NZTYA Ratings

Ratings as Approved at the 2021 Annual Meeting of Representatives 

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Mark Foy Handicapping

Another form of handicapping is the Mark Foy race. In this case the slower boats start first, then progressively the faster boats start. Listed below is a table that can be used to calculate start times for a trailer yacht fleet.

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Handicapping Trailer Yachts at the Club Level

Without handicaps of any sort, the fastest boats in the club would always win. A handicapping system thus allows the smaller boats to compete on an equal footing and take home some of the silverware. There is also a national NZTYA Rating system for trailer yachts (see above) that sorts the relative performance of all tralier yacht types in NZ. Yachts of the same type are on the same handicap number when the national numbers are used.

Generally we do not use the national numbers in club events, but we will use it for any events in which yachts from other clubs are participating as it provides a fair system for combining fleets from different clubs.

At the club level it is recommended clubs use a handicapping system that is based on past performances of individual boats. The club handicapper can establish a yachts “as sailed handicap” based on its past performances. Thus if a yacht has participated often in club events its handicap will most often be very close to its true performance. Those who have not sailed very often in club events may have an increased margin for error.  This is usually minimized by comparing performance with similar boats and ability.  For instance a new member or boat will generally start with an average handicap that would theoretically have them finish “on handicap” in the middle of the fleet.

So much for why of club handicaps, now for the how. Simply the handicap is a time correction factor, being the difference between the finish time of the fastest boats and the actual finish time of a boat. Each trailer yacht has different sailing performance and thus each needs its own correction factor. In the club situation a correction factor based on past performances is usually the best. There are other systems and each system has its advantages and disadvantages.

To accommodate the variability that goes with sailing it is also possible to adjust the handicaps slightly after each event. One can toughen up the handicap of the winners and soften that of those at the tail end. The perfect handicap system would lead to a dead heat for all the boats on corrected time (every handicappers dream).  Of course the sailors foul that up by sailing better some days than others!.