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Introducing PNW ORC: free ORC certs!


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This is an opportunity for Puget Sound sailors to test drive ORC.  ORC will be providing free ORC test certificates for those boats willing to join in on dual scoring Puget Sound events in 2021.  The initial focus will likely be Ballard Cup because of the fantastic participation of a wide variety of boats.  And I want to underscore what I just wrote: it will be ideal to have participation from a wide variety of boats.  I can be talked into scoring additional events if interest warrants.

I will not make a sales pitch for ORC.  If you're interested, try it.  The deadline for opting in is 3/19/21.

Here's how it works:

1) Only boat designs that are currently represented in the ORC/IMS database will be able to participate... ORC does not want to process new offsets just for a trial (if you apply for a real ORC club certificate they obviously will).  Unlike the official club certs, you do not need to also join US Sailing.

2) Data for the test certs will be derived from PHRF sail measurements, so no need to haul everything down to a loft for IMS measurements.  Club ratings are okay too, but I will need your self reported measurements.  OD (j/80, j/105, etc.) boats will use a generic certificate for the OD configuration for races where they participate in a mixed class so long as you adhere to the OD rules.

3) You will receive a copy of your test certificate.  ORC test certificates include all of the same information as a club certificate, so you will have access to your ratings and modeled polars.

4) I will be scoring results which will be posted at https://sites.google.com/view/pnworc/  I will likely also post the fleet's test certs on this site.

If you wish to participate, please send an email to pnworc@gmail.com  If you have a current PHRF certificate I will gather your boat/sail data from the PHRF-NW website.  If you do not have a current PHRF certificate, you will need to send your boat and sail measurement info including any mods that differ from original production.  If your boat is not in the IMS database I will let you know.

 

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This is awesome, thanks so much for setting it up.  I've registered (and hope to be back out for Ballard Cup).  I've been hoping to see someone really champion ORC in this region so thanks for stepping up.

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Thanks Alex.  I appreciate your enthusiasm.  Aside from a chance for sailors to be able to look at the "what-if?" of their ratings and results, I think this will be a good opportunity to give clubs/organizers feedback on the ORC system without having to actually commit any races or resources.

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Maybe at the same time you can explain to CYC how to score using it.  I've given up explaining to them that they are not supposed to use the GPH numbers for scoring.

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Uhg.  I guess that's one way to turn ORC into PHRF.  You do have to choose a wind speed range, and on the sound that can be complicated.  Last Saturday being one exception.  The Jim Depue Race the weekend before might have been tricky, the slower boats were very much stuck in the convergence after rounding the windward mark.

Otherwise, I don't find the ORC scoring program to be any more convoluted than Sailwave, particularly if you've had to setup Sailwave from scratch.  I found that being able to import valid certificates from ORC's database is pretty convenient...  I just paused here to have a look at the CSS results to see how CYC scored the TP52's, indeed they're plugging GPH numbers into Sailwave to score ORC.  Sad.

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10 minutes ago, sailman said:

Isn’t GPH used for ToD?

No. At least it's not supposed to be. The GPH is only supposed to compare ratings, not actually be used for scoring (same with ORR). Note the difference between my GPH and TOD numbers. Also, my boat's not competitive with this rating but that's another conversation.

image.png.bb017d46ab203b18e243b37b8db6a018.png

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1 hour ago, iheartratings said:

Uhg.  I guess that's one way to turn ORC into PHRF.  You do have to choose a wind speed range, and on the sound that can be complicated.  Last Saturday being one exception.  The Jim Depue Race the weekend before might have been tricky, the slower boats were very much stuck in the convergence after rounding the windward mark.

Otherwise, I don't find the ORC scoring program to be any more convoluted than Sailwave, particularly if you've had to setup Sailwave from scratch.  I found that being able to import valid certificates from ORC's database is pretty convenient...  I just paused here to have a look at the CSS results to see how CYC scored the TP52's, indeed they're plugging GPH numbers into Sailwave to score ORC.  Sad.

There are plenty of scoring options available on the 2021 certs including single number W/L as well as light, medium or heavy wind W/L as Ryley showed from his 2017 cert.  There is also the matter that one of the boats scored does not appear to have a 2021 cert so it is an apples to pears comparison. 

Moving forward with your experiment things like sail sizes are going to take some effort to have meaningful ORC ratings, for example if a boat is sailing with genoas and it is only rated for non overlapping jib (code 2 in PHRF-NW) it is going to be a garbage in-garbage out situation. 

