Racing News

Portsmouth Yardstick Handicap

Following discussion at the 2003 AGM, the Class Association is recommending a base rig (i.e. with gennaker but without trapeze) handicap of 1090 for both centreboard and keel versions. This is not the RYA figure which is listed as “more returns needed” but is based on the experience of Stratos sailors currently racing regularly in club handicap fleets. Since the RYA figures are based on club racing returns it is vital that you encourage your clubs to keep the Stratos handicap under review and to send in racing returns to enable the RYA to calculate a reliable handicap figure for the future. If a trapeze is used (see below) the Class Association recommends a handicap of 1080, i.e. 10 below base rig. More details in the 2003 AGM minutes, item 3.

Update: The official RYA number for has been steadily increasing over the years and now stands at 1092 in 2012 and 2013 (in 2011 is was 1089 for the centreboard version, in 2010 it was 1087, in 2007 it was 1084, while for 2004 and 2005 it was 1083 for both the centreboard and keel versions). This is a "suggested trial number" recorded number which is based on "very limited return" information, so should still be treated by clubs etc with caution and amended as appropriate.

There is growing recognition among clubs that the Keel does not in practise sail to the same handicap as the centreboard version across the wind range. For example, Aldeborough YC has a local handicap for the C/B version of 1081 and the Keel is put at 1098. The RYA says it does not have enough data in returns from clubs specific to the Keel issuing a separate handicap. The Class Association believes that a sensible handicap for the keel is likely to be around 1100. Keel racers may wish to draw this to the attention of their clubs.

Meanwhile, keep those returns coming in and ensure that they distinguish between centreboard and keel versions!


Lengthy discussion at the AGM resulted in a decision to retain the ban on trapezing in Class racing. However this only applies to class racing and should not be considered a barrier to use of the trapeze in club handicap racing, with appropriate adjustment to the handicap (see above). In addition, where circumstances permit, it might be possible to offer an additional fun race, with trapezing allowed, during or after a class racing event although results of such races would not at present be included in class racing results. More details in 2003 AGM minutes, item 4.


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