Limited loa and new rating limits in force for next Transpac 19/7/06

A decision has been made by the Transpacific Yacht Club board of directors to limit the length of yachts in the 44th Transpac to 30m (96.65ft).

Along with the hull length limit, the rating limit has been established to equal the speed of a canting keel maxZ86 on the Transpac course – specifically, a limit conforming to Pyewacket’s configuration when it sailed in the 2004 Newport to Bermuda Race when it was first to finish.

Transpac commodore Al Garnier said: “Pyewacket is still the scratch boat even if it doesn’t sail.” This means that the rating limit will apply even if no maxZ86s enter the race, and Pyewacket probably won’t. Roy E. Disney donated his boat to the Orange Coast College of Sailing & Seamanship when he retired from racing after Transpac 2005.

That rating limit is secret, determined by the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) as administered by US Sailing with the Transpac Course Mix formula and the Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) updated for 2007 factored into the calculations. If it were made public a competitor might find a loophole for an advantage. Otherwise, boats may submit rating data as many as 10 times on various setups and told each time only whether they are over or under the limit.

“The rating limit is constantly updated by the VPP program and the Pacific Swell Factor,” Garnier said. “The programme is always being updated to provide the most accurate speed prediction based on all available and known information.”

It had been anticipated that some of the world’s 30m racing machines of recent vintage would join Transpac 2007. None has indicated interest as yet, but the new LOA leaves the door open for them, as long as they don’t exceed the rating limit. Boats meeting the 30m LOA but not the rating limit would be required to power down.

For all boats, the deadline for submitting final rating data to US Sailing is noon EDT Thursday, 7 June 2007.