in Newport around the fall solstice usually bring a testing variety of wind and weather conditions coupled with temperate evenings perfect for post-race socializing. The absence of summer crowds makes this historic resort town that much more accessible and welcoming.

The 2020 ORC/IRC World Championship will bring top sailing teams from around the globe to battle on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay for one of three coveted world titles. It's the first time in two decades this regatta, which will be held at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court from September 25 to October 3, 2020, has been held in North America. Entries will open on Friday, October 25.

"We're extremely excited for next year's ORC/IRC World Championship," said Patricia Young, the event chair and a passionate sailor who is often found racing on her Tripp 41 Entropy. "We recognize that it's a big commitment to ship a boat from Europe, or further abroad, for this regatta. But Newport and the New York Yacht Club will reward anyone who puts in the effort with one of the best regatta experiences of their lives."

Because each of the three divisions is limited to 50 boats, there is a strong incentive to sign up early. The first 30 boats that register for each class will be guaranteed a spot in the regatta. Beyond that initial group, a selection process may be required if there are more than 50 total entries for any class. The division of classes is determined by CDL (Class Division Length) limits defined in the Notice of Race.

Class A will have the fastest boats in the fleet, from about 45 to 55 feet in length, with TP52s being among the fastest boats allowed to enter. Already there are preparation plans amongst boats in this fleet to optimize for the 2020 Worlds, and at least one new boat is being built now to compete in this class.

Close racing in Class B at the 2018 Hague Offshore Worlds © Sander van der Borch

Class B is typically composed of mid-sized boats from 39 to 44 feet in length. A ClubSwan 42, a class created by the New York Yacht Club in 2006, won Class B at the D-Marin ORC World Championship in Croatia in June.

Class C has been the most popular and competitive class at world championship events held in Europe the past few years. Boat types that compete in this class are typically production racer/cruisers, such as the J/112E from, the Netherlands that won Class B at the 2018 ORC/IRC World Championship in The Hague and Class 3 at the IRC Europeans in Cowes, UK. Small fast sportboats, such as GP26s, C&C 30s and other nimble designs, may also enter this class.

Besides 2020 World Champion titles, the event will also award for each class trophies for the top Corinthian team and the top team competing in a boat designed before 2010.

The 2020 ORC/IRC World Championship will include a mix of buoy racing and offshore courses, and use two of the world's most popular systems for rating boats, IRC and ORC. The exact scoring methodology will be confirmed shortly, but both rating systems will play a significant role.

"We're very excited to return to the U.S. with a World Championship after such a long absence," said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC). "Newport and the New York Yacht Club are the perfect venues, and the interest we have had from teams here in Europe who wish to attend has been strong. We look forward to seeing the best of the U.S. and the best of the rest of the world come to race in Newport."

"Newport and the New York Yacht Club will provide a tremendous backdrop for the second combined World Championship of IRC and ORC," said Michael Boyd, IRC Congress Chairman. "Moving the championships around the world, from Europe in 2018 to now the United States in 2020, shows the truly international reach of our rating systems. We can't wait to see the broad range of sailing talent from around the world compete for this prestigious event at this esteemed venue."

Purchased by the New York Yacht Club in 1988, Harbour Court has become one of the preeminent regatta hosts in the United States. Recent events hosted by the Club include the historic J Class World Championship in 2017 along with world championship regattas for the Etchells, J/70s and Farr 40s. A 2020 summer schedule that includes the 166th Annual Regatta and the 2020 Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex will provide plenty of opportunity for visiting teams to become familiar with the local conditions and enjoy a full summer of sailing in Newport.

The stunning grounds of this 115-year-old clubhouse are perfect for entertaining regatta guests and VIPs after racing and provide one of the most spectacular views of Newport Harbor. The Club's location in Brenton Cove is in close proximity to a full suite of maritime services and diverse lodging options and provides sailors with quick access to the racecourse.

Entries open on Friday. 

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The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) working in cooperation with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and Union National Course au Large (UNCL), founding partners of the IRC rating system, are pleased to announce the approval of the New York Yacht Club to host the 2020 IRC/ORC World Championship in Newport, Rhode Island, USA.

This will be the first World Championship for offshore boats held in the United States since the IMS World Championship in 2000, also hosted by the New York Yacht Club.

“We are very pleased to work once again with RORC to plan this important event on the offshore sailing calendar,” said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC. “It has been too long since we have been away from the U.S., where US Sailing was one of our founding members when ORC was formed in 1969.”

The proposed dates are 25 September – 3 October 2020, subject to slight modifications pending review by a Working Party formed by members representing all three partners to start on the detailed planning.

“Our experience in The Hague for the first edition of the IRC/ORC World Championship this year was positive on many levels,” said Steven Anderson, Commodore of RORC, “There is a strong desire to continue this cooperative momentum towards the future. We have agreed that IRC and ORC will work with each other to approve and plan these Worlds events every two years so that our sailors may also plan to put this on their calendars as well.”

“Offshore sailing is part of the DNA of the New York Yacht Club," said Commodore Philip A. Lotz. "Our waterfront clubhouse at Harbour Court combined with Newport's tremendous sailing conditions and extensive marine infrastructure, provide what we feel is one of the greatest venues for offshore racing. The Club is very excited to welcome the world to our hometown for the 2020 IRC/ORC World Championship."

The typical format of the combined Worlds has been 2 to 3 offshore or coastal races, followed by 6 to 7 inshore races. Racing will be in three classes defined by the size and rated speeds of the boats, and all-amateur Corinthian prizes will be offered in each class. ORC and IRC ratings will be used to score the racing, however the Working Party will make the final determination on how when a Notice of Race is issued for the event in 2019.

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