Merlin PYs...

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Michael4
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Merlin PYs...

Post by Michael4 » Fri May 29, 2015 1:40 pm

Now I know this is something of a touchy subject but I wonder if anyone can help me with a precedent?

We are sailing MR 950 in a series of club handicap races. We are the oldest boat by a long chalk. We are still using the original sails, original rig including drum kicker, no chute, small spinnaker etc etc. I'm not aware that the boat is modified in any way (apart from a couple of patches!).

This year we are using PY 1055 (985 + 70) as per RYA.

We enjoy ourselves but due to the helmsman's hopelessness and the boat's age we are enjoyably and gloriously last on every occasion unless there are any retirements...

So my question is, has anyone in a similar situation negotiated a more beneficial PY for club handicap racing and if so, can I use them as an example when asking my club to do the same?
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JB9
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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by JB9 » Fri May 29, 2015 1:57 pm

Tricky.

My own experience with the Jollyboat was fairly easy as there was no existing PY to use. I have found it more difficult with the National 18 as the class has just launched a new version which is lighter and quicker than the old by some margin and the new PY is 930 something. As a result the PY for Whisp has been brought into line which is crazy. I have asked for this to be altered, compared it with other boats, emphasized the age and weight and got a reference from the class.
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Rupert
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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by Rupert » Fri May 29, 2015 2:56 pm

I've never thought the MR class Association suggested list as being ungenerous to older Merlins.

The National 18 handicap must surely be based on the results from the current crop of boats. One prototype won't have changed anything yet. But the 18s run an internal handicapping system anyway, so it should be possible to figure out a starting point for an old Ace.
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davidh
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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by davidh » Fri May 29, 2015 3:21 pm

Mike,

sadly, right now the MR PY situation is in a bit of a mess........as you say, there are no shortage of comments elsewhere.

I've done a lot of work on PYs for the really classic boats - which is somewhat at variance with the so called 'official' ones; there again, they're now allowing virtually new boats to somehow race as classics (I just do not see how a boat made in 1999 qualifies as 'vintage' but there you are.

So - on the more meaningful set of PYs, your boat, a Chippendale Proctor VIII, would be on something between 1080 and 1095, with my gut feel being that you'd be on something between 1080 and 1085.

If you'd like a copy of the calculations then I'm happy to provide.

FYI - For the 2016 season, I'm expecting there to be a great deal more in the way of changes to how the MROA manage this.

D
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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by Rupert » Fri May 29, 2015 3:48 pm

The basic problem comes that yardsticks are an average, and so take no account of what kind of rig you have on the boat. An Enterprise of similar age with all the original bits would be asked to sail off the current Enterprise handicap, so in effect the MROA suggested handicaps (and they aren't RYA) would be including boats with all ages of rig in the system, and are purely design age based.

This is one reason the cvrda came into existence in the first place - we can and will change handicaps to suit individual boats. Personally, I'm of the opinion that the main Yardstick system shouldn't. If clubs want to alter numbers to suit, then they are encouraged to do that by the RYA in order to produce fair racing, butyou will have trouble getting them to look further than a class supplied suggestion.

A 1999 boat racing as vintage... 16 years old... that is only 9 years newer than the cvrda cut off age used to be! For a class where hulls have changed very little in recent years, that does seem a bit strange.
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Michael4
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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by Michael4 » Fri May 29, 2015 4:42 pm

David,

Yes please, if I could have a copy of your calcs I could show them to the club and we can see where we go from there. They are a friendly bunch so I hope they will take a sympathetic view.

From what I've picked up here and there I suspect that 950 is quite a late sail number for a Proctor MK VIII, surely, by 1959 there were already more 'modern' boats about? (think I might need to buy your book!)

When all is said and done it goes without saying that I am of course trying to improve my PY to conceal my inadequacies as a helmsman...
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Nigel
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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by Nigel » Fri May 29, 2015 5:36 pm

it is an interesting exercise to take some previous results and work out what your PY would need to be to actually change any of the positions you finished in.

When I did that, it surprised me to see how little (no) difference a relatively large change in PY made

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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by jpa_wfsc » Fri May 29, 2015 9:39 pm

davidh wrote:Mike,

sadly, right now the MR PY situation is in a bit of a mess........ - which is somewhat at variance with the so called 'official' ones; there again, they're now allowing virtually new boats to somehow race as classics (I just do not see how a boat made in 1999 qualifies as 'vintage' but there you are.

D
I ponder.... like 12's, the advances in the last 5 - 10 years in the Merlin hull and especially rig, have made new boats almost a different class.... quantum leaps. Happened a few time in the past though - the 12's weight changes, and hull construction changes - but they have some more or less sensible ideas about segregating different fleets (Vintage, admirals cup, etc) reflecting the class's development. So for a Merlin, a 1999 boat really is a very different animal from a 2010 design (but could probably be brought almost up to date with a new rig). And perhaps for the Merlin class a healthy crop of new boats every year is thought of as success where for 12's a healthy tun-out of a variety of boats in different fleets is the measure of success? - just pondering....
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Michael4
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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by Michael4 » Fri May 29, 2015 10:20 pm

Nigel wrote:it is an interesting exercise to take some previous results and work out what your PY would need to be to actually change any of the positions you finished in.

When I did that, it surprised me to see how little (no) difference a relatively large change in PY made
This is indeed a very good point! I will however go through the exercise and see where I end up.

