Time on Time Scoring

jerseyguy

Super Anarchist
Say what you will about PHRF and it’s flaws and shortcomings, and there are some. But it has been around for 40ish years while other, allegedly superior systems, have come and gone. For the kind of racing I do PHRF is more than adequate.

 

Foredeck Shuffle

More of a Stoic Cynic, Anarchy Sounds Exhausting
Something being around for 40 years is not a mark of quality.

Other than that a PHRF certificate is low effort because you do not need to measure anything about the boat as there is no measurer to certify the numbers, just guesstimate or take some online numbers and transpose them, and it is cheap to get a certificate, what is good about PHRF that is related to fair competition?

I became tired of OD because that was nearly all I did for 35 years and the OD's in Annapolis are mostly ancient and only one from this century is milquetoast.  A couple years here and I'd gladly sail a Cal25, Alberg30, J105, even a damn J/70, rather than sail in PHRF.

 

Tcatman

Super Anarchist
1,495
137
Chesapeake Bay
For the kind of racing I do PHRF is more than adequate.
Could well be!...  but the question is... how much of a consensus does your fleet have that PHRF is adequate.   Stuart Walker in writing about one design fleets focused the efforts of the fleet captains on the last guy in the pecking order...  His argument... when you loose that guy.... you have a new last guy and a shrinking fleet.    With handicap fleets, you have an additional issue  about the rating system that you use....   You can loose competitors over ratings issues when the integrity of the process is undermined.  Diminishing the complaints (as that is just PHRF or it doesn't really matter to the final result) undermines the  core value of fair competition.  Loosing competitors over the handicap system selected and implemented seems to me to be a correctable problem.  One has to always test the consensus against reality..... or you risk loosing another competitor.

 

jerseyguy

Super Anarchist
Could well be!...  but the question is... how much of a consensus does your fleet have that PHRF is adequate.   Stuart Walker in writing about one design fleets focused the efforts of the fleet captains on the last guy in the pecking order...  His argument... when you loose that guy.... you have a new last guy and a shrinking fleet.    With handicap fleets, you have an additional issue  about the rating system that you use....   You can loose competitors over ratings issues when the integrity of the process is undermined.  Diminishing the complaints (as that is just PHRF or it doesn't really matter to the final result) undermines the  core value of fair competition.  Loosing competitors over the handicap system selected and implemented seems to me to be a correctable problem.  One has to always test the consensus against reality..... or you risk loosing another competitor.
The word is losing, not loosing.

My club has been racing under PHRF/TOD sinc I started racing in the early 80s. Every year when we adopt the racing calendar and rules for the season the question is always asked whether we want to go to another rating system.  At one time we had an IOR section. As those guys changed boats or retired the remainder came to race under PHRF because that’s where the action was.  We had a J/24 one design start for a few years until, again, those skippers stopped racing or moved to bigger boats.  There was, briefly enough T-10s for a one design start but they too went extinct.  We have an active Star fleet that follows their own desires and about 4 or 5 S2 7.9s that race one design.  The few boats left race PHRF and there does not seem to be any measurable level of discontent.

 

LionessRacing

Super Anarchist
4,364
596
Myrtle Beach,
EH... PHRF IS FOR FUN.

If you are serious about your racing to the point that you are willing to cheat, get out of PHRF and go play big bucks games. 

Leave it to those who sail seriously but don't "race" seriously enough to be memorizing rules by numbers, taking the 2nd anchor and rode off and otherwise optimizing the boat past reasonable bottom preparation and decent sails and gear. 

I'm sailing in my first CRW, I expect to have fun and will probably get my transom waxed due to a lack of local knowledge and a new to the boat crew. 

that being said, the new to the boat crew, enables me to deliver, race and return and it's going to be a fun weekend. 

 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
11,058
2,689
That's amusing and I'd be ok with you doing it if I were at your club but I'm not willing to go there.

I've decided to sail racing dinghies rather than deal with PHRF nonsense ever again.  I can afford one for every day of the week and still get a cruiser for less than keeping a single racer/cruiser in fighting condition.  Now if only I could find somewhere to keep and launch seven different small boats without having to break them down and go home with them every day...
Just to be clear, we straight up told him we’d mess with his boat if he kept cheating. We kept it completely harmless, and made it very obvious. The whole fleet was in on the joke. 

 

Foredeck Shuffle

More of a Stoic Cynic, Anarchy Sounds Exhausting
Just to be clear, we straight up told him we’d mess with his boat if he kept cheating. We kept it completely harmless, and made it very obvious. The whole fleet was in on the joke. 
Not judging.  I hate PHRF.  If you messed with RC watches, strapped pfd's or tied buckets to keels, filled bilges with lead ingots, I would still not think ill of you.  I might even buy you a beer and a tot of rum for your story.

