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ORC Championship Rules
1 Authority
The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) is the international authority recognised by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) as the sole authority to administer the International
Measurement System (IMS), the ORC Rating Systems (ORC International and ORC Club), the ORC Grand Prix Classes Rules and the co-related Regulations, measurement and classes.
2 Championships
2.1 The ORC has overall authority on the World and Continental Championships as follows:
- The Offshore Team World Championship
- The ORC International Championships
- The Championships of the ORC classes.
The Offshore Team World Championship is open to National Teams to be proposed by the organizing authority from time to time and approved by the ORC Offshore & Classes Events
2.2 Except for the Offshore Team World Championship which is held biennially, World and Continental Championships will be held annually in accordance with these Championship Rules, using the ORC Standard Notice of Race, the ORC Standard Sailing Instructions and relevant class rules whenever necessary.
2.3 ORC may approve regional championships where participation of boats from a specific region and other neighbouring countries is expected. The use of these Championship Rules is strongly recommended for regional and national championships.
3 Applications for Hosting Championships
3.1 Applications to host Championship events shall be received by ORC not later than two years in advance, from the host organization, preferably with the endorsement of their National Authority. Furthermore, it is strongly suggested that applicants who are contemplating the possibility of hosting future events make their intentions known to the ORC three years in advance.
3.2 The application shall include the name of the Organizing Authority (OA) and the following information:
a) OA’s history of organizing past major events
b) A best estimate of the number of entries and countries expected
c) The maximum number of yachts that can be accommodated at the venue.
d) Suitability of shoreside facilities as follows:
- Adequate space to measure sails and conduct other measurement controls, including a well-protected area to measure freeboards and perform inclining tests as needed
- Haul-out facilities
- Accommodation and housing information, such as hotel and real estate agency options
- Confirmation that suitable accommodation (eg, minimum 3-star) will be provided by the OA for the Race Committee, the Jury and all other principal Committee members (eg, accommodation should include meals, local transport, broadband internet connection, etc.)
- Office space for the Race Committee, Measurers, Jury and arbitration meetings, and a Media Center with restricted access, suitable working space for all accredited media members and staff, broadband internet connection, etc.
- Availability of suitable Boats for the Race Committee, including mark set boats, Jury and Measurement Committee boats, and media boats for photographers and videographers.
e) Charts identifying suitable inshore and offshore racing areas.
f) Availability of commercial shoreside facilities for competitors, including restaurants and marine equipment and support services, sail repair service plan, support vehicle parking plan, security, etc.
g) Outline of the hosting authority’s financial plans for the event, any potential sponsors, and periodic updates on the financial status of the event. The organizers should also collaborate with ORC on the entry fee amounts and deadline for entry schedule, with an emphasis placed on encouraging early entry commitments from competitors.
h) Report on the local active racing fleet that may be qualifying for the Championship.
i) Plans for the promotion, marketing and media relations for the event.
j) Any special features or innovations that will enhance the attraction and unique nature of the venue, format and/or character of the event.
The application shall provide written answers to the questions shown above in 3.2 (a) – (j), and Appendix 1 - the Championship Checklist - should be used by both parties to monitor progress on key features of the event. The application should include detailed materials to provide a full description of the venue and its facilities. A pre-approval visit from an ORC representative may be necessary, to which the OA shall provide a complete tour of the proposed venue and a meeting with the principal Committee members.
The application shall clearly state the OA’s acceptance of the obligations imposed by these regulations and its commitment to conduct the Championship in full conformity with such regulations, by signature of the senior officer of the organization.
3.3 In approving an event venue, the ORC will take into account the geographical location in the context of other scheduled events. Once approved, a Letter of Agreement will be drafted and signed by the ORC and the hosting authority to outline the terms of their cooperation for the event.
4 Obligations of the Host Organizing Authority
4.1 With the consultation and approval of the ORC, the OA shall make the initial appointments for members of the Race Committee, International Jury and Measurement Committee. The Principal Race Officer, International Jury Chairman and Chief Measurer shall have suitable experience with use of IMS, ORC Rating Systems and offshore racing.
