Please read this statement from the RYA before discussing the new handicaps. The crucial bit is:
I am impressed. My boat is now 3% faster than when it was shwon at the 2001 dinghy show, 12 years ago.
Yes. I had to take two years out of sailing with hip surgery, and both my Merlin and Solo got appreciably quicker in my absence!
So the price for being of average ability or worse but wanting to sail a fabulous dinghy means your about to get done over at club level.
Surely as has previously been said, clubs can and do set local handicaps?
Indeed they can and probably do. The guidlines given for older merlins could be much more useful, though, to clubs, especially those reluctant to use them, if there was more logic to them. The Nat 12 for instance have fixed the suggested PNs for older boats so that they don't relate and change each year because they are tagged to the newest boat.
I would srmise that the trouble is that there are so many permutations from as was original, age groups then spars, cotton sails through to rebuilt carbosised 3DL etc.
Mine must be at least 15% faster since I sorted out the deck varnish...agree though that fixed handicaps for older boats (in bands like the yearbook currently uses but not based on the current PY no.) would be clearer and easier to persuade clubs to use?
Rod & Jo ( European Wing)
Here, here, Chris. Our two old Merlins don't get any faster because there are changes at the top of the class, and this has been going on for years. Since we don't sail in the UK ALL our Merlin sailing is on handicap, & clubs here have no clue how to rate other than as published. Though I'm armed with the yearbook some of them just apply the new boat handicap anyway. Guess what, we don't win,- though if that were important I guess we would have given up long ago.
I like Chris's idea and maybe we could test it by re-running some results through Sailwave or similar.
East Coast Imbiber
I have written an email to our sailing secretary suggesting a personal handicap for my boat (other than me) of no less than 1094 which is what I believe it was when I bought her 12 years or so ago.
There is one very easy solution to all of this. Fleet racing at clubs. Hollingworth Lake have resisted handicap racing for years. We had 8 boats out yesterday for the first day of the season, where it was all very close. If there are any sailors in the North who are struggling with handicap racing you would be more than welcome to join us.
Maybve the class association could adjust the handicap adjustmetns based upon sail numbers and age, no way my 15year old boat goes any quicker, yet similar aged lasers seem to be going slower :(
We also fllet race at Banbury so anyone in the Midlands looking for a home away from the mythical PN is welcome.
Nick Price (214)
We do fleet and handicap racing at Ranelagh. Overall results use a boat & personal handicap but within fleets we are trying just an age adjusted handicap for merlins.
Former Whitstable Pro
Does the age related handicap apply to the boat or the helmsperson . As I approach my 80th b.d. I could try to introduce the latter to the Shoreham handicap feet !!
Nick Price (214)
Just the boat regretably! At 70 and with a boat built in 1950 I could be unbeatable!
Blithfield also operate fleet racing, and there are a few older boats in the mix.
For the Scottish Merlins this year we are considering giving 'fixed' handicaps based on year of build/design generation. I agree that it doesn't make sense to have handicaps indexed to the class standard as this is changing and a lot of the older boats aren't! That said, if someone has modified an old boat with a carbon rig or a single string system then the plan is to have a factor for that.Bearing this in mind, does anyone have a spreadsheet of old PY numbers I could have a look at? Also what difference did the carbon rigs make to the handicap at first, and the same for single string?
Luke - we're (cvrda) ahead of you and already watching this discussion! Our system inspired the vintage wing handicap changes that depend on masts and width and so on. As one of the cvrda handicappers and records keeper I'm happy to help if required.
Cheers Luke and Pat, and yes I'll get in touch with you lot Pat!
Oh, the irony of Merlin sailors complaining about PY!! It's only now approaching where it should have been for the last 5 years or so.
James, before you have a complete hissy fit I think you will find that the majority of the comments on this thread relate to older Merlin Rockets and their PY rating at club level which if adopting the latest PY would make them even further obsolete. In terms of the later Winder Mk 4/5's and their spangly carbon bits then yes you are probably right but ho-hum. I can't say I would be too pleased to be sailing off a PY of 994 in my 1958 boat with tin mast but that is a seperate discussion I need to have with the club.
No hissy fit, just amused! If you sail a development class you have to accept that older boats will be less competitive. Same as the rest of us have to accept that the newest boats in a development class will always be bandits.