Handicap tweaks

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davidh
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Handicap tweaks

Post by davidh » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:55 am

Okay...........

without wanting to start a contentious string, I'll ask instead a simple 'and the answer is' sort of question.

Assuming that supercrew scrapper Jon doesn't rip off yet more fittings, we should be sailing Smokey Bear with a CVRDA PY of 88 as a standard (ie, standard, no carbon or fancy fittings) 'old' merlin rocket.

I've been trying to get a new mainsail to fit the old alloy mast, as the Batt we currently use is not just shot, if it were any baggier then we could wrap up the boat in it and use it as an undercover. But good news... I may have located a main that will fit the mast but bummer of bummers, it is mylar. So, if one adds a maylar main but nothing else, how much of a change to the CVRDA PY does that attract?

There is a secondary point to all this: I'm still chasing the Merlin 3199, my old 'Credit Card' which in 1982 had a suit of measured mylar sails (we did some of the development work on these with Banks sails) - if they had been measured way back then, would they still attract a penalty even though they were as old as the boat?

D
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Brookesy
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Brookesy » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:43 pm

From my point of view, I do not really see mylar sails as a great advantage. It is only when it is added to a well sorted carbon rig that a real performance gain is noticed.
In the Finns in particular, adding a mylar sail does not give a great gain unless it is compared to the blown out dacron sail it has replaced. Certainly this was the case at Roadford where Alan W has started to use a mylar sail on his alloy mast to no great advantage.
Similarly I have been experimenting with a round carbon mast and dacron sail and I do not see any advantage over a good alloy mast other than it is easier to right the boat from a capsize due to the diference in weight aloft. The round carbon Finn masts seem to perform in the same way as a normal Needlespar which they basicaly replicated.
A carbon wing mast with a mylar sail is another story altogether, and it perfoms better allround as gust response is improved and sideways and fore and aft bend is controlled by the manufacturers specification and the mylar sail is matched to it.
So do we penalise for just the mylar sail with an alloy mast ?
Do we penalise for just the mast with dacron sail ?
I think the only solution is again the 'CVRDA Handicapper' to monitor and adjust if there seems to be a significant advantage.
The only disadvantage is that usually the boat that has the questionable rig is also in most cases very well sorted and with a good crew so will tend to go well anyway, but then that is a dilema for the handicapper which we must accept.
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Rupert
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Rupert » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:49 pm

Minus 2 for a Mylar sail, David.
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Brookesy
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Brookesy » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:52 pm

Is that aplied to all classes Rupert or just for the merlin?
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DavidC
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by DavidC » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:27 pm

Considering Brooksey's comments could you explain the rational a little more please Rupert. Could you also comment on an original suit of Mylars as David mentioned. These are surely historic sails and should be encouraged rather than binned to save a penalty?

D

LarFinn
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by LarFinn » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:05 pm

Personally I would like to see the handicap adjusted to reward genuinely period sails, a modern sail makes a significant difference compared to a 30 year old version! ref: DavidH - if the boat had Mylar sails "back in the day", I think we should be allowing them now - especially if they are the original set.
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davidh
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by davidh » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:46 pm

If this is -2 on the old handicaps as used by the cvrda then, this is a total non starter, as that is a swingeing penalty that makes the whole idea uncompetitive.

But hold on...is that -2 for a suit of mylar sails, so a main and jib are each -1, or is it -2 per sail, making a mylar jib and main together a punching -4?

In a way, this could actually be pushing those who want to at least be competitive towards cheque book sailing. I can go and get a brand new suit of dacron sails (as Merlin 36 had) yet still sail with a PY of 88. Buy a second hand (actually 3rd hand) sail, cut for a different rig, and you get penalised.

D
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Nigel » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:08 pm

Adjust the PY until you do not win then repeat the process for everyone else

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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Ancient Geek » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:45 pm

Two things - well three!
Handicap yacht racing is for me as an experience, a far off country of which I know little, but I do know a bit about handicapping!
The first thing any organisation - Jockey Club - Golf Club does if it is going to handicap anything is to appoint an independent handicapper who is by his/her position barred from owning or competing their decision is final, no arguments that's it; if you do not like your handicap; you do not race; your choice. It should not be left to competitors to set handicaps which must be applied to a set of defined easily understood benchmarks which can and should include many factors. If you are serious then I suggest it would prevent the bickering - I was robbed, and allow those who wish to study the criteria and adjust their entry accordingly with cotton, dacron or mylar sails for instance. What those criteria should be is a subject that needs better study than it has been given, Crew weight compared to class optimum, equipment of all types and venue (The Finn for instance (Superb boat that it is.) is not renowned as a light airs short tacking river boat - it would not be the ship of choice for such conditions.) So appoint a handicapper or a committee.
That is if you really care!
The bickering leads to me on to question if it is good for our carefully guarded "image" to discuss a contentious matter in public. - Pas des enfants!
Simples.

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jon711
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by jon711 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:28 am

Well said AG, but in all handicaping that is slightly personal (as par the Golf handicap... Like the pun!!), then the better sailors get penalised for being good sailors. Until I wrecked the boat at Whitfriars, we were probably winning on handicap. The question must be asked, would we still have been the same ahead, with Mylar Sails?

Interesting thought...

Although I'm sure Rupert would have done a Port/Starboard on us on the startline if we looked too dominant :lol:

Personaly, (although, I may be biased!) as Mylar sails are from the same vintage as the boat (Whether or not the boat had them originally, is, in my opinion irrelevent), then the sail cloth should be irrelevent.

Now, if we got a set of stress built, carbon reinforced sails then I would expect to penalised!!!

