Following the accepted proposal at the Dinghy owners meeting last year to form a handicap committee and seek the approval of the Sailing Committee. This was duly done and the first Handicap Committee was held in November. The minutes from the meeting are attached and will be posted to the website, the delay on posting the minutes was due to waiting to report back to the Sailing Committee for any further comments. The Handicap Committee consists of largely dinghy sailors as well as representatives from other fleets, the Hon Sec and Hon Sailing Sec.

Last season some small adjustments were made to the handicap numbers of some of the dinghies that race at the club. Although such alterations were made with the best intentions of making the club handicap racing fairer, it was commented upon that any such alteration made by members who participate in the racing themselves, could, in theory, be subjective.

After having spent some hours looking at various methods used at different clubs, it was proposed to use the system that Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club (LLSC) have developed and been using successfully for some years now. LLSC are considered as one of the top clubs in the North of England and arguably Britain for dinghy handicap racing, their winter series is the largest weekly dinghy series in the country and they use this method for that, and their weekly club racing.

The Handicap Committee agreed this as a way forward, and to review the outcome through the season.

For those that wish to see in more detail how this works follow this link, a shortened version is we submit our race results to the RYA who in return calculate for us a suggested set of handicaps for our club. Then using LLSC sytem which is entirely computer based they dampen the result to a maximum shift of 1.5% of the boats PY either + or -, what this does is take any decision making out of individual's hands, subjectivity is no longer an issue. We end up with a handicap system that is fine tuned for our environment, making club racing closer, fairer and more competitive for everyone. For any new type of boat joining the club the standard RYA PY will be used until we have enough data.

The next Handicap Committee meeting is scheduled for after the Dinghy show when the 2018 PY numbers will have been released,following this the PY numbers for the club will be published. There will be further reviews through the season, with an overall at the end of the year.

Matt Nield

Dinghy Captain