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So, just how important is a Boats PY yardstick?

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Oli View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Oli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 19 at 1:01pm
Originally posted by iGRF

Originally posted by tink


This fixation with fixing the Laser would serve no real purpose


Other than stabilising the world of those of us that buy boats with a performance level similar to the Laser but nicer to sail who then compete week in week out with pals in their laser, only to find after a couple of years that is no longer possible because of forces beyond our immediate control.

It is also illogical to those who don't even try and understand what the handicap system is, how it works, why it works the way it does and or why it is the only system at our disposal, most of whom cannot understand why a boat that has been around for years and is physically faster over the water now than at any time in its past, is being rated as slower and slower each year for the past five years. This is precisely one of the reasons folk get so mad and confused at the illogical nature of the system.

So no, I fundamentally disagree and believe that until one boat is fixed the anomalies will go on getting worse and worse as the system thrashes around it's statistics with nothing fixed in any sense of actual reality.

You could assume it wasnt right in the first place, and or plus the miriad of other factors which have been discussed and explained through before on this forum, such as sailor ability, kit variance, location etc etc. 

I'd say the biggest one is probably the fact that more data is coming in now than ever before and from a wider source of waters, so maybe the number is less squewed?
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iGRF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 19 at 1:12pm
Originally posted by Oli



You could assume it wasnt right in the first place, and or plus the miriad of other factors which have been discussed and explained through before on this forum, such as sailor ability, kit variance, location etc etc.†
I'd say the biggest one is probably the fact that more data is coming in now than ever before and from a wider source of waters, so maybe the number is less squewed?


Or you could assume that far more data from areas the Laser performs badly than coastal areas where the Laser performs better are now skewing it accordingly, either way it's back to the circular discussion we've had since time immemorial and will never know since the system is not transparent.

One fact cannot be ignored and that is that the boats potential for speed over the water is better now than ever in the past due to the various upgrades. Yet it is falsely being downgraded due to the current system and it's, lets call them 'idiosyncrasies'.

So the question is the system making things better or worse for you?

To which the answer in my world is that it's making things less enjoyable for no really good reason imv.
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tink View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 19 at 6:17pm
Originally posted by iGRF

Originally posted by tink


This fixation with fixing the Laser would serve no real purpose


Other than stabilising the world of those of us that buy boats with a performance level similar to the Laser but nicer to sail who then compete week in week out with pals in their laser, only to find after a couple of years that is no longer possible because of forces beyond our immediate control.

It is also illogical to those who don't even try and understand what the handicap system is, how it works, why it works the way it does and or why it is the only system at our disposal, most of whom cannot understand why a boat that has been around for years and is physically faster over the water now than at any time in its past, is being rated as slower and slower each year for the past five years. This is precisely one of the reasons folk get so mad and confused at the illogical nature of the system.

So no, I fundamentally disagree and believe that until one boat is fixed the anomalies will go on getting worse and worse as the system thrashes around it's statistics with nothing fixed in any sense of actual reality.

Why the Laser has apparently real world speeded up and been given a more generous handicap could be down to many factors 


Compared to any other adult boat there is probably more books and online resources than any other boat. I would imagine many more sailors sail by the lee than a decade ago. Perhaps the people you sail against have simply used resources and got better. 


Plus many youth sailors from squads are now adults and doing club sailing. These people may be more willing to travel than old laser sailors and Lasers at big handicap events may appear faster. Similarly these people are more likely to keener and fitter and have newer sails and XD kit.


Lasers provide a massive amount of returns. Because they are relatively cheap and there are so many a large amount of returns will be from boats with old kit and sailed by less fit, average ability sailors. 


