An appetite for ORC
70 entries have already registered to compete at the 2011 ORC International World Championship, to be held on the island of Cres in Croatia over 18-25 June 2011, and more are signing up each week. Currently 12 nations are being represented at this event, with most of these entries hailing from the Adriatic countries of Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia. However, there are also teams coming from Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Great Britain, and the USA, making this suitable as this year’s only ISAF-sanctioned World Championship for offshore sailing.
Numerous past World, Continental and National Champions are in the planning stages to come and vie for the World title, including the 2009 Class A World Champion, George Andreadis’s Meliti team from Greece, and last year’s ORCi European Class A Champion Riccardo Di Bartolomeo’s MAN from Italy, a sistership GS42R0 sistership who was also the runner-up to Meliti at the ’09 Worlds in Brindisi. In Class B, the 2010 European champion, Francesco Siculiana’s GS40RC Alvarosky, has already entered to try and claim their first world title.
“This could be a very interesting contest,” says Thomasso Chieffi, tactician on MAN, “because in Brindisi it was very windy and the Meliti keel was well-suited for those conditions. Cres will likely be lighter winds than this, and we were very fast at the Europeans in Cagliari in these conditions.”
Other high-performance boats types attending include TP52s, an R/P 60, a GP42, and possibly the new Farr 400. These will all be in Class A, which typically includes boats over 42 feet with a rated speed of faster than 600 sec/mi, though there some modern designs faster than this figure under 42 feet in length.
“This will be a very competitive fleet among these serious race programmes,” said Zoran Grubisa from the Sailing Club of Rijeka and Chairman of the Organising Committee for the 2011 Worlds. “But this event has also a attracted an impressively strong interest among a wide variety of other boat types as well.”
One reason for the large wave of early entries was the entry fee incentive given by SCOR: those received before 1 January saved €200 off the normal fee of €600 per boat. This fee will go up to €1000 after 18 May.
The venue for the event and site of all shoreside activities is at the ACI Marina adjacent to the town of Cres, which is situated in the middle of the island of the same name. This is a full-service facility in a protected setting just minutes from the race course areas in the Bay of Kvarner.
And as outlined in the ORC’s “Green Book” of race management guidelines, the racing format will include a mixture of inshore and offshore races, with the first race to start on Monday, June 20th, and the last races and prizegiving ceremonies to be held on Saturday, 25 June.
“The 2010 Open Croatian Championship, our test event last year, was held at the same location and at the same time, and was well-received by all the teams who participated,” said Grubisa. “Over the past decade we’ve had some 250 boats enter regattas in Cres, so we are confident we can meet the expectations of our teams and our sponsors, both on and off the water.”
As in past ORCi Worlds events, the fleet will be divided into two groups, with the winner of each winning the only ISAF-sanctioned World Championship title in offshore sailing. In addition, a Corinthian Division will award an overall trophy among entries who have all crew classified as Group 1 under the ISAF Classification Code.
The 2011 ORCi World Championship is supported by through the patronage of the Town of Cres, the City of Rijeka, the Primorsko-Goranska County Tourist Association of Cres and the Port Authority of Cres.