Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Handicapping sport boats

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Handicapping sport boats

    Somewhere out in the ether, Nick and I were posting about how NorCal PHRF doesn't want to get into the sport boat rating business. For the moment, "sport boat" might be defined based on NorCal PHRF's main rejection point, which is 400 pounds of solid ballast. I'm not clear if we're talking about light keel boats only, or those plus centerboarders.

    There are a number of pretty cool boats being marketed right now but it's too risky to plunk down $30-$40k for a new one when you might not have anyone to race with - not enough of any one type for OD, and PHRF unavailable.

    With Kame's support, Nick made an attempt to get something going a couple years ago for the EYC Midwinters but no one took him up on it. Maybe a starting point for the conversation is why no one did?

    My mild interest is because I've spent far more of my 43 sailing years sailing dinghies than sailing keel boats, and the competitive itch just doesn't get scratched racing under PHRF. I'm on my way down in boat size and fully intend that my next boat will live on a trailer and be towable with a normal car. But I'd still want to be able to race around here.

    So . . . thoughts?

  • #2
    I think there should a measurement based rule for small, self-righting, planing boats with some safety criteria such as righting moment at 90 degrees of heel.

    As to why nobody showed up as a sportboat regatta, NorCal PHRF has effectively banned them with their 400lb keel rule, the lifeline rules, and the punitive ratings they give smaller high performance boats. I didn't go to the sportboat regatta because I don't own a sportboat. I don't have a sportboat because the one I wanted (Shaw 650,) couldn't get a rating from NorCal PHRF. A chicken and egg sort of thing.

    I think the Aussie Sportboat Rule (SMS) looks pretty good, although I'd add some self-righting rules and ban trapezes due to our freezing water around here.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Trevor B View Post
      I think there should a measurement based rule for small, self-righting, planing boats with some safety criteria such as righting moment at 90 degrees of heel.

      As to why nobody showed up as a sportboat regatta, NorCal PHRF has effectively banned them with their 400lb keel rule, the lifeline rules, and the punitive ratings they give smaller high performance boats. I didn't go to the sportboat regatta because I don't own a sportboat. I don't have a sportboat because the one I wanted (Shaw 650) couldn't get a rating from NorCal PHRF. A chicken and egg sort of thing.

      I think the Aussie Sportboat Rule (SMS) looks pretty good, although I'd add some self-righting rules and ban trapezes due to our freezing water around here.
      Forget PHRF - what structure would need to have been in place for you to have the confidence to buy the Shaw? (Sorry if my grammar sucks - two glasses of wine with the chicken nachos . . .)

      Comment


      • #4
        I think we need a commitment from YRA and member clubs that they SHALL offer sportboat starts that will accommodate these boats. Scoring is just a bloody spreadsheet problem.

        Comment


        • #5
          Fuck em, if they can't race against the old IOR slugs then make them come up with their own races.
          A little disorganization goes a long way toward fun sailing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Nick Salvador View Post
            I think we need a commitment from YRA and member clubs that they SHALL offer sportboat starts that will accommodate these boats. Scoring is just a bloody spreadsheet problem.
            That sounds like what you-know-who was trying to do: "you SHALL offer me a start."

            Instead: "If we bring five or six new boats to your regatta and we do the special scoring required for our division, will you give us our own start?"

            Stepping back - Sailing (like other amateur sports) is largely a social activity. You buy a boat and join a particular class or fleet because you like the vibe in that fleet. I believe you add to a fleet one skipper at a time. It takes time. The point of this thread (perhaps) is that you first need the structure to bring those boats together. What would that look like in a NorCal sporties fleet?

            Ballard, the reason for the discussion is that the lighter sporties aren't being allowed to race against the "old IOR slugs."

            Comment


            • #7
              There are some discussions underway and seemingly support from the YRA to support a sportboats effort. The main goal is to get the non PHRF rated boats a venue, with the possibility of encouraging the PHRF'ed larger sportboats to join the fray. Here is the stick, it needs organization and management and I think the existing YRA team is not up to the task. I do think that if someone volunteers to drive this effort there is a welcoming attitude with the current YRA.

              Right now the discussion has been around using the Portmouth Yardstick, but I do believe that SMS has demonstrated reasonable success for this type of boats down under and perhaps would be preferable.

              In the discussions that I have been part with the YRA this year, I have been pushing to use this year (it was already late to get things well organized for this season) to prime the fleet. My suggestion has been to make the last YRA HDA race an open Sportboats regatta. They are open to it, but again it needs people to drive the organizing. Currently, however, I have very little time to take this on, other than committing to support the effort through participation.

