PHRF as a Handicap vs a Rating...

Spoonie

Anarchist
742
91
Sydney
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

 

trt131

Super Anarchist
1,576
312
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

 

The Q

Super Anarchist
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 
17970001.jpg


 
Last edited by a moderator:

Se7en

Super Anarchist
1,235
461
Melbourne
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.

 

LionessRacing

Super Anarchist
4,328
573
Myrtle Beach,
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. 

 
Last edited by a moderator:

dolphinmaster

Super Anarchist
1,637
149
Chapel Hill, NC
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 :)

 

Reference

Member
309
127
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...

 

dolphinmaster

Super Anarchist
1,637
149
Chapel Hill, NC
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!

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
26,569
4,634
Kent Island!
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.

 

LionessRacing

Super Anarchist
4,328
573
Myrtle Beach,
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. 

 

danstanford

Anarchist
574
132
Lake Ontario
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 

 
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 

 

danstanford

Anarchist
574
132
Lake Ontario
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. 

 
G

Guest

Guest
I'm interested in VPRS because I thought my Martin 242 had a reasonable one-design PHRF rating that was set in stone due to having been well established (250+ boats) and used successfully for decades.  But when Martin 242s cleaned up in recent PHRF races in BC (Canada), PHRF-BC lowered the rating from 165 to 147 (18 seconds per mile!).  I know that in time PHRF NW will lower my rating, too, when my competition in the US finds out.  When that happens we'll still partake in races but when the playing field is so tilted much of the fun will be gone.

At 147, Martins in BC rate faster than boats that have more sail area, longer waterlines, and less displacement.  And I mean, not even close.  For example, consider the local Wylie Wabbit, a boat that is the same LOA as a Martin but slightly longer WL and SA/D 33% greater than a Martin (Wabbit's is 32, equal to that of a Melges 24).  Oh, and the Wabbit can use a trapeze to keep it on its feet.  Surely the Wabbit rates faster than the Martin, right?  Nope, not in PHRF-BC; no, Wylie Wabbits, which weigh about the same as the Martin's keel, RATE 159 - SO THE MARTIN HAS TO GIVE THE WABBIT 12 SECONDS PER MILE.  Unbelievable.

Another example: A Moore 24 weighs 400 lbs less than a Martin, but SA/D is about the same.  the Moore has a WL 13% longer.  Given these figures, why is the Moore 24 rated 8 sec/mile slower (155 under PHRF-BC)?

There are many other examples (I've compiled a list) but you get my point.

Why do Martins do so well in PHRF races?  Because extremely competitive one-design racing has brought many sailors and their boats to very high standards.  When they enter PHRF races their superior skills and boat prep (as compared to the typical club PHRF racer) allow them to finish well up in the standings.  What other results should there be?  Any other one-design fleet that raises its collective standards as the Martin fleet has would also score well in PHRF, too. 

Changing the rating to penalize a competitive class like the Martins is unfair and short-sighted.  It will only lead to lower attendance in PHRF events as racers stay away from an unfair situation.  

Which leads me back to VPRS.  If you don't know what it is, I'll summarize by saying it is a measurement rating system (don't roll your eyes, it may be better than such systems in the past) that assigns a speed rating to each boat.  It uses VPP (Velocity Prediction Program) to assign a rating to the boat, regardless of the sailors on it.  Please research this system and tell us what you think.

Thanks for getting to the end of this long post!

 
Top