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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by milesj » Fri May 29, 2015 10:59 pm

Dougal is right, if you take the actual PY of the Merlins when the age handicaps were first introduced it was if I recall correctly 1024, so add your 50 to that and you are in the 1075 mark at least, After all your boat has not got any faster with age. If totally original then 1085 is about right. But not if you do class racing, you'll be off current yardstick racing for the first old boat prize, which is the receiving a lot of attention varying opinions from members who have older boats.
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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by Rupert » Sat May 30, 2015 8:13 am

Are any results going back to the RYA for age related Merlins? If so how are they distinguished from current Merlins? If not, then the class is really in the same position as the Solo, for instance, where a 1956 boat will have to run off a 2015 handicap, too, but with better suggestions from the class as to how to make things fair. The Merlin as a class is getting quicker. What they need is a system where the RYA given PN relates to the boats say 10 years old. New boats have a penalty, and boats from 20 years, say, have a bonus. I can't see them doing that, though!

In this situation, though, I thing JimC's maxim of 200 plus points of crew skill factor in a fleet dwarfs the slight error in classic handicap.
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davidh
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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by davidh » Sat May 30, 2015 9:57 am

Rupert,

In this instance I'd say that the work being put in by a number of interested MR sailors (concerned sailors maybe?) has moved the dialogue forward, certainly from where it was just 3 or 4 years ago.

It is all too easy to take the line that some of the people with old boats are, and here I quote directly, "not very good sailors" and in this instance you could be right to use the Jim C maxim about crew skill factor. 200 py points could be neither here nor there!

However, there are some good sailors, with good, well sorted but 'non-modernised' (so they still have hog stepped, non raking alloy sticks, Dacron sails and mid sized spinnakers) who are being handicapped out of existence. Now much of this is a topic better discussed elsewhere, except for the fact that Michael4 asked for some input...in the same way that people ask for help with their varnishing problems or any of the other "how do I do this" questions.

Now I'd never stick my head above the parapet on questions about scarfing in a length of ply or repairing rot in a plate case as I simply do not have all the skillsets that apply. But MR PYs, that is another matter. It is my most carefully considered opinion that MR 950, in the state that it is described, should be sailed off 1085. Miles James, who is another one of the current crop of thinkers and doers on this topic, also chipped in with 1085.

But to finish on the Solo: there is a parallel thread going on with regard to Solo PYs. I've seen the stats on this; If you take a reasonably sailed woodie - not an old shed, but a pretty good boat. Compare the speed difference (using trackers and the like) with a similar, reasonably sailed FRP boat and the difference works out at about 6% - upwind and down. Across a range of combinations of sea states and windstrengths, the new breed of FRP boats are sailing to the good by some 4 minutes in the hour. Even at Solo speed, 4 minutes is not far short of a horizon job. Of course, in the main, the bulk of the open meeting/championship fleet are all now in FRP boats, so it doesn't matter. Except.... it does, for the bulk of the club level sailors are still in woodies.

A while back (in fact, quite recently)I did an interview with a boat builder with superb championship credentials - his boats were the ones to be sailed. Yet he'd given it all up. I asked the obvious question "why"? It was simple he said...he couldn't make a wooden boat that could compete at the highest level with the FRP boats. It was as simple as that he said. If we accept that the situation was enough to make an acknowledged winning builder give up an apparently successful business, they we have a far bigger problem.

If you then open up the debate into loss of 'critical mass' from the sport you can see how the divide is opening up. Had the Sailfest Seminar gone ahead last Friday, this was a topic that was fairly high on the Agenda, so accepting that at some stage in the future (in the not too distant future either!!) that there may have to be a spectrum of age related PYs moving into the core of the sport in now a subject that can be openly discussed.

So Michael4, 1085 for 950 looks good to me...... unless someone can come up with better reasoning, I'd run with that.

BR

D
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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by Rupert » Sat May 30, 2015 10:16 am

David, my 200 points was specific to the description given by Michael of his own sailing. I'm a pretty good sailor and sail old boats, so can't disagree with you at all on the broader subject.

Wooden Solos are on the whole slower, even if you bung a new rig on. The class should be concerned about that. But should the yardstick system be? As it stands now, it can't be. It relies on clubs, and the best it can hope for is that the word Solo is spelt right. The material a boat is built from, or when it was built, or how old the sails are is simply either chop the data into such small parts as to be a mess, or simply inaccurate. Not sure how you have got such accurate figures, though. On a small lake, the wooden boat will be closer to the speed of the FRP one, in waves I can see a far bigger variation in speed. Same goes for the Merlin. In pure hull design, 950 sailing on the river with a new rig may well at times be faster than a new boat. With the old rig, never. On the sea, it would be blown away whatever you did with the rig.

This is why I'm not so sure you can be quite as certain as you seem of your 1085, or you 6% for Solos.
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davidh
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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by davidh » Sat May 30, 2015 10:55 am

Rupert,

Solos: I made clear that I've seen the data - this is not my topic. However, I did review it (as part of my theoretical background is in statistics) and am happy with the methodology employed. At more forward looking clubs, Solos are now being raced on a range of progressively applied PYs. The suggestions being made have that air of being intuitive to me, backed up by sound real time data collection.

As to the merlins, the data that exists is 90%+...... probably nearer 95%+, collected from inland venues. I would suggest that were any classic events to be run out on open water, that you'd see an even greater % variation from any agreed neutral point. Given the authority with which you appear to speak on this topic, would you like to expand further on why you so clearly dispute the suggested PY for MR 950 of 1085? As I'm obviously wrong and Miles James is also ...wrong, we'd love to be corrected!

D
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Re: Merlin PYs...

Post by Rupert » Sat May 30, 2015 12:51 pm

I have no reason not to believe 1085, as a trial number.
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