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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
eyeshotpar

Can we save Portsmouth handicap racing?

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Set aside your concern about the politics and ownership

Set aside my concern that the underlying philosophical goals are slightly different and this may be meaningful to some.

you state

 

More sailors = more data = better model

Why do you think data collected from the fruitcake with the E scow on Loch Lomond is meaningful in any way?

Do you think E Scows have gotten measurably faster in the years since their hey day in what the 70s?? In the USA.... the answer would be NO... the class design peak performance was measured in its hey day against the yardstick boats (also sailed in their hey day).... It should not change. (if it has... its a result of Fortran running on 8 bit computers limited to 100 data points and some bad decisions by the PN committee)

 

In the UK....the system is based on fleet medians if I understand correctly.. But again... the fruitcake data is one off and the UK system would punt as well.

 

Take the post above..... the RS Areo was competing last weekend against the international 505 and the international Laser along with some other designs.. What would be the FAIR rating for the fleet and the RS areo sailor... A) . Take the UK system ratings of the three boats and linearly interpolate a USSA PN rating for the RS Areo and use it.... OR B) would you rather use the questionable data obtained from the small but growing fleet of RS Areo sailors in the USA (IF the US PN system would violate its principles and generate an RS areo rating?)

 

Your point "PY yardsticks allow eccentricity to blossom and how can that be anything other than good?" AND 505's point that PY yardstick got everyone competing last weekend are the Key Points and speak to the underlying principle of why you have a Handicap system in the first place

 

The small devil is in the details and since times have changed.... you just have to honor the underlying principles you and 505 brought up and be flexible.

 

A transparent process is critical to getting sailor buy in... however simply turning the crank on the PY machinery with garbage in will do nothing more then generate garbage out. I see the appeal of a unified table run by the brits... but think this issue is best left alone... (and then best driven by the Brits .... however after Brexit... they seem to be more insular these days)

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Simple is best...

Simple is .... well simple..... perhaps you mean user friendly?

Best is a value.... do you mean Accurate? Fair? Precise? Good enough for a beer can race? How about all of these values applied at wind ranges form 3 to 25 knots. My car is simple to use... but under the hood... it is now half computer. Not simple in principle.. just simple to use.

 

Maybe... "simple is best" does not work when you try and rate a brand new UFO (foiler at breeze) against a laser in a club race or try and rate a Moth... vintage 1980 versus a Moth vintage 2017.

 

The thing about a value like "Best" .... it can change in an instant for any individual... Yesterday... they were happy with the ratings table in 7 knots of breeze...... tomorrow.... they don't value the table when they have to sail in 15 knots of breeze... "Yo... handicap racing is a POS and waste of my time" (a sentiment often heard at the bar after racing)

 

You are better off building a system based on your principles. I would prefer to build a rating system around the principle of Fair Competition from 3 to 25 knots. Simple would not enter into this principle.

 

YMMV but I think the nonlinearity inherent in racing lasers against 2016 moths means you need wind speed ratings. Now with a laptop .... you enter one more number after elapsed time, sail number/class ... So... now you measure and enter wind speed average. ( I loose the argument most of the time.... to the demand for Simple.... so take my point of view for what its worth)

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If simple to do, and complicated under the hood is best, then what is needed is a well designed app! The results could be transmitted to the organization for updating the variables. Almost everyone can use an app nowadays.

 

RaceQs is a really neat app, and probably be adapted to do this with a little tweaking. You can use it to score a race already, and record it if everyone is running the app.

 

Computers can make the complicated simple to do if some genius can design the right app.(that genius ain't me btw)

 

US307

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How does a well designed app help the Brits get a rating for the "fruitcake with the E scow on Loch Lomond "?

 

Why does making it easier for "garbage in" to be collected improve things?

 

If "fruitcake" has a great day for "fruitcake" and out sails his UK e scow rating.... aka a personal rating obtained with the killer app.... should he win the race?

 

When you see fleets of new designs competing in handicap races against fleets of older designs/yardstick boats... Fire up the killer app and turn the crank. Until you have this precondition..... the killer app is not the answer.

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How does a well designed app help the Brits get a rating for the "fruitcake with the E scow on Loch Lomond "?

 

We won't publish a number unless it has a reasonable foundation, which would require more than one fruitcake at one club.

 

30 fruitcakes at 30 clubs is probably just as good as one fleet of 30 in the Brit system.

 

Most scoring programmes widely used in the UK do indeed upload data to the RYAs on line system. Hopefully clubs are just getting the last of their early winter series results uploaded this week to feed into next season's numbers.

 

The none-obvious problems with multi number systems are two fold.

The first is that if you divide your classes into say three wind ranges you immediately dramatically reduce the number of classes that you have reasonably valid data for, because each number is represented by about one third the number of results, so the number of classes that you can publish results for plummets, and disproportionately too since there is a very pareto-esque distribution of class popularity, and a very long tail.

