Topic : Portsmouth Yardstick

If anyone thinks this is whingeing then they are sadly mistaken.  Its taken to extreme levels on the Yachts and Yachting Forum!!  Only some 27 pages of comments.

Probably the Phantoms have got most to moan about as knocked down another 10 this year but at least the Solos have at last got faster - by all of two points!

Only one answer - fleet racing.

Posted: 28/06/2013 01:07:01
By: Midlander
Groundhog day springs to mind!!!

Posted: 28/06/2013 01:07:01
By: Midlander
According to the current PY guidelines from NMROA you should sail off current PY plus 10 is a nice round 1000.

Progressive clubs adopt this for handicap racing.

Posted: 28/06/2013 01:07:01
By: Midlander
Wow, my boat has increased in speed by 4 points since last year, now 990 from 994

Posted: 27/09/2013 04:07:10
By: MR3708
The handlicaps are worked out from the raw data and are not effected by any club's PY numbers. The down side is they cannot account for course and wind condition, plus standard of the sailors the data applies to compared to the other fleets sailing on the same course. The refinements are ongoing, and I have to say, the handicaps are fairer than they used to be. Over time we should see even more refinement. There are still a number of classes that need further refining when sailing in open waters, but that will hopefully come in time. The Merlin is constantly evolving and is now going faster than it did 10 years ago across the fleet. Also the standard at the front is constantly being pushed as we all know, and in turn is attracting more premium dinghy sailors into the fleet. I would expect to see further reductions in the coming years to 970s or possibly 960s. See you on the water :)

Posted: 08/11/2013 08:31:40
By: Mark Barnes
Another answer would be grandfather all the old boats that don't fleet race on the Silver tiller the 14's did.
Surely there are roughly only 100 boats max, that sail to the new PY, and with the Py dropping year on year, why not finally call a halt and have 2 or even 3 fleets..

I'll get my coat..

Posted: 09/12/2013 11:30:48
By: Tim B
>Only one answer - fleet racing.
I couldn't agree more.

Different classes will always excel in certain conditions (Phantoms in the light, 420s in a breeze) and course configurations (non-spinnaker boats when there is lots of close reaching, 49ers on windward-leewards). So handicap racing is fundamentally and inevitably compromised as a competition ‚??¬†and it always will be, no matter how "fair" the PY numbers are.

Posted: 14/12/2013 01:31:36
By: Richard
Or another approach completely... 

I'm assuming a boats performance is a mixture of power, drag, righting moment and weight? How long until we get to the point when a wind tunnel / tank can be used to give accurate co-efficients for the first 2 and some much cleverer people than me can work out the relative significance of these factors to give an accurate indication of how a boat should perform? All the factors such as crew skill / location / course / number of results are removed from the handicap given to each class (although location and course would still have an effect any given day I can't see a way round that) and old boats could be given a handicap not linked to their modern counterparts.

Just a thought...

Posted: 13/02/2014 01:31:37
By: Tom J
So club racing my 1992 wooden merlin against two brand new Winders do we all sail off the new PY?

Posted: 24/02/2014 11:06:54
By: Gareth Griffiths
The age allowances for handicap racing for older boats are directly linked to this so we get dragged down by it Can they  be republished by the class asap with 004 added to all the age allowance figures otherwise this assumes that the old boats have all got faster as well.

Posted: 07/03/2014 09:25:07
By: Edward
No - you get your club to adopt the historic yardsticks which are found elsewhere on the website and in the year book and which are split in to time bands based around design development. But as I said in my earlier post, as the old boats haven't got quicker the historic figures now need adjusting as they are shown as time allowances off the published py figure and this revision has presently cost all the older boats 4 points on their yardstick. Its not much I know but every little helps.

Posted: 07/03/2014 09:25:07
By: Edward
I know this is a difficult and dangerous area but Rod and Jo make an interesting point. In 2001 the yardstick was 1024. Currently the age allowance for a 30 year old boat is +20 on the figure of 990 giving me 101 using my old alloy rig and sails which have seen slightly better days. If we took the current age allowance for say 20 year old boats which is +10 and added it to the 2001 figure I would now be on 1034. Why the difference? Where has the extra speed come from as my boat has got older, or have I missed something in the handicap process? And what a difference those 2 minutes would make!!!
Do we perhaps need some sub sections of the age allowance for metal rigs in place of carbon if only to try and cancel out the obvious unmeasured weight advantage they bestow, if we want to encourage these older boats to stay in use. It really isn't worth deck stepping and putting a carbon rig on a 30 year old boat now for handicap racing. But these old boats are just too much fun to sail and too good to throw away.

Posted: 07/03/2014 09:25:07
By: Edward
I suspect we could blame a certain club not too far from here which changes all its numbers so that all the numbers in the fast and medium fleet races are lowered.
I am completely unconvinced that the returns system corrects for this properly, if at all. It just sees Merlins doing well at 980 and disregards that they are racing against Fireballs at 963 instead of 975.
Don't worry about it, enjoy it on the water, forget the spreadsheet.

