Perry Fletcher Offshore Championship2

Offshore Championship…..  further information

 Our previous article reported that although the racing is all done, and a few boats placed  themselves out of contention during the Apollo Bay race, we still do not have a result for the Offshore Championship and scoring procedure is under review. The problem to be addressed has its origins in changes made by ORCV during the past year.

First, the Offshore Championship was changed in two ways.  Competitors were encouraged to participate in longer distance events  - the Westcoaster, Melbourne Osaka and Noumea by introducing Championship eligibility requirements. In parallel with this, emphasis was placed on measurement handicap results where available. Specifically, if a yacht competed in Performance, IRC and/or AMS handicap categories, her score in that race would be drawn from the best measurement handicap result. This requirement is covered in Clause 2.4 of the Offshore Championship NOR.

In a separate initiative the Club also encouraged participation in Double Handed racing in all of our events. This was in part a precursor to the then upcoming Melbourne Osaka race but also reflects ORCV’s desire to support the growing interest in short-handed sailing. Short-handed boats have always been able to compete against fully crewed boats, but we created an additional entry category exclusively for Double Handed Boats.  Racing in the double handed division was however restricted to Performance Handicaps  -  reflecting IRC advice to race organisers and the fact that AMS ratings for Double Handed Boats were still not supported by adequate data.

The key issue is whether the NOR for the Offshore Championship permits results from the Double Handed Division to be included in the scoring. Can the Performance Handicap only Double Handed Division Results be used if a boat also competed as part of the main fleet ? Putting this another way, does a skipper’s decision to put in an extra entry against fully crewed boats rule out use of the Double Handed results for Offshore Championship scoring ? ….and this is where Clause 2.8 of the Championship NOR comes in.     

The wording is definitely “ticklish” and any ambiguity will be removed next year.

In the meantime the Club has to deal with the documentation as published.  Initial Rules advice has been received and the question is to be further considered by the Committee at its meeting next month, but the chances are that the matter will end up before the Jury to secure an independent decision.