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Some rating talk, if anyone is interested.  Attached is a correlation of PHRF-NW ratings and ORC ratings for boats that held both certs.  This is a copy-paste from David Lynch's article in 48 degrees North (July 2018).  David put a lot of work into this and it is worth reading.  A few nits I would pick:

I count 6 boats with negative ratings and a total of about 4 boats with ratings over 100 (eyeballing the chart).  No boats with ratings over 150 are included in the analysis.  This is a fairly sparse dataset, 34 boats in total, compared to the size of the fleet which comes it at around 600 and the rating span in this analysis does not represent fleet's span well: around 51% of the PHRF-NW fleet rates over 100.  In the dataset there are ~4-5 boats that appear to deviate from the ORC by around 12 seconds, 15% of the dataset.  If we extrapolate this to the entire fleet then there would be ~90 boats (=0.15*600) that deviate from ORC by as much as 12 seconds.

 

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Finally, attached is a chart of boat ratings vs. overall results in 7 years of Ballard Cup races (pre-covid), 31 races in total.  There are typically 50-70 boats participating.

This is not a great series to use for a rating comparison, but it is consistent with the conditions PNW racers race in.  These races are around government marks (not square to the wind), are in an area that has significant tidal (two points, a fresh to saltwater lock) and geographic (bluffs to north and south) influence, so is somewhat technical.  The races are sent out in typically 7 starts over a span of 35 minutes, slow boats first.  They are evening races and the wind is often not consistent.

Sailors of Farr 30's had a difficult time finishing worse than 20th overall while no boats that rate over 170 won an OA.  The slower but more competitive one design boats (think Moore 24), do outperform similarly rated non-OD boats.  One can argue that slower non-OD boats are raced less seriously and are prepared less well.  The Farr's are after all dry sailed and you typically wouldn't have bought one to cruise in.  But I do find it a bit surprising that no boat rating over 170 had in 7 years of racing been raced "serious" enough to take even one overall. 

ORC has often been pitched as a rating system for the "serious" racers.  But I have to think that the "serious" racers have likely already bought themselves "serious" race boats and were probably looking at what those boats rated when they were shopping.  I am interested to see if the opposite is true: if slower boats will perform better when given a "serious" rating system.  So that's my pitch for the slow boats, get your free ORC cert and try it out.

BCresults.jpg

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I have water ballast. My problem is that apparently, as one of the ORC techs wrote me in an email the other day:

"Boats with movable ballasts need to be measured because and when the RM is entered as Club (as default) the VPP doesn't recognize it and it will crash.

To be able to enter the weight of the ballasts a fully measured boat has to be used."

I'll be at the Ballard Cup races, and I wish I could use an ORC rating. But I can't get one unless I go through the hassle of all this. A shame, because I really do like the ORC system.

Let me know if your trial cert can help. Otherwise I can send you my DIY "composite" ORC cert that I created and be part of your trial.

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On 3/8/2021 at 5:18 PM, iheartratings said:

Uhg.  I guess that's one way to turn ORC into PHRF.  You do have to choose a wind speed range, and on the sound that can be complicated.  Last Saturday being one exception.

This ^^^  

Often the PHRF single number is  more accurate than just the arbitrary ORC GHP or ORC single number.  Because PHRF takes into account local conditions, whereas the ORC GHP (or the single numbers) is based on a composite of wind ranges and may include wind that's never seen locally.

We ran into that a bit in the Chesapeake this last year -- for a couple of the distance races, the SI's had already established the ToT coastal/long distance single number. Which handcuffed the RC when the actual race-day conditions warranted the "Light" or "Mostly Downwind" triple number scoring option.

The opposite (and more problematic) has sometimes happened with the ORR-ez scoring used by the cruising class.  In that class, they've tried to select the scoring option AFTER the start based on actual conditions.  They also used composite scores (aka 50% light windward, 25% medium windward, 25% medium reaching), which of course led to lots of debate and some acrimony, since on any distance race different boats can see very different wind based on their routing & speed.

Best practice for ORC seems to be to carefully review the assumptions baked into each of the triple numbers, select scoring option right before the start, and just accept there will be complaints.

 

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14 minutes ago, Salona said:

The opposite (and more problematic) has sometimes happened with the ORR-ez scoring used by the cruising class.  In that class, they've tried to select the scoring option AFTER the start based on actual conditions. Which of course leads to a lot of acrimony over scoring, since on a distance race different boats see different wind, based on their routing & speed.

