ORCV Sailing News September 2020
Short term outlook
We are keeping close to developments as the Victorian Government has been working through their "Step 3" and the outcomes for keelboat sailing. On current trends, it is looking likely modified club racing and recreational sailing will be permitted in the Melbourne area before the end of October as:-
- We are classified as a non-contact sport
- The expected Step 3 requires masks and 1.5m social distancing "90% of the time" but accepts that this may not be maintained during key manoeuvres and acknowledges some gear sharing.
As a result, shorthanded Club racing and sailing will be permitted in Step 3.
The bad news is that the expected Step 3 excludes both overnight racing and sleeping onboard (outside family groups and bubbles) until we reach Step 4 - hopefully around the middle of November. As a consequence, the Councillor Island Race scheduled for 31 October 2020 will not be held.
The outlook for the West Offshore Products Coastal Sprint Race on 21 November is positive as we expect to be "Step 4" by this time and, in addition, tidal conditions at the Heads provide resail opportunities on 28 November and on each of the first three Saturdays in December. The NoR for our first Coastal Sprint has now been posted and entries are open.
We will also be exploring Bay Sailing options such as Cock of the Bay with our partner clubs.
Looking ahead at Offshore Racing
Our overall plan for offshore races is to offer four Category 3 and three Category 2 races by the close of the summer season with the Apollo Bay Race on 22 May. We will consult with our members, skippers and other Clubs before finalising the program, our outlook envisages:-
- Coastal Sprint Race 1 on 21 November.
- A 250 NM race around King Island departing 28 December and returning in good time for New Year's Eve, if as we expect, we cannot land in Tasmania.
- Coastal Sprint Race 2 Race mid-February
- An expanded King Island event on the 6 March Labour Day weekend combining this ever-popular race with an organised rally timed to join the destination party.
- A Cat 2 race and rally at Easter 2021.
- Coastal Sprint Race 3 Race on 24 April 2021.
- Apollo Bay Race 24 May 2021.
This sailing program will allow us to run a full Coastal Championship and Offshore Championship series plus encouraging additional participation through the new offshore Rally initiative.
We have a fallback plan in the event that Step 4 is delayed.
ORCc Handicap system
Australian Sailing has been actively promoting the ORC Club (ORCc) handicapping system during the past month and this has stimulated discussion within the local clubs.
ORCc system is a low cost (standard price $90 p.a.), simplified version of the ORCi rating calculation which is based on a data-intensive Velocity Prediction Program. Based on currently available data, the ORCc handicap performs similarly to the AMS system and perhaps somewhat better than IRC.
The ORCV will support the use of validated ORCc handicaps on a conditional basis. Owners/skippers who are interested in racing under ORCc should contact the ORCV office. For more information click here
The ORCV has for some years had an Australian Sailing dispensation allowing us to permit the use of Sat Phones by yachts which do not have HF equipment to compete in our Cat 2 Races. Australian Sailing has been working on new regulations which are expected to come into effect on July 1 2021.
The new regulations are expected to require permanently installed equipment with an external antenna when sat phones are used as the primary communication device. A copy of the draft regulation is provided here.
ORCV Sail Captain
The ORCVmembership now takes you through to 30th September 2021. Join and support the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria. Senior membership is $250, Outport $135 and Youth $125 pa, everyone welcome. Click here for membership benefits and to join.