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Multihull Rating Help - Got Ideas?


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#1 Wess

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:32 PM

I have a distinct feeling I am going to regret asking this but here goes nothing.

My guess is either that nobody has a clue or much flaming and bashing will result, both of which I would love to avoid. But it is SA...

OK, here we go.

Lets say you have a bunch of multihull sailors who have some reasonable set (weekend warrier) of racing skills and they would like very much to fairly race their multihulls against one another. Alas the types of boats range widely from more cruisers such as a Gemini 105 catamaran, to powered-up racer such as a Seacart 30 tri with various other in between such as my own beloved F27F. Also in the mix are some semi one-off boats like a Corsair 43 and Catri trimarans.

These are all nice folks all who would like to go racing with the fairest system they could find noting that none of them have boatloads of money or insight into such things as determining rating and who/what does it best. Some are busy frostbiting Lasers while others are off cruising the Carib for the winter. But we dream of a system we know not how to build!

Should it help produce intelligent insights, said kind peole race in an area with generally light airs (less than 10 knots), big chop and mostly ww/lw courses (limited reaching due to geography and breeze patterns).

So, other than drink heavily and go race OD (I do that but like my multi too) who would you talk to... what system would you use... might we find already established data/ratings on line?

OK, flame away. I am prepared to take a beating here in the hopes of finding one or two useful ideas!!

Wess

#2 BeachbumII

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:50 PM

Multi2000.



#3 TheFlash

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 04:53 PM

Texel



#4 Tucky

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:11 PM

New England Multihull Assoc. (NEMA) has managed a PHRF type system for years that serves this purpose well. It includes skipper performance in the mix, especially for boats like the Farrier/Corsairs where there are multiple copies which are similar but not identical.



#5 wombat 12m

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 06:18 PM

In the UK we use the  MOCRA  rating system. Also used by RORC for events like the fastnet and Caribbean 600.rates everything from Banque populaire V down to an F24.

 Other rating systems that are very similar are Dutch Texel , Australian OMR and the previously mentioned French Multi2000.I doubt theres much to choose between them so take your pick. They will all give better racing than PHRF



#6 TheFlash

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 06:30 PM

and they might help you avoid the political shit fights that PHRF can bring.

 

An option. if you like the idea of skipper handicapping, is to use something like Texel to start, and then start a golf handicapping system. I believe the folks in Los Angeles do that.



#7 Trov„o

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 06:42 PM

In the UK we use the  MOCRA  rating system. Also used by RORC for events like the fastnet and Caribbean 600.rates everything from Banque populaire V down to an F24.

 Other rating systems that are very similar are Dutch Texel , Australian OMR and the previously mentioned French Multi2000.I doubt theres much to choose between them so take your pick. They will all give better racing than PHRF

 

here in brasil we usw the mocra too.



#8 Wess

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 08:12 PM

Thanks for the ideas - and I need to find some time to research - but are rating for most multihulls already available on line for some of these systems (Texel, MOCRA, etc...) or would folks need pay/get measured/etc...??

 

Even if I could find rating for many of the more popular boats on-line, I am wondering about the few one-offs we have and if I need a rocket scientist to produce a rating after the owner spends tons of $s to get measured.



#9 TheFlash

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 08:13 PM

IIRC, with texel, you need sail areas, weights.  not hull designs.



#10 wombat 12m

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 08:57 PM

The mocra,multi2000,omr and texel systems are all formula based.You need to weigh and measure sails of the individual boats.This is the major difference between them and the American systems.It is not enough to say all F27's are the same because they are not. Here in the uk there is a spread in weight of over 200kgs between the lightest and heaviest f27's. That equates to a 15% speed difference.You need to have a comittee member witness weighing and make sure it's done in a pre determined condition and the same goes for sails.

           THe mocra system has approimately 35 parameters that are then inputted into a spreadsheet and hey presto it spits out your rating. It doesn't take long to measure a boat but the methodology needs to be consistant .

   This spreadsheet has been given to the Brazilians, if I remember rightly for a small one off fee, and they are then free to administer/amend as they see fit. Im sure if other countries or association wish to use it then you just need to approach mocra via one of the officials.



#11 mowgli

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:16 PM

some sites were you can find ratings 

http://www.texelrating.org

http://www.mycq.org.au/omr/

https://sites.google...te/mocrarating/

http://www.flerskrog...multihull-rules



#12 soma

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:46 PM

You know the ping pong ball filled, plexiglass globe with a fan that they use for the lottery? Yeah. That. At least no one can complain about fixing.

Just joking.

Weighing is problematic with cats and tris (facilities, cost, complexity). Any rating is terribly inexact without actual weights, though. Hence the lottery.

#13 Peter Hackett

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:58 PM

So what about the relative merits of the rating systems? We use OMR extensively in AUS and most small boat sailors feel that in present form it heavily favours big heavy condomarans. It keeps us all happy when we have the numbers to race separate divisions, otherwise an F24 has little chance of ever beating a 6 tonne Pescott cat.

#14 Trov„o

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:02 PM

The mocra,multi2000,omr and texel systems are all formula based.You need to weigh and measure sails of the individual boats.This is the major difference between them and the American systems.It is not enough to say all F27's are the same because they are not. Here in the uk there is a spread in weight of over 200kgs between the lightest and heaviest f27's. That equates to a 15% speed difference.You need to have a comittee member witness weighing and make sure it's done in a pre determined condition and the same goes for sails.

           THe mocra system has approimately 35 parameters that are then inputted into a spreadsheet and hey presto it spits out your rating. It doesn't take long to measure a boat but the methodology needs to be consistant .

   This spreadsheet has been given to the Brazilians, if I remember rightly for a small one off fee, and they are then free to administer/amend as they see fit. Im sure if other countries or association wish to use it then you just need to approach mocra via one of the officials.

 

exactly.



#15 NUDDY

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:33 PM

So what about the relative merits of the rating systems? We use OMR extensively in AUS and most small boat sailors feel that in present form it heavily favours big heavy condomarans. It keeps us all happy when we have the numbers to race separate divisions, otherwise an F24 has little chance of ever beating a 6 tonne Pescott cat.

Yes, OMR does a great job of rating similar boats, eg standard F24 vs modified F24 vs f22 etc.
Not so good at cat vs Tri or small and light vs big and heavy.

#16 TheFlash

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:53 PM

I'm not sure there is any way to effectively rate multiple boat types across a wide range of conditions.  But, if the rating system is fair, every dog will have it's day.

 

For example, my boat is a little f'ed  (multi 23).  Much lighter than similar size corsairs, so we rate with bigger trimarans, but we can't hold upwind with the F31s and now have to compete with an F25c.  We're not even in the same ballpark as the uber beach cats (SL33, M32, D-class, etc) so we never even see them after the start.

 

But we still have a grand time.



#17 NUDDY

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:58 PM

I have a distinct feeling I am going to regret asking this but here goes nothing.My guess is either that nobody has a clue or much flaming and bashing will result, both of which I would love to avoid. But it is SA...OK, here we go.Lets say you have a bunch of multihull sailors who have some reasonable set (weekend warrier) of racing skills and they would like very much to fairly race their multihulls against one another. Alas the types of boats range widely from more cruisers such as a Gemini 105 catamaran, to powered-up racer such as a Seacart 30 tri with various other in between such as my own beloved F27F. Also in the mix are some semi one-off boats like a Corsair 43 and Catri trimarans.These are all nice folks all who would like to go racing with the fairest system they could find noting that none of them have boatloads of money or insight into such things as determining rating and who/what does it best. Some are busy frostbiting Lasers while others are off cruising the Carib for the winter. But we dream of a system we know not how to build!Should it help produce intelligent insights, said kind peole race in an area with generally light airs (less than 10 knots), big chop and mostly ww/lw courses (limited reaching due to geography and breeze patterns).So, other than drink heavily and go race OD (I do that but like my multi too) who would you talk to... what system would you use... might we find already established data/ratings on line?OK, flame away. I am prepared to take a beating here in the hopes of finding one or two useful ideas!!Wess


I am surprised that Bill Gibbs has not chimed in here so I will do my best in his absence.
You mentioned fair. Do you want fair, or do you want accurate. Do you want to equalise the golf clubs or to equalise the golf eras. Do you want a rating system where the best sailor on the day should win or do you want a handicap system where everyone who turns up every week gets their turn at winning.
Seems to me that most club racers are happiest with the latter and for that just about any system will do.
Back in the 80's when I sailed 470s we had a whole minutes system that was very easy to use.
The first 3 place getters on handicap had their handicap (in minutes) reduced by 3, 2, and 1 minute respectively.
When this takes anyone below zero everyone's handicap is increased to compensate.
This is an entirely objective system.
If you want accuracy rather than fairness then you need to weigh and measure every boat.

#18 Multihauler

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:17 AM

It is not enough to say all F27's are the same because they are not. Here in the uk there is a spread in weight of over 200kgs between the lightest and heaviest f27's. That equates to a 15% speed difference.

+1000

......and this is why the multihull ratings organizations who are using TEXEL, OMR, or MOCRA, need to rate each boat on it's own metrics, and not assume that all F-24s, F-27s and F-28s are all the same!!!

-MH

#19 Multihauler

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:19 AM

I'm not sure there is any way to effectively rate multiple boat types across a wide range of conditions.  But, if the rating system is fair, every dog will have it's day.
 
For example, my boat is a little f'ed  (multi 23).  Much lighter than similar size corsairs, so we rate with bigger trimarans, but we can't hold upwind with the F31s and now have to compete with an F25c.  We're not even in the same ballpark as the uber beach cats (SL33, M32, D-class, etc) so we never even see them after the start.
 
But we still have a grand time.

TheFlash,

Hopefully, with more boats on the water, BAMA will be able to take a close look at the 0-12 Raters this coming year. I agree that the Multi 23 is a bit upwind-challenged, however downwind the thing is hysterically fast. Also, while the F-25C' can be very fast in certain conditions, the F-31s are generally faster in the lighter stuff. This can be seen when looking at the ORCA ratings for the two boats. It is interesting to see that the Multi 23 seems to rate right up there in ORCA.