Best practice seems to be to select the scoring option right before the first start.

I think on the whole you are correct that selecting the course/windspeed before the start is the right move, especially for the closed-course selections. In MBSA the rule is that it can be changed before the first boat finishes in case the conditions change in a big way.

for distance racing, it is a huge challenge to make a guess to the conditions - even in today's level of forecasting the local situation is often different than the forecast.

The better solution is a constructed course, which ORR uses in Annapolis to Bermuda and Newport to Bermuda. The *even better* solution for is to use Performance Curve Scoring, which is being incorporated into a couple of the scoring systems available. BUT it is fairly complex to get your head wrapped around PCS, especially when most folks can't figure out ToT in the first place.

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6 minutes ago, ryley said:

The better solution is a constructed course, which ORR uses in Annapolis to Bermuda and Newport to Bermuda. The *even better* solution for is to use Performance Curve Scoring, which is being incorporated into a couple of the scoring systems available.

In principal yes, but in practice (at least here) it's too subjective and leads to the perception that the scorer is picking the winners. 

It might work offshore, with consistent breeze over long periods and especially basing off classes with highly calibrated instruments. But in the Bay at least, currents & localized wx more often then not dominates.  So there's a big fight over whether or not score should have used 25% reaching (Boat A wins) or 35% reaching (Boat B wins). 

 

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Alright Salona, I get it. Constructed courses aren't a day-before the event kind of development, at least in principle, as it takes some real analysis of previous conditions to put one together. if you're using constructed, then it's definitely got to be called before the race, and it has to be in the SIs or NOR so when you sign up you're agreeing to the course type. Perfection is the enemy of the good, and I've certainly been on the wrong end of a couple of course calls, but oh well. My income isn't based on how I do in a handicap race, so I deal with it.

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6 hours ago, Floating Duck said:

I have water ballast. My problem is that apparently, as one of the ORC techs wrote me in an email the other day:

"Boats with movable ballasts need to be measured because and when the RM is entered as Club (as default) the VPP doesn't recognize it and it will crash.

To be able to enter the weight of the ballasts a fully measured boat has to be used."

I'll be at the Ballard Cup races, and I wish I could use an ORC rating. But I can't get one unless I go through the hassle of all this. A shame, because I really do like the ORC system.

Let me know if your trial cert can help. Otherwise I can send you my DIY "composite" ORC cert that I created and be part of your trial.

Has PHRF given you a rating adjustment for the water ballast? 

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6 hours ago, Floating Duck said:

Boats with movable ballasts need to be measured because and when the RM is entered as Club (as default) the VPP doesn't recognize it and it will crash.

btw, this is new in ORC. ORC Club used to have RM in it, but they don't any more. I can only speculate as to why they removed it, but it will be a shock to the Bayview folks who have an RM requirement for entry, I believe.

Also, FD, if your boat came with water ballast and is a known quantity, ORA will produce an ez cert with your ballast (and righting moment)

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36 minutes ago, ctutmark said:

Has PHRF given you a rating adjustment for the water ballast? 

I'll be in the process soon to get a PHRF-NW rating (just brought it into town in January! Currently finishing up the new water ballast system). Will be interesting what it will be, rated 54 in the east coast.

2 minutes ago, ryley said:

ORC Club used to have RM in it, but they don't any more. I can only speculate as to why they removed it, but it will be a shock to the Bayview folks who have an RM requirement for entry, I believe.

Oh... that's the first time I hear about this! Interesting, thanks for the heads up. Better than hearing from their tech team that "my boat breaks the VPP" :lol:

I added the water ballast, so while the boat had an official ORC rating in the past, it won't reflect the higher downwind speeds now that I can send crew overboard.

For the moment, I'm mostly interested in ORC to be able to use the VPP, which I think is an absolutely fantastic tool when trying to decide what sails to get, when to use them, etc. Everyone should be using this, even if they aren't interested in racing within the rating system.

In the meantime, I'm combining multiple test VPP's to create my own polar based and a certain suite of sails (and amount of water ballast, in my case), which is incredibly helpful to decide... how large my spinnaker should be! 

