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2 hours ago, Brass said:

Prolly be more bewildered if we told them the name for that score.

Yea, kicking a behind is just not going to sound right to non-Aussies.

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1 hour ago, bgytr said:

And that is the one and best way to kill a handicap fleet.

Give one j35 a rating of 72 and give another one a rating of 63, and that's the end of that.

Not necessarily, its all about bragging rights anyway, do you want to be the guy who has the gift rating when its very clear that the handicap has been adjusted for performance?

If you give one J35 a 72 and another a 63, the sailor with the 63 KNOWS they are a better sailor, and hopefully congratulates their opponent when they win the performance handicapped race, because it means they are improving. If the performance handicapping is close to correct both crews know they have to work hard to win the race on corrected time, but the better crew also knows that they are working to a higher standard.

And as noted several times above its pretty easy to dual score using both a 'straight' handicap and a performance adjusted handicap, the value in doing this will depend on the fleet.

 

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On 6/8/2021 at 3:46 AM, Left Shift said:

Shouldn't the thread title read "PHRF:  Handicap or Random Number?"

There is nothing random about a PHS handicap apart from your starting value, perhaps. There after it's about maths without any fudge factors.  

My first race with my old Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40 had me with the same handicap as an Archambault 40RC. I guess the handicapper thought "French and 40 foot".

 

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30 minutes ago, The Dark Knight said:

There is nothing random about a PHS handicap apart from your starting value, perhaps. There after it's about maths without any fudge factors.  

My first race with my old Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40 had me with the same handicap as an Archambault 40RC. I guess the handicapper thought "French and 40 foot".

 

Right.  Which is why PHRF numbers for identical boats vary all across the country.  

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3 hours ago, Rambler said:

PHS is PHS. Personal (actually in practice it tends to be 'personal' to the boat since skippers are rarely checked).

If you go to a regatta and find a similar boat is grossly different from you, you might nicely point that out to the handicap and ask them to reconsider your starting PHS (I've done it).

But really, this is all about getting in the 90% of guys who aren't interested in IMS or whatever other expensive to rate system you want to nominate (and that, by the was is the ratio of rated boats to PHS at most open regattas. Indeed, the rated classes would rarely be 10% of entrants). Or even spending a lot on sails to be at the front of what might have been a PHRF if we had one (which for practical purposes, we don't). Most of that 90% go with the flow. There might be a bit of a grumble occasionally, but for the most part it is what it is. And both club and regatta fleets are bigger for it.

PHS is Performance Handicap System, IMS hasn't been around for many years.

The biggest issue with PHS is the starting hcp allocated, when a boat is racing in an event away from his usual club and competitors.  Whilst there ways of finding the PHS number that a boats races with at his local duck pond, but that does not mean much in a big event when the boat has to be rated against a big, diverse fleet from many different duck ponds.

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5 hours ago, JohnMB said:

Not necessarily, its all about bragging rights anyway, do you want to be the guy who has the gift rating when its very clear that the handicap has been adjusted for performance?

In case any of our northern hemisphere brethren feel like they're missing out...  smack talk in the bar usually goes something like this:

"Man I owe you 5 mins and I still smoked your ass out there!" 
"And so you should, I bet you weigh what 1 tonne(a) , two?"  
"Less than your fat ass, have you considered a diet? besides if I cleaned my bottom as much as you I'd probably owe you 10" 
"You'd Smell better too..." 

...and so on(b)



(a) 1 tonne = 2204.62lbs

(b)True story(c)

(c)Not really

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4 hours ago, trt131 said:

Whilst there ways of finding the PHS number that a boats races with at his local duck pond, but that does not mean much in a big event when the boat has to be rated against a big, diverse fleet from many different duck ponds.

New Zealand has a pretty good system for this I think.   If there was say a central authority in Australia who kept a central database of yacht results and handicaps, it would be possible to figure out roughly where each boat would rank.  There are very few truly one off boats around the place.  Except apparently mine, who's only sistership was added to the reef at blackrock many years ago.

But even then, one could probably see we're a bit faster than a Young 88 and 2-3mins per 100 of an Adams 10....etc.. etc... 

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11 hours ago, SemiSalt said:

This system is of the type I call "punishing the winners." When we did used it in our club, the best sailors had had their handicaps adjusted by over a minute, and they still won.  Since we did it over a large number of years, the average handicap was way lower than the average of PHRFs would have been. It got confusing.

I think I prefer a system of "rewarding the losers", the idea being to give the less successful sailors a more favorable handicap until you reach the point that on the day with conditions that favor them the most, and on which they sail their best race, they have a chance of winning. Keep in mind, the losers mostly know they are losers; they don't expect to win. 

Actually, it's more regression to the mean.  Every boat gets adjusted a gradient amount back to the mean every race.  Top, bottom, middle.  

The rate of that regression is configurable. 

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7 hours ago, JohnMB said:

Not necessarily, its all about bragging rights anyway, do you want to be the guy who has the gift rating when its very clear that the handicap has been adjusted for performance?

If you give one J35 a 72 and another a 63, the sailor with the 63 KNOWS they are a better sailor, and hopefully congratulates their opponent when they win the performance handicapped race, because it means they are improving. If the performance handicapping is close to correct both crews know they have to work hard to win the race on corrected time, but the better crew also knows that they are working to a higher standard.

And as noted several times above its pretty easy to dual score using both a 'straight' handicap and a performance adjusted handicap, the value in doing this will depend on the fleet.

 

I disagree, just my opinion.  I would not race with a different rating against an identical boat. 

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14 hours ago, Rambler said:

It is interesting reading the cultural difference that come out in this thread.

The PHS system allows, in Australia anyway, large fleets of cruiser/racers (where the 'racer' appellation is very generously tagged on) to come together for both club and regatta racing.

