ORR Rule Overview

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 For more information see the ORR website at offshoreracingrule.org

How boats get rated

The ORR is the most trustworthy handicapping system for racing sailors and event organizers interested in fair and equitable competition between boats of different designs. The ORR uses thorough measurements of the hulls, rigs and sails to predict how boats will perform in a continuum of wind and sea conditions.

In the simplest terms, in light wind a light displacement boat with form stability should sail faster than a heavier displacement boat of the same size. A simple rating rule can equalize the hull types. But in heavier air and seas the heavier displacement boat gains the advantage and should beat the struggling light displacement boat. Rules that rely on one-number ratings cannot recognize that advantage shift.

The ORR is the only widely available rule that anticipates the changing performances of different boats in different conditions by incorporating the latest Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) in the underlying engineering science of the rating algorithms.

Some rating rules encourage technological development in the hull and rig to gain advantage. Newer and optimized boats tend to win more races over time and lead to type forming in the fleet. Some rating rules use relatively simple measurement formulas to compare boat types and then adjust the final rating based on how well the boats and crews compete against each other in regional waters. Less sophisticated rules are convenient for small fleet racing.

The ORR relies on objective, scientific handicapping to equalize large fleets of boats for inshore and offshore racing. The performance of the crews become the deciding factor at the finish line.

The Offshore Office at US Sailing is available to answer your questions about how to obtain an ORR certificate.  Please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call:  401.683.0800.

For information about ORR via US Sailing, please visit their website.