762357991_ScreenShot2021-03-11at9_28_50AM.thumb.jpg.743908b6e0d78af4e1f136a134bd4638.jpg

1473155036_ScreenShot2021-03-11at3_25_53PM.jpg.a77a7e7adb158547c1e69bdffb0a99c9.jpg

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19 minutes ago, bloodshot said:

where have you heard this?

a true ORC cert requires a US Sailing membership, a per-foot cost and offset file manipulation. For, say, a columbia 32, the costs for an ORC Club is:

32'x$4=$128

ORCi:

32x$8.50=$272
Offset File manipulation (assuming you have a sister ship): minimum $150, $300 if the offset needs to be generated.
Appendage manipulation(modified keel/rudder from sistership): minimum $150
US Sailing membership

So for an unmeasured ORC Club, my boat cost me around $300, and since ORC and USSailing don't have error checking in their application process, I was able to submit my columbia 32 with a Farr 40 asym (sailmaker's fault forwarding wrong measurements and I missed it too).

The measurement costs for a fully measured ORC cert is in addition to the certificate costs and there are extra costs for hauling, weighing, and incline tests.

To be fair, the measurement costs between ORC and ORR are essentially the same, but the certificate costs are lower, especially for ORR-ez than ORC. Also, if you don't have a hull file, there are two options to have one developed - a "good" approximation that costs less than the costs above, and a "good enough" that is free.

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On 3/9/2021 at 5:30 PM, iheartratings said:

Some rating talk, if anyone is interested.  Attached is a correlation of PHRF-NW ratings and ORC ratings for boats that held both certs.  This is a copy-paste from David Lynch's article in 48 degrees North (July 2018).  David put a lot of work into this and it is worth reading.  A few nits I would pick:

I count 6 boats with negative ratings and a total of about 4 boats with ratings over 100 (eyeballing the chart).  No boats with ratings over 150 are included in the analysis.  This is a fairly sparse dataset, 34 boats in total, compared to the size of the fleet which comes it at around 600 and the rating span in this analysis does not represent fleet's span well: around 51% of the PHRF-NW fleet rates over 100.  In the dataset there are ~4-5 boats that appear to deviate from the ORC by around 12 seconds, 15% of the dataset.  If we extrapolate this to the entire fleet then there would be ~90 boats (=0.15*600) that deviate from ORC by as much as 12 seconds.

 

Fine nits, but remember the context was analyzing the big boat fleet ratings, not many with high phrf numbers, and at the time very very few ( if any) small boats in the overall fleet had Orc certs, soo..  he used what there was.

 

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7 hours ago, ryley said:

I was able to submit my columbia 32 with a Farr 40 asym (sailmaker's fault forwarding wrong measurements and I missed it too).

Now that would be something to see!

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11 hours ago, ryley said:

a true ORC cert requires a US Sailing membership, a per-foot cost and offset file manipulation. 

..............

To be fair, the measurement costs between ORC and ORR are essentially the same, but the certificate costs are lower, especially for ORR-ez than ORC. Also, if you don't have a hull file, there are two options to have one developed - a "good" approximation that costs less than the costs above, and a "good enough" that is free.

right, that part I understood.  In a vacuum, that $850 remark was jarring.  At least for beercan series owners, "good enough" seems about right. 

 

I'd be curious how many weeknight series are contemplating going to ORC considering how engrained PHRF is.

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11 minutes ago, bloodshot said:

I'd be curious how many weeknight series are contemplating going to ORC

I can tell you that in mass bay the south shore has pretty much converted to ORR-ez for all racing including beercans. For the north shore weeknight racing it's mostly phrf, mostly because they feel it is more inclusive of the casual racer. For weekend racing, especially the shorthanded series, ez has been widely adopted north and south.

I know the north shore has talked about going to ORC, but I don't think they realize just how much it will end up costing them, especially since that US Sailing membership is non-negotiable. PHRF-NE has offered a discount and free shorthanded certs this year, although the sh certs definitely preclude them from being used against fully crewed boats under any circumstances. 

One last little tidbit. Both ORC and ORR use their certificate money to do research and improve their product. As of this year, the amount of money that goes to ORA for ORR (not ORR-ez) certs has increased significantly since they renegotiated their US Sailing contract - I believe it will be around 85% which helps keep the VPP updated and the organization solvent. I think the last time I did the calculation for ORC, they were getting about 15% of the total cost with the rest going to US Sailing. I think they are trying to re-negotiate as well and perhaps that will work with new leadership at US Sailing. Certainly the people developing the rule deserve to be compensated for their products. To date, US Sailing has done a pretty poor job as the clearinghouse, but again hopefully that will change under the new management.

