Forums, Cruising (PHRF) Racing, Spinnaker Plus One, anyone?
YRALIS (and so HRYRA) has a new option for Spinnaker Division skippers who sail short-handed — Plus One rating. You get 3 PHRF points added if you commit to racing with a small crew all season in Spinnaker events (you can have any crew size in a Non-Spin race). Maximum crew size is based on LOA, and crew under age 16 don’t count against your maximum number.
Remember it’s a season long election and you need to indicate it when you get your 2023 HRYRA PHRF. And you can be sure your competitors will take a headcount of your crew while waiting to start!
From 2023 PHRF Regs G.5:
5. Plus One Adjustment. A boat may elect to sail in spinnaker divisions in a Plus One
configuration where the maximum number of crew, including the skipper, is no greater
than (LOA / 10) + 1 where all elements are rounded down to the nearest whole number.
This adjustment of +3s/m is intended to offset both any dynamic weight disadvantage
and any boat-handling challenges resulting from racing shorthanded. The Plus One
adjustment and crew limit restrictions apply ONLY to spinnaker ratings and has no
effect on the rating or crew count for non-spinnaker racing. For clarity, this means that
a 34ft boat with a Plus One adjustment noted on their certificate may sail Spinnaker
divisions of races she chooses to enter with a crew of only 4, or may enter the nonspinnaker divisions with a crew of more than 4. This adjustment is to be a season-long
election. Children under the age of 16 on the day of the race are excluded from the
24 March 2023
Had the following feedback sent to me about the Spinnaker Plus One Option:
- So to remain competitive, I need to cut back one or two of my crew, sail the boat less safely (because my boat is not intended to be sailed with that number of people), and if I happen to know a young sailor, I can bring them on with no penalty.
- It can create unsafe conditions. The cap on crew prohibits you from developing new crew during the season.
- It’s easy to spin this both ways – rather than seeing it as
restricting adult participation, it is intended to encourage youth
participation, for example.
I have to imagine that their thinking was that there are a few boats
out there that routinely struggle to find enough crew. For
example, one boat might decide that they can only find a short-handed crew regularly,
for a symmetrical spinnaker vessel, but at least they get out,
and the 3s/m bonus offsets the challenges of being short handed. It’s
a season long commitment, so it’s not encouraging boats to sail short-handed
unexpectedly as when half the crew is out sick. It’s only targeting the boats that
otherwise skip the whole season because they have crew issues.
This would be a bigger bonus for the asym boats. The impact on older/classic boats is
greater than it is for newer boats.
It reminds me of something that came up during the Sutherland Regatta.
Someone referred to Division 1 as “the sprit
boats.” The actual split was based on PHRF, but the impact was to
almost perfectly group all the Asymmetrical boats in Div 1, and
Symmetrical in Div 2. And I wonder if that would be a better division
- if you race 2 boats with a larger difference in PHRF, but of the
same spinnaker type, would PHRF do a better job handicapping them than
two boats with a smaller difference, but same spinnaker type? I’m not
sure, but I think its a good question. In the case of a PHRF bonus
for short handed crew, I think it’s applicable.
My fear is that this might encourage a few boats
that have less experience to come and race and never really develop
the full racing crew they need – short handed and short experience is a bad combination.
The concern for other boats on the course having a boat handling disaster is a real one.
In the end, I think that
- getting more boats out is generally good
- getting more young sailors out is good
- it could have a deleterious effect on safety, especially at marks – BAD
- if you asked me if we should restrict our crew number and sail short-handed all season,
to get the 3s/m bonus, I would say no, the cost is greater than the reward.
25 March 2023
Generally negative response from Blaze crew. The safety issue for symmetrical spin boats is real (I can share first hand accounts if anyone is interested!) and puts older boats/older crews at a disadvantage relative to asym boats.
Was there any process for deciding before implementing what I consider a new-boat, newcomer preferential rule?
I’d be interested in knowing if anyone in NBC spinnaker division is considering sailing under this new provision? If not it’s a moot point.
29 March 2023
I saw that Nonsuch 30s have both a Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker PHRF rating. So, I checked with the PHRF handicapper if Sheba could amend her 2023 certificate to include a Spinnaker rating with the Plus One option (adding 3 points).
Sheba races Non-Spin with the Nonsuch 30 base rating of 177. Her Spinnaker W/L rating is much higher, and even higher with the Plus One bonus. While I plan to race Non-Spin on Wednesdays, I may race Sundays in the Spinnaker division (if there are any other Spinnaker division takers who come to the starting line).
Spinnaker racers, if you want to see what you’d be up against, check here: Sheba’s 2023 PHRF Certificate