Handicap Meeting 31/5/2017

Royal Windermere Yacht Club

Handicap Committee Meeting Minutes


Meeting Date and Time:     31 May 2017 at 1830hrs

Meeting Venue:                   Royal Windermere Yacht Club




Matt Nield       


Dinghy Class Captain




Ian Bertram 


Dinghy Class Secretary




John Richardson


Fleet Member




James Nield 


Fleet Member




Ian Taylor       


Committee Chair


1)    Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising


The minutes of the last meeting were accepted as a true record.


It was recognised that communication of the proceedings to the relevant RWYC Membership had been inadequate.  Some informal feedback had been received that the changes to the scoring mechanism had come as something of a surprise.  Accordingly, it was decided that future minutes would be circulated by email to all dinghy sailors (Action IB)

2)    Review of the PY Numbers


All handicap racing results for this current year (with the exception of the Rear Commodore’s Prize) were presented using the RYA PY Numbers and the Great Lakes PY Numbers.


It was noted that there was little significant difference between the two methods in terms of the overall series results although a small number of place changes were evident.  A number of points differences were also noted along with the corresponding individual race results.  The boats affected by the different systems were primarily Phantom, RS100, Laser, Devoti D1.  A number of other boats saw place changes due to the position-shift of the aforementioned boats.


Some discussion took place about whether or not it would be fair and appropriate to apply the Great Lakes system (unaltered) at RWYC in view of a number of significant differences e.g 953 (RYA) to 971 (GL) for the Devoti D1.  The meeting was reminded that the RYA state that their figures are “a guide only” and that the RYA encourage Clubs to “adjust where necessary”.  Further, the Great Lakes system is compiled in order to “allow the top sailors in any class an equal chance of winning when conditions suit that class” and that they aim to “handicap to the potential of the boat”.


The current feedback from the RYA, obtained as a result of ongoing submission of RWYC race results via the online tool, was also included for consideration.  It was recognised that this was useful information and that results should continue to be submitted.  However, in view of the limited amount of information currently available and the fact that the RYA have stated a very low confidence factor in the feedback thus far, it was decided that it was too early in the process to use the figures suggested by the feedback at this stage.


It was, therefore, decided that any changes made to PY Handicap Numbers at RWYC would be applied after taking into account local conditions and the evidence of recent results rather than to rigidly apply a system published by others.  The RYA PY Numbers and the Great Lakes PY Numbers would continue to be included for consideration.


The question was raised as to whether this Committee was empowered to make changes to the PY Numbers at RWYC.  Assurance was given that the Committee was so empowered.


It was proposed that the PY Numbers in use at RWYC should be amended with effect from 01/06/17 as follows:


RS100 (8.4)                

1000  (from 1008)

Laser (Std)                  

1107 (from 1097)

Solo (Wooden Hull)              

1153 (from 1143)

Phantom (Wooden Hull)

1035 (from 999)


990     (from 970)


The vote was 3:1 in favour of the proposal.  All results prior to 01/06/17 are to stand.


The PY Numbers will be the subject of continual review based on the evidence of ongoing race results.


3)    Review of Scoring Mechanism


It was agreed that the recent changes implemented to the scoring mechanism were working well and that the race results were likely to encourage people to actually sail.  This will be the subject continual review.


4)    Personal Handicapping


It was suggested that a system of personal handicapping may serve to encourage sailors who continually achieve low results.  It was stated that such a system is available for use from the RYA.  This system is to be presented at the next meeting (Action IB).


5)    Sail/PY Changes Mid Series


It was clarified that it is possible to make changes to PY numbers mid-series using the Sailwave software without affecting previous results in the same series.


The question as to whether a boat should be allowed to change its PY Number (e.g. change its sail thus changing its PY Number) during a series and continue to be regarded as the same series entry was discussed.

It was decided that a boat could make changes within its class rules provided that this was not regarded as a PY Number change (e.g. Phantom flat cut sail to standard cut sail) and that this would be regarded as the same series entry. 

However, a change to a boat that is regarded as a PY Number change (e.g. Laser Std sail to Radial sail) would be regarded as a different boat and, therefore, a separate series entry.  This serves to re-state the system that is currently in use at RWYC.


6) Any Other Business

a) RNLI Open Handicap


It was confirmed that the RNLI Open Handicap race would be run using the current published RYA PY Numbers i.e. not the amended numbers as described above.


It was stated that the Windermere Class 17ft Yacht had been historically given a PY Number of about 1015 and that this figure is generally regarded as being too generous.  Accordingly, it was suggested that the PY should be amended as follows:


Classic                       1015

Modern                      1000

Mid                              For discussion


This is to be put to the Sailing Secretary for discussion and approval for the purposes of the RNLI Open Handicap. (Action JN and MN)

7) Date and Time of Next Meeting


Wednesday 26 August 2017 1830hrs at RWYC