While inshore and offshore races are shut down all over the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the technical team at the Offshore Race Congress (ORC) has nonetheless been hard at work updating its system for use when racing resumes.
Just completed among the projects is a revised and updated version of the ORC Speed Guide, a product available online through the ORC’s publicly-accessible ORC Sailor Services website. The Speed Guide is a complete report of the boat’s performance as calculated by the ORC’s Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) in both graphic and digital formats for all true and apparent wind angles and wind speeds from 6 to 20 knots.
The Speed Guide has been updated according to the changes in the ORC VPP and the 2020 ORC rules, and with these several new features are now possible. Previous versions, for example, could only depict the performance of the largest of each sail type in the boat’s inventory. Now multiple sails of the Headsail set Flying and Asymmetric spinnaker <85% midgirth (ie, Code Zero) types may be plotted, in addition to a “blended” summary performance of all sails of these types.
In this way tests may be made on sails of different sizes and designs to determine which is fastest within a wind speed and wind angle range of interest.
What’s also new is the HTML format of the Speed Guide report, which allows greater functionality than the past PDF format. For example, tick boxes on each page allows the user to have a choice of which sail curves are plotted on the polar diagrams of wind direction and boat speed. All curves are now both color coded with varied line types, and show the optimal Velocity Made Good (VMG) upwind and downwind for each of seven true wind speeds.
This polar table data is also made available for download in an Excel-readable SYLK format or a format readable directly by Expedition routing software. This then helps users develop optimal performance targets available through their on-board instrument systems.
To order an ORC Speed Guide in the ORC Sailor Services system, first register for a free login credential at www.orc.org/sailorservices, and use the Search command to find your boat of interest in the ORC database – there are >125,000 measurement records in the system. If the boat has a 2020 ORC certificate of any type (Club, International or Double Handed), and a Speed Guide is needed for this boat in its certificate configuration, then simply click on the green Speed Guide button.
The price of an ORC Speed Guide is 50 credits (€60, or about US$65), with credits purchased through Pay Pal on the Sailor Services site. The Speed Guide is delivered in HTML format with links to download the Speed Guide explanation book in PDF, as well as the Expedition and SYLK data files.
If the boat is in the database from previous years, a new ORC test certificate will need to be run once the boat’s measurement record is added to the user’s online My Boats folder, and then a new Speed Guide may be ordered. Test certificates are 10 credits and then a Speed Guide costs an additional 40 credits. Measurement records from the online My Boats folder may be edited by the user to generate additional test certificates and Speed Guides as desired, there is no restriction or limit…in this way the user my gauge the effects of changes in parameters such as rig and sail dimensions or crew weight changes to the performance and rating of the boat.
“As we sit waiting for racing to re-open, this is a perfect use of our open Sailor Services system,” said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC. “No other rating system has this kind of open, self-serve approach to explore the effects of different sail, boat and crew trim scenarios. With Sailor Services this can be tested to help decide how the owner wants to race his boat this season.
“This new Speed Guide will benefit all sailors, not only those who are interested in knowing rating effects, but all those who want to more about their boat’s performance potential and thus help to improve their sailing skills.”