Jim Teeters, ORA Technical Director 28 Feb 2018
The Offshore Racing Association (ORA) has introduced Large Roach Headsails (LRHs) into the 2018 Offshore Racing Rule (ORR). This type of sail resides in the “no-man’s” land between headsails (genoas/jibs) and spinnakers that had previously been disallowed in ORR. After several years of consultation with sailors and representatives of the marine industry the ORR committee has developed a methodology to measure and fairly rate these sails.
There are a number of boats that will find this sail fills a gap in their sail inventory. One example is a boat with a fractional rig whose largest headsail is non-overlapping. For tight to beam reaching, especially in light air, there is no sail on board that would provide optimal performance.
There are also a number of boats for which the LRH has virtually no attraction. A boat rigged with a masthead overlapping headsail already has in her inventory a sail or sails that achieve much of what an LRH does.