-MH

#20 pacice

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:45 AM

With either Multi's or Mono's, it is only possible to get a fair handicap among similar types of yachts, with similar performance profiles.

 

Otherwise the handicap is only a way of allocating the prizes among the fleet.



#21 Wess

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 12:49 PM

This thread sorts of highlights the problem.

To answer the question: What we are looking for is fair - as in the best sailor wins.

Problem is: That leads to a conclusion by most here that all boats must get weighed and go pay for some propriatary spreadsheet. Neither is going to happen for a variety of cost and practical reasons.

Which puts us back to where we started which is to try to find the fairest "base" numbers/rating from the fairest system we can find that is already on line and could be applied to the range of boats we have and then tweak those rating/numbers based on actual observation. Its a good group of people, looking to do a limited number of races exploring different rating approaches and they all likely could/would have the honest conversation of how well sailed the boat was on a given day and what worked did not which would allow some tweaking. Its not a bunch of trophy hunters.

What we want to do may not be doable but we are searching.

#22 NUDDY

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:04 PM

This thread sorts of highlights the problem.

To answer the question: What we are looking for is fair - as in the best sailor wins.

Problem is: That leads to a conclusion by most here that all boats must get weighed and go pay for some propriatary spreadsheet. Neither is going to happen for a variety of cost and practical reasons.

Which puts us back to where we started which is to try to find the fairest "base" numbers/rating from the fairest system we can find that is already on line and could be applied to the range of boats we have and then tweak those rating/numbers based on actual observation. Its a good group of people, looking to do a limited number of races exploring different rating approaches and they all likely could/would have the honest conversation of how well sailed the boat was on a given day and what worked did not which would allow some tweaking. Its not a bunch of trophy hunters.

What we want to do may not be doable but we are searching.

Not doable without weighing. 



#23 TheFlash

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 02:30 PM

then go with golf handicaps.  Start with some round number, and change their ratings after every race.



#24 BeachbumII

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 04:23 PM

Weighting is a must for even a semiaccurate rating. Whats the problem with weighting? Get an accurate crane based scale ( around 1000€ if i remember correctly )  and lift every boat. Takes like 15 mins / boat if you have spare lifting lines and proper lifting booms.



#25 wombat 12m

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 08:30 PM

weighing is not an issue here in the UK. MOCRA has its own load cell which is hired out for about £20 a time .Also very easy to hire one from any number of crane companies for about £40. We have around 120 boats that have been weighed and therefore we have a very equitable system were the best salior wins.  It is not difficult to achieve!! If you want to have a fair system this is the only way to get there.

Holland/sweden/Germany/Norway/France/Denmark/Australia/Brazil all manage to do this surely the USA can.



#26 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 03:24 AM

(hi Nuddy)

I am partial to ORCA's system.   :)

Which is not a golf handicap but does automatically adjust on real results, slowly.

Uses a VMM for initial rating, requiring measurement and weighing.

I like to differentiate between accuracy and fairness.

High accuracy (equiv. to 1 design) is unachievable with a single value handicap and dissimilar boats.

Fairness is applying a system and rules to all equally and objectively, no old boy's in back rooms guessing ratings.

MIght as well focus on fairness and gave a good time.

(I've been broken for some months, but with new sails coming and repairs complete, we should be sailing next year)



#27 NUDDY

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 07:37 AM

Hi Bill
Our OMR is quite accurate when applied to all the variations on the F24 and modified versions thereof. Not very accurate at all when rating one of those to a heavy cruising cat. I find I have the best time when when I forget all about handicaps and concentrate on trying to beat the boat that usually beats me. I have a lot of fun beating the Etchells and trying to beat the 11m one-designs that are sailing the same course but are not in my division and start 5mins ahead.
You broken or Afterburner broken?
I bought Two Tribes, Louie has not sold yet, we are giving TT a big birthday and sailing Louie again in the meantime. Two Tribes should be back before Christmas.

#28 Peter Hackett

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 10:47 PM

Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh!
Somebody used the "accurate" word again......

Accuracy here is only relevant when talking about the accuracy of your measuring devices for length, weight, of a physical object, in this case a boat. Maths.

The rating system applied to those measurements then is still objective because a team has come up with the equations. The result is a system which is perceived as FAIR, if it seems to be providing numbers valid for the boat's potential performance. OMR TEXEL MOCRA, aim for that.

Other systems are based on performance either of the particular boat in successive races, or of classes over time.

I cannot see how a system that does not weigh boats can be fair. Life would be a lot easier for me as an OMR measurer if I did not have to weigh boats, but it then wouldn't be worth bothering with sails either.

#29 NUDDY

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:11 PM

Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh!
Somebody used the "accurate" word again......

Accuracy here is only relevant when talking about the accuracy of your measuring devices for length, weight, of a physical object, in this case a boat. Maths.

The rating system applied to those measurements then is still objective because a team has come up with the equations. The result is a system which is perceived as FAIR, if it seems to be providing numbers valid for the boat's potential performance. OMR TEXEL MOCRA, aim for that.

Other systems are based on performance either of the particular boat in successive races, or of classes over time.

I cannot see how a system that does not weigh boats can be fair. Life would be a lot easier for me as an OMR measurer if I did not have to weigh boats, but it then wouldn't be worth bothering with sails either.

I'll leave it to you and Bill to argue over the meaning of accurate. I prefer Bills but no matter. Fair can mean anything but to me, fair, related to handicap,  means everyone who turns up every week gets a turn at being the winner. I don't think fair applies at all to rating at all but again no matter.

I agree that any system that does not weigh boats would not be worth bothering with. I could conceive of a rating that did not measure sail area, eg a box rule. But weight of the boat and in the case of small boats such as those we are discussing, the weight of the crew are essential.

If we are going to rate the golf clubs we must at least measure those golf clubs. 



#30 Peter Hackett

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:48 PM

Measure the golf clubs accurately, and if you and I agree that a long carbon 2 wood with weight concentrated in the end is better than my alloy cane toad killer, we could agree on a fair rating factor. Lol?
We are all after the same thing though, and the texel gave us a fine start.

#31 NUDDY

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:48 PM

I have a distinct feeling I am going to regret asking this but here goes nothing.

My guess is either that nobody has a clue or much flaming and bashing will result, both of which I would love to avoid. But it is SA...

OK, here we go.

Lets say you have a bunch of multihull sailors who have some reasonable set (weekend warrier) of racing skills and they would like very much to fairly race their multihulls against one another. Alas the types of boats range widely from more cruisers such as a Gemini 105 catamaran, to powered-up racer such as a Seacart 30 tri with various other in between such as my own beloved F27F. Also in the mix are some semi one-off boats like a Corsair 43 and Catri trimarans.

These are all nice folks all who would like to go racing with the fairest system they could find noting that none of them have boatloads of money or insight into such things as determining rating and who/what does it best. Some are busy frostbiting Lasers while others are off cruising the Carib for the winter. But we dream of a system we know not how to build!

Should it help produce intelligent insights, said kind peole race in an area with generally light airs (less than 10 knots), big chop and mostly ww/lw courses (limited reaching due to geography and breeze patterns).

So, other than drink heavily and go race OD (I do that but like my multi too) who would you talk to... what system would you use... might we find already established data/ratings on line?

OK, flame away. I am prepared to take a beating here in the hopes of finding one or two useful ideas!!

Wess

OK Wess defines fair as aiming that the best sailor on the day should win. I don't see how such a system can be "fair" if you don't weigh the boats and crew, or at the very least take a declaration from each boat and crew of that weight. If the declaration is not "accurate" the the rating cannot be "fair".



#32 NUDDY

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:50 PM

Measure the golf clubs accurately, and if you and I agree that a long carbon 2 wood with weight concentrated in the end is better than my alloy cane toad killer, we could agree on a fair rating factor. Lol?
We are all after the same thing though, and the texel gave us a fine start.

+1



#33 Speng

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 03:03 PM

This thread sorts of highlights the problem.

To answer the question: What we are looking for is fair - as in the best sailor wins.

Problem is: That leads to a conclusion by most here that all boats must get weighed and go pay for some propriatary spreadsheet. Neither is going to happen for a variety of cost and practical reasons.

Which puts us back to where we started which is to try to find the fairest "base" numbers/rating from the fairest system we can find that is already on line and could be applied to the range of boats we have and then tweak those rating/numbers based on actual observation. Its a good group of people, looking to do a limited number of races exploring different rating approaches and they all likely could/would have the honest conversation of how well sailed the boat was on a given day and what worked did not which would allow some tweaking. Its not a bunch of trophy hunters.

What we want to do may not be doable but we are searching.

Wess, all of the measurement based rules (MOCRA, Multi2000, Texel, OMR) are very much the same so there is no advantage to any one of them i.e. the rating formulas are very similar and the measurements required are similar. Generally you need boat lengths, sail areas, and weight the formulas are fairly straightforward so putting together a spreadsheet should not be hard. I assume you have an engineer/business type in the group? all of the measurements except weight should be obtainable from the sailmaker/designer and/or a tape measure. Weight is the biggie but again amongst your fleet some arrangement could be made e.g. designer/brochure values plus whatever other extra goodies owners have put on/taken off.

 

I was able to get rating rules and in some cases spreadsheets for MOCRA, Texel and Multi2000 without much effort and no cost except for time to search/ask for them.

 

The other alternative is to use a performance based system such as PHRF or Portsmouth. If you have historical race results you can (for example) assign a base rating to some boat in your fleet and use a scoring program like Sailwave etc which can go through your results and estimate the other boats' rating based on the results. You can also start off with a rough estimate of the measurement based ratings (usually they are time correction factors) using any of the systems listed above and again the scoring program can adjust the ratings based on race results.

