Account Links:   Account Login   |   Apply for Handicap Certificate   |   Create PHRF Web Account   |   Locate your PHRF Region
Email Archive


October Mainsheet Newsletter
Email Sent: October 8, 2017


It has been an honor and a privilege to work with your Boards of Handicappers and chair this association's Executive Committee for 2017.  I would appreciate the opportunity to continue our evolution for the next year.

Annual Delegates Meeting

Your Annual Delegates Meeting is 4 November.  Your delegates will be voting for next year's Executive Committee a the upcoming annual delegates meeting.  The agenda, including proposed changes to class splits and several bylaw and fleet policy changes are on the news section of our new website.  Make sure your delegates and/or regional VPs have your feedback and know how you want them to vote.  Dig deep to see if you can find the time to be a more active member, delegate, handicapper or committee member.  Let us know if you can help.  There is always more to do and each of you have special talents, experience and ideas that can help PHRF be the best possible handicap racing fleet available to Chesapeake Bay racers and cruisers.


We are going to be developing and evolving several sections in our website including a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page.  We hope this page helps improve the general membership understanding of the challenges facing all yacht handicapping systems and how PHRF is working to improve how we operate and how we will improve the effectiveness of our communications.

The member section of our new website will be online in November.  We will be able to issue certificates, faster and more efficiently than ever before.  All members will have read-only access to the active certificates in our database.  Handicappers will be able to process and issue certificates faster and with better data integrity tools than ever before.  We will minimize the impact of this transition to the new database by auto-populating your renewal forms based on the data in your current certificate. We will be publishing a new user's guide on public website before the end of November.  Visit your website often and let us know how we're doing!

How it all works together - PHRF Memberships, Fees, Data Integration, Verification/Validation and Value

Over the next few months, we will be publishing information on several topics. Including; How your organization operates.  What your fees pay for. How your local PHRF fleet works with US Sailing.  How we compare with other PHRF fleets.  The evolving National Reference Rating (NRR) catalog.  The PHRF parametric catalog. How handicaps are determined locally and quality checked including standards for parametric and race data usage.  How you should research and present your rating appeals. Here is an example of the information we will be reviewing with you in the newsletter and including on your website.

Who Owns PHRF– United States Sailing Association sanctions regional authorities to administer the national rule and develop regional by-laws.

Why Did PHRF Start– Loosely based on the “Arbitrary Fleet” of the West Coast of the 1940’s,  PHRF emerged in the early 1980’s as an empirically based handicapping system to give sailors easier and more affordable access to a handicap than afforded by measurement rules.

How PHRF Works– PHRF handicaps are assigned by individuals or committees associated with specific fleets. Handicaps are assigned to a given production class considering predominant local conditions and the handicapper’s experience in handicapping similar boats. These ratings are based on observed performance and any requisite adjustments generally become evident after 5-10 races have been sailed. Scoring options include Time-on-Distance or Time-on-Time

Here in the Chesapeake, we have two Handicapping Boards assembled and managed by two Chief Handicappers nominated by your Executive Committee elected annually from among your club Delegates. One of the boards handicaps and adjusts the ratings for boats in Regions I, II and III.  The other handicaps and adjusts the ratings for boats in Region IV.  Any new handicaps or adjustments determined by one of the boards is staffed with the other board in a Quality Assurance function for our members.  The member and certificate database is maintained by your Executive Committee.

Who Uses PHRF Historically used for USA casual fleet racing, PHRF has grown be be accepted as a division in several major national races, as well.

Where Does PHRF Fit InUS Sailing’s PHRF Committee is charged with the development and maintenance of the national rule, including the national appeals process. While handicaps are assigned locally, US Sailing provides certain standards and guidelines to maintain a degree of consistency between fleets. Additionally, as a member benefit, US Sailing develops the PHRF Fleet Handicap Book– a compilation of yacht base handicaps by class from more than 60 PHRF Fleets throughout North America listing over 5000 classes. The Offshore Office also offers administrative and handicapping services to participating PHRF Fleets. The term “Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF)” is protected by copy-rightfor use by US Sailing and sanctioned regional fleets.


For PHRF of the Chesapeake members, the premise for all of this information flowing to your inboxes is that - If we all understand how the system works, we can all help improve the system.  Through a common understanding of your association, you can help us improve PHRF of the Chesapeake's promotion of the sport we all enjoy.


Thank you for reading our newsletters, visiting our site, providing us with feedback and working with us to improve your fleet and promote our sport!! See you on the racecourse. 



Marc Briere
PHRF of the Chesapeake
© 2023 PHRF of the Chesapeake, Inc