The second is that wind speed is just one of a number of factors. Current arguably has an even bigger effect on performance differences between the longest and shortest boats, in the UK with a huge variety of different venues the actual type of racecourse too is vital, but as soon as you try and allow for all of those you are into a minefield of complexity and even bigger problems trying to get reasonably well founded numbers.

 

And, to be honest, there's quite a lot to be said for every dog having its day. Noone gets to win on a magic handicap, since crew speed differentials are so much greater than boat speed, but if your club has a dozen crews of roughly similar ability then its by no means a bad thing if they all get to share the race wins rather than having Jane and Bob win every week.

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RaceQs might be a really neat app but it's incredibly difficult to get working. Particularly if you use a 'modern' browser such as Chrome 64bit that doesn't support the plug ins that are used.

 

I don't see myself as stupid but I've had several attempts, all fruitless. The first one had a 35ft yacht parked on the grass at the lake I was sailing my 14ft cat on! (yes I know how to fix that but only with an F18 cat).

 

We are talking dinghy's here too so everyone would need at least an Android 2 phone with a GPS to record races, a waterproof container and somewhere to put it.

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None the less, it would generate easily transmitted data, that isn't fudged by anyone. There will always be some problems with a handicapping system, no matter how you do it. At least, if you had an app that compiled the data and averaged it(them?), it wouldn't require some dear soul to do all the work. It would also be updated at some interval(automatically if you desired).

 

We have about 20 boats that race from time to time. There really is only one OD fleet(J22), and only about 6 of them race each year. Of the rest, most times there is one or two of the same OD in a race.

 

Still, it is a lot of fun, and you don't have to drive 150 miles to and again back from a race. There may be 5 of the 20 boats that are newer than 10 years old. I have one of the newer ones, and maybe the oldest one (42 year old International Tempest).

 

As far as RaceQ's, if you look at the youtube videos, it helps. I run it on an iphone, no problem. Takes a bit of learning to set the race up, but it is all explained in the videos.

 

Take a look at the Texas Centerboard Class. The seem to have a lot of fun and do a series of races. (I really need to take my dinghy and join them!!)

 

US307

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+1 Mambo

My point has been that the US is lacking an organization to promote and administer any dinghy handicap system. I hav'nt seen USS doing that.. Using the communication and data crunching tools that exist today and adding a little intregrity and common sense.we could create an environment that would increase numbers in small boat racing and improve the general sailing scene in the US. PROMOTE is a big part of the equation..

There are too many areas where open class dinghys are considered lepers so the folks just don't show up. In truth, an increase in open dinghy classes would increase OD racing too. The RYA model could be a good place to start.

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Jim C wrote

 

 

30 fruitcakes at 30 clubs is probably just as good as one fleet of 30 in the Brit system.

 

We agree. you need 30 unique owners.... Not one owner... 30 times.. the Brit system is correct to not publish a rating for the E scow on the loch.

The issue is... what to do with fruitcake and his e scow on a loch in scotland?

My suggestion... interpolate the E scow rating from the US tables and give him a UK number and let him race in the club. Turn the data in yearly and Trust the wonks running the UK system to not issue a rating based on 30 results from one guy.

 

My two points here are that a killer app is not a panacea AND most importantly does not solve the problem of the requirement of widespread participation for these handicap systems to work and suck in new designs.

 

I suggest, that clubs honor the principles of handicap racing and provide an opportunity for fruitcakes with oddball boats to race.

When you get "a fleet" of a new design racing against "fleets" of yardstick boats.... THAT is the time to collect the data, fire up the killer app, get the returns in and crank the numbers.

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Jim C wrote

 

The none-obvious problems with multi number systems are two fold.

I see more data needed as a limitation and not a problem. Over time, the data set will fill out. So, what am i missing that is a problem.

 

AS to current and course and windspeed effects being about equal and a nightmare to manage... Indeed ...... arguable!

There is no doubt that sailing a balanced course versus an unbalanced course is a challenge to a handicap system using time on time. Does the extra weather leg balance out the less time spent going down wind on time on time racing? Again, this is a data coding issue also impacts the amount of data. It seems to me, that the handicap system just has to declare where they find their final table to be "most accurate" and let the clubs decide how to run races to be fair to all competitors. The USA system stated that the table was based on balanced W L race courses lasting at least 30 minutes to an hour in length. Your point is also true that many races would fail to meet the standard and so the amount of data you collect must go up (otherwise, garbage in... garbage out).

IMO, What ever the RC decides... will indeed be arguable...and the best you can do is be transparent.

 

The impact of current on waterline would probably not come up in a discussion /bitch session on handicap racing in the US. You don't hear war stories about how the current swept all of the 18 footers down the course and let those pesky little 14s and 16 foot boats avoid the worst of it and get around the weather mark. So, without war stories/horror stories and measurable data.... current effects on ratings on this side of the pond is not a big issue. So, it may be an important issue... but its not viewed as a problem.

