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Rating vs Boat vs Ability

Oct 29, 2016
1,704
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
I am not new to sailing but am to racing and have a question regarding a boats rating compared to the crews ability.
I am not a star performer and the boat I sail is not know for its speed, but there are those in the fleet that usually do very well, but against a particular boat all is lost.
If the boats adjusted time were allowing it to win over the fleet I would whole heartedly agree that the crew was the differential allowing for the win, but when the boat unadjusted time is notoriously faster than the entire fleet then the rating would seem to be out of line for the vessel, or am I off base here?
How can a boat beat the entire fleets actual time and still have a rating higher that most in the fleet?
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,844
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Assuming we're talking about PHRF ratings, it is assumed by the handicapper that all of the boats in a fleet are expertly sailed. You do not get time credit for sub-par crew work or sub-par sailing skill.
If I understand the second paragraph, you are saying that a particular boat which is rated the slowest, is beating the other boats in elapsed time. And I presume it's consistent - not a single race. It is possible that the local sailing conditions favor a particular design that doesn't do well in other areas. But those would be special situations and with the amount of data available today, it doesn't sound likely. So I would say you could be correct that this is a mis-rated boat. You are always allowed to petition the handicapper for a re-evaluation. But you should do so with data galore. Rating info from other venues, examples of actual races when the elapsed time was the lowest for the fleet multiple times.
One time a race chair locally pulled some numbers off the internet for a new boat in the fleet - the Alerion Express 28. Unfortunately he grabbed a rating for the classic Alerion catboat -it was like 280 or something. He got an earful for that.
Going a bit further, your handicapper should already be on this. And what about the other sailors? I would expect a lot of grumbling. Can you give us the boat model that is doing so well?
 
Oct 29, 2016
1,704
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
@shemandr the boat model is a Grampion 30 racing ASM Cruiser class, there was only (2) boats in the fleet that beat its actual time and only by a couple of minutes on day 1's triangle course and again yesterday on a 15 mile course. I am not crying in my beer, just interested in understanding boat vs crew vs ratings.
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,844
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I don't know what ASM is. Maybe you could post a link to the results page. That might be enlightening.
 

Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
7,357
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
I'd consider asking the Grampion owner if he could give you some pointers!
 

SG

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Feb 11, 2017
1,670
J/Boat J/160 Annapolis
Grampion 30?

upload_2018-9-3_17-34-14.png


Don't let the name fool you. For it's time, it sported a rig that is suprising fast and the rudder for that sized boat was pretty big.
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,608
Hunter 26.5 West Palm Beach
PHRF ratings are issued by local PHRF associations. Some rate more accurately than others.

The ratings do not take into consideration, all possible wind & sea state conditions. Some boats are more favored in heavy air, others are more favored in different conditions. Conditions can throw a well chosen rating, right out the window.

When the rating is given, it is normally based on a lot of things. When I get a rating from my local group, one of the things that they want to know is what sails I might be hanging from the mast. If the owner of the unusually fast boat changed sails, rudder, standing rigging, ballast, or other key features of the boat, after the rating was issued, then the rating may no longer be valid. Adding an asym, can make a big difference. That can be a game changer.

Here are a few PHRF ratings from similar boats for comparison - http://www.grampianowners.com/G30/G30_phrf_ratings.htm

Also, it is key to remember that friends don't let friends take PHRF too seriously. It's not like class racing. It's a great way for people who don't own class boats to get together for some friendly racing. It's not a perfect system. It never will be.
 
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Jun 8, 2004
2,528
Catalina 320 Dana Point
How can a boat beat the entire fleets actual time and still have a rating higher that most in the fleet?
I was in a charity regatta once where the slowest boat (201) won all three races on corrected time after crossing the line last every race. Those guys were a great crew that had raced every week year round for decades and flogged that boat far beyond it's rating.
Maybe they have an electric motor and forgot to turn it off, I can't picture being passed by a Grampian 30.
 
Jan 4, 2010
946
Farr 30 San Francisco
Well I would say they are good sailors. Next time watch what they do. Do they go where the wind is? Avoid holes? Do they get a good start, get into clean air, stay on the favored side of the course? How are their sails? New good sails are AOK with PHRF, is their bottom clean (always a good idea).
 
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Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
One of the most interesting things you can do is to see what your rating (or theirs)
would have to be to change the results. Often the other boat would have to rate say 75 for you to have beaten them. That’s First 36.7 territory. It’s thats the case it’s not the rating, trust me.

The funny part is, I’m assuming a reaching mid-distance course. PHRF ratings are assigned based on W/L performance. On a breezy day a tubby boat with a big rating will beat many ‘faster’ boats on a reaching course.
 
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Mar 28, 2007
637
Oday 23 Anna Maria Isl.
pretend none of the boats had any rating. if, as you claim it was still winning, wouldn't it at least point to a pretty decent crew in a well prepared boat?
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,820
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
How interesting, this discussion. I've stayed clear because I didn't think it had anything to offer a non-racer, but I was quite wrong. I am curious, in the Mariner class racing there is a weigh in. How is this done in open-class PHRF racing? Maybe they have gutted their boat and it is half the weight the rating assumes.
I have a friend who is an avid catamaran racer. He has always loved sailing, but it has been go fast, go fast, go fast, for him. When I got my Mariner I invited him to come up and we could rent a Mariner for his wife and him in Maine so we could spend a week island hopping and his response was, "Well, I'd have to gut it. Throw everything out because there is no way I'm sailing the slowest boat." He was joking, of course, but it highlights how important weight is to speed in sailing.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
How interesting, this discussion. I've stayed clear because I didn't think it had anything to offer a non-racer, but I was quite wrong. I am curious, in the Mariner class racing there is a weigh in. How is this done in open-class PHRF racing? Maybe they have gutted their boat and it is half the weight the rating assumes.
That is forbidden in 99% of PHRF fleets. Fleet rating rules will state that boat must be sailed/ raced with the same gear that would have been on the rated boat. That will mean cushions, stoves, tanks, batteries etc. You are not allowed to strip the boat, unless you have it re-rated like that.
 
