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 Providing Offshore Sailors Improved Services

Boat Owners and Event Organizing Authorities to enjoy new centralized ORR certificate processing.

March 17, 2015 – Newport, Rhode Island - The Offshore Racing Association (ORA), owner of the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR), is pleased to announce significant enhancements to its already strong service-based mission.  Phasing in later this year, ORA will begin to process and issue all ORR certificates in-house in order to provide seamless one-stop services for boat owners and event organizing authorities (OA’s). With this move, boat owners will be able to utilize the ORA and eliminate the need to coordinate with four different parties – boat measurers, certificate processors, OA’s, and the ORA.

ORA’s Board of Directors and staff are working hard to create a better and simplified experience for ORR customers. ORA’s Technical Director, Jim Teeters, is working with his team to complete a new and improved rule for 2016, all in an effort to make the best rule even better.

The Offshore Racing Rule with its multiple features, custom event organizing authority, and course configuration adjustments, continues to grow each year.  With over 650 boat certificates in circulation, ORR is used in events across North America.  These include the:

TransPac Race, Newport Bermuda Race, Chicago Mac Race, Pacific Cup, Newport to Ensenada Race, East Coast Offshore Series (ECOS), New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, Rolex Big Boat Series, Puerto Vallarta Race, Cabo Race, Marion Bermuda Race, Aldo Alessio Regatta, Corum Cup, Verve Cup, Islands Race, Annapolis to Newport Race, Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta, Mexorc, Ocean Race North, Marblehead to Halifax Race, Hamilton Trophy, The Corinthians Yacht Race, Ft. Lauderdale to Charleston Race, Charleston Race Week, Fast 50 Class, Block Island Race, Queen’s Cup, and many more.

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