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Box & Formula Rules and Classes

Posted By: Kris Hathaway

Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 02:11 PM

Looking for clarity because I've seen many different interpretations of whether the F18, F16, F14, and A-Cats are formula or box rule classes. Further, I suspect that the usage of "Formula" for the "F" series classes contributes to the confusion. Of course, I am leaving out the Nacra F-17 which is actually a one-design (?) smile.

My understanding is that a true "formula" class is exemplified by the 12-Meter keelboat class where it is a function of length, beam, displacement, and sail area (simplified). All of the variables must result in 12 meters via the class' formula. Accordingly, 12-meter yachts typically range from 20 to 23 meters in length because of the formula. Length is dictated by the formula, not by a maximum length constraint.

Whereas, a true "box rule" class defines limits, maximums (ie: length) and minimums (ie: weight), and all boats must measure within the constraints or "box". However, box rule classes do not preclude the usage of formulas. Sail measurements for all of the aforementioned beachcats employ formulas to calculate sail area; however, the resultant sail area is still subject to maximum constraints within the "box" rule.

SO....is it correct to say that F18, F16, F14, and A-Cats are technically box rule classes, not formula classes?

I suspect that the usage of "formula" for the formula series beachcats comes from the conceptualization of the Formula 18 class via SCHRS formulas to compute performance parameters (per International Formula 18 history website page)? The label "formula" stuck and was adopted with by the similarly subsequent F14 & F16 "box ruled" classes. "Formula" certainly is more sexy than "Box Rule 18 or BR18" from a marketing standpoint.

Plausible explanation? Is there more to it? I did not wish to muddy the waters with development vs semi-development nor "open class" topics. Thanks in advance for any further insights.
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 04:05 PM

Hi Kris
I think you summed it up pretty well.
I would take issue with this statement.
Quote
via SCHRS formulas to compute performance parameters

I would change it to "SCHRS or Texel formulas to compute performance BASED on measured parameters."

I think the historians would note that the Formula part of the name was driven by the notion that the rules allowed you to use a crew weight formula and come up with a different sail plan to match your team's size.

The Nacra F17 class used the same argument to match two spinakers to sailors of different weights.

I don't think it was quite as marketing driven as you conclude. Now a days... the Formula part is indeed just marketing the brand... eg Kleenex... for tissue paper. The small sail plan appears to be not truly competitive with the large sails.
Posted By: Kris Hathaway

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 04:17 PM

Mark-

I lifted that part from the International F18 website as my attempt to discover how "formula" became part of the name for box rule classes. It may be a case with translating to english relative to phraseology.
International Formula18 History .
Posted By: John Williams

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 04:26 PM

Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
The small sail plan appears to be not truly competitive with the large sails.


Not true. The only people who say that have never tried the lower weight category and small sails. The formula works great; if anything, I think the small sail plan is favored. Same main sail, and the newer designs have tremendous buoyancy... makes a light team scream upwind and sail deeper/faster on the run. Personal experience both as a skipper and a crew on the Capricorn, Infusion and C2 with big and small sails, and on the Wildcat and Tiger in addition.
Posted By: brucat

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 04:32 PM

Kris,

What is the reason you are asking, other than morbid curiosity?

I think you did a great job of digging up enough info, and from what I know of the rules (minimal compared to many here), I would say that there are elements of both box rules and formulas for each of these classes.

Again, not really sure what the label buys you here.

Mike
Posted By: Kris Hathaway

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 05:27 PM

Mike,

I do have an agenda and admit that I have only been racing "formula" class boats since 2007 so I have much to learn about the inception of the "formula" beachcat classes. I am an advocate for the "formula classes" concept and see many strengths that it has to offer relative to racing, sailors, and manufacturers. I see nothing but growth for these classes.

I frequently come across both catamaran and monohull sailors that immediately think that we are "true" formula classes and not box rule classes based on the name. As part of our advocacy, a colleague and I are meeting with a sailor who successfully campaigned 12-Meter keel boats in the America's Cup. Accordingly, I would like to be prepared when asked why is a "box rule" class labeling itself as a "formula" class. The 12-Meter's Formula Class existed long before the concept of F18 beachcats. It is easy to understand that the F14 and F16 classes adopted the same nomenclature established by the F18 class because they utilize similar class concepts and objectives. However, I am grasping for a definitive reason why the "box rule" Formula 18 class elected to use "formula" in its name.
Posted By: Team_Cat_Fever

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 05:29 PM

Originally Posted by Kris Hathaway
Looking for clarity because I've seen many different interpretations of whether the F18, F16, F14, and A-Cats are formula or box rule classes. Further, I suspect that the usage of "Formula" for the "F" series classes contributes to the confusion. Of course, I am leaving out the Nacra F-17 which is actually a one-design (?) smile.

My understanding is that a true "formula" class is exemplified by the 12-Meter keelboat class where it is a function of length, beam, displacement, and sail area (simplified). All of the variables must result in 12 meters via the class' formula. Accordingly, 12-meter yachts typically range from 20 to 23 meters in length because of the formula. Length is dictated by the formula, not by a maximum length constraint.

Whereas, a true "box rule" class defines limits, maximums (ie: length) and minimums (ie: weight), and all boats must measure within the constraints or "box". However, box rule classes do not preclude the usage of formulas. Sail measurements for all of the aforementioned beachcats employ formulas to calculate sail area; however, the resultant sail area is still subject to maximum constraints within the "box" rule.

SO....is it correct to say that F18, F16, F14, and A-Cats are technically box rule classes, not formula classes?

I suspect that the usage of "formula" for the formula series beachcats comes from the conceptualization of the Formula 18 class via SCHRS formulas to compute performance parameters (per International Formula 18 history website page)? The label "formula" stuck and was adopted with by the similarly subsequent F14 & F16 "box ruled" classes. "Formula" certainly is more sexy than "Box Rule 18 or BR18" from a marketing standpoint.

Plausible explanation? Is there more to it? I did not wish to muddy the waters with development vs semi-development nor "open class" topics. Thanks in advance for any further insights.


Formula rules can limit building materials also .Box rules do not.
A and C class cats are box rules- You can use anything to build them.Sky is the limit.
The F-18s are formula because of material limitations( aluminum stick, No carbon, etc). I can't speak for F-16 because I never read their rules.

At least that's my take on it.
Posted By: Timbo

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 06:26 PM

I would say the F18's and F16's are actually Box type rules, as there is no real "Formula" or math exercise involved, just a measuring of maximum and minimums; length, width, weight, sail area, etc.

So...should we now rename our classes; B18 and B16?

;^)
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 06:30 PM

Todd... I think that your definition is simply your take on it.

The limitations that you think makes for a formula vs box rule are better described as class rules... similar to the no electronics rules that classes may choose.

The larger sailing community assumes formula class means a mathematical equation which is the design rule. Those rules give you boats with a certain look. The goal was to work within the formula and come up with the fastest design. See 12 meter AC cup rules.

Then you have classes that form around some sort of RATING Rule... The idea being that boats designed to the rating would be one design in performance but have slightly different choices for the owners.

I have never heard of an F18 Formula... much less seen the math.

My read of the F18 history was that they had a Box in mind... 18 feet and max beam of 8'6 inches and 400 or so pounds. They also wanted the largest crew weight optimum and so they wanted one platform with two sail plans for crew weights. They had strong opinions on what the class rules must be so that they could stay independent of the major builders and continue with development in a controlled manner to preserve an owners value over time. So... the A class and C Class are simple box rules... (remember the Tornado is a B class boat) The F18 is a more complex box rule with many restrictions. A one design class is the most restrictive box of all...and in the end... they simply don't allow anything they did not build... even if it were identical.

I am pretty sure the Formula simply refers to the crew weight Formula they use AND to brand the class as distinct from the Hobie Tiger, Nacra inter 18 and Dart Hawk one design classes they were sucking in and to distingish the class from classes run by the builders. Remember, these one design classes had one sail plan and minimum crew weights to go along with the manufacturer only equipment restrictions.

The F16 class debated the alternate sail plan idea as part of the basis of their Formula for their F16 Box. ... They nixed the idea because the EU opinion was that the two sail plans did not live up to the billing (sorry JW). Their formula was the pretext that that by dropping the jib and hardware they would equalize one up and two up racing... with first across the line wins... They justified this assertion by computing the texel rating formulae and noting the slight differences should be fair around the race course. Again... this is NOT a formula class... rather a box rule with restrictions... (of course some would argue... not enough restrictions but that dog has been quiet lately)

Kris, My solution... explain the classes called Formula as crew weight formulas added to a box rule with nothing to do with design rules. Most big boat sailors are not that familiar with box rule classes either and so the general confusion with formula rules, rating formula classes and box rule big boat classes is just too deep . The simple solution is understandable and handles the real issue. Will my boat choice be obsolete tomorrow and in 5 years. ...





