Originally Posted by smackdaddy
As for all the other PHRF stuff - I say we start off by keeping is stupid simple. Take it back to the old days and just make it a free-for-all.
Work with me here!
I know you have not done much racing yet so I'll try to wipe the smirk off my face. The 'free-for-all' you are advocating would be more like GeorgeB's SF Bay 'any way around' race and basically unfair to older boats with high PHRF ratings. Another kind of free for all is 1 Class racing where all the boats are within the same class guidelines and everyone has to go around the marks in the same direction. At least in 1 Class racing everyone is sailing more or less the same boat and there are no 'corrected' times based on PHRF or other rating. Most casual to competitive races have multiple boat designs competing against each other and this is why they came up with the PHRF (performance handicap racing fleet) ratings.
Sure, you could chuck the PHRF ratings out the window as they are not as accurate as they sound but then only racing scows would win and be able to gloat over the others. The PHRF ratings at least level the playing field a bit so I would not dismiss them so casually if you want anyone to take you seriously.
Another point. Since PHRF ratings are used so extensively many clubs that hold races set up several divisions within the racing fleet. This is another nod to 'fair play' so that boats that fly spinnakers are not competing with those that do not and racing scows are not competing with 'old shoes' like my boat. For example, the racing fleet may be divided into 'spinnaker' & 'non-spinnaker' divisions and each of those further sub-divided into divisions of PHRF '< 150' & '>151' (yes, my boat is in the slowest division of all with a PHRF of 240!). This simplistic example would give you 4 separate divisions of the fleet who only compete within their own division. Many of the bigger races even have separate divisions for multihulls, professionals, over 50' LWL, under 50' LWL ... etc, etc.
You could chuck the PHRF ratings out of your idea but if you did then Larry Ellison with his massive Catamaran would probably win all the time (as if he would enter the 'Global Smacktanic Regatta') unless the race course was set to be very short, say, 200 yards a leg.
So, you need an inland lakes/rivers division(s) and open water division(s) based on all the other divisions I 'ave already mentioned, mate, before anyone will really take your idea too seriously - unless they 'appen t'ave a Melges racing scow.
I better stop there before I regret or am sorry for anything else I type (say).