Though one of the main goals of ORCA is get boats on the water and racing fast, there is process and it does take some time. Please note applications must be submitted two weeks prior the race date.
ORCA class boats race long distances without external assistance and need to be self-sufficient. ORCA boats keep their crew on-board and avoid capsize at all cost, and are also prepared to survive these events. ORCA boats are prepared to deal with high winds, large seas, bad weather, crew injury, and are capable of sailing at night. ORCA boats can reach safe harbor, if necessary, without outside assistance. In case of emergency, ORCA boats are prepared to call and signal for assistance. While boat and crew safety are the responsibility of a boat’s skipper, the ORCA class safety gear requirements are in place to encourage safe racing. Gear requirements remove the incentive for a skipper to carry less safety gear in order to gain racing advantage by saving weight, and also to provide a more stable basis for performance handicapping.
ORCA races are divided into three categories by the BoD; Day race, Coastal race, and Ocean race. These categories are noted on the ORCA race calendar. A Day race is the shortest and is not expected to involve night racing. A Coastal race is longer and may involve night racing. An Ocean race is the longest distance and may span multiple days. To be eligible for a specific race category, a boat must meet the size, design, construction, and gear requirements appropriate to that class of race and be approved by the BoD for that category of race.
All of this is fully covered in ORCA’s Bylaws; Sections: 5-8.
ORCA races are won on Corrected Time order of finish. There are two rating systems in use for these purposes, depending on the length and character of the race. Short day races employ a Time Corrected Factor (TCF) such that, which is called a “Time-on-Time” system.
Day Races: Corrected Time = Elapsed Time x TCF
Whereas longer, overnight races during which diurnal wind effects usually are encountered, employ a Performance Handicap (PH) such that, which is called a “Time-on-Distance” system.
Overnight Races: Corrected Time = Elapsed Time – ((PHRF x Distance of Race) / 3600)
Experience has shown that the former is best when all boats are sailing in the same wind whereas the latter is best when the boats, strung out down the race course, encounter different winds along the course. (Elapsed Time and Corrected Time are in decimal hours, PHRF is in seconds, Distance of Race is in nautical miles)
This is covered in ORCA’s Bylaws; Section: 9.
Questions about ratings? Please complete the form below for the ratings committee.