Posted By: Dan_Delave

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 06:35 PM

I always thought of us, F18s, as being a box rule boat with lots of restrictions. Those include the materials that the boat is made of as well as all the weight and sail area limitations. We fit in a box that was established, but have further to go with all our restrictions, not imposed on the box rule boats, which makes all the boats equal as possible.

We are a non-one-design that sails as if it were one-design because of our interpretation of a "formula" concept. I feel we are growing because of diverse manufacturers while keeping equal footing on the course.

Dan
Posted By: Kris Hathaway

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 06:41 PM

Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever

Formula rules can limit building materials also .Box rules do not.
A and C class cats are box rules- You can use anything to build them.Sky is the limit.
The F-18s are formula because of material limitations( aluminum stick, No carbon, etc). I can't speak for F-16 because I never read their rules.

At least that's my take on it.


OK...."Formula" is synonymous with "ingredients" not measurement technique. Formula classes can also employ a box rule, formula, or both for its measurements. 12-Meter keel boats do have materials ("ingredients") limitations for its hulls. So far that works. Looked at the A-Cat ISAF class rules, 3 pages. Page 1 is just a cover page and page 3 are just a few lines. No materials restrictions. Love it!
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 06:55 PM

Right!... but the formula that the class refers to is about crew weight to include teams from 260? to over 400 lbs. (leaving how effective it actually is aside)

This is not what a big boat monohull sailor will think of when we use the term "Formula" in conversation.
Posted By: Team_Cat_Fever

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 06:58 PM

Originally Posted by Kris Hathaway
Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever

Formula rules can limit building materials also .Box rules do not.
A and C class cats are box rules- You can use anything to build them.Sky is the limit.
The F-18s are formula because of material limitations( aluminum stick, No carbon, etc). I can't speak for F-16 because I never read their rules.

At least that's my take on it.


OK...."Formula" is synonymous with "ingredients" not measurement technique. Formula classes can also employ a box rule, formula, or both for its measurements. 12-Meter keel boats do have materials ("ingredients") limitations for its hulls. So far that works. Looked at the A-Cat ISAF class rules, 3 pages. Page 1 is just a cover page and page 3 are just a few lines. No materials restrictions. Love it!


Now I'm just dizzy.
Posted By: Matt M

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 08:03 PM

Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
Now I'm just dizzy.


In basic terms a box rule provided min and or max values for certain parameters.

A formula rule allows flexibility of certain chosen parameters such that the end combination or formula ends up being equal. For example you may increase length if some corresponding reduction in width is taken into account. In a formula rule class it is possible for a 16 foot boat to race equal to an 18 provided both meet the formula.

Within either case there can be any number of restrictions for things like build materials or any number of measurements required. An A class is technically a box rule with relatively few restrictions. An F18 is also a box rule with a lot of restrictions.

There is a little bit of gray area in the F16 and F18, where the sea lawyers could make their pay, involved with the sail size and plan being changeable with weight or crew respectively. My take is these are fixed values, so still not Formula per say.
Posted By: JACKFLASH

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 08:44 PM

I think the F18 class chose "Formula 18" as the name because it sounds cooler than "Box 18". Not to mention "F18" sounds like a fast jet, "B18" sounds like a slow bomber.
Posted By: F-18 5150

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 09:11 PM

So its FB-18, or BF-18?
Posted By: Jake

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/23/11 09:13 PM

Originally Posted by Kris Hathaway
Mike,

I do have an agenda and admit that I have only been racing "formula" class boats since 2007 so I have much to learn about the inception of the "formula" beachcat classes. I am an advocate for the "formula classes" concept and see many strengths that it has to offer relative to racing, sailors, and manufacturers. I see nothing but growth for these classes.

I frequently come across both catamaran and monohull sailors that immediately think that we are "true" formula classes and not box rule classes based on the name. As part of our advocacy, a colleague and I are meeting with a sailor who successfully campaigned 12-Meter keel boats in the America's Cup. Accordingly, I would like to be prepared when asked why is a "box rule" class labeling itself as a "formula" class. The 12-Meter's Formula Class existed long before the concept of F18 beachcats. It is easy to understand that the F14 and F16 classes adopted the same nomenclature established by the F18 class because they utilize similar class concepts and objectives. However, I am grasping for a definitive reason why the "box rule" Formula 18 class elected to use "formula" in its name.


You could also go the direction of...."Box 18" sounds silly.
Posted By: Timbo

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/24/11 10:22 AM

Originally Posted by hobie18rich
So its FB-18, or BF-18?



I vote for "BMF" 18 or 16.

Cue the SHAFT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2cHkMwzOiM

Posted By: Chris9

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/24/11 12:24 PM

I know what "f" stands for every time one of you finishes in front of me AND I'm pretty sure its not "formula". If you change to "b", don't worry, I'll still have something for that as well and it wont be "box". You, YOU LALB!!!

I'll go back to slept now...
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/24/11 01:44 PM

Originally Posted by Timbo
Originally Posted by hobie18rich
So its FB-18, or BF-18?



I vote for "BMF" 18 or 16.

Cue the SHAFT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2cHkMwzOiM



'Shaft is a bad mother- (Shut your mouth)
Posted By: Timbo

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/24/11 02:22 PM

Who is the -CAT- that won't cop out, when there's danger all about...


the -BMF- 18 and -BMF- 16!

I guess I'll have to rename my boat, the John Shaft!

Can you dig it?

Posted By: brucat

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/24/11 04:29 PM

Originally Posted by Kris Hathaway
However, I am grasping for a definitive reason why the "box rule" Formula 18 class elected to use "formula" in its name.


Kris,

Good luck finding one. My sense is that no one knows (or cares about) the difference. If I had to guess, the folks that started it all probably actually thought they were creating a formula rule.

I highly doubt you're going to get a "definitive" answer, especially here... wink

I still struggle to see where this would matter to anyone, other than maybe a Volvo or AC-level boat builder. Even the sponsors at that level care less about the boat rule, and more about the event (prestige, ROI, etc.).

Are you putting together a campaign? That would be COOL!!!

Mike
Posted By: Don_Atchley

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/24/11 05:26 PM

I've always thought Formula meant something completely different...

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Posted By: cyberspeed

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/24/11 10:04 PM

Isn't this a formula:
F18 = 18' length
Posted By: Team_Cat_Fever

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/24/11 10:09 PM

Originally Posted by cyberspeed
Isn't this a formula:
F18 = 18' length

I'm pretty sure you need some funky symbols like %,^,or@. The = thing is just too easy.
Posted By: Timbo

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/24/11 10:26 PM

We could always invent a mathmatical formula, input all the Box Rule numbers, such that when you do the math, the "answer" comes out to either 18 or 16.

Where's Wouter?
Posted By: brucat

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/25/11 04:09 PM

To me, that formula on the bottle seems to be missing a symbol or two. Has anyone solved it?

Mike
Posted By: Wouter

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/26/11 09:12 AM



In our case (F16 class) the formula used extensively was the Texel rating formula where the result wasn't some 12 meters but rather a performance number (The F18 rating as a matter of fact).

Later in the class history we simplified the rules to a more box-rule type of of class. Example; there used to be far greater freedom in sail area and luff length then now; then we used a formula to calculate a rated sail area and only limited that. Now we have simple max limits in area and luff length.

Other then that I agree that we are all (the F-classes) more a box rule setup then a formula setup. We choose the F-name in order to follow in the footsteps of the F18 class. Not much thought went into that particular aspect of the class.
Posted By: catandahalf

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/26/11 10:28 PM

Have modern, high - aspect mainsails jumped out of the box and now require rating adjustments to build a new box for fairness?

The 'Box Rule" was discussed during the MHC meeting this past fall. Carl Reigart, Portsmouth Committee Chair, expressed concern regarding fair ratings for designs under 'freedom of development.' Following an informal discussion we moved on with no concensus as to whether 'Box' boats should continue to be protected by "Class Rules," or whether they should be penalized according to the current USSA Portsmouth rating modifiers.

My stand is that if an A Cat or "Formula" sailor buys a boat with a used main, he gets a base rating. If he replaces the main with a shiny new mainsail with a different shape, he gets a MN @.995. Unless he/she has an unlimited budget line, he/she better make a wise choice. Eventually, the Class Rating will be controlled, for all Class designs, in fairness under the PN Committee.

Check out the real meaning of 'Corinthian Sailing' sometime. You might agree that the AC is the purest example of "Corinthian Sailing." How many of us can afford that arms race?

PHRF and PN handicappers need to be at home now.
Posted By: Team_Cat_Fever

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/27/11 01:07 AM

Originally Posted by catandahalf
Have modern, high - aspect mainsails jumped out of the box and now require rating adjustments to build a new box for fairness?