As someone else has already noted, it actually rewards consistent improvement (even if some people think of it as punishing it). But in the end, those who keep improving take out the pickle dish at the end of the season.

It makes mid week, no extras sailing available to everyone, but is also just as good for more serious weekend racing.

One yacht club I was at had pursuit races and we'd often have a wall of yachts approaching the finishing line together, it worked so well.

Hamilton Island Race Week, probably the biggest yacht regatta in Australia, would be a mere weak shadow of what it is without it.

Because it allow anyone in any sea-worthy yacht to enter any race without going through an expensive rating analysis.

For a season of yacht racing at a club, it really works well because there is time for the initial handicap to work itself out.

I admit it has limitations for a regatta because, if you get given the wrong initial handicap by a committee who don't even know you, there's not time for it to correct. It's happened to me big time (I was given a tougher handicap at HIRW for my very cruising orientated 35fter that a similar 45fter). That's life. It was still a good week. 

But I know sailors like sailman who think only the best yacht with the newest sails and best crew should ever win a trophy. Fortunately around here they are in a small minority. Even the good sailors accept the benefit of having a large friendly 'racing' fleet.

Rambler,

The differences in attitude are interesting.  I asked several of the crew on the boat I have raced for many years what they thought of the this PHS system and they are pretty much of the same opinion as myself.  If it works for AUS, fine.

 

 

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The big difference is that PHRF is supposed to handicap boats, not crew.  It assumes you have a clean bottom, decent sails and know how to sail the boat.  It works in many areas, if you don't like it don't sail in PHRF or start your own handicapping system and sell it to a group of boats.  The big difference is how much a certificate costs.  PHRF is popular because it is cheap. 

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6 hours ago, Gone Drinking said:

PHRF is popular because it is cheap.

So, getting a boat weighed and measured is cheap?  Because it certainly ain't here.  The certificate is the cheap part.  PHS costs you nothing; no measurement, no certificate, just rock on up...

I note even in NZ, there's only about 100 boats on their PHRF register (which has a PHS component to it as well).   There'd have to be more than 100 boats racing in NZ.  Which means they must be on some other system (probably PHS).   

Handicapping systems do more than just influence yacht designs.  Handicap systems also influence the type, quality, and demographic of racing.  It is worthwhile thinking beyond your own preferences and asking, what is the broader impact of the handicap system you are using.  Because from over here, PHRF seems to promote the use of old tarted up shit boxes and penalises heavily the newer faster boats "to protect the fleet".   IMHO it also promotes local hero syndrome... 

The phrase that's been used here is "if it works in AUS, great, but you can keep it".  Well to be blunt, there's lots of things that seem to clearly work here in AUS.  I mean, you guys couldn't even field an Americas Cup campaign without a boat full of Kiwis and Aussies.  Perhaps the key there is getting boats on the water and bums on boats?  

But perhaps in the end it has more to do with a general difference in Aussie vs US culture.  As a culture much of our social rewards systems are about people "having a go".  We champion the "Aussie Battler"  and criticise the tall poppies.  The underdog who gets a win every now and then is celebrated.  Maybe our preference of handicap systems is rooted in that...  *shrug*

 

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56 minutes ago, Spoonie said:

.....

But perhaps in the end it has more to do with a general difference in Aussie vs US culture.  As a culture much of our social rewards systems are about people "having a go".  We champion the "Aussie Battler"  and criticise the tall poppies.  The underdog who gets a win every now and then is celebrated.  Maybe our preference of handicap systems is rooted in that...  *shrug*

 

Heck I could be wrong, but seems in the US, the underdog is always cheered on.

Fer crisssakes our country was founded with a bunch of underdog rejects taking on the greatest world power at the time and winning.

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1 hour ago, Spoonie said:

So, getting a boat weighed and measured is cheap?  Because it certainly ain't here.  The certificate is the cheap part.  PHS costs you nothing; no measurement, no certificate, just rock on up...

I note even in NZ, there's only about 100 boats on their PHRF register (which has a PHS component to it as well).   There'd have to be more than 100 boats racing in NZ.  Which means they must be on some other system (probably PHS).   

Handicapping systems do more than just influence yacht designs.  Handicap systems also influence the type, quality, and demographic of racing.  It is worthwhile thinking beyond your own preferences and asking, what is the broader impact of the handicap system you are using.  Because from over here, PHRF seems to promote the use of old tarted up shit boxes and penalises heavily the newer faster boats "to protect the fleet".   IMHO it also promotes local hero syndrome... 

The phrase that's been used here is "if it works in AUS, great, but you can keep it".  Well to be blunt, there's lots of things that seem to clearly work here in AUS.  I mean, you guys couldn't even field an Americas Cup campaign without a boat full of Kiwis and Aussies.  Perhaps the key there is getting boats on the water and bums on boats?  

But perhaps in the end it has more to do with a general difference in Aussie vs US culture.  As a culture much of our social rewards systems are about people "having a go".  We champion the "Aussie Battler"  and criticise the tall poppies.  The underdog who gets a win every now and then is celebrated.  Maybe our preference of handicap systems is rooted in that...  *shrug*

 

It has actually been an eye opener to see the difference in culture.

I'm not sure how they conducted yacht races back in 1900, but we have of course had a highly publicised form of PHS sailing since around that time in the form of the 18ft skiff races (and still do)

Way back then a system was introduced, not just based on PHS, but with handicap starts to make a pursuit race with the winner being first over the line. Why? So the bookmakers immediately knew who to pay out on as the races were followed by a multitude of jam packed ferries with many thousands of people watching from them and the surrounding shores. My understanding was that it was the most popular spectator sport of the time (at least in Sydney).

At my country river based club, the fleet ranged from old IOR style production boats to French and German 'Caravan' Cruising/'racing' Yachts and on to more recent production race orientated boats. All racing together and each with a fair chance of winning any race. I'm sure most club PHS races are the same.

