Handicap Age Bands

29/02/2012 22:17:34
Tim Male
What's the rationale behind the revised handicap category for old boats? (I think it was updated quite a while ago) It used to be that any boat 3430+ was current handicap ie anything Canterbury tales or newer. The adjustment now starts from 3553 so that now includes Gangsta Pardise, Unfinished Business, Gilt Complex, Moondance, plus many others that aren't really any slower than their contemporary FRP counterparts, which are similar to that currently in production? Indeed most of these have modified bows (some from new!) or one-stings so why do we recommend a different yardstick for club handicaps?

Post-rant-note - could the DeMay handicaps be modified to apply to non-vintage boats in club racing?

http://www.merlinrocket.co.uk/technical/handicaps.htm
01/03/2012 08:53:44
Mark Barnes
Have to agree with Tim on this one. The Joyrider is very close under the water to the Mk4 and with one string/young athletic top crew would be in the mix at this years champs.

Trouble is, it is difficult to make the breaks due to Dan sailing Gangsta very well and other boats of the late 1990's still being on the money in the right hands. If Mango Tango 3579 was 3554 or older, she'd be a steal for the handicap series as we found her to be a particularly quick boat and finished 12th in the Nats with sails that were literally falling apart that year. With new sails, we'd have easily been top 10 and little has changed since then.

Back to the real world!!!

01/03/2012 08:55:22
Mark Barnes
Corrected

If Mango Tango 3579 was older than 3554 as is 3547, boats 3554 or older,

01/03/2012 09:22:01
Jez3645
Tim, I don't really understand what the issue is? Since the adjustment starts a catagory higher now, that takes another 10 off your boats yardstick so you are still equally adjusted to the boats you mention but have a larger advantage over the later boats? I am sure your menmbers will happily keep you closer to the newer boats if you ask them?

01/03/2012 12:40:34
Pat2121
Well I'm delighted with the plus 10 for 3434 which is neither modernised nor a Tales. 
At a mature 23 years old we need all the help we can get!

01/03/2012 12:56:12
Andrew M
Hi Tim, could you just possibly have an interest in this one as one of the last alloy rigged boats still sailing on the circuit!!  Gangsta has been an "old boat" for a while now, Heaven Sent has only one modification from the 1993 spec which is the carbon mast, the cunningham & lowers strings would appear to be JT's original.  Please can I have a prize for the oldest bit of control line?

01/03/2012 13:30:56
Fat Pig
After years of complaining about this, being the first boat in the 'new category' but one of the last NSM4s, its finally been changed when I'm not sailing competitively any more.  Now I need to find something else to complain about!

01/03/2012 18:00:12
john
Icicle series at Bough Beech has had one merlin in the 'conventional kite' fleet, Andy Kerr sailing 3411 NSM4, now in it's 25th year.
2010; 1st
2011; 2nd
2012; 2nd
All this on the standard merlin handicap; not age related. Who's to say what would have happened if he had been sailing off the previous standard handicap as in 2010 and not the current 1006, let alone +20.

01/03/2012 20:02:58
Tim Male
yes, but why the change so that boats 3430-3553 get an advantage in club handicap racing over boats 3554+ onwards. Most of them are Canterbury Tales, Let it Rides & Thin Ices with carbon rigs etc? no?

01/03/2012 20:44:17
Chris M
I'm not all comfortable with age related handicaps, and never really have been. Every dog has it's day and by the time you average out wind conditions at clubs that handicap race you'll find that in an average series 50% of races are sailed in a force two or less where a well sailed and maintained old boat is at little disadvantage.

Then you run into problems where boats have been updated. The demay stye handicaps help, but what about where boats have been stiffened useing space frames or glassed hulls? Carbon foils? Modern shape foils?

I've been involved with the refit and modernisation of 3402, and it's now quite a quick boat. Tim's 3339 is also quite a quick boat. There is very little about either of them that's orgional!

You can go too deeply into this, and handicap racing is supposed to be fun. Therefore if people are obviously trying to compete on level terms then lets just scrap age related handicaps and do the talking on the water.

02/03/2012 09:05:11
Jez3645
Tim, this is only a guide, clubs can use whatever they feel is correct within their own racing rules. They don't have to handicap at all if they don't want to. Chris is right in that with little wind the older boats do hold their own to a degree. However with a modern Winder Tales you can put allot more load on the rig without changing the shape of the boat, most will be lighter or at the very least have 20% of their weight in the centre of the boat, are generally more faired under the waterline and are more likely to have a top helm in them to boot.

I can't say I totally disagree with you though, as I have been raising this point at every Committee meeting with regard to the old boats cut off being 10 years. That now includes 3609, so Chris, I would not raise too much of an issue!! This I think is where it becomes tricky. Chris has a MK1 Winder which qualifies as an old boat, however, I would suggest if you compared his boat to a MK4 you would struggle to tell the difference, if there is any at all. So how does that qualify as an old boat if it is the same as the ones that come out of the Winder mould now?

It is a tricky issue to manage, and without catagorising each boat individually, which becomes tricky for Race Officers/Clubs to work out, there is never going to be a good cut off.

02/03/2012 09:34:08
Chris M
I'm not raising an issue. If all i was interested in was winning the old boats prize i wouldn't have spent £x and xhours altering the boat.

I think the same applies to boats whatever their age to a point, which is why the demay style handicaps were brought in.

02/03/2012 10:14:36
Jez3645
I was pulling your leg Chris! Your boat is just a very good example of why the Old Boats prize is now, I my opinion anyway, wrong. Whether you are interested in the old boats prize or not, your boat is now very well placed to win it even if you don't intend to. That is exactly my point. By making these 'updatable' boats 'Old' you open it up to people just looking to move up the fleet at considerable expense and this is then at the cost of the people who are genuinely sailing the 'Older' boats.

My boat is a very good example of this. Now I have finished Panatella, although she qualifies for Vintage events she would be hopeless as her handicap is so far from that of a narrow boat with an ally rig and dacron sails that she would not compete. However, If I take her out in a breeze I can't really put enough rig tension on her as she is not stiff enough. This is always going to be the case in a wooden boat, no matter how old, compared with a glass and carbon Winder. Even the old Turner moulded boats are going to be allot softer now than they used to be.

02/03/2012 10:19:39
Chris I
I think the main thing is to have something in place for the large number of pre-tales boats racing in handicap around the country. What happens at the boundary is less important, 10 points is not that much after all. Most of the boats around 3400 to 3550 are probably a bit slower than a brand new boat, due to not being fully sorted. There will be anomalies, but we should not worry too much, the principal thing is to get clubs to understand graded handicaps to give something fair(ish) to the older boats.
It's much better than most other classes manage.

02/03/2012 12:25:29
WP
Perhaps some of the bigger events such as Salcombe could have a handicap prize, making it more interesting for some of the older boats. 
It may be a little more difficult for the race team to manage but you could ignore all the modern boats and just record times for boats below a certain number ?

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