 

Neither of these will be perfect even if you have data down to the nth degree but you will have to put some effort into it. I'm sure that someone from another organization like NEMA or ORCA would be willing to give you some more detailed assistance.



#34 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 05:03 PM

Some people who race handicap seem to race for the joy of sailing and don't care a lot about corrected results.  Some seem to have a blind and flawed belief in the perfect ability of their rating systems to compare the performance of dissimilar boats under varied conditions with a single numeric factor.

Many systems will produce good results for F24 variations as they still are not very dissimilar boats.  But when a fleet ranges from PHRFs of 300 to -300, variations in TWS, TWA, time on course and sea state become the dominate factors.  The boat that gets the most time under "their conditions" has a huge advantage.  Results diverge from the ideal, roughly proportional to increasing boat performance dissimilarity and increasing condition deviation from the set assumed by the handicap calculation.

You can improve results with short windward-leeward races around marks, as this reduces condition variation.  Longer coastal races are worse.  You can improve results with similar boat classes.

One irony is that you will occasionally find passionate supporters of a handicap system, discussing which sails are favored, or which boat is favored, or which course is favored, all indications of the non-ideal results produced by the system they promote.  An ideal system would rate all configurations equally well.  You can argue that optimizing a boat for a handicap system is really gaming the system, as this was surely not intended by its creators.



#35 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 05:15 PM

Hi Bill

You broken or Afterburner broken?

Afterburner.

The carbon forward compression tube I built to eliminate water-stays for the inner forestay failed after 4 years, under high compression loads from screacher on bowsprit.  The fwd end fitting bonding failed and shoved inside the tube.  All has been rebuilt much better than new, and installed.  Got the nets back on last week.  New rudder gudgeon design to install tomorrow, and a couple new sails on order.  We've missed our 4 Fall series races, but our miss-named Spring series begins in January.



#36 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 05:28 PM

It is possible to conceive of a handicap system requiring no measurements at all.

 

1. Find some place with consistent wind and sea conditions typical of those to be raced in. 

2. Pick a TWS & TWA range to rate for.

3. Set a course to rate for.  It'd be handy if it were a permanent course, and similar to other race courses.

4. Pick a scratch crew & a scratch boat

5. Put the scratch crew on the scratch boat, sail the course for a time.  This boat rates 1.0

6. Now put the same scratch crew on the next boat, when conditions are within range.

7. Sail the rating course for a time.  Divide the time by the scratch boat time for a tcf factor.

 You can expand this to multiple courses and multiple scratch crews.

The boat is being rated without consideration for her own crew's performance.

Results should be as good or better than any measurement rule.

Other details to consider would be the boat's condition.



#37 Goldfinger01

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 12:25 PM

I have a distinct feeling I am going to regret asking this but here goes nothing.My guess is either that nobody has a clue or much flaming and bashing will result, both of which I would love to avoid. But it is SA...OK, here we go.Lets say you have a bunch of multihull sailors who have some reasonable set (weekend warrier) of racing skills and they would like very much to fairly race their multihulls against one another. Alas the types of boats range widely from more cruisers such as a Gemini 105 catamaran, to powered-up racer such as a Seacart 30 tri with various other in between such as my own beloved F27F. Also in the mix are some semi one-off boats like a Corsair 43 and Catri trimarans.These are all nice folks all who would like to go racing with the fairest system they could find noting that none of them have boatloads of money or insight into such things as determining rating and who/what does it best. Some are busy frostbiting Lasers while others are off cruising the Carib for the winter. But we dream of a system we know not how to build!Should it help produce intelligent insights, said kind peole race in an area with generally light airs (less than 10 knots), big chop and mostly ww/lw courses (limited reaching due to geography and breeze patterns).So, other than drink heavily and go race OD (I do that but like my multi too) who would you talk to... what system would you use... might we find already established data/ratings on line?OK, flame away. I am prepared to take a beating here in the hopes of finding one or two useful ideas!!Wess


I am surprised that Bill Gibbs has not chimed in here so I will do my best in his absence.
You mentioned fair. Do you want fair, or do you want accurate. Do you want to equalise the golf clubs or to equalise the golf eras. Do you want a rating system where the best sailor on the day should win or do you want a handicap system where everyone who turns up every week gets their turn at winning.
Seems to me that most club racers are happiest with the latter and for that just about any system will do.
Back in the 80's when I sailed 470s we had a whole minutes system that was very easy to use.
The first 3 place getters on handicap had their handicap (in minutes) reduced by 3, 2, and 1 minute respectively.
When this takes anyone below zero everyone's handicap is increased to compensate.
This is an entirely objective system.
If you want accuracy rather than fairness then you need to weigh and measure every boat.

I'd never admit to sailing a 470 although I did own a 420 during a really dark period.
That aside I think OMR does a pretty good job although the big cats and the Sea Cart 30 are scary. A fair rating system does not have to make all boats equal all the time. It's OK to have results affected by conditions. Maybe a a SeaCart 30 in 25 true and big seas won't be so formidable. Similarly a big Cat on a short work windward leeward in light shifting breeze. Sailing is a sport of variables and over the course of a regatta, in most circumstances, will result in the best sailed boat winning under rules like OMR. Regattas which are predominantly light or heavy or which have really long legs or short legs can ultimately end up favoring a particular type of boat.
If we really want absolutely fair sailing all the time we need to have not only one design boats but one design crews. A 60 kg guy will likely never reach the top in a Finn in the same way 2 x 100 plus kg crew would struggle in a 49er.

#38 Goldfinger01

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 12:49 PM

It is possible to conceive of a handicap system requiring no measurements at all.
 
1. Find some place with consistent wind and sea conditions typical of those to be raced in. 
2. Pick a TWS & TWA range to rate for.
3. Set a course to rate for.  It'd be handy if it were a permanent course, and similar to other race courses.
4. Pick a scratch crew & a scratch boat
5. Put the scratch crew on the scratch boat, sail the course for a time.  This boat rates 1.0
6. Now put the same scratch crew on the next boat, when conditions are within range.
7. Sail the rating course for a time.  Divide the time by the scratch boat time for a tcf factor.
 You can expand this to multiple courses and multiple scratch crews.
The boat is being rated without consideration for her own crew's performance.
Results should be as good or better than any measurement rule.
Other details to consider would be the boat's condition.


Agreed. Provided the crew are the same weight as the scratch crew.

I think measurement rules can work and OMR could effectively cover a wider variety of boats if things like Bruce numbers and prodder length were taken into account. Contrary to opinion in some quarters I don't believe over all beam is a factor. In fact excessive beam is a liability because it delays lifting of the weather hull. Foils and sail material should not be rated as in general terms they are not as fundamental to boat design as hull forms displacement mast height length etc. If a measurement rule is doing its job results will not necessarily be spread around but they will be close.

#39 NUDDY

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 01:10 PM

It is possible to conceive of a handicap system requiring no measurements at all.
 
1. Find some place with consistent wind and sea conditions typical of those to be raced in. 
2. Pick a TWS & TWA range to rate for.
3. Set a course to rate for.  It'd be handy if it were a permanent course, and similar to other race courses.
4. Pick a scratch crew & a scratch boat
5. Put the scratch crew on the scratch boat, sail the course for a time.  This boat rates 1.0
6. Now put the same scratch crew on the next boat, when conditions are within range.
7. Sail the rating course for a time.  Divide the time by the scratch boat time for a tcf factor.
 You can expand this to multiple courses and multiple scratch crews.
The boat is being rated without consideration for her own crew's performance.
Results should be as good or better than any measurement rule.
Other details to consider would be the boat's condition.


Agreed. Provided the crew are the same weight as the scratch crew.

I think measurement rules can work and OMR could effectively cover a wider variety of boats if things like Bruce numbers and prodder length were taken into account. Contrary to opinion in some quarters I don't believe over all beam is a factor. In fact excessive beam is a liability because it delays lifting of the weather hull. Foils and sail material should not be rated as in general terms they are not as fundamental to boat design as hull forms displacement mast height length etc. If a measurement rule is doing its job results will not necessarily be spread around but they will be close.

Bill's proposed method would seem to me to be a lot more trouble than weighing and measuring.

 

I think OMR is close to as good as can be. It would be good to have some sort of rating for hull waterline beam. I agree that overall beam is not significant unless part of it is from hiking racks, which give the righting moment of greater beam and the advantages of narrower beam. I don't think mast height should be in there, Mainsail luff length is sufficient. For inshore racing the actual weight of the crew is important but in light weather heavier crew is a disadvantage and in heavy weather it is an advantage. OMR treats it as always a disadvantage. Bill makes a good point that it is not possible to come up with one number that will work across a range of conditions and the fact that conditions can and often do vary across the course and time and competitors are sailing in different conditions.

Still it aims for the right thing and that is a good start and much better than a golf handicap if you want to reward good sailing. 



#40 Trov„o

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 08:31 PM

single number ratings will never be perfect.

 

as a matter of fact, no rating system will ever be perfect - choose one knowing it's flaws and weak points and live with it.



#41 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 01:08 AM

Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh!
Somebody used the "accurate" word again......

Accuracy here is only relevant when talking about the accuracy of your measuring devices for length, weight, of a physical object, in this case a boat. Maths.
 

I disagree :-)

I think it is common to use "accuracy" to describe computer models of all types.  Like a weather model.  When it matches reality we say it is an accurate model.  When it deviates from reality, we say it is inaccurate.  A handicapping system is modeling boat performance against the reality of what that boat can really perform.  Seems like the same thing to me and "accuracy" a perfectly valid descriptor.  And much like a boat handicapping system, weather models can have difficulty achieving high accuracy. 



single number ratings will never be perfect.

 

as a matter of fact, no rating system will ever be perfect - choose one knowing it's flaws and weak points and live with it.

