Offshore Racing Rule Selected for 2016 Newport Bermuda Race

The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee selects the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) as the sole system for scoring the Newport Bermuda Race.

Jan. 29, 2015 - NEWPORT, R.I. -- After an in-depth study that included owner input and eight years of race data, the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) announced that the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) will be the sole system used for scoring  the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race. The race will no longer be dual scored using other rating systems.

World-renowned sailor Gary Jobson recognized the importance of scoring the Newport Bermuda Race under one rule: “We currently have two 'middle' rules in play: ORR and IRC. In 2014, there were 250 boats in the United States holding IRC certificates and 651 boats with ORR certificates. Both rating systems use secret processes to establish handicap ratings, but the rules compete with each other for acceptance and use by race organizers. This is not a healthy situation for owners nor race organizers, who resort to dual scoring and present dual trophies—always a confusing experience for competitors”(excerpt from Sailing World).

Read more: Offshore Racing Rule Selected for 2016 Newport Bermuda Race

Fast 50 class to use dual scoring

The Fast 50 Class is a new fleet in Southern California which saw its first season last year. The membership consists of roughly 50-foot race yachts (the smallest being 46’ and the biggest 52′, currently), who formed together to create a class with an annual championship circuit of the top regattas in the Southern California region. Read more..

Winners of the 2014 ORR East Coast Series Championship

We would like to congratulate the top three finishers of the ORR East Coast Series Championship! 

1st – SWIFT – US Naval Academy Sailing Squadron – Navy 44

2nd – VALKYRIE –– Drew Chapman - Beneteau 447 FR

3rd – VAMP – Leonard Sitar – J442

The 2014 ORR East Coast Series Championship was based on the results of a minimum of 2 of the following races:  Block Island Race Offshore, 160th Annual Regatta Inshore New York Yacht Club, Newport Bermuda Race Offshore, Anniversary Regatta Inshore Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and Vineyard Race Offshore.  Each yacht must have competed in a least one distance race (Block Island Race, Newport Bermuda Race or Vineyard Race) in order to qualify.

2014 ORR West Coast Northern Series Championship – Top Finishers

The Offshore Racing Rule would like to announce the top three finishers in the 2014 ORR West Coast Northern Series Championship.  Congrats to everyone! 

1.Invisible Hand owned by Frank Slootman
2.Reinrag2 owned by Tom Garnier
3.Delicate Balance owned by Doug Storkovich

Boats must have raced in a minimum of 2 of the following races, including one distance race to qualify:  Spinnaker Cup, Pacific Cup and Big Boat Series. 

2014 ORR West Coast Southern Championship Series – Top 4 Finishers

The Offshore Racing Rule would like to announce the top finishers in the 2014 ORR West Coast Southern Championship Series.  Below are the top finishers with final rank, boat name and boat owner.  Congrats to all!

1. Pyewacket - owned by Roy Disney
2. Grand Illusion - owned by Edward McDowell
3. Condor - owned by Lindy Thomas 
4. Bad Pak - owned by Tom Holthus

2014 ORR Great Lakes Series Championship - Top 20 Finishers

The Offshore Racing Rule would like to announce the top finishers in the 2014 ORR Great Lakes Series Championship.  Below are the top 20 finishers with final rank, boat name and boat owner.;">

Final Rank

Boat Name





Jerry and Greg Miarecki


Elysium 2

Frederick Bally



Don Condit



Terry Kohler and Pete Reichelsdorfer



Andrew Grootendorst & James B DeVries



Robert Arzbaecher



F William Laslow


Chaya Doin

Joshua Rubenstein, Marc A. Rubenstein


Das Boot

Jay and Cindy Muller


Natalie J.

Philip and Sharon O'Niel III



Steve Schiller



Frank Kern III





Que Loco II

Dr. Bradley A Dykstra


Wave Dancer

Michael Sklar


Fast Tango

Tim Prophit



Ron Buzil


Spirit Walker

Vern McCain & Bob Hillier


Night Moves

Henry E. Mistele


Hot Ticket

Mike and Bob Kirkman

The 2014 ORR Great Lakes Series Championship is based on the results of a minimum of 2 of the following races. These races included:  Queen’s Cup, Lake Huron International Regatta Offshore, Bayview Mackinac Race Offshore, Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Offshore, and the Verve Cup Point to Point. Each yacht must compete in one of the Mackinac Races in order to qualify. 