 

The impact of windspeed on handicap racing is a constant point of discussion.

What you do hear about is the effect of wind velocity relative to the power in the designs on the water. A single number system ignores the physics of the overpowered design flying a hull (getting on plane... etc) and leaving the other designs dead in the water (so to speak) How can this be fair etc etc. It has nothing to do with sailing skill in winning a race! SO the question becomes, would not a handicap table that took this power factor into account be more fair in removing the boat class from the equation of who won the race? Perception that a single number system is inherently unfair before you even rig the boat for the day of racing is, IMO, a problem. Again, this is arguable... and the argument reaches a head when I hear; the club A class sailors are not racing if its "howing" 20 knots while the club F18s are saying... HEY, this is just getting sporty.... You can't have the racing shortened just because its windy now....

 

So, we agree... the issue is arguable and the amount of valid data is a limiting factor.

The USA notion is that the handicap table is attempting to eliminate the boat design as a factor and thereby recreate a "one design level of racing" the multihull users adopted the wind tables for buoys racing before the system cratered (AND it was always a red headed stepchild to one design competition)

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Jim C wrote

 

The none-obvious problems with multi number systems are two fold.

I see more data needed as a limitation and not a problem. Over time, the data set will fill out. So, what am i missing that is a problem.

 

We don't use data over 3 years old: classes change all the time, and its really not sensible to do so. So we have a pretty good idea how big our data set is. There are too many classes that are a bit marginal on data anyway.

If you look at the published data we list the number of data points we have for each class, and while we have 21,000 race results over the last 3 years for Lasers, we have only 247 for a class as significant as the 49er: that's how much it drops off at the bottom of the curve...

http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/technical/Web%20Documents/PY%20Documentation/PN%20List%202016%20(Web%20Version).pdf

 

Current is a huge factor: one of our major tidal clubs recalculates all their numbers with an empirical formula to allow for current. Bucking a 3 knot tide in a boat that does 5 knots is a lot different to a 3 knot tide in a boat that does 10 knots, and they have a lot of 3 knot tides.

 

Empirical handicapping is the art of the possible really. While we might idly dream about the wonderful things we might be able to do in the future with mode detailed data and all the rest of it, practically speaking in the UK at the moment the single number system does seem to be the least worst compromise. At the moment the main thing we are looking it is ways for clubs at similar venues to be able to combine results so as to get water specific values for their most popular classes. On the whole that seems to be a more popular focus than wind related handicaps.

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+1 Mambo

My point has been that the US is lacking an organization to promote and administer any dinghy handicap system. I hav'nt seen USS doing that.. Using the communication and data crunching tools that exist today and adding a little intregrity and common sense.we could create an environment that would increase numbers in small boat racing and improve the general sailing scene in the US. PROMOTE is a big part of the equation..

There are too many areas where open class dinghys are considered lepers so the folks just don't show up. In truth, an increase in open dinghy classes would increase OD racing too. The RYA model could be a good place to start.

Promote what exactly?

 

Yacht clubs should offer open handicap class dinghy starts? I am sure the clubs would if you could promise them a critical mass of boats. Perhaps they have filled up their race circles for the regatta but there are plenty of clubs who would love more participation. This is not the "Field of Dreams"... build it and they will come meme..... (AND Remember.... the they.... were ghosts!)

 

Until the one design classes in your region decide that participating in a three boat one design race is not more fun then racing in a six boat handicap race.... you won't have any opportunities to add in 3 open class dinghies. The three open class dinghies will have to function as a class and show up at handicap races. with the three boats that they have. (That means that they have to ORGANIZE like a one design class and get the buy in and commitment from the sailors for a season schedule)

 

Now... you could promote handicap racing to one design dinghy classes.. However, I am not sure how the National Sailing authority would have a role to play here... It will look like a zero sum game to most and the small OD classes would see themselves as loosing if the national sailing authority recomended such a course of action. Promotion must be at the local sailor level. One design class MEMBERS have to decide that handicap racing is a way to strenghten their class and not the kiss of death.

 

The peice to figure out is.... In the UK.... how fixed are dinghy sailors on mostly competing in one design.... Would they prefer a three boat OD start/race over a 6 boat handicap race at their club?

Would they pack their boat up and travel to another club for a handicap race? Is there a bit more lattitude in organizing dinghy racing in the UK.

 

Severn Sailing Association is the strongest dinghy club in the mid atlantic region and they don't do handicap racing at the club.... their OD sailors just don't wanna. They will race small classes till the bitter end.. They certainly are not packing their boat up and traveling to a club one river down the bay and racing handicap there. They would also decline to offer a start to a handicap class because they value the leverage they have... (if you want to race dinghies in Annapolis... then you sell your boat and get one of the ones we use at the club)

 

So, my question to you would be... Promote what.... and to whom..... clubs?, classes?, OD Sailors?. Open class dinghy sailors? Then of course... Who exactly should be doing the promotion.... US sailing.. Builders, RSA's, Clubs, OD Classes, Handicap class officials, individual sailors.?

