BALTIC Circuit – the new pan-European Offshore Racing Circuit

Just one year ago the German Offshore Owners Association (GER-OO) announced a new northern European Racing, the Baltic IRC series. After the first season it can be stated that Baltic IRC exceeded all expectations. The circuit consisted of 13 regattas in 5 Baltic nations, in between such important races as the Skagen Race, Gotland Runt, Fyn Runt and the Norwegian Faerdern Race. With more than 50 participants got registered and took part in the circuit, including some of the most spectacular and exciting racing yachts of the Baltic region. The overall winner of the 2010 series was H.M. King Harald V. of Norway with his TP 52 Fram (for press reports on the 2010 Baltic IRC see www.baltic-irc.org/press).

In 2011 GER-OO will go one step further: Baltic IRC becomes “Baltic Circuit”. The 2010 series focused on the attempt to install a Northern European racing circuit under a common handicap. Facing the number of different international and national rating systems in the Baltic area, the IRC formula served as the obvious common rating.

However, in 2011 GER-OO will further develop the series to a universal Northern-European racing circus. Baltic Circuit will integrate all common rating systems of the Baltic area into a uniform scoring system. The scoring system is as simple as revolutionary in yacht racing: participants will get their score on the basis of their position within the handicap class they have been sailing in at a particular event. The scoring is calculated by a logarithmic factor which to a certain extend takes into account the size of the particular fleet. Therefore, if for instance a racing yacht comes first within the ORCi fleet of a regatta and if this fleet has had more entries than (for example) the IRC or Dansk Handicap (DH) fleet of the event, the ORCi winner will get more points in the Baltic Circuit scoring than the IRC or DH winner. Nonetheless, all participants, notwithstanding their rating, can participate in the Baltic Circuit and add points to their scoring. Each racing boat receives a fair scoring for its position, based on the intensity of competition within its particular fleet in the event.

At the end of the season, the overall scoring table of Baltic Circuit will take into account only the best two scorings of each participant. Extra points will be awarded for those who have been racing abroad, as an incentive for international yacht racing across the Baltic. Motivated by the excitement of international events (and by the additional points) already in 2010, more than 70% of the Baltic IRC fleet have been racing in two or more Baltic nations.

The idea behind the Baltic Circuit scoring table is new in yacht racing. However, Europe’s, if not the world’s most successful Touring Car Championship, the famous Nurburgring Endurance Cup (“VLN”) with more than 300 entries every year is based on the same principle. In this championship highly developed GT cars are competing against all kinds of production cars. Even though racers are spread throughout their performance classes, from super-Porsches to Mini Coopers, they all participate in one championship. In the championship table those get the highest score, who won in the class with the greatest number of entries. Therefore, at the end of the season the Cup usually does not go to the drivers of the fastest cars overall, but to those who collected their points in the popular and highly contested production car classes with the greatest intensity of competition. The championship has become one of the most popular motor racing series by integrating professional and amateur sports in a unique mixture of speed, excitement and fairness.

This is what GER-OO and its partners would like to achieve with the Baltic Circuit, to bring together high class racers and amateur yachtsmen in an international format. Baltic Circuit stands for real racing and a virtual network in Northern Europe. On www.baltic-circuit.org participants, media and spectators have access to event info, registration details, results, reports and pictures. After each event the overall ranking table will immediately be updated. Owners will have facilitated access to race registrations. And the Baltic Circuit Forum shall also intensify communication and exchange between the sailors in Northern Europe. Race organizers and clubs get the chance to attract international yachts to their events, get results and press releases published and to make their regattas more attractive and popular across the Baltic.

The Baltic Circuit 2011 will again include the most popular, competitive and attractive offshore events of the Baltic region. By opening the series for all common ranking systems in the Baltic (i.e. ORCi, ORCC, IRC, DH, LYS) it should be possible to significantly increase the number of participants again. The preliminary, not conclusive program for 2011 includes the following events:

  • Classic Rund Fyn (DEN)
  • Nordseewoche (GER)
  • Edinburgh-Regatta (GER)
  • Big Boat Challenge Kerteminde (DEN)
  • Kieler Woche, Internationale Deutsche Meisterschaft Offshore (GER)
  • Faerdern Race (NOR)
  • Baltic Sea Challenge (DEN)
  • Hanseboot Offshore Open Warnemünde/Rund Bornholm (GER)
  • Eurocard Gotland Runt (SWE)
  • Gothenburg Offshore Race (SWE)
  • ORCi European Championship, Hankö, (NOR)
  • Gulf of Finland Race (FIN)
  • Flensburger Fördewoche (GER)
  • KDY Autumn Regatta (DEN)

GER-OO presently talks to clubs and organizers across the Baltic in order to finalize an attractive and challenging racing calendar for the Baltic Circuit 2011.
Baltic Circuit is an integrated part of a number of activities that GER-OO organizes and initiates together with its media partner gentcom/stockmaritime.com. GER-OO is an owners’ association representing more than 70 German offshore racing yachts and owners. GER-OO organizes the German Offshore Award, which is annually awarded to the most successful German offshore racing yacht by the City of Hamburg (www.ger-oo.org). Furthermore, since 2010 GER-OO hosts the International Yacht Forum Hamburg (11.-13. February 2011, more information under www.iyfh.org). The prize giving for the winners of Baltic Circuit (2010 Baltic IRC) will take place in the context of the International Yacht Forum.

For more information see www.baltic-circuit.org.

Contact: Volker Andreae/Dr. Friedrich Hausmann, Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!
Media: Hans Genthe, gentcom, Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!