London, UK - The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many in the international sailing community in both direct and indirect ways, and here at ORC we are continuing to monitor the situation closely as it changes, almost with daily effect.
Our primary concern is for the health and safety of our sailors and colleagues, and their families. Accordingly our team has agreed to curtail our usually busy Spring schedule of in-person meetings, promotions, training sessions and regatta support activities, relying instead on conferences held on digital audio and video tools.
We are fortunate that our staff is already accustomed to working in this manner from their satellite locations around the globe, so we do not foresee any significant reduction in ORC services to the racing community.
Our online ORC Sailor Services portal remains fully functional, and has proven popular: over 30,000 sailors have used this system since it opened 10 years ago. Sailor Services offers online access to free certificate copies and test certificates and other products available at a nominal price. New features for 2020 include Double-Handed test certificates and a new version of the free ORC Scorer software.
Our team's productivity will continue throughout this period even as we have had to adapt to the changing circumstances.
For example, the Offshore Classes and Events Committee will have a Skype meeting to address items related to planning current and future ORC events. The ORC Management Committee will meet on Skype to discuss ORC policy and all the important issues to coordinate ORC´s operation during the year.
The International Technical Committee under its new Chairman Andy Claughton will also have their Spring meeting on Skype from Andy's base in the UK. Their agenda is already full of research and discussion items that will improve the accuracy and usefulness of our rating systems.
And our technical staff continues to meet weekly on conference calls among the general ORCi group, the ORC SuperYacht group, and the ORC MultiHull group.
The postponement and cancellation of regattas has been unfortunate for us to miss the opportunity for providing direct service to our customers, but the drop in travel time is also allowing us to re-focus on completing several unfinished projects due to the frenetic pace of development our team has experienced in recent years.
We want to wish everyone good health and to remain safe in these troubled times, and remain confident that everyone will successfully weather this storm and look forward to the return of fair sailing ahead.
Bruno Finzi, Chairman ORC
More on ORC rating systems, ORC certificates and events can be found at www.orc.org.
For over 50 years ORC has managed and developed the IOR, IMS and now ORC rating systems used in inshore and offshore races, and for the past 20 years has organized annual World and European championship events, as well as hundreds of local and regional races and regattas in 45 countries around the world. It is the largest World Sailing-recognized measurement-based handicap system in world, issuing >10,000 certificates per year.
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