Handicap

I would like to point out that I am the boats main handicap.

The PY number doesn't seem to be known for the  RS Toura - the Quest is 1110 so I would imagine is about 1180 but there isn't a number yet.  The Sailways program gave us 1180 based on our lap time.

The idea of the handicap system is to try and create a level playing field. Assuming that the crews have equal skill then the Handicap system offers a way that different weight boats with different sail arrangements and different sail areas can compete fairly. This Rating, gives a numerical measure of a boat’s speed, is calculated using physical parameters of the boat – length, beam, displacement (weight), sail area etc. A Rating is wholly objective as it addresses the performance of just the boat.

This means that it is down to the sailors skill. The first boat across the line does not necessarily win the race, but a complex formula called the Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) number comes into play.

Since its introduction in the 1950s, the RYA has  published the Portsmouth Numbers without,  really giving any details of how the Numbers should be used. This means that many clubs have their own interpretation of how the numbers are used. Many have added their own ideas into the mix but there still seems to be lots of confusion.

The idea of the system is
To give all clubs the tools to run the fairest handicap racing possible at club, open and national level events. 
To handicap any boat without the need for measurement 
To be easily administered by club members 

Talking to most sailors they have little idea whether the scheme is really fair and what about the sailors skill as a handicap. Some clubs do this others don't.