Yachting Australia Corporate Partner
Further information about the Ocean Rating Congress can be found at www.orc.org
In January, 1976 the Offshore Committee of US Sailing adopted a resolution calling for the development of a new "Handicapping System" to take its place alongside the IOR for those yachtsmen who "prefer a 'handicap' rule as opposed to a 'design' rule."
This system was developed in a response to the mandate of that resolution, and was then called the Measurement Handicap System or MHS. The name was intended to suggest that it is a formula based on measurement of physical characteristics rather than observed racing performance of yachts and that it is of the handicap type as distinguished from the design or development type.
The intent of the system as set down before starting the development work may be summarised as follows:
- Weigh each factor used in the formulae to accord with its effect on speed
- Reduce obsolescence caused by the design of yachts which beat a rule and thereby render older yachts not competitive
- Devise a system which is designer-proof in the inception if possible, but by correction as this proves necessary
- Provide fair time allowance for yachts of the dual-purpose type (for cruising and racing). It is intended that production yachts of good design should be able to compete with custom yachts.
The system was based on the research at MIT of the H. Irving Pratt Ocean Race Handicapping Project and started with the development of a hull measuring device making it possible to acquire a large number of points and so be able to use integrated parameters instead of the single point measurements.
The major part of this research was the development of a Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) based on the data obtained towing in the tank a series of hull forms systematically modified to test the effects on speed of the performance parameters. This important task was contributed by Delft University in the Netherlands.
The measurement platform adopted was the same as IOR, to enable an easy conversion into the new system of the thousands of boats already measured under the International Offshore Rule that was launched in 1970, and was the very reason for the foundation of the ORC. In 1985 the MHS was converted into an International System, renamed IMS and adopted by the ORC for international use.
Work has continued on refining the speed predictive formulae and on the best means of deriving time allowance based on speed predictions, work largely made possible by the contributions of designers and technologists in the International Technical Committee (ITC) and yachtsmen from many countries.
In January 2008, a new VPP running ORC International and ORC Club rating systems was launched using the measurement platform of the IMS, and the best elements of its VPP, but has been revised to reflect more accurately the performance characteristics of the most modern designs.
For an online listing of all ORC rated yachts, please click the following link:
Click the SOFTWARE heading on the left hand side of the screen, then click RMS Files.