Offshore Racing Rule (ORR)

ORR VPP Changes for 2022 - download pdf describing the changes here.

Who Owns It

Offshore Racing Association (ORA)

Why Did It Start

The Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) grew out of a desire by North American sailors who felt the International Measurement System (IMS) was no longer meeting their needs. The ORA was founded in 2004 by the Cruising Club of America (CCA), Chicago Yacht Club (CYC), and the Transpacific Yacht Club (TPYC). Learn more about the history of the ORR.

How It Works

The Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) used by ORR was developed in the mid-1990’s s as a refinement of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)/Pratt Institute project that was the foundation of the IMS. Since its inception, the VPP has been heavily modified as the result of annual updates reflecting the latest technology and scientific research. The rule relies on measurements of all the speed affecting variables required to competently predict reliable handicaps. More information on measurement may be found on our Services page. The ORR outputs multiple ratings suitable for different course configurations and wind mixes. Race organizing authorities may use any of these standard ratings or may recommended “course mixes” that represent predominant conditions for their events for a customized rating.

Who Uses It

The ORR is a popular measurement rule used in North America and is the rule of choice for such events as: Newport-Bermuda Race, Puerto Vallarta Race, Transpacific Yacht Race, and many more. ORR also has Regional Championships for the East Coast, Great Lakes, and West Coast.

Where We Fit In

US Sailing Offshore is charged with acquiring, processing, and archiving all data to issue certificates to boats based in the United States.


Fully Measured

A complete measurement must be provided by a US Sailing Official Yacht Measurer. This is the most accurate rating the rule system offers. High profile ocean races, such as the Newport-Bermuda Race, often require fully measured certificates. To request official measurement, please contact the US Sailing Offshore office.

Partially Measured

For Partially Measured certificates, owners are allowed to declare a subset of the complete measurement, while other parameters are assigned by the rating office. Where input data is lacking, the rating office will apply estimates from sister-ship data that err to a faster rating. Sail Measurement Certificate must be provided and can be completed by your local sail maker. Partially measured certificates provide the easiest access to an ORR certificate and are popularly used for distance races and race series.


Using a simplified measurement profile based on existing measurement databases of production boats and simple sail measurements, ORR EZ offers entry level access to the measurement rule. The VPP output is reviewed by ORA’s National Technical Rating Committee and relevant subjective corrections may be assessed. ORR-EZ is designed for entry level and local competition.


For boats currently holding a year valid certificate, any changes to the configuration must be reported and a new certificate reflecting those changes issued. For Fully Measured certificates, relevant parameters may need to be remeasured by a US Sailing Official Measurer.

Copy Certificates

Copies of currently valid ORR certificates are available through the Offshore office. Please reference US Sailing ORR Policy for specific guidelines.


To understand how a potential modification would impact a boats rating, trials may be order through the US Sailing Offshore office. A Trial Certificate is NOT valid for racing.

Performance Package

Providing detailed polars and specialized performance information, this product available from the ORA is delivered as an Excel spreadsheet compatible with on-board navigation equipment and software packages.

For more:

ORR Performance Polar Packages

ORR VPP Changes for 2022 - download pdf describing the changes here.