 
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Foredeck Shuffle

More of a Stoic Cynic, Anarchy Sounds Exhausting
It's a long history of different problems.  When I was primarily a OD racer in Annapolis, occasionally we would have to drop to MORC, IMS, IRC, or PHRF to race on some weekend race, or in some OD cases, to race Wednesdays.  This is my personal experience and I'm going to rant, cause it's Sunday and the news is depressing and I can only read so man more technical articles about FedRAMP compliance or which sublimation ink to purchase to turn a new Epson Ecotank printer into a sublimation printer.

PHRF Fuckery - A brief history of stupidity, dead ends, and unwanted gift ratings.

  • While I've experienced PHRF in a wide variety of boats it is the Mumm30 that stands out as the true example of what a disaster of a rating system PHRF is.  If you have seen the Mumm30 PHRF ratings around the United States you quickly see that something is wrong.  No boat should have a 27 point rating spread between regions, especially not the Mumm30.  It was raced to its highest level for long enough to fix the VPP's to reflect real world conditions and the VPP's we used in OD work.  The worst offender region for a while was where we sailed and interestingly where one of the owners of a Mumm30 was also a PHRF board member.  It was hard to lose in the Mumm30 in PHRF, which was fun but we all knew our awards were garbage, no matter how well we sailed.
  • Import a new boat to sell into the US, it has an established IRC, ORC and ORCi rating in Europe and has raced in some well known international events for more than a year.  The design house and builder have good VPP's for the boat and when I get the IRC and ORR rating in the US everything looks kosher.  Then the PHRF rating comes out and if you use the algorithm to convert between ratings, PHRF has thrown a dart at the board and come up with a rating that was somewhere around 24 seconds worse than the worse of the IRC, ORR, ORC, or ORCi, ratings all of which were within 12 seconds of each other if you converted those ratings.  Sailed it for a year, pulled a few rabbits out of our ass including at the NYYC Annual Regatta, but the rating is obviously wrong.  Fortunately the single/double handers don't care about ratings so much as they care about how well a boat is set up for their task.  But not one boat sold to a crewed team and the rating was often mentioned.  I think I might have made a mistake and should have requested a PHRF rating in YRALIS, PHRFNE, and LMPHRF where the boat was briefly campaigned during the marketing and sales blitz, just to see what the spread would be from ChesPHRF.  I'm not mentioning this boat out of respect for the builder.
  • Imported a different boat, Esse 850, and laughed all the way to the finish line with this one.  It was stupid how easy it was to win in this boat with the given rating.  The boat was hit twice in rapid succession one year as it was racing against a PHRF board member.  But two years later after that official had moved on someone decided to give half of the damage back, leaning the rating back again to opening a beer and sailing around knowing you would place if you didn't do anything stupid.  We never once inquired about the rating, the boat was too niche to sell well.
  • Brought the Ed's boat Anarchy 1, the Shaw 650, and the rating came out at 105.  This against a Viper640 rating of 102, and a VX/One rating of 99.  It was an ugly rating for everyone else as the boat easily performed in the 78 range.  I ran stats for this boat, in an ideal world the rating would have been 66-69 in light air, 84-87 in medium air, and 78-81 in heavy air.  The only time I put it against a VX/One it was not even close.  Sounds great right?  Even if you like gift ratings you'd be wrong.  I was taking the year off from working at the time and tried to travel the boat and between how different the boat was to the rating, more events rejected the boat from their event than accepted it.  I began sending a separate letter to the OA that I would accept a provisional rating of 60 if they just let the boat race.  Officially it was a no.  One event that rejected the boat let me come to the same event in a Viper 640 and the PRO sought me out and explained that they just felt the boat would overturn races for the A fleet and didn't want it there either.  Doomed by a rating I got rid of the boat to someone in Newport, RI.
  • From that I walked away from ever owning a PHRF boat again and went back to dinghy racing and J/Boats which is what Annapolis is good at.
  • Fast forward a few years and I'm not in Annapolis, nice little club on a beautiful piece of water.  The rating conversations here are fierce, much worse than Annapolis.  At one point we had two boats with PHRF board members, mind you in a club that struggles to field 15 boats on the line, usually lower than 10 and fewer than 5 per rating split.  Keels get longer, masts taller, sail area larger, rudders gain chord, structure is removed and replaced by carbon with a loss of weight, and every single time the boats doing so get higher ratings.  Some owners have resorted to the M32 which in a protected basin with a very low average wind and absolutely no waves, is a PHRF killer because it leaves displacement mode so soon.  I do not begrudge the M32 owners, they are doing what they can to be legal.  But the PHRF board members changing their own ratings in a tiny fleet of boats, they suck the life out of every other owner and several have given up.  A good friend that I occasionally go out with for fun, especially when he is willing to short hand, is giving up soon and buying something he will never race because he's tired of it all.  He's a sharp sailor and put together the VPP's for all of his fleet and mathematically proved why the ratings were bogus, he escalated his math, it was rejected.

