Now 1006 ......................................... Will make sailing on restricted waters on handicap even less competitive .
Happy Phantom Sailor
About time too
The Phantom has dropped by 8 points as well to 1035!
Mr Clever cloggs ;-)
So who likes the 'Change' column added to this years PY list upon my request....
Mr Clever cloggs ;-)
Just noticed the Wayfarer's have got slower, even though they have a new design out two years ago. Go figure that one out....
Would it be sense to fix the older boats' handicaps? As while the guys at the front (new) end of the fleet are evidently getting quicker, the older boats certainly aren't. Currently I believe older boats sail off 'current Merlin Yardstick plus X'. Personally, I think it would be fairer to fix the older boats' handicaps rather than drag them along as the newer boats develop and progress.
wow..big drop..reflecting the talent of the top jockeys and speed of the newer plastic boats no doubt.
it's all a joke, you can not possibly handicap race fairly against single hander with an asym or any boat with an asym, or a foiling moth or any dead class that rooster choose to rebuild which has a handicap from the 70's!!! ( they play the game better than most) All h/cap racing should be banded to make it even by the type of boat......... but then who cares....... as every dog has it's day and it's all just a bit of fun ...........................right?
Ah well,never mind, I shall just have to continue cruising round with original kit until someone donates a couple of carbon rigs with ugly grey sails attached. If the club handicappers are in a generous mood does anyone think I can go back to the old number + the age allowance and can I have a few more added for a lovely suit of cotton sails currently under repair?
Remember this table. It is endorsed by the RYA, and was created with their consent/approval. Your race team should use this table for club-level handicap racing!
surely the age related boats table should have further distance from the new py, add another 8 right through the list; or more because the list pre-dates the last few changes too. Currently we have 21 year old boats sailing off the current py? I don't think so!
Every year my 60 year old gets faster according to the PY!! I haven't lost weight so the boat must be on a fitness regime I don't know about. Off last year's age related handicap at my club sometimes I can give the Lasers a good run and other times I can't. This year I think it will help the Lasers all the time.
So although poor old Lucky Strike gets no younger she is expected to be 8 better this year than last and 10 better than 2008 - time to fit a carbon mast or an auxiliary! I hope I'm sailing her better these days than 2 years ago but I am not getting any younger and will struggle even more against the Wayfarers and Lasers. However, having heard how fast the really modern Merlins were at HISC Fed week last year I am not surprised that we have had to take a cut and pleased that the front end of the class can compete against asymetric plastic baths.
So it will be all boats pre Winder mk1 except Moondance then.......?
simple yes, but it needs to be adjusted from time to time; just like the py list!
Our club still sails off 1024 for modern boats and thus 1074 for us in 2121 and we find that's OK as we come pretty even with the lasers. But now someone's told sailing committee the Merlins and Lasers have changed so they're going to look at handicaps. They just didn't get it when I said that the RYA PY was just a guideline and clubs should set their own figures as they've always used published numbers, despite being a puddle where courses are set for lasers and its usually impossible to use a kite.
This is the problem 3,700 boats and 20 that do the circuit.........do the maths!
What actual difference in seconds does this make on a one hour handicap race? Would I be right in thinking it's just under 30 seconds?
Our club has never accepted the merlin handicaps for older boats at face value and simply have a second py for boats over a certain age. I think one problem is that the MROA numbers for older boats do not say if they are for boats stil sailing in the condition that they were first certified or do they apply to hull regardless of how much they have been updated with rig, new size spinny, shutes .etc. Although it could be a mine-field I do think the numbers need some qualification to make them credible to club's sailing committees.
I hear the Laser Radial PY now indicates they are faster than a standard Laser...but what can you expect after a windy winter? They will be faster!
We have had to sail off 1007 at Brightlingsea for the last year as we do too well at our club - the problem is a handicap is always an average of all winds, skills, and venues. We wouldn't beat an asymetric on a windward/leeward in a Force 3, but up the shore short tacking against the tide they suffer. i do feel that we should however lobby for vintage handicaps to be included by the RYA! this would make clubs view them more fairly!
Isn't it about time the class updated the 'old boats' ratings table? As the owner of the boat that's on the breakpoint, I feel pretty aggrieved that, in a 21 year old wooden NSM4, I'm expected to compete on the same handicap as a new Winder. Surely we're not saying that our class has stagnated over that period? Fat Pig has been updated to deck stepped and a carbon rig, so she's not massively outclassed (in the right conditions) but there's no way that she sails to the same handicap as a modern boat (even allowing for the bloke on the tiller).