 

+1



#42 Bob's Your Uncle

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 03:02 AM

(hi Nuddy)
I am partial to ORCA's system.   :)
Which is not a golf handicap but does automatically adjust on real results, slowly.
Uses a VMM for initial rating, requiring measurement and weighing.
I like to differentiate between accuracy and fairness.
High accuracy (equiv. to 1 design) is unachievable with a single value handicap and dissimilar boats.
Fairness is applying a system and rules to all equally and objectively, no old boy's in back rooms guessing ratings.
MIght as well focus on fairness and gave a good time.
(I've been broken for some months, but with new sails coming and repairs complete, we should be sailing next year)

Is ORCA the rating organization that had artificial ratings caps for the F-Boats, while all other boats had their ratings adjusted infinitely? And, didn't they decide to drop these caps after one of the BOD members sold his F-Boat? I recall a friend telling me that this caused a lot of bad-blood within the multihull community. He was living somewhere in So. Cal. at the time and owned a Seawind 24 named "Felix" (....I think).

Regards,

***R. Thompson***

#43 RandyM81

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 03:05 AM

It is possible to conceive of a handicap system requiring no measurements at all.

 

1. Find some place with consistent wind and sea conditions typical of those to be raced in. 

2. Pick a TWS & TWA range to rate for.

3. Set a course to rate for.  It'd be handy if it were a permanent course, and similar to other race courses.

4. Pick a scratch crew & a scratch boat

5. Put the scratch crew on the scratch boat, sail the course for a time.  This boat rates 1.0

6. Now put the same scratch crew on the next boat, when conditions are within range.

7. Sail the rating course for a time.  Divide the time by the scratch boat time for a tcf factor.

 You can expand this to multiple courses and multiple scratch crews.

The boat is being rated without consideration for her own crew's performance.

Results should be as good or better than any measurement rule.

Other details to consider would be the boat's condition.

 

I sort of like this idea.  I do see a lot of practical difficulties though.  I doubt I would feel comfortable letting another crew race my boat unless I was on-board.  However, I could just be ballast though for the time trial.  Condition of things like, sails, bottom, and boards would be significant uncontrolled variables.  Still, I can see this approach working better than most systems, especially in a place with consistent breeze.

 

The amount of effort required to get a rating would probably be the biggest hurdle.

 

Maybe you could use a system like Texel as a base and use Bill's suggestion as a method to modify the ratings over time.  If you don't like your Texel rating you can have the ratings committee's "scratch crew" sail your boat through a time trial.  If they can't sail to your rating your rating gets modified.  The advantage would be that you don't have to go through the time trial system to get your initial rating.



#44 Bob's Your Uncle

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 03:27 AM

I am partial to ORCA's system.   :)
Which is not a golf handicap but does automatically adjust on real results, slowly.

Because almost all non-beachcat multihull racing is handicap racing, I am curious about this automatic adjustment. How exactly is this being done?

-If the initial performance is off significantly, are the adjustments done on a sliding scale?

-If a boat's initial rating were to be off by something like 12-18 sec/mi, how long would it take for this automatic adjustment to make the correction?

-Similarly, if a boat's initial rating were to be off by 24-30 sec/mi, how long would it take for the automatic adjustment to make the correction.

I think there are a large group of us who would appreciate any information and clarification on how these auto-adjustments are being made.

Thanks in advance.

Best Regards,

***R. Thompson***

#45 Wess

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 02:18 PM

Hi folks,

 

Figured I would step back in.

 

First let me say thanks for the many ideas and suggestions both here and from all the PMs.  Its most appreciated.  This thread and the off line comments were much more helpful (and civil) than I expected.

 

Allow me to offer a up a few truths (for those involved) to help guide any subsequent comments:

 

Those interested in pursuing this are a really good group of folks that are frustrated by an existing regional system for reasons best not discussed here.  They are looking to experiment in a non-confrontational way.  None of them are trophy hunters.  Many OD in other fleets and do their serious racing there.  This is for giggles and shits. 
 

All seem to follow the credo that more boats equals better racing so the bottom line goal is to have a system that is viewed as fair and encourages participation.  That can mean everyone has a chance or the best sailors wins.  What they don't want is a system where most folks have zero chance ever or the same boat type (regardless of conditions or skill of skipper) always wins.  That discourages participation.  If we can encourage participation it matters far less if a Gemini, Seacart or Corsair wins, the fun (and learnings) come from the mini-battle within the groups of GeminiS, CorsairS, or SeacartS!  They all get that it is impossible to accurately rate boats as different as Seacarts and Gemini and Corsairs, and to a large extent the breeze (light or soft) and course (ww/lw or reach or both) can impact the outcome more than anything.

 

Weight.  This is a tough one.  Design weight is easy, actual weight is hard.  Given the locations and types of boats involved nobody is interested to spend the time and money to deal with getting all the boats weighed.

 

So there we are... searching!

 

Wess



#46 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 04:28 PM

Is ORCA the rating organization that had artificial ratings caps for the F-Boats, while all other boats had their ratings adjusted infinitely? And, didn't they decide to drop these caps after one of the BOD members sold his F-Boat? I recall a friend telling me that this caused a lot of bad-blood within the multihull community.

probably so, though it is a distortion of what I recall.  The caps had been added before I was on the Board, and were blatantly unfair, as methods were being applied differently to different groups of boats.  It had been a well-intended flawed compromise to provide less-adjusted ratings to a large group of F-boats active at the time, but created greater ratings distortions between the F-boats and others.  I was part of the faction lobbying to remove them, which we succeeded in doing some years back.  I don't recall it had anything to do with a board member selling his boat.  The bad blood I encountered was from non-F-boats before caps were removed.



#47 ProaSailor

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 05:19 PM

BAMA ratings (San Francisco Bay Area Multihull Association): http://www.sfbama.or...013_ratings.htm



#48 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 06:24 PM

I think there are a large group of us who would appreciate any information and clarification on how these auto-adjustments are being made.

To put ORCA in perspective, it is an objective single-value rating system.  I think many of us prefer objective over subjective (people guessing).  Single value is a requirement for convenience.  ORCA mostly races under a TOT tcf value, occasionally converting to a TOD PHRF at race organizer request for a couple longer races.

 

It calc's an initial rating with a VPP using measurements, as do all measurement-based systems.  It recognizes the inherent inaccuracies of all VPP rating systems and the error magnification with boat dissimilarity.  It corrects for these with automatic adjustments from race results.  It is impossible (?) to separate the crew performance factor from the boat performance factor objectively, in reviewing actual results.  The actual boat performance part is perfectly accurate and far better than the VPP.  But it is tainted with crew performance.  ORCA's compromise is to compare every boat's performance to that race's fleet average, and apply a 10% correction.  To eliminate outliers, performances outside a 10.5% variation are capped.  So the maximum effect of a single race is a 1.5% adjustment.  On average single race adjustments are much smaller.  Rating are updated quarterly.  New boats get adjusted faster, a few races at 40%, a few at 30%, a few at 20%, down to 10%.  Modified boats get a less aggressive accelerated weighting.

 

Obviously ORCA ratings are slowly tainted by crew performance, an unpopular thing to some idealists.  But when compared to the real magnitude of VPP errors, it is just another error factor.  Which is compensated for by improvements in real boat performance ratings.  In practice it has a number of benefits.  No one is locked into a bad (inaccurate) measurement based rating forever.  There is no way to "game" the system as there are no better rated sails or boat designs.  When a measurement datum is unavailable (like weight) we will rate with a "light" estimate producing a faster rating.  It is up to the owner to do enough races to bring his rating down.  It automatically compensates for new tech like canting masts and lifting foils.  For any rating complaint the answer is do more races.

 

Not a pure VPP system, not a pure performance system, and not aimed at being a golf handicap, it is a nice compromise in the middle.

 

After 13 years, AB's rating is within a few percent of her calculated rating, fluctuating up/down a bit with variations in our race results.  we still do best when the wind shuts off after we finish :-)



#49 Bob's Your Uncle

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:05 PM

Mr. Gibbs,

Thank you for the very insightful response. I personally find ORCA's approach towards multihull ratings, and their methodology intriguing. Although it is clearly not for everyone, I can certainly understand the appeal, particularly to the more casual racesr.

It is also nice to hear that you do indeed use a sliding scale for newly rated boats, as this helps to alleviate any Ratings disparities produced by the VPP more quickly.

What concerns me with this type of rating system is that it typically punishes hard work, and promotes mediocrity, which, over time, generally leads to weak or diminished fleets.

How many ORCA boats are there regularly participating in the typical races (not the specialty races)?

Best Regards,

***Robert Thompson***


I think there are a large group of us who would appreciate any information and clarification on how these auto-adjustments are being made.

To put ORCA in perspective, it is an objective single-value rating system.  I think many of us prefer objective over subjective (people guessing).  Single value is a requirement for convenience.  ORCA mostly races under a TOT tcf value, occasionally converting to a TOD PHRF at race organizer request for a couple longer races.
 
It calc's an initial rating with a VPP using measurements, as do all measurement-based systems.  It recognizes the inherent inaccuracies of all VPP rating systems and the error magnification with boat dissimilarity.  It corrects for these with automatic adjustments from race results.  It is impossible (?) to separate the crew performance factor from the boat performance factor objectively, in reviewing actual results.  The actual boat performance part is perfectly accurate and far better than the VPP.  But it is tainted with crew performance.  ORCA's compromise is to compare every boat's performance to that race's fleet average, and apply a 10% correction.  To eliminate outliers, performances outside a 10.5% variation are capped.  So the maximum effect of a single race is a 1.5% adjustment.  On average single race adjustments are much smaller.  Rating are updated quarterly.  New boats get adjusted faster, a few races at 40%, a few at 30%, a few at 20%, down to 10%.  Modified boats get a less aggressive accelerated weighting.
 
