Irish Classes with Portsmouth Yardstick

Irish Classes with Portsmouth Yardstick


For some years the question has been asked: do local Irish dinghy classes have a Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) handicap ?. The answer has always been ‘No’, but despite this, many Irish clubs run handicap racing for these classes, and often there are complaints afterwards that a handicap for Class ‘X’ was unfair. Now, Irish Sailing have created a parallel system to the RYA so that PY racing remains as fair as possible !

What is the Portsmouth Yardstick Scheme?

The Portsmouth Yardstick System aims to handicap boats based on their relative performance against the other boats they race with. Handicaps are allocated and administered by clubs to suit their local factors such as boat type, wind trends and water type as well as enabling the club to evaluate crew skill factor. Full info HERE.

RYA’s PY handicaps

The RYA issue a list of PY handicaps every year, based on results provided to them from hundreds of local clubs who run PY racing. Unfortunately, the number of classes on the RYA list appears to be decreasing every year, possibly because more and more clubs have become tired of the complaints, and prefer to run one-design racing.  

New Irish PY system

In an effort to ensure that PY racing in Ireland is as fair as possible, there is now a parallel system to the RYA list of PY Numbers. This Irish initiative was driven by Irish Sailing’s Ratings and Handicapping Steering Group. Most of the Irish local dinghy classes were contacted to provide information on the relative speed of their boats in relation to a class with a known RYA PY number. Some of the information provided was based on one race, and sometimes it was based on a season of racing under various conditions. This best available information has been assembled into a spreadsheet which you will find at the bottom of this document.

Using the new PY numbers

For the 2022 season, Irish Sailing would like clubs and organisations who run PY races to use these numbers. If the numbers are found after four or five races to be too low or too high, we suggest that those organisations amend their Irish PY numbers until they find the correct number for each class. (This does not apply to classes such as Aero, ILCA, Mirror, Topper, RS or other classes with an RYA PY number.)   

At the end of the trial season of 2022, we suggest that all the numbers be submitted to Irish Sailing Handicap Committee for review, so that they can issue finalised Irish numbers for 2023.

The RYA PY is available HERE.



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