1. What is HPR?

HPR is an acronym for High Performance Rule.

2. What will HPR boats look like? Is there an HPR typeform?

HPR boats will be modern high performance racing yachts. There will be no credits for slow features. The boats will have bowsprits, large asymmetrical spinnakers, fractional rigs, and square top mainsails with twin topmast backstays. The TP52 is the closest example of an HPR boat on the water today.

Target parameters for several sizes of HPR boats have been developed and are being used to construct the HPR.

3. When did the HPR initiative begin and who started it?

The notion of a HPR began during the Summer of 2010 during a meeting of the 2010 New York Yacht Club Handicap Rules Committee. Later in 2010 Committee Chair Steve Benjamin began to facilitate an effort by a broader group of five well-regarded Technical Advisors including Shaun Carkeek, Stan Honey, Bill Lee, Mark Mills, and Bill Tripp. Together they started working on the algorithm and rule policy and have worked to broaden the participation by other organizations.

4. The world seems full of rating rules, why is there a need for HPR?

Yes there are several good existing rating rules, however there is no rule for the highest level of racing and there is no rating rule that is truly in worldwide use since the end of the IOR. Rather than trying to make one rule work for all boats racing around the world – an impossible task – the HPR is the right rule for the right job, rating today's modern high performance monohulls for the highest level of international racing.

5. How does the HPR work? And will there be level classes or suggested sizes?

The HPR uses fourteen variables in an algorithm to calculate the rating of monohull sloop rigged racing yachts with single fixed keels and single rudders. Base boat parameters have been developed for 32, 35, 40, 45, 52, and 70 foot length overall yachts, and these are the suggested sizes for level HPR racing classes as well. However any size yacht from 32 to 100 feet will fit into the HPR continuum. When a yacht has parameters that are faster than base, the rating is increased, and for parameters slower than base the rating is reduced. All variables and correctors multiply and the default rating with all base parameters met is the yacht's length in meters. For any given race the corrected time is determined using the elapsed time, the rated metric length, and a time allowance table (time on time scoring).

All of the measured variables utilize the standardized measurement protocol from the Universal Measurement Form.

6. What is the Universal Measurement Form?

The Universal Measurement Form (UMF) is a protocol to create standardized measurements across all of the rating rules. Until recently, several of the measurement variables have been measured in different ways by the different rating rules. Sail measurements were the first to be standardized and sails are now measured the same way for all rules. Similarly, hulls, appendages, propulsion, and rigs are all being standardized. The UMF initiative began with US Sailing and RORC, and the ORC is now joining.

7. Will HPR boats have ISO and GL Plan Approval and be eligible for the major ocean races like Fastnet, Newport - Bermuda, and Transpac, among many others?

Yes all HPR boats will require ISO and GL Plan Approval and will be required to meet the Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) categories 1 and 2 as well as the Equipment Rules of Sailing (ESR).

8. When will HPR be ready to rate boats, and how are the algorithm and correctors being validated?

Phase 1 of the HPR has been completed and the algorithm to calculate ratings now exists.

Phase 2 is complete. Jim Teeters with the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) assisted with VPP research to validate the algorithm according to the SYRF mission statement:

It is the Mission of the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) to research, develop, enhance, promote, and educate the public regarding measurement rating and handicap rules for use in National and International offshore racing competition between sailboats.

Input was also made from Alessandro Nazareth of the International Technical Committee of ORC.

Phase 3 is also complete, as Version 3c of HPR have been offered to yacht designers worldwide for review and comment.

Phase 4 is planned for early 2013 with the final release of the HPR.

9. Are there subjective factors in HPR?

No.

10. Will the HPR be published and available to all, and are there secret components to HPR? Is there an HPR website?

Yes the HPR is published, and there are no secret components. Information and updates about HPR will be offered on the HPR website.

11. Do you believe that HPR will replace other rating rules, or supplement them? In other words is HPR intended to replace IRC, ORCi, ORC Club, ORR, and PHRF?

