Offshore Racing Rule (ORR)

The Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) is administered by the Offshore Racing Association (ORA).  ORA and US SAILING, the national authority for sailing in the United States, are both responsible for its implementation.

The ORR predicts relative time allowances between boats to permit boats of different sizes, types and ages to compete with the fairest ratings possible.Spirit Walker4Spirit Walker - Winner of 2013 ORR Great Lakes Championship Series. Owned by Vern McCain & Bob Hillier

The ORR is an objective rule. Its ratings are based on full measurement of all the speed-related features of sailboats and on a Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) that calculates the speed potential of each boat at any combination of wind speed and course direction.  The VPP is a set of algorithms developed through systematic research that use fundamental scientific methods.

ORR is intended to be a non type-forming measurement rule that fairly rates properly designed and prepared yachts which are equipped for offshore racing.  It must be clearly understood by all who use ORR that it is not a development rule and therefore is not intended for sailors who are looking to “beat” the rule.  In order to discourage attempts to design yachts “to the rule”, the algorithms of the VPP are non-public. ORR will be updated on a regular basis to stay ahead of design developments.

MEASUREMENT – An owner’s first primary contacts for ORR will be with US SAILING’s Offshore Office and the official ORR measurer serving the owner’s area.  For information and to start an application contact the Offshore Office at:

The list of measurers can be found at:

For example, the ORR measurer for northern California is Dick Horn at 925-899-7253.  Measurers guide the owner through the process of boat measurement to get data required for a certificate valid for racing.  It is often the case that measurements from a pre-existing boat of the same design can be used.

RATINGS – The Offshore Office at US SAILING will take the measurements as inputs to the VPP to produce a table of predicted boat speeds and issue an ORR certificate. 

RACING – Races employing ORR scoring are organized and managed by specific events and yacht clubs.  For more information on events and championship series go to:

SCORING – ORR encourages the use of single number time-on-time scoring.  Time on distance ratings and the more complex Performance Curve Scoring are available as well.  In all cases the option exists to customize the ratings to the specific conditions typically experienced by individual events. (Every ORR certificate lists the ratings for a variety of regattas.)  This customization utilizes the inherent advantages of the VPP to provide the fairest racing possible no matter what the conditions of wind and course.