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How do/would you do it?

May 23, 2016
214
O'Day 1984 23 Island Park, NY
So, at my club here are both single weekend regattas, season long series, and single standalone races... There is debate about how to determine an overall season champ... The options being debated are:
1. Each regatta, series, or race counts as an "event", with equal weighting, 1 discard allowed
2. Same as 1 but with different weightings,1 discard allowed
3. Each race in each series, regatta, etc counts separately as part of an overall season series (in which case how many discards?
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Wow, I really don’t have any help for you on those options. But here’s what we’re doing.

We’re usually one of the most competitive race clubs in the country, and we’ve given up on all notion of overall season champions. We’ve replaced our normal trophy series with a set of casual series. Without trophies. They’ll be no overall champ. The over-arching theme is we’re all in this together, and we make it through we’re all winners. We don’t need a crown a champ.
 
May 17, 2004
3,380
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Our club uses a system similar to your option 1. Unfortunately it gets complicated by boats that switch between classes in the different series/regattas. How will you handle it if a boat sails non-Spin for the more causal races and spin class for the bigger races, for example? If your classes and boats are more stable then it might still work. In our case the single race regattas are weighted equally to the season series as a whole. Part of the reasoning for that is that the regattas are more “special” so it’s ok to count them as equal to a whole series. Part of it is that the special races are at non-standard times, so counting them the same as a whole series helps encourage participation.
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,953
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I created the Cutchogue Harbor Series in which we had 5 or 6 race days. On days when we could run two races we used low point scoring to designate a winner for the day. That boat would get a trophy and a score of 1 for the series. No weighting. Boats could switch divisions (Spin or Non Spin) but would have to sail enough races to qualify for each. There was no pre-registration so that decision could be made prior the the start. Occasionally you'd have a J-80 or Hobie 33 terrorize the cruising division but overall it worked reasonably well. However we did it there were a handful of boats that got the trophies.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
counting them the same as a whole series helps encourage participation.
That's an angle I didn't think of. Because WYC exists as a racing club, the club's BoD had the luxury of knowing that whatever the board deemed safe and responsible, the boats would come. And they do. Our participation is off this year, but still over 75 boats a nice evening.

As for us, we're stepped off the gas racing-wise this year; doing a lot more solo and double handed and less full crew, mostly due to restrictions on crew size and distancing.

So BlueJ is loaded up with cruising gear!
 
May 23, 2016
214
O'Day 1984 23 Island Park, NY
Great responses... thanks... maybe I should've given a little bit more info...
We race Flying Scots and Sunfish as 1 designs... most FS days have 3 races, most SF days have 5... we used to get 3-4 days for each class in each of 3 series, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Frostbiting the fish was handled separately and wasn't club sanctioned. Trophies for 1st 2nd and 3rd in each series, great participation. For a long time, the obvious season champ in each class was the same guy who shall remain nameless, but he just couldn't be beat. Once he retired from racing, a season champ was named in each class.

There was always one race per year for All Boats which would draw participation from cruisers. Over the years our 1-design fleet has been dwindling, at the same time the All Boat races have been expanded and participation has grown. But often the Scot's races in these standalone races, and we still need to name a season FS champ... Contrasting with what WYC is doing, our attitude is that after the intense lockdown the NY went into, the closer we can get to normalcy in the shortest timeframe without taking undo risk, the better all of our chances are of keeping our sanity.

David touched on something that has allowed me to be successful over the past couple years... maybe this one too... a good friend of mine sails an S2 7.9 ... absolutely blows away the rest of us... but he gets bored and sometimes races in his C-Scow instead, or on his windsurfer, or on a mutual friends Capri 18, etc... while each race gets its own trophy, the season champ in the not-1-design division is called the Champion Cruising Boat ... so the apparent logic from the race committee over the past few years has been that when he races in a boat that isn't a cruiser, he scores a DNC in the scoring for Champion Cruising Boat... it's only this year that I convinced the comittee to create a Centerboard class so his scow races handicapped against the Scots...

So ultimately, only one response so far for optoin #1, which is the way I would lean, and no responses for 2 or 3...
 
May 17, 2004
3,380
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Yeah, it sounds like Option 1 would work for you.

And just to clarify - my previous answers were based on a typical year, not really specific to this year. This year we had no spring series, and participation in the Summer Series has been about 60% of normal. We’re still thinking of having our Invitational Regatta at the end of the season and fitting in our other two special races, just without any parties. So we’ll probably still be able to calculate end of season awards, but the fanfare will be lacking, replaced by hopefully optimism for better seasons in the future.
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,953
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
In the end it's about a bunch of boats crossing an imaginary line in some order. It's not that important. Racing is fun - chess on the water. But it's not life altering.
I'm not sure I should share this but ... I did a race here in Jensen Beach with a winning skipper. And he was good. But he is very elderly and we spent hours waiting for some wind to come up. It is summer and very hot. We won 2 out of 3 races with 3 boats. We had to carry the skipper to the car for heat exhaustion and maybe heat stroke. I told his crew/companion he needed to go the the ER. He didn't and he survived. I won't be invited again and I wouldn't go if I were. This is crazy. It's just a sport - a diversion. The guy's upset about getting a second in the third race then has to be carried to the car. Something's wrong there.
 