Obviously ORCA ratings are slowly tainted by crew performance, an unpopular thing to some idealists.  But when compared to the real magnitude of VPP errors, it is just another error factor.  Which is compensated for by improvements in real boat performance ratings.  In practice it has a number of benefits.  No one is locked into a bad (inaccurate) measurement based rating forever.  There is no way to "game" the system as there are no better rated sails or boat designs.  When a measurement datum is unavailable (like weight) we will rate with a "light" estimate producing a faster rating.  It is up to the owner to do enough races to bring his rating down.  It automatically compensates for new tech like canting masts and lifting foils.  For any rating complaint the answer is do more races.
 
Not a pure VPP system, not a pure performance system, and not aimed at being a golf handicap, it is a nice compromise in the middle.
 
After 13 years, AB's rating is within a few percent of her calculated rating, fluctuating up/down a bit with variations in our race results.  we still do best when the wind shuts off after we finish :-)


#50 TheFlash

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:15 PM

I think it would work well for the widely disparate fleets we see, I'd like to see something similar for BAMA but know that many don't agree.

 

It's sortofa pick-your-poison question.



#51 Multihauler

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:34 PM

To put ORCA in perspective, it is an objective single-value rating system.

Hi Bill,

How do you think the ORCA Rating System would work in a more tactically complex enviorment like San Francisco Bay, where playing the currents and the geography can have such a significant impact on performance?

Cheers!!!

-MH

#52 lforgy

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 02:52 AM

I am in that fleet the OP discussed.  We race on the Chesapeake Bay, and ratings, like everywhere I expect, are an oft discussed issue.  Our rating system is based on the same basic formula that most of these systems use.  Your rating is a function of sail area, weight, length and width.  Over time, it has gotten cluttered with lots of little details and adjustments that I think all of them have.  Sail area, for example, is a detailed blend of upwind and downwind sails, but we still debate what to do about screechers when used like jibs.

 

Our real problem is that the weather is almost never static on the Chesapeake.  The slower boats will win or lose on the basis of the rising or falling wind.  Even a wind change during the race can have an impact.  On one race this summer, we all floated in the bay all afternoon until the wind picked up and everyone finished.  The three slowest boats, Geminis, finished first, second and third.  Even more, every boat has a different performance profile.  We have two Reynolds 33s in the fleet, one 14 feet wide and tall mast, the other 16  feet wide and 3 feet shorter mast.  In light winds, the first is faster.  In higher winds, the second is faster.

 

Even if the one number rating system is right on every boat's average speed, it can't accommodate this problem.  Some of us discussed a more elaborate rating system.  Instead of rating being one number (R = a), we could have rating as a formula: R = a + F(average speed).  Average speed would be a function of average wind, and no extra data is needed beyond elapsed time and course length.  Even just a linear function, R = a + b(AS) would allow different speed profiles, and even help compensate for rising or falling winds.  If the wind rose after the fast boats finished, the rising average speed of the slow boats would raise their rating.  If it fell, the slower boats would have their rating reduced.

 

Our conversations didn't get very far, as we figured it was probably a nonstarter.  When your rating is a formula, you can't hang around the finish line to find out whether you won.



#53 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:12 AM

Our real problem is that the weather is almost never static on the Chesapeake.  The slower boats will win or lose on the basis of the rising or falling wind.  Even a wind change during the race can have an impact.  On one race this summer, we all floated in the bay all afternoon until the wind picked up and everyone finished.  The three slowest boats, Geminis, finished first, second and third.  Even more, every boat has a different performance profile.  We have two Reynolds 33s in the fleet, one 14 feet wide and tall mast, the other 16  feet wide and 3 feet shorter mast.  In light winds, the first is faster.  In higher winds, the second is faster.

 

Even if the one number rating system is right on every boat's average speed, it can't accommodate this problem.  Some of us discussed a more elaborate rating system. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  Slower boats are on the course longer, in potentially different conditions.  Boats don't just differ based on TWS, but on TWA.  Some are better reaching, some upwind, some downwind.  Look at polar diagrams and you'll see discontinuities in performance curves.  Where sails should be changed, where sails are reefed, when a hull lifts out of the water, all at different conditions from other boats.  Add in sea state, bigger seas slow smaller boats more, bigger boats surf better.  Etc., etc.  It doesn't really matter a lot whether your formula has a 100% accurate average factor (and it doesn't), conditions will vary and will trump with dissimilar boats.  This problem cannot be solved with more measurements, more accurate measurements, or more math.  But some people believe it can, and the discussions continue.



#54 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:28 AM

What concerns me with this type of rating system is that it typically punishes hard work, and promotes mediocrity, which, over time, generally leads to weak or diminished fleets.

That's a mouthful.  And you could be right.  But you sure make a lot of assumptions.  Like everybody wants to work hard.  I gave up on One-Design racing after 4-5 years (and only one fleet championship), partially because it seemed like it was getting harder to beat the guy who didn't have a day job.  He had new sails each year, and polished his hulls constantly when he wasn't out working with his coach.  I just wanted to come out on weekends and sail, and have a chance of winning.  Then the new model boats came out and it seemed like upgrade or move on.  I moved on.  My old Long Beach Nacra 5.8 fleet has long since disappeared, but not for the reasons you mention.  Does this make me a slacker?  I prefer "recreational racer".  I've gone 9-11 years without new sails and do not hire pro's to race on Afterburner.  I do have a good time with my friends in our 15-17 races a year.  First to the bar is our goal. 

Everybody gets to chose the type of racing they want to do.  One Design Racer wanna-be's shouldn't choose dissimilar fleet handicap racing.



#55 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:36 AM

How many ORCA boats are there regularly participating in the typical races (not the specialty races)?

This varies all over the place.  Our biggest most active fleet is in Marina del Ray.  But the bottom line is that multi participation is down all thru SoCal.  Much the same as it is down for monohull racing around here. I volunteer for NOSA who does the N2E race.  Mono participation is down as much as multi participation.   I don't think this has anything to do with Rating systems.  I'm not aware of anyone not racing because of rating particulars (ok, I do know one guy in Long Beach).  ORCA rated the Transpac, both boats.  We have Groupama II (ORMA 60, now Mighty Merloe) and Orion (MOD 70) racing with us. These are pretty high end boats.  It's the average boats that have fallen off the most.  Never bounced back after the recession.  Blame the US government.



#56 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:44 AM

(Happy Nuddy?  I'm posting about ratings...)

I believe people are happiest when their expectations are met, and disappointed when they are not.  If we tell people our rating system is perfect, and then they get stuck with an unachievable rating, they will be predictably unhappy.  On the mono side, we had a new $2m custom boat get a bad rating, IMO.  Pros couldn't sail her close to her rating.  The solution?  Give her away to charity.  Everybody knows you can't sell a boat that has a bad rating.  On the other hand we have a local 4ksb with a golden rating.  Change skippers and crew as much as you want and she wins.  And she sells for a premium. 

This kind of thing is a risk with rigid ratings.



#57 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:50 AM

To put ORCA in perspective, it is an objective single-value rating system.

Hi Bill,

How do you think the ORCA Rating System would work in a more tactically complex enviorment like San Francisco Bay, where playing the currents and the geography can have such a significant impact on performance?

Cheers!!!

-MH

Kind of depends on what you want.  It won't be perfect.  ORCA offers an edge to the boat that sails better than it's own average on a given day.  Combine that with the boat that get's it's own best conditions, and the crew that sails the best course overall.  Someone will win :-)

I'm sure most will have a good time.  As they would under many systems.



#58 lforgy

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:09 AM

It doesn't really matter a lot whether your formula has a 100% accurate average factor (and it doesn't), conditions will vary and will trump with dissimilar boats.  This problem cannot be solved with more measurements, more accurate measurements, or more math.  But some people believe it can, and the discussions continue.

 

Well, theoretically, if you had all the data accurately measured (including wind, sea state, etc.), you could accurately predict performance, of course.  But practically, yes it is impossible.  It could be a reasonable argument that all the extra effort is too much time and expense for too little mitigation of the randomness of the outcomes.  I would probably agree with you on that, but surely you believe it is at least possible to get closer to accurate predictions.

 

Larry Forgy



#59 Bob's Your Uncle

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:10 AM

Mr Gibbs,

My comments were intended to be more observational than critical. As I stated earlier, I am genuinely intrigued by the approach that ORCA is applying to this complex problem.

Like you, I come from a one-design background, having spent many, many years in a couple of the East Coast's stronger fleets. Unfortunately, the multihull community has yet to develope a >20' one-design class, therefore the only option anyone interested in multihull racing has is handicap racing.


Best Regards,

***Robert Thompson***

What concerns me with this type of rating system is that it typically punishes hard work, and promotes mediocrity, which, over time, generally leads to weak or diminished fleets.

That's a mouthful.  And you could be right.  But you sure make a lot of assumptions.  Like everybody wants to work hard.  I gave up on One-Design racing after 4-5 years (and only one fleet championship), partially because it seemed like it was getting harder to beat the guy who didn't have a day job.  He had new sails each year, and polished his hulls constantly when he wasn't out working with his coach.  I just wanted to come out on weekends and sail, and have a chance of winning.  Then the new model boats came out and it seemed like upgrade or move on.  I moved on.  My old Long Beach Nacra 5.8 fleet has long since disappeared, but not for the reasons you mention.  Does this make me a slacker?  I prefer "recreational racer".  I've gone 9-11 years without new sails and do not hire pro's to race on Afterburner.  I do have a good time with my friends in our 15-17 races a year.  First to the bar is our goal. 
Everybody gets to chose the type of racing they want to do.  One Design Racer wanna-be's shouldn't choose dissimilar fleet handicap racing.


#60 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:26 AM

It doesn't really matter a lot whether your formula has a 100% accurate average factor (and it doesn't), conditions will vary and will trump with dissimilar boats.  This problem cannot be solved with more measurements, more accurate measurements, or more math.  But some people believe it can, and the discussions continue.

 

Well, theoretically, if you had all the data accurately measured (including wind, sea state, etc.), you could accurately predict performance, of course.  But practically, yes it is impossible.  It could be a reasonable argument that all the extra effort is too much time and expense for too little mitigation of the randomness of the outcomes.  I would probably agree with you on that, but surely you believe it is at least possible to get closer to accurate predictions.