Providing you can decide what makes a boat fast or slow then a ratings/handicap table has to be possible within the talent that The Merlin Rocket Class has within it. Including of course crew weights.
Ok; may be it is time to come clean.
I wonder about the credibility of some of the club returns. Bewl Valley is listed as a merlin club, I don't believe there are many if any merlins there!
How many MR's does it take to make a Merlin Club ? perhaps once we know that figure we can then see how many clubs actually sail MR's.
I think we might have to have a work with our Sailing Sec at COokham. I have no idea where he got 968 from! Given that a Merlin has not won a single handicap event at the club in the 2009 season!
I believe Brightlingsea has been completing returns online with 2-4 Winder style Merlins competing with a variety of Lasers, Mirrors and Fireballs.
I hadn't realised that the lasers have got 2 points added on to their handicaps so that's 10 of a difference compared to last year. Think I'll take up snakes and ladders and rely on the dice!!
Brightlingsea did a web return proposing 985.
Lasers now have XD controls and have got faster as a result not slower ..............
Unless I am calculating it wrong the change since last year is less than 30 secs in a 1 hour race (= 1 poor mark rounding) and less than 1% in all. The number has not dropped enormously since the changes in spinny rule that have made a very big difference downwind. I have only participated in one handicap race in the last year - it wouldn't have made any difference to the results. But as Graham says, local factors make a big difference, short-tacking down a shore then running deep back down again is not quick in a 505 or a Fireball.
You're still changing the PY rating for whole fleet when only some of it is progressing.
How many Canterbury Tales built before 3430 get a preferential number? How mant NSM 4s built after 3430 have to sail on the same number as a brand new boat? I am glad that someone thinks this is right!
Answer, 1 CT was built before 3430 (I stand to be corrected but believe it is only the original, 3417). No NSM4's HAVE to sail off the same PN, it is up to clubs with the involvement of the local fleet to decide what is fair for the local fleet in the local conditions. The high profile events, Bloody Mary and the like, attract the top end of the fleet and are held on open water.
Sorry, Canterbury Tales was 3413.
It’s called shandycrap for a reason, anyone who believes it’s always fair, or could ever be fair, is delusional. Depending on the conditions and course configuration someone is always getting a gift and someone else is getting shafted.
Many thanks for the detail Graham, my one and only observation of the numbers you quote, with the exception of Cookham, is that the further you get from the sea the slower Merlins are expected to be.
N 12 is absolutely right.
Blithfield introduced 1005 for a "modern" merlin back in 2008 when it was clear that the RYA PY was out of date. It was accepted by the fleet very well (I actually did all the math and proposed it). We also changed the Phantom by the same amount to maintain the close racing that existed between the 2 "fastest" fleets. It equated to about a 45 second change in an hour when we were starting from 1018.
did MROA declare to the RYA that it was going to put bigger kites/carbon sticks on the boats I wonder. And perhaps this is just playing catchup to the fundamental changes that we have all known about but the RYA are oblivious. It could well be that for the first few years after the new kite was introduced that the MR's enjoys a healthy advantage as they were using an old py for a boat with a substantially small sail area.
while 1006 might be for 2010 would there be a history of PY going back at all anywhere. In particular when 3440 was built what was the PY then.
The spinnaker size rule didn't change, it just became possible to use all of it. I would hope that the RYA knew about it, they do afterall look after the class rules and ratify all changes.
cake and eat it
I find it rather amusing that you all choose to sail a development class and then complain when the class develops and the handicap changes.
I had 3466 new and if I recall correctly the handicap was 1024 - the same as a Tasar. But if you go back a lot further the Merlin handicap in old money was 91 - the same as a Finn!!!
Historic Merlin Handicaps
Enterprises don't have age related handicaps - yet. However, no one would expect a 25yr old wooden Ent to win against a modern competitive glass version when sailed by equally competent crew. Why do we appear to expect that to be the case in Merlins?
It is ironic that a level racing class spends so much of its time discussing handicaps, is there a hidden agenda here?
Unlesss your name is Dave Beaney, as he IS still winning in his 30 yr old wooden Ent against the modern glass boats! and ALAN johnsons is older still and still beating all the fleet.
