Join Date: Aug 2008
Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 9
I've had a lot of experience in handicap and OD racing. Early in my racing life I was racing at a club where racers weren't that good including me. For whatever reason I climbed to the top of the fleet in short order, winning a lot racing with my wife and 2 girls as crew. The next year the fleet captain institutes results based handicapping similar to what others propose here. To start the year my PHRF number was to be adjusted 65 sec/mi from my closest competitor. I immediately joined another club where the racing was more competitive. I got the message. 4 years later the 20 boat racing program at my old club was gone. 15 years later none of the original 20 are still racing with exception of me. There might be a lesson there. I've seen a study where over a 3 year period 35% of a 20 boat OD class never win a race or place in the top3, 40% rarely win or finish in the top 3 and 25% win 90% of the races.
I have had my head handed to me many times on the race course since. I win some and I am consistently in the money. I work hard to make it happen. My skills are light years ahead of 20 years ago and still need work. Winning is always a moving target which keeps you on your toes.
I think awarding a first place flag for consistently inadequate boat preparation, tactics, and crew work won't make anyone a better sailor.
A better idea might have a racing class and a casual cruising class for those who don't want to put the effort in to win.