PHRF was supposed to be for beer can racing.  Get any boat onto the race course for cheap.  It was never supposed to be the only rule. There was supposed to always be a rule for the serious boats.  Somehow that was forgotten, likely due to USS inaction than any effort by anyone.  And thus PHRF became a hive of scum and villainy.

Now PHRF is the worst rating system to ever be inflicted upon the US sailing body.  I'll stick to dinghies where the fuckery is more limited.  I wish we had a consistent OD here, on a rare occasion one of two classes do so but that is very rare.  It does not help that one class is over 50 years old, the other more than 60, and I'm tired of tired old boats.  Just picked up a 29er to race Portsmouth single handed and will be powering it up.  The investment is low so I do not really care what the rating is, I just want to go fast and not be part of the politics.  I've heard some rumors that some want Aero's or M14's, I'd be up for that.

 
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Hitchhiker

Hoopy Frood
4,674
1,316
Saquo-Pilia Hensha
The problem with ORC for small club races is that most of the occasional/casual racers aren’t going to want to spend the time or money to deal with getting their boats measured. 
This in a nutshell is why Phrf exists.  I can’t persuade owners of some mid 30’s (SC37,J-111, J-109, Tartan 110) boats to get measured. But, they will willingly flog several thousand dollars worth of Carbon Fiber rags in a phrf regatta!

 

Jethrow

Super Anarchist
This in a nutshell is why Phrf exists.  I can’t persuade owners of some mid 30’s (SC37,J-111, J-109, Tartan 110) boats to get measured. But, they will willingly flog several thousand dollars worth of Carbon Fiber rags in a phrf regatta!
But pretty much all of those boats will have been ORC measured by someone at some stage and so there will be a hull file and therefore not need to be measured, just weighed.

It's really not that hard for a production boat, it's the custom jobbies that need the expensive measuring and most of those will have an IMS hull file.

 

Hitchhiker

Hoopy Frood
4,674
1,316
Saquo-Pilia Hensha
But pretty much all of those boats will have been ORC measured by someone at some stage and so there will be a hull file and therefore not need to be measured, just weighed.

It's really not that hard for a production boat, it's the custom jobbies that need the expensive measuring and most of those will have an IMS hull file.
My point exactly!  Several of these owners sail in the same area and could easily split costs to boats weighed on the same day.  Some will still need rigs measured, but it should not be the hurdle that stops them getting an ORR or ORC cert.

 

bgytr

Super Anarchist
5,071
676
Phrf is a no go for me.  I've raced CCA in the 60s, IOR in the 70s, IMS in the 80s and 90s, phrf in the 90s and sparingly in the 2000s.  Phrf was light years the worst of any of them.  I do some racing in ORC and ORR and ORR-EZ now, and did a lot of one design.  I absofuckinglutely will never do anything to support phrf in any way ever again. 

When phrf takes boats that have virtually the same sailplan, displacement, draft, LWL, beam, and has them rating 40 secs/mi different it is just too fucked up to deal with.  When you raise the issue to the powers that be and they basically tell you to go pound sand, then fuck em.

When you buy a boat that is a sistership to a boat Robbie Doyle has and they give you an 18 sec/mi hit off of his rating, fuck em.  Especially when you show them serious analysis comparing almost identical boats in the fleet and ask them why you owe them time and they just disregard the analysis from a career naval architect (me) with no explanation, then fuck em.

When you race on a boat that has the same rating everywhere else in the country with hundreds of sisterships and the local rater hits you with a 12 sec per mi penalty because the boat is sailed well and kept in primo shape with new sails, fuck em.

Phrf just plain sucks and is the biggest reason that people quit racing their boats.

 

Callahan

Anarchist
768
43
Wow, what PHRF area does those things. What 2 boats are very similar and rate 40 sec/mi different. Not all PHRF areas are the same. Local rater, what’s that? Major areas have regional boards that rate boats and require a majority vote of the board. If your area is one of those that has local administration and picks numbers out of a book that ain’t PHRF. Unfortunately a lot of smaller areas operate that way

 

Tcatman

Super Anarchist
1,495
137
Chesapeake Bay
It's a long history of different problems.  When I was primarily a OD racer in Annapolis, occasionally we would have to drop to MORC, IMS, IRC, or PHRF to race on some weekend race, or in some OD cases, to race Wednesdays.  This is my personal experience and I'm going to rant, cause it's Sunday and the news is depressing and I can only read so man more technical articles about FedRAMP compliance or which sublimation ink to purchase to turn a new Epson Ecotank printer into a sublimation printer.

