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Our Aims for Club Handicap Racing

In addition to fleet racing on Sundays, Queen Mary Sailing Club offers handicap racing for mixed classes on Sundays, Wednesday Evenings, at the Club Championships and at pursuit races on Bank Holidays. There are typically 30 different classes taking advantage of this form of racing in any year.  So how do we set handicaps that suit our format of racing on our large open inland water? The answer is we follow the RYA Portsmouth Yardstick Scheme. Our aim in doing so is to enable our top sailors in each class who are also top sailors in their class at national level an equal chance of winning over a Sunday, Wednesday or Championship series. We also aim to encourage all, especially youth members, to race.

How Club Racing Handicaps are set

In the Autumn, we upload our actual handicap race results to the Portsmouth Yardstick Online website. We then combine our results on a rolling five-year basis with results from other similar venues (Grafham, Rutland, Draycote, Northampton, Datchet). This system then provides a suggested change to the current handicap for each class seen racing and a confidence factor based on the number of results available for analysis. A handicap committee then reviews these suggested changes together with the actual results for our racing to reach a recommendation. Sailing Committee then reviews this recommendation and amends or adopts. In the Spring we review the changes in the RYA Base Numbers and adopt those where we do not already have our own number from our own data. Another source we use for new classes and those where an RYA handicap has not been published is the Great Lakes Handicaps as used for the SailJuice Winter Series events including the Bloody Mary.

Here are the QMSC Racing Handicaps in effect and here is the latest data that these handicaps are based on:

If you have any questions or suggestions, please email our Sailing Secretary.

How Club Racing Handicaps are used

To use the RYA Portsmouth Yardstick scheme, each race result for each boat is timed.  If boats have sailed different numbers of laps, then the average lap time is calculated. This average lap time is then adjusted using the handicap number for that class by dividing the time by the handicap number and multiplying by 1000 to give that boat's corrected average lap time. Boats are then placed in order of increasing corrected average lap time to produce the full results. As an equation it looks like this:

Corrected Average Lap Time = Actual Average Lap Time / Handicap Number x 1000

As Sailwave bases everything on the highest number of laps sailed it also looks like this:

Corrected Time = (Elapsed Time / Handicap number) x (Most Laps sailed by any boat / Laps sailed by boat) x 1000