 

In my view, these essentially people issues are much more difficult then the machinery of getting a handicap table that is accurate and fair.

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+1 Mambo

My point has been that the US is lacking an organization to promote and administer any dinghy handicap system. I hav'nt seen USS doing that.. Using the communication and data crunching tools that exist today and adding a little intregrity and common sense.we could create an environment that would increase numbers in small boat racing and improve the general sailing scene in the US. PROMOTE is a big part of the equation..

There are too many areas where open class dinghys are considered lepers so the folks just don't show up. In truth, an increase in open dinghy classes would increase OD racing too. The RYA model could be a good place to start.

Promote what exactly?

 

Yacht clubs should offer open handicap class dinghy starts? I am sure the clubs would if you could promise them a critical mass of boats. Chicken and egg. But if U don't offer it I'm pretty sure they won't come Perhaps they have filled up their race circles for the regatta Whose dreaming now but there are plenty of clubs who would love more participation. This is not the "Field of Dreams"... build it and they will come meme..... (AND Remember.... the they.... were ghosts!)

 

Until the one design classes in your region decide that participating in a three boat one design race is not more fun then racing in a six boat handicap race.... you won't have any opportunities to add in 3 open class dinghies. The three open class dinghies will have to function as a class and show up at handicap races. with the three boats that they have. (That means that they have to ORGANIZE like a one design class and get the buy in and commitment from the sailors for a season schedule)

 

Now... you could promote handicap racing to one design dinghy classes.. However, I am not sure how the National Sailing authority would have a role to play here... It will look like a zero sum game to most and the small OD classes would see themselves as loosing if the national sailing authority recomended such a course of action. Promotion must be at the local sailor level. One design class MEMBERS have to decide that handicap racing is a way to strenghten their class and not the kiss of death.

 

The peice to figure out is.... In the UK.... how fixed are dinghy sailors on mostly competing in one design.... Would they prefer a three boat OD start/race over a 6 boat handicap race at their club?

Would they pack their boat up and travel to another club for a handicap race? Is there a bit more lattitude in organizing dinghy racing in the UK.

 

Severn Sailing Association is the strongest dinghy club in the mid atlantic region and they don't do handicap racing at the club.... their OD sailors just don't wanna. They will race small classes till the bitter end.. They certainly are not packing their boat up and traveling to a club one river down the bay and racing handicap there. They would also decline to offer a start to a handicap class because they value the leverage they have... (if you want to race dinghies in Annapolis... then you sell your boat and get one of the ones we use at the club)

 

So, my question to you would be... Promote what.... and to whom..... clubs?, classes?, OD Sailors?. Open class dinghy sailors? Then of course... Who exactly should be doing the promotion.... US sailing..How about a new organization that will get the job done Builders Could help, RSA's, Clubs,Could help OD Classes, Could help Handicap class officials,An Oxymoron individual sailors.Could help? Why so many posts and threads re: no OD racing in my area, sailing diminishing etc etc. Not too many posts re our last regatta had too many entrants.

Before writing I reviewed USS site looking for anything re openclass dinghy racing. .....I rest my case. I'm old enough to remember the red Lobster cup and other open class regattas that were truly memorable. I've participated in several Mug races with over open class 250 entries. Doing 22 minute W/L races in lasers is not everyones cup of tea. I dearly love my present club but with lasers, sunfish and the only double hander being a 420 we are waining. Not every single hander wants to sail a laser or every couple wants a 420 or lighting. They want to sail their boat. Why don't we fucking get it!

 

In my view, these essentially people issues are much more difficult then the machinery of getting a handicap table that is accurate and fair.

 

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Handicap class officials,An Oxymoron individual sailors.Could help? Why so many posts and threads re: no OD racing in my area, sailing diminishing etc etc. Not too many posts re our last regatta had too many entrants.

Indeed a chicken and egg problem.

 

However, I can tell you that in working with Yacht clubs that have NO members sailing handicap dinghies OR for that matter OD classes and you want a start in their event.... You Need organization! They want to know things....and they need somebody accountable that they can get on the phone and by digital means.

 

When things go sideways.... the club needs somebody to work it out with....... For instance... when the lightning fleet declared... they were not coming back to the club if the open fleet got a start... A conversation had to happen.

 

ghosts don't answer the phone...

 

Whether its Open class... or OD class.... the operative word is CLASS.... meaning class leaders, organization, rule sets etc.

 

Remember... this is not key west... Everybody on the local level is volunteering... nobody is entitled to squat. If the three boats are happy racing one design and don't wanna play in handicap.... OK... it is what they value... But the conversation was had.

 

One design classses are loosing members every year... Open class fleets have even fewer ties that bind the group. It is a lot of effort.