4.2 ORC Approval
It is expected that the OA work closely with ORC to meet the expectations outlined in Section 3
above in order to maximise the success of the event. Moreover, a list of all committee members
shall be submitted for the approval of ORC at least six months prior to the event unless agreed
otherwise. The ORC retains the right to request personnel additions or replacements
as it deems necessary to maximize the success of the event.
4.3 Official language
The official language shall be English. All senior officers, including the Race Committee,
International Jury and Measurement Committee shall be fluent in English, with all
announcements and briefings in that language. Local language communications are permitted,
but when offered are not official.
4.4 International Jury
The International Jury shall include an ORC Representative and shall conform to RRS
Appendix N. A majority of Jury members including the Chairman and the ORC Representative
shall be present from the first day of measurement and inspection. Should there be a difference
of opinion regarding the interpretation, definition or intent of any rules and/or regulations, then
the query shall be referred to the International Jury, whose ruling on the interpretation,
definition or ruling on the intent of that rule or regulation shall be final and not subject to
4.5 ORC Representative
The ORC shall, in agreement with the OA, appoint a team of ORC members to be present as
part of the Race Committee, International Jury, Measurement Committee, Media and
Organizing Committee (if any) for each particular ORC championship. The ORC
representatives shall have the right to consult with and advise each Committee during the course
of the event. This ORC team shall report to the ORC at its next meeting after the championship
with an account of the conduct of the event and with any recommendations or relevant
observations in order to evaluate the event and help improve future ORC championships.
4.6 Measurement Committee and measurement protocols
a) A Measurement Committee shall be appointed in conjunction with the ORC Chief Measurer
after consulting with the hosting authority and the National Authority of the host country. At
least one member should be from another country, and at least one qualified ORC measurer
shall be present throughout the event.
b) Prior to the start of the first race, the following mandatory measurement controls shall be
conducted under direction of the Measurement Committee for all entries:
i) Safety equipment check
ii) Measurement inventory check
iii) Sail measurements checks and stamping
c) Prior to the start of the first race, the following discretionary measurement controls shall be
conducted under direction of the Measurement Committee:
i) Random crew weight checks
ii) Flotation and stability checks
d) An official scale shall be made available before and during the event for the purposes of
measuring crew weight.
e) At any time throughout the series even whilst yachts are racing, sails and yachts shall be
subject to scrutiny and to checks for compliance with the rules at the discretion of the Race
Committee. It is intended to have a minimum of 6 yachts inspected per day of racing. These
checks shall include the following:
i) Sail inventory on board while racing
ii) Crew weight
iii) Safety equipment and compliance with the OSR
iv) Floatation and stability
f) Any item found to be non-compliant shall be corrected and verified prior to racing, and those
found to be non-compliant during racing may be subject to protest action described in ORC
Rule 305.
4.7 Notice of Race
At a minimum of six months before the first day of the championship, the OA will publish to all
relevant countries the Notice of Race. The standard Notice of Race as found in the Appendix of
these championship rules shall be used. Prior to publication, a draft and any modifications to the
standard Notice of Race must be approved by the ORC. The final version and any amendments
shall be posted on the event website as soon as they are approved.
4.8 Sailing Instructions
The Sailing Instructions as printed in the appendix of these championship rules shall be used.
Prior to publication a draft and any modifications must be approved by the ORC. Copies shall
be provided to the International Jury prior to their arrival at the event. Copies for competitors
shall be available upon their arrival at the event, with the final version and any amendments
posted on the event website.
4.9 Website and digital information
The OA shall provide a suitable and functional website (preferably with its own URL that
includes the year and name of the event) where all administrative and promotional materials can
be accessed before, during and after the event. The details of the functions and structure of the
site shall be agreed with ORC so that it has maximum efficiency to provide access to news and
information in the most clear and efficient manner possible. The site may be in the local
language, but it must also have all official materials in available in English (see 4.3). For all
international ORC Championships, there shall be a complete English version of the event
website, with all information provided in English.
