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

The Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) receives grant from the Cruising Club of America

NEWPORT, R.I. (November 15, 2016) – The Offshore Racing Association (ORA), owner of the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR), is pleased to announce that the Cruising Club of America (CCA) has approved a significant grant for the continued support of the ORR.

"Since the founding of the CCA in 1922, there has been an inherent interest in the development and maintenance of handicapping systems," explained CCA Commodore James Binch of New Canaan, CT. "Beginning in 1926, and forming what is now called the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee in partnership with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, there has been a need for the CCA to be intimately involved with small yacht handicapping and give it support."

ORA Executive Director, Bjorn Johnson, is grateful to be working in partnership with the CCA for the continued improvement of the ORR handicap system. "This generous grant will enable us to not only continue research, but also implement cutting edge technology so that ORR can maintain its status as the best Velocity Prediction Program available for sailors worldwide," said Johnson. "ORA Technical Director, Jim Teeters, is working with his team to improve ORR for 2017 and into the future, making the best rule even better."

With its multiple features, ORR provides custom help for event organizing authorities, course configuration adjustments, and is continually evolving for the betterment of sailing. With over 1000 certificates produced in 2016, ORR is the fastest-growing rating system in North America. The ORR is used in classic inshore and offshore races, including: Newport Bermuda Race, Transpacific Yacht Club Races, Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, Bayview Mackinac Race, Pacific Cup, Vallarta Race, Rolex Big Boat Series, SoCal 300, California Offshore Race Week, Ugotta Regatta, Marion Bermuda Race, Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race and many other races of importance. For more information about ORR, visit the ORR website.


About the Cruising Club of America

The Cruising Club of America (CCA) is rapidly approaching its second century of championing efforts to improve seamanship, the design of seaworthy yachts, safe cruising and racing techniques, and ocean-wide environmental responsibility. The CCA is distinctive in its continuing efforts to promote "the adventurous use of the seas." A high bar of competency is set for inclusion in this influential organization, including passage making experience, proven offshore cruising and racing skills, leadership, and demonstrated congeniality. The CCA’s 1300 international members volunteer their collective efforts to support the best practices in boating at eleven stations throughout the U.S.A., Canada and Bermuda. In conjunction with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the CCA organizes the Newport Bermuda Race, North America’s premier offshore ocean race held every two years and a real world proving ground for its safety and seamanship recommendations. For more information and resources visit

Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race Announces Use of Offshore Racing Rule

The Offshore Racing Association and Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race announce the use of the Offshore Racing Rule for the Cove Island Course.

NEWPORT, R.I. - Jan. 20, 2016 - PRLog -- The Bayview Yacht Club Mackinac Race Authorityannounced today that the Notice of Race (NOR) has been published and race registration is open for the 2016 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. With this NOR comes the use of the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) for the Cove Island Course.

The Offshore Racing Association (ORA) and the ORR are excited to have been chosen by the Mackinac Race Authority and confirmed by the Bayview Yacht Club Officers as the rule of choice for the Cove Island Course. “We are thrilled to become an integral part of the 92nd running of the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race,” said Bjorn Johnson, ORA Executive Director. Mackinac Race Authority (MRA) Chairman Commodore Tom Meier added, “The MRA is confident that the move to ORR will give our competitors a fun and fair race for all.”

The Offshore Racing Rule is used in such classic races as the TransPac Race, Newport Bermuda Race, Chicago Mackinac Race, Pacific Cup, Puerto Vallarta Race, Rolex Big Boat, MEXORC, SoCal 300 and many other important offshore races. According to Kyle Burleson, 2016 Mack Race Chairman, “This is the first time that ORR is a mandatory rule for Division I boats. Boats typically racing in Division I are bigger and faster and we believe that ORR will be a welcome development for those competitors.”

Bayview Yacht Club, founded in 1915, is widely regarded as the premier sailing club in Michigan and the Midwest. Located on the Detroit River near the mouth of Lake St. Clair, it has been hosting the Bayview Mackinac Race since 1925 and has more than 1,000 members. The Offshore Racing Association (ORA) founded in 2006, is the owner and developer of the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR), High Performance Rule (HPR) and Offshore Racing Rule-easy (ORR-ez).