 

stuart walkers advice to me (and anyone who would read his book) about building and maintaining OD fleets.... When you loose the last member in your pecking order of the fleet.... you have a new last member.... Pretty soon.... you have nobody.... So... the most important person in the fleet is the last member in the pecking order. With respect to an open class.... well... you have to get enough critical mass... to even have a pecking order..

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I think our club has been remiss, and not sending in race results. I will try and get that going again this year, see what happens.

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you state

 

More sailors = more data = better model

Why do you think data collected from the fruitcake with the E scow on Loch Lomond is meaningful in any way?

Do you think E Scows have gotten measurably faster in the years since their hey day in what the 70s?? In the USA.... the answer would be NO... the class design peak performance was measured in its hey day against the yardstick boats (also sailed in their hey day).... It should not change.

 

In the UK....the system is based on fleet medians if I understand correctly.. But again... the fruitcake data is one off and the UK system would punt as well.

 

I see the appeal of a unified table run by the brits... but think this issue is best left alone... (and then best driven by the Brits .... however after Brexit... they seem to be more insular these days)

 

I think my post was misunderstood by some.

 

I advocate a simple unified PY Yardstick rating. I advocate choosing one calculation (the underlying algorithm is almost identical) and pooling all the data.

More Sailors = More Data = Better Models.

 

I gave two sets of examples .

1. The US RS Aero Fleet would be better off because their data would include the much larger UK RS Aero fleet. The UK Viper fleet would be better off because their data would include the much larger US Viper fleet. Both sides of the Atlantic would be better off because More data = a better model for both classes.

2. The individual eccentric boat owners on both sides of the Atlantic would be better off. If there is a Merlin Rocket (sigh gorgeous boat) in the US it would be impossible to get a US PY rating because there are no Merlins on our side of the pond BUT if there was a pooled PY system, he (or she) could get a meaningful valid rating because it would be based on the 100s of Merlins in the UK.

If there was an E Scow owner in the UK, it would be impossible to get a PY rating because there is no E scow data in the UK database but there are 100s of E scows in the US and a unified single rating for the Escow would be accurate and allow said Escow on loch lomond to race against the local Squibs and RS 400s in a meaningful way.

 

 

Do you think E Scows have gotten measurably faster in the years since their hey day in what the 70s?? In the USA.... the answer would be NO...

 

In the US, the answer would be a resounding YES.

Because they adopted a massive assym spinnaker about 5-7 years ago.

But Im not sure what that has to do with the benefits of pooling the two systems into one system.

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Quote

Do you think E Scows have gotten measurably faster in the years since their hey day in what the 70s?? In the USA.... the answer would be NO...

 

In the US, the answer would be a resounding YES.

Because they adopted a massive assym spinnaker about 5-7 years ago.

But Im not sure what that has to do with the benefits of pooling the two systems into one system.

This is the exact problem in managing two systems.... The coding issue is one of the major problems.

 

One of the last events I scored had a local fleet of Chesapeake 20s competing in a distance race. A Chesapeake 20 is a local design, two person dinghy with a Star Rig. Native to the Western shore of the bay.

 

The USPN table listed a Chesapeake Dinghy. That is the rating used for the past 15 or so years... and coincidentally the 20's usually won the distance race until A cats started competing.

 

Having been on the PN Committee... I don't remember seeing PN Data for anything called Chesapeake.... So, a conversation with an old timer from the EASTERN shore.... yielded... OH.. Yeah.... we had a Chesapeake dinghy when I was a kid... it was a precurser to the laser... you know... single handed dinghy..

 

Ooops.. The coding problems are an issue between the left shore and the right shore of the same bay.... So, I can't imagine the issues between either side of the pond.

 

It's a wonderful idea... but the devil is in the details.

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14 boats out Sunday. 505's, Flying Scotts, RS Aero,Jet14, Lasers and Wayfarers.

 

We have rotating RC and everyone records times and wind readings then sends them to our scorer. Nothing's perfect but we get boats on the water, everyone competes intensely and it works.

 

Way to go!

 

The HPDO at American Yacht Club has always had a PY Division to pick up the high performance dinghies that wanted to be at the event but could not get a full fleet together.

https://www.facebook.com/HeinekenHPDO?ref=hl

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Simple is best...

Simple is .... well simple..... perhaps you mean user friendly?

Best is a value.... do you mean Accurate? Fair? Precise? Good enough for a beer can race? How about all of these values applied at wind ranges form 3 to 25 knots. My car is simple to use... but under the hood... it is now half computer. Not simple in principle.. just simple to use.

 

Maybe... "simple is best" does not work when you try and rate a brand new UFO (foiler at breeze) against a laser in a club race or try and rate a Moth... vintage 1980 versus a Moth vintage 2017.

 

The thing about a value like "Best" .... it can change in an instant for any individual... Yesterday... they were happy with the ratings table in 7 knots of breeze...... tomorrow.... they don't value the table when they have to sail in 15 knots of breeze... "Yo... handicap racing is a POS and waste of my time" (a sentiment often heard at the bar after racing)

 

You are better off building a system based on your principles. I would prefer to build a rating system around the principle of Fair Competition from 3 to 25 knots. Simple would not enter into this principle.