No. The concept behind HPR is that all of the existing rules should continue, or merge, to support racing at the entry and middle levels. HPR is intended to bring new owners and crews into the highest level of the sport and to relieve the pressure placed upon the existing rules by the high end racing programs.

12. How do I get my boat rated for HPR and is there an old age allowance?

The rating process will be similar to the other existing rules with measurements according to the UMF and certificates issued. The HPR certificate will show all of the pertinent data and there will be no hidden factors. ORC is considering issuing ORCi certificates with HPR rating values for HPR-eligible boats.

The old age credit for existing boats is being formulated and policy for this aspect of the HPR is now being developed. The amount of the old age credit will be quantified and shown on the HPR certificate.

13. Is HPR a single number system or are there ratings for different wind speeds and courses?

HPR is presently a single number system. It would be possible to expand HPR into a multi number system in the future if demand exists.

14. Can boats be optimized to certain conditions expected at major events and how will series championships be determined? How will the "horses for courses" issue be controlled?

It is anticipated that only boats that maintain a substantially unchanged certified HPR certificate for all events in a season championship will be eligible. Boats which make major changes to their certificate will re-start their season scoring. In other words boats competing for an overall trophy comprised of multiple events will be encouraged by the series scoring to maintain the same certificate for all events.

15. How is HPR different from IRM? And from IRC, ORCi, and ORR?

IRM was a forward thinking, innovative, and thorough attempt by the RORC to create a high level rule. Much of the ground broken by IRM is being utilized in the development of HPR. HPR has simplified the measurement process and algorithm, and the typeformed HPR boats appear to be modern offshore planing hulls whereas IRM boats were typeformed in an era of displacement hulls.

IRC has secret components and is adjusted annually.

ORCi and ORR are VPP rules. ORCi is published and ORR is secret.

More research can be done to compare the ratings of racing yachts under all the existing systems.

16. Why is a formula rule better for high level racing than a VPP rule or a secret rule?

A formula rule, such as HPR, is a simple rule for yacht designers to optimize to. Yet it allows trading of factors to suit individual owner preferences. The HPR rule will be held stable for four-year periods. The VPP rules are extremely complicated and nearly impossible to optimize to, hence they do not encourage development of faster yachts. Secret rules by definition cannot be optimized to.

Research is currently underway to investigate the HPR typeform as compared with the ORR and ORCi typeforms. The HPR typeform is known to encourage fast planing boats.

17. Who will benefit from HPR?

Owners and crews who wish to race fun fast and exciting boats in a totally fair and open rating environment that encourages development of better racing yachts.

18. Will HPR be changed over time?

Rule stability is an important feature of HPR. Presently it is anticipated that the HPR algorithm will be held stable for four-year periods. The first period will be 2013 to 2017. For 2012 the HPR will be run on a trial basis. For 2017 the HPR will be adjusted for good cause by the Executive Committee. The age allowance may be adjusted annually after review by the Technical Committee. Typos and loopholes will be corrected as soon as possible.

19. Is HPR an International effort?

Yes, while facilitated initially by the NYYC, the HPR has the support of US Sailing and ORC, with other national governing bodies and national offshore rating authorities also expressing interest.

20. How will interpretations be managed in HPR?

All interpretations as determined by the Technical Committee will be published on the HPR website.

Intentional rule beating features should be submitted for an interpretation prior to building or installing. Typos and loopholes can be closed at any time. Interpretations may be held confidential until a valid certificate is issued.

21. What hull materials will be allowed?

HPR will have scantlings along with permitted and not permitted materials listed in the rule. For example it is anticipated that aramid honeycomb core (kevlar nomex) will not be permitted.

A simple summary of materials with check boxes and penalties or credits for various construction methods is being considered. HPR boats must meet ISO and GL plan approval.

22. Will power winches be allowed?

Presently, HPR is considering an upper size limit of 72 feet in conformance with the mini-maxi rules. One of the ideas behind HPR is to keep it as simple and focused on high performance racing as possible. Consequently, all power systems will be prohibited along with canting keels and water ballast.

However, HPR is in its formative stages and if a consensus emerges in favor of powered systems it is totally possible to include these features.