              I'm not as concerned about what rating system is used initially as much as I am about getting all the boats/owners together and semi organized. Ratings administration will still be an issue and it would be good if we can get an existing PHRF committee member to lead that effort for the fleet.

              Support from YRA might encourage YCs to provide starts for sportboats (large and small).

              Something that I think the smaller sportboats as an organization need to address is some safety considerations, as I think that has been the main concern. Perhaps as an organization they might want to provide chase boats and/or set wind limits if chase boats aren't available, or whatever some of the smaller dinghy classes do (never raced dinghies in the bay so not sure what the standard is there). But again, this is secondary and might vary from YC to YC.

              Anyways, I think this is a healthy discussion to have.
              http://jetstreamracing.blogspot.com/
              http://www.facebook.com/JS9045

              Comment


              • #8
                My viewpoint on this is that this is not a YRA problem but an organization problem. Perhaps it would have been easier to organize under the auspice of PHRF, but organization can happen independent of the YRA. Has the YRA missed an opportunity by not leading the effort, perhaps, but as any other volunteer organization, you all know how to fix it. In any case there is an opportunity for someone to take a leading role here and bring all the sporties together, and if that happens the YRA has shown willingness to support it. As a (larger) sporty owner, I too would rather race against other sporties than against planning-challenged boats.
                http://jetstreamracing.blogspot.com/
                http://www.facebook.com/JS9045

                Comment


                • #9
                  My apologies, I didn't intend to sound so dogmatic. I really don't believe that a rating system is the real issue. Frankly, I think the currently unratable sporties would be happy to be rated by a ouija board. I really believe that the issue is opportunity...that being the opportunity to compete.

                  Right now, we separate sporties like the U-24 into a separate division, because it doesn't make sense to score them against a Cal 40 or Tuna 35, even though all three rate 114. It's important to race apples vs apples. Unfortunately, jthis only works for those boats that meet the 400 lb qualifier under PHRF. IOW, the M20s, K6s, Shaws, and boats to come are unserved.

                  So, I think we need, as a community to ensure that OPPORTUNITY exists. As a community we need to ask our OAs to offer sportboat divisions that are separately scored under SMS, Portsmouth, or TBD. That part is easy.

                  Daniel is right. The challenge RIGHT NOW is to get the sportboat owners organized so that they have a voice in the community. Daniel is the only person to respond to my inquiry two years ago, and he's one of two people to meet with the YRA and PHRF 5 weeks ago.

                  The water can't be carried by Kame, or I...we're advocates, not owners. I can help facilitate with the YRA, but the owners are going to have to stand up and ASK to be included. It's that simple...you need a minimal critical mass and you have to ask.

                  I'm going to put sportboats on the agenda for the next YRA quarterly meeting. You guys figure out whom you would like to represent you and get back to me or Charles Hodgkins. We want the sporties to be racing. Just help us figure out how you want it done.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, this topic comes up from time to time. I've owned and raced my Antrim 27 since 1998, so I'm familiar with the issues.

                    A brief history:
                    YRA sport boat division in the late 90's, before the Antrim 27 had it's short-lived class start included boats like a Hobie 33 ("Rubber Ducky"), Olson 30, even the odd Express 27. Apples to oranges racing, as we discovered, as boats with 'reasonably sized' mains and multiple headsails can go up the breeze in a variety of conditions that those of us with a large main and small jib might find challenging. Put us on a course the favors a symmetrical kite, and game over.
                    Was this fun? Nope.

                    OD Class racing was great, though 10 or so years ago there were real issues with the RC's- yes, we might rate in the same range as an Express 37 or J35, it's just downright nasty to be in the same start with them. Course selection was tough, as well, given that many PRO's seemed to think anything under 30' must rate >150 PHRF. Challenges that we were working through, unfortunately many boats were sold out of the area.
                    Patience will be required to get matters anywhere near 'right'.

                    PHRF's new 'downwind rating'. Well, it frankly sucks, as there is no way to sail to that number without adjusting it for windspeed. In the second running of the Westport Marina Race, all looked good off the line- brisk northerly (sorry, Ditch Run, upwind to Stockton sucked that year) had us fetching Alcatraz (the turning mark) at 8-9 knots with working sails. Rounding Alcatraz we set the kite (it was a weird morning) and pointed to Chrissy Field on Starboard. Mid-teens, great, if this holds we can sail to an insanely low number. Jibe, all boats had to douse to clear Pier 39, and once past- the wind backed 40 degrees and shut down to 8-10 knots. Decidedly non-planing conditions, no way in hell can I sail to a number in the 40's. The IMX 38 set that big symmetrical kite and pointed straight down the course, racing a number almost identical to their existing number. Game over.
                    Are we having fun now? As a nice little (albeit costly) daysail, sure. As a 'real' race? No.

