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Class rules in handicap racing?

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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Aug 16 at 3:37pm
Originally posted by Brass

Surely the RYA have a standard SI for Yardstick, which should cover class rules issues?
Can anyone point me to it?


There's not to my knowledge a standard SI for PY racing, and I'm not sure there's any especial need for one.

I did get an RYA opinion on Class rules and handicap racing, and the general thrust of it was that if a boat is altered to take it out of class rules, be it anything from lengthening the hull to using "replica" sails not permitted by those class rules then it ceases to be a member of the class. End of.

That has some implications.

The first that occurs to me is that as soon as it ceases to be a member of the xyz class presumably *none* of the class rules apply, and now I think of it does that have interesting implications as regards RRS49.1? I suppose readily worked round by inventing a set of class rules for "John Smith's Boat which is a Laser 4000 hull with Rooster Sails and the class rules are just like the Laser 4000 class rules with the bit about sails deleted", and does it say class rules must be written down?

The next is that the published handicap for the xyz class is not necessarily appropriate for the boat, and the club IMHO *must* be notified of precisely what the boat is so they can issue a handicap. If you claim a boat is a Wotsit 15 on your entry, and actually you know damn well it isn't then that's a serious matter.

I think from a PYAG/EHAG point of view it would be immensely important that if a boat isn't a Wotsit 15 in any respect then its clearly marked in the club return as not being a Wotsit 15 so it doesn't reduce the integrity of the calculations.

But the main thing is down to eligibility, and I think that's really down to the club and the NOR. I think the club can do what it likes as regards eligibility. On the one hand it seems to me very important that sailors maintain boats in classes simply so we have real classes for the returns. If there aren't sufficient genuine Wotsit 15s racing then there can be no published number for Wotsit 15s, and if there aren't sufficient genuine boats of any class then dinghy Portsmouth yardstick will end up following cruiser PYS into history. On the other hand I don't think genuine prototypes and one offs should be prohibited from racing.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 16 at 4:17am
Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by Brass

Surely the RYA have a standard SI for Yardstick, which should cover class rules issues?
Can anyone point me to it?


There's not to my knowledge a standard SI for PY racing, and I'm not sure there's any especial need for one. 

How do competitors (or for that matter, race officials) know, for example:
  • which version of PY are in use?
  • how corrected times will be computed:  rounding up/down etc?
  • whether it's OK to sail with pictures of poultry on your sails or will the club pursue you to the ends of the earth with rule 69 to have you burnt as a witch?
  • how handicapping will be done for a boat that you and everyone else knows is a modified Wotsis 15?
I note that RYA goes to lengths to not refer anywhere to PY 'rules':  they talk about PY 'Documentation', but PY is a handicap or rating system, it must have 'rules' (common english meaning), therefore those rules are class rules, and rules for the purposes of the RRS (Definitions:  Rule, ( d )).

So the NOR/SI, somehow or other have to say that PY will apply, do they not?

I did get an RYA opinion on Class rules and handicap racing, and the general thrust of it was that if a boat is altered to take it out of class rules, be it anything from lengthening the hull to using "replica" sails not permitted by those class rules then it ceases to be a member of the class. End of.

That has some implications. 

 The technical way in which an obligation on a boat, its owner or person in charge, to comply with class rules arises as follows:
  1. NOR must state 'the classes to race, any handicap or rating system that will be used, and the classes to which it will apply' (rule J1.1(4)),
  2. 'rules' includes the class rules [and handicap/rating rules] (Definitions:  Rule (d ),
  3. Boats, competitors, owners, owners representatives, and persons in charge are bound by the rules (rule 3, rule J1.1( 2 ), rule J1.2( 6 ), rule 78.1)
So, once a class is specified in a NOR, that identifies which class rules must be complied with.

Once the NOR say that some handicap or rating system will be used, the rules of that system become class rules, and must be complied with.

ISTM that a NOR could quite validly avoid a long list by specifying 'classes listed in such and such a version of a PY list'.

The first that occurs to me is that as soon as it ceases to be a member of the xyz class presumably *none* of the class rules apply, and now I think of it does that have interesting implications as regards RRS49.1?

Ok, so the particular issue here is class rules which 'switch off' or modify standard RRS.

 I suppose readily worked round by inventing a set of class rules for "John Smith's Boat which is a Laser 4000 hull with Rooster Sails and the class rules are just like the Laser 4000 class rules with the bit about sails deleted",

Yes, or maybe you could specify a class as 'A Class Like a Laser'

 and does it say class rules must be written down? 

Well the WS Regulations indicate that the class rules for a WS Class must conform to certain specifications which sort-of imply that they must be in writing.

But there can certainly be 'unwritten rules', however much judges might dislike trying to adjudicate them.

So you could have an 'unwritten rule' in your club that nobody will protest a Laser with a replica sail, or a Mirror with green sails etc.  As long as this doesn't come up against a demand for strict enforcement of more formal rules this will work OK.

The next is that the published handicap for the xyz class is not necessarily appropriate for the boat, and the club IMHO *must* be notified of precisely what the boat is so they can issue a handicap.

Well, the club/OA might need to know that, but unless there is an undeniable rule (that probably means written in the NOR/SI) that non-conformances must be declared and specified in detail, it doesn't amount to something that boats are obliged to do.

If you claim a boat is a Wotsit 15 on your entry, and actually you know damn well it isn't then that's a serious matter.

Maybe, but at entry level, some people might very well not know the difference:  they see a little metal plate and they write that down in the 'Class' box on the entry form.

I think from a PYAG/EHAG point of view it would be immensely important that if a boat isn't a Wotsit 15 in any respect then its clearly marked in the club return as not being a Wotsit 15 so it doesn't reduce the integrity of the calculations. 

Wabsolutely.

But the main thing is down to eligibility, and I think that's really down to the club and the NOR. I think the club can do what it likes as regards eligibility.

Yes.

On the one hand it seems to me very important that sailors maintain boats in classes simply so we have real classes for the returns.

Yes, but what's neat and tidy for PY returns isn't necessarily fun for sailors.

 If there aren't sufficient genuine Wotsit 15s racing then there can be no published number for Wotsit 15s,

So, if the Wotsit 15 was such an awful boat that every one of them has been modified out of sight, then the Wotsit 15 surely deserves to drop out of the PY lists.

 and if there aren't sufficient genuine boats of any class then dinghy Portsmouth yardstick will end up following cruiser PYS into history.

Can't speak about UK, but in Aus we have a variety of performance based club keelboat systems that seem to please their users.

Yes, it certainly helps to have a range of competitively sailed, substantial classes, to provide 'anchor points' in the yardstick scale.

When I was a little involved in planet dinghy, many years ago in Victoria, we used to hold a State One-of-a-Kind (OAK) regatta annually which, in some measure validated the Yardstick pecking order.  Is/Was that done in UK?

 On the other hand I don't think genuine prototypes and one offs should be prohibited from racing.


Edited by Brass - 14 Aug 16 at 8:56am
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