 

Larry Forgy

You run into other problems.  There was a group that proposed putting calibrated instrument packages and computers on every boat.  The idea was to total up who spent the most time sailing at or beyond their calculated performance polars for the conditions they were in.  He would be the winner.  Skip over the cost or having little idea who's ahead during the race, or the accuracy of the calculated polars.   It accidentally eliminated a major aspect of crew performance, selecting the course with better TWS, TWA, sea states and currents.  None are uniform over a course even at the same time.  So in pursuit of perfection, they changed the definition of "best sailed".   I think the idea was killed.  But I'm not sure they didn't try it.

It's a very complicated problem.

I do agree with you that it should be possible to increase accuracy with extra effort.  I just don't think what's practically achievable makes a measurable difference in light of the magnitude of other factors in play.



#61 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:28 AM

Unfortunately, the multihull community has yet to develope a >20' one-design class, therefore the only option anyone interested in multihull racing has is handicap racing. 
 

And so we all end up in the same pot :D



#62 Wess

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 12:42 PM

It doesn't really matter a lot whether your formula has a 100% accurate average factor (and it doesn't), conditions will vary and will trump with dissimilar boats.  This problem cannot be solved with more measurements, more accurate measurements, or more math.  But some people believe it can, and the discussions continue.

 

Well, theoretically, if you had all the data accurately measured (including wind, sea state, etc.), you could accurately predict performance, of course.  But practically, yes it is impossible.  It could be a reasonable argument that all the extra effort is too much time and expense for too little mitigation of the randomness of the outcomes.  I would probably agree with you on that, but surely you believe it is at least possible to get closer to accurate predictions.

 

Larry Forgy

Hi Larry,

 

I did not/do not want to out anyone so tried to be circumspect but so its clear my intent in starting this discussion involves activities occuring outside of the organization you are referencing.  No desire or intent to step on that organization's toes.

 

OK, with that out of the way, I think your last comment says it well.  In theory it may be possible to take into account the course (WW/LW or reaching), and the wind speed/sea state and changes to all the same over the length of the race for the various boats involved but at a practical level that just does not seem possible or at least I don't see a system or approach here that would do it especially when considering we are talking about boats that range as widely as a Gemini to a Seacart.

 

I don't think the problem is the rare weather race everyone drifts at the same speed for a few hours or the wind shuts down after the fast boats finish.  Even newbies understand the impossibility of such a situation and I don't think that hurts participation or how a rating system is viewed.  Beyond that however we are looking for ideas on how to ensure its not the same boat type always winning regardless of the skipper, or that boats are not losing by corrected times that equal 30-50% of the actual sailing time as this prhaps discourages participation.  The ORCA approach is really interesting as is NEMA's as they seem balanced an attempt to provide some leveling of the playing field.

 

Don't want to get into local detail beyond that in public forum - not fair to anyone involved, but will send you an email that further explains.

 

Cheers (and have a great holiday!),

 

Wess

 

PS - Accepted verbal offer on boat yesterday.  Looking forward to something new (to us) but am so sad to think of it leaving.  It was/is such a joy to sail.



#63 NUDDY

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 01:26 PM

(Happy Nuddy?  I'm posting about ratings...)

I believe people are happiest when their expectations are met, and disappointed when they are not. 

Thanks Bill yes I am happy as my expectations are being met (you are posting about ratings). Only happier when you are posting about Afterburner, love the tech stuff. New gudgeon system? I thought you had the ultimate.

 

Re handicaps (as opposed to ratings) I think the way to encourage participation is to use a golf handicap, where everyone has a good chance of winning if they turn up every week. Works really well for club racing. Those who value such things can eagerly get back to the clubhouse and find out how they went on handicap and collect prizes/trophys as appropriate. Others who are more interested in what happens on the water already know how they went compared to the boats they usually beat or those who usually them and they can rush back to the clubhouse for a beer and to sincerely congratulate the handicap winners. We sail for fun and all get our fun in different ways. For me it is fun to sail fast, in company with other fast boats and to have close racing on the water is best fun. For me handicap results don't matter much, I already know if I have sailed well or badly.



#64 TheFlash

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:18 PM

Nuddy nails it - part of the issue is with expectations.

 

When we sail, there are Uber Beach Cats (Marstrom and SL33s, D Cats), various farriers, some older "heavy tris", little one-offs like mine, and some cruisers. We all sail for the same trophies, but we also all know that we really need to focus on the close competition.  At the end of the day, me "beating" the SL33 probably has as much or more to do with the conditions that day than anything else.  But hanging in the the F31s or F25c is my goal.

 

Some racer education is as important as picking the "right" methodology.

 

BTW - I like the self-correcting factors in the ORCA methodology.



#65 Wess

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:58 PM

(Happy Nuddy?  I'm posting about ratings...)

I believe people are happiest when their expectations are met, and disappointed when they are not. 

Thanks Bill yes I am happy as my expectations are being met (you are posting about ratings). Only happier when you are posting about Afterburner, love the tech stuff. New gudgeon system? I thought you had the ultimate.

 

Re handicaps (as opposed to ratings) I think the way to encourage participation is to use a golf handicap, where everyone has a good chance of winning if they turn up every week. Works really well for club racing. Those who value such things can eagerly get back to the clubhouse and find out how they went on handicap and collect prizes/trophys as appropriate. Others who are more interested in what happens on the water already know how they went compared to the boats they usually beat or those who usually them and they can rush back to the clubhouse for a beer and to sincerely congratulate the handicap winners. We sail for fun and all get our fun in different ways. For me it is fun to sail fast, in company with other fast boats and to have close racing on the water is best fun. For me handicap results don't matter much, I already know if I have sailed well or badly.

 

 

Nuddy nails it - part of the issue is with expectations.

 

When we sail, there are Uber Beach Cats (Marstrom and SL33s, D Cats), various farriers, some older "heavy tris", little one-offs like mine, and some cruisers. We all sail for the same trophies, but we also all know that we really need to focus on the close competition.  At the end of the day, me "beating" the SL33 probably has as much or more to do with the conditions that day than anything else.  But hanging in the the F31s or F25c is my goal.

 

Some racer education is as important as picking the "right" methodology.

 

BTW - I like the self-correcting factors in the ORCA methodology.

 

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES. Y E S!!!!!

 

Bill/Nuddy/Flash - You guys nailed it exactly.

 

1.) Use a system where everybody has a chance to do well if they show up every week to encourage participation and growth of the fleet across all segments/boat types because...

2.) The real fun is how you do/what you learn compared to boats that are similar to your own (I don't care about the trophy; its how did my F27 do against the F28s or other F27s) but for this we need participation (see #1)

3.) An automatic adjustment (means no one person can play games or be accused of playing games with ratings - NICE!)

 

But if above could be agreed, we gotta start somewhere with a base rating from which to do above and understand that actual weights are not going to happen.  Oh boy is this where the flaming starts?? To get the initial base rating is that:

 

a.) use a formula driven base number (but especially across the range and without weights this seemed flawed from the start and will need time for the observed corrections to kick in), or,

b.) pick an observed performance system (ala PHRF) for base numbers (and which one...), or,

b.) average PHRF numbers from wide range of groups?

 

I am scared and ducking now.

 

Wess



#66 TheFlash

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:03 PM

Does the BAMA PHRF ratings over time offer enough ratings to give you a start?  Obviously, we sail in a higher wind locale, but one of our biggest races each year is the reverse-handicap Three Bridge Fiasco, and after 20 miles or so, we have all sorts of different boats finishing close together.



#67 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:15 PM

Perhaps we should mention a few ancillary issues:

1. None of the systems I'm aware of are cross calibrated, you can't mix & match.

2. TOT and TOD are very different animals. I think TOD is poor for multis, in general

Locally, monos all race PHRF TOD.

 

If you insist on starting with no Data (not my first choice) , you are going to have less good results during your adjustment phase.  You could use an ORCA like method, and the first few races don't count for trophies as boats adjust in.  You could match up ratings with similar boats to start, or simply guess.



#68 Wess

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:22 PM

Perhaps we should mention a few ancillary issues:

1. None of the systems I'm aware of are cross calibrated, you can't mix & match.

2. TOT and TOD are very different animals. I think TOD is poor for multis, in general

Locally, monos all race PHRF TOD.

 

If you insist on starting with no Data (not my first choice) , you are going to have less good results during your adjustment phase.  You could use an ORCA like method, and the first few races don't count for trophies as boats adjust in.  You could match up ratings with similar boats to start, or simply guess.

1.) Yes, I know, unless pulling from PHRF regions.

2.) Yes, I know.  Oh boy do I know.  Much debated by some.  Challenging here because frequent shut-downs of breeze, drifting, and restarts.  Neither TOD or TOT can fix that but boy do some like to argue over it.  Oh and Bill, don't or didn't you guys use TOD for some of the longer ORCA races?  If so, why?

 

Data exists both locally and with various others systems for almost (if not all) the boats.



#69 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 05:05 AM

Neither TOD or TOT can fix that but boy do some like to argue over it.  Oh and Bill, don't or didn't you guys use TOD for some of the longer ORCA races?  If so, why?

TOD makes good sense for boats that spend most of a race at their hull speed.  But that ain't multis.  Faster with more wind (TOT) is generally better.

In SoCal the winds are generally diurnal, they shut off at night.  Big race organizers prefer PHRF TOD for all boats, so we oblige.  On overnight races, TOD produces results as reasonable as TOT (which are bad when drifting).  Not especially accurate, but still a race.

 

After analyzing 15 years of N2E races, I got NOSA to agree to not give a grand prize to the first overall corrected boat.  But rather to raffle it off between all the corrected class winners (of which we have a dozen or more).  Corrected results in a small class are much more accurate than across a dissimilar fleet.  And giving all class winners an equal chance at a grand prize is much better than relying on corrected results, per se. IMHO.