It would be interesting to know what US club fleets look like without that accommodation.

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1 hour ago, Spoonie said:

So, getting a boat weighed and measured is cheap?  Because it certainly ain't here.  The certificate is the cheap part.  PHS costs you nothing; no measurement, no certificate, just rock on up...

I note even in NZ, there's only about 100 boats on their PHRF register (which has a PHS component to it as well).   There'd have to be more than 100 boats racing in NZ.  Which means they must be on some other system (probably PHS).   

Handicapping systems do more than just influence yacht designs.  Handicap systems also influence the type, quality, and demographic of racing.  It is worthwhile thinking beyond your own preferences and asking, what is the broader impact of the handicap system you are using.  Because from over here, PHRF seems to promote the use of old tarted up shit boxes and penalises heavily the newer faster boats "to protect the fleet".   IMHO it also promotes local hero syndrome... 

The phrase that's been used here is "if it works in AUS, great, but you can keep it".  Well to be blunt, there's lots of things that seem to clearly work here in AUS.  I mean, you guys couldn't even field an Americas Cup campaign without a boat full of Kiwis and Aussies.  Perhaps the key there is getting boats on the water and bums on boats?  

But perhaps in the end it has more to do with a general difference in Aussie vs US culture.  As a culture much of our social rewards systems are about people "having a go".  We champion the "Aussie Battler"  and criticise the tall poppies.  The underdog who gets a win every now and then is celebrated.  Maybe our preference of handicap systems is rooted in that...  *shrug*

 

PHRF requires no weighing and measuring.  That's for IRC and those sorts of rules.  

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1 hour ago, Left Shift said:

PHRF requires no weighing and measuring.  That's for IRC and those sorts of rules.  

so given this long list of measurements in this particular set of PHRF rules, how do you know anyone has complied?

http://www.yra.org/PHRF/docs/ncphrf_rules_and_guidelines.pdf

I for one have no idea what my LWL is, and only vague notions of my LOA and BOA and only because I've seen my sisterships former IMS cert.

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45 minutes ago, Spoonie said:

so given this long list of measurements in this particular set of PHRF rules, how do you know anyone has complied?

http://www.yra.org/PHRF/docs/ncphrf_rules_and_guidelines.pdf

I for one have no idea what my LWL is, and only vague notions of my LOA and BOA and only because I've seen my sisterships former IMS cert.

Here in the Pacific Northwest it is owner-supplied information and on the honor system.  Go figure.  I suspect those mysterious numbers can be had from a class web site, boat sales websites, the manufacturer and/or the designer's office.  Or from a review in some sailing mag.  

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Fark me... I just read two different rule sets for PHRF from two different regions.  They both want a full set of measurements including sail girths, displacements, LWL etc... for the application form.  Bunches of rules on max LP, headboards and what not.   No weighing and measuring?  Unless I misunderstand completely, your rule sets seems to suggest otherwise.  Someone has to measure all that at least (or guess), then fork over $50-$100 for a certificate.  I can fork out $50 for an ORC club cert.  

You know, I just don't get the love for it.  You have all this extra bureaucracy based on some pseudo measurement rule, and a wet finger based on "the relative performance of the boat in your region".  A good sailor with a rare boat would likely be at the mercy of the local or chief handicapper with a painful drawn out process to get it adjusted.

 

2 minutes ago, Left Shift said:

I suspect those mysterious numbers can be had from a class web site, boat sales websites, the manufacturer and/or the designer's office.  Or from a review in some sailing mag

So you're taking a guess at a set of numbers, to which someone is guessing a possible performance, based on the performance of other boats that may or may not be similar, but otherwise measured with similar guesses, to produce a number which is pain in the arse for an owner to have changed if it's wrong.   Ever heard of compounding errors?

I can see how that encourages participation... 

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I've been playing with FAY... no not a young lady unfortunately, but the Falmouth Area Yardstick written by a Professor of Statistics  (a lady) .

After the adding of a small frig factor to the results, it produces fairly accurate results across the range of boats, compared to the RYA PN for boats in my area (inland rivers and Broads, not open water Like Falmouth). It's not that far off compared to the USA D-PN for small keelboats. (I've not tried larger ones.) 

For example the Herreshoff 12.5 Produces  these results.

Fay 10A,  PN 1251,  D-PN 107.1

Fay 14A, PN 1232 D-PN 105.4

RYA PN, 1296 converted from D-PN 110.9 

There are several versions of FAY and V10A is the most accurate for me, but V14 is not far off. fay.pdf (flushingsailingclub.co.uk)

What to you need to know? basically LWL, Draft, Displacement, upwind sail area, and  bulb keel? Most of these can come directly straight from the manufacturer or historical records.. For the boats I have been compiling into my spreadsheet most details came from here.. SailboatData.com - the worlds largest sailboat database .

If someone has modified their boat then it would be up to them to admit it, or others to challenge it. Personally I can't by cheating.. I'd know I'd cheated..

Oh one thing because crew weight is a considerable proportion of a small keelboats displacement I've added to each boat 100KG per crewperson. (my maximum weight :o)

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3 hours ago, Spoonie said:

Fark me... I just read two different rule sets for PHRF from two different regions.  They both want a full set of measurements including sail girths, displacements, LWL etc... for the application form.  Bunches of rules on max LP, headboards and what not.   No weighing and measuring?  Unless I misunderstand completely, your rule sets seems to suggest otherwise.  Someone has to measure all that at least (or guess), then fork over $50-$100 for a certificate.  I can fork out $50 for an ORC club cert.  

You know, I just don't get the love for it.  You have all this extra bureaucracy based on some pseudo measurement rule, and a wet finger based on "the relative performance of the boat in your region".  A good sailor with a rare boat would likely be at the mercy of the local or chief handicapper with a painful drawn out process to get it adjusted.

