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Rating vs Boat vs Ability

Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
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.
This is a great point, and one of the best places/time to see how your boatspeed is in handicap racing. If you get a good clean fast start, you are right with all the good boats. After a while you get a feeling for how you are doing, and doing vs your ratings. Look at boats about the same rating that do well. Look at their boat speed and angle. 95% of the time everyone is on starboard at the start, and relatively close by. This makes this comparison easy.

And yes, you often see boats start a minute late. Not only is that 60 seconds they will NEVER get back, but now they are in bad air.
 
Oct 29, 2016
1,748
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
The last couple of races I have followed a boat of similar size and but a much better rating to the line, he being an experienced racer has taught me much about hitting the line on time, I have found in the past the start sequence a bit perplexing. His boat (C&C 42) has a much better rating than our Hunter 41, but attempting to keep up with him really does show me how well or bad I have sailed, I know on the reaching legs I can keep up with him, but on the pointing legs he disappears in the mist so to speak, but I will keep on trying to improve, who knows someday I may finish ahead of the pack, but right now the only way that would happen is if the pack stayed home. :what:
 
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Aug 22, 2017
1,608
Hunter 26.5 West Palm Beach
Assuming that your race committee is giving you a standard rule 26 start, you will have a few flags & hopefully also horn signals to warn you of specific times a few minutes before the actual start of the race. After zeroing out their watches on the first prep signal, many racers will sail up near the line, look at their watch, sail below the line for a timed period, then turn around & head back towards the line again so that they expect to get there as the starting flag moves. If you practice this a few times on days when you are not racing, using local marks in place of the starting line, you should be able figure out the ratio of how long it takes you to sail upwind after sailing downwind for a measured amount of time. The ratio will vary with wind & current. Of course, in the actual race, you will also need to deal with a lot more traffic & that can complicate things. Timing yourself below the line is a good place to start. More complicated methods can also be used.
 
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Jan 22, 2008
757
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
The last couple of races I have followed a boat of similar size and but a much better rating to the line, he being an experienced racer has taught me much about hitting the line on time, I have found in the past the start sequence a bit perplexing. His boat (C&C 42) has a much better rating than our Hunter 41, but attempting to keep up with him really does show me how well or bad I have sailed, I know on the reaching legs I can keep up with him, but on the pointing legs he disappears in the mist so to speak, but I will keep on trying to improve, who knows someday I may finish ahead of the pack, but right now the only way that would happen is if the pack stayed home. :what:
Racing late model Hunters can be frustrating. I have the same experience, we can keep up with larger boats on reaching legs, but get passed on the windward legs by smaller boats with genoas and deep keels. And then have to deal with the spreaders on the downwind.
We raced with a group of other Hunters & Catalinas on Saturday and our 340 stayed ahead of and gained ground on a Catalina 389 on the last leg beam reach with just our jib up. If we can catch a day without both a dead upwind and dead downwind leg in the race, and with a little luck we can finish very well. Even with a rating 15 below an old PHRF national average for our boat I found on line. Some clubs don’t give the fair rating adjustment we need for the small jib we’re limited to.
Most races, I’m the only B&R rig without a backstay and the small jib in 50 boat fleet, but we keep showing up and having fun.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Racing late model Hunters can be frustrating. I have the same experience, we can keep up with larger boats on reaching legs, but get passed on the windward legs by smaller boats with genoas and deep keels. And then have to deal with the spreaders on the downwind.
We raced with a group of other Hunters & Catalinas on Saturday and our 340 stayed ahead of and gained ground on a Catalina 389 on the last leg beam reach with just our jib up. If we can catch a day without both a dead upwind and dead downwind leg in the race, and with a little luck we can finish very well. Even with a rating 15 below an old PHRF national average for our boat I found on line. Some clubs don’t give the fair rating adjustment we need for the small jib we’re limited to.
Most races, I’m the only B&R rig without a backstay and the small jib in 50 boat fleet, but we keep showing up and having fun.
Here's a thought. If someone asks me what a 'race boat' means when it comes to handicap racing, I say it's boat that sails closest to its rating is the widest range of conditions and courses. A PHRF handicap is not an average of how it does, its really more its best case scenario. Most often you're slower. If you have a cruiser, and you're racing against cruisers, its will be close most of the time but some are better then others in some conditions. Get up against a real race boat, and you're going to get hammered more often then not.
 
Oct 29, 2016
1,748
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
@Jackdaw I am going to have to look how close my finishes are to actual plus handicap and see how I am doing, but I suspect you are correct that my times are slower than the handicap allots for. But as I have said its fun being out there and a great reason to get out there and sail.

@Bill19233 , I know exactly what you are talking about, but it sure is fun doing it, especially if you pass several boats on the reach leg, the sad part is when they catch back up and pass you to the windward side, tactical moves like that are very frustrating.
 