There are two issues here I believe. How do Merlins get on when racing Merlin to Merlin in a fleet of boats widely differing in age and not pimped but kept in reasonable original nick? In this situation are the age related handicaps suggested by the MROA working, because after all those parameters will remain (in relative terms) unchanged when everyone in the Merlin fleet slides up or down the PY pole. Once you get into the realms of mixed handicap racing then it is different. The relative diferences in PY between classes do change and this is the result of us racing in a development class whose speed and performance improves AT THE NEW END OF THE FLEET and using this baseline figure all the way down the line for the boats of a certain age. Now while we would all love to have a brand new Merlin regularly updated and sailed as well as the top guys, this is not the case whether through economics or ability - or both!! Is there a case that boats over a certain age - albeit on the sliding scale that is in place already, have their handicaps left untouched when the top guys in the new boats (say ten years old or under) move lower in the PY? As I have said in the past my 60year old boat is not getting faster and it would be interesting to see if the top crews sailing her would be able to beat a new boat also sailed by a top crew on the current handicap system. Again I am talking un-pimped here!! I do want to keep her original. I should add here that I am not personally out to win at all costs (and thank God for that as I would be destined for perpetual disappointment) but it must be good for club sailing if results do not become a monotonous procession of the same boats in the same order week after week by the same margin of difference. It certainly becomes more exciting when results are close. At Forfar we have had a year where racing went down to the last race of 3 out of our four series in a small fleet and it was great fun. This year with 10 difference compared to last year between Merlin and Laser that won't happen. It should be remembered that perfect handicapping should result in a dead heat every time!! Of course it never will in sailing but the results shouldn't be predictable before you leave the shore!!
Sponge and fudge
Well said 'Cake and eat it'. The PY system is meant to give good sailors in good boats an equal chance of winning. If you sail a 30 year old version of any class you can't expect to win, let alone a development one.
Having just chatted to Simon Lovesey (who does PY number crunching for the RYA) I think it worth re-iterating a point:
Mags, from the RYA documentation:
Not strictly true tim i think pys should be adjusted at most sailing clubs. what do you class as an average water?
another point to add is that in handicap or fleet racing if you are sailing a 25year old boat then you have more of a challenge to win.
> doesnt matter what class of boat it is as garry says you have no hope against modern boats
yes tim sorry thats wot i meant my apologies
Sailing Sec at Cookham here. Regarding the questions raised by Jez3645, the figure of 968 is the result of the official RYA calculations for our 2009 spring and summer handicap races in which Merlins took part (and finished!) - albeit only a few races. The spread of PY's achieved was from 851 to 1050 with 968 being the average.
Nigel, thank you for the independant verification of facts! Could you be persuaded to check out the upload to the RYA website? I am not a e-guru, but am given to understand that after registering initially, you work out results on sailwave and then press an 'upload to RYA' button, and it automatically shares your results with the rest of the nation.
Finding this hard to follow, the original post said that 1006 would make, I assume Merlins, uncompetitive on restricted waters. Did it mean that Merlins would be unbeatable off 1006? So was arguing for a lower number, I had interpreted the statement as arguing for a higher number.
This inland sea thing confuses me. The modern Merlin is an extreme shape compared to most (but not all) classes. It is tippy (though not uncontrollable) and manoeuvrable. It has a symmetric spinnaker that can be launched quickly but requires a bit of a balancing act in the front with the pole (e.g. compared to a RS400).
John A old merlin, current ent
Dave, Old ents in wood can still be competitive, but I still think they are handicapped out in all but the light stuff, Mr B who we both know well only wins on rivers and ponds and won't race on the sea (I do wish the Ent's would get their own forum) Re age allowance for older boats if I get 2717 restored (repaint and varnish) and sail her with a 40 point allowance is this fair as she is decked stepped (although without lowers as I was told the hullwouldn't take them)and altough the tin spars won't take laminate sails it will take modern dacron. If i put carbon spars on then i can have an up to date rig with big spinny, twin poles etc on a wide hull (ghost rider) but with the same age allowance as hog stepped.I'm not good enough to get the best out of the boat and the project was only bought to do some CVRDA events but I hope you understand the point.
One of the contributing factors at Cookham to the low Merlin average 'achieved' PY value is that when Merlins are sailing in a handicap race, they are competing with much slower boats that do comparatively less well, especially in light winds. This tends to raise the "average corrected time" for the race, and results in the fast boats achieving lower PY values than usual and slow boats achieving higher PY values than usual. However, the figures are still valid - that's just the way the system works. That's not to say we always have light winds (witness the 2009 CRSC Silver Tiller), but on stormy days Merlins may be the only boats afloat!