 

So you're taking a guess at a set of numbers, to which someone is guessing a possible performance, based on the performance of other boats that may or may not be similar, but otherwise measured with similar guesses, to produce a number which is pain in the arse for an owner to have changed if it's wrong.   Ever heard of compounding errors?

I can see how that encourages participation... 

So in PHS you do not have any restrictions on sail size?  You do not need to report any basic  hull measurements (LOA, LWL and draft)?

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8 minutes ago, sailman said:

So in PHS you do not have any restrictions on sail size?  You do not need to report any basic  hull measurements (LOA, LWL and draft)?

No. Nothing.

You just turn up and get a starting handicap which, in a small club might be nothing more than an educated (or uneducated) guess. In a bigger club they might have other similar boats to compare it with.

It will quickly resolve itself if the initial guess is wrong.

As both I am another have pointed out, it is not always fair when an unknown boat turns up for a regatta, since there won't be enough races to level out an initial error. That's life. I've had both a benefit and a penalty from that. They were both still fun regattas I couldn't have gone to otherwise.

And yes, by getting a new set of sails or otherwise modifying the boat, I can get a momentary advantage. That will sort itself out soon enough too.

And my guess is that 90% of yacht racing participation in Australia works on it.

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1 minute ago, Rambler said:

No. Nothing.

You just turn up and get a starting handicap which, in a small club might be nothing more than an educated (or uneducated) guess. In a bigger club they might have other similar boats to compare it with.

It will quickly resolve itself if the initial guess is wrong.

As both I am another have pointed out, it is not always fair when an unknown boat turns up for a regatta, since there won't be enough races to level out an initial error. That's life. I've had both a benefit and a penalty from that. They were both still fun regattas I couldn't have gone to otherwise.

And yes, by getting a new set of sails or otherwise modifying the boat, I can get a momentary advantage. That will sort itself out soon enough too.

And my guess is that 90% of yacht racing participation in Australia works on it.

PHS works well for club fleets and where there is a lot of inter club racing. Boats that race beyond their reason tend to have a measurement rating.

you are supposed to inform of mods like new sails or guest crew.

it’s good to have a full clubhouse post race.

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2 hours ago, Rambler said:

No. Nothing.

You just turn up and get a starting handicap which, in a small club might be nothing more than an educated (or uneducated) guess. In a bigger club they might have other similar boats to compare it with.

It will quickly resolve itself if the initial guess is wrong.

As both I am another have pointed out, it is not always fair when an unknown boat turns up for a regatta, since there won't be enough races to level out an initial error. That's life. I've had both a benefit and a penalty from that. They were both still fun regattas I couldn't have gone to otherwise.

And yes, by getting a new set of sails or otherwise modifying the boat, I can get a momentary advantage. That will sort itself out soon enough too.

And my guess is that 90% of yacht racing participation in Australia works on it.

Wow!  So you rely solely on the algorithm to adjust the ratings once an initial rating is given?  What happens if a boats adds a bigger or smaller sail?

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Just typed the PHRF formula into the FAY spreadsheet, the result of PRHF for my boat comes out between Fay 10A and Fay 14A which is good..

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18 minutes ago, The Q said:

Just typed the PHRF formula into the FAY spreadsheet, the result of PRHF for my boat comes out between Fay 10A and Fay 14A which is good..

What PHRF formula are you using?

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15 minutes ago, sailman said:

What PHRF formula are you using?

R' = 610-8.36*(SA/Disp^.333)+0.0000511*(SA^2)-55*(P/(J+E)) -30.8*LWL^.5)-602*(DR^2/SA)
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1 hour ago, sailman said:

Wow!  So you rely solely on the algorithm to adjust the ratings once an initial rating is given?  What happens if a boats adds a bigger or smaller sail?

Yes, unless the SI require you to declare changes, in which case th race committee can arbitrarily adjust your TCF

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And why is this not considered a major problem?

Because it will sort itself out fairly quickly,  & because most of the people racing PHS aren't there for the trophy,  it just adds a reason to be there and a bit of fun to the sail!

Most Aussie one design classes will run a form of PHS alongside their major trophies.  This includes everything from kids dinghies through to the TP 52's when they have a class regatta!

It gives the less competitive boats/crews a reason to come along,  which swells the fleet for everyone.  Local TP regattas can pull around a dozen boats with probably no more than 4 likely to win the overall prize.  Would you spend that sort of cash to come 5th -12th every regatta?  Yeah most of those guys probably would,  just to be part of it.  But often the biggest cheer at presentation is when an old, low budget boat sails above itself and takes home the handicap trophy.  Even the pros like to reward someone who has sailed above themselves.

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12 hours ago, Spoonie said:

Fark me... I just read two different rule sets for PHRF from two different regions.  They both want a full set of measurements including sail girths, displacements, LWL etc... for the application form.  Bunches of rules on max LP, headboards and what not.   No weighing and measuring?  Unless I misunderstand completely, your rule sets seems to suggest otherwise.  Someone has to measure all that at least (or guess), then fork over $50-$100 for a certificate.  I can fork out $50 for an ORC club cert.  

You know, I just don't get the love for it.  You have all this extra bureaucracy based on some pseudo measurement rule, and a wet finger based on "the relative performance of the boat in your region".  A good sailor with a rare boat would likely be at the mercy of the local or chief handicapper with a painful drawn out process to get it adjusted.

 

So you're taking a guess at a set of numbers, to which someone is guessing a possible performance, based on the performance of other boats that may or may not be similar, but otherwise measured with similar guesses, to produce a number which is pain in the arse for an owner to have changed if it's wrong.   Ever heard of compounding errors?

I can see how that encourages participation... 

