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Fall 2014 Governor's Meeting
November 20, 2014

A number of bylaw changes were approved. These were of the minor, housekeeping variety. The two year term for elected officers was clarified.

The results of the asymmetric spinnaker study were presented. It had been obvious, particularly for newer, lighter boats, that our simple method of handicapping asymmetric spinnakers was not correct. Boats were adding asymmetric spinnakers on sprits as they felt that they could gain a speed advantage due to our antiquated handling of them. 

Most PHRF fleet web sites simply say that asymmetric spinnakers will be handled on a case by case basis. Only Long Island Sound PHRF's web site showed specifics. They handled them similar to the way we did but with slightly lower sprit length breaks; at 108%, 116%, and 124% as opposed to our 110%, 120%, and 130%.

Bump Wilcox discussed his proposal that asymmetric spinnakers on sprits be treated the same as symmetric spinnakers on a pole. In other words an asymmetric tacked to the bow would get no credit. Similarly an asymmetric on a 20% sprit would get a 6 second a mile penalty. This was not adopted.

John Collins presented the study conducted by US SAILING using the ORC Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) and paid for by PHRF New England and Lake Michigan PHRF. This confirmed that lighter boats tend to gain an advantage by going to asymmetric spinnakers tacked on the centerline.

The study used measurement trim data. This is essentially the way the boat comes from the factory without the junk aboard that tends to accumulate. The brochure data is very close to the measurement trim data.

Instead of using a hard to understand formula developed from the data for each boat a simplified matrix of adjustments, based on the displacement to length ration and sprit length, was developed from the formula. This gives results that are close to the formula but are easier to understand. This has been posted on the handicap adjustments page on the web site.

The bottom line is that older production boats will not likely see a change. The newer, lighter production boats will usually see a 3 second per mile lower credit than before.  Really light boats will see a bigger change. This is what the VPP told us and agrees with observations.


Photos by Marblehead Studios
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