Midland SC sailing sec
The saga of inter fleet relativities has pre occupied clubs for years. At Midland it is regularly recycled with the usual issues of:
Here are some results with Albercore (7th) against Merlin (29th).
I sail at Port Dinorwic Sailing Club. It is very evident that our waters place some classes at a distinct advantage or otherwise. A boat that will do well must be agile, tack and jibe quickly and roll well. I don't think I have ever seen (or will ever see) a Contender win, but RS400 and Solo do well. Without altering the handicaps what happens is that sailors gravitate to the classes that typically do well. It may be argued that this is a good thing as it builds fleets of certain classes. There is another Merlin at PDSC, but I have never seen it raced and so have no idea how it comes out. I am hopeful that the Merlin will not prove too much of a disadvantage... It has been a lot more fun last year in the Harrier, when I was somewhere in the bottom half of the fleet, than in the Contender the year before, when I was so far off the bottom of the results sheet that the fishes there carried lights!
Handicap racing is obvioulsy flawed from the start. The ultimate solution would be to have a limited number of classes that are 'official' and can be raced, that way a critical mass of fleets could be encouraged. I'm not an expert on motor racing, but I have never heard of handicaps in that, I just hear of different classe, F1, F2, N class etc.
"The spread of PY's achieved was from 851 to 1050" - which indicates the scale of the (actually unsolvable) problem.
Hadnt thought of it like that AlanF but suspect your are on the money.
It is ironic that a class that is a level racing development class's busiest thread on its excellent forum is on handicapping! Alan is absolutely correct.
> The solution is more club fleet racing and leave the handicap racing to novelty events
I once belonged to a club that only allowed three classes of boat to race, if you wnated to join and race then you had to have one of the three. Some years ago they felt this was resticting membership and so opened up to any class of boat and handicap racing. The result - no extra members and the destrution of good club racing. My advice to clubs is to restrict handicap races and focus on class racing.
Dave you are right, when I started racing in the South of England that was the case, at Minima For instance it was Merlin Rocket - National 12 - Cadet - Solo or a small handicap class of Enterprises a half rater and an Albacore. Other clubd were the same the real problems seem to have been caused by the proliferation of Manufacturers One Designs, if clubs were able to be more Draconian the choices would be restricted and class racing again would rule at club level. But clubs need members and TRavellers Trophies mean class racers travel away.
Just need to get all the old boats out handicap sailing, to show a true representative of the Merlin fleet as a whole!.
I think that would be a R2 breach
if it was deliberate it would be misleading and thereby a Rule 2 breach.
[quote]If they entered handicap races and did badly.....[/quote]
That was a tongue in cheek comment regarding sailing badly for beer money.
3434 will eventually be doing badly sometime this year. I said that last year but she's suffering the old "cobblers children have no shoes" syndrome as the OH is a carpenter and painter so there's no time to fix our boats :-(
Actually Tim B you may be coming to the conclusion that if you have an old Merlin pre 3500 or so, there is not a lot of point belonging to MROA if nothing is done to adjust PY numbers for old boats and accommodate the obvious inconsistencies mentioned above. Does this encourage 2nd hand values also? All one wishes for is more of a level playing field for older Merlins. Talk about it and you are accused of always wanting to win (not true) or taking it too seriously (but it's OK to spend £20,000 on the latest kit). The sop of the old boats prize at Salcombe or Champs is not especially incentivising. Perhaps a declining membership may concentrate a few minds, maybe only 220 members for those after 3500 is what is wanted.
Surely its all irrelevant? So long as the merlins you race against are subject to the same PY number theres no change, and if you still cross the line first in a handicap race, does it matter if a laser gets one place up the results sheet due to some numerical abberation? Probably an unpopular view, I know.
Why net get a couple of the top helms to swap boats with us less able lower fleet members and see what happens? I reckon the Top helm in a mature merlin would still make the top 20% of the fleet or better and I will still be in the bottom 20% even with a new boat, the boat is not the only reason they are at the front.
Contrary to some suggestions, the Committee is not standing idly by on the handicap matter. In recent years the Vintage fleet, in liaison with Committee, experimented with a type of handicapping which accounted for age but mostly kit. However, it is known that water/wind conditions also play a major part but they are even more difficult to account for.