Spookie Wins HPR Class At Charleston Race Week

Charleston, SC – The warm summer-like conditions today in Charleston could not overcome a strong high-pressure ridge hovering over the offshore course area of Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week. So with no wind to set a course race manager Wayne Bretsch had to call it quits after a 3-hour wait, leaving Steve and Heidi Benjamin’s Carkeek HPR 40 Spookie the overall winner in the HPR Class, their second consecutive class victory in this event.


The team’s perfect winning scores throughout the regatta were the result of a year-long concentrated focus on teamwork, boat speed, and practice.

“The boat was really going well this week,” said co-owner and helmsman Steve Benjamin, a multiple World Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist. “We have sailed nearly 100 days in the last year, so the teamwork is very refined and we’ve gotten to know the boat very well, how to shift gears in the conditions, getting the right sail selections, rig set-ups, etc. I think there’s still a little more for us to get in light air, but we certainly felt fast here.”

Spookie is Hull #3 of three Carkeek HPR 40 designs competing this week in Charleston, with the other two filling the remaining positions on the podium: Steven Murray’s Decision took second place and Bill McKinley’s Denali took third. Rounding out the HPR Class was Jim Grundy’s brand-new Carkeek 47 Grundoom.

Benjamin went on to say that having the other 40-foot sisterships was an excellent opportunity for all to tune each other and push the competitive limits so that all would learn. This was shown in part by the finish times getting closer and closer throughout the event.

“What’s great about this design and many other HPR boats is that when you can get out to spend the time to sail you can get to learn the nuances in trim and set-up, and when you get it right the boat rewards you with better and better performance. The process is really fun, which is why is why we’re seeing increasing interest in HPR among the serious performance sailor.”


The next two regattas to use HPR scoring in the US will be on opposite coasts: the American YC Spring Series, held over April 26-27th and May 3-4th on Long Island Sound, and the San Diego Yachting Cup, held over May 2-4 at San Diego YC, with one more Pacific coast event in May being the Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta held in San Francisco at St Francis YC.

For more information, results, videos, and photos from Meredith Block and Karen Ryan, visit

For more information on HPR, visit

Spookie Leads Day One At Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week

Charleston, SC – On the strength of a perfect scorecard earned in today’s three races, Steve and Heidi Benjamin’s Carkeek HPR 40 Spookie takes the early lead in the HPR class at the 2014 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week. This puts the team three points ahead of current runner-up Decision, a near sistership to Spookie, owned and raced by Stephen Murray, Jr. Also racing in this class this week are two teams making their HPR class debut: Bill McKinley’s Carkeek HPR 40 Denali^2 and Jim Grundy’s brand-new Carkeek HPR 47 GrunDOOM.


“The team sailed very well, and I think the fact our crew has done a lot of sailing together has shown well today,” said Benjamin. “But its not going to get any easier as others start learning and improving for the rest of the event. This is the first-ever HPR class regatta where all entries are current generation designs, so it’s been great to test ourselves in the battles we’re having out there on the race course."
Race conditions on the offshore course area east of Charleston Harbor started as a light southerly, which gradually built and shifted to the southwest, with race managers adjusting the course gradually to suit the conditions. The first two races of the day were run on conventional three-lap windward-leeward courses, while the third and last race used a clever innovation that helped get boats back to the harbor fast and also showcase their speed and power to the rest of the classes racing in the harbor: a distance race to a finish set on the corner dock of the marina venue. After racing two laps around the buoys, the fleet raced up the Charleston Harbor channel, alternating between jibs and Code 0’s as they sped in with the tide at speeds close to the wind speed of 12 knots. 

Decision and GrunDOOM

“This was really fun, and we hope to use this more in our inshore course formats,” said Murray, who having raced Decision in its first year 800 miles to Jamaica and then 650 miles to Bermuda, knows just a little about offshore racing. “This is a way we can test other skills and at the same time get back to the harbor fast."
After racing a Class meeting was held to discuss topics related to continued technical development of the HPR rule, preferences for course formats and cost-control measures, the expansion of local and regional events using HPR in the US and potentially beyond, a poll of interest in calendar events for the remainder of 2014 and 2015, and an overview of new and existing designs which are joining the HPR fleet.


HPR class competition resumes tomorrow through Sunday, and even though lighter air is in the forecast for tomorrow, these lightweight HPR designs will remain ready to race.
For more information, photos, and results from Charleston Race Week, visit

For more information about HPR, visit