Handicaps and Ratings

Where can I find my handicap or another boat's?

What is Club Handicap?

General Handicap is a measure of relative performance between boats, represented by a time correction factor (TCF), used to calculate the results of all boats racing in RPNYC races.

Each boat's elapsed time (the length of time between starting signal and when the boat finished) for a race is multiplied by the TCF to give a corrected time. The boats are then placed according to their corrected times. The boat with the lowest corrected time wins the race.

General Handicap is a performance-based measure – as a boat's relative performance improves or declines, so the handicap goes up or down.

Why does the Club use a performance-based handicap?

RPNYC scores races using Club Handicap alongside IRC and PHRF ratings where appropriate because it facilitates entry into racing for the less experienced and enables them to compete against and gauge their performance against the more experienced sailors (who typically have tougher Club handicaps).

How do you determine a boat's handicap?

A new boat to the racing fleet will be allocated a RPNYC ("Club") Handicap by the Handicap Committee. In doing this, the Committee will often consider the design of the boat, its similarity to other boats in the RPNYC fleet, and its other handicap or rating certificates if any.

Race results for the first three races in which the new boat scores will be calculated as provisional. After the new boat has scored in three races, its starting handicap may be adjusted and the race results re-calculated.

After that, a boat's handicap changes based on its performances in races using that handicap type.

A boat's performance in a race is calculated as the time correction factor (TCF) that would need to have been applied to the boat to give it a finish place equal to the reference boat. This performance value is also known as the “sailed-to” value.

Under normal conditions, most boats sail to within about 3% of their actual handicap for the race. Performances outside these control limits are unusual – we all know when we've sailed a blinder or a shocker. To avoid extreme performances causing sharp changes in the boat's handicap, the handicap formula “clamps” the blinders and shockers at the upper or lower control limit applicable for that race. Sailed-to values that are within the control limits are used unaltered.<

So, now we have the data to calculate our new handicap, using the formula:

new handicap = average of (handicap for last race + performances for last 4 races)

I think one of my RPNYC Handicaps is wrong. What can I do about it?

If you think any of your RPNYC Handicaps are incorrect, you can apply to the Handicap Committee for a review.

All applications for handicap review must be in writing, and must include the following information as a minimum:

  • the name of the person requesting the review
  • identification of the boat whose handicap is to be reviewed, and
  • evidence or arguments supporting the request.

On receipt of a valid application, the Handicap Committee will review the matters raised.

The Committee's decision, whether or not a handicap change is made, will be documented and published.

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