PHRF Fuckery - A brief history of stupidity, dead ends, and unwanted gift ratings.
Got the point....  The implementation has no correction mechanism for fixing fuckery...    the hey... its good enough doesn't pass any kind of test in the implementation across the country.      When you get statements like...."Phrf just plain sucks and is the biggest reason that people quit racing their boats. " you have issues.  My casual experience as crew in phrf fleets over many years observed a majority of the fleet  sort of settled into their spot in the pecking order and consequently apathetic about ratings issues that undermined the competition of the whole fleet. I never had the feeling the PHRF fleets shared any similarities with one design fleets. So nobody in a PHRF  fleets was gonna worry about a racer who quit over a ratings dispute)   My understanding is that Key West RW as a national regatta generated their own PHRF ratings to create fair competition among competitors spending real coin to move the boat and race in the Keys.   Did you have any experience with the Key West PHRF handicapping.?   Did the issues get sorted out when a national PHRF event was held using handicapers charged with generating a single national handicap table for that year? 

 
Yup there is no equitable way to rate boats with changing conditions, unless you use a routing technique for each boat.  And even then, it's likely not completely fair.
FIFY.

I do not understand this decades long whining about handicap ratings. If you want to race sailboats in serious competition, buy a OD class.

If you want to go out for an evening of sailing with friends in your fast cruising boat, where the results dont mean a whole lot, race whatever the local handicap is and dont bleat about it. Nobody cares.. Once you get outside the 10 mile radius of your club, nobody knows, cares or remembers who won the PHRF series.  Its just fun to be out there. Anyone who cheats in PHRF races , probably cheats elsewhere in their life so keep away from them.

If they allow me to be PRO for the Fall PHRF series, I am introducing a whole new twist.  I will take every boat's PHRF rating and put them into a hat. Then on Thursday lunchtime, I will read out the boat names in alphabetical order and pull out a rating from that hat......and that will be your rating for the evening. It will be a whole lot of fun and should discourage people spending money trying to exploit loopholes.

 
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Chimp too

Anarchist
747
364
Europe
It is always easiest to blame the rating or handicap system when results don’t come out exactly as you expect, invariably with your own skills not being fully recognised and you ending up being beaten by those you feel you are better than.

Rating yacht racing is not and never can or should be perfect. Just go out there, enjoy your day, do the best you can and have a drink after racing talking about your day on the water rather than moaning about your rating.

Rating boats should be as simple as possible, but no simpler than that. Single number ToT works well and the cream always comes to the top, even if that isn’t necessarily you

 

Callahan

Anarchist
768
43
The KWRW PHRF ratings were a bit of an anomaly. A group of experienced handicappers rated boats for a known course configuration with a pretty good idea of the expected sea state and wind strengths. They got it right most of the time but still missed on some. Contrast that with handicapping local races with a variety of courses and wind strengths in a wider geographic area and it won’t be as accurate. Just as local club fleets stratify so do local one design fleets. Participation starts low increases over a few years and then drops off precipitously as the bottom 1/3 to 1/2 of the fleet gets discharged when they never finish in the money

 

Foredeck Shuffle

More of a Stoic Cynic, Anarchy Sounds Exhausting
The ratings for both the Mumm30 and Esse850 seemed better, at KWRW, looking back.  I remember some crew being upset about the changes but in hindsight they were likely the right thing to do.  In the moment I think it upset some people because they had a new rating, but that was true anytime you left your region and some rum was spilled discussing that reality at some open air bar we stood around one evening.  The grumbling was often a preference for a VPP based rating as one of the rating members of the KWRW board was who many of us felt could not be impartial.

 

Tcatman

Super Anarchist
1,495
137
Chesapeake Bay
So.... in a nutshell, KWRW and PHRF then are the best implementation of a PHRF system in the US,  PHRF can work well and most importantly,   a consensus of racers (probably top 1/3 in their local areas)  agreed with the two of you that it was fair because they continued to sped their money year after year to travel and race PHRF at KWRW. 

As you approach the limit of two equally well sailed boats scored on handicap, the resolution limits of handicap racing matter... but in a series of races.... the cream rises.  

Finally.  PHRF can and should be replaced with ORC ratings for modest cost and when used as designed eliminates a lot of the fuckery that plagues local and regional racing. The ORC ratings table does the best job so far of practical handicapping.

The OP simply wanted some guidance on TOT PHRF..... How should he read this thread?  IMO,  the take home message is...  Yes!  implement it and understand that the perception of fairness is paramount and so you need judgement outside of the PHRF ratings board to  spot and correct the fuckery.   (and he thought it was a simple math problem!).

Final point... fuckery and a boat not race ready are easily confused at the local level....

My personal opinion is that eliminating fuckery that costs you participants is more important then getting the rating table perfect.  Most people can deal with ... ok  its an odd boat and the rating it has been given is tough to sail to or the usual OK... horses for courses...  .... while fuckery is personal and it just tics them off and they do something else after a while.

 
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