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October Newsletter and 2021 Annual Delegates Meeting
Email Sent: October 29, 2021

Ahoy Fleetmates!

It has been a busy return-to-a-more-normal racing year for many of us. So busy in fact that we haven't been sending out monthly newsletters. My apologies. Our membership is down a bit this year in our first post-lockdown season. We really appreciate everyone that has renewed their certificates and spent time on the many race courses we are spoiled to have here in the Chesapeake Bay. Competition has been strong and many of you have been on the water enough to qualify for High Point. John Blais is gathering results and beginning the calculation for trophies for the 2021 season. Good luck to all of you. Hope you podium!

This is also the time of year to get in touch with your club or regional delegates and communicate with them concerns, issues, etc prior to our annual delegates meeting scheduled for Nov 13th in Fredericksburg, VA.

It is also the time of year when we elect board members to perform the administrative functions for our organization. I will be stepping down as President as this is my fourth year (second year in this term) and it is time to let someone else take the helm. We are in need of two volunteers from our active membership to volunteer to serve as regional VPs on the Executive Board. Northern Bay and Southern Bay VPs represent all of the members who don't declare affiliation with any of the clubs in our region. They also work with the regional handicapping boards for administrative actions and coordination among clubs, as required. Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering.

I have been our fleet's representative to CBYRA which has transformed significantly from recent years. As the largest fleet in the bay we have right-of-first-refusal for the Handicap Division chair position on the board. CBYRA has been doing a great job with several online seminar series as well as investments in junior sailing, regional competitor sponsorships, event sponsorships and inter-club scheduling. Next year will also see a resurgence in Race Management training for member clubs. We need someone to fill this position for the coming year as I have near term family issues that will be consuming much of my schedule.

We have seen a growth in participation in two other CBYRA handicap fleets: Chesapeake Shorthanded Sailing Society ( and Chesapeake Racer Cruiser Association ( CHESS requires valid PHRF ratings when racing in CBYRA sanctioned events. CRCA uses ORR-ez certificates for their handicaps. In addition, AYC has adopted the ORC rating system for many of its events. A few clubs throughout the bay have included PHRF, CHESSS, CRCA and ORC starts in the same event. We initially lost quite a few members to the ORC and ORR handicap offerings. Several have maintained certificates with PHRF and either ORR or ORC giving them the opportunity to register in different classes depending on the race event and the competition they do or don't want to race against. We have heard stories from racers who like the change to VPP-based-ratings because they gain advantage over other boats. We have also heard from PHRF members who lost time in ORC or ORR and have returned to racing PHRF classes exclusively. All rating systems are trying to provide a way to race dissimilar boats in as-fair-as-possible handicapping as possible. The rating systems in the bay all calibrate against observed performance of a well-sailed, well-prepped boat. With that in mind, all of the rating systems have assumptions for boat and crew preparation that don't always hold true for every competitor. While you may owe some boats in one rating system and they owe you in other rating systems, it is based on some assumptions built in to the rating system itself. PHRF works with racers and organizers to provide a fair system for our members. We believe PHRF has a much more accessible appeal process than either ORC or ORR combined with local handicapping boards who use objective observed performance to keep our fleet competitive and fair.

Please be sure to renew your membership for the 2022 season early so that our handicapping boards are not buried under hundreds of renewals in the last couple of weeks before the season starts. Thank you.

It has been a privilege to serve the fleet as President. Thank you for your membership.

I look forward to seeing you on the racecourse aboard our modified Mumm 36 - Cheetah.

Thank you for another great season of racing. Enjoy the off-season!

Marc Briere
PHRF of the Chesapeake
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