Dont blame the MROA. Personally i have had a lot of satisfaction (no pun intended) in beating much newer & more expensive boats in an old boat. I wouldn't expect to do that on a championship course, but there are plenty of places on the Merlin circuit where you can compete (including Salcombe). Ultimately if you want to compete at the top level in the Merlin class you have to dig deep into your pockets - it doesn't guarantee success, but......... If you want strict one design racing on a budget you are looking at the wrong class, however If you want a well balanced thoroughbred for not much money & are willing to accept the limitations of an older boat - You can have a lot of fun. Plus you will have plenty of cash left for your evening constitutional
Regarding the 'older boats are not becoming more competitive' argument, could this be addressed by a separate Old Boat PY (set around the NSM 4 / Tales turning point)? The classic and vintage boats could then be tied to this value by the '+xx' system. This could be reviewed as is fair, but would be independent of a Modern Merlin PY.
two classes 'Merlins' & 'Rockets'?
Nothing's perfect. Handicap racing is never going to be. There are 3 things that will mean a boat does not keep up with the front of the fleet which relate to the boat not the driver. In Merlins we spend a lot of time obsessing about hull shapes, there has been something of a step change around the 1st CT hulls but it really isn't as easy to define as that, there were other boats with similar characteristics earlier (Once Bitten) and the shape has been modified quite a bit since the initial CT 3413 from which the moulds were taken for the JT tales, subsequently modified on a few occasions. Boats get softer with age, even when well maintained, and in other fleets older boats are not expected to be quite on the pace in open water. There has been a lot of rig development with refining of the basic soft deck-stepped mast/raking rig concept, and the big spinny. So if I decided to follow Glen's mods and tuck in the planks on the bilge of Heaven Sent, drop and narrow the bow waterlines a bit, get a Chipstow rig and new sails, how would we handicap that? An NSM4 with a carbon mast and big spinny against a hog-stepped ally Summer Wine? If we fix the PN for NSM4's then is that just for those with original rigs?
Developments are so minute nowadays with the hulls all quite smilar but with potentially great variation in speed on account of old/new rigs along with sails there could and should never be different py's for dfferent "eras" of merlins. Ultimately there is no way to qualify the ratio of speed wth age, Beauty of merlns/n12's e.t.c is that theyre all different. Time to give up really , Forum has attracted some 90 odd posts, would dread to think how many there would be if it came to choosing staggered PY's! Its a development class...
IT doesn't matter what the handicap is when you have to race in handicap races, you have to sail with what you are given, in the end there can only be one winner, and then conditions make variences inevitable. In lighter airs Merlins will always do well, when its blowing dogs off leads then you look for Fireballs & 29'ers to be winning, it natural.
Jacko seems to win whatever at Blackwater.
...That's because Jacko is a God, and not tied by the limitations that affect mortals ...
May land [from the] sea
Are you sure its not Lorna who is winning, while Jacko is just sitting at the back?
mmm...tammy open meeting...isint "passing cloud" always in the chocolates by the end of the day?......1960 something?...
....and the Adur 7's used to do quite well at Cookham and UTSC against the new boats too......food for thought, and not a PY in sight.
I've resisted coming in here for a while having been tied up talking about PYs at my club. I think, personally, that graduated changes to the PY system for older boats is actually more trouble than it's worth becuase there is no truly fair and equitable way of deciding the boundries and what boat falls into what catergory.
'Passing Cloud' has already won the competitive Tamesis winter season sailed by my nephew Richard Harris and his 9 year old son Harry. No handicaps involved but admittedly she has carbon spars etc. but so have several of the other older boats. There were two other 'Passing Clouds' in the Tammy fleet.
...dont know about the PY thing but would be inclined to agree with Alan F earlier post. As far as old boat boats go the people keeping their boats in original condition are really taking part in a concours d'elegance and why not if that rocks your boat. The merlin class is a development class and it is pretty amazing (and a credit to the class) that boats as old as 40+ (with the correct development, carbon rig etc) can compete on equal terms in the the right conditions with even the most modern boats. They are also a complete pleasure to sail. Embrace it!
Yup, we have hit the ton on this thread!
dv ......best sailor in the world?
He does it again, Jacko not complaining about his handicap, but then he's a good sailor.
996 in 2011 ? Used at Steve Nicholson Trophy ............
All fair between the older and newer boats, just look at the Thames river series, probably the best racing series for bringing old and new together (and the most enjoyable) The river is a great equalizer.