Interesting discusion, certainly got me thinking (And some people may say that's a first!!!!)- - (Insults invited!!! :) )


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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by roger » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:25 am

In answer very briefly(I should be on my way to work) to the above. We do have a handicap committee who take each boat into account. It is very difficult of course to appear totally independant as the system has eveolved over the years and the handicappers generally are made up of those who are at the events and have seen the performance of various boats. We still only have small numbers at events and to employ a totally independent handicapper who understands the ethos and many technical differences of the many boats at the different venues.
What I am trying to say is that we all know handicap racing is never totally fair and that we do our very best to remain impartial and give everyone a fair crack at the racing. If you feel the handicap you have been given is totally unfair then put your position to the handiap committee in writing and it will be considered.

AG is right in an ideal world we would employ an independent handicapper but we dont have the resources.

I will take tthis forward and talk to the committee about any changes we can make to give a more open and fair system.

But please remember handicap racing is never fair for example. When racing my revo Hornet with Chris at cvrda events we were regularly in the top three. with Shoestring same class, same crew, but original sails wooden mast etc only once in the top few and that was a fluke. So should I be given a better handicap for shoestring ? possibly but I already have extra for wooden mast original sails so in theory I should be getting top end results but Im not. Maybe because I dont push so hard.may be because she keeps breaking. :?

Roger
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alan williams
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by alan williams » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:53 am

RE. Mylar Sails
Hi with a Finn there is an advantge in using a mylar sail on an alispar up to a certain point. This is when the boom has to be sheeted down until it rests or almost rests on the stern deck. At this point the sail has now lost it's design shape and just becomes a mass of creases radiating from the luff to the clew as it cannot cope with the increase in mast bend. However with the Hornet there was a rush to mylar(I had one of the first suits), but the fleet has to a large extent returned to dacron due to the flexiblity of the cloth. I found that I needed two mylar mains for the Hornet as the shape is very fixed. The sails were also marked with a maxium wind strength for use and if it was exceeded for any length of time the shape changed and they had to be binned. The Finns have 3 cuts of mylar/kevlar/carbon sails to ensure that each sail can be matched to the prevailing conditions. Mylar in genoas has largely been dropped by most classes due to high wear rates. As regards a Merlin with Mylar fine if at that time they would have been the choice rig for the class or if it was the first rig for that boat. Jon I don't think that you would have won at Whitefriars for two reasons firstly its Ruperts water and secondly he was sailing that Tonic extremly quickly. Finally I would rather see a qualifiying boat sailing even if it does have modern rig than have that boat sat in a dinghy park, shed, garage, driveway, barn or field, we can always allocate a PY number to it.
Cheers Al
Last edited by alan williams on Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:30 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Garry R » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:56 am

I have the same opinion as Roger as regards handicaps. For example in the Merlin Vintage fleet there is a range of handicaps based on years. Howver there is one particular point that has not been thought about. My old Merlins and indeed Iska, Terrapin and those of that age don't have transom flaps so should we (heaven forfend!) capsize then it really is game over as regards the race. At the age of these boats I really don't want to go cutting holes in the hull or the transom. So in light conditions the handicaps are closer than in the heavier stuff. It does lead to somewhat defensive or perhaps self preservation sailing while at Forfar the Lasers can capsize and be away at top speed in a matter of moments. I am being towed in !!

The essence of handicapping is that everyone should end up with the identical corrected time - never happens because of other factors. So it isn't a question of it not being fair it's just handicapping. I think that the handicapping in the CVRDA gets it pretty much right - win some, lose some, live with it, enjoy it - there's always someone around you to race against.

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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Rupert » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:04 am

davidh wrote:Okay...........

without wanting to start a contentious string, I'll ask instead a simple 'and the answer is' sort of question.


D
And I answered it. We have used -2 as a Mylar sail handicap for many years. Generally a boat with Mylar sails has been moderernized in other ways, too. This is for classics racing, remember - so cotton/wood in rigs is given a (possibly) disproportionate positive handicap to 1) promote it and 2) allow for gentler sailing. Carbon/mylar will be given a handicap which 1) gets people using the stuff of the era (I don't remember any mylar sails on merlins in the early 1980's - certainly weren't on the vast majority of boats) and 2) allows for the fact that a boat with such a rig will (and should) be pushed harder. The breakage level would suggest this is so. And no, it is -2 when Mylar is used, whether main and jib or just main, especially as many classes stuck with dacron for jibs long after Mylar mains were used.

We have been using such systems (and the handicap committee has adjusted things over the years on the light of emperical evidence) for 11 years now. If you want it changed, turn up to events, use the system, show us that it needs a rethink, get involved at the real life level, not just on the forum level.

Brooksey, Finn handicaps appear to be a slightly different subject, as the mast/sail combinations are very tricky to deal with. I'm hoping your experience with the classic Finn fleet can give us some better data to use.
Rupert

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Ancient Geek
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Ancient Geek » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:23 am

Which gentlemen is why I suggested the handicapper (Committees of one get things done!) should be a non-combatant to remove suggestions of Class(boat class!) - Regional, even dare I suggest it Personal bias, no matter what you say that lingers if not said.
It's no good pleading lack of bias, my late Godfather who knew a thing or two about people claiming honesty good will etc., always quoted someone (I'm sure someone will google it!) "The more he pleaded his honour the faster we counted the spoons".
Some of you seem to be coming round to my several months even years ago (Howled down at the time no doubt will be again but that is what you are suggesting in some cases.) of personal handicaps as well. If for instance Keith Musto were to turn up (not that improbable.) well you can guess. Ages allowances for crews and helmspersons too?
Simples.

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