The ORC Superyacht VPP is a Velocity Prediction Programme that forms the core of the ORC Superyacht Rule (ORCsy), the handicapping system that debuted on the superyacht regatta circuit in 2015.

The software is used for entering a yacht’s measurement data to produce hydrostatic data and polar diagrams that predict boat speed for a full range of wind conditions above six knots of true wind speed at the true wind angles of an optimum beat, 52, 60, 75, 90, 110, 120, 135 and 150 degrees, and an optimum run. 

The ORCsy is only three years old but has been successful in making superyacht racing fairer and more accurate, having been used in nine events in the 2016 season including the Superyacht Challenge Antigua, the Loro Piana Superyacht Regattas, St Barths Bucket, the Superyacht Cup, and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

It was always the intention for the rule to be evolving, and as such the ORCsy team is always working to improve the level of accuracy of the ORCsy VPP. Along with the Superyacht Racing Association (SYRA), the ORC will continue its support this year to develop and update the unique rating system.

The principal new characteristics of the 2017 ORCsy VPP, which offer an insight into just how technical the rule is, are the following:

·      The leeway for shallow boats has been revised to better assess their higher induced drag;

·      Better evaluation of separation drag for deep keel boats; 

·      The added resistance in waves has been revised with a reduction of energy curve in light winds;

·      Fine tuning of added resistance for slots in centreboards;

·      Evaluation of reduction of waterline length due to construction materials in the hull;

·      High froude number residuary resistance revision;

·      The revision of the heel angle to compute sail forces will reduce the maximum heel angle at which the VPP runs;

·      Headsail set flying (Code 0) treatment revision with a different depowering routine that prevents the VPP to use this kind of headsail in strong wind conditions. In addition, one headsail set flying won't be accounted as an additional headsail on board;

·      Evaluation of missing endplate effect for headsails tacked on sprit;

·      More accurate windage assessment of gaff sail plans with a lot of rig;

·      Introduction of a VPP run for very small working inner jibs;

·      Revision of the tacking allowance;

·      Revision of gyradius adjustment for MCA-approved boats assessing a more wide weight distribution with increased added resistance in waves;

·      Introduction of measured Propeller Installation Projected Area (PIPA) to improve the evaluation of added resistance of propeller installation;

·      Reduction of 50 per cent of the superyacht factor (allowance for boats with very high vertical centre of gravity);

·      Revision of light wind allowance composition;

·      Introduction of measured mast section windage; 

·      Evaluation of a more detailed sails weight that will avoid declaring the weight for each sail on board.

Another new feature of ORCsy for the 2017 season is the advent of the ORCsy Corinthian Spirit certificate (ORCcs). This certificate has fewer measurement inputs and is designed by SYRA and ORC to offer superyachts that race on an occasional and informal basis the opportunity to enjoy superyacht racing in this casual context. 

"The 2016 season has been a busy one for the ORCsy team and general superyacht activity,” says ORCsy Manager Paolo Massarini. “The cooperation between ORC, SYRA and all superyacht event organisers has been excellent and the amount of information and data we have been able to collect, through the tracking system and being present on site with our team, has been huge and extremely useful for the Rule and VPP evolution.”

A more detailed description of the above modifications is included in the ORCsy VPP documentation, which is available in the superyacht section of the ORC website here.

Image courtesy of Perini Navi

Profile links

St Barths Bucket