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February Mainsheet Newsletter
Email Sent: February 5, 2021

Renewals, renewals, renewals - It's that time again. Three more weeks for discount renewals. The discount rate applies to all who renew or apply BEFORE 1 March 2021. That will ensure you have a valid racing before the season kicks of in the Bay.

Thank You - Thanks again for your participation, support and membership in our fleet. We have over 850 active members making us the largest fleet in the Bay.

CBYRA Membership and Webinars - Currently, our fleet also has the most individual memberships in CBYRA. Thank you for your support to our local YRA. With a current CBYRA membership, you can participate in any/all of over 20 webinars on a wide range of topics. See for more information.

High Point - Reminder, the date of your CBYRA membership renewal/application is the date your High Point races start counting. Unfortunately, we had very few qualified boats in 2020 in many of the classes in multiple regions because of COVID concerns and a shortened season. There are plenty of opportunities to win High Point trophies for your class in your region.

US Sailing Membership - Please consider joining or renewing your US Sailing membership. Our support to our country's World Sailing representative makes a difference. Active members can get access to the Racing Rules of Sailing app on your mobile devices.

PHRF vs ORC and ORR - Some more food for thought as you see and hear the marketing of VPP based rating systems who besmirch the PHRF handicapping system. Velocity Prediction Programs (VPP) predict the best possible performance for boats at discreet wind speed and angle intervals using dozens or hundreds of parameters. Race Committees have to determine and document the wind speed and angles across the area and duration of the race in order to pick the corresponding ratings from which boats can be scored. If the wind speed and angles they select are not what the fleet experienced in the race, the ratings will be off. If the predictive model doesn't take into account all of the design parameters that affect a boat's performance or if the weighting is off, the ratings will be off. All of the predictive models are updated as they adjust the weighting of the impact of parameters on the performance prediction based on observed performance. While it is true that ORC and ORR have much more data, ultimately, when their model's output is determined to be off, they adjust the model to better calibrate with observed or actual performance results ensuring there is no bias in the results that skew the final times. Such bias could include: boats not in Bristol condition, poor crew work resulting in slow tacks, jibes, or sail sets, suboptimal sail trim, suboptimal crew weight positioning, excess gear aboard during the race, bad start, etc, etc, etc. What is interesting is that our handicapping system (PHRF) is based on the same actual performance data that the VPPs use to double check the validity of their algorithms. We take observed performance of how the same Bristol condition boat actually performs when raced by a competent crew in a race when they don't make a lot of or significant mistakes, not how a math model predicts the uncrewed boat's performance. We make sure the same biases mentioned above don't skew our performance data. We gather boat performance data for the same type/model/series boats raced by different competent crews, in different wind speeds and angles and in multiple race events. The biggest challenge PHRF has is rating new styles of boats that have never been raced and therefore noone knows if they perform to their designer or builder's marketing predictions. When rating similarly designed boats, PHRF follows the same scientific classification process we've all used in school - handicappers compare boat design to similarly sized boats that have PHRF rating with comparable weight, foils, sail area, accommodations, etc. The deltas of design in the type/model/series boat we are rating to the PHRF-rated boat are weighted as to the estimated improvements or deterioration in performance. A provisional rating is assigned until the boat is observed racing when the results can be used to determine if the projections for performance were accurate or if they need to be adjusted.------- In the end, all three systems are working toward the same goal, determining the best performance of THAT type/model/series boat on the race course so that there is fair racing among dissimilar boats. None of the rating or handicapping systems have an intended bias and all of the folks who volunteer their time to researching, administrating and managing handicapping and rating systems are die hard racers who love the sport and are trying to do what is best for the sport of sailboat racing.

Keep prepping your boats for the coming season. Think racing. Stay healthy.

See you on the race course.


Marc Briere
PHRF of the Chesapeake
© 2021 PHRF of the Chesapeake, Inc