Aug. News: Tweeners Explained, Rulebook 1.1 Update

At the Offshore Racing Association, we hope that your sailing season is going well, under full sail.

We have a few key ORR updates to share with you this month. We’ve also begun working to make next year even better for our more than 1000 ORR and ORR-Ez certificate holders and several dozen organizing authorities and race committees. Next week, we hold our 2nd annual ORR-Ez meeting of regional reps from around the country.

Competitors, event organizers, and race committees. Let us know how we can serve you better.John Horton, ORA Executive Director

Arctos close reaches with a tweener set in  the 2019 Chicago YC Race to Mackinac.

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Not a Genoa. Not a Spinnaker. It’s a Tweener!

By John Burnham

In 2018, when the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) introduced ratings for boats carrying Large Roach Headsails (LRH), some sailors thought the sails were unnecessary. A year later, consensus is building among sailors that the ORR made a good move. The LRH sails, also known as tweeners, are so good that jib tops and some Code Zeros are being left on the dock.

“A tweener can turn a white-knuckle reach into a fun sail,” says Al Declerq of Doyle Sails Detroit. “And it can sail surprisingly fast at deeper angles than expected. In 10 years, every boat will have one.” READ MORE

UPDATE: ORR Rulebook version 1.1 released

A recent change to the ORR Rulebook won’t affect most sailors but if you’re interested in foiling technologies, we want to make sure you are in the know.

By John Horton

The ORR Rulebook and the ORR VPP (velocity prediction program) are reviewed on an ongoing basis. To determine what should be included in the ORR Rulebook, the ORR Technical Committee reviews race results and new technology and features, evaluates what they learn, and makes recommendations.

This year the Committee has added a new rule at mid-year and issued 2019 Rulebook version 1.1 to include the changes. The rule, in PART II – GENERAL LIMITS AND EXCLUSIONS, is number 2.03.9 Other off-centerline appendages, describes the limits and styles of the foils that the ORR allows, and the information ORR requires for its ORR VPP that assesses a boat’s features and metrics to compute a rating.

Here’s the link to download Rulebook version 1.1, which also provides details about measurement, rule restrictions, ratings, owner responsibilities, and requirements to race under ORR.

For context, the goal of fair racing handicaps for all ORR certificate holders involves two jobs. First is to protect a fair, level playing field for the 97 percent of the ORR fleet of racers, cruisers and dual-purpose boats, many owners of which love the boats they have, and love to race them year after year.

The second job of the ORR Rule is to also include new technology and design in boats—the other 3 percent, who may now be considering boats with foils. From planing sleds to 100-footers, we have good examples of innovative, higher-speed designs in the existing fleet. The work of the ORR Technical Committee is ongoing.

2nd Annual ORR-Ez Operations Conference to Convene

With ORR-Ez’s growth from 100 to near 500 certificates over two years, operations need ongoing improvement to accommodate further scaling while maintaining quality and customer service. We’re rolling up our sleeves.

By John Horton

ORR-Ez’s operational team of regional reps and home-office raters, IT and race management service providers are meeting now for the second year to review curent operations and evaluate changes for 2020. We expect to have eight attend in person next week, in Jamestown, R.I., plus more attendees conferencing in online for specific subject evaluations. One day will be for full-group discussion and conferencing, and the second day will be to plan business-implementation strategies.

The strategy for ORR-Ez’s growth has been personal, with local hands-on customer support and training for event organizers and race committees. A new ingredient that developed after last fall’s ORR-Ez conference was introducing best practices from one local organizing-authority team to another by hosting bi-weekly online meetings for listening, sharing and learning form each other.

We’ll report on what’s next for 2020 over the next couple of months.