Handicap Sub Committee Minutes 18/11/2017



Handicap Sub Committee Meeting

Saturday 18th November

Present: Ian Bertram, Matt Nield, James Nield, Claire Maclaine, Peter Gooch, Keith Jamieson, Robert Richardson, Rachael Hodgson.

Attendees: Judith Gore, Ian Shirra and Becky Thomas have expressed interest in attendance although absent today.

Apologies for Absence: Craig Allwood (received by email ).

Objectives of the Committee Meeting

  1. Establish Membership: representatives from different sailing classes; the Hon. Sailing Secretary and Hon. Secretary; Ian Shirra.
  2. Discuss and agree Handicap Rating that the RWYC will adopt; continue to review this on a regular basis throughout the year.

RWYC Handicap System and the Way Forward

Comprehensive discussion occurred: the following is a summary of the key points considered.

It is agreed that the way forward is to use a statistical system based against the figures given by the RYA rather than one which is opinion based, thus eliminating the subjective personal approach; this would also support the RYA.

Ian Bertram has considered two systems suggesting a handicap based on our club data but some of this data is inappropriate due to minimum participation of some boats.

The big dinghy winter series, producing a lot of results, have a mathematical system using the RYA’s projected numbers then dampening the effect by using a Confidence Factor  number (the latter depending on the number of boats participating – larger number of boats, greater the confidence factor while it is smaller with fewer).

Ian Taylor presented a Power Point: see this for more details.

Portsmouth Yardstick: Mission Statement: “To allow clubs to offer everyone fairer sailing between classes”.

Aims: To give clubs the tools to run the fairest handicap; To handicap a boat without the need for measurement; To be easily administered by club members.

Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club Handicap System: Included in the power point. The Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club are a bench mark club.

The RYA present an annual confidence factor based on all results submitted: an algorithm produces figures for the confidence factor therefore this is an independent view. These are published in March. Clubs should then alter these depending on their own individual data as the condition on every water is different.

(Big Events: adjustments come to the PN’s from these.)

To gain the PN’s a formula uses the RYA figures and our results, the latter being unique to the RWYC. (People who sail very occasionally would be omitted from this due to lack of data.)

If the RWYC used this system it will be data, not opinion, based.

Cruisers:  do not have a PN: but they should be included in the remit because it will give impartiality. Adam Cowley should be consulted as he is an IRC measurer, this effects the IRC handicap.

RWYC Open Meetings: various classes from other lakes attend these. While Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club use their own handicap system for open meetings, it is preferred that we use the RYA handicap as sailors will come expecting this and we would not have the individual  data for them to apply this fairly.

Other factors to consider: Ian Bertram sends all RWYC data on a monthly basis to the RYA. 

While there is fair representation from all classes at the meeting today, there is no 17ft Yacht owner present. They currently have 3 figures for Classics, Newer Classics and Moderns: however, there is time to collate numbers from these before March.  

If RWYC adopts the Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club Handicap System (using the RWYC race results), we have enough data from the last 4 years, and using the RYA figures produced in March as the basis (while the formula calculates the changes to be applied) to introduce this in the 2018 season.

It would need to be reviewed every two to three months with adjustments if necessary, as numbers could change; an overall review by the committee should take place at the end of the season in November.

The next Handicap Committee Meeting should be immediately after the Dinghy Show in March when the RYA PY Number List is published (numbers vary every year.)

(Ian Bertram will also continue to look at one or two other handicap systems in use.)

Formal Proposal to the Sailing Committee Wednesday 17th January 2018: The Handicap Committee proposes to adopt the handicap system, currently used by the Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club, in 2018. Proposed: James Nield; Seconded: Ian Taylor. All in agreement.

Additional Issues to Present to the Sailing Committee

More variety or races: the aim is to not only consider the handicap system but look at RWYC racing as a whole. Inclusion in the annual programme of:

  • Pursuit Racing
  • Round the Islands Race
  •  Waterhead Race: long distance race with the start line off the jetties. We recognise that there are issues in Bowness Bay but we now have a relationship with the Windermere Cruisers, and the timetable of the steamers, therefore with effective communication and timing this is feasible.

James will email Matt with ideas of novel races for consideration in January.

Sunday morning racing: currently RWYC sail the least number of races at weekends of any other Lake District Sailing Clubs (excluding Windermere) e.g. Ullswater, Bassenthwaite. There is also a lack of integration between our fleets and it would be beneficial to break this down. A way forward: Sunday morning racing. The aim initially is to encourage novice sailors in the adult squad to race, with additional coaching from experienced sailors, on an informal basis. To return to the club before midday to facilitate racing in the afternoon. Dates will need to be agreed and how communication of all the above will be facilitated.

Both of the above proposals, along with the RWYC Handicap proposal, to be taken to the Sailing Committee Meeting Wednesday 17th January 2018.


Date of Next Meeting: Wednesday 7th March 6.30pm

If you wish to see Ian’s presentation please email me and I will send it to you [email protected]