Handicap tweaks

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Ancient Geek
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Ancient Geek » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:15 am

A good point Brooksey this I think fast becoming a circular argument.
For myself I would upgrade and take the hit; not for wish to buy speed (Though to some extent we all do that anyway.) but because I remember how dreadfull the good old days were, cpmpared at least with today, I'd be impressed if people would sail in shorts all the year round as we did in the early 60's, brrrrrrr! I like to sail in all conditions not to be "grounded" by winds or waves!
Of course I can say that as I no longer race dinghies, f****d knees a broken neck and back ensure that I will never never ever. That does not stop me being informed, interested etc.
On the fiscal point; wooden masts are already an expensive luxury for new or replacement, second hand ones are like hens teeth, the price of carbon spars is fast coming down and if not, standing still, whilst the cost of aluminium extrusions is steadily rising especially in the small production run that dinghy masts are, classes with prescience that currently ban carbon spars are looking (With the ISAF's encouragement.) at the carbon alternative and ways of phasing them in with untill the whole racing fleet is thus equiped a suitable physical adjustment (Lead etc.). One or two classes with weight rules in spars (Especially tip weights.) dating back to the days of competative wooden masts will end up with indistrucatable rigs leading to replacement costs and insurance rates coming down.
Incidentally the age of an alloy mast is important the more modern ones are oh so much better + another 2 Rupert?
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Rupert » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:08 pm

I assume you mean -2, AG? No, not another -2 - the boat with the original kit should expect to see some benifit for still having the original kit, though - it is always nicer to give than to take away, where possible.

This is the area we need to be looking at more closely - where a boat keeps its rating, and where it is given points for having the original kit. As we are a classics organization, and so don't have to worry about things the RYA do, I think this should include a bonus for using old sails. I know the arguement is that they'd have been new sails in 1965, but so would the boat.
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by roger » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:54 pm

The whole reason Ed and co set up the CVRDA was because they wanted a level (ish) playing field to race their older boats. The whole ethos of the CLASSIC and VINTAGE racing dinghy association was to give these boats a place on the water.
Brooksey I think in many ways we work the log book idea. The regular boats are well known to the handicappers and new boats(to events) are discussed with owners and on the enrty form.

To be honest this subjecthas been covered many times and we do the best we can. If a boat turns up that is obviously over or under handicapped it will be obvious and relevant adjustments made.

Lets not forget the whole purpose is to enjoy racing and seeing these boats out that would otherwise be on bonfires or confined to the back of a shed.
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Brookesy » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:14 pm

I promise never to raise the subject again.....
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by DavidC » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:14 pm

Having sat on the RYA PY committee for some years in the past, I suppose I should not be surprised that yet again person digs have become part of this discussion.

One of the most frustrating things we found was the suck the finger and see what we feel like decision with no reference to proper maths. Of course we could go down the route of a separate handicap for each boat and theoretically this will allow for those who try to keep their boats as effective racing dinghies and those who chose to do minimal maintenance. However this hardly satisfactory and at no time should anyone be given an allowance because their boat is not put together properly.

I know that there are published numbers on this site and a little about adjustments but there should be a definitive table of what will be penalized or encouraged before any racing takes place.

To say you have nothing to do with what the RYA does is a poor understanding of the sport and a bit of an insult. Every time you race you use the rules and they include all the class rules and handicap systems and that is because we have the RYA.

Roger said "Lets not forget the whole purpose is to enjoy racing". Exactly - RACING. Of course we should be preserving boats and all that goes with it but it is racing and it is beholden on every good racer to try and make their boat as fast as they can within the rules which might include a handicap. However, the rules must be clear and transparent and quantifiable so as to be above suspicion.

I am not saying whether a Mylar sail should be hit or not, but that and every other thing should be listed and the reasoning behind it. There are concerns about cheque book sailing but from what has been said on the Mylar sails here the choice is, sail with old Dacron rags, buy old Mylar sails and get penalized or buy a brand new suit of Dacron sails with no penalty. Surely the later is the most expensive and cheque book option?

Whilst I realise this suggestion will be treated with contempt and derision I think it should be given serious consideration. With particular note to the mission statement:
1) get classic and vintage racing dinghies racing together as often as possible

· In their own meetings (as the 12's and 14's already do)
· In their own starts/wings (classic wings at modern boat events)
· As a classic handicap within larger fleets.
· In mixed fleets under age-related handicaps.

and in particular getting classic boats racing in club racing I propose that the two digit handicaps are abandoned and we convert to the current four figure PY system. It is unreasonable to expect any club to use the two figure system and they will not be bothered with it. This alienates the classic dinghy and we fail in the mission statement. Please do not say that the club should work out its own figure - they will look to the CVRDA four guidance which is what we are supposed to do under the mission statement and they will want a four figure number.

