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Division refresher with entries closing this week

There are many divisions in the race, which are dependent on a variety of factors; boat measurements such as weight, length and age, rig size, sail area, and any performance modifications on the boat.

Here's a rundown of the main divisions which will feature in this year’s race:

IRC

IRC is a time correction rating system used extensively in yacht racing around the world. Under this system, a yacht’s finishing time (elapsed time from start to finish) is multiplied by its IRC rating number to determine a corrected time. A boat’s rating is calculated by an independent body (Royal Ocean Racing Club), using measurements of the boat; the length, weight, draft, rig size, sail area, and specific characteristics and features.

The resulting time corrector, or the boat’s ‘TCC’, is her handicap. The higher the TCC figure, the faster the boat's potential speed. When the last boat arrives in Southport, Gold Coast, the corrected times of every boat in IRC fleet will be compared and the one with the lowest time after correction will be declared the overall winner. In theory at least, this system ensures that any well-sailed boat, regardless of its age or level of technology, can win. 

ORCi

Seen by its advocates among grand prix yacht owners as a more transparent rule and a truer reflection of a boat’s performance based on the old IMS system, ORCi is the other rating handicap system used in the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast. 

ORC Rating Systems use science and technology to develop its handicap systems. With a complete set of measurements of the hull, stability, rig and sails, it is then possible to use computer software, known as Velocity Prediction Program, to calculate the theoretical speeds for the boat in various wind conditions. This way, ORCi can tell you the performance differences between different boats in different wind conditions and course geometries.

Results for ORCi are decided by the application of the Time-on-Time Simplified Scoring System as a multiplier of elapsed time. The boat with the lowest corrected time (after application of scoring penalties, if any) will be scored first in each division.

PHS

PHS is a performance-based handicap system, with yachts being allocated a performance or arbitrary handicap. PHS division strives to give all entrants a chance of winning, provided they sail reasonably well. This is not a boat measurement based handicap, but is based on the "performance" of a particular boat. The Handicap for each race is mathematically calculated using data from all previous races. 

Results will be calculated by the application of Time Correction Factors (TCFs) as a multiplier of elapsed time. Yachts entering the IRC or ORCi handicap categories may not enter the PHS category.