As a good friend and naval architect once said about PHRF:  "Multiplying one approximation by another approximation rarely results in improved accuracy."

She was especially critical of those who encouraged converting PHRF ToD ratings into ToT guesstimates.  

Personally, I sail with an ORC club certificate.  PHRF should stand for Politics and Hunches Rating Fabrication.

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6 hours ago, TUBBY said:

 Even the pros like to reward someone who has sailed above themselves.

And this is the thing, the clubhouse is full after every race while people hang out to see who gets to go home with the bottle of plonk or whatever.  Cheers go out to the winners, especially the occasional ones.  At our club at least, if you're not there to get your prize, it goes to the next boat... 

I talked about the motivating behaviours of handicaps before, well here's what PHS motivates:

  1. If you improve, you win.  It rewards you for having sailed above yourself, then pushes you to try harder next time in order to keep winning.  
  2. Because of point 1, the racing is intense.  You can't relax knowing you're in front of boat X because you need to be in front of boat by a bigger % than you were last time if you want to keep beating them.
  3. It encourages you to hang back at the bar after the race, because no matter where you finished in the fleet over the line, you might still take home a bottle of plonk (if you sailed above yourself that day)
  4. It discourages largesse on boats and crew.  People still buy top end sails and equipment, clean their bottoms, all those things because the want to.  Because it improves the on-water competitiveness, but rating wise it comes out in the wash.
  5. In encourages (IMHO) individual recognition of boat/crew capabilities.  Owner to owner, crew to crew, we know who is sailing well and who isn't regardless of the handicap.  That recognition takes place in the bar or on the beach and there's generally a really good comradery about it.  
  6. It encourages top sailors to let go a bit.  They're not racing for sheep stations here... and just because you sailed well doesn't matter if Boat Y sailed a greater % above their average that day.
  7. Because of point 6, the racing is generally, friendly
  8. And most of all, it encourages you to bring your boat, in whatever configuration it is in, to just rock up and have a go.  There is no legal or illegal configurations, no measurement, no "phs cheater boat".  The scoresheet tells the story.

An generally, the corrected results come up pretty close.   This is the score sheet from some local racing a couple weeks back:

http://www.topyacht.net.au/results/balmainsc/2020/kb/whws/02RGrp20.htm?ty=84173
 

That's two races in so the handicaps will still be working themselves out a bit, but most of these boats sail together on a weekly basis so they're not far off.

http://www.topyacht.net.au/results/dsc/2019/postxmas/05RGrp3.htm?ty=39451

Cherry picking another set from towards the end of last year.  corrected times are within a few minutes mostly

AHC is the handicap for the race.  BCH is the number you actually sailed at.  CHC is the corrected handicap between your last handicap (AHC) and the number you actually sailed at (BCH) which you will get for the next race.

Mathematically, PHRF could work really well if you can scale the numbers properly between classes of boats, and people sail there boats in class configuration.  *provided* there are sufficient boats in each class to get a good spread of sailors and capabilities *and* a particular class isn't favoured more by say pundits or pros.  Otherwise, if you want a fixed handicap, go get a proper VPP based handicap.

IMHO, ORC Club is good for that, because their dataset includes full ORCi vpp data of boats from which they can approximate reasonable numbers from a subset of attributes.

Anyway, for any handicap there are winners and losers.  A change from PHRF to anything would mean there will be a section of sailors who will no longer win as much, and to which that's a problem for them.   Whether or not that's a good thing for sailing or your club is another matter entirely.

 

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7 hours ago, TUBBY said:

most of the people racing PHS aren't there for the trophy,  it just adds a reason to be there and a bit of fun to the sail!

Which is a bit odd because PHS is most 'accurate' or 'valid' when a series pointscore smoothes out lucky breaks, and conditions in a particular race favouring a particular boat.

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7 hours ago, TUBBY said:

And why is this not considered a major problem?

Because it will sort itself out fairly quickly,  & because most of the people racing PHS aren't there for the trophy,  it just adds a reason to be there and a bit of fun to the sail!

.....

Which is why all the discussions in the bar are always so harmonious.   And no one ever appeals their or another boat's rating.

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2 hours ago, Spoonie said:

And this is the thing, the clubhouse is full after every race while people hang out to see who gets to go home with the bottle of plonk or whatever.  Cheers go out to the winners, especially the occasional ones.  At our club at least, if you're not there to get your prize, it goes to the next boat... 

I talked about the motivating behaviours of handicaps before, well here's what PHS motivates:

  1. If you improve, you win.  It rewards you for having sailed above yourself, then pushes you to try harder next time in order to keep winning.  
  2. Because of point 1, the racing is intense.  You can't relax knowing you're in front of boat X because you need to be in front of boat by a bigger % than you were last time if you want to keep beating them.
  3. It encourages you to hang back at the bar after the race, because no matter where you finished in the fleet over the line, you might still take home a bottle of plonk (if you sailed above yourself that day)
  4. It discourages largesse on boats and crew.  People still buy top end sails and equipment, clean their bottoms, all those things because the want to.  Because it improves the on-water competitiveness, but rating wise it comes out in the wash.
  5. In encourages (IMHO) individual recognition of boat/crew capabilities.  Owner to owner, crew to crew, we know who is sailing well and who isn't regardless of the handicap.  That recognition takes place in the bar or on the beach and there's generally a really good comradery about it.  
  6. It encourages top sailors to let go a bit.  They're not racing for sheep stations here... and just because you sailed well doesn't matter if Boat Y sailed a greater % above their average that day.
  7. Because of point 6, the racing is generally, friendly
  8. And most of all, it encourages you to bring your boat, in whatever configuration it is in, to just rock up and have a go.  There is no legal or illegal configurations, no measurement, no "phs cheater boat".  The scoresheet tells the story.