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Up in Vancouver we've been using ORC for Div 1 & 2 (PHRF 99 or lower) for VARC distance racing/regattas for many years and it seems to work pretty well.

ORC Club measuring and scoring is much less of a drama than some on this thread are making it out to be.  The ORC reps have worked hard at their own expense to get as many boats measured as possi ble.  I also don't recall any arguments about the wind speed chosen by an RC for scoring.

Div 3 (100-175) recently voted to continue using PHRF as there are a couple of boats that would have required hull files and they were concerned it might be a barrier to increased participation.  Slower boats have always stayed PHRF which is inexpensive and easy.

In general, skippers seem to be happy we are using an objective, transparent, measurement based system than "observed performance" PHRF, which is still widely used in a number of races.  The only people who complained about switching to ORC had perceived "gift" PHRF ratings.

My boat (only 4 made) has previously had an ORC International cert so all measurements were done. ORC Club certs cost me Euro 85 or so.  They're easy to apply for online and ORC are super responsive.  The VPP and Speed Guide data you can get is great info.

We don't have US Sailing extorting money from the Sailors and garnishing ORC revenue.  BC Sailing does this by charging the Yacht Clubs a per mast fee that is added to (taken away from?)  moorage to represent them to the Provincial/National sporting bodies.

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A few corrections on this thread:

Righting moment has not been on ORR or ORC certificates, the actual terminology is LPS and Stability Index.  ORC decided that on Club certs, that since they are not fully measured and may have a cooked hull shape that they didn't want the numbers displayed.  They are still shown on  ORCi, which does require full measurement.  The "estimated" LPS and Stability Index is still available to OA's through the offshore office and when a boat is marginal the OA can manage the situation.  This is not a surprise to Bayveiw or Chicago.

ORRez has lots of estimates for measurement and hull offsets (cooked) and the same problem exists but they display the numbers and don't call them estimates.  ORR is not always fully measured so there is even potential inconsistency there.  

ORRez does not = ORR, the two rules are not reliably compatible to race together.  With ORC Club and ORCi if the data is = the ratings are = and thus it is possible for both rules to be scored together.  This actually resulted in savings for many in the Chicago Mac Fleet.  f you want the gory details go the the Chicago Mac site and read the NOR.  

Our experience with the Offshore Office is and has been outstanding, now and going all the way back to Dan Nowlan.  They are a key partner with us in running the Chicago Mac and our known error rate has been remarkably low.  The skill from the offshore office coupled with our knowledge of the fleet makes it that way.  

ORCi's sailor services site is outstanding, for minimal cost you can run your own trials, speed guides, polars etc.  very cool system.

ORR and ORC are very robust outstanding rules.  The choice and issues for any OA or region is potentially unique.  

I hope this is simply factual but I don't think the flame throwing by Ryley is appropriate and I hope my comments are taken as clarification, not flaming.  

REW 

CYC RTM Chief Measurer 

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On 3/9/2021 at 6:01 PM, iheartratings said:

ORC has often been pitched as a rating system for the "serious" racers.  But I have to think that the "serious" racers have likely already bought themselves "serious" race boats and were probably looking at what those boats rated when they were shopping.  I am interested to see if the opposite is true: if slower boats will perform better when given a "serious" rating system.  So that's my pitch for the slow boats, get your free ORC cert and try it out.

How many of the boats that rate over 170 have offsets and are eligible?

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On 3/11/2021 at 8:20 AM, Floating Duck said:

I have water ballast. My problem is that apparently, as one of the ORC techs wrote me in an email the other day:

"Boats with movable ballasts need to be measured because and when the RM is entered as Club (as default) the VPP doesn't recognize it and it will crash.

To be able to enter the weight of the ballasts a fully measured boat has to be used."

I'll be at the Ballard Cup races, and I wish I could use an ORC rating. But I can't get one unless I go through the hassle of all this. A shame, because I really do like the ORC system.

Let me know if your trial cert can help. Otherwise I can send you my DIY "composite" ORC cert that I created and be part of your trial.

 

10 hours ago, xyzzy said:

How many of the boats that rate over 170 have offsets and are eligible?

We did a review of slower boats for a recent rating system vote in Vancouver and a surprising number of older/slower boats are in the data base, some of them as IMS files which can be converted. You can check specific boats out by registering (free) for ORC Sailor Services. 

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