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Handicaps and how much difference they make...

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Post Options Post Options   Quote redders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 13 at 10:40am

Typical summer evening conditions then.

This is why pursuit races can be better...the slower boats start in the best wind and the faster voats have to work hard to catch them.
[/QUOTE]

Not in a dying breeze Confused

Whether we like it or not we are stuck with handicap style racing at a lot of clubs in the UK. Our club is not going to tell all 350 members that they can only sail limited classes of boats from now on, so the sooner we all try to improve what we have the better.
IMHO the RYA and the PY group are at least trying to make it better and in my experience by changing the existing PY's to suit all the variables that we have, it has improved both handicap and pursuit racing.
The best sailors still finish near the front and the average sailors still finish behind them, however we now have average sailors in all the classes racing each other, rather than an average sailor in a poorly handicapped boat finishing at the front or conversely finishing at the back.
Do seconds matter? yes they do in our situation. You only have to listen to the conversations at the start of each new series when the numbers are announced!
What can matter more in handicap and pursuit racing on our water is the weather and the course and although one of those can be controlled I don't think the RYA or anyone else has yet come up with a way to control the other! A series will usually even out these variables.
On a positive note the club now score classes of boats in both handicap and pursuit races with more than 5 competitors as fleets to try an engender a fleet culture. So far it does seem to be having some effect and people are now racing against each more in their respective fleets and less bothered about the overall results.


The older I get the faster I was!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote transient Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 13 at 11:58am
...and I appreciate what the RYA PY folk are doing...

but

It's not just down to the RYA is it? The clubs have a responsibility to submit returns and yet many don't. Class associations have a responsibility to highlight the fact that the latest (or oldest) incarnation of their boat has an unfair advantage..............Many sailors enjoy the banditry aspect of the sport (particularly the older ones who are on a downhill slide)  they take advantage of it and have no interest in stopping it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote yellowwelly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 13 at 12:23pm
Originally posted by redders

On a positive note the club now score classes of boats in both handicap and pursuit races with more than 5 competitors as fleets to try an engender a fleet culture. So far it does seem to be having some effect and people are now racing against each more in their respective fleets and less bothered about the overall results.



that reminds me of the last time I was regularly enjoying handicap racing- in an RS300.  We had 10 or so boats, this enabled a proper race to be had inside the handicap fleet- none of us cared that the Phantom would usually beat us on the spreadsheet- c'est le vie, as they say.  We also seemed to have a culture of loaning out the boats when we couldn't make it.  I reckon my 300 was sailed as much by other people collectively as it was by me....  that helps build mini-fleets, damn shame we didn't take the step and get a proper fleet status, I'd much rather be sailing a 300 in a fleet than my Solo if I'm truly honest.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 13 at 5:52pm
Originally posted by transient

Many sailors enjoy the banditry aspect of the sport (particularly the older ones who are on a downhill slide)  they take advantage of it and have no interest in stopping it. 


Which makes one wonder about those manipulating the system.

We had a fair wind from the West which gives us quite flat water, some shifts and we even had a reasonable course today, one of our Laser guys forgets his buoyancy aid, goes back ashore and eventually starts the race 4 minutes after the rest of us yet still wins, it is becoming farcical. Even the Phantom guys are getting wound up by it and when the Merlin Bandits start to moan, you have to chuckle, the Blaze and Contenders weren't out today, if we have a null point at all it is usually a Contender. We couldn't complain because we had a crap race, our main falling down followed by the outhaul unit sheering, just one of those days, we clawed back to 2nd over the water by a couple of minutes a way behind the MPS, and didn't expect to do that well, but 9th? Behind every frigging Laser even when they screw up? The main reason for most to gripe is that the Laser used to do OK on it's original handicap, but now hell, the way things are now it totally sucks..

Edited by iGRF - 01 Sep 13 at 5:54pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote transient Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 13 at 8:36pm
Originally posted by iGRF

Originally posted by transient

Many sailors enjoy the banditry aspect of the sport (particularly the older ones who are on a downhill slide)  they take advantage of it and have no interest in stopping it. 


Which makes one wonder about those manipulating the system.



Not sure I'd go that far but each to their own.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 13 at 8:49am
Conspiracy theory time..

Club sailing appears to be on the wane.

Bandit classes appear to be the only growing territory.

Answer; make the biggest unused fleet of readily available dross into a Bandit class..

Even I can see that's what's going on...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 13 at 10:22am
Originally posted by iGRF


Club sailing appears to be on the wane.

Not at Hunts this weekend. We have had one of the best turnouts this year and there were places decided by seconds all the way through the fleet, this is where a couple of points of PY can make all the difference.

Even the Laser and Solo fleets had good turnouts with battles all the way through, the last Laser race being decided by just over a boat length....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote yellowwelly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 13 at 10:23am
I think you're giving it a bit too much credit Graeme... but if that is 'the plan', then its working and good luck to them, whoever 'them' are... I assume you mean the RYA.  

Our club has turned the corner on falling memberships- in part due to the rise of the Laser fleet again.  To be honest, if I were 20kg lighter it would be the best racing on offer as the demographic tends to be people who work and have families... therefore Wednesday night, Sunday morning become fixtures- irrespective of the wind.  The Solo guys tend to be more split out, and often sail in the day time on a Wednesday as quite a few are retired and aren't forced to sail in the dying breeze after work.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 13 at 11:34am
I doubt very much it is 'planned' can't imagine anyone at the RYA with that much strategic marketing nouse, but the Sailjuice lot? Am I wrong in thinking the money comes from the entry fees? Who cares it's good to have big events, I just had a crap race yesterday that I should have bloody won by a mile, the most irritating race ever, flat water lots of nice shifts, deep kite course, I should have creamed it, so things went bad, so find something else to blame and moan about, standard action.

However the Phantom boys were doing well and got Lasered and it was only a lone returnee in a Vario that got a surprise second, but even that he couldn't have been happy to be beaten by a boat that didn't even arrive at the line until four minutes later.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 13 at 12:00pm
Originally posted by JimC

.....
Its a problem that I am sure just about every class (handicap or boat on boat) in just about every club in the country is struggling with: how, in these days where people have so many competing demands on their time, can we make it easier for as many people as possible to start enough races to genuinely compete in a series?

.......
 
It's a problem, but most of the participants really don't seem to care much about competing in the series, they are happy to go sailing when they can and enjoy the odd good result.
Even the people winning the series may be more driven by personal goals such as finishing more races without capsize, tactical blunder or breakage, or just achieving a better level of competence in their boat.
 
If people don't want to be racing regardless of where the spreadsheet puts them, we have a bigger problem than the vagaries of the PY system.
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