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iGRF View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 Apr 22 at 1:26pm
Handicap racing do you think?

Obviously I've never known anything else, but I guess some clubs still run racing for particular classes only, but do they also run a 'mongrel fleet' as they love to deride the fair art of pursuing yardstick racing?

I ask beacuse of a conversation I had on fb mssenger last night in which the correspondent who shall remain nameless to protect his identity appears to be just a little upset that maybe even the dear old RYA technical folk have no idea themselves, surely not, somebody must realise it's the majority act in town these days, or am I wrong and way off the pace?

Edited by iGRF - 01 Apr 22 at 1:27pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 22 at 5:12pm
Do a round Robin email to all the clubs in UK, ask them, and ask them what classes, will be a valuable asset. I will start you off, my club only does handicap racing, there is a large Comet fleet, they used to run opens, but handicap racing since 1974. I can also confirm that Greensforge sailing club does handicap racing, Banbury Cross sailing club also handicap racing. Sutton sailing club, Aldridge sailing club and Tamworth and Blithfield. I could go on I know dozens. I however don't know for a fact of any clubs with purely class racing.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 22 at 6:06pm
I have come accross one club that only does fleets (I think it was Looe or somewhere around there) but I suspect that was because they had limited boat paring space so it made sense to limit it to a few classes to maximise racing or perhaps they are just old fashioned. Most big clubs I have been too have a mix of handicap and some fleet racing. Burghfield where I sail now is only handicap; the only time they have different starts is for "asymmetric" or "fast" or "slow". They do also run opens on the occasional Saturday that are fleet based.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote turnturtle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 22 at 6:27pm
last time I checked, Draycote still had a strong Laser and Solo fleet; plus an emerging Aero 7 fleet using results extraction from the handicap.

If you want to actually analyse this, you need to look at the club results (if available). †A little under 10 years ago I looked for clubs within 2 hours of home with genuine fleet racing (not just claiming it on their website, or running extracted results from PY racing)

The conclusion was better the devil you know... I ordered a Solo.

Edited by turnturtle - 01 Apr 22 at 6:30pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 22 at 6:42pm
I fail to understand, other than for pot hunters, the point of class racing at club level. I visit a fair few clubs and out of curiosity look at the results on many more other than the odd golden Sunday when itís force 3 and twenty degrees class fleets number at many clubs apear to be countable on one hand, obviously there are exceptions. In handicap racing you can still strive to be the best in your class and the extra traffic improves your sailing so where is the downside. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote turnturtle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 22 at 6:51pm
- Itís racing against a clock, not other competitors
- It adds complexity to race management, increasing the onerous nature of Ďdutiesí
- it might work out over a series, but who cares about series points (not many given the participation curve)
- it feels pointless when you get held up by slower boats, overtaken by faster boats
- most people I know who used to race dinghies no longer race dinghies - many cite handicap racing as a reason
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 22 at 7:06pm
TT, did they all sail at clubs that abandoned class racing, or, did they get fed up of handicap racing ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 22 at 7:23pm
The reason, apparently some 'great minds' within said RYA technical division are considering absurdities like levelling up the Laser to the Solo, for example, whatever their machinations, it's very clear, they don't accord the activity, the respect as the backbone of what most of us do and treat it with a degree of disdain. So if it were only 20% of the sport as opposed to 80% of what's important, i.e. class racing, then perhaps that's understandable, but if as is probably more likely the case that it is the other way round, i.e. 80% handicap v 20% class racing, then a more serious approach to our predicament should be considered.

I don't know, I'm not close enough to the Bullsh*t generating centre and am probably being fed just enough to provoke this little enquiry. Quite honestly I've just had a really nasty run in with Covid and have total sense of humour failure right now, but if there is sh*t going on behind the scenes, perhaps they should consider their position a little bit more seriously than they do right now.

Edited by iGRF - 01 Apr 22 at 7:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 22 at 7:43pm
I don't believe I've ever heard of a club abandoning class racing as a matter of policy, but I've seen plenty of instances of the sailors abandoning the club classes so that claiming its a fleet becomes ridiculous.

As I've said before, if sailors actually think class racing is so great then there would be a critical mass point at which a fleet will start to take off and grow at the expense of handicap racing at its club. However my observation is there is no critical mass and it requires endless work to maintain any class fleet over the long term.

Back in the boom days, 60s even early 70s when there actually waiting lists at some clubs then class only racing was practical. These days, with every club desperate for membership they can't turn people away if they don't have the right boat.



Edited by JimC - 01 Apr 22 at 7:47pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Grumpycat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 22 at 8:43pm
Originally posted by turnturtle

last time I checked, Draycote still had a strong Laser and Solo fleet; plus an emerging Aero 7 fleet using results extraction from the handicap.

If you want to actually analyse this, you need to look at the club results (if available).  A little under 10 years ago I looked for clubs within 2 hours of home with genuine fleet racing (not just claiming it on their website, or running extracted results from PY racing)

The conclusion was better the devil you know... I ordered a Solo.

Solo fleet is no more,( Fireball and flying fifteen are not what they were either ) solo  no longer have their own start. The ones that are left, sail in the menagerie fleet now . Mostly covid related, in the first lock down , Draycote stopped doing fleet starts for a while, and a lot of solo sailers followed Chris Brown to other clubs.
Laser fleet is still very strong and Aero numbers are still growing too so itís not all bad news .  Smile


Edited by Grumpycat - 01 Apr 22 at 8:45pm
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