Racers beware! Here’s what’s changing in the 2017 ORC

orcAt the ORC International Committee meeting in Barcelona, on the sidelines of the World Sailing Annual Conference, changes to the ORC regulations for 2017 were approved. Here’s what will change, in a nutshell for you who enjoy racing between the buoys! (cover photo by Andrea Carloni)

seascape24-7NAVIGATING STRAGGLERS — IT PAYS OFF
Very important is the review of the aerodynamic wind resistance of the hull in heeling conditions. Sailing heeled under the old regulations was very penalizing, so on the hulls everything possible was done to reduce heeling as much as possible (thus sailing with the mainsail warped, the mainsail carriage downwind, favoring a more hemmed upwind gait, and so on), now things will change by bringing boats that tend to heel more back on track.

uksailmakersracinggenoaoptionsoverlappinggenoatape-drivecarbonLOW OR HIGH OVERLAP?
An interesting modification is then the adoption of the same coefficients as for low- or no-overlapping jibs for high-overlapping (overlapping) genoas equipped with battens. Sailmakers had worked to make sure that the genoas were able to be aloft so as to catch more wind above (just as a matter of shape, jibs were more effective in this regard), effectively benefiting the greater sail area. This will not be the case now.

resizeFREEBOARD, CLARITY AT LAST
Also important are clarifications on the definition of sheerline (leapfrog line) and Bulkwarks (impaves), for freeboard calculation. We do not yet know how this calculation will take place, but clarity was needed in this case.

OTHER REGULATION CHANGES IN BRIEF
– New formulation for added resistance due to wave motion
– New set of aerodynamic coefficients for non-inferred headsails (flying headsails)
– New rule for defining non-inflicted headsails (flying headsails)
– New rule for defining mainsail pen point
– Elimination of the Performance Line Scoring option
– New table on the limitations of the number of sails based on the CDL

THE CHANGES TO VPP
ITC’s 2017 Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) changes indicate small changes on 2017 ratings for the more than 1,800 certificates in the ORC International world fleet, with 99% of boats within +/-0.5% change in GPH, an indication of relative stability in the handicap system. A beta version of the 2017 VPP will be distributed to the stazze offices , for their review and with the possible possibility of updates for the final version, with delivery expected by the end of the year, along with the 2017 rules and a summary of changes made from 2016.

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