 

YMMV but I think the nonlinearity inherent in racing lasers against 2016 moths means you need wind speed ratings. Now with a laptop .... you enter one more number after elapsed time, sail number/class ... So... now you measure and enter wind speed average. ( I loose the argument most of the time.... to the demand for Simple.... so take my point of view for what its worth)

 

William of Occham...had right idea. As most history has shown, simple is best (any value you want) in the beginning and always best later! Truth is simple, as an example, uncomplicated...means to an end...not other way round.

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Has anyone tried different ratings for different wind bands?

We have a few classes that go from bulldog to greyhound as the wind increases.

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Sure, all the time in the ninetys and before. More work for the R/C but helped level the playing field. Ratings for different wind speeds are published in the USS portsmouth handbook.

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I salute the Thistle sailor who despite being 10 portsmouth points faster could win an 11 minute race. Very hard to do.

So, I will answer this straight up. The start is everything, assuming even start, a boat with a 93 index finishes a race in 11 minutes, Thistle finishes in 9.5 minutes, Thistle wins!

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I'm currently in a club for which mixed fleet racing is the only option.  One problem we face is arguments over the assigned US Sailing D-PNs.   

We have a very wide range of boats - J-22s to Sunfish. The fleet covers several discussible numbers  such as:  American 14-6s (96.3), Holder 14s (93.2), O'Day Mariner 19 (104), Hunter 212 (93.2), and new model Hunter 22 for which we've been using the H216 number (90.8). (The H22 is listed by US Sailing at 96.5, compared to the 212 at 93.2!)

I've been following Portsmouth handicapping for a long time., and I'm aware of the problems of really "fair"  comparisons over a range of boat types, design objectives, wind conditions, etc. However, I'm wondering how other clubs have dealt with the issue.

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Work it out, start is 90% of it, unless drag race...something has to work and Portsmouth seems closer to reality than most; Rest is flotsam, IMHO. Work it out.

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On 2/1/2017 at 0:38 AM, Mambo Kings said:

 

I think my post was misunderstood by some.

 

I advocate a simple unified PY Yardstick rating. I advocate choosing one calculation (the underlying algorithm is almost identical) and pooling all the data.

More Sailors = More Data = Better Models.

 

I gave two sets of examples .

1. The US RS Aero Fleet would be better off because their data would include the much larger UK RS Aero fleet. The UK Viper fleet would be better off because their data would include the much larger US Viper fleet. Both sides of the Atlantic would be better off because More data = a better model for both classes.

2. The individual eccentric boat owners on both sides of the Atlantic would be better off. If there is a Merlin Rocket (sigh gorgeous boat) in the US it would be impossible to get a US PY rating because there are no Merlins on our side of the pond BUT if there was a pooled PY system, he (or she) could get a meaningful valid rating because it would be based on the 100s of Merlins in the UK.

If there was an E Scow owner in the UK, it would be impossible to get a PY rating because there is no E scow data in the UK database but there are 100s of E scows in the US and a unified single rating for the Escow would be accurate and allow said Escow on loch lomond to race against the local Squibs and RS 400s in a meaningful way.

 

 

In the US, the answer would be  the boata resounding YES.

Because they adopted a massive assym spinnaker about 5-7 years ago.

But Im not sure what that has to do with the benefits of pooling the two systems into one system.

Great idea, in this modern era of zippy-zap communications & data, why is it not already happening?

Also, there -is- at least one Merlin Rocket in the US. I've seen it twice

FB- Doug

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We had 19 boats competing in 4 Portsmouth races Sunday.

1 505, 1 Contender, 1 Musto Skiff, 1 Laser 2, 1 Windmill, 3 Thistles, 2 Flying Scotts and 9 Lasers. Lots of fun and the usual Chili social afterwards.

Next race day Sunday the 3rd. Competitors meeting at noon and first gun at 1.  We use 3 minute signal starts in our winter series.  If you're in Central NC you should come out and join us.sis_csc_winter_2017-18.pdf

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11 hours ago, dburchfiel said:

We had 19 boats competing in 4 Portsmouth races Sunday.

1 505, 1 Contender, 1 Musto Skiff, 1 Laser 2, 1 Windmill, 3 Thistles, 2 Flying Scotts and 9 Lasers. Lots of fun and the usual Chili social afterwards.

Next race day Sunday the 3rd. Competitors meeting at noon and first gun at 1.  We use 3 minute signal starts in our winter series.  If you're in Central NC you should come out and join us.sis_csc_winter_2017-18.pdf

the best part was that it was a coaching race. for people at the back of the fleet it was great to get help from the racers around me regarding what I was doing wrong (which is many, many things).

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Another successful turnout for the Portsmouth fleet Sunday. 13 boats, 4 races. I'm sure we would have had more if the wind hadn't been forecast 2-4!