Allied to this, I propose that as we already use sailwave for our results, we take up our own page on the RYA PY site and submit our results each event for the RYA to calculate the figures. This will give an open system and one which is quantifiable.

D

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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Ancient Geek » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:43 pm

Another piece of well reasoned common sense from my fellow initials! Well said DC.
The object of racing is surely to win to say one just goes along for the sail is to admit one may as well cruise in company.
The late Geoffrey Saffery-Cooper (Father of Brian.) once described handicap racing as a few moments dry mouthed excitement before the start, intense frunstration as one was overtaken, blanketed etc., by faster bigger boats, coming ashore to buy The Times on Monday to see who has won. (This was 1963 just before he died racing in a near gale at Thames Sailing Club in a Merlin Rocket Silver Tller Race in May 1963.)
Given The Times no longer bothers with yachting results (Or can nobody be bothered to send them in?) and that results are now produced rather more quickly that last comment may no longer be relavent.
Given that Handicap Racing is unavoidable with the broad church that is the CVRDA, it would make oh so much sense to comply with the nearly universal methodology than swim against the tide. Given the necessarily rather arbitary nature of handicaps how about pursuit racing, at least first to finish has won!
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Nigel » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:16 pm

I must admit that I do like pursuits. It feels to me to be more of a real race, especially in the last few minutes if you are striving to overtake another boat or keep one at bay (or both).

A CVRDA pursuit would be great fun as at some point, people would be racing in company.

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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Michael Brigg » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:25 pm

Not really sure how the 4figure system and RYA Pages work, but I like the idea of a CVRDA "Fair handicap for a classic boat" page that clubs can use to allow classic racing boats to sail in class and competitively against their club colleagues.

It is always going to be a problem because where there is a classic boat within an active fleet, (eg Firefly or Merlin) these boats when sailed to a "Classic" ethic are going to be at a disadvantage but may be difficult to define accurately. We all know how Dido was able to almost win the championship but like the carbon masted Merlin, she bears a scant resemblance to the original other than her hull coulor. Conversly, as has been said, "Classic" status should not be assumed just because a boat is poorly maintained.

Boats that are regularly sailed against a yardstick of other keen competitive boats will inevitably learn to maximise the technique of their individual class. Those sailing in the class fleet will be acutely aware of every trick to go fast, and will have an advantage over individual boats that sail only in a handicap fleet. The CVRDA also has its idiosyncratic aspects. An enjoyment of some of the nostalgic elements of our boats history including a desire to maintain the Spectacle or elegance of a boat. A maze of modern control lines and multi purchase blocks to load a modern rig, or a simple, minimalist layout in keeping with the gentler needs consistent with the softer sails and perhaps more fragile masts of the past.

AG likes to use the analogy of car racing and as far as sails are concerned it is a bit like Tyres.

Some while ago I drove a Healey Sprite. I thought it might be best to drive with my tyres inflated at pressures specified in the hand book. 18psi front and 16psi at the back. Needless to say the car was undriveable and I had two near miss write-offs and a very unimpressed girlfriend after a couple of 360' spins even at very moderate pace.

With the modern tyres back up to a sensible pressure the performance was transformed and I realised would be generally impractible to drive such a car in anything other than modern tyres.

Similarly most fireflies now use Hyde sails. The cloth is stiffer and has a filler, and a generally much fuller cut, and being tougher can take considerably greater rig tension, and as a tougher, stiffer cloth is able to influence the mast bend far far more than older Ratseys (or the Musto/Hyde sails that were in use 25 years ago. Niether sail has exotic material but there is a huge difference in the boat speed from one to the other. Handicap allowance = 0.

My "Old" sails are not slow because they are blown out. They were unused for 25years under the spare bed but they are quite simply a different cut and with the variety of other changes, each made supposedly in a strictly controlled manner to preserve a "level playing field" you can have even in the CVRDA a street legal firefly with Super suck bailers, a straight rudder, Mark4 conversion, Hieghtened boom, selden "fixed" mast and Hyde sails, running off a PYS of 100, while original "soft" sails, "Reynolds" mast, spoon rudder Air-bag bouyancy and avon bailers gains just 1 point.

Please note I am not complaining about this, because, like any sailer in any other club I am actually at liberty to change or upgrade my boat within the CVRDA club rules every bit as much as a club sailor might do anywhere else. I siply prefer to keep the original features and enjoy trying to see if sneaky cunning will get me past a modernised boat. Its like beating your kids at football. 8) Its not cheque book sailing, its choice.

