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So, just how important is a Boats PY yardstick?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 19 at 10:25am
At a typical club level of racing and over a series of races held in a variety of conditions it has been my experience that the best sailors will win the series regardless of which boat they sail and on what handicap. Over the three years that I have sailed my H2 the handicap has changed quite a bit but over a series at a club level I am able to achieve the results that I think reflect my relative skill.

When I go off to these large handicap events over the Winter and race against 100+ boats its very clear that the handicap is not perfect relative to other similar boats but I still enjoy those events by setting myself a target for the day (i.e. finish in top third) and that makes it worthwhile.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 19 at 10:37am
Originally posted by tink

Donít ply golf so donít know how their system works but personal handicap seams to be the way to go. Everyone wins. The Championship sailors are put under more pressure and have to try harder, the novices are encouraged and donít get disheartened. The great thing is you get a gauge of how you are doing. My club runs a personal handicap Wednesday night series per suit race. It is good to see how you personal handicap changes each week. 

I think it would actually revive dinghy sailing because with the right mind set you could race older uncompetitive boats and not feel so penalised as you can see your relative performance improve. 

My club does tweak the PYs up or down from the RYA suggested number based upon results for the class. In general this means that singlehanders with one sail get hit and that crewed boats and asymmetric get a boost compared to the RYA number as a general rule. 

There is also a series that is raced upon dynamic personal handicap whereby your previous results push your personal handicap up or down - I do not like this series as the conditions last week might have suited my boat and then this week the conditions are different and I have a huge mountain to climb to sail to my new harder handicap in conditions that are not suited.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote KazRob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 19 at 11:13am
I'm not too bothered by it. The OK handicap isn't great but it's taken me three years to learn to sail it to somewhere around PY level at club level, and looking at how I do at National events it's clear I'm not anywhere near it's potential so I'm cool with that. Additionally there are so many other factors to consider. A big fast boat in a lot of smaller boats will have advantage in getting into clear air first and sailing through it faster - but a smaller, tighter course may disadvantage it compared to smaller nimbler boats. Like wise being a small, slow boat in among bigger fast boats is always a challenge until they get away from you. Some boats like reaches, other boats like beats and runs. Some boats hop in the plane early while other don't  etc etc
In my experience people who jump classes 'because of the PY' are often unable to face the uncomfortable truth that they are not as good as they think they are (plus many classes take a bit of time to learn how to go fast).
My advice if you are mainly going to sail on Handicap is to sail a boat that fits you physically and suits your style of sailing and just enjoy the race for what it is. If you're not winning perhaps it's you and not the boat that needs to change


Edited by KazRob - 23 Oct 19 at 11:13am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 19 at 11:29am
Spot on Kaz.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 19 at 11:57am
Agree with Kaz - especially the bit about people moving classes!

One more frustration to add though - I do agree that having a fast boat can be good as you get away and into clean air, but on the downside when sailing on a lake there is often a big gust that comes through in the 5 or 10 minutes that the other slower boats are still racing and you get to sit by the finishing line watching someone who you were miles ahead of grinning as they boost over the line!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hitcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 19 at 12:11pm
On the other hand, if you do an evening series in a fast boat, you can finish before the breeze shuts down and everyone else sits there in no wind.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 19 at 12:29pm
True - but for this reason I rarely sail in the evenings which are better spent at the bar!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dougaldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 19 at 1:16pm
Now it just so happens that I've been on the receiving end of some of the PY pain - when I've had a boat that I want to write about (and that can range from a Unit to a Mirror 14, a Hit to a 'classic' 5o5 (ie, small kite, no carbon or fancy foils) and in the end, you just have to 'suck it and see'. I would hope that in these more enlightened times that an equitable solution can be found that rewards the sailors who sail the best irrespective of their mounts. That said, I'm more than aware that there are boats that are sailing under a PY that is generous to the point that allows success to someone who hasn't sailed that well/bothered that much with boat preparation to win against a better sailor. Now allowing that would be as wrong as some turning a blind eye to some of the more lurid tales of PY abuses - so I hope that taking the RYA figures as a starting point is fair- but stressing that it is only a starting point. It would after all be just as easy to set a figure that creates that much talked off 'bandit' boat,
In this case I would hope that by setting a sensible PY as a starting point, with the understanding that the numbers will be reviewed (as all our numbers are) that we don't so much get things right, but avoid getting them too wrong. 
But back to the original post....a while back I was lucky enough to be RO for the Miracle Nationals (and will be so again next year I hope)  and had the pleasure of seeing a boat from the same bit of water as the 'Man of Kent' being very well sailed.. and we all recall those 'lurid tales' that I referred to just now when the Miracle and it's PY was the object of much of his angst, even though it was clear to me that this was a well prepared and well sailed boat.
Maybe when the V3 gets launched I ought to go and set the PY for that as well.....

D
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 19 at 1:47pm
Lots of good posts full of the right advice, it is a system that works albeit a bit crap and full of the issues we all know, so it can be accepted that a Boats 'yardstick' is obviously important or we couldn't function in the way lots of clubs do.

Lots of my 'issues' are already on record ad infinitum and in this instance, it wasn't a selfish post even though I do sail the boat in question, I bought it to learn to single hand trapeze and not have a great hulk to haul everywhere without the necessity for a crane or team of boat launchers, which is my alternative and discussed elsewhere.

My issue I guess is that I don't want some poor young kid put off the thing because there is no accepted method of him getting an accurate rating for the boat. There have been guesses, there aint enough of them to get the numbers and the point I've made all along, there should at least be a device that classes/builders/developers can plug into that at least spits out, not a PY because a PY has to be what it is a moving feast though God only knows why, but that's another discussion maybe. A what should we call it? Say PQ, Performance Quotient, given the length, breadth, sail area, crew weight, sailing devices (trap, swing out seat, kite, foils) a number that gives a new rider/sailor/helm an expectation of the actual crafts performance in capable hands. That way, at least folk like me and our young friend, who are trying to get to grips with a boat just because they like the boat, can see that the PQ is at the very least achievable, what happens to it after that in the yardstick system when lake laser muppets start using it and it gets slower and slower or the bandit pot hunters wield it as their chosen weapon for a couple of years so it has to get quicker, wouldn't matter.

Such a system isn't beyond the wit of man, nor would it require adoption by the RYA a clever crew, even from here like Peaky and Dan Holman with a bit of support from say JimC could put some sort of calculations in place to produce an algorithm that could be operated online using the Laser as the ground zero at 1000 as an obvious base setting that boats can be deemed faster or slower than. It would make to the casual entrant more sense and aspiring folk can make informed choices about the sort of craft they want. It may not make our little Farr much more attractive since it sits pretty much astride the Laser, a bit faster in strong wind and slower in light, but it would at least be accurate with some basis in hard fact that can't be denied.

How could we make it happen? Easy, we form the DPA, the Dinghy Performance Association or some similar class acronym and issue the number from that body.

(posted at the same time as dougal but acknowledge his points well made)

Edited by iGRF - 23 Oct 19 at 1:56pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 19 at 1:59pm
I think clubs can and do make this sort of adjustment without the need for complex algorithms. I seem to remember that the used to be Primary, Secondary and Experimental yardsticks; Primary being more set in stone than the others ... so if you have a fair idea of the boats performance against a Primary yardstick boat, it should be possible to come up with a number which puts your sailor in the middle of the pack.

Years ago we did a Chichester Snowflake series in a Salcombe Yawl, we sailed on the number that Salcombe use; CYC knocked a minute off our handicap number until we stopped winning; seemed fair enough.
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