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Ian S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ian S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 04 at 12:34pm

Originally posted by JimC

The other thing that has to be understood is that all this stuff about one designs having closer racing is a complete myth. In any class you care to name the differences between sailors ability are enormous compared to any difference in boat speed. ..

Surely this is what is supposed to happen though? the plus for one design racing being that 2 well maintained boats should react the same in any given condition dependant upon the skill of the crew in reacting to those conditions.

If we accept that the (identical) boats will react in pretty much an identical manner than crew skill becomes the determining factor.

In handicap racing a laser will react quicker to a wind shift than will a GP14 with a spinnaker up. In one design racing a GP sailing in so little wind it can't use it's spinnaker will not be handicapped relevant to other GPs sailing that also can't use their spinnaker - it will suffer though in handicap racing when compared to a boat that doesn't have one and which isn't being handicapped by not being able to use it.

But then again no one ever claimed handicap racing was accurate or fair :-)

ciao

Ian

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Garry View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Garry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 04 at 1:23pm

[/QUOTE]
Except they don't - Last time I looked at the figures the returns for the Firefly - a tight rules boat with similar performance in most conditions - were far wider than those for the Cherub which is an open rules boat with a big variation in different weather conditions and locations.
[/QUOTE]

I agree that the handicap system in many cases only makes small differences to the results.  When I was talking about skew I was refering to finishing position ranked against boat age.  Aren't the returns already averaged and so a study of RYA data would tend towards normality because of the central limit theorem (this is all becoming a bit statistically technical - we could debate further offline if you wish).

The two points I really want to make are 1. If we want a fairer handicaps then the RYA needs to collect lots of raw data and get a statistician to look at the correlation between performance, class and age...  2. The current handicap system works on averages and so there will be a lot of discrepencies because our spot is so varied.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 04 at 3:52pm
Originally posted by redback

A small question, if all the boats are old, surely its their relative performance that counts - has that changed over the years, or have they all got slower together? 

A complex problem. I sail a Firefly, which while the sails aren't in the first flush of youth, are pretty good, and she has a fixed mast. Other Fireflies have Ratsey sails and Reynolds masts. And fireflies are relatively easy to deal with compared to the development classes. We adjust handicaps to, we hope, give sailors of equal ability the chance of winning, whether the boat is a racing machine that happens to be old, or a boat kept as original. There is alot of debate among those who care about such things in the fleet concerning what modifications to make. Most of the fleet are just happy to be given a number, and feel the real race is on the water, whether it be a well sailed merlin keeping up with a Jollyboat, or 2 Pegasus' battling it out.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 04 at 7:31pm
Originally posted by Garry

The two points I really want to make are 1. If we want a fairer handicaps then the RYA needs to collect lots of raw data and get a statistician to look at the correlation between performance, class and age...  2. The current handicap system works on averages and so there will be a lot of discrepencies because our spot is so varied.



You need to see one of the RYA presentations on the nuts and bolts of the system. You'll be imptressed - I was! Its really quite complex. But you've got to figure that unless they were to employ several hundred people to go to the clubs and do the results for them then there are limitations to the data they are going to get. With a 50% rate of returns they can't make the return much more complex because then people won't do the return at all, and the statistical validity goes through the floor. They're working on this with things like a method to enable scoring systems to automatically create returns - its in Sailwave for instance. But if you conmsider trying to get in boat age - grief, many sailors don't know how old their boat is, let alone their club!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Granite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 04 at 1:29pm

I think that one of the reasons why there is such a veriety of boats in the UK that are regularly raced agaist oneanother is because the PY system works well. Considering the difficulties that they have to cope with.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 04 at 8:28pm

I agree. Don't forget, the RYA tell us  (the clubs) to alter numbers to suit local conditions. This also goes for boat ages. The best thing class associations can do is give recommendations of alterations on their websites, so the poor *** who has to make decisions at a club firstly has data, and secondly something to send the whingers off to look at when they get fed up being beaten by an old boat being sailed by a very good helm. As the data starts to be used by the clubs, returns will get sent to the RYA (we hope!) and the RYA will possibly be able to make some sense of it all! Until the handicaps for classic boats are being used regularly by clubs, the RYA surely can do nothing.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hector Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 05 at 6:09pm

This may not be the right forum but seems to be the best about PYs. I agree with the earlier suggestion that major handicap events could be used as a 'return' to aid the RYA with adjusting handicaps. As these events are (predominantly) attended by good  / top end sailors from various classes they are certainly more relevant than a return from say Puddleduck S C where the local hot shot happens to sail a Maidupclass really well thus depressing the handicap for all Maidupclass sailors but also raising the handicaps of 'whatever' classe(s) he thrashes.

Has anyone thought of actually doing the exercise - that is going to say the Grafham GP site and working out the various PYs acheived?. Do several events - last weeks Steve Nicholson and this weekends Tiger Trophy for instance and the accuracy increases.

Anyone up to the task?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Garry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 05 at 8:43pm
Hector

The problem with this is it might drastically skew the results for the average sailor with easy to sail boats coming out best (smallest variation)! Its also not a statistically sound approach.

You could run a series of trials with a random selection of sailors all sailing each boat in a number of varying length races in varying conditions - but I'd have to give it some thought before I would suggest that might be a better or even statistically sound approach.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote redback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 05 at 10:03pm
What do they do in other countries?  I think we have forum members from France, US and Australia out there - what happens in your country?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 05 at 10:13pm
In Oz, the main yardstick figures come from one state (Victoria) but I think the compilers demand more information about the race (course length, wind, angles, sea conditions etc IIRC) than in the UK IIRC. So it's such a hassle that few people put them in. I don't think there's a Crew Skill Factor but I think you have to put a note in for national champions etc.

As a result, some classes can be badly skewed. On my IC, I have a worse handicap than the AC in the UK, probably because there are only two ICs in Victoria and one finished 6th in the worlds and the other is normally faster! So the handicap is skewed badly by the fact that we must be the only class where all the numbers are created from guys in the top 10 in the world.

The Moths had the opposite "problem". For years there were no narrow skiffs racing in clubs that did returns, so the yardstick stayed about 10% higher than the Moths thought they should be.

At my old club's major regatta we used to get guys like the 2 time world Contender champ, 3 time world Flying Dutchman champ and 3 time world Moth champ plus a Laser Masters runner-up on a Tasar, the Fireball that was 4th in the worlds, IIRC, the former Sharpie champ etc etc etc. All these boats on one  course and two lines in open water was perfect for adjusting the yardstick - but IIRC  the handicapper never saw any change in the final yardstick as a result of his input and the input was such a hassle to prepare he gave it up.
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