The 'Box Rule" was discussed during the MHC meeting this past fall. Carl Reigart, Portsmouth Committee Chair, expressed concern regarding fair ratings for designs under 'freedom of development.' Following an informal discussion we moved on with no concensus as to whether 'Box' boats should continue to be protected by "Class Rules," or whether they should be penalized according to the current USSA Portsmouth rating modifiers.

My stand is that if an A Cat or "Formula" sailor buys a boat with a used main, he gets a base rating. If he replaces the main with a shiny new mainsail with a different shape, he gets a MN @.995. Unless he/she has an unlimited budget line, he/she better make a wise choice. Eventually, the Class Rating will be controlled, for all Class designs, in fairness under the PN Committee.

Check out the real meaning of 'Corinthian Sailing' sometime. You might agree that the AC is the purest example of "Corinthian Sailing." How many of us can afford that arms race?

PHRF and PN handicappers need to be at home now.


What's the logic there? To stifle development and create a massive headache for race organizers. Class rules dictate what's allowed for each class.If the sail doesn't fit the class it already get the penalty. A rating committee should rate the class not individual choices that fit with in the class rules. That would be a HUGE mistake unless you are looking to completely destroy portsmouth racing.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/27/11 01:24 AM

Originally Posted by catandahalf
Have modern, high - aspect mainsails jumped out of the box and now require rating adjustments to build a new box for fairness?

The 'Box Rule" was discussed during the MHC meeting this past fall. Carl Reigart, Portsmouth Committee Chair, expressed concern regarding fair ratings for designs under 'freedom of development.' Following an informal discussion we moved on with no concensus as to whether 'Box' boats should continue to be protected by "Class Rules," or whether they should be penalized according to the current USSA Portsmouth rating modifiers.

My stand is that if an A Cat or "Formula" sailor buys a boat with a used main, he gets a base rating. If he replaces the main with a shiny new mainsail with a different shape, he gets a MN @.995. Unless he/she has an unlimited budget line, he/she better make a wise choice. Eventually, the Class Rating will be controlled, for all Class designs, in fairness under the PN Committee.

Check out the real meaning of 'Corinthian Sailing' sometime. You might agree that the AC is the purest example of "Corinthian Sailing." How many of us can afford that arms race?

PHRF and PN handicappers need to be at home now.


Errrr...I have a problem with that. Because my sails are shiny doesn't mean I'm any faster. Portsmouth is a rule to establish a handicap on the boat's demonstrated potential...i.e. if Randy Smyth / Matt Struble / etc. were sailing that class of boat on a boat in great shape. There are a lot of examples of Portsmouth getting things right here. Your proposal is to further complicate things by considering Portsmouth as an number based on mediocre / average result...and that's not what it's intended to do or be. Nor is it how a handicap system should work. A handicap system should rate a boat's absolute potential so that if it is sailed to 100% of that number, it will likely win. Development classes are not progressing at such an incredible rate that the system can't keep up....rather, chances are that some of the better sailors in each area are sailing in these classes.
Posted By: Jalani

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/27/11 03:51 PM

Originally Posted by catandahalf
A load of mixed-up thinking on Portsmouth

I don't have a horse in that particular race being as it is US only, but that has to be some of the muddiest thinking by a committee I have ever heard of?
Almost a case of "I'm bored - what can we overcomplicate next?"
Posted By: catandahalf

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/27/11 04:39 PM

High aspect mains with heads approx. 75% of the foot length are showing up on NACRA 20s and the "Box" Formula designs in our neighborhood.

Maybe we should deep - six the modifiers until the Alter Area Semis roll around, and then we can react.

Are 'Box' boats exempt from the modifiers?

My post was simply my opinion. I have sent photos of the sails and my post to Carl Reigart, Chair of the USSA Portsmouth Committee, for his review.

Owners, in our area, that have selected the new mainsail are accepting the .995 hit because they know they are faster. Sail development in the A Cat Class is providing the stoke.

Jake, Mark Twain disliked adjectives as well. How about 'new sail with greater performance range?'

During my 'brief' tenure as race organizer, race officer, and competitor I have learned that sometimes it is best to address issues in advance and not wait on the bar talk to influence a major regatta.

Mr. Reigart and his committee will decide if any action is warranted. I guess I need to get used to seeing more Formula 16s and A Cats rip through the NACRA 20 Fleet in winds over twelve knots.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/27/11 05:00 PM

Originally Posted by catandahalf
High aspect mains with heads approx. 75% of the foot length are showing up on NACRA 20s and the "Box" Formula designs in our neighborhood.

Maybe we should deep - six the modifiers until the Alter Area Semis roll around, and then we can react.

Are 'Box' boats exempt from the modifiers?

My post was simply my opinion. I have sent photos of the sails and my post to Carl Reigart, Chair of the USSA Portsmouth Committee, for his review.

Owners, in our area, that have selected the new mainsail are accepting the .995 hit because they know they are faster. Sail development in the A Cat Class is providing the stoke.

Jake, Mark Twain disliked adjectives as well. How about 'new sail with greater performance range?'

During my 'brief' tenure as race organizer, race officer, and competitor I have learned that sometimes it is best to address issues in advance and not wait on the bar talk to influence a major regatta.

Mr. Reigart and his committee will decide if any action is warranted. I guess I need to get used to seeing more Formula 16s and A Cats rip through the NACRA 20 Fleet in winds over twelve knots.


A Nacra 20 with a non-Nacra main should get a hit on their handicap anyway.

The point I was making was that while some of these development classes have the "potential" to see someone develop a particular sail suited for narrow wind ranges, it just doesn't happen. Added to which, nobody is making some gigantic leap in performance just because they have a big square head sail. While the appearance may be startling, it just isn't that much of an advantage and these things tend to gradually develop and speeds slowly increase over a long period of time...which is enough time for Portsmouth to continue to adjust ratings.

No handicap system is going to be perfect...it's a balance between maintaining a system that is easy enough to use that everyone can use it while still being accurate "enough" for competitive racing.
Posted By: catandahalf

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/27/11 07:18 PM

According to your viewpoint, Randy can take a high aspect out to ABYC for the Alter Cup. What am I missing here?

The obvious rebuttal should be, "No, the boats are supplied by the manufacturer for rotation among the challenging teams." Am I close?

The NACRA 20 Class Rules - now that's bordering on arrested development at best. So the NACRA 20 Class owners, the Hobie Class owners, and the Hobie 20 guy (say someone like Brian or Kevin) that wants to convert from pinhead to high aspect must live by the rule while 'Box" designs are free to improve their sails without fear of a penalty.

Then let's deep six the MN modifier and make it fair for all owners. Again, Carl and his committee will be the decision making team. He may feel there is NO material prejudice in the Rule practices.

Have the high aspect mains been showing up in your area in the last month or two?

"A Nacra 20 with a non-Nacra main should get a hit on their handicap anyway." In the face of 'Box' boat freedom under the Portsmouth Yardstick, isn't that principal a bit hypocritical?

Mahalo for taking time with this discussion.

Posted By: Team_Cat_Fever

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/27/11 07:21 PM

Originally Posted by catandahalf
High aspect mains with heads approx. 75% of the foot length are showing up on NACRA 20s and the "Box" Formula designs in our neighborhood.

Maybe we should deep - six the modifiers until the Alter Area Semis roll around, and then we can react.

Are 'Box' boats exempt from the modifiers?

My post was simply my opinion. I have sent photos of the sails and my post to Carl Reigart, Chair of the USSA Portsmouth Committee, for his review.

Owners, in our area, that have selected the new mainsail are accepting the .995 hit because they know they are faster. Sail development in the A Cat Class is providing the stoke.

Jake, Mark Twain disliked adjectives as well. How about 'new sail with greater performance range?'

During my 'brief' tenure as race organizer, race officer, and competitor I have learned that sometimes it is best to address issues in advance and not wait on the bar talk to influence a major regatta.

Mr. Reigart and his committee will decide if any action is warranted. I guess I need to get used to seeing more Formula 16s and A Cats rip through the NACRA 20 Fleet in winds over twelve knots.


