Portsmouth yardstick topic

Malcolm Cross posted this 15 October 2018

At Harlow Blackwater SC we are trying to rebuild a Solo fleet. So far we have 10 Solo's but not all sailing and of varying age of boats and abilities .We joint race with the club up the river and the number of boats actually racing is very good, sometimes as many as 25 boats of different classes. In the past the Solo's have raced successfully against other boats with the best of us amongst the top 5-6 finishers ,that is until our handicap was changed to 1143. As a fleet we all find that very hard to sail against and get decent results especially as our main challengers are the Laser Radials who sail off of 1142. Most of the time they can beat us on all points of sailing .Yes we can get close when going to windward but off wind the radials go away from us Solo's. It's not very encouraging for anyone in our fleet but also for younger sailors, who know the radial is faster and choose that in preference to the Solo. I know we should put our returns in to the RYA but that's not easy with joint racing and us being a small club. Has anyone else any opinions or similar problems at their own club.

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Adrian Law posted this 17 October 2018

I sail at Frensham Pond. We tend to beat the radials in the handicap races. If it is laser weather and they are planing and there is not quite enough wind for us to, they beat us. If it is light wind we mostly win. At our club the chat is that the solo handicap makes it too easy for us. It depends who is sailing though, we have some brilliant laser and radial sailors who on their day.......

I think the handicap is about right though.

Ian McDonald posted this 18 October 2018

The RYA support clubs running their own PY system to reflect local conditions etc. So there is nothng to stop you running a,club system which adjusts the national ratings. However in most cases this is actually a Personal handicap system adjusting for the speed of the helm and not the boat. And if you do this, buying a wig and false beard as a disguise would be good during morning boat rigging to duck the que of people wanting to tell you the faults in the club py adjustments!.

Malcolm Cross posted this 18 October 2018

Hi Adrian, Thanks for replying to my post. I expect that sailing on a lake might give the Solo a good chance ,with there being big wind shifts and sheltered areas where perhaps you might not be able to plane. I sail on a river in relatively open water ,where the wind is usually uninterrupted and perhaps a knot or two more than inland. Our courses are very different every week ,some long beats ,some short etc. The last two weeks for example we have had two very long, 2 mile reach in a f4-5 ,very exhilarating but cant catch Radials . This often happens.

Malcolm Cross posted this 18 October 2018

Hi Ian , Thanks for your opinion on this matter but as a club we have found it difficult to alter other handicaps because of joint racing . Whilst we all enjoy the numbers we get out sailing every week it's not easy to come to agreement over handicaps unless it's RYA law ! I would also like to think there is no bias coming into the equation . In our racing we have a few very good Radial sailors and a couple of reasonable Solo sailors. The level of skill can only be judged by performance on the course and our Good Solo sailor has never beaten our best Radial sailor and the Solo sailor has been well placed in the Nationals a few times ie; top 40 and top 20. Our top Radial sailor does not sail anywhere else but at our club! We even have a self confessed low ranking Radial sailor who often finishes in front of the Solo fleet !

Ian McDonald posted this 20 October 2018

The Laser radial will tend to have a,higher proportion of younger,starter sailors so this may affect the national py. Some clubs allow them to sail full size in light stuff which further confuses things

I would suggest that worrying about py is the greatest topic at many clubs and never goes away. I try and avoid the discussions and go sailing.

Race the Solos and look on all other boats as additional moving buoys. In time the Laser sailors will get fed up fighting the fittings and may join you in the " proper " boat.

Please dont mention the Supernova py !!!!!

Last Edited 20 October 2018

Steve Dixon posted this 30 October 2018

I am unable to keep up with Laser Radials sailing on a large river round the main channel marker buoys. With well sailed Streakers the disparity is even more so.

Ian McDonald posted this 01 November 2018

The PY is set by a hard working commitee based on the data and info sent to them by clubs. If your club is not sending in the info then your local racing speeds will not be used to make the calculation. The PY is not produced with any malice or other influences, its just a calculation and the best way to improve it is to get more data sent in. And handicap racing is just filling time between the " real" fleet racing even if that fleet is only two boats!

Godfrey Clark posted this 01 November 2018

I know your club and the conditions you are up against. I last sailed there in a new year handicap against some Fireballs who enjoyed a 3-sail reach from the club line to the main estuary and were de-rigged and showered before I got back in my Solo! Thus, you have a great disparity of boats and need a keen Handicap Officer to determine a fair local yardstick (shared with your neighbouring club of course) which is what the RYA recommend. The two clubs will also need to consider the Crew Skill Factor (if you have a national or world champion at your club he can be expected to win on handicap, and questions could be asked if he does not! This is one aspect of where the CSF is taken into account. Your HO can submit the returns on line, assuming he is using or has access to your Sailwave results, which is what we do at Fishers Green. We hope that more returns data means a fairer PY.

Malcolm Cross posted this 01 November 2018

The PY is set by a hard working commitee based on the data and info sent to them by clubs. If your club is not sending in the info then your local racing speeds will not be used to make the calculation. The PY is not produced with any malice or other influences, its just a calculation and the best way to improve it is to get more data sent in. And handicap racing is just filling time between the " real" fleet racing even if that fleet is only two boats!

Malcolm Cross posted this 01 November 2018

Hi Ian, Whilst I agree with your remarks as regards putting in the club returns and as a club we have been not been doing this on a regular enough basis but we do intend to try and get better at this in future. But your remarks regarding "real" fleet racing seem a bit crass as we have been working hard to get as many boats to sale in our racing in a joint racing capacity with our next door neighbour club and encourage sailors to race and I don't see "real" fleets of 2 boats being very encouraging or interesting.

Ian McDonald posted this 02 November 2018

fleet racing starts with two boats and the fact that you are getting five to six shows the excellent results of your efforts . Clearly there are some mainly inland clubs with huge turnouts but without seeing nationwide results, I would think that getting that number out in estuary sailing puts you way into the top group.My comment was not intended as a slight- just suggesting that racing whichever other Solos are out there is good.

Solos will generally struggle in the normal light to medium club winds. The fast classes have the advantage of clean winds and some boats like lasers may get up on the plane earlier.

I am not saying that submitting your returns will change the PY but doing so will help and may make you and your club members feel more included.

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