The rules are as they are, I am happy to live with them. :)

That having been said, I sincerely hope FISA are going to make their ref's come down heavily on players who play act and dive. It's not gamesmanship, its plain simple cheating. :evil: :evil:

Whats the chances of that happening??
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Rupert » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:35 pm

Michael - re your post - changing handicaps for originality is something that we can look at more closely - I'm not sure why you only had one poinbt for that lot, anyway.

As for the rest...

I think I'm getting a little bit fed up with people who have been to either very few or no cvrda events telling us how they should be run.

DavidC, dunno why you should feel insulted that at the cvrda we have a different set of problems re handicapping than the RYA do. It is a fact.

Please read the below. It is how most of the events have been run this year, and all organizers of events, I believe, have had a copy, along with the PY listings.


cvrda handicaps
The classic and vintage racing dinghy association have always tried to provide the closest and most fun racing available for older boats.

We have all had to spend most of our time racing within and against modern plastic boats often on the same handicap as our older boat. Of course we set up the cvrda to provide us with good racing for the old boats, but we still need to have a handicap system to make it all work.

A key date for the cvrda is 1965 and all boats built before that date can race within our classic wing. We have chosen to base our handicap system on the 1965 Portsmouth Yardstick system.

However, we normally only use this as a base figure which we then adjust dependent on the age, condition and amount of modernisation that the boat has had. So you will see that a “Vintage” Merlin will have a figure a little higher than the standard classic PN, and an “Old” Merlin will have a figure a little lower.

We also adjust the handicap to reflect the ‘state of tune’, or originality of a boat. A boat using Dacron sails which are similar to the original design would stay on handicap. If using cotton sails similar to the original design, 5 points are added to the boat’s handicap. If using sails make from Mylar of other film material, 2 points will be deducted from the handicap. If the sail design or area differs substantially from the original, event organizers can adjust handicaps to suit.

Boats using Aluminium masts will stay on handicap. Wooden masts will see 3 points being added to handicap, carbon masts and similar will see 2 points being deducted from handicap.

Organizers are also encouraged to look at other area of a boat’s state of tune in deciding whether points should be given for originality. For instance, a Firefly with a Steel centreplate, or a Finn with wedges instead of a kicking strap, would be slower than a boat with more modern equipment, and so a higher handicap would be appropriate.

So, some examples of how a handicap might change. A “Vintage” Merlin using Aluminium mast and Dacron sails will have a handicap of 95. The addition of a wooden mast will bring the handicap to 98. Add cotton sails onto this, and the handicap will change to 103. An “Old” Merlin, with Aluminium mast and Dacron sails, will sail off 88. A carbon mast will change this to 86, and Mylar sails to 84.

These adjustments are designed to allow fair racing between modernized and as original boats, using the assumption that as well as original style gear being slower, boats so rigged are pushed less hard by their owners when sailing, as risk of breakages is far higher.
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Ancient Geek » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:09 pm

The concept of going to the universal handicap system (RYA / PYS.) is surely to enable the world of Vintage Racing Dinghies to integrate into the whole world of Dinghy Racing, painlessly, and thus be included and at the same time hopefully to spread the word and fact. Those Vintage Dinghies that currently cruise from many clubs because no one knows how to handicap them fairly would be able to race with a chance to do well if not win.
Unsaid but implied is that one can suggest CVRDA handicaps but expressed in the four figure format.
Good God, I never thought I would defend or promote the RYA, but I just have!
Why do we need to make it difficult for the non CVRDA clubs is that not exclusive when the message one gets is the wish to be inclusive.
As someone who conducts his life in three currencies, I know how much easier my life would be if there were only one though I am not at all convinced it should be the Euro!
So come as the "yoof" are keen to say let's get real. Let's use that goodwill and not "snipe" no matter how pleasantly, it's no good saying turn up and see if the perception is one will be handicapped to buggery. Widen the opportunities to join in.
Simples.

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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by JimC » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:14 pm

DavidC wrote:I propose that the two digit handicaps are abandoned and we convert to the current four figure PY system. It is unreasonable to expect any club to use the two figure system and they will not be bothered with it. This alienates the classic dinghy and we fail in the mission statement. Please do not say that the club should work out its own figure - they will look to the CVRDA four guidance which is what we are supposed to do under the mission statement and they will want a four figure number.
I disagree. I loathe the 4 digit system because it suggests a quite fictional notion of accuracy that just isn't there. At the absolute most the number should have been doubled. I suspect one of the problems is that the RYA has stated that there has been handicap drift over the years and old numbers should not be used or converted. I don't know about cruisers, but for dinghies that statement was quite false. It would also have been better if integer conversion factors had been used when the numbers were changed, instead of three digit factors. OK hindsight is a wonderful thing, but if the numbers had been simply doubled in 197whatever it was we would be better off...
But bearing in mind all the stuff from the RYA about how modern numbers had no relationship to modern ones what choice did the guys who set up the Association have? As for making it easier for clubs? Well good grief, if you're doing results for a CVRDA open then all having two and three digit numbers instead of 4 digit ones does is give you one less digit to type into the PC or calculator... I wouldn't expect any club to be running CVRDA numbers for club racing, because if you did you would soon find yourself giving different numbers to every boat in your Solo fleet: we have 40 year old boats in ours... The only exception might be the development boats, and they publish their own numbers anyway...