A Nacra 20, or any boat, with a non-factory sail takes a .995 hit automatically. If it's bigger than the factory it takes another hit.Same for jib and same for spinnaker. If it bothers you that an A cat is ripping through your course, then my suggestion is sail your boat better. They might be about even upwind but you should smoke them downwind. I own one of each(n-20 and A cat). In the defense of the N-20s w/ the big heads they have done that because of no factory advancement of the sails.I've wanted to do the same but have held back BECAUSE of the hit. If your competitors are not taking the hit, YOU should protest them. Trying to change the entire structure of the scoring system, and screwing everyone who plays by the rules, because your local guys aren't, is BS and let's them off the hook in the end.I think you are going about this backwards.
Here are your modifiers.
http://offshore.ussailing.org/Portsmouth_Yardstick/Tables_2010/MH_Modification_Factors.htm

As far as box boats not fitting the rules: A cats sails have to be measured and certified to race in their class. Just because the head looks bigger doesn't mean the sail is any bigger. Generally they take sail area from the less useful lower area and put it up top where it matters more.
I think you may be a little confused on how the system is supposed to work.
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/27/11 07:50 PM

Wow!

Obviously... the Portsmouth system is fundamentally broken. Why this is so has been thoroughly debated before. Others are taking a critical look at it and saying err... yes it is.

There is NO FIX to portsmouth in 2011.

Simply declare it Performance handicap system and let your local board run a set of ratings...

The pretext that the table of adjustment factors are accurate is a giggle... That is why they are not allowed in the Area Qualifiers.

A better solution is to use ISAF SCHRS...
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/27/11 08:00 PM

Todd

The Portsmouth Rules on what constitutes a CLASS have never been codified.

We have single one off boats in the ratings table in the past.

Even better... find another owner... agree on the details and create a new class.... The committee will make up a rating and time will tell if the world thinks its accurate or not. (most likely... they just calculate the SCHRS rating and squeeze it into the PN table.... sausage making is never pretty... but using SCHRS to make a Portsmouth rating is pretty fair.... Much much better then PHRF solutions.)
Posted By: catandahalf

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/27/11 08:31 PM

Hey now,

We are headed in the same direction in PHRF Multihull corrections. If ya don't think the F Boat trimaran owners are pushing out the box, then have a Coors light and take a nap.

USSA and area association handicappers for displacement and sport boats have been protected by the "backstay angle." How much head design and development can occur on a J 29?

What's good for the goose should be good for the gander, so to speak. At this point in time the PY Committee may need to check for a "double standard."

Factory driven Classes are being prejudiced under the system. 'Box' boats are receiving "get out of jail free' cards at most regattas. I'll take the Goodall main from our Viper and lay it over the Schurr main in the loft this week for a picture.
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/27/11 09:58 PM

Comparing the big multihull problem to the Beach cat problem is not a useful comparison. The big mulit's only race handicap and I can think of at least 5 unique handicap rules in play.
(California, New England PHRF, Chesapeake (measurement) Great lakes and Florida PHRF handicap systems. Certainly the Chesapeake raters don't want to change to PHRF)

Now compare that to the beach cat scene.
Fact of life... the racing classes where racing sailors campaign a boat are hobie 16, A class and F18s... with the F16's hoping to grow. They simply do not want to handicap race. The remaining classic Hobie classes are also one design.

Quote
Classes are being prejudiced under the system. 'Box' boats are receiving "get out of jail free' cards at most regattas


The huge number of boats on the PN list are now 15 to 20 years old and they simply are not being raced ... They show up for a club race or epic event once a year or so...

The actual need for a handicap system is really quite small. A 20 year old boat with 10 year old race sails will simply NOT sail to it's number... I don't care who is on it. The rating system should not show you any love either!

The only other popular factory boat still racing is the Nacra 20 and they have refused to move with the times. ... rewrite the class rules and they have no problems... (and a better ride)

So... for 2011.... There are only two buoy races in the mid atlantic and north east that will have more then 10 boats in handicap... WRSC Pumpkin Patch and the Canidequa Open. Given the landscape in 2011... use SCHRS...
We have no area qualifier scheduled in C.

Posted By: Team_Cat_Fever

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/27/11 10:47 PM

Originally Posted by catandahalf
Hey now,

We are headed in the same direction in PHRF Multihull corrections. If ya don't think the F Boat trimaran owners are pushing out the box, then have a Coors light and take a nap.

USSA and area association handicappers for displacement and sport boats have been protected by the "backstay angle." How much head design and development can occur on a J 29?

What's good for the goose should be good for the gander, so to speak. At this point in time the PY Committee may need to check for a "double standard."

Factory driven Classes are being prejudiced under the system. 'Box' boats are receiving "get out of jail free' cards at most regattas. I'll take the Goodall main from our Viper and lay it over the Schurr main in the loft this week for a picture.


How many of these illegal sail boats have you protested?
You do realize you're being part of the problem?
Posted By: Jake

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/28/11 12:12 AM

Originally Posted by catandahalf
Hey now,

We are headed in the same direction in PHRF Multihull corrections. If ya don't think the F Boat trimaran owners are pushing out the box, then have a Coors light and take a nap.

USSA and area association handicappers for displacement and sport boats have been protected by the "backstay angle." How much head design and development can occur on a J 29?

What's good for the goose should be good for the gander, so to speak. At this point in time the PY Committee may need to check for a "double standard."

Factory driven Classes are being prejudiced under the system. 'Box' boats are receiving "get out of jail free' cards at most regattas. I'll take the Goodall main from our Viper and lay it over the Schurr main in the loft this week for a picture.


This is actually an advantage of Portsmouth if it is maintained regularly - it will move the handicap ratings based on the demonstrated and normalized performance of a class whether it is a SMOD or a box rule. If the F18s or A-cats get faster by developing upside down sails (or whatever), their Portsmouth rating will move accordingly.

However, I think your perspective about sail shape is too absolute - a big head can actually be slower depending on the conditions. In box rules, because they are limited to an exact measured sail area, to place sail area in the top is to remove it from the bottom and past a certain point, we start to make trade-offs from one sailing condition to another. Where the rules and sail design come together is in making a sail that is good and tunable in a range of conditions (since we don't allow each other to change sails during an event). Just because it's different or radical doesn't mean it's automatically better.

Posted By: Bob_Curry

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/28/11 12:51 AM

Now this thread has become quite hilarious! Keep it coming. I just finished dinner and had some dessert. My popcorn is almost finished. Maybe I'll top it off with some butter BS!

BC

Posted By: catandahalf

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/28/11 01:27 AM

I think a little red herring is in order. You guys are great at mixing popcorn with red herring sauce.

Do you feel the USSA PY prescriptions for mainsail modifiers are FAIR for ALL Class owners?

Simple question, EH?

Posted By: Jake

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/28/11 11:50 AM

Originally Posted by catandahalf
I think a little red herring is in order. You guys are great at mixing popcorn with red herring sauce.

Do you feel the USSA PY prescriptions for mainsail modifiers are FAIR for ALL Class owners?

Simple question, EH?



Frankly, I don't think any handicap system is completely "fair". They're all only good approximations. All have strengths, all have weaknesses. None are exact. Some of you are looking to hold handicap racing to a level of precision that will never exist.
Posted By: tami

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/28/11 12:24 PM

I just want to make sure, Bert:

Are YOU making sure that the N20 and the F18 NACRA, both of whom have non-stock sails...

both their results AND the fact their sails are aftermarket are indeed duly reported to the Portsmouth Committee? From the results posted it appears you did indeed mention the N20, but the NF18 is not noted.

Regardless of your opinion, Portsmouth is clear in that a non-FACTORY sail, regardless of size differential, immediately takes a hit. Should the size be larger, it then takes another.

You may cry 'unfair' all you want but the rationale is that if the boat owner isn't trying to advantage with his aftermarket sail then he wouldn't bother with one, so the burden is on him and he takes a hit.
Posted By: BoK

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/28/11 01:57 PM

Originally Posted by tami
I just want to make sure, Bert:

Are YOU making sure that the N20 and the F18 NACRA, both of whom have non-stock sails...

both their results AND the fact their sails are aftermarket are indeed duly reported to the Portsmouth Committee? From the results posted it appears you did indeed mention the N20, but the NF18 is not noted.

Regardless of your opinion, Portsmouth is clear in that a non-FACTORY sail, regardless of size differential, immediately takes a hit. Should the size be larger, it then takes another.

You may cry 'unfair' all you want but the rationale is that if the boat owner isn't trying to advantage with his aftermarket sail then he wouldn't bother with one, so the burden is on him and he takes a hit.


Huh? F18 sails do not have to come from any particular manufacturer. They just have to measure in. We have an F18 in our fleet that has Nacra hulls and a C2 mast and sails. It is still an F18 and it is rated as an F18. No questions.
Posted By: tami

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/28/11 02:08 PM

I may stand corrected, but I am under the impression that the 'formula' classes F16 and F18 are manufacturer-driven classes, and as such my statement stands.

In any case @BoK, you say that your example has manufacturer sourced parts, however mixed round.

However, Rice's Viper F16, Pedersen's NACRA F18 and Smith's NACRA 20 all have custom sails. I suppose then the question is whether the Formula classes are manufacturer driven or not (except for the NACRA 20 which has no claim to 'formula' status).

