This is only for the racing sailors amongst you!
Many racing sailors amongst us sail our boats against the opposition, all in very different craft to one another. We have had many “rules” one the years – giving us a rating system (IRC, IMS etc) to “fairly” allow any boat to win if its sailed better than the rest. That’s the principle, and given the complexicity of it all, we in many cases get this to work, due to the hard work and expertise of the guys running these rating rules.
But is YOUR rating fair? As long as the boat has been measured properely, and the data has been input correctly, then it is “fair”. But these figures should be checked for accuracy, and should be checked against another similar boat if you can. You would be surprised how simple errors have gone unnoticed (for years in some cases!).
Is there anything we can do to reduce the rating – to be more competitive? In theory, no! If you reduce the rating, the performance comes down commensuratly, so there is a zero gain. In practise though, there are a few things that can done that reduce the rating for a less than equal performance loss. There are not many of these, and many fewer than the talk in the bars around the Solent would have you believe. But we know where there are gains to be made, and we can go through those (and their implications) with you.
Can we reduce our rating for tactical reasons? All rating systems work best when the size of boat is about the same, and the bigger the difference in size, the less well the system can cope (simplistic, sweeping statement for sure, but pretty true!). If you have to sail with boats much smaller or bigger than you, and all it would take to sail in a class more equal in size would be a slight change in rating, then this can be done. It has to be done to be proportionally in performance terms, and sail area change is a simple way of doing this. This should be seen as a semi-permanent change, as the cost of a new sail, or alteration is not cheap.
We can work on your rating and give advice for a reasonable fee.