May 23, 2016
214
O'Day 1984 23 Island Park, NY
, but the fanfare will be lacking, replaced by hopefully optimism for better seasons in the future.
Yes, im sure that like our other parties our Recgnition dinner will be non-existent, and with good reason of course... But we have reason to celebrate... Our 1 design program has been circling the drain for a few years, with many race days not bringing enough competitors to have racing, to the point where there have been suggestions by some, including part of the race committee, before covid hit, that there be NO 1 design program this year. But once we got started, people are coming out of the woodwork who havent raced in years, some who havent sailed in years. It's so popular we are adding days to the schedule. Maybe its just a temporary glitch in the spiral, but optimism reigns supreme. I want to nurture that (even hough i dont participate in the 1design program any more myself)
In the end it's about a bunch of boats crossing an imaginary line in some order. It's not that important. Racing is fun - chess on the water. But it's not life altering.
...
This is crazy. It's just a sport - a diversion. The guy's upset about getting a second in the third race then has to be carried to the car. Something's wrong there.
Crazy is right. I made the mistake of going out last weekend with a slightly sore back from that mornings chores... Rounding the last mark i twisted the wrong way and, well, u know... Sure we've got some super competitive guy, well 1 really, who are over the top, yelling at their crew constantly, but crazy aside, whats the point of competing if you dont play to win? We call that a parade, not a race. Sure, i race, not to win, but because its fun, but if im going to race, i give it everythig i have. And whats so wrog abot giving out some hardware to those who do well?
And to me, racing, and perhaps more appropriately sailing in general, HAS been life altering. But i suppose most of that is off topic, and maybe even best left for a less public arena. Dont mind sharing w u guys, whom i feel a kinship with, but dont think i want it out there for all eyes forever and ever
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,961
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
I would vote for not determining overall season champions. What's the point? It only diminishes the other accomplishments & sets up a meaningless competition for the one or two sailors whom have the goal of making it to every event. In my mind, there doesn't need to be a pinnacle. If you diminish the glory of winning a single weekend regatta, for instance, by overshadowing it with the "overall champ" you will probably lose participation from some of the sailors whom know they won't be participating in all of the season series. I think you build participation by creating more interesting competitions, not by whittling all competitions down to a single champion. Just my thoughts.
 
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Jan 1, 2006
5,953
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
The great John Lockwood once said at one of our RC meetings, "If the same 2 boats win every race, eventually they will be the only 2 boats racing." It's not exactly what Scott said but it's a similar point. There is one winner and numerous other participants. If the racing is all about the winner and not the other participants, they will dwindle away. Most of the best racing sailors I know are keenly aware of this and actively promote the fleet percisely because winning against a few boats isn't as much fun. This leads into a PHRF committee discussion but I'll save that for another day.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I would vote for not determining overall season champions. What's the point? It only diminishes the other accomplishments & sets up a meaningless competition for the one or two sailors whom have the goal of making it to every event. In my mind, there doesn't need to be a pinnacle. If you diminish the glory of winning a single weekend regatta, for instance, by overshadowing it with the "overall champ" you will probably lose participation from some of the sailors whom know they won't be participating in all of the season series. I think you build participation by creating more interesting competitions, not by whittling all competitions down to a single champion. Just my thoughts.

Right... I mentioned this in post#2, that in many clubs winning an annual series, regatta, or overall is very prestigious. At WYC its a big deal to have your name on the same trophy at an Olympic Gold Medalist or a current World Champion. Competing at the level requires a very strong crew, and normally these people come from outside your family/bubble. So holding these events make a skipper choose the line between health and winning. We decided flat out not to play that game.

Instead we added some non-annual 'covid' series, and a very popular double handed fleet you can sail in any day the club is racing.
 
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May 17, 2004
3,380
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
I would vote for not determining overall season champions. What's the point? It only diminishes the other accomplishments & sets up a meaningless competition for the one or two sailors whom have the goal of making it to every event. In my mind, there doesn't need to be a pinnacle. If you diminish the glory of winning a single weekend regatta, for instance, by overshadowing it with the "overall champ" you will probably lose participation from some of the sailors whom know they won't be participating in all of the season series. I think you build participation by creating more interesting competitions, not by whittling all competitions down to a single champion. Just my thoughts.
Interesting perspective. In our club the overall award is having your name added to a plaque with the past winners. But each series and Regatta gets its own trophies, some of which are more sought after than the end of year trophy. I never really got the impression that anyone was scared off because they wouldn’t have a chance at the overall trophy. I could imagine that if you only had the overall trophy, and not the individual ones, then that would be a possibility.
 