2 Sunfish, 5 Lasers, 3 Flying Scots, 2 Thistles and a 420.  The 505 Boys were doing RC.

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On 1/18/2017 at 11:51 AM, Tcatman said:

Handicap racing tables are about a PROCESS... the table is just the latest result. The table has credibility and buy in by the sailors when they support the process.

 

So, the first thing is to decide what is the underlying philosophy behind your process.

Jim C writes for the UK.

So then.... you need club racing... and you need active fleets to make this system work.... ASSUMING you can get race data.

 

Jim makes a strong case for why the UK system makes lots of statistical sense and of course... it is supported by the sailors.. So... they have a valid process and strong buy in from the sailors.

 

The problem in the US... for all of the classes not being included or updated.... are not active fleets racing in clubs .... They are one off racers.... Any data they produce is more of a personal handicap for the helm then a class rating for the design. Using the UK system in the US would have a flawed process underyling it and No buy in from the sailors.

 

The US portsmouth system is very different in philosophy. I wrote.

In the US system... the top finishing boat in class is recorded... and the statistics are based on those results compared to yardsticks.

Its an interesting issue comparing the UK and USA philosophies... but for the future of US handicap racing...

 

The underlying assumptions for this system to work properly are not in place in 2017. They are similar to .. the UK criteria.. of active fleets racing in clubs and again.... for the boats not in the tables.... the US does not have valid data coming from viable fleets racing against yardstick FLEETS and the system as designed can't work properly.

 

What's worse, because of the philosophy/design of the US system.... a single pro sailor could race the boat against yardstick boats and generate the underlying data for the class Or they could sandbag and generate data. The US system could codify an individual handicap rating as a class rating.. So.... what to do.... the under lying process is fatally flawed and If you continue to use it... you will loose the buy in from the larger population of sailors who have used it for years.

 

So.... I understand a club saying... we have all of this data... I understand a racer with an atypical ride wanting a solution. Unfortunately the USA PROCESS is not in place and valid.

 

The USA solution is for the sailing clubs with participation from the one off or new designs is to form a committe, guestimate, WAG, PHRF... go to the sage on high.... whatever, in a transparent system that works for your club members and publish a modified table with this rating used in the table. Demark the new rating somehow and brand it with the club name... (Carolina sailing club WETA rating) When two or three clubs do this... You will have 3 ratings and then a conference call at the beginning of the season and perhaps you find a consensus rating for the new design.. Sailor participation will tell you when you get it about right..

 

So... colored printers/spreadsheets that highlight the PHRF class rating. A handicap committee in clubs with members sailing the one off designs and a conference call/ forum discussion at the beginning of the North American season... and you have a NEW Process that will probably get buy in from sailors. You won't corrupt the 20th century Portsmouth ratings, you will have integrity of the process, transparency and more then likely support from the sailors on the water for the actual racing.

This makes a lot of sense.

And for the OD only crowd I'll reply as someone living in an area where OD is the only thing you can do and I've been doing it for over 25 years.  There are those of us that have their OD boats but look at a new boat like a Melges 14, VX/Evo, Musto Skiff, or even a single handed 29'er, and want to go have some fast fun.  Most US OD boats are extremely old with many problems that surround facing something from your grandfather's day.  Then I have watched someone move into the area and have some old boat that was popular where they last raced for 40 years and consider one of the local OD because otherwise they cannot race.  Then I never see them again.

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Can we save Portsmouth handicap racing?

 

The answer is a big yesbut the answer is a lot easier than actually doing it. Mostly good observations and comments so far. It is obvious that the existing organization supposedly administrating the US Portsmouth handicapping system is not working nor has any intention. A new organization or group  must be developed  to do it. With todays technology it could be far better than just fixing or continuing the existing system. There isn't any situation mentioned in this thread that couldn't be resolved by a knowledgeable group. There will always be situations where a handicapping system will not meet the standards of strict OD racing but in the meantime a lot of sailors could be having  fun racing their boats on weekends. Many already are, using whats available but it could be a hell of a lot better.

"Lead ,follow or get out of the way"  It's time. Any takers?

John D

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I'm handy with a spreadsheet and could move to a database, I would be interested.  My time in the local YRA would be useful to reaching out to regional clubs and see if there is interest in submitting data.  But first comes the hard work of determining how to create and track ratings that will be reasonable and not generate resentment.  Also a simple method to report races by boats, something online and either performed manually or uploaded via a .csv.  I think that approaching the USSA and the RYA would be a good first step, no reason to re-invent their processes.  It might even be a good idea to consider dumping USSA D-PN and moving to RYA PN and if USSA is willing, take old USSA data and re-rate old classes into the RYA PN.  The world doesn't need more ratings systems and dinghy ratings are not likely to go VPP based.  As part of that process I would warn competitors that ratings will always be conservative when first applied so as to not upset apple carts and encourage new boats to continue to submit data.  And all new ratings would be required to be reviewed yearly for a minimum of 10 years.  Make this and more part of the mission statement.  I would also keep an open mind to the idea that the USSA would like to have volunteers pull this together and work inside of the USSA.