An generally, the corrected results come up pretty close.   This is the score sheet from some local racing a couple weeks back:

http://www.topyacht.net.au/results/balmainsc/2020/kb/whws/02RGrp20.htm?ty=84173
 

That's two races in so the handicaps will still be working themselves out a bit, but most of these boats sail together on a weekly basis so they're not far off.

http://www.topyacht.net.au/results/dsc/2019/postxmas/05RGrp3.htm?ty=39451

Cherry picking another set from towards the end of last year.  corrected times are within a few minutes mostly

AHC is the handicap for the race.  BCH is the number you actually sailed at.  CHC is the corrected handicap between your last handicap (AHC) and the number you actually sailed at (BCH) which you will get for the next race.

Mathematically, PHRF could work really well if you can scale the numbers properly between classes of boats, and people sail there boats in class configuration.  *provided* there are sufficient boats in each class to get a good spread of sailors and capabilities *and* a particular class isn't favoured more by say pundits or pros.  Otherwise, if you want a fixed handicap, go get a proper VPP based handicap.

IMHO, ORC Club is good for that, because their dataset includes full ORCi vpp data of boats from which they can approximate reasonable numbers from a subset of attributes.

Anyway, for any handicap there are winners and losers.  A change from PHRF to anything would mean there will be a section of sailors who will no longer win as much, and to which that's a problem for them.   Whether or not that's a good thing for sailing or your club is another matter entirely.

 

Fantastic summary

The "not racing for sheep stations" is a phrase I use on the very rare occasions I have to deal with someone losing their perspective. It's a very adapt expression but may confuse or amuse our non-Aussie friends here.

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3 hours ago, Left Shift said:

Which is why all the discussions in the bar are always so harmonious.   And no one ever appeals their or another boat's rating.

Since you're in the US, I'm not sure if your statements are reinforcement or sarcasms.

But actually, they are both pretty fair statements. yes, there's always an idiot or two, but he'll find little support. And on the latter, it is of course, not a rating but a handicap that applied only to the race just finished. The result will give him a different handicap next time.

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4 hours ago, Spoonie said:

And this is the thing, the clubhouse is full after every race while people hang out to see who gets to go home with the bottle of plonk or whatever.  Cheers go out to the winners, especially the occasional ones.  At our club at least, if you're not there to get your prize, it goes to the next boat... 

I talked about the motivating behaviours of handicaps before, well here's what PHS motivates:

  1. If you improve, you win.  It rewards you for having sailed above yourself, then pushes you to try harder next time in order to keep winning.  
  2. Because of point 1, the racing is intense.  You can't relax knowing you're in front of boat X because you need to be in front of boat by a bigger % than you were last time if you want to keep beating them.
  3. It encourages you to hang back at the bar after the race, because no matter where you finished in the fleet over the line, you might still take home a bottle of plonk (if you sailed above yourself that day)
  4. It discourages largesse on boats and crew.  People still buy top end sails and equipment, clean their bottoms, all those things because the want to.  Because it improves the on-water competitiveness, but rating wise it comes out in the wash.
  5. In encourages (IMHO) individual recognition of boat/crew capabilities.  Owner to owner, crew to crew, we know who is sailing well and who isn't regardless of the handicap.  That recognition takes place in the bar or on the beach and there's generally a really good comradery about it.  
  6. It encourages top sailors to let go a bit.  They're not racing for sheep stations here... and just because you sailed well doesn't matter if Boat Y sailed a greater % above their average that day.
  7. Because of point 6, the racing is generally, friendly
  8. And most of all, it encourages you to bring your boat, in whatever configuration it is in, to just rock up and have a go.  There is no legal or illegal configurations, no measurement, no "phs cheater boat".  The scoresheet tells the story.

An generally, the corrected results come up pretty close.   This is the score sheet from some local racing a couple weeks back:

http://www.topyacht.net.au/results/balmainsc/2020/kb/whws/02RGrp20.htm?ty=84173
 

That's two races in so the handicaps will still be working themselves out a bit, but most of these boats sail together on a weekly basis so they're not far off.

http://www.topyacht.net.au/results/dsc/2019/postxmas/05RGrp3.htm?ty=39451

Cherry picking another set from towards the end of last year.  corrected times are within a few minutes mostly

AHC is the handicap for the race.  BCH is the number you actually sailed at.  CHC is the corrected handicap between your last handicap (AHC) and the number you actually sailed at (BCH) which you will get for the next race.

Mathematically, PHRF could work really well if you can scale the numbers properly between classes of boats, and people sail there boats in class configuration.  *provided* there are sufficient boats in each class to get a good spread of sailors and capabilities *and* a particular class isn't favoured more by say pundits or pros.  Otherwise, if you want a fixed handicap, go get a proper VPP based handicap.

IMHO, ORC Club is good for that, because their dataset includes full ORCi vpp data of boats from which they can approximate reasonable numbers from a subset of attributes.

Anyway, for any handicap there are winners and losers.  A change from PHRF to anything would mean there will be a section of sailors who will no longer win as much, and to which that's a problem for them.   Whether or not that's a good thing for sailing or your club is another matter entirely.

 

Great post - I would add that PHS handicapping has varying algorithms to make the changes greater or smaller race by race. You can also adjust limits, so if one yacht has an absolute blinder, or a complete shocker, their handicap only goes up or down by a fixed percentage. This helps to discourage people from throwing a race, and also doesn't overly penalise the boat that finishes before the breeze dies.

I have been handicapping using TopYacht and other systems for around 20 years, and the number of complaints, in the scheme of things, have been negligible. My main criticism of Top Yacht is that each series has no input from previous series, meaning the averaging starts again. I think this leads to more changes early in a new series that may be lessened by carrying over results. The more results you can average over the more accurate the handicap can be.