Posted: 07/03/2014 09:46:57
By: Chris I
JimC:Here's an interesting number for you... In 1959 and 1960, after making the contemporary correction of 4% for terylene sails, the Merlin Rocket PY worked out at the equivalent of 981 in current numbers. However in 1962 it went to the equivalent of 1033 in modern numbers.

What are your reference points in 1959 Jim?, in 1961 they were 91/96 where a firefly was 100/103, a Finn ?/91, an Osprey 87/?, Enterprise 98/103 where the first number is for 'terylene' sails.

Also the '59 era is probably dominated by tall rigs on rivers? Those old designs were probably very potent in those conditions.

Posted: 07/03/2014 09:46:57
By: Chris I
The Great Lakes numbers are also lower for a lot of other classes, e.g. Fireball.
It's a trap to pick out one number, we should look at the ratios of numbers relative to comparable classes.

Posted: 07/03/2014 09:46:57
By: Chris I
Quite agree Richard.  And there some excellent fleets racing in all sorts of classes.

However lets not kid ourselves, handicap racing is where it is now or heading for a huge number of dinghy sailors - at least for part of their year. At least the RYA are actively trying to make this as fair as they can and should be congratulated/encouraged.

Posted: 07/03/2014 11:00:18
By: Dave Charlton
Here's an interesting number for you... In 1959 and 1960, after making the contemporary correction of 4% for terylene sails, the Merlin Rocket PY worked out at the equivalent of 981 in current numbers. However in 1962 it went to the equivalent of 1033 in modern numbers.

Posted: 08/03/2014 05:53:21
By: Jim C
Oops, type, make that 991 in modern numbers, not 981

Posted: 08/03/2014 05:53:21
By: Jim C
Just to put the 990 into perspective the Great Lakes Handicap for a MR is 975 so 990 looks a bit soft. This handicap is derived from data obtained from the Sailjuice Winter Series and reflects handicaps a) on inland waters only and b)from boats generally sailed by crews of a higher average skill level compared to data RYA obtained from clubs. Not sure what the new GL number might be for 2014/5 but they are generally more dynamically altered compared to the RYA system. The mix of classes in the series results for SJWS seem to indicate some degree of fairness in an unfair world!

Posted: 11/03/2014 05:01:40
By: dave
As a change to our fleet racing at Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club,we now visit a number of locations where Merlins used to be sailed as part of the North West Region Senior Travellers Circuit. It is sailed mid-week and most of the boats are single handers, but we have managed second overall and best double-hander in the last 2 years.  Our boat is 3596 and when it was made in 2001 the handicap was 1024.  So it seems I now have to sail at least a minute faster in standard club races than I used to.  No wonder I am knackered after each race.

Posted: 24/03/2014 08:50:48
By: Martin Watts
The handicap system is probably as fair as it can be, but there seems ample evidence that boats are getting faster, so surely the problem is that of maintaining a fixed offset as recommendation between new & old boats, which are finding themselves increasingly penalized in mixed fleet racing,- all we ever do.

Posted: 25/03/2014 03:26:29
By: Rod & Jo
What we really need is what is being done at our club for the oldest Merlins - returning them on the RYA PY uploads as a separate class so they get their own recommended handicap. Our boats are all in the biggest handicap allowance bands so it is a large difference from the general Merlin PY.

Posted: 25/03/2014 06:24:23
By: Pat2121
This the annual event on the forum page.  I have given up on PY negotiations and my reservoir club has for the moment continued with a PY of 1086 for a 50 yr old Martine and at a sea club they give me 1130 for a knackered MKix where I am up against the wide boys.  Makes little difference but I just love sailing them and am happy to be on the water.

I suppose to get over this we should ask the leaders of the pack to take a dive for a couple of years and help the old boats. Fat chance but I throw it in for discussion.

Posted: 25/03/2014 08:44:32
By: East Coast Imbiber
There are voices saying,‚?? this comes up every year‚??, but consider‚?¶

In mixed fleet top of the line sailing, there isn‚??t really anything to complain about, the boats are getting faster, and happily so, and the system attempts to be fair.

The bigger problem is for a large number of old boats, many of which are sailing in mixed fleets like us (and we don‚??t exactly have a lot of choice!) & finding life getting harder every year.

In a development class with a long history (we sail N12 as well) I think that it is important that the class should try to cater for the ‚??silent majority‚?? of older boats. If our boats get slower because of age, that‚??s our problem,- as in all classes,- but it‚??s obviously unfair to assume they‚??re getting faster every year! The odd point here & there hardly matters, but we‚??ve been sailing 1620 over here for 37 years (2988 for 10), and the ‚??additional‚?? handicap we have accumulated over that stretch of time due to the evolution at the top of the class is significant,- and rather frustrating. Also possibly bad for the reputation of the class; used to be that people drooled over the look of our boats, and were then equally impressed by the performance in a handicapped fleet;- now we‚??re reduced to just the drooling.

Reminds me,- I have to wipe all that drool off the hull; maybe that‚??s the problem.

By the way, anyone know what handicaps will be used in Carnac?

Posted: 27/03/2014 07:51:26
By: Rod & Jo
Pat2121 would appear to have a solution. Can 'the class' get something sorted with the RYA regarding categories so that data can be collected this year?

Posted: 27/03/2014 12:53:57


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