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Handicap Rating Basics

A. Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) ratings are based on the speed potential of the boat, determined as far as possible on observations of previous racing experiences. It is the intent of PHRF handicapping that any well equipped, well maintained, and well sailed boat has a good chance of winning. Handicaps are adjusted as needed on the boat's performance so that each well sailed boat has an equal opportunity to win. This is the fundamental concept. PHRF ratings are not intended to reflect skipper and crew capability. Ratings are not adjusted to encourage a poor or careless skipper, and conversely, no rating adjustment is made to penalize proficiency. Intensity of competition and the influx of new and aggressive sailors require each skipper to maintain consistently high performance in order to place well.

PHRF ratings are expressed in seconds per mile to be deducted from elapsed time to produce corrected times. The higher rating indicates the slower boat. PHRF time allowances are not related to other systems. PHRF ratings are made on the assumption that:

1. The spinnaker pole length is equal to "J",

2. The spinnaker maximum width is 180% of "J",

3. The spinnaker maximum length is .95 times the square root of "I" squared + "J" squared ,

4. The genoa LP maximum is 155% of "J",

5. The asymmetrical spinnaker luff length shall be between 1.0 and 1.1 times the square root of "Ia" squared + "BS" squared,

6. The asymmetrical spinnaker foot length is 180% of "BS",

7. The ratio of asymmetrical spinnaker mid-girth width to foot length shall be not less than .80,

8. The boat is in racing condition,

9. The boat has a folding or feathering propeller, or a retractable outboard motor.

Adjustments are made to the base rating if assumptions 1-7 are violated.

B. PHRF assumes that a boat is equipped to race. It does not attempt to rate a partially equipped boat, or a boat which differs from others in its class, in that it is unusually heavy, out of balance, or has unusual windage (as from a dingy on davits). However, if the basic hull and rig differ from others in its class, it will, of course, be rated uniquely. PHRF of the Chesapeake does not rate boats using both symmetrical and asymmetrical spinnakers at the same time. A choice of asymmetrical, symmetrical, or both types of spinnaker shall be made at time of application or renewal and may be changed once during the sanctioned racing season.See Standard Sail and Equipment Specifications

C. PHRF of the Chesapeake, Inc., has adopted modified versions of ISAF special regulations governing safety and equipment requirements (fleet policies & rules section of this yearbook). The regulations shall be mandatory for PHRF class yachts in CBYRA sanctioned events and in club events on the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries. Each RACE SPONSOR is responsible for specifying the category of its races. The final burden and responsibility for safety rests on the skipper of each yacht.

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