Personal Handicap. Why? What? How?

Our pursuit races are scored in two ways; Scratch (Fleet Handicap) and Personal Handicap:

Fleet handicaps:

Scratch results attempt to adjust for the performance of different boats and are based on the Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) scheme. This is a system of handicapping used primarily in Dinghy and Cruiser Racing.

The RYA publish National Portsmouth Numbers to aid clubs to allocate handicap numbers. The national numbers are based on annual input from a large number of affiliated sailing clubs. Each class of boat is assigned a “Portsmouth Number”, with fast boats having low numbers and slower ones high numbers. So, for example, in the case of two dinghies, a Merlin Rocket might have a PN of 983 while a Topper has a PN of 1314. Sailing clubs, as we do, will administer Portsmouth Numbers at club level and will make adjustments from the National PN’s to allow for local conditions.

Personal handicaps:

A personal handicap is an adjustment to the standard boat’s Portsmouth Number, calculated to give everyone an equal chance of winning. If the personal handicap perfectly reflected your skill, and everyone sailed to their average skill level, the result would be everyone finishing first equal.

Applying a personal handicap across a series of races means that the winner will be the person who improves the most over their performances leading up to the series. Someone who is at or near the back of the fleet based on their actual skill level, could still win on personal handicap if they show the most improvement. At the other end of the fleet skill level, the sailor who is at the top of the fleet based on their actual skill level, could finish low down the results based on personal handicap. Indeed it is probably harder for the good helm to finish high up in the personal handicap results as it will probably be harder for them to make the same proportionate improvement as can be made by the relatively unskilled sailor.

A personal handicap is also a means to see how your performance compares and changes compared to others of similar skill. If your personal handicap reduces by 30 seconds and your competitor’s reduces by only 10 seconds then you have shown the most improvement. The personal handicap system is managed by the Sailing Committee with the aim of adjusting handicaps after each race series. Trophies for the race winner are at least as big as those for Scratch and the cheers are usually bigger!

 

Recourse: Any member that has a question or would like to challenge either their personal or any of the fleet handicaps may do so by making representation to the sailing committee through their fleet captain or attend one of the monthly sailing committee meetings

Bar Duty
Julian Harms
Bar Duty
Jan Kimber
Bar Duty
Megan Ward
Galley
Sarah Crabtree
Race Officer
Jenny Chen-Andronis
Asst. Race Officer
Ella Mason
Asst. Safety
Graham Maclean
Safety Boat Driver
Stuart Jones
Coached Practice Lead
Junior Sailing Asst.
Junior Sailing Lead
Bar Duty
Adam Maclean
Bar Duty
Douglas Bridger
Galley
Angela Daniels
Race Officer
Oliver Mason
Asst. Race Officer
James Guy
Asst. Safety
Matt Smith
Safety Boat Driver
Jared Lewis
Coached Practice Lead
Junior Sailing Asst.
Junior Sailing Lead

Weather Forecast

  • Wednesday Nov 13, 2019
    Wind
    6 knots, SSW
    Gust
    11 knots
    Temp
    7°C
    Conditions
    Partly cloudy

    — Met Office

  • Saturday Nov 16, 2019
    Wind
    6 knots, NNW
    Gust
    14 knots
    Temp
    7°C
    Conditions
    Overcast

    — Met Office