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Happy New Year
Email Sent: January 6, 2021

Happy New Year PHRF Fleetmates!

The past year or so have presented challenges that many of you have successfully navigated through. Congratulations! We made it into 2021 with a greater appreciation for the fresh breeze and salt air that we often take for granted. Thank you to all Organizing Authorities who continue to offer PHRF starts. Thank you to our handicapping board volunteers who work tirelessly to rate new boats and verify the ratings of our fleet. And last but not certainly not least, a huge THANK YOU to all of our fleet membership.

ANNUAL MEETING - Your delegates participated in our first virtual annual meeting. We reviewed several proposals and adopted only small changes to any of our rules. Minutes for the meeting will be posted by our Secretary early this month.

HIGH POINT - John Blais has once again performed the duties of both Northern Bay and Southern Bay scorers. He will be publishing the results on our website and through CBYRA early this month.

ORC and ORR - Several Organizing Authorities are offering ORC and ORR starts at racing events throughout our region. These Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) based ratings have changed the Handicap Racing landscape in the Bay by adding options to owners. The Chesapeake Racer Cruiser Association (CRCA) has used both rating systems and is currently the champion for the use of ORRez ratings for their members. CRCA has done a great job of getting more new cruisers off the docks and on the race course than any other Handicap Fleet. ORC's Communications Director, Dobbs Davis has successfully marketed ORC's ratings to the Annapolis Yacht Club (AYC) who has begun offering ORC starts for many of its races. Many owners are becoming members of PHRF and one or both of these fleets, depending on the start offerings of desired race venues. When all is said and done, depending on the type of boat you have, whether it is a more modern boat with asymmetric performance curves or an older boat with more symmetric performance curves and depending on the wind conditions for a given race and the competition registered for the event, one could see a benefit to racing in each of these systems, including PHRF. Speaking of wind conditions, results of some races will depend on how the scorer calculates the average wind conditions throughout the race. In addition, both of these rating systems have measured and unmeasured certificates. In some cases, those who can afford to pay for the measured certificate will end up with a better rating that a comparable boat with an unmeasured certificate. In all handicapping systems, it is assumed the boats are well prepared and tuned, have well performing sail inventories and highly competent crews. We have heard feedback praising these alternatives to PHRF and others from owners who aren't as competitive in the ORR or ORC fleet as they were under PHRF. All three rating systems have their strengths. PHRF has been a long-standing alternative to measurement rules since the 1970s. We will continue to offer a reasonably priced rating alternative based on the characterization of yachts and the application of observed performance data to develop member yacht ratings.

FLEET CAPTAINS - One of the areas that has steadily lost its energy for our fleet since the early 2000s is fleet participation motivation. We used to have volunteer Fleet Captains for each of our classes in the Northern Bay and in the Southern Bay. We have almost 900 active members in our fleet! We really need to revitalize our participation and help Organizing Authorities, especially in the smaller clubs, by pumping up race registration numbers. Please consider volunteering to be a regional fleet captain for your class and let's work together to improve participation as we begin the 2021 racing season. Contact me or your regional VP for more information how you can help!

APPEALS - Remember that you have the opportunity to appeal your rating based on objectively observed performance of your vessels. The appeals that have the best success are those that provide sufficient objective evidence of the boat and available sister-ship performance and the rationale for a different rating based on the observed performance numbers.

CBYRA Webinars - CBYRA has arranged for several well-respected sailors and tacticians to be presenters in a series of 21 webinars for 2021. These are free to CBYRA members. The first sessions are a four-part series on the new 2021-2024 Quadrennial Racing Rules. Jan 4th at 7:30pm Dave Perry presents on Starting Line Situations; Jan 11th at 7:30pm Dave Dellenbaugh presents on Windward Leg & Mark Situations; Jan 18th at 7:30pm Dave Perry presents on Leeward Leg & Mark Situations; Jan 25th at 7:30pm Dave Dellenbaugh presents on Other Unique/Key Situations. The other seminar topics and schedule are being posted on the CBYRA website. It's a 3 step process: 1) join or renew your CBYRA membership, 2) sign up for the webinars, 3) log in to zoom and attend the webinar. This is a great opportunity to keep your mind thinking about racing during our winter downtime. If you can't make it to attend the webinar live, registration will give you links to watch replays of the webinar sessions.

If you have ideas on how we can improve participation, the appeal process, our website or our communications even if you can't commit to be a volunteer, please submit ideas and suggestions to

Thank You for your membership.

Sail Fast and Stay Healthy!

See you on the race course.


Marc Briere


PHRF of the Chesapeake

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