#70 Goldfinger01

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:37 AM


(Happy Nuddy?  I'm posting about ratings...)
I believe people are happiest when their expectations are met, and disappointed when they are not. 

Thanks Bill yes I am happy as my expectations are being met (you are posting about ratings). Only happier when you are posting about Afterburner, love the tech stuff. New gudgeon system? I thought you had the ultimate.
 
Re handicaps (as opposed to ratings) I think the way to encourage participation is to use a golf handicap, where everyone has a good chance of winning if they turn up every week. Works really well for club racing. Those who value such things can eagerly get back to the clubhouse and find out how they went on handicap and collect prizes/trophys as appropriate. Others who are more interested in what happens on the water already know how they went compared to the boats they usually beat or those who usually them and they can rush back to the clubhouse for a beer and to sincerely congratulate the handicap winners. We sail for fun and all get our fun in different ways. For me it is fun to sail fast, in company with other fast boats and to have close racing on the water is best fun. For me handicap results don't matter much, I already know if I have sailed well or badly.
 
 L

Nuddy nails it - part of the issue is with expectations.
 
When we sail, there are Uber Beach Cats (Marstrom and SL33s, D Cats), various farriers, some older "heavy tris", little one-offs like mine, and some cruisers. We all sail for the same trophies, but we also all know that we really need to focus on the close competition.  At the end of the day, me "beating" the SL33 probably has as much or more to do with the conditions that day than anything else.  But hanging in the the F31s or F25c is my goal.
 
Some racer education is as important as picking the "right" methodology.
 
BTW - I like the self-correcting factors in the ORCA methodology.

 
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES. Y E S!!!!!
 
Bill/Nuddy/Flash - You guys nailed it exactly.
 
1.) Use a system where everybody has a chance to do well if they show up every week to encourage participation and growth of the fleet across all segments/boat types because...
2.) The real fun is how you do/what you learn compared to boats that are similar to your own (I don't care about the trophy; its how did my F27 do against the F28s or other F27s) but for this we need participation (see #1)
3.) An automatic adjustment (means no one person can play games or be accused of playing games with ratings - NICE!)
 
But if above could be agreed, we gotta start somewhere with a base rating from which to do above and understand that actual weights are not going to happen.  Oh boy is this where the flaming starts?? To get the initial base rating is that:
 
a.) use a formula driven base number (but especially across the range and without weights this seemed flawed from the start and will need time for the observed corrections to kick in), or,
b.) pick an observed performance system (ala PHRF) for base numbers (and which one...), or,
b.) average PHRF numbers from wide range of groups?
 
I am scared and ducking now.
 
Wess

Our local big boat clubs as against off the beach clubs all run Level rating and Performance handicaps in tandem. Ie Best of both worlds. OMR for serious competition and PHF (Top Yacht generated ) which levels the fleet based on passed results and rewards continuous improvement. While some boats may not be competitive on OMR everyone should at some time pick up a win on Performance Handicap. Top Yacht has a great front end although some of the handicap generating algorithms leave a lot to be desired. It also costs money. About twenty years ago I developed a Performance Handicap System with a crappy front end but algorithms that generated very fair handicaps in a really short space of time and automatically took into account conditions when generating new handicaps. It also jumped on the boats that took fliers and gained advantage other than by good sailing. The spread sheets and macros are free to anyone who wants to use them but the intellectual property remains mine. If your interested let me know.

#71 Zorro2

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 01:18 AM

Yes, TopYacht is well established in a large majority of major clubs in Oz. At RMYC, we use it both for OMR (fixed ratings)  and weekly PHS results. There are about a half dozen or so PHS algorithms to choose from all of which can be tweaked to place heavier or lighter emphasis on the most recent performance(s). Simplest approach we use, results in boats performing above a mid fleet boat incurring a graduated HCP increase for the next race, those performing below mid fleet receive a reduced HCP for the next race. Easy to understand and well accepted by the large majority of our fleet - those just out to enjoy their sailing and take home a prize occasionally.  Important to encourage participation.  OMR is there for the more dedicated racing purists.

 

TopYacht is extremely well supported by email or phone. There is an annual subscription fee of a few hundred $$ which covers support and software updates. If interested, further info can be found here http://www.topyachtsoftware.com/web/  (We have no commercial interest in TY, just find it works well for us!)



#72 offtherails

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 05:10 AM

Main issue with algorithms and limits in systems such as Top Yacht is that good or lucky performance ( eg slow winds at start, avoiding holes and then a building wind which suits low markers) results in increased handicap whilst bad or unlucky performance ( eg finding holes and dying wind which suits front runners) is often considered atypical, or viewed as sandbagging, and results in no reduction in handicap for slow boats for performance worse than "expected".

Probably not an issue in a long series, but in a short series a good first race can ratchet up performance handicap and put you out of the running as it might not come back down even after a shocker.  Save your good luck for the second half of the series and don't use it up on the first race unless there are prizes for each race!



#73 NUDDY

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 05:49 AM

Main issue with algorithms and limits in systems such as Top Yacht is that good or lucky performance ( eg slow winds at start, avoiding holes and then a building wind which suits low markers) results in increased handicap whilst bad or unlucky performance ( eg finding holes and dying wind which suits front runners) is often considered atypical, or viewed as sandbagging, and results in no reduction in handicap for slow boats for performance worse than "expected".

Probably not an issue in a long series, but in a short series a good first race can ratchet up performance handicap and put you out of the running as it might not come back down even after a shocker.  Save your good luck for the second half of the series and don't use it up on the first race unless there are prizes for each race!

If your concern is for prizes. If your enjoyment comes from sailing as well as you can all the time then you won't be 'saving your good luck' but will use it whenever you can.

Many years ago when we ran a Seawind 24 class in Sydney there was one owner who always played the handicap game. He knew that the handicaps were set from the first race so he deliberately sailed slowly, did not set spin etc. in the first race to make sure he came last by a considerable margin. Then he would go on to 'win' the regatta. I could never understand how he enjoyed his sailing, I don't think he did, just liked winning prizes.



#74 Indian Chief

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 05:58 AM

Main issue with algorithms and limits in systems such as Top Yacht is that good or lucky performance ( eg slow winds at start, avoiding holes and then a building wind which suits low markers) results in increased handicap whilst bad or unlucky performance ( eg finding holes and dying wind which suits front runners) is often considered atypical, or viewed as sandbagging, and results in no reduction in handicap for slow boats for performance worse than "expected".

Probably not an issue in a long series, but in a short series a good first race can ratchet up performance handicap and put you out of the running as it might not come back down even after a shocker.  Save your good luck for the second half of the series and don't use it up on the first race unless there are prizes for each race!

Hence why OMR is a fairer system in my opinion. it remains the same and doesn't have the effect that PHS has when some boats race every week and others only occasionally. The boat racing only occasionally never moves at the same rate as the regular racers from either a high hcp or a low one. I've seen that in the recent Spring series here where i was left stranded on a high PHS HCP from a previous series when all the regulars had moved up whilst i was racing and then back down whilst i wasn't racing. I get a chuckle out of PHS handicapping when the algorithms are thrown out the window and results for regattas are simply manufactured from manual system manipulated as the regatta progresses. I guess thats why i never take any notice of regatta PHS results. We only have one major (multihull) regatta here a year in Sydney and i think its the only one left in Australia that is a PHS focussed regatta when i believe the rest of Australia is focussed and having success with OMR. 



#75 NUDDY

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 06:49 AM

Main issue with algorithms and limits in systems such as Top Yacht is that good or lucky performance ( eg slow winds at start, avoiding holes and then a building wind which suits low markers) results in increased handicap whilst bad or unlucky performance ( eg finding holes and dying wind which suits front runners) is often considered atypical, or viewed as sandbagging, and results in no reduction in handicap for slow boats for performance worse than "expected".

Probably not an issue in a long series, but in a short series a good first race can ratchet up performance handicap and put you out of the running as it might not come back down even after a shocker.  Save your good luck for the second half of the series and don't use it up on the first race unless there are prizes for each race!

Hence why OMR is a fairer system in my opinion. it remains the same and doesn't have the effect that PHS has when some boats race every week and others only occasionally. The boat racing only occasionally never moves at the same rate as the regular racers from either a high hcp or a low one. I've seen that in the recent Spring series here where i was left stranded on a high PHS HCP from a previous series when all the regulars had moved up whilst i was racing and then back down whilst i wasn't racing. I get a chuckle out of PHS handicapping when the algorithms are thrown out the window and results for regattas are simply manufactured from manual system manipulated as the regatta progresses. I guess thats why i never take any notice of regatta PHS results. We only have one major (multihull) regatta here a year in Sydney and i think its the only one left in Australia that is a PHS focussed regatta when i believe the rest of Australia is focussed and having success with OMR. 

Depends what you mean by fair. I think it is fair that those who turn up every week each get a turn at 'winning' and that only those who turn up most weeks have a chance at 'winning' the series. However it does not tell us anything about how the sailors sailed or how the boats compare. Lets face it, it is a lottery and what can be fairer than that.



#76 Zorro2

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 01:05 PM

You guys will remember the suspicions and even behind the hand rumblings and mumblings two years ago when one particular boat was a consistent winner at RMYC on OMR each week. Did this lead to all skippers wondering how they could 'optimise' to the rule and sail better or faster...which is often cited as one of the so called 'benefits' of a rating system. Hardly, in fact it actually had the opposite effect with about half the fleet not bothering to get re weighed or re measured when the next opportunity arose. The point being that for some, OMR does nothing to stimulate the enjoyment of racing at all. Rather, more enjoyable is sailing under a system where the prospect of an occasional 'win' adds to the pleasure of being out on the water. (And we don't artificially fiddle PHS handicaps)

I fail to see how it is 'fair' if one or two boats regularly win weekly club races on OMR. More importantly, where's the fun in that? And to my mind, if it ain't fun' why do it?