Jan 22, 2008
757
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Here's a thought. If someone asks me what a 'race boat' means when it comes to handicap racing, I say it's boat that sails closest to its rating is the widest range of conditions and courses. A PHRF handicap is not an average of how it does, its really more its best case scenario. Most often you're slower. If you have a cruiser, and you're racing against cruisers, its will be close most of the time but some are better then others in some conditions. Get up against a real race boat, and you're going to get hammered more often then not.
Oh I know, I found racing several years after I bought a boat that isn't a race boat by anyone's measure. Late model Hunters are designed to be roomy, easy to sail by novices, and in a lot of cases are bought to be "dockuminiums".
I'm not going to buy a different boat any time soon. So, I will blame poor performances on an unfair rating on my "non race boat", and credit a few lucky, good finishes to a great crew led by a skilled skipper.
But, seriously, to the point of DayDreamer's thread. In my case, I was given a 169 rating by the local PHRF, the national average for a 340 is like 190, I think. So I race in the club class, adjusted every race. Started with a 189 this year, now at 172. When I compare finish times with PHRF boats in the same races, I would usually be close to last in their classes against Jboats and racer cruisers with full crews, and new laminate sails, and clean bottoms, etc...
The club class will have about 25 boats racing the same course in a pursuit start with about 50 other boats in a multihull class, a shorthanded class, and three PHRF classes (non spin, spin sprit, & spin pole). It is a blast and I hate missing races. So, maybe get a cruising "club" class started in your fleet, might attract more boats to enter the races, too.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
When I compare finish times with PHRF boats in the same races, I would usually be close to last in their classes against Jboats and racer cruisers with full crews, and new laminate sails, and clean bottoms, etc...
The thing to remember is, these boat are typically sailed harder by more experienced race crews. Its the very thing that has them sitting on the rail of a J-105 (no standing headroom) while your crew basks in comfort all over the deck and cockpit!

;^)
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,608
Hunter 26.5 West Palm Beach
...
The club class will have about 25 boats racing the same course in a pursuit start with about 50 other boats in a multihull class, a shorthanded class, and three PHRF classes (non spin, spin sprit, & spin pole). It is a blast and I hate missing races. So, maybe get a cruising "club" class started in your fleet, might attract more boats to enter the races, too.
Pursuit races are my favorite PHRF races. When you cross the line, you know where you stand. I like that.
 

meb135

.
Nov 17, 2012
92
Hunter 33 Shediac Bay
....So I race in the club class, adjusted every race. Started with a 189 this year, now at 172.....

Can you explain how your Club Class works where your rating is adjusted every race.
Thanks.
 
Jan 22, 2008
757
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
....So I race in the club class, adjusted every race. Started with a 189 this year, now at 172.....

Can you explain how your Club Class works where your rating is adjusted every race.
Thanks.
I don't know the exact formulas used. A boat wanting to race in the class will be given a rating by the committee close to their PHRF rating, usually lower to weed out sleepers and ringers. Depending on conditions in a race and number of boats, middle finishers will stay even, top finishers will lose rating points, bottom will gain points. A race, with say 10 boats in class, all finishing within the time limit, first will go from a 190 to a 185 and last may go from 230 to 238. It's not perfect, someone can sandbag to raise their rating and TLE finishers do not get rating increases, but in a multi race series it works itself out. The club is very good about getting notice out by email about ratings change before races and has a web site you can check yours and others ratings. Start times for the different ratings are listed in the sailing instructions. Races that don't have committee boats are tracked on RaceQs. All classes fly different color flags, so you know who's racing in your class.

I just looked, here's the screen shot. I misstated, I started with 188 not 189, and it was last year, not this year. I'm now at 172.

CaptureGBCA1.jpg
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I don't know the exact formulas used. A boat wanting to race in the class will be given a rating by the committee close to their PHRF rating, usually lower to weed out sleepers and ringers. Depending on conditions in a race and number of boats, middle finishers will stay even, top finishers will lose rating points, bottom will gain points. A race, with say 10 boats in class, all finishing within the time limit, first will go from a 190 to a 185 and last may go from 230 to 238. It's not perfect, someone can sandbag to raise their rating and TLE finishers do not get rating increases, but in a multi race series it works itself out. The club is very good about getting notice out by email about ratings change before races and has a web site you can check yours and others ratings. Start times for the different ratings are listed in the sailing instructions. Races that don't have committee boats are tracked on RaceQs. All classes fly different color flags, so you know who's racing in your class.

I just looked, here's the screen shot. I misstated, I started with 188 not 189, and it was last year, not this year. I'm now at 172.

View attachment 156169
This is the so-called 'golf' PHRF handicapping. US Sailing recommends it for smaller, non-serious fleets where 1 or 2 good boats always winning disrupts morale. In this system, your actual rating means nothing anywhere else, because it factors in the boat and your crew's relative performance. They do not suggest using in serious regattas for the obvious reasons.

The process is explained here:

https://www.ussailing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Golf-Handicapping-for-PHRF.pdf
 
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meb135

.
Nov 17, 2012
92
Hunter 33 Shediac Bay
Thank you very much for the explanation and link. This may be of interest for our smaller racing fleet where, as you suggest, 1 or 2 boats are always wining and may be discouraging others from joining.
 
Jan 22, 2008
757
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
This is the so-called 'golf' PHRF handicapping. US Sailing recommends it for smaller, non-serious fleets where 1 or 2 good boats always winning disrupts morale. In this system, your actual rating means nothing anywhere else, because it factors in the boat and your crew's relative performance. They do not suggest using in serious regattas for the obvious reasons.

