US Sailing and Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) to be first licensed rating authorities

June 14, 2012 - Newport, RI – The High Performance Rule (HPR) announces that by unanimous vote of its Board members, the Offshore Racing Association (ORA) has agreed to take ownership of HPR. The move is an important organizational milestone for HPR, a rating rule concept whose development was first facilitated by the New York YC‘s Handicap Rules Committee in 2010.

ORA’s role becomes similar to what it does for the Offshore Rating Rule (ORR), which is used in the major offshore races in the US: act as an entity that gives rule and policy guidance through existing HPR technical committees, form a new HPR steering committee (the HPR Advisory Board), and manage relations with selected international authorities for its role as a rule administrator and licensor. Currently US Sailing and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) are the first rating authorities to be licensed to govern administration of the rule.

This move is a huge step forward in moving HPR from a rating rule ‘concept’ to a rating rule reality,” said Steve Benjamin, the Chairman of the NYYC Handicap Rules Committee and a fervent promoter of HPR. “While the HPR technical staff is still fine-tuning the rule, it now gives us the ability to formalize the process of issuing rules, creating measurement standards, and issuing certificates through US Sailing and ORC.”

For ORA the adoption of HPR means extending their reach more towards the Grand Prix level of the offshore racing fleet.

ORA has spent the past eight years managing a VPP-based rating system to serve US offshore sailors,” said Dick Hampikian, Chairman of ORA, “but this system has not always been suitable for the latest new high-performance designs to race against the more traditional boats. We are excited to work alongside US Sailing and the ORC to help foster the growth and popularity of these HPR designs to have their own playing field where they can enjoy close, fair and fast racing.”

Typical HPR-inspired designs include Stephen Murray Jr.’s Carkeek HPR 40 Decision, now poised to do the Newport-Bermuda Race, and its just-launched sistership based in Michigan, Bill McKinley’s Denali 2. Other typical HPR designs include GP 26’s, MC 38’s, Farr 400’s, GP 42’s, TP 52’s, and other high-tech modern offshore-capable designs that seek fair racing among like-type boats. These boats have seen increasing popularity in the US and abroad, and HPR scoring will soon be offered at many major US events.

"US Sailing supports all forms of sailing, and Grand Prix-level offshore sailing is an important part of the game,” said Gary Jobson, president of US Sailing. “We're pleased to help its growth here in the US, and look forward to working alongside ORC in helping make HPR a success around the world."

For over 40 years ORC has been serving the international offshore community with science-based rating systems,” said Don Genitempo of the ORC Management Committee, “so it is with great pleasure that we embrace HPR to serve the needs of the highest-level offshore sailors. Besides offering our administrative and technical help in rule development, as well as our network of rating offices in 35 countries around the world, our relationship with ISAF also offers the opportunity to form future HPR championship events on an international scale.”

What The World Says About HPR

Eddie Owen (RORC Executive Director)

Matt Allen (Boat owner, ex-Commodore Cruising YC Australia)

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