                    The above constellation made it easy for me to leave her on the trailer and focus on family matters, and my racing is done is strictly one design in my Mercury for now.

                    Some suggestions:
                    1. Assymetrical boats should not be in the same start as symmetrical boats.
                    2. Define one class of sport boat as they are intended- one main, one jib, and one big assymetrical kite. Put us in one start, put the odd ULDB's in a different start.
                    3. If you are going to insist on a 'downwind' rating, I'm not going to come out to get brutalized by it until you have wind speed and direction factored in, too. Yes, it's more complex, and that is a challenge for the volunteer RC's (I've done that thankless task many times, too), though without it- it's just not fair, and therefore not much fun. And if it's not much fun, why do it?

                    Some really good folks are weighing in on this subject, and I really appreciate the input and efforts. Keep up the good work, as we all have the common goal of making sailboat racing better and interesting to all.

                    Thanks guys!
                    Steve "#13"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Steve brings another challenge for sporties to have 'fun', windspeed. The sporties are very sensitive to it, and they all get tickled at different ranges. Portmouth allows for different ratings numbers based on windspeed, I don't know if SMS does. Another alternative, is to ensure we have varied venues or sufficient racing throughout the day to race in varying conditions.

                      For example, Deathspear likes a blow and its very competitive in that range, not so much under 12. But other sporties excel in those conditions (tigers for example). If a whole series is to be in the slot during the summer, some folks might get discouraged by not thinking they will have an opportunity to compete and don't come out. I see two ways to address this, adopt a windspeed based rating or ensure there are multiple races that provide different conditions. A normal day in the slot could allow for that (a 10:30 start will likely be light, a noon start moderate and a 2 start nuking). Or choose venues for the series that could provide different conditions. But again, this is all stuff that can be worked out once the owners get organized ;-)
                      http://jetstreamracing.blogspot.com/
                      http://www.facebook.com/JS9045

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Venue is definitely one issue that the owners need to settle on their own. Not everyone is going to want to sail in the slot when it's on, nor should they. We already know that Vipers are quite happy: a) on their own, and b) upside down. We don't normally provide crash boats in non dinghy fleets, and safety has to be a major consideration.

                        Do we have two different fleets of sporties? I.e. those boats from 24-30 ft or so (I like Steve's definition: one headsail, main, and an asymmetrical kite), and boats like the Viper, K6, Shaw, U20 that might prefer to sail in more moderate conditions/venues? I'm just asking the question, you guys need to figure it out. I just wondering if competive racing needs to be done in survival conditions for the smaller boats?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I just wanted to drop in here and say that this is a great discussion, with some very credentialed sailors contributing. This is how changes are made, through civil, thoughtful communication. I could provide some examples of a few other ways that will definitely not work to invoke change...but I won't.

                          Carry on.
                          The Real Surf City

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think the BAMA model would be appropriate. A grouping of owners who's boats aren't apples vs. bananas, but apples vs. barns.

                            This group has "out tasked" Ratings to ourselves from PHRF - and we create our own version of PHRF ratings. OAs are smart enough now to not compare a Multi PHRF to We have our own series as well - putting together varied races as part of the series, working with the OAs for invites, etc.

                            The trick is to find one or 2 energizer bunnies to set it up and get it going.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Jumping around a bit:

                              Can anyone provide links to a list of boats rated under SMS and a list of boats rated with Portsmouth? I thought Portsmouth ratings were for handicapping dinghies, but it would be helpful to see a list.

                              Pops, I agree with the guys who say the ratings should be wind speed based - not a PHRF type system. An aside - I could get into NorCal PHRF's DW ratings (which are ORR based) if they take the next step and adjust them for conditions. As I understand it, ORR was designed for that but NorCal PHRF is trying to make it work as a single-number system. As Spinnaker Cup (2011) proved, my boat gets slammed under DW ratings and it planes about when a J/105 does...

                              Back to the sporties and speaking of planing, balls-to-the-wall planing conditions are fun but I also think some more tactical, flat water conditions should be in the mix.

                              I'm in the process of joining RYC (if they'll have me). I'll suspect that would be a great place to work on something like this.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X