PaulK

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Dec 1, 2009
748
Sabre 402 Southport, CT
The YRALIS has a complicated weighted system for determining the winners of some trophies. Figuring it out takes a computer and the posted results are next to impossible to read on a color-coded Excel spreadsheet that spans several pages. This is not fun for the RC or for competitors.

Having each race count equally would tend to boost participation. You would need perhaps need to tally the number of boats beaten. Someone who gets 2nd in six races of 10 boats (6x8) would outperform the one who gets first but only races in three. (3x9) Scores would have to account for the number of boats in each race, so it can still be complicated. Weighting certain events might tend to boost them - to the detriment of others, since you could still win without doing them all. If there are two or more fleets you might have to account for that as well. Someone who wins in a fleet of 20 Flying Scots performs better than another skipper who beats just a dozen Sunfish. On the other hand, if the Sunfish hold three races and the Flying Scots only put in two, that adds to the Sunfish tally. Another question: does someone coming in fourth behind three non-club members count as getting a fourth or as a first? (Ans: 4th; K.I.S.S.) It might be advisable to take the results from all of last year's races and work out different scenarios to see how different sailors might fare.
 
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Jan 1, 2006
5,953
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I can sorta see weighting - like in Golf with "Major" tournaments. They would theoretically attract more and better sailors. So placing in one of those would be worth more. Meanwhile for the minor races with fewer boats and maybe not the top of the fleet sailors the second tier sailors might get some of the limelight. But OMG, I wouldn't want to be the scorer.
The Sailing Center here has a Crossroads regatta which focuses on high school sailers who are in the second tier. They probably only get dozen entries. But they are kids who probably wouldn't get to go to other bigger regattas. Good for the sport? I think probably yes. Not every kid is going to be a college sailor. It doesn't mean they won't be in some PHRF fleet as grown ups.
 
May 23, 2016
214
O'Day 1984 23 Island Park, NY
It only diminishes the other accomplishments & sets up a meaningless competition for the one or two sailors whom have the goal of making it to every event.
Shhhh... Don't give away my secret
The great John Lockwood once said at one of our RC meetings, "If the same 2 boats win every race, eventually they will be the only 2 boats racing."
That's one reason we insist on giving hardware for each event to 1st 2nd, sometimes 3rd places... And someone else said "nurture he bottom of your fleet, otherwise you'll have a new bottom to worry about losing"...
Right... I mentioned this in post#2, that in many clubs winning an annual series, regatta, or overall is very prestigious.
That's our case. The perpetual trophies that hang on the wall are revered... I loved bringing my folks to he clubhouse and showing them my name up there... Also my wife's name on a separate one that celebrates female racers
The YRALIS has a complicated weighted system for determining the winners of some trophies. Figuring it out takes a computer and the posted results are next to impossible to read on a color-coded Excel spreadsheet that spans several pages.
I've tried to follow that sheet as research and given up. It takes a lot to make me give up. But we don't have some of those problems, like non members winning... On the rare occasions that a guest comes down to race, they usually end up joining once they realize what a great place it is

A case in point on he perpetual trophies, we had a new member join a few months ago, I recognized the name, checked the plaques, sure enough he was a member previously and has twice won the season award in my division... We have he same make and model boat, so this added to our instant kinship, rivalry, etc... Very cool.
 
Nov 26, 2012
1,509
Hunter 34 Berkeley
Any method to combine the events to choose an overall winner is necessarily subjective. This means someone’s not gonna like it. Seems ok to have a season winner for the individual categories. I even like the idea of a couple of throw outs as it allows for folks to miss a week or two. Otherwise, the best racers tend to complain that series is just an attendance contest. I also like the idea of no season winners. Makes the races stand alone. As for encouraging participation, making the events fun and well run carries the most weight to that end.
 
May 23, 2016
214
O'Day 1984 23 Island Park, NY
Ive been out of touch for a while... good points mark... Different strokes...
To back u up, when we looked at results for this year using my original option 1, I felt the results were unfair... Due to the limited schedule we had, an early series in a 1design class had 10 races, 7 were won by skipper 1, the only other series for that class only had 3 races... All won by skipp 2, the ey both DNC the other series, so in option 1 they were tied with the breaker going to the guy that only showed for 3 out of 13 races... I also realized that while our al boat races started as more special/important events, that wasn't true any more, they sound special, but as the number has grown it's been more just assigning important sounding names to standard race days... So overall, I think option 3 is the way to go now, and truly special races can be weighted heavier if one wishes...

As for the attendence content, there is something to be said about that, but I also feel that's part of the game... Any racer who is successful consistently will tell you prep makes a huge difference... To me that starts as early as clearing your schedule to be available to race.