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We use PHRF TOT in our fleet. We find it helps to tighten up the competition because how long a race takes varies according to how much wind there is. Having the handicap depend solely on the distance of the race favors the faster boats that can finish before the wind dies. Putting the time it takes into the equation evens the playing field a bit.

Having PHRF ratings for the same boat vary from region to region makes sense because a heavy boat's results will tend to be better in a high-wind region (e.g. San Francisco or Narragansett Bays) than they would be in a light-air venue (e.g. San Diego or Long Island Sound). Rating systems that ignore local conditions and furnish only one "worldwide" handicap number are essentially saying that windspeed doesn't affect boat performance. While not perfect, PHRF seems to work well enough for most of the races in the U.S.
 
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