The site shall have a digital-based entry system where the entry list can be shown on the site,
and includes country affiliation, sail number, boat type, owner name, skipper name, and
approximate rating. A digital crew list system shall also be provided, where crew member
names and their ISAF Sailor ID’s are provided, and for Corinthian Trophy entries their ISAF
Classification group status. Crew lists need not be in public view (eg, only accessible through a
log-in access), but shall be made available to ORC and ISAF for verification purposes.
Additional entry information, such as a boat photo, team and/or skipper biography, and past race
results are encouraged.
All official documents shall be posted on the website as soon as they are available, preferably in
html or pdf format. Race results shall also be posted online as soon as available, even if
provisional and subject to revision after any protests. Web-based scoring systems are also
encouraged, and will be required in the near future so as to make results available quickly and
widely as possible.
4.10 Marketing, promotion and media coverage
The OA shall work with ORC for the marketing and promotion of any ORC Championship
event with the intent to maximize its international exposure and prominence. This includes
providing advanced news-updates in English and the local language for posting on the ORC
During the event, and with help from ORC, daily summaries in English shall be provided and
distributed by the OA, along with appropriate copyright-free photos from races and related
events, such as the opening ceremonies, prize giving, etc. These shall be updated daily on the
event website. Social media channels shall also be provided with content updated by the event
media team prior to and during the event.
5 Rules
5.1 ORC Championships shall be sailed according to the following rules:
a) ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS)
b) ORC Championship Rules
c) The relevant ORC Grand Prix or ORC Class Rules and as referenced, the IMS Rule, ORC
Rating Systems Rules and any other Rules as published or approved by the ORC
d) ISAF Offshore Special Regulations
Except for Sportboats, all races will be Category 3 (with or without the liferaft aboard – to be
decided by the OA and ORC). For Sportboats, ORC Sportboat Class Rules will apply.
e) Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions follow ORC standard format.
f) Prescriptions of the national authority of the host country shall not be applied unless
authorized by the ORC.
5.2 Automatic, mechanical and wind vane devices for steering shall be prohibited.
5.3 Hauling Out
From 9 AM of the first scheduled day of registration yachts shall not be hauled out except for
the purposes of repairing damage; and only after written permission from the International Jury.
While hauled for this purpose, cleaning and polishing of the hull below the waterline will not be
Rudders shall not be removed from the water during the series nor the centreboards removed
from their cases.
6 Qualifications and Eligibility
6.1 For an event to qualify as a World Championship there shall be a minimum number of eligible
yachts. To be eligible, a yacht must be present at the event, checked by the Measurement
Committee and be accepted by the International Jury as meeting all entry requirements for the
event. For World Championships, the yacht’s owner shall be a member of the relevant Class
Association, where appropriate. Except for the Maxi Class, minimum number of boats plus
number of countries shall be 14, with a minimum number of 4 countries represented at the
event. For the Maxi Class, the minimum number of entries shall be six and shall include at least
one yacht from each of three different countries or two continents. In order for a yacht to fulfil
its entry status in the regatta, it must start and finish at least one of the scheduled races, except
for major damage that would preclude further participation.
6.2 The entry format of the Championship shall be organized in consultation with ORC, and
wherever possible adhere to the following principles:
- Depending on the number of entries, the fleet can be divided into 2 or 3 classes
- Classes shall have separate starts and separate results. The OA and the ORC shall decide
about the need of having separate courses and course areas.
- Class limits shall be defined when a sufficient number of entries is received but not later than
two months before the first day of measurement of the event
- ORC has full discretion on the minimum number of boats and countries to be eligible as
World Championship.
6.3 ORC Championships shall not be scheduled as part of other events without the express consent
of the ORC. Even with consent, separate classes, starts and scoring shall be provided for the
Championship series.
6.4 The number of entries may not exceed the maximum number that can be accommodated as
stated in paragraph 3.1(c) above. The ORC may grant exceptions upon request of the
Organizing authority. The maximum number of yachts per country, including the host country,
shall be agreed between the ORC and the Organizing Authority. For the ORC International
World Championship, the OA and the ORC shall set upper and lower GPH limits and relevant
Class splits in accordance with 6.2. For the Classes Championship yachts conforming to the
class rules are eligible.