As a scorer, then, I say this distinction should be made clear in light of my earlier statement in regards non-factory sails.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/28/11 02:15 PM

Originally Posted by tami
I may stand corrected, but I am under the impression that the 'formula' classes F16 and F18 are manufacturer-driven classes, and as such my statement stands.

In any case @BoK, you say that your example has manufacturer sourced parts, however mixed round.

However, Rice's Viper F16, Pedersen's NACRA F18 and Smith's NACRA 20 all have custom sails. I suppose then the question is whether the Formula classes are manufacturer driven or not (except for the NACRA 20 which has no claim to 'formula' status).

As a scorer, then, I say this distinction should be made clear in light of my earlier statement in regards non-factory sails.


It can get a little complex here but Portsmouth recognizes (somewhat loosely) the various rule sets and establishes a number for them. The Hobie Tiger was an example of this complication - Hobie maintained strict "Hobie" rules for the Tiger that were more restrictive than F18. Tiger sailors had a choice to race under the Hobie rules or F18 rules and Portsmouth (for a while anyway) recognized both classes.

F18 and F16 have handicap numbers for their formula classes and though some may have manufacturer specific numbers (I don't think they do now, though) the handicap number used depends on which rule the boat is complying with.
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/28/11 02:34 PM

Tami
The deal with Formula, A class and Tornado sails is the presence or absence of the measurement sticker. If the owner has paid for the independent measurement he is class legal and registers and races using the ratings table (Schrs or Portsmouth... no adjustments).

If he has NOT paid for the sticker and independent measurement ... he is not class legal and MUST take the hit on his PN rating... Mind you, It's the exact same sail.

The Sail shapes and proportions between two F18 measured sails could be quite different. The class uses's a Formula to compute sail area and there are different ways to skin the cat. So long as both are measured in.... the racing is "fair" using handicap ratings. For the scorekeeper, either he registers correctly or a competitor protests him for not having class legal sails.

Bert obviously does not believe that street legal F18 or A class sails equate to fair racing under portsmouth stock numbers.

Portsmouth simply can't generate the data to do what Jake and his sail fairy believes which is to fix the ratings with non existent race data. Bert basically agree's with me and says... well, in the absence of statistics... we use other tools... the PHRF rating tools! My position is that Portsmouth is Broken and PHRF is not the best option. SCHRS/Texel have been used for YEARS for beach cats and is widely accepted by most hard core racers overseas as fair as can be.

I do agree with Jake on one point... the precision of a rating system is WAY OVERSTATED.... it ain't one design folks. .... boats overlapped WON"T be discriminated in PN or SCHRS. In a tight race on handicap.... the numbers fall where they do... Is it truly a measure of who won that race... .. who knows!... the precision of the rating system just can't do the job..

Also, people must realize this is just part of handicap racing. ... if 10 perfectly sailed Identical boats hit the A mark stacked end to end.. with 9 on starbord and 1 in first place on port.... the Port boat will come out 10th based on the RRS. a rating system of ANY KIND simply can't do any better. The rating systems we use (portsmouth and SCHRS and PHRF)have resolution that matches the real world... (This is why you don't use the 8th decimal places to decide a winner)
Posted By: tami

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/28/11 02:39 PM

Thx Jake. Went and looked and I see that there now are basic numbers for the various F-classes, ergo not manu-specific, you're right. Haven't had any formula boats at my races, good to learn something new.

On another point, fwiw, some time ago both Hobock and Diamond told me that if in doubt (without measurement proof), to always hit the unknown boat hard, because it's more just to hit the one than (edit: take the chance on punishing) the fleet. I wonder how often that concept gets applied...
Posted By: brucat

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/29/11 04:37 PM

Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
Also, people must realize this is just part of handicap racing. ... if 10 perfectly sailed Identical boats hit the A mark stacked end to end.. with 9 on starbord and 1 in first place on port.... the Port boat will come out 10th based on the RRS. a rating system of ANY KIND simply can't do any better. The rating systems we use (portsmouth and SCHRS and PHRF)have resolution that matches the real world... (This is why you don't use the 8th decimal places to decide a winner)


Mark, what is your point here? I know I've seen this discussed in other threads on this forum, but the logic escapes me.

In the game we play (per RRS), the port boat is NOT first to the mark. He may physically be at the mark first, but has no rights and has made a poor strategic decision to place himself in this tactically-disadvantaged position. This is true in OD racing, so why would anyone expect a different outcome under a handicap system?

I think we may be saying the same thing, but your comment "a rating system of ANY KIND simply can't do any better" makes it sound like you (or someone) thinks that a handicap rule should "fix" this.

If someone were to complain that because the ratings are based on real-race data, which includes such strategic and tactical situations, they are not a true representation of a boat's speed potential; that's a different discussion, which would require a different approach to data collection for the PN system.

Mike
Posted By: slackwater_sf

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/29/11 04:54 PM

Originally Posted by Mark Schneider

The Sail shapes and proportions between two F18 measured sails could be quite different. (Concur)



I owe Senor CatandaHalf numbers on mainsails for larger multihulls using the Texel.AUS aspect ratio changes.

The head and leech profile on a couple of new mainsails for the Corsairs (Dash750, C-24 MkII, C-24 MkI, F-27 Formula) has changed for boats already sailing or sails in queue for delivery. The head is wider. Some sails keep the same measured sail area.

One new mainsail had Area equal to 0.01 meters of the class rule. Another mainsail was 0.03 meters of the class rule and MGT is not on the leech.


Mainsails under SCHRS the rating remains constant with isaf Measured Sail Area (CM) and constant luff length, I think from reading again last night.

Mainsails under Texel.NDL the rating changes on E, fair enough.

Fuzzy statement: it looks like area up high under Texel.AUS will get a faster tcf, ~similar to Texel.NDL with a shorter mainsail foot (E). The direction of TCF change is known, the magnitude of change is unknown until numbers are pushed thru Excel.

The prelim Texel.AUS results look like a T.Speer diagram on lift and minimizing induced drag. Net, a couple of the new sails need to send in their numbers, get measured or declared mainsail specs before their PHRF numbers are set.
Posted By: slackwater_sf

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/29/11 05:12 PM

Originally Posted by brucat
If someone were to complain that because the ratings are based on real-race data, which includes such strategic and tactical situations, they are not a true representation of a boat's speed potential; that's a different discussion, which would require a different approach to data collection for the PN system.

Mike

Probably the last scenario, I suggest?, based on an earlier dialogue with Mr. Schneider.
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/29/11 07:47 PM

Mike...
This rating table is the ruler we use and the issue is... how many fine gradations of the ruler does it have to measure this f18 development.

So... the data we collect is finish time on the race course.. This data has to be accurate if you want to evaluate the true performance of the boat and add more gradations to the ruler.

The simple point here to illustrate the problem is that the RRS of sailing have a huge impact on how we measure the performance of the boats because it effects the time the boat goes around the course. The measurement of the boats performance is just not accurate!
The nature of the game (RRS, wind shifts, currents, and less then perfect sailors and other factors) effects the performance times measured and is just noise.

So In essence... the ruler we use is marked off in 1/4 inch steps because of the noise in racing. ... you estimate where the performance is between two hash marks for boat classes. Now...do we need more gradations... ie should we use more decimal places to calculate finish times in a SINGLE close races?... The noise that makes it difficult to measure a performance handicap exists in every sailboat race... one design or handicap... but you can't take more samples and average the result of that skipper to eliminate these factors. The bottom line is that it does not make sense to use a ruler marked off in mils when the noise for the single race result is so great? Our 1/4 inch scaled ruler (PHRF, Portsmouth or SCHRS) does a good enough job at resolving races as best as you would expect.

Another way of saying this is... the resolution of the handicap table (PHRF, Portsmouth, SCHRS) is limited and matches the noise of a sailboat race. We have a pretty good ruler to measure with... It just is not going to resolve rat's hair differences in performance. Take it to one design if you want to eliminate the boat factor.

Quote
"a rating system of ANY KIND simply can't do any better" makes it sound like you (or someone) thinks that a handicap rule should "fix" this.


No... we can't fix this... and I am not looking for someone to fix it...
Simply recognize the limits of a handicap race. One design will do a better job of sorting out the best sailor from a sailor who differs by just a rat's hair on that specific race.

Quote
If someone were to complain that because the ratings are based on real-race data, which includes such strategic and tactical situations, they are not a true representation of a boat's speed potential; that's a different discussion, which would require a different approach to data collection for the PN system.


Well this is true... The accuracy of a performance ratings table will depend on the nature and quality of the data. (Portsmouth has no data in 2011... and PHRF is not transparent) but my take home point would be... SCHRS is pretty good as a fair accurate ruler and very transparent to the users because it is a measurement system with a published formula. Its resolution matches the game. Searching for a better performance based ruler alternative is pushing the law of diminishing returns.

