Thanks for the thoughtful reply. You asked a handful of questions which I think I can answer.
The explanation for the Farr 40 change is right there in the document you linked. Sail design has improved significantly and the VPP was updated to reflect this. This upgrade was not just for the Bermuda Race - all ORR & ORR-Ez ratings were affected for 2022. I don't consider this a "manipulation" of ratings as it is objectively applied to all boats, but yes, it does represent a change from year to year. This is considered a feature, not a bug!
You asked several times about what you can do if you think your rating is wrong. ORR-Ez has an administrative rating review process and, if needed, changes can be made. They are mostly looking for errors and poorly sourced data; and they do not respond much to general lobbying. Point being: don't expect such reviews to become an integral part of the handicapping process, like the way some have treated PHRF over the years!
"It takes some control out of the hands of the racers and places it with the RC." I'm not sure what this means. The RC and competitors all have a job to do and they can do it well or not so much! It's a matter of knowledge, training and experience. I concede that VPP systems can be more demanding for RCs, but the result is better for everyone.
Relatedly, there is a lot of concern over selecting wind speeds, which I agree can be tricky. This is why we have begun using Performance Curve Scoring. PCS doesn't require wind speed to be measured or input. While it requires a computer to calculate, in many ways it's a simpler way to rate boats than our current TOT system, which requires wind input.
In closing, I think PHRF will always have a home in beer-can type racing for all the reasons you stated. It's an ideal entry-level, low-key, easy system. I am only promoting ORR-Ez for more competitive sailing. That said, I would hope to see an ORR-Ez class offered on Wednesday Nights someday, like Annapolis YC has ORC classes in their Wed Series. Lemme know if I can help!