PHRF Chesapeake Changes for 2015

Mayo Tabb on Friday December 5, 2014 12:56PM

PHRF of the Chesapeake recently held a meeting to discuss changes for 2015. The PHRF Rating rules for 2015 will incorporate very significant changes that will affect all PHRF racers. The most dramatic is going to dual ratings with one for Windward-Leeward courses and a second called Random-Circular which will apply to courses with a balance of windward, reaching and downwind sailing. As we know certain boats are severely handicapped for certain wind directions and the dual ratings should help address the situation. Additionally we will expand the Genoa credit to now have three categories – up to 155%, up to 140% and class One Design which will provide a credit for cruisers that use 130% Genoas.

 At last month's PHRF Delegates Meeting major changes were adopted that will affect PHRF racing on the Bay.

1. PHRF voted to adopt a dual rating system for 2015 or 4 ratings if you count non-spin rating. We have had one rating that aimed mainly at Windward-Leeward (W-L) courses with a little consideration for triangle or distance races. Looking at the various VPP programs the PHRF Technical Committee felt that the W-Land Random Circular (RC) data provided the basis for a movement to two ratings. PHRF Chesapeake, at a not insignificant cost, will have US Sailing VPP run all of our nearly 1000 boats and will get the delta in seconds per mile for each boat for difference between W-Land RC. We expect that this delta will range from zero to as much as 30 seconds. The Handicapper Boards will have to re-rate all the boats and decide to move the W-L or RC or split the difference and move both in opposite directions. The Race Committee or NORs will have to designate the race as W-L or RC before the start. The class splits will be determined by the W-L rating and a boat will remain in the same class even if the RC would put them in another class. The Non-Spinnaker rating is not to allow non-spinnaker and spinnaker boat to compete at against each other but to compensate boats with penalty spinnakers when racing in a non-spinnaker class.

2. PHRF will now have ratings for three Genoa sizes-140-155%, under 140% and recognized One Design class sails. This will help those cruising boats that elect to sail with the largest sail in the 130% range.

3. Both PHRF and CBYR give the yacht clubs the option of scoring Time on Distance (ToD) or Time on Time (ToT). ToT is widely used in Europe and one Chesapeake club adopted it last year and the users were please and plan to continue to use it. All of the race scoring programs are set up for both so all is needed are to select the correct method before running the program. ToT tends to compress the finishes especially in dying breezes and with a large rating spread. If a boat wins considerably under ToD it is most likely going to do soon ToT with most of the changes being a swapping of places for the close finishers in the places 2-5. Besides the above ToT tales out the requirement that the race distance be entered and any scoring errors due to miss-measurement. Ina 4 leg 1 mile W-L a 100 yard error in mark placement corresponds to a 30-40 second change in finish times. The disadvantage of ToT is that it is different and you can't count seconds at the finish line to see if you beat someone. The latter is a false claim because the two are very similar so if you count seconds and multiply by distance and you beat the other boat by say a half minute you will also beat him under ToT. The only time you can't tell is if the counting seconds and miles comes out to within a second or so. From everything I have read would recommend that FBYC switch to ToT for 2015.

4. The USCG has announced that its Life Jacket standards and requirement will be revised Jan 1 2015 as a continuation of the Safety at Sea review that was started last year and PHRF will adopt whatever the USCG standards are and any phase in period.

5. US Sailing a taken a complete reversal on the use of Dynema lifelines due to several complete failures of the lifelines. Effective for 2015 Dynema is banned for classes 1, 2 and 3. Class 4 under which we race the use of Dynema is on probation but still allowed with wire recommended for night races. It is expected that Dynema lifelines will be totally banned in 2016 and grandfathering will not exist. The first cause of failure was severe chafe in the stanchion area when loaded lifelines move slightly under crew weight. To work properly with Dynema you need specially built stanchions with both holes with ferules that are flared and polished. Standard wire stanchions have too rough an interior especially the mid hole. The second cause is when you have a broach and a heavily loaded spinnaker or mainsheet runs out over a taught dynema lifeline the sheet rapidly saws thru the Dynema dumping the crew overboard. If you are considering going to Dynema-don't. If you have it call me and I can go into more detail about what to look out for. With covered lifelines already banned the only safe and acceptable material is bare 1x19 304 or 316 stainless steel wire.

6. All racing under PHRF has suffered a decline for many reasons and CBYRA wants to revise and tighten the High Point rules which mainly apply to the Annapolis area. For the Annapolis area there will be less than a dozen races that qualify for High Point so to encourage races to attend those specific events. We in the Region IV(North) which is basically FBYC are plus Rappahannock have been doing that for years so no change. In our region we had 57 racers of which 28 qualified for High Point based upon performance on the water but drops to only 7 eligible for trophies as you must be a member of CBYRA to receive a CBYRA High Point Trophy. CBYRA has announced it will start enforcing participation including CBYRA membership and putting classes with insufficient participation on probation which could lead to their elimination from High Point. Of the 26 classes racing PHRF on the Bay only 10 meet the proposed CBYRA High Point standards. It is a little known fact that PHRF has been buying and paying for the CBYRA High Point trophies for the past years and voted to continue to do so for 2015. To better serve its membership PHRF also voted to initiate a new PHRF Bay Wide Championship and budgeted trophies for awarding in 2015. The details are similar to CBYRA High Point except it will be open to any PHRF member based upon results without the requirement of being a CBYRA member.

7. PHRF has made single headsails the default standard for the non-spinnaker class which will not affect FBYC as we had already done that. I would recommend that we adopt the single headsail standard for the Leukemia Cup not the double we used last year.

8. PHRF has a new Executive secretary, is revising its website and is in the process of getting all the administrative issues behind us that resulted from the retirement of our long time Executive Secretary. The two year rating certificate will continue to be available and you are allowed one headsail change rating per year (not per certificate) after paying the appropriate fees.

C. Mayo Tabb Jr
Protest Chair
PHRF Delegate
PHRF Handicapper
804 690 3540

Tags: phrf, safety

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