You might remember a Sailing world speed comparison test of the hot 20's back in the recent day. Supercat 22, Mystere and Hobies, Nacra 6.0's... Smyth, Danniels and others sailed the boats on timed legs and the data was published. Still it's a long way to go to create a performance based handicap system from this data. Very interesting... but not worth trying to build a handicap system from it.

The argument that started this is that the formula class development have speed improvements that are class legal... but undermine the handicap system. The fleet is not treated fairly.
My point... Data won't be available to sort this out and get a new accurate rating because the noise is too great and in the end... you can't resolve a handicap race that precisely anyway.

PHRF solutions... eg a hit for a class legal change that is different then last year's model should be .005 etc. are not transparent.. (Why .005?)

In the end... a handicap race won't be able to resolve the slight speed increase that the latest F18 development produces.. In one design racing... you will see the difference.

Before we start with PHRF fixes to impossible problems.. we should move to a transparent system first.
Posted By: Team_Cat_Fever

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/29/11 07:59 PM

Mark,
Weren't you doing a calculated study on SCHRS ,what are the results.
I think one huge thing you overlook is, who is going to go around and measure the boats and how many sailors will you lose because they don't want to deal with the headache or expense.
Why are we even worried about big multis or PHRF? This thread was started by someone who had a beef with new beachcat sails.let's stay focused instead of taking the same tangent road that always gets taken.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/29/11 08:27 PM

Account for the rules in a measurement system? Shifts, wind, rules, etc. - all these things are applied equally to all boats on the race course by the very nature of "racing"...you don't need to normalize the results for them.

Portsmouth also uses the better sailor in the most substantiated (with overall handicap data) class in the event as the basis for the calculation - i.e. to determine what the potential of the boat was given those conditions. It takes most of the conditional issues out of the equation. The data also has to be consistent in order to be factored in and the numbers need to mostly make sense before the system uses them to change anything. For instance, if a Hobie 14 beats a Supercat 20 tall rig, or a boat rated 68.1 comes out with a rating that should be 130, the data is obviously skewed or inaccurate and isn't considered.

I'm not arguing that it's perfect (or even near perfect) - but to suggest that Portsmouth is flawed because of port/starboard rules or by the conditions on the course is not being truthful to the system.
Posted By: brucat

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/29/11 09:16 PM

I can see the purist view of wanting to keep the ratings separated from any other variables. This would require a different system of collecting data, and possibly an entirely different method of measurement (race times certainly won't cut it).

I think the bigger problem is course management vs. how the ratings were set. If the ratings were based on races with an equal number of windward-leeward legs, racing on an all-downwind course (distance race) destroys any boat without a spinnaker.

However, I see this as a problem that doesn't need fixing. There are few (if any) real events involving mixed fleets anymore. And, everyone knows the system isn't perfect. Most people who attend open class events are aware of the limitations and are probably there for a different reason anyway (such as the experience of said event).

And, by the way Mark, this entire discussion is a tangent. The orignal point of the thread was a question of Box vs Formula label for the F16 and F18 classes (why anyone would care still eludes me).

Mike
Posted By: Karl_Brogger

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/29/11 09:56 PM

I say screw class, box, formula rules, and screw handicaps. Run what ya brung.
Posted By: Dan_Delave

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/30/11 12:32 AM

Originally Posted by Karl_Brogger
I say screw class, box, formula rules, and screw handicaps. Run what ya brung.

Wish we could all afford to bring an AC45
Posted By: catandahalf

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/30/11 12:38 AM

What if Spartacus had a fully armed F 16?
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/30/11 12:42 AM

No... you need to read this again.

All of that stuff is noise... the rules bias illustrates just how off you can be... (calculate boat length and speed of going from first to 10th to get the magnitude of the time lost just to rules noise) The more noise... the more data you need to average it out so that you arrive at the ACCURATE RATING... that's a unique problem for Portsmouth alone. BUT..

PHRF and SCHRS don't have this issue... The rating table is generated a different way. YET they still limit the decimal points in the rating tables. Why? Why don't they choose to use more decimal places for an accurate and highly precise ratings table? Answer, Because the noise also exists in every race that would be processed.... you won't average out this noise. So, You don't use a micrometer to measure a meter.

Bottom line... a rating system can be very accurate... but it won't be very resolving (precise). Go race one design for that.

The tangential argument raised here is... the new sails ... while class legal, fully measured in etc etc are UNFAIR to the rest of the fleet. We are not getting an accurate rating from Portsmouth that is timely and fair. (hmm... where have I heard that before) THEREFORE we need a PHRF solution to make the game fair. (oops... off the cliff for me)

My point.. the small change would be a wild butt guess (per PHRF) AND the rating system simply can't discriminate boat performance differences that small anyway.

If you like the fairy tale of portsmouth... fine! ... don't change it.

if you like the politics of PHRF... fine! have at it with your fleet.

If you want a transparent and accurate rating system for beach cats... use SCHRS... the major distance races already do!

If the alter cup eliminations flipped to SCHRS... the country would adopt the measurement system. Most races would use a generic certificate just like we do now... it's class legal... its rating is Blah. Make changes.. go get it measured.... or measure it your self and we will use that rating. More important events... get a certificate.

Mike... I agree... the semantics of Box Vs Formula seems trivial to me.. I am happy with... there is a formula for crew weight... there is a formula for sail area... there is a box for the platform. We choose to call it Formula... you have a problem with that... speak to the hand.

The tangent was the mind blowing notion that we now take the buggered up portsmouth system... and HELP IT with PHRF like fixes. We already have a PHRF rating for the F16... You want to make things worse???

I also agree... the problem is very small these days... Only the Alter qualifier require a handicap race. As I said... the only two large handicap events in my world and those are for local bragging rights between OD fleets. The Pimpin Pumkin beer mug just ain't worth much.
Posted By: Karl_Brogger

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/30/11 01:59 AM

Originally Posted by Dan_Delave
Originally Posted by Karl_Brogger
I say screw class, box, formula rules, and screw handicaps. Run what ya brung.

Wish we could all afford to bring an AC45


Back in the mid 90's Jeremy McGrath was the absolute king of all things motocross and supercross. People considered themselves winners if they got second. I don't think I'd have any problem with taking second place behind any boat that justifiably took top position. wink

My father used to say that racing was plain ol' stupid. It could easily be solved over coffee just by comparing bank statements. OD, or box rules doesn't change that. If I had the money and time to keep a boat in absolute perfect tune, my body in shape, and coaching to keep the skills honed it would be no different.
Posted By: Acat230

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/30/11 02:00 AM

In response to Catandahalf's claim, A-Class head widths to foot length ratios on current competitive A-Class mainsails are in the 44% - 52% range (850mm - 1000mm head widths and 1,850mm - 1,900mm foot lengths) so we are not providing the "stoke" for anyone designing a mainsail with a 75% head width to foot length ratio. Higher aspect mainsails have been tried with not much success. Remember we even had a solid wing rig tried in 2007 beautifully done by Ben Hall and it was not competitive upwind due to an increased pitching moment.
Posted By: brucat

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 03/30/11 04:33 PM

Hi Mark,

You bring up a good point with the Alter Cup, those events need to be as fair as possible.

The problem is getting to the "as possible." In the US, I don't see the support from the sailors for going to a certification program to handle a handful of events.

What might be more beneficial would be a better understanding of PN, and some better documented guidelines on how to manage races using PN (at least for the Alter Cup Qualifiers). That, coupled with better PR for the program, would probably help a lot.

Of course, there are other reasons (outside of ratings) that people don't attend Alter Cup Qualifiers in droves. The trend towards larger OD events is nothing to sneeze at when people have limited vacation time (leaving the economy out of the discussion).

Mike
Posted By: catandahalf

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/01/11 03:06 AM

...need to learn how to enclose photos...

FWIW - We did head and foot measurements today when we compared our Goodall F 16 mainsail with our new Schurr main.

The Goodall came out at 36.5" by 81" @ 45% of the foot length.

The Schurr came out at 47.12" by 80.75" @ 58% of the foot length.

ACat230's performance range, for sails competitive in A Cats, was cited at 44% - 52% or thereabouts.

Bottom Line.... according to explanations from Carl Reigart, USSA Portsmouth Chair and Dave Ingram, the head modifications are not subject to PN modifiers in accordance with the Rules for Portsmouth Racing, which are Class dependent. Class Rules are transcendent and not under regulation by the USSA PNY Comm. 'Box Rule' Classes must only maintain the same sail area to avoid a ML assignment (MN n/a). The International F 16 Class 'Box Rule' does not restrict head design or leech design.