Obviously this is all hypothetical but the Laser is unique and attracts a wide range of abilities. It would be interesting to see what the range of the returns are, I imagine considerably wider than other boats which is probably the issue. I sense your frustration but other than personal handicap I donít see how you can fairly handicap the anomaly that is the Laser.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 19 at 10:30pm
Whilst they may provide more returns than any other class, presumably the vast majority of Lasers are being raced in class races, for which no times will be taken.  Given that many sailors will be drawn to class racing, dare I suggest that those doing handicap racing may be a few points off the pace?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peaky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 19 at 11:17pm
I think you are missing GRFís point. The Laser PY continues to creep up, which to many would indicate it is getting slower. However in recent years it has gained XD controls, better foils, a composite top mast and a radial cut sail. There is also an increasing wealth of videos on how to sail the things. So, in reality, it is highly unlikely the Laser as a boat is getting slower and it is unlikely that the Laser as a class is being sailed more slowly. So why then is the PY inflating? Possible answers:
1. The PY was initially too low and is gradually correcting itself to its rightful place. Why this is happening over many years rather than more rapidly isnít clear. This in spite of having orders of magnitude more data than any other class. If we canít be confident in the Laser PY there is no hope for other classes.
2. The rising PY is not, in fact, an indication that the boat is getting (or being sailed) slower. As there is no fixed point, It is necessary to look at the Lasers change relative to all other boats and it is not a simple task to figure out what is going on. It seems unnecessarily confusing to me to have a boat that might actually be getting quicker in absolute terms whilst simultaneously getting an increase in PY.

Nobody has bitten on my suggestion of probabilistic PY. I think it could have potential - a big win would result in fewer points than a close win, given the uncertainty in the handicaps.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 6:43am
Originally posted by davidyacht

Whilst they may provide more returns than any other class, presumably the vast majority of Lasers are being raced in class races, for which no times will be taken.  Given that many sailors will be drawn to class racing, dare I suggest that those doing handicap racing may be a few points off the pace?

 
Totally 

The Laser is a much harder boat to sail fast compared to the modern equivalent with much more gust control. The number of moans on a social media post about the rudder is testimony to this. It also is a very physically demanding. So you returning sailor with a Dad Bod simply wonít sail it to handicap. There are also probably more boats racing twenty or more years old than Solos ever built. If more than half the people sail it slower than handicap the handicap will get slower year on year. 

But if you come up agains a good, fit sailor it suddenly is a bandit 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 6:47am
Originally posted by Peaky

I think you are missing GRFís point. The Laser PY continues to creep up, which to many would indicate it is getting slower. However in recent years it has gained XD controls, better foils, a composite top mast and a radial cut sail. There is also an increasing wealth of videos on how to sail the things. So, in reality, it is highly unlikely the Laser as a boat is getting slower and it is unlikely that the Laser as a class is being sailed more slowly. So why then is the PY inflating? Possible answers:
1. The PY was initially too low and is gradually correcting itself to its rightful place. Why this is happening over many years rather than more rapidly isnít clear. This in spite of having orders of magnitude more data than any other class. If we canít be confident in the Laser PY there is no hope for other classes.
2. The rising PY is not, in fact, an indication that the boat is getting (or being sailed) slower. As there is no fixed point, It is necessary to look at the Lasers change relative to all other boats and it is not a simple task to figure out what is going on. It seems unnecessarily confusing to me to have a boat that might actually be getting quicker in absolute terms whilst simultaneously getting an increase in PY.

Nobody has bitten on my suggestion of probabilistic PY. I think it could have potential - a big win would result in fewer points than a close win, given the uncertainty in the handicaps.

I do like your probabilistic PY provided it could be automated with a computer algorithm and not relying on judgement and extra work for the guy doing the returns 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 8:47am
I love the idea as a concept, but can see confusion at club level! Hope a club tries it, but I think it would fall on deaf ears if I suggested it at mine.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Granite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 12:45pm
Perhaps the Laser handicap started changing when the returns went to online race time returns, rather than the older one where clubs recommended changes to handicaps? Many years of clubs thinking The laser hasent changed as a boat so we shouldn't recommend a change in handicap could have resulted in it being a bit wrong for many years, and that is now being corrected.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote seasailor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 1:42pm
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