6.5 For the purposes of RRS 76.2, the approving authority is the ORC. The ORC delegates its
jurisdiction under this rule to the International Jury of the event in question, provided the ORC
representative is present at the relevant meetings.
6.6 A valid ORC International rating certificate shall accompany its entry (in case of Classes a
Class Certificate). Any modifications to certificates shall be made prior to 9 AM of the first day
of registration and in accordance with the event Notice of Race. Modifications necessitated by
the measurement and inspection process may be presented until 9 AM of the first day of racing
and in accordance with the event Notice of Race. All rating certificates shall be re-checked and
endorsed by the National Authority issuing the certificate. All rating certificates shall be
available for inspection by all competitors, preferably posted on the event website or made
available in the ORC Sailor Services database.
6.7 The person who is the owner or charterer or borrower of an entered boat shall be a national of
the country they are representing. "National" is defined as either the holder of a passport or
identity card, or a similar document stating residential status in the country represented.
6.8 A crew list including all requested information shall be submitted before the first race and in
accordance with the Notice of Race and shall be made available to all participants upon request.
6.9 Substitution of crew will be permitted with prior consent of the International Jury, who may
delegate this responsibility to the Race Committee. The owner has the responsibility to ensure
that crew weight limits have not been exceeded. The International Jury may require that the
weight of the original crew member and his replacement be documented.
7 Equipment
7.1 Sails
One suit of sails plus one mainsail may be used in a series and shall have been measured and
stamped by an ORC Measurer. The sails so stamped shall be marked for the event and shall not
exceed in numbers the maxima permitted under ORC Rating Rule 206, unless otherwise stated
in the Notice of Race. In determining these maxima, the GPH used for all yachts in the Class
shall be the faster of the two GPH values given as the Class Rule rating band limits.
With the exception of the second mainsail all sails must be carried aboard. This second mainsail
shall have a minimum of one set of reef points. The mainsails may be interchangeable.
Sails damaged during the series may be repaired. Sails beyond repair may be replaced with
permission of the International Jury.
7.2 Masts and Spars
When masts and spars are damaged or broken they may be repaired and/or replaced once,
subject to inspection before and after repairs or replacement. Repairs and/or replacement shall
only be allowed in the case of "bona fide" damage. In case of a mast replacement, the rig shall
be measured and the yacht shall be re-measured afloat, as required by the IMS rule. A new valid
certificate shall be submitted before the end of the series.
8 Prizes
8.1 The principal trophies shall be listed in the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions.
8.2 It shall be the responsibility of the winner of each perpetual trophy or challenge cup to send it to
the organizing club for the following year's event after having it suitably engraved with the
results of the event.
8.3 Corinthian Trophy
ORC encourages event organizers to award a Corinthian Trophy. To be eligible for this trophy,
every crew member of a competing yacht must qualify as being a Group 1 sailor under the ISAF
Sailor Classification Code.
Unless there is a separate division, a yacht competing for the Corinthian Trophy shall also be
eligible for all other awards. Any decision on eligibility for the Corinthian trophy shall not
affect other scoring. At least two entrants for the Corinthian Trophy shall be required for its
award in any championship. The crew lists of Corinthian Class enitres shall be posted onsite
and/or on the event website, and the Classification Protest Time Limit shall be no later than the
end of the first day of racing.
It is recommended to have a representative from the ISAF Classification Commission on site
during the Registration process to handle matters regarding Classification. If so, Section 5 of the
Standard Notice of Race shall be used.
8.4 Owner/Driver Trophy
ORC encourages the awarding of a separate Owner/Driver prize. It shall be awarded to the entry
whose owner is listed as the primary helmsman for the event and who shall steer at all times
except in an emergency. For offshore races, the owner/driver shall be on the helm for at least the start and finish of the race(s).
9 Disclaimer
The ORC, including its committees and representatives, has provided these rules and recommendations in the interest of yachtsmen, but on the understanding that it cannot be held responsible for any loss, damage, injury or inconvenience arising from its policies and rulings.
Copyright © 2014 Offshore Racing Congress.


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