#77 Trov„o

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 01:24 PM

does this boat that regularly wins weekly club races have a gift rating? or is it well sailed?



#78 Speng

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 02:06 PM

Nuddy nails it - part of the issue is with expectations.

 

When we sail, there are Uber Beach Cats (Marstrom and SL33s, D Cats), various farriers, some older "heavy tris", little one-offs like mine, and some cruisers. We all sail for the same trophies, but we also all know that we really need to focus on the close competition.  At the end of the day, me "beating" the SL33 probably has as much or more to do with the conditions that day than anything else.  But hanging in the the F31s or F25c is my goal.

 

Some racer education is as important as picking the "right" methodology.

 

BTW - I like the self-correcting factors in the ORCA methodology.

 

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES. Y E S!!!!!

 

Bill/Nuddy/Flash - You guys nailed it exactly.

 

1.) Use a system where everybody has a chance to do well if they show up every week to encourage participation and growth of the fleet across all segments/boat types because...

2.) The real fun is how you do/what you learn compared to boats that are similar to your own (I don't care about the trophy; its how did my F27 do against the F28s or other F27s) but for this we need participation (see #1)

3.) An automatic adjustment (means no one person can play games or be accused of playing games with ratings - NICE!)

 

But if above could be agreed, we gotta start somewhere with a base rating from which to do above and understand that actual weights are not going to happen.  Oh boy is this where the flaming starts?? To get the initial base rating is that:

 

a.) use a formula driven base number (but especially across the range and without weights this seemed flawed from the start and will need time for the observed corrections to kick in), or,

b.) pick an observed performance system (ala PHRF) for base numbers (and which one...), or,

c.) average PHRF numbers from wide range of groups?

 

I am scared and ducking now.

 

Wess

So what Bill described in post 48 is a VPP based TOT rating adjusted by race results a la Portsmouth. It's about as good a system as you can think of. For your fleet it's probably pretty good. If you race frequently you get your results updated as fast as possible so if you think your base is screwed up it gets fixed ASAP.

 

For a base rating I would recommend using one of the formula rules (e.g. MOCRA, OMR, Texel - they're pretty much all the same) for your base as in my limited experience you won't get very much different results from what a VPP will tell you for much less cost and effort (plus you've got less room for discussion). Because you're updating with real results the base gets washed away quickly.

 

If you've got historical race results you can "go back in time" and use these to adjust the base rating so you start off now with race adjusted results. After you've got base ratings don't fiddle with the system, just let the scoring software do it's statistics.

 

c in your list doesn't work because I doubt PHRF numbers for multis around the country are in any way consistent. b is a possibility and you could "import" ratings from some single area (e.g. BAMA, NEMA etc) but you're likely not to have rating for boat "x" and have to do some special procedure blah blah blah.

 

The good thing about the formula based rating is if some guy modifies his boat you can scale his current rating by the formula results.

 

This whole discussion underscores the problem with handicaps done the way we do them in the USA where every sailing area, yacht club etc tries to run its own handicapping/rating system and so the sailors are trying to rate their own boats and so you get the problems of self-interest, not-seeing-the-forest-for-the-trees, being concerned about the last race that was a drifter etc. Ratings/handicaps with all their spots, warts, and other flaws should come from on high somewhere rather than from 3 guys in a 10 boat fleet who're worried about the fact that Bob just got a screecher for his 4ksb...



#79 WYD_Dave

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 05:28 PM

On the weight subject, if you have the lines, you can measure the weight of the boat with a deadweight survey.  No crane, no load cell.  Having done many deadweight surveys and inclining tests I am aware of the limitations but it can be done.  I think a crane and calibrated load cell is still the most accurate.

 

The CSA rule here in the Caribbean (which is a monohull rule), which I am slowly becoming familiar with, has two conditions you can rate the boat.  One is light, basically stripped to the minimum equipment (there is a list of what is required to be on board..  The other is heavy (it is not called that but that is the idea)  Your boat will rate slower if measured heavy but then that equipment has to be on board at all times.  I prefer the light rating idea as it encourages people to keep their boats lean but that is just me.  If an owner did not want to be bothered to strip the boat then they can just use the heavy rating.  This thread is timely as we are going through this issue/discussion down here right now.

 

Regards, Dave



#80 Zorro2

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:48 PM

The concept of 'fairness' in a rating/handicap system has been raised in this thread. My concept of fairness is that it should reflect reality as closely as possible. If you start from that premise, this stuff is not that hard. In mixed fleet club racing, on average, some boats will be faster than others. Everyone in the fleet knows who the fast boats are. You have to start somewhere so take a 'fast boat' as a reference point, set his handicap at 1.00 and scale the other boats to that. Sail say 5 races, and record the ELAPSED time of each boat. Elapsed times around a racecourse are reality. Then check the relationships between the relative elapsed times and your starting 'guesstimates' and adjust as necessary. Obviously if you already have access to previous race records you can start off with reasonably well based baseline handicaps which reflect reality.

From that point, you can decide to leave the handicaps fixed across a series or season, or use software to manage changes on a race by race basis.

#81 NUDDY

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 11:08 PM

We have at least 2 definitions of fair going on here. Wess has defined it as 'best sailors win'. To achieve that one must rate the boats only and not the sailors. Historical records of what those sailors have achieved (on that boat) are not relevant to rating the boats.
If there is one particularly skillful crew in the fleet then under a 'fair' rating system that crew should win every week, failing to win only when that crew has a 'bad day'.
Others have defined fair as 'everyone has an even chance "winning" on the day'. To achieve this the simplest way is to have a lottery. A boat owner buys his ticket (sails the race and turns up at the club for the presentation). After the race the names of the finishers are put into a hat and the 'winner' is drawn.
It is possible to devise very complicated systems of using historical records and adjustments to achieve exactly the same result of fairness.
Another definition would be 'everyone gets a turn at winning'. This is best served by a handicap (not rating) system where a winning crew is penalised such that they won't win again until everyone else has had their turn.

Then we have the fun factor. For some, most fun is when the best sailors win. For some most fun is when 'luckiest' sailors win. For some most fun is when most improved wins. For some rating or handicap results contribute nothing to the fun.

For me, rating results are interesting, handicap results detract from the fun, prizes for race results detract from the fun (prefer a lottery).
Except for the RMYC prize for coming last.

I don't understand people who say I can't win so there is no point sailing. For me a win is when I beat a boat/crew that usually beats me.
For me all the fun happens on the water. The only fun in handicap results is watching other peoples reaction.

#82 Wess

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 11:25 PM

Yes but...

 

Lots of good information in this thread and its becoming quite clear that across the range of boats we deal with and the practical challenges that this could and perhaps should evolve.

 

I think it was you Nuddy and few others that point out why we (at least the people I enjoy racing with) race and that means that participation is a factor to the extent that across a wide range of boat types a reasonably well sailed boat has a chance at getting on the podium and not is always finishing hours behind on corrected.  And thus we have the ORCA self-correcting approach described by Bill and my evolving definition of what is "fair."  Perhaps I should say generally fair relative to sailing ability, but balancing that with encouraging fleet growth and participation.

 

Anyway, for such a hot button topic this was an amazingly helpful and civil thread.

 

Many thanks to all who contributed.

 

AND BY ALL MEANS DO CONTINUE!

 

Wess

We have at least 2 definitions of fair going on here. Wess has defined it as 'best sailors win'.



#83 Zorro2

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 12:16 AM

Sure, can't argue with most of this but the reality is, in mixed fleet racing, some kind of "adjustment" factor is needed to produce a "fair" and "realistic" corrected time - otherwise just sail one-design. Whether this adjustment factor is based on a boat's rating or the the boat's historical performance, for me, the "fun factor" as Paul calls it is in seeing the widest possible spread of results across a series or season. I am personally proud on presentation night to see as many faces as possible step up to the podium.. This generates a fine club spirit and camaraderie and keeps everyone's interest alive. That's what I think club racing is all about. And yes, we do give a prize each week for last on handicap!



#84 NUDDY

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 01:12 AM

Sure, can't argue with most of this but the reality is, in mixed fleet racing, some kind of "adjustment" factor is needed to produce a "fair" and "realistic" corrected time - otherwise just sail one-design. Whether this adjustment factor is based on a boat's rating or the the boat's historical performance, for me, the "fun factor" as Paul calls it is in seeing the widest possible spread of results across a series or season. I am personally proud on presentation night to see as many faces as possible step up to the podium.. This generates a fine club spirit and camaraderie and keeps everyone's interest alive. That's what I think club racing is all about. And yes, we do give a prize each week for last on handicap!

Sure that's all good but just don't deceive yourself that you are 'rewarding' good sailing. It is a 'golf handicap' and achieves the same thing as in golf, gives participants of all skill levels an even chance of winning and sure, gives "the widest possible spread of results across a series or season" and "on presentation night as many faces as possible step up to the podium". Such a definition of fair is legitimate and IMO correct. I love the last place prize as it does add to the fun and puts the whole thing into perspective don't take it all too seriously.

This is all very well for club racing, as was the handicap system we applied to the one-design 470s I raced in the early 80s. However we don't see handicaps applied to major golf tournaments, or one design nationals, where we are looking for the most skillful competitors to win. Similarly at a multihull major regatta or nationals we are looking for the best sailors to win so a rating system, not a handicap system should be primarily used. OK use a handicap system as secondary but don't take it too seriously.

Wes's definition of fair is 'best sailors win' and to achieve that he needs to use a rating system, not a handicap system. However if he wants to generate a fine club spirit and camaraderie and keep everyone's interest alive then he should use a 'golf handicap'. After all some of us would rather go sailing than play golf.



#85 Trov„o

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:16 AM

imho, speed is fun (read my signature), so i'd try to have the fastest (inside my budgetary limits) boat to take line honors (and records, if there are any), be the first to arrive at the bar/beer canoe/whatever and screw the corrected time.

 

and i agree with nuddy when he says that winning might mean beating the boat that usually beats me.






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