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3 minutes ago, mccroc said:

Great post - I would add that PHS handicapping has varying algorithms to make the changes greater or smaller race by race. You can also adjust limits, so if one yacht has an absolute blinder, or a complete shocker, their handicap only goes up or down by a fixed percentage. This helps to discourage people from throwing a race, and also doesn't overly penalise the boat that finishes before the breeze dies.

I have been handicapping using TopYacht and other systems for around 20 years, and the number of complaints, in the scheme of things, have been negligible. My main criticism of Top Yacht is that each series has no input from previous series, meaning the averaging starts again. I think this leads to more changes early in a new series that may be lessened by carrying over results. The more results you can average over the more accurate the handicap can be.

Speaking to you as someone who is on the front line of it, what we really need is a way of feeding that into some central database so we could pull out reasonable starting handicaps for regattas.

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3 minutes ago, Rambler said:

Speaking to you as someone who is on the front line of it, what we really need is a way of feeding that into some central database so we could pull out reasonable starting handicaps for regattas.

Yes I agree. I do feel that SailSys has more historical data on a wider range of yachts, but of course not many clubs use it compared with Top Yacht.  Whenever I need to handicap yachts that I don't know, I end up trawling through every club's results - Twilights, spinnaker, non-spinnaker etc to try and find a result in a race against a yacht i know, and then try and extrapolate that. Problem is of course the first race is a drifter, or a howler, and it all goes out the window!

It would be great to have a centralised database - I guess each club would have to allow their results to be used - but if it happened, then you could search by yacht, or design. 

Unfortunately there still is resistance between the various clubs in Sydney - not sure what is like elsewhere.

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21 hours ago, The Q said:

There are several versions of FAY and V10A is the most accurate for me, but V14 is not far off. fay.pdf (flushingsailingclub.co.uk)

I find this stuff really interesting.  You need to be careful of formula driven rules like this as they will invariably favour a corner of the rule.  In this case, long heavy boats with shallow drafts would potentially rate better and or be able to carry larger sail areas.  The "t" factor as a multiplier is a bit wet finger in the air for my liking

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2 hours ago, mccroc said:

Yes I agree. I do feel that SailSys has more historical data on a wider range of yachts, but of course not many clubs use it compared with Top Yacht.  Whenever I need to handicap yachts that I don't know, I end up trawling through every club's results - Twilights, spinnaker, non-spinnaker etc to try and find a result in a race against a yacht i know, and then try and extrapolate that. Problem is of course the first race is a drifter, or a howler, and it all goes out the window!

It would be great to have a centralised database - I guess each club would have to allow their results to be used - but if it happened, then you could search by yacht, or design. 

Unfortunately there still is resistance between the various clubs in Sydney - not sure what is like elsewhere.

If you are the handicapper and have access to the Handicapper menu in Topyacht, look at the bottom of that page and you will see lots of data.

 

HCP menu.jpg

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2 hours ago, Spoonie said:

I find this stuff really interesting.  You need to be careful of formula driven rules like this as they will invariably favour a corner of the rule.  In this case, long heavy boats with shallow drafts would potentially rate better and or be able to carry larger sail areas.  The "t" factor as a multiplier is a bit wet finger in the air for my liking

Oh good. My boat is approximately 5 :1 LWL to BWL ..:D 25% heavier than the next heaviest boat in class and where I sail everything is shallow draft unless you like ploughing the mud.. The normal keel depth here  is about 3 ft and even the biggest 45 footers would only have a keel depth of around 4.5ft which limits their sailing area...

An example of a big one... Name Maidie | National Historic Ships

I too have got quite into investigating Handicap formulas and may well add other s as I find them..

Note, in my comparison spreadsheet all the boats are shallow draft mostly traditional designs, mostly  local some from elsewhere such as the Herreshoff 12 1/2. This means I am comparing similar types of boat. There are no torpedo on a stick keel,  boats sailed locally.

A traditionally keeled local boat, hull length 20ft (plus 2ft of bowsprit when sailing), LWL 18ft, my boats  lwl is 16ft See the source image

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On 6/10/2021 at 3:27 AM, Gone Drinking said:

The big difference is that PHRF is supposed to handicap boats, not crew.  

A different way to consider PHS is that it handicaps crews, and not boats.

I used to crew on a 50fter where we raced against 4 or 5 TPs each week. Roughly similar hull form, except we weighed 8 tons plus vs their 6.5 tons. Racing under IRC, where the TPs seem to do OK. So in normal conditions they would spank us, but occasionaly (normally when it was blowing dogs of chains) we could get up for a win. Really used to shit us when they were planing off in 15 knots while we were stuck in displacement mode. So the owners got their glory (or not) under IRC - pretty much driven by weather and then budget.

Under PHS however, we as crew (normally about a dozen of us) got to make all the difference. If we got all the changes done cleanly, picked the shifts, and kept the boat going fast, we could get a win under PHS. And to the crew, that said we sailed the boat better than the other crews. Sometimes it was nice to be able to point out to rival crews that they may have a richer owner, but we were the better sailors. (Actually that was way more fun on the few times we beat the TPs across the line).

The owner supported this approach, giving the PHS trophies (ie a wine glass etc) to the crew.

So I think there is room for both - IRC to rate the boats, PHS to handicap the crews.

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  • 4 weeks later...

After a few of the local races, which varied from a committee boat setting a course to starting with a line extended from a jetty based on GPS time, it's been surprisingly fun, which after all is why I spend the time and money on it. 

We even raced one with the mainsail covered as there were only two of us, the the crew that day was new to the boat, and winded trying to bring in the genoa. We did >85% of our polars that way, and were grinding down the smaller equally rated boats, when we decided it was getting to be less fun with the chaotic sea state, and I was getting concerned about the crew having a medical issue. 