The process is explained here:

https://www.ussailing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Golf-Handicapping-for-PHRF.pdf
It may not be serious racing to some people, but it is serious fun. It’s almost always the biggest class in our club’s regattas. And the other clubs in the area have a similar class in their regattas.
It works great for people who don’t have enough spare time with family and jobs to devote to practice and boat prep or enough discretionary funds to commit to “serious” racing. As far as the rating not meaning anything anywhere else, I don’t race my boat anywhere else. This class is just a lot of fun and more challenging than you might think.

Lots of clips of the club class from this season in this video.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
It may not be serious racing to some people, but it is serious fun. It’s almost always the biggest class in our club’s regattas. And the other clubs in the area have a similar class in their regattas.
It works great for people who don’t have enough spare time with family and jobs to devote to practice and boat prep or enough discretionary funds to commit to “serious” racing. As far as the rating not meaning anything anywhere else, I don’t race my boat anywhere else. This class is just a lot of fun and more challenging than you might think.

Lots of clips of the club class from this season in this video.
I hope that didn't come across as disparaging, that was not my intent at all. Your videos show your crew having a great time, and that's the key. By 'serious' I meant a scoring system that only factors in boat handicapping, and not crew handicapping. Perhaps I could have found a better word.

The golf system adjusts your handicap up and down to 'level the playing field' and have everyone finish closer. And it has to do that by penalizing better crews and rewarding weaker. Its the nature of the beast.

My comment about the rating was made after you brought up your rating in comparison to PHRF ratings in other fleets. That is the comparison that makes no sense due to the golf adjustments.
 
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meb135

.
Nov 17, 2012
92
Hunter 33 Shediac Bay
We have on average 12 to 14 boats out for the Wednesday night races with 4 classes and PHRF ratings from 109(J29) to 225(Tanzer 22). With so few boats and 4 classes, well you can see that the results after each race are practically always the same. Would this system allow all boats to race in 1 class?
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
We have on average 12 to 14 boats out for the Wednesday night races with 4 classes and PHRF ratings from 109(J29) to 225(Tanzer 22). With so few boats and 4 classes, well you can see that the results after each race are practically always the same. Would this system allow all boats to race in 1 class?
Are the 'classes' 4 different configurations, or 4 rating bands? Configurations would be spin, non-spin, cruising, etc

109 to 225 is not that wide a handicap range. You could run them all in one if they were the same class. You should not mix classes (spin and non-spin), but some fleets will just to get numbers.

The golf approach might help, but members have to buy into it.
 

meb135

.
Nov 17, 2012
92
Hunter 33 Shediac Bay
We only have 3 boats using spinnakers and they are in A class. (All J29's) The rest are divided by handicap range. It would just be more fun to have all other boats in 1 class and be more competitive by giving the boats that are always at the bottom a chance to move up and the boats that are always at the top could find it more challenging. But as you say, the others have to buy into it. I think I may suggest it for next year.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
We only have 3 boats using spinnakers and they are in A class. (All J29's) The rest are divided by handicap range. It would just be more fun to have all other boats in 1 class and be more competitive by giving the boats that are always at the bottom a chance to move up and the boats that are always at the top could find it more challenging. But as you say, the others have to buy into it. I think I may suggest it for next year.
Exactly. What you often find in small fleets is that if there are boats that ALWAYS win, they will enjoy the challenge of tightening up the competition.

Its important to note that under golf handicapping:
It ignores boats that do VERY well or VERY poorly (>50s/m delta) as that delta is often great skill or bad luck that would (and should) not be adjusted.
As the boats get closer, the delta changes get closer. It will never swap boats ratings.


The J29s might desire to stay separate, particularly if all three them usually show up. That's a fleet race. if only two usually show, then that race is match racing, less fun for most.
 
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Jan 22, 2008
757
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
I hope that didn't come across as disparaging, that was not my intent at all. Your videos show your crew having a great time, and that's the key. By 'serious' I meant a scoring system that only factors in boat handicapping, and not crew handicapping. Perhaps I could have found a better word.

The golf system adjusts your handicap up and down to 'level the playing field' and have everyone finish closer. And it has to do that by penalizing better crews and rewarding weaker. Its the nature of the beast.

My comment about the rating was made after you brought up your rating in comparison to PHRF ratings in other fleets. That is the comparison that makes no sense due to the golf adjustments.
Not taken as disparaging. "Serious" is too subjective, we need a better word to get our meaning across that doesn't carry any unintended attitude.
My point to DayDreamer and other late model Hunter owners on this forum that may race or want to race is, it is very difficult in the windward/leeward PHRF world to be successful limited with the small jib. It does not seem to be accounted for in the ratings in most areas. I'm not saying there is a bias against late model Hunters and that committees don't want them to finish well and make other boats look bad, that's just the way it is. That's why I race in the club class along with the other reasons involving the time and cost to "seriously" race a boat. It does penalize better crews, but it makes you improve where you can if you want to keep finishing well.
 
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