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So, just how important is a Boats PY yardstick?

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Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 19 at 8:49pm
I've often wondered why they're not referred to as Pirates?  Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 19 at 7:16pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Originally posted by tink

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Isn't that the exact number of Lasers ever built?  LOL
Number of small sailboat racers - 1  (RYA term, think the boats are small not the racers) 

Please donít get into how many Lasers ever built, with the sticker, without the sticker, Kirby Torch, LPE  LOL  - what ever the number theyíre all BANDITS 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 19 at 5:55pm
Originally posted by tink

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Isn't that the exact number of Lasers ever built?  LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 19 at 5:04pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 19 at 4:59pm
Originally posted by Rupert

People race because of other people, not handicaps or even boat types. If the craic is good, the racing will come, whether class or yardstick.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote zeon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 19 at 4:54pm
Spot on , Rupert  Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 19 at 4:31pm
People race because of other people, not handicaps or even boat types. If the craic is good, the racing will come, whether class or yardstick.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 19 at 10:54am
I have sailed in handicap and single class fleets since1965 in various dinghy and windsurfing classes. I've always sailed specific classes because I liked sailing them not because I think they are a PN bandit.

Tink makes some good points, not the least being that beginners are not concerned with handicaps/PN and their decision to race (or not) is to do with other factors.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pointing High Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 19 at 10:35am
It is a shame if this peters out, because his thread has actually been interesting for me, as a newby. What is apparent is that for all it's flaws, the PY system isn't so bad that it has any real support for change, and being based upon actual race returns, it does blend the actual physical characteristics of the class, with the sailors skill, which raises anomalies, for some classes, in some conditions.

If we take GRF's point there may well be a better system that would encourage more particiaption at club level, that would tie in with the point raised by eric-c, that the average person these days , wants to do some activity, but is not obsessed about endless competition, so maybe we do need to change club racing, to cater for the change in people, as well as the change in boats relative performance.

If one took any boat and created a potential performance yardstick based upon its naval architecture, and then applied this to a personal handicap system based upon the skill and experience of the sailor, then you might have a system where you are racing against the other boats, but you are also racing against yourself.  It would be a fair bit of work, getting something set up, but in these days of computers we should be able to produce something to get going with, on an experimental basis, we have the PY system, the Peaky system and the Great Lakes data, so there is a starting point. The actual answers will be within the range of race data that is already gathered, ie the best Laser sailors, and the worst Laser sailors will be the top and bottom of the skill levels as the boat is the same. 

The question  is would it improve the club racers participation, or do clubs need to do more to attract people to participate.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 19 at 8:01am
Originally posted by iGRF

And so we have it, the usual response and the thread peters out into banality and red herrings, but what does it matter?
It's not as if we have anything to worry about, the fact that in the ten years I've been paying attention the Optimist fleet has lost 100 boats from 447 in 2008 to 347 and the Toppers 120, this year just gone and if you collate the lot you find the numbers have dropped only 40% across those years, so it doesn't matter really we'll be alright with the remaining 60 percent for a while longer.. This all from the Y&Y stats, what's going on at PYAG might as well be at GCHQ the chance of any of us getting to find out.

So either we do something about it, or it'll keep on heading south.

But then just how important is a boats handicap to all this? Personally I think it's a trick that could be used to re invigorate the sport if handled with vision and vigour, but then what do I know, I'm only a semi retired action sport marketing type frustrated at lack of action to stave off the inevitable decline the modern culture is having on all outdoor action sports and how little is even being attempted.

I donít think that PY has anything to do with the decline of boats attending national championships or a decline in dinghy sailing in general. Small boat sailing and Small boat racing are both, long and short term, on the increases https://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/sportsdevelopment/2018-watersports-study-exec-summary-final.pdf


Having the attended the last two Optimist nationals attendance will be a lot to do with venue and where people are willing to travel, including from over seas, there are also limits on the number entrants also which may be new. If you drew a trend line the decline would be much less. The Topper drop of is purely the growth of the Tera, the total Topper and Tera trend line is pretty stable and again venue has a lot to do with it. 


By the time someone has gone from beginner to racer at the level that they question the PY system they are pretty committed and unlikely to give up because of PY. Long term sailors are also not likely to suddenly get despondent with the system.


I donít think you yourself are actually that dissatisfied with the PY system just the fact that you feel where you sail the Laser has more generous handicap than it should. 


If the thread is petering out it simply that everyone has sail everything they can and are in general satisfied. As I said before name a sport where such a mix of people an use different equipment to compete against each other on more or less equal terms. 


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