And the obligatory warning.  If you have no idea how hard it is to work for a YRA or handicap committee I would recommend seeking counsel before considering this effort.  Lead underwear, crocodile skin thickness, and a constant willingness to listen is required.  Your hard work will occasionally be rewarded with a thorough ripping apart by know-nothings at clubs, bars, and places like SA.  And you'll have to read and listen patiently as well as remain professional throughout less your work be undermined by petty arguments.

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We send all of our scores into the black hole of US Sailing.  There is no committee to keep things updated and the sad thing is they don't care.  Lets face it the money is in big boats and like most things in this country US sailing has gotten to the point where that's all that counts.

We use the published portsmouth numbers when available and sign them when they are not often using the RYC numbers as a benchmark.

Regardless no handicap system is perfect but it has had the intended affect of getting more boats on the water, increasing competition and sailing skill.  During our winter series we wave Rule 41 so that experienced or skilled sailors can help out those less so. We'r even discussing waving it for our Championship series.  I have talked to many sailors in the area trying to get them to come out and race with us.  A big deterrent to their participation is intimidation.  Many are self taught, don't know the rules etc.  We have been able to convince several new sailors to join us by waving the rule.

I tried for several years to get a local Laser sailor to join without luck.  I would see him on the lake whenever the whitecaps showed up but he had never raced. He finally joined a few years ago where he was at the back of the fleet.  He's now at the front and one of our biggest recruiters.

At the club level I think whatever it takes to get more boats on the water and increase everyones skill is what needs to be done.  The majority of our sailors travel to OD regatta's and our club hosts some as well.

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2 hours ago, dburchfiel said:

Another 14 boats on the water yesterday. Thistles, Flying Scots, Lasers, Sunfish a 420 and a 505.

A couple of Wayfarers too!

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16 hours ago, dgmckim said:
19 hours ago, dburchfiel said:

Another 14 boats on the water yesterday. Thistles, Flying Scots, Lasers, Sunfish a 420 and a 505.

A couple of Wayfarers too!

Wot ?!!?!?! No Buccaneers?

FB- Doug

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18 hours ago, Lifesave said:

Just wondering dburchfiel. Do you travel to other clubs to race PN or do you just race there? 

I travel all over the country to sail in 505 regattas but sail Portsmouth with our club.

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5 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Wot ?!!?!?! No Buccaneers?

FB- Doug

Surprising huh!  Our club's largest one design fleet and we seldom get them out in the winter even though we can keep our boats mast up for FREE for our winter series.

If you're ever in town you should come out and sail with us.  We miss you since you set off to New Bern.

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So the answer is a NO I don't sail PN anywhere but my club. Same trouble we are having here in TX. People want you to come travel to their club but won't come to ours. Just wondered. 

 

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On 12/19/2017 at 9:46 PM, Lifesave said:

So the answer is a NO I don't sail PN anywhere but my club. Same trouble we are having here in TX. People want you to come travel to their club but won't come to ours. Just wondered. 

 

I don't even know what other clubs have Portsmouth racing.  I've wanted to attend the HPDO for years but it's always been at our busiest time of year at work and haven't been able to.

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I read in Sailing World that US Sailing was going to at least post the tables outside the login. But I don't thing that happened. I would like to mail in some results from our club, but don't have a clue how.  At our club we sail almost exclusively Portsmouth Yardstick. Participation is down. Our biggest Regatta in the fall  is the oldest continuous running PY regatta in the US, I think 2018 will be the 57th.

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3 hours ago, eyeshotpar said:

I read in Sailing World that US Sailing was going to at least post the tables outside the login. But I don't thing that happened. I would like to mail in some results from our club, but don't have a clue how.  At our club we sail almost exclusively Portsmouth Yardstick. Participation is down. Our biggest Regatta in the fall  is the oldest continuous running PY regatta in the US, I think 2018 will be the 57th.

The handbook with tables downloads as a pdf now.

http://www.ussailing.org/racing/offshore-big-boats/portsmouth-yardstick-handbook/

It does not include the inactive  classes table, not sure if that is available 

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Interesting thread.  My opinion is that Portsmouth racing doesn't need saving in the US, people just need to do it.  Get away from the chest pounding one design mantra and get people out on the water.  My home club, Fort Walton YC (www.fwyc.org) has a Summer Portsmouth Series and a Winter Portsmouth Series.  The winter series is called the Frosty Nipple.  Anything 21 feet and under is allowed to enter for $5.00 entry.  Four races a day, with typical race times from 14-25 minutes, W/L twice around, and at times a triangle.  The club gets Viper 640's, Nacra 17's, Laser, Sunfish, Vanguard 15's, 420's, Force Fives, etc out there.  

 

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