Finally, the rating solution we’ve all been looking for!
Our local PHRF has a very simple, transparent and objective manner of determining sport boat handicaps. It works like this. They take a base number which is generally the lowest PHRF handicap they can find for a particular class in the country. For example the Viper base number is around 93. The measurement form is studied carefully to ensure that there have been no changes to any class rules or dimensions over the past year and they also assemble all of the results of a class in local PHRF series and regattas. Then they take a standard dart board and place it a closely regulated 20 feet away. We have a PHRF measurement committee that carefully checks this length. The head of the measurement committee then throws a single dart at the dart board and the number that the dart lands in is added to the base number. Only one throw is allowed unless the dartboard is missed altogether (which happens more frequently than you would imagine) or the dart bounces out. Then a re-throw is allowed, but once a dart sticks, that is the number with no appeals until next year’s throw. If a dart lands in the center then the number is zero. If it lands in the triple, then the number is 30 (hence Schoon’s 147) To ensure that all sport boat classes are treated equally, classes cannot select their own thrower, all darts are thrown by the chair of the committee and (a) He doesn’t know which class he is currently throwing for and b. He is semi-blind with cataracts.
This system has all the advantages of PHRF with none of the downside. There is no politics. Nobody complains about personal bias . Everything is above board (or should eye say in the board).
On the advantages: The numbers still look “about right” to US sailing. We still have the annual excitement about what is going to happen to the sportboat PHRF ratings with completely unpredictable adjustments. The results on the race course are still a complete crapshoot so nobody blames the owner/skipper. If she loses, its the damn rating. If she wins, its all skill.
Thanks to Anarchist EyeSailor. Jump in the thread and add your comments!