Marion Bermuda Handicap Adjustment Introduced
Marion MA, May 21, 2019: When the 2019 Marion Bermuda Race starts June 14, the Founders Division boats will be sailing under a unique, new “anti-bias” adjustment of the ORR handicap system. The adjustment designed by race organizers in collaboration with the Offshore Racing Association (ORA) should remove the bias against faster boats by eliminating the “Parking Lot” effect.
The "Parking Lot Effect" is the bias which occurs when faster boats lose time against slower boats in low-wind or no-wind conditions that are usually experienced south of the Gulf Stream and north of Bermuda and often as evening falls on boats at the mouth of Buzzards Bay.
Prepping the Celestial Boat for the Marion to Bermuda Race — Including the New AIS Rules
By Ron Wisner
Every boat owner has a winter “boat list” of projects and maintenance as the boat is being readied for the next season. However, if the owner is doing the Bermuda race, the usual winter’s “boat list” has doubled.
The celestial boat has some additional preparations that the other boats do not. Some of this additional preparation stems from the fact that we cannot use our electronic instruments. Other preparations come from the nature and practice of the actual navigation.
Conditions Adjustment to Marion Bermuda Race Scoring
The ORR handicapping system assumes that the wind will blow at a certain strength from varying angles for the duration of the race. Individual yacht’s polars then define how fast she should sail the course and the fleet is ranked against a fictional ‘scratch boat’. This assumption is ‘challenged’ by a variety of race specific climatic and oceanographic conditions. Ocean races of long duration will typically experience these varied conditions. Whether it is wind deflection and strength between inshore and offshore positions, the crossing of a known directional current or the historical location of a high pressure gradient, the likelihood of predictable conditions for an entire race is little to none. Because of these differences, the Marion Bermuda Race is attempting to take one of these conditions that has shown itself to be a real and consistent detriment to what one might feel is a fair race based solely on a boats handicap and include another factor that adjusts across the fleet. In the case of the Marion Bermuda Race (or any race to Bermuda) it is the Bermuda high pressure gradient.