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The boats in NRSC were not built purely with racing in mind. Their attraction lies in their flexibility, with enough room to stay on board for a week or two’s holiday, cruise offshore, carry a reliable engine, and have rigging and keel to suit local conditions. Nevertheless, many members also enjoy racing together, and in NRSC, we provide an annual race diary second to none! To encourage this, we use handicaps to make the racing competitive and fun for all.

Handicaps are set by the Handicaps Sub-committee – currently Nigel Wordingham (Sailing Secretary), Mark Collins (Commodore) and Jeff Harteveldt (Racing Results Officer). The Vice- Commodore would normally also be included, but the position is currently vacant. We meet to consider updated race data, club objectives and inclusion issues. The Sub-Committee’s work is never fully objective, especially for one-off boats, as conditions and crews vary greatly. This is particularly the case when entries are low.

We used to use the RYA's Portsmouth Yardstick numbers, then adjusted them based on our boats, experience and conditions. The Yardstick is no longer available for cruisers, so having used the NHC system for a few years, we now use historical club data.

Many of our racing boats are Pegasus 800s or 700s, but some are unique in the club. Our starting point is based on boat model and specifications - rig, keel type, folding or fixed propeller, engine and so on, as far as this can be evaluated. This means ostensibly identical boats will get the same handicap, and similar boats will have an adjustment, e.g., for outboard vs inboard engine. However, in the case of the Pegasus 800s, three that appear to be faster (two of which belong to the handicap committee!) have been given higher handicaps.

This results in a handicap number used to multiply the time the boat takes to complete the race in seconds (elapsed seconds) to determine corrected seconds, which are then used to work out the finish position. Numbers currently range from 0.8258 to 1.07 - higher means the boat is expected to be faster. In NRSC Quartet is the “scratch” boat with a handicap of 1.00 so in this case her elapsed and corrected seconds are the same.

The RYA has recently introduced a system for cruisers whereby each yacht can apply for an individual Yacht Time Correction based on the

boat and its specification. This is free, and if enough members sign up, we could compare the YTC figures with those currently in use.

Please provide any feedback on the handicapping to the Subcommittee. We aim to make racing as fair, competitive and fun as possible for all members. We appreciate your input as we review the system continuously. The latest handicaps and results are listed below and will be updated periodically.


Please advise the Sailing Secretary, Nigel Wordingham, of any errors or omissions. These handicaps are subject to review by the

Handicaps Sub-Committee.

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