ACat 230 was correct when he claimed that high aspects are unproven according to recent users.

I wonder what the head to foot ratio is on an AC 45 or Extreme 40. Thank Goodness we are not limited in our imaginations by backstays.

I stand to be corrected in order to become more enlightened.

Sail in Peace,
Bert












Posted By: brucat

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/01/11 01:35 PM

Hey Bert,

I didn't touch on this before, but what you just posted makes complete and total sense to me. The issue of the sail design (such as fat head mains) is totally a class rule issue. This is just one example of arms races that can happen in a box/formula environment, it's part of that game.

If someone has a problem with that, they need to take it up with the class (or find a different one), but "fixing" it via PN is a bad idea.

EDIT: Of course, if enough boats change to a much saster sail, then the PN would eventually adjust once sufficient race data is factored in.

Mike
Posted By: David Ingram

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/01/11 01:58 PM

Originally Posted by brucat

EDIT: Of course, if enough boats change to a much faster sail, then the PN would eventually adjust once sufficient race data is factored in.

Mike


Mike, and that's probably the single biggest complaint with DPN and why a measurement system appeals to so many. The amount of time it takes for the data to make an impact is far to long to be viewed as fair by most. The perception with a measurement system is as soon as a boat is measured and the number as assigned it's automatically the fairest number possible, and that's where the two schools of thought separate.

The best thing about handicap racing is eventually everyone discovers (regardless which system is used) it's a wild butt guess and consolidation of classes takes place.
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/01/11 02:24 PM

Of course, if enough boats change to a much faster sail, then the PN would eventually adjust once sufficient race data is factored in ... in a land far far away where 10 F16's (with the new stuff) are raced against 10 F18's and 10 Hobie 16's by the top of the class sailor fairy's for 100 races... (20 regattas of 5 races each)....

May the portsmouth fairy's be with you!

There... fixed it for you.!

Posted By: brucat

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/01/11 02:54 PM

W T F???

Dave and Mark, you're totally twisting my point. I never said PN is perfect (or that I like it), in fact, I've reiterated in other posts above why no one likes it, but there are numerous reasons that it won't be fixed in the foreseeable future, so it's basically "good enough."

My key point in the last post was that PN can't deal with stuff that's allowed within class rules, and shouldn't be expected to. A F18 sailor who has old/out-designed equipment is in just as much jeopardy at a F18-class event (non-handicapped) as in the open event, so PN should NOT try to "fix" this.

I know, there's impact to sailors of other classes in open events, but go back to the last paragraph. Where's the support to change to a certification system in the US? As in, who is going to do it, and how will it impact attendance when people don't take the time to get certs?

Mike
Posted By: David Ingram

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/01/11 03:28 PM

Originally Posted by brucat

I know, there's impact to sailors of other classes in open events, but go back to the last paragraph. Where's the support to change to a certification system in the US? As in, who is going to do it, and how will it impact attendance when people don't take the time to get certs?

Mike


Mike, I was not agreeing or disagreeing with your post I was just making a point based on your last paragraph.

As for the certification system working in the US, it will take a dedicated set of volunteers and an overall acceptance from the multihull community for it to work. Speaking from my experiences with enforcing the certification requirement for the 2010 F18 North Americans it took a fair amount of effort from a lot of people to make it happen and honestly I just don't see that level of effort taking place in the open class. I could be wrong... I've been wrong once before.
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/01/11 04:27 PM

Mike... not twisting or agreeing with your point that PN should not mess with class rules. ( I certainly agree)

Just making the point about data (none) and time (forever).


Sorry Dave
The issue of certificates is a red herring. It is completely dependent on what kind of race is called for. (How many F18 boats were tossed for not measuring in)

The vast majority of boats are stock legal class boats that have a Portsmouth number AND a SCHRS number. No difference in race management.

Modifications to Stock boats. in PN they are declared for most races and adjustments are made at face value by you the owner and you report your rating.. in Measurement world... if you made changes... you must make the measurements your self and adjust your rating yourself and use it when you register..Many calculators and spreadsheets exist. No difference to race management

For races like the Area qualifiers where something more then a trophy is at stake... no change would be needed either.
These races do not allow boats with modification to race in Portsmouth Area championships now.. In measurement world... you could enforce the same rule.. boats with modifications are not allowed. NO difference to race management.

OR... you could raise the bar and allow boats with modifications who have a valid certificate. (It's the owners problem and ISAF approved measurement people are available and for a fee will give you a documented rating certificate)

I never get why people think its such a big deal to switch.

There really isn't that much of need for anything more then what I describe above.
Posted By: David Ingram

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/01/11 05:10 PM

Have you made the switch to SCHRS or Texel in your area? If not, why not? You don't hold a US Multihull Championship Semi-Final in your area so there shouldn't be anything standing in your way.
Posted By: brucat

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/01/11 06:26 PM

OK.

I think this has been brought up before, but has anyone actually gone through a year's worth of regattas and recalculated using the proposed systems to see if it really made any difference?

And, how does using SCHRS with "no modifications" solve the problem of the changing sail designs for the box classes? If the new designs are class legal, where is the requirement to adjust the number?

Further, would any OA really want to have to send a boat home if they had a mod that doesn't meet class rules? Some Hobie fleets struggle with this debate over new guys without Comptips. In that case, it's a question of class culture, which probably wouldn't exist in an open event.

I really don't have a dog in the fight, but I think the jury is still out on whether this is an actual problem, that there are enough events where this would matter, that enough people agree it's an actual problem worth the time and effort to change, and whether any of the proposed solutions (changes) would "fix" more problems than simply changing would create (unintended consequences).

Mike
Posted By: David Ingram

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/01/11 06:36 PM

Originally Posted by brucat

I really don't have a dog in the fight, but I think the jury is still out on whether this is an actual problem, that there are enough events where this would matter, that enough people agree it's an actual problem worth the time and effort to change, and whether any of the proposed solutions (changes) would "fix" more problems than simply changing would create (unintended consequences).

Mike


Bingo!
Posted By: Kris Hathaway

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/01/11 09:17 PM

I think we all hear you Mike. Short of an Alter Cup style of event, there is no perfect rating system. As you pointed out within semi-development box rule classes, all boats are not equal. It even occurs with SMOD boats (different age, sail and manufacturing quality control..etc) However, we stive to get it close enough such that it is the sailors that make the difference. The best system would be variable modeling from a large database of current results amoung all of the active boats, sailors, and conditions; ie: Portsmouth's goal. No such luxury though and thus theorectical models (Texel & SCHRS) exist in addition to Portmouth. Pick your poison.

Does anyone beyond North America use Portsmouth? Eventhough SCHRS is promoted by the ISAF, is it employed outside of the UK and Down Under?

Posted By: brucat

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/02/11 01:54 AM

Kris, I'm not aware of anyone outside US that uses PN (maybe Canada?). I think the database is managed by USSA volunteers. Does anyone else know?

Seriously, this is not April Fools:

The more I think about this, Mark does raise some good points, and there are other issues that have been brought up as well (new boat designs, etc.). While I'm not sure how perfectly any system can deal with this right away, there may be something to that.

I'm trying to look at this with an open mind to all sides. I truly don't care how this turns out (i.e. which system "wins"), but if there is a better way to do this, maybe we should look at it.

We could form a working party to investigate further. Make a list of pros and cons of each system (research and input from users of the non-US systems), research the desires of the sailors (what would make them show up vs. stay away), what would be most fair (admittedly a subjective topic), do some data comparisons, etc.

Then, we could present it to the MHC for a vote.

Possibly the most important thing to do coming out of this is to really beef up the PR value of the system that wins. We know that no system is perfect, but we should focus on the advantages of the system that is ultimately chosen.

Of course, if no one thinks this is important, and the effort should be spent elsewhere (raising attendance at cat events in general, including OD events), then a case could be made not to take up volunteer time to fix something that is a really low priority.

Mike
Posted By: David Ingram

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/02/11 02:48 PM

Originally Posted by brucat
Kris, I'm not aware of anyone outside US that uses PN (maybe Canada?). I think the database is managed by USSA volunteers. Does anyone else know?

Seriously, this is not April Fools:

The more I think about this, Mark does raise some good points, and there are other issues that have been brought up as well (new boat designs, etc.). While I'm not sure how perfectly any system can deal with this right away, there may be something to that.

I'm trying to look at this with an open mind to all sides. I truly don't care how this turns out (i.e. which system "wins"), but if there is a better way to do this, maybe we should look at it.

We could form a working party to investigate further. Make a list of pros and cons of each system (research and input from users of the non-US systems), research the desires of the sailors (what would make them show up vs. stay away), what would be most fair (admittedly a subjective topic), do some data comparisons, etc.

Then, we could present it to the MHC for a vote.

