The Merlin Rocket has shifted 5 points to sit at 985 this year.
Plenty of moaning on the Y&Y forum...but all about other classes so far!
A reflection of the quality in-depth of the sailing in the MR fleet - we should be flattered! Long live class racing!!
We need more beginners and average club sailors sailing Merlins if the handicap is not to keep reducing. So please encourage newcomers and older boats to get out there racing and returning results and also grow the class.
PatJ, that's the catch 22, nobody wants to race older boats as they cannot be sailed to the current PY. Until boats are give handicaps related to design and era it is not going to happen. Similar to what the Moths do.
If we had one year of old boats sailing, the handicap might be 1050+, I wish.
Hi Miles, Sadly the RYA will never agree as it will set a president and open the flood gates. People with Baker Larks, Jack Holt fibergalss Enterprises etc will be saying "me too".. At least an old Merlin has a chance in the lighter winds and on restricted water. Regards, Dave
What has this issue got to do with the RYA?
All that the N12s do is to publish a suggested range of PY numbers for various sail number ranges and 'endorse' them as the approximate PY of a N12 at the time that bunch of boats were built. It is then up to the members and the club to decide whether to adopt them or not - it is simply a way to make it less difficult for them to decide to do so. AT RHYC we club race using at least three different PYs in the fleet and it is no more trouble for the PRO than if an RS200, Merlin and 12 all want to go racing that day. The 12s are not the only ones, there are clubs doing the same for lots of boats with a generational speed gap - Phantoms, Solos etc.
I agree its up to the clubs which is how it should be but I guess the point I was making was that the big handicap events use the PY numbers as published and sometimes as we know they adjust (but still only have one handicap number) for the whole class. If the RYA don't publish age related handicaps then the organisers of such events won't adopt them. In other words Miles hasn't a hope of getting a different handicap to a modern Merlins for the Sail Juice series for example. Maybe if RHYC held a big handicap event it would attract lots of old 12's and Merlins ;-)
The complaint in the past was that the MROA suggested deductions from the current PY rather than fixed differentiated PY numbers for older boats... and so that was what I was addressing. I agree with those complaints that you should not expect older boats to get faster just because the newer ones do! That said it all needs to be managed carefully as the Merlin sailors are more likely than most to pimp an old boat with carbon etc....
You are very welcome at RHYC on Sunday April 19th. For £10 you can join in a day of 'short sharp races' where we will be using age related handicaps where relevant. FYI it is usually Graham Ireland that manages the handicaps used - he is a very reasonable man these days.....
Looking at the list of clubs who made returns:
Blithfield, Starcross and possibly still Hayling Island have strong fleets of newer boats (HISC fleet is reported to be much diminished buy may still have had an influence on the return for last year)
Bartley, Brightlingsea and possibly Northampton have one or more newish boats that are sailed by known travelling sailors.
Time for some massive assumptions but bear with me.
At Blithfield Merlins only handicap race in the Winter and on Wednesday nights that means 78 potential races.
Lets assume that the others do three handicap races on a weekend and one midweek in the summer. So each will do 132 races per year. So thats approximately 738 races of known newer boats out of the 2429 races that the RYA used to drop the Merlin PY by 5 points. I would think it's highly likely that well over half of the returns made are actually from mature boats. I wouldn't be at all surprised if over half of those are 80's boats.
Apologies to Cookham for missing you - but does anyone club sail their Winder there? :)
We got age related handicaps for the older Merlins at the Lord Birkett for 507 and 1066 a couple of years ago - you just have to ask nicely.