Offshore Racing Rule (ORR)

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 Measurer. Sail measurement certificates must be submitted to complete that rating, these can be completed by your sail loft or approved US Sailing 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 at

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 certificates 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. The US Sailing Offshore Office does not issue ORR-EZ certificates, to apply for your ORR-EZ certificate click here.


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 Regatta Management website. Using their website any valid ORR certificate can be downloaded and saved.


To understand how a potential modification would impact a boats rating, trials may be ordered 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.

ORR Application

How to Apply

Read through the instructions below carefully. When you are ready to apply click the “Apply for ORR 2023 Certificate” button located below the instructions.

Our new application was built to gather information about an owner and their boat to issue certificates more accurately and efficiently. The application has a large amount of code running in the background to make it work effectively for all users. Please be patient as the application loads initially on your computer and as you are clicking through the questions.

Items to have on hand when applying:

  • US Sailing Member ID – To obtain an ORR Certificate an owner must be a member of US Sailing. If an owner is not a member or needs to renew their membership, please use this link to learn more about our membership opportunities click here.
  • Past Rating Certificate(s) – If the boat was rated under ORR, ORC, IRC, or PHRF in the past it is helpful to have one or all these certificates on hand. Our office is interested in the most recent certificate(s). If you are renewing a certificate under a rating rule, please have the prior year’s certificate handy. You will need the certificate number and year.
  • Sail Certificates – Any new or remeasured sails that are being reported must have a sail certificate from the sail loft or a recognized measurer included in the application. If sails are being reported, the applicant will type in the measurements, measurer information, and sail certificate.
  • Crew Weight – Owners declaring a crew weight will declare their given weight on the application. If crew weight is not declared a default crew weight set for the class will be used. Boats are required by the rating rule to sail at or under the maximum crew weight listed on the certificate. It is highly encouraged that owners declare a crew weight.
  • First Race Information – On the application owners will declare the first race they are doing under the rule they are applying for a certificate under. Have the name and date of the boat’s first VPP race on hand. The Offshore Office will use this information to guarantee owners have their certificates in time to race.

For the best user experience please use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browsers.

It is highly recommended to open this application in a private or incognito browser for a faster user experience.

The application does not work in Safari.


Application FAQ's