Grand Prix Rule Working Party Recommends VPP-Base Box Rule

Rule to be implemented by late 2004

The Grand Prix Rule Working Party, made up of representatives from the RORC, ORC, and US Sailing, has issued a press release today stating that their recommendation for a new Grand Prix Rule is a VPP-based Box Rule with deliberate type-forming.This recommendation will be good news for any owners who have been on the fence about what to build next and great news for the owners, builders, and designers of the Transpac 52 class. Press Release text:The RWP, a joint initiative of ORC, RORC and US Sailing, met in London on 28th and 29th September to progress the more detailed structure and form of a new Grand Prix rule. This resulted in the RWP producing a concept and timetable for its production and application.In summary, the rule will produce fast, fun and exciting boats within a purposefully limited range of design types. These boats will be seaworthy for use offshore and will have functional racing accommodations. It is proposed to introduce a simple VPP-based Box Rule. Deliberate type-forming will ensure that the rule is kept as simple as possible, and will also produce boats of the kind that the RWP’s research shows are wanted. One of the major requirements was a desire for good boat-on-boat racing. The new rule will be ready for implementation in late 2004. The Offshore Racing Council, Royal Ocean Racing Club and US Sailing have joined in partnership to address the current state of grand prix handicap racing, resulting in the creation of a Grand Prix Rule Working Party (RWP).The RWP met for the first time in March, which resulted in the creation of a survey which was conducted to assist in formulating recommendations on what actions should be taken. The survey was distributed during April throughout the world to owners, sailors, the marine industry and other interested parties. Analysis of survey responses was conducted by the RWP at its second meeting in May.The survey results were very carefully noted as the RWP proceeded with initial work on viable concepts for a Grand Prix Rule at its second meeting. A strongly affirmative response (82% of the 177 respondents) was received in answer to the question of whether a new international Grand Prix rating rule is needed at this time. The remainder of the survey enabled the RWP to arrive at preliminary conclusions, and the initial consensus outline of a new Grand Prix rule. The RWP’s work provides a rule framework incorporating principles advocated by the majority of survey respondents and supported by the Stakeholders. The predominance of opinion favouring a new rule was taken as a spur to action with a large majority favouring both inshore and offshore racing in fast, stable yachts. Though not directly impacted by the survey, simplification of the rule was seen as desirable. These were guiding principles as work progressed. Overall, the RWP has noted a clear desire from the Grand Prix world to develop a solution that produces fast, exciting and fun yachts.The Grand Prix Rule Working Party is chaired by Jean-Louis Fabry of France with members Peter Reichelsdorfer and Stan Honey representing US Sailing, David Lyons (Australia) and Stuart Quarrie for the RORC and Paulo Massarini (Italy) and Manolo Ruiz de Elvira (Spain) for the ORC. Olin Stephens is an advising member. Jim Teeters is the technical consultant for the US Sailing contingent and James Dadd for RORC.