Possibly the most important thing to do coming out of this is to really beef up the PR value of the system that wins. We know that no system is perfect, but we should focus on the advantages of the system that is ultimately chosen.

Of course, if no one thinks this is important, and the effort should be spent elsewhere (raising attendance at cat events in general, including OD events), then a case could be made not to take up volunteer time to fix something that is a really low priority.

Mike


Mike, the Portsmouth Committee does not answer to the MHC, even if we take a vote it can only be presented to the Portsmouth Committee as a recommendation. At the end of the day it's the Portsmouth Committee's decision.

As for presenting a new system, those wheels were put in motion last year.

Mr. Schneider can you give us an update of where you are with this effort?

I also want to emphasis again, no regatta is required to use DPN except the US Multihull Championship (Alter Cup) Semi-Finals. If an OA believes that their regatta would be better served by using something else they are free to do so. The only thing the OA has to do do is put the handicap system to be used in the NOR and it's done. This need for US Sailing to officially move away from DPN escapes me.

Posted By: catandahalf

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/02/11 08:13 PM

Dave, I and most other top sailors and race committees are with you.

Migrating to a certificate based system will require massive reformatting of the paradigm at all levels.

I recommend we proceed with the US Sailing Portsmouth Exhibition at the Gulf Yachting Association's annual multihull championship. After five races for the GYA prizes, we pluck the top two designs of each Class and have a Finals Race for the USSA Championship Title.

This approach will provide live data by top shelf sailors on the newer boats and sail plans.

...the OAK approach we have discussed with Kirt...
Posted By: brucat

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/02/11 08:43 PM

Dave, what I meant by vote was wheter or not to continue using PN, not to change the PN program. I would think that the Alter Cup qualifiers could be changed as well.

I thought there was some more serious discussion about this last year. But, like I've said all along, my sense is that the majority of the sailors don't want a change [insert reason(s) here]; however, that doesn't mean that Mark doesn't have good points.

Maybe we just need to put an official end to all this debate and get Mark to agree to let it go once and for all...

Mike

EDIT: BTW, I take serious issue with the notion that going to a no-modification or bring-your-own certificate system won't negatively impact event Race Management and OAs. Not because it isn't being managed well elsewhere, but I am very concerned about dealing with the inevitable sailors that refuse to comply, demanding to race or threatening to never come back. We really can't afford to be turning boats away, financially or politically.
Posted By: David Ingram

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/02/11 09:21 PM

I really don't think we could ever stop the debate and I really don't want too, at the very minimum it keeps people engaged in the process.

I for one need considerably more convincing that replacing DPN with another handicap system presents a 'more fair' result. The few times an event has gone to the trouble of running the results with multiple systems it has had little to no impact to the end result. Now if you want to talk distance races...

Posted By: brucat

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/03/11 12:34 AM

I'm not saying to end the debate cold-turkey. I'm saying to actually do the work to get agreement to at least accept one system or another (with all its weaknesses) and move on.

I'd be very interested to see what could actually help distance races (in terms of fairness), if anything. If a distance race is one-way, with a prevailing wind on your back the whole way, how do the numbers get affected when the wind is on the beam, or it becomes an upwind race?

I'd be shocked if any of the ratings systems differed by much on buoy courses, because they at least tend to be windward/leeward (although race management may theoretically affect the results by adding or removing reaching legs).

Mike
Posted By: catandahalf

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/03/11 02:11 AM

The Hawaiian Yachting Association was using a three - way system for PHRF racing from island to island and drop marks (600 ft. plus change). Gil Budar made a presentation at the USSA meeting in Denver - in '08 (circa). They have upwind ratings, downwind ratings, and drop mark base ratings. My report was on the theory of a wind - bracketed PHRF system based on the USSA DPN style adjustments.

The beach cat sailing takes place on Kanehoe Bay, and I have no idea what rating system they are using. I have never seen a more beautiful venue for cat sailing, and surfing North Beach on Kanehoe MCB was a real thrill.

They do not worry as much about ratings out there. They worry about close - out sets across the Ala Moana channel entrance to Ala Wai Harbor and Waikiki Yacht Club:-)

A little multihull luv and networking will pay off down the road if we play our cards well - Together!

Aloha - B
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/03/11 06:57 PM

Quote
Mike, the Portsmouth Committee does not answer to the MHC, even if we take a vote it can only be presented to the Portsmouth Committee as a recommendation. At the end of the day it's the Portsmouth Committee's decision.


The Portsmouth Committee is irrelevant... The issue at hand is to replace the Portsmotuh Committee product with SCHRS. Of course they would oppose such a change.... They need someone other then DING to defend their work though... his heart is not really in it.

Quote
I also want to emphasis again, no regatta is required to use DPN except the US Multihull Championship (Alter Cup) Semi-Finals. If an OA believes that their regatta would be better served by using something else they are free to do so.


Yes!... thus the solo campaign to raise the issue.

Quote
I for one need considerably more convincing that replacing DPN with another handicap system presents a 'more fair' result. The few times an event has gone to the trouble of running the results with multiple systems it has had little to no impact to the end result. Now if you want to talk distance races...


Well you will be waiting for hell to freeze over... for such an argument!

TODAY... the tables of Texel, SCHRS and Portsmouth are more or less in agreement. Tomorrow... who knows what the portsmouth fairy will present.

The race results probably won't change much at all if we switched. (never have in my comparisons of race data ... once the F16 rating was PHRFd into line more or less)

The problem with Portsmouth... is that we must use PHRF to make up new boat ratings (F16 and nF20)... AND we don't have quality data to run the system. Bottom line... the current PN table is a good guess with a shaky basis.

So... if you believe that a non transparent rating system is good enough... (and they have good guessers). I would agree... why change anything.

Quote
As for presenting a new system, those wheels were put in motion last year.


Turns out the Alter Cup Committee is another independent committee. They can run the qualifiers anyway they wish... including picking the rating system.

What is the history of catamaran Ratings systems?

Back Back in the Day. Catamarans used NAMSA and not US Portsmouth for ratings. CRAM, CRAC, and Roten Pt (which had a huge display board with the ratings in their club house) struggled / fought internally over the switch. CRAC ran all of their own races and made the change to be in alignment with US Sailing and get in alignment with the rest of the sailing world. The creation of the US Sailing Championship and qualifiers pushed us into the USPN world.

USPN was 100% statistical ratings for ALL sailobats... NAMSA was solely run by and used Herb Malm's proprietary (secret) ratings formula for catamarans and then used race data to tweak the ratings.... (frequently). It worked as well as USPN and got to a fair rating a bit quicker.

So... what goes around... comes around if you wait long enough.. Now we use SCHRS and TEXEL formula's to get the rating for the nF20.... take that information and then PHRF (guestimate) it into the Portsmouth ratings table. However... With 2 boats racing in the US... Portsmouth simply can not work...

Take home points of the history lesson... Clubs simply had to choose what process they thought would generate fair ratings into the future.... USSPN won out with the addition of the Alter cup and qualifiers.

It is the same today... if the ONLY Handicap racing that is important chooses USPN.... that is what the majority of the country will fall in behind... Since YC's run all of our races these days... a change of systems needs a good house keeping seal of approval.

As you hinted at... Distance races which want to attract a few EU blokes....have switched to SHCRS. Why.... because its transparent... no back room best of intentions dickering on ratings.

Quote
Mr. Schneider can you give us an update of where you are with this effort?


Long report sent to JW last year

Again... remember what started this issue up again.... It was the idea that the PN ratings are unfair and we need MORE PHRF adjusting to the ratings....

This is easy to understand because the ratings are stuck without enough handicap racing to generate good data to adjust ANYTHING...
Posted By: catandahalf

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/03/11 07:43 PM

I always thought Dick Blanchard was the Godfather for open class sailing. I have seen him handscore all the races we ever had on Pensacola Bay for the NAMSA North Americans. That regatta was a real factory "Showdown" for a few years with up to seventy + boats in raging winds.

I believe Dick handed off the NAMSA ratings to Darline when he retired from NAMSA...??? Rick White would know the story, but it surely deserves to be recognized in the US Sailing Hall of Fame and historical collection.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Box & Formula Rules and Classes - 04/04/11 01:22 AM

Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
Quote
Mike, the Portsmouth Committee does not answer to the MHC, even if we take a vote it can only be presented to the Portsmouth Committee as a recommendation. At the end of the day it's the Portsmouth Committee's decision.


The Portsmouth Committee is irrelevant... The issue at hand is to replace the Portsmotuh Committee product with SCHRS. Of course they would oppose such a change.... They need someone other then DING to defend their work though... his heart is not really in it.


What am I? Chop Suey?

I do admit though, I grow tired of my own repeated points to your repeated points.
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