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How does the Handicap System work ?

Our Results Secretary, Paul Goodhead, has compiled a series of documents that will shed some light on the handicap system.

The documents below help to explain how the calculations are performed and show how specimen races are used to calculate the various boat handicaps.

Objectives and Using the Handicap Scheme
An RYA explanation of the Portsmouth Yardstick Scheme and how it can be used for racing between boats of different classes and types.

Personal Handicaps
A Personal Handicap is assigned to an individual boat and takes into account not only the design speed of the boat but also the ability of the nominated crew to achieve the best time of which the design is capable.

Calculating Personal Handicaps

Specimen Races
The Specimen Races give recommended methods for assessing and adjusting Numbers, which have been
developed over several years and are both reliable and relatively simple to use.
The Portsmouth Number Lists, gives the Number for each class or type for which sufficient Returns have been received and classes for which more Returns are required, whether these be new or old classes. There are separate lists for Centreboard (dinghy), Cruiser, Keelboat and Multihull.