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Aug 22, 2017
1,608
Hunter 26.5 West Palm Beach
Jack's assessment is consistent with what I know on the subject, as far as what should be the case.

In practice, I have seen the enforcement of the boat weight rules vary with the level of the race. Informal weekly club PHRF races will rarely see anyone checking how much gear is still present down below. Even a cursory inspection would be unusual unless something seems very wrong.

Conversely, in class racing at the nationals level, it is not unusual to see each boat weighed on the crane when being inspected before getting splashed. Boats that are below stated weight at all, or more than 10 pounds over, will then be likely to get a very invasive inspection. It is not uncommon for a particular class boat's race certificate to include a notation that the particular boat requires a specific weight be added in a particular spot to make the boat class legal. That weight may only be a few pounds.

Other races fall somewhere between those two extremes. In higher stakes PHRF races, you may occasionally see an RC officer or a competitor challenge a boats compliance & trigger an inspection. Since many look down upon competitors who win their races "in the room" rather than on the water, there usually needs to be a good reason to suspect foul play before a competitor will lodge a protest.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Jack's assessment is consistent with what I know on the subject, as far as what should be the case.

In practice, I have seen the enforcement of the boat weight rules vary with the level of the race. Informal weekly club PHRF races will rarely see anyone checking how much gear is still present down below. Even a cursory inspection would be unusual unless something seems very wrong.

Conversely, in class racing at the nationals level, it is not unusual to see each boat weighed on the crane when being inspected before getting splashed. Boats that are below stated weight at all, or more than 10 pounds over, will then be likely to get a very invasive inspection. It is not uncommon for a particular class boat's race certificate to include a notation that the particular boat requires a specific weight be added in a particular spot to make the boat class legal. That weight may only be a few pounds.

Other races fall somewhere between those two extremes. In higher stakes PHRF races, you may occasionally see an RC officer or a competitor challenge a boats compliance & trigger an inspection. Since many look down upon competitors who win their races "in the room" rather than on the water, there usually needs to be a good reason to suspect foul play before a competitor will lodge a protest.
Totally agree.

But its important to point out that sailing is a corinthian sport. You are required to self-police the rules. And the vast majority of sailors do. Weigh ins for class rules are done for that exact reason, it’s a rule. You are allows to weigh down to that. Too light and you get corrector plates.
 
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Jan 1, 2006
5,844
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I crew on OPB's all the time in PHRF racing. I see but I don't tell. But there are a lot of boats without cushions, a few without stoves. I'm sure they haven't been re-rated because our handicappers rate based on submitted sheet of paper and they do not visit the boat. Most of the owners justify removal of gear based on the fact they are competing against boats J-24's, J-22's, J80's, Etchells, that either never had cushions or haven't had cushions for years. But for the Off Soundings regattas you have to have your boat measured for a PHRF rating. For my 356 they came and went around the boat and measure the amount above or below the waterline the boat sat and turned that into displacement. It's a little on the silly side since as a several day regatta out of venue, the boats tend to be heavy with crew gear, food and beverages.
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,820
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
So, to directly address DayDreamer's question. Can a crew be so awesome at sailing, that they can consistently take a boat, like the Grampion 30, and beat decent racers in boats faster by design?
It sounds like the answer is, it's possible when conditions are right.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
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Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
So, to directly address DayDreamer's question. Can a crew be so awesome at sailing, that they can consistently take a boat, like the Grampion 30, and beat decent racers in boats faster by design?
It sounds like the answer is, it's possible when conditions are right.

-Will (Dragonfly)
I think I said as much in post #11, and its doesn't take the 'right conditions'.

You have to remember that rating differences, while they might SEEM big, are the differences in SECONDS that a boat sails a MILE of the course. An 18 seconds PHRF handicap difference on a 3 mile course is only 8 boatlengths for a 22 footer. That's not that much. I see people sailing in the wrong direction for minutes on a course throwing away that much time and more, and routinely get beat by a 'slower' boat.

The key point here in handicap racing its really hard to know while on the water if you are sailing well and are a 'good racer'. Only the final results tell you that.

In OD different story. You can watch a boat sail higher and faster than you, or just barely cross you once, and then on the next cross they are 100 yards up the course. What just happened??
 
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Oct 29, 2016
1,704
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
Interesting point @Jackdaw on sailing in the wrong direction, I think the greatest for me anyway is hitting the start line on time and with a full head of steam. Seems the start is one of the easiest places to lose time against the field, while I am getting better at it, it still eludes me to hit the line at exactly (or as close to exactly) at the count of 0 or 0 plus a couple. I love the responses I am reading here though, I find racing a very interesting sport and hope to excel at it, unfortunately yesterdays race was cancelled due to weather, the lake was rolling pretty good after a couple of days of some 15+k winds from the NEN. Oh well there is always next weekend.