Offshore Racing Rule

In the fall of 2004, three major US yacht clubs (the Chicago Yacht Club, Cruising Club of America and Transpacific Yacht Club) joined forces to create the Offshore Racing Association (ORA).  ORA is a handicap class rating rule owner that also acts as the developer, manager, marketer and supporter of the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR), a Velocity Prediction Program (VPP)-based handicapping for sailboat racing.  The ORR handicapping system is able to predict relative time allowances between sailboats to permit boats of different sizes, types and ages to compete with the fairest ratings possible.

ORR is an objective rule whose rating calculations are based on the measurement of all the speed-related features of the competing sailboats.  Developed through systematic scientific research, the ORR Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) calculates the speed potential of each boat at various combinations of wind speeds and course directions to give the fairest handicap possible. 

ORA intends for the ORR handicap system to be a non-type forming measurement rating rule that fairly evaluates well designed and prepared boats.  Remember, the ORR is not a development rule and is not intended for sailors who are looking to “beat” the ORR handicap system.  In order to discourage attempts to design boats “to the rule”, the algorithms of the VPP are not publicly broadcast.  ORA will be updating the ORR Rule Book and handicap system on a regular basis to stay current with the latest VPP research and boat design development.

ORA has assumed the task of developing new measurement-based rating formulas for handicap classes that provide the fairest handicapping possible. They have also undertaken all promotional and developmental tasks associated with ORR by providing an increased level of manpower not previously seen in offshore racing. 

The Offshore Racing Rule welcomes all types of boat owners and cruisers-racers and encourages those interested to contact either the ORA or ORR for more information. 

Latest News

Offshore Racing Association Extends Partnership with US Sailing

Offshore Racing Association Extends Partnership with US Sailing

Offshore Racing Association, US Sailing to Improve Centralized ORR and HPR Certificate Processing

The Offshore Racing Association (ORA), owner of the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) and High Performance Rule (HPR), is announcing a new agreement with US Sailing’s Offshore Office that will bring enhancements, and improved support and service for offshore racers.

To deliver these improvements, ORA has extended its partnership with US Sailing, incorporating a new centralized communications and customer service operation. “US Sailing’s Offshore Office, with its experience in certificate processing and boat data management for different handicap systems, is a perfect fit with ORA,” said Bjorn Johnson, Executive Director of ORA.  “Add to this the technology upgrades and process redesign US Sailing is implementing, and we are confident sailors and race organizers using the ORR and HPR rules will experience significant benefits and improved racing.”

Beginning in 2016, boat owners will no longer coordinate with four parties separately as they navigate through the boat certification process. US Sailing will be the interface with boat owners, managing the overall certificate issuance process, and taking on responsible for coordinating activities amongst the key parties - boat measurers, certificate processors, OA’s and owners. 

We are excited to renew our agreement with ORA, and continue our long standing commitment to handicap racing, and the ORR and HPR rules,” said Jack Gierhart, Executive Director of US Sailing. “For handicap racers and race organizers alike, a central resource that simplifies and supports all facets of the handicapping process for the rules used in the U.S. is a big benefit. We look forward to working with the ORA and our other partners to make it easier for more sailors to get to the starting line."

ORA and US Sailing will work together to apply these practices to create the best experience possible for ORR and HPR customers. ORA’s Technical Director, Jim Teeters, is working with his team to complete a new and improved ORR rule for 2016. US Sailing will interface with the new rule to make the necessary improvements. For more information on ratings and certificate issuance, visit

Top 10 Finishers of the 2014 Offshore Racing Rule East Coast Series Championship

  1. SWIFT – US Naval Academy Sailing Squadron
  2. VALKYRIE – Drew Chapman
  3. VAMP – Leonard Sitar
  4. BOMBARDINO – James Sykes
  5. CONSTELLATION – Joshua Forgacs
  6. SIMPATICO – William Riley
  7. NANUQ – Glen Doncaster
  8. CARINA – Rives Potts
  9. LIR – John McNamara
  10. CYGNETTE – William Mayer