Getting a bit frustrated in the light airs of one race, I picked up a lightweight used Asymmetric, and a Selden Sprit, and will use it along with my ancient 180% LP genoa and drifter, suggesting that my rating be adjusted per the NORCAL PHRF issued change for the 30% increase in "SPL" or "J". 

It's hilarious to be in an arms race at this level, but with an Olson 25, S2 7.9 and Lioness all at "168" PHRF, we have a circus at the get go. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, LionessRacing said:

After a few of the local races, which varied from a committee boat setting a course to starting with a line extended from a jetty based on GPS time, it's been surprisingly fun, which after all is why I spend the time and money on it. 

We even raced one with the mainsail covered as there were only two of us, the the crew that day was new to the boat, and winded trying to bring in the genoa. We did >85% of our polars that way, and were grinding down the smaller equally rated boats, when we decided it was getting to be less fun with the chaotic sea state, and I was getting concerned about the crew having a medical issue. 

Getting a bit frustrated in the light airs of one race, I picked up a lightweight used Asymmetric, and a Selden Sprit, and will use it along with my ancient 180% LP genoa and drifter, suggesting that my rating be adjusted per the NORCAL PHRF issued change for the 30% increase in "SPL" or "J". 

It's hilarious to be in an arms race at this level, but with an Olson 25, S2 7.9 and Lioness all at "168" PHRF, we have a circus at the get go. 

 

 

Are the Olson 25 and S2 from Southport?  If so, fast sailors and good boats.

Can't support the handicap idea for a club.  I suggest the club invest in hiring a coach to come and present some classes on how to sail more efficiently and actually learn the art :-)

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On 6/9/2021 at 8:42 PM, Spoonie said:

The phrase that's been used here is "if it works in AUS, great, but you can keep it".  Well to be blunt, there's lots of things that seem to clearly work here in AUS.  I mean, you guys couldn't even field an Americas Cup campaign without a boat full of Kiwis and Aussies.  

I must have missed the Australian entry for this last America's cup round. I'll have to rewatch...

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1 hour ago, dolphinmaster said:

Are the Olson 25 and S2 from Southport?  If so, fast sailors and good boats.

Can't support the handicap idea for a club.  I suggest the club invest in hiring a coach to come and present some classes on how to sail more efficiently and actually learn the art :-)

Heck, forget about looking far, buzz Jaime up in Southport, (S2 7.9, Bernadette).  He knows all the local weather patterns, sea breeze patterns, seasonal patterns, tides, river, ocean etc.  And he can make any boat up and scoot!

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On 3/25/2021 at 7:48 AM, LionessRacing said:

Local sailing association will be having it's skippers organizational meeting Saturday, and I am told that they use PHRF ratings as essentially a handicap. You win too often and your rating will be adjusted. As this is for fun and a reason to get out, I'm not worried about the scoring, as long as we sail well. As it's the only racing in the area we'll participate and have a good time doing it. 

Question:

Anyone have a system that they've experienced that is used for this that would be consistent and "objective" to avoid personalities entering into the numbers? 

E.G. something like if your corrected time is less than the top 20% of the fleet you subsequently get a handicap adjustment to reduce the difference by 50%? Overtime that should level out the well sailed/prepared boats while leaving the less competitive ones alone? Optionally you can take the bottom 20% and modulate their ratings towards the middle as well. 

It is NOT supposed to rate the crew, it is supposed to rate the BOAT. That said, if there are not a lot of boat type X sailing, it ends up rating the crew. I once tried to protest my rating with tons of documentation and then that year by lot of random luck not going into holes I don't think we did worse than 3rd and the PHRF people told us to GTFO being they made our rating worse :rolleyes: There was not a bunch of my type racing to compare, it was just us.

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9 hours ago, dolphinmaster said:

Are the Olson 25 and S2 from Southport?  If so, fast sailors and good boats.

Can't support the handicap idea for a club.  I suggest the club invest in hiring a coach to come and present some classes on how to sail more efficiently and actually learn the art :-)

Think both from Little River

the “racingfleet “ Saturday was just S2 and Lioness. And we had engine trouble. 

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I am fortunate to have boat with well established handicap and I can tell you that after losing it never occurs to me to ask for a change in handicap. We want to beat the other boats over the line regardless of handicap and we want to sail well enough to win on a net basis as well because that means we sailed well. 

Our best aspiration would be to refine the handicapping process to make the boats even enough that a night of good sailing or tactics can make it a win. Part of this reviewing the handicaps of the boats in our fleets to insure nobody is getting a gift relative to other (PHRF in my case) jurisdictions.  

We have finished poorly in many cases and it was all down to our sailing and mostly my skippering 

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I did that Golf thing a couple years back 

1st  minus 30 phrf

2nd minus 20

3 minus 10

 

last plus 30 

second to last plus 20 

 

with 12 boats sailing the season in 10 races .....  1st 2nd 3rd were the same as regular phrf    last 3 were the same  only differece was between 4 5 6 place ....

AT the end the fast boats had low double digit Phrf and the slow boats were close to 300 ....

It was fun to do but not worth the hassle 

 

 

 

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On 7/14/2021 at 12:33 PM, THOR said:

I did that Golf thing a couple years back 

1st  minus 30 phrf

2nd minus 20

3 minus 10

 

last plus 30 

second to last plus 20 

 

with 12 boats sailing the season in 10 races .....  1st 2nd 3rd were the same as regular phrf    last 3 were the same  only differece was between 4 5 6 place ....

AT the end the fast boats had low double digit Phrf and the slow boats were close to 300 ....

It was fun to do but not worth the hassle 

 

 

 

The golf handicap process is different than many think and perhaps is applicable if someone were to be prepared to do the work of entry. With golf, they use the best 10 of your last 20 scores to represent your potential. If you used a smaller total it might help bring handicap closer over time and would be more fair but I would think you would need to use time differences to have it really mean anything. 

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