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Handicaps and how they work


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After all the years I have been racing somtimes the handicaps leave me scratching my head. The Ryc winter races in Adiv one boat went from .820 to .770 between races 7&8, that boat had a bad start due to tide and wind in light conditions I have not seen handicaps move like that. Any comment or in the know with it?

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Adjusting handicaps should taken over at least 3 races with any spikes taken out.

 

Years ago, in the good old days when I was the class handicapper I would do a calculation for every boat for each race to work out their adjusted handicap to match the first boats elapsed time. Then get the mean for 3 races.

 

I believe Sailware ??? does this for you now these days.

 

Whats was wrong with the calculator, or even the slideruler. :lol: :lol:

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After all the years I have been racing somtimes the handicaps leave me scratching my head. The Ryc winter races in Adiv one boat went from .820 to .770 between races 7&8, that boat had a bad start due to tide and wind in light conditions I have not seen handicaps move like that. Any comment or in the know with it?

 

there are two kinds of handicaps,

 

performance based handicaps share the prizes between all the boats.

 

rule based handicaps make the richest guy win.

 

:wink:

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Such cynicism in one so young Samin.

 

Boots, I'm assuming your question isn't rhetorical

so here's an answer with the nausiating detail.

 

don't know for certain if the below applies to Richmond, but I suspect it does.

 

A handicap is usually the average of a 'sailed to calculation' for the last x races sailed in a series.

 

For each race the sailed to number is calculated by

 

(1) determining a 'mid point' boat, often the middle boat on corrected time

(2) multiplying the mid point boats handicap for that race by the ratio between their elapsed time and each other boats time, e.g., if the first place boat took half the elapsed time of the mid boat, her sailed to number is twice the handicap for the mid boat.

 

A handicap change for each race is affected by three things :

 

(1) how good, or bad, the last race was

(2) how good, or bad, the oldest race (which is no longer being counted) was

(3) the number of races in the average (that x mentioned earlier)

 

If, for example, a boat sails to 0.68 instead of an expected 0.83 and only three races were being used to calculate her handicap, then this sort of movement would be seen, assuming no manual intervention by a handicapper.

 

Hope this helps.

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Adjusting handicaps should taken over at least 3 races with any spikes taken out.

 

Years ago, in the good old days when I was the class handicapper I would do a calculation for every boat for each race to work out their adjusted handicap to match the first boats elapsed time. Then get the mean for 3 races.

 

I believe Sailware ??? does this for you now these days.

 

Whats was wrong with the calculator, or even the slideruler. :lol: :lol:

 

Method E in yachtsys averages the last 1-5 (ie you choose if you want 1, 2,3, 4, or 5) race "sailed-to" values to get the new handicap. You can configure it to include the handicap for the last race in the average (so last 4 race sailed-to values and the last tcf = average of 5 values). Also, you can set "clamp" limits so if a boat has a very good or bad sailed-to performance (spikes) you can clamp it at the limit - this prevents these abnormal performances causing wild swings in the handicap. You can make it exclude altogether those performances that are really shocking or blindingly good.

 

The sailed-to value is calculated as the handicap a boat would have needed to place first equal with the reference boat. In this method, the reference should be the boat that placed nea the middle of the fleet. Some argue it should be the middle boat. Some argue it should be the boat placed around 45 - 48% in the fleet. 30% (ie the boat plaed about 1/3 down the fleet) is definitely too high, causing a downward trend in all handicaps. Whether it's 30% or 48% makes no material difference to the argument that one boat gets stuck as the reference boat - in something like 14 races with a fleet of around 15-20 boats, 8 boats were the reference boat once or twice.

 

Properly run, the only way a performance handicap shares the prizes around is by providing a another prize pool in addition to IRC and/or PHRF - it shoudln't give the prize to a different boat each time any more than IRC does so. The boat that is sailed consistently well, or is consistently improving (so it encourages new sailors where say IRC might not), should win the series. :thumbup:

 

Seems to me the effective difference between Method E and Racetrack is Method E is adjusted after each race, while Racetrack is adjusted monthly?

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Dr Bob,

You obviously have a very thorough knowledge of how Yacht Systems handicapping software works. Anytime you would like to give me a lesson I would be very appreciative of your help.

 

Boat Slut,

At the time of race 8 the commodore was in Wanaka and completely unaware of how low his handicap. Dispite your inference that the commodore gets some sort of preferencial treatment you would still be welcome to come for a sail on my boat sometime. Give me a call 021-347-334

 

Boots,

RYC tries very hard to run fair races with an even playing field for all yachts. Dispite the fact that a computer does most of the work, the results still need to be checked for anomalies by a human. The reason for the large swing may have been caused by the 'clamp' limit refered to by Dr Bob.

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