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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Michael Brigg » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:00 pm

Rupert wrote:Michael - re your post - changing handicaps for originality is something that we can look at more closely - I'm not sure why you only had one poinbt for that lot, anyway.

.
No worries Rupert. I'm not complaining. I was practically last in all my nationals races, and it's mainly because I've not sailed for years, and have a completely un-tuned boat. The +1 I had at Roadford was fair enough, and I was not making comparison to Saskia. as you beat me consistently if anything by more distance when I used my Fixed mast as well. What interested me was that I thought my Reynolds mast may have performed if anything better than the Selden, and if I get more practice and new sails I would enjoy being able to show that a well tuned "Original boat" can indeed have the measure of a new one particularly if factors such as equality of sailcloth are allowed.

This kind of test would give me far more enjoyment than wether I needed + or - a few marks, because it would amongst other things stimulate a far more interesting debate in the bar! :) :lol:

I think I'm getting a little bit fed up with people who have been to either very few or no cvrda events telling us how they should be run.
I consistently hope to race more, but I do not think it is healthy to get upset by forum comments, which after all are made by marooned yachtsmen in need of emotional rescue. :cry:

Those of us who post most are well aware of our sadness, and all fervently hope to join you on the water. We do sometimes need to not take ourselves so seriously.
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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by jon711 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:24 am

Just to advise, that for Oulton Week, our computer system can not handle two and three figure handicaps. We are looking at converting all CVRDA handicaps to three and four figure numbers, however, with all the variables this may be impracticle. If so it makes the scorers job even more onerous, as it would have to be done longhand with a calculator and pen, and believe me having done the Oulton Week results for a ten year stretch, with over 250 finishers a day (I am under estimating here), it turns into a big job!!

We do not use Sailwave for Oulton Week, as the Broads River Cruisers use a percentage system (For which they supply thier own software to calculate results). Maybe the CVRDA should (If they wish to use two and three figure handicaps) supply clubs holding events with conversion software.....)

As we are not expecting any of the committee to attend Oulton Week, how do we achieve fair handicaps for boats that have not compeated in previous CVRDA events???

If we were to use the modern 3 & 4 number handicap system it may encourage the owner of an old boat to take part in club sailing - and surely that is what we all want at the end of the day!!


We all sail under rules governred by the RYA so to say that we don't follow the RYA, is naive in the extreme...(From a proud GOLD card member of the RYA!!)

To read, a respected measurer and International umpire being disagreed with, does make you wonder who has the greater knowledge? Personally I would go for the ISAF umpire...

Jon

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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by jon711 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:36 am

I meant to add surely the handicaps to be sailed to need to be declared in the Notice Of Race.

This opens up further loop holes, if we are going to adjust as the week progresses (Not sure we are allowed to!). Surely there needs to be a definitive list before the event is announced, listing handicaps, so that people know where they stand?? Do we just say that handicaps will be as the CVRDA website published list, subject to alterations due to age, and modernisation? (Not sure how this would stand up in a protest hearing)

But, we don't get protests in Oulton Week, unless it's against a Laser wobbling a bit too much!! (Well, that's always my excuse, "Excuse me Judge, I was not pumping, I was wobbling!! - It seems to work, when there are no umpires around who know how to sail!!)

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Re: Handicap tweaks

Post by Nigel » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:18 am

jon711 wrote:Just to advise, that for Oulton Week, our computer system can not handle two and three figure handicaps. We are looking at converting all CVRDA handicaps to three and four figure numbers, however, with all the variables this may be impracticle. If so it makes the scorers job even more onerous, as it would have to be done longhand with a calculator and pen,
Actually it sounds rather easy unless I am missing something.

Pick some specimen boats with a PY in both systems, come up with a conversion factor, set the CVRDA PYs as usual making adjustments for tweed sails, unobtainium masts etc. then just apply the conversion factor using Excel of similar.

The conversion maths will take about 30 seconds to do all of them in a spreadsheet. The key really is to pick the right specimen boats - obviously not development classes, aim for boats that have not significantly changed over the years and have bigish fleets and longevity of boat, things like Wayfarers are probably a good start (I know a new one will be faster than an old one but the modern PY will still take into acount the results of all the older ones out there that are still racing).

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