ORA to study boat-race wind conditions to enhance scoring methodologies

NEWPORT – The Newport-based nonprofit Offshore Racing Association has announced a research study along with the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association and Newport Bermuda Race Organizing Committee.

Led by ORA Technical Director James Teeters, the project – called The ORA H-Zero Handicap Analysis – will use computer-modeled wind records to extract a summary of wind conditions that boats would have experienced in a past race. That data can then be used to enhance scoring methodologies.

Initial funding for the research project has been secured, ORA said in a news release.

Last year, Teeters and the MBCYRA collaborated on a study that would more fairly handicap a race when light wind slows the fleet in the middle of the event.

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The H-Zero Handicap Analysis will include several phases, including critique of the work; a boat-race scoring experiment; running a representative fleet through the wind conditions to create a table of conditions for analysis; and consideration of assumptions in the curve-scoring system to be used in the Newport Bermuda Race next year.

Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributing writer.