Handicap Info


Winter Series Handicapping - The Great Lakes Approach

Handicap racing is always a compromise. Our aim is to allow the top sailors in any class an equal chance of winning when conditions suit that class. We are therefore aiming to handicap to the potential of the boat. An extreme example is the foiling moth, we will handicap for foiling conditions only.

The RYA Portsmouth Yardstick Scheme provides a method and now an online tool to collect and analyse race data. Starting with RYA and class suggested handicaps, the analysis will recommend handicap changes. Poor performers are excluded before class handicaps are computed in order to prevent undue influence by those who were late to the start, having a bad day or simply new to the sport or the boat.

Data from the Winter Championship handicap events held at Draycote, Grafham, Northampton, Queen Mary, Rutland, Yorkshire Dales over several years, and Datchet and Oxford last season has been collected and analysed - over 5000 race results in total. This has been the primary data source used for making changes.

For some classes that have not attended the Winter Championships in quantity but take part in club racing at the series venues, club race data is the source of changes.

Development class historical rate of change is taken into account when adjusting their handicaps to bring them up to current performance.

New class design specs are compared to existing classes and handicaps are then set to be challenging but possible for them to get into the prizes. We want to encourage them to enter but for all to see a win is well deserved based on skill not handicap.

A continuing process

At the end of this Winter Series the handicapping committee will meet to review the results of the individual events and the new race data will be added to the analysis. This data together with club racing data from the series venues and the new year's RYA handicap changes will be taken into account when setting handicaps for the following season. The best way to influence the future handicaps is to turn up and sail and get your data included in this process. 

Andrew Craig
Great Lakes Chair

View the Handicap List here.


14/10/2014 09:14


2015/16 Series
Draycote Dash22/23 November
Datchet Flyer13/14 December
Brass Monkey27 December
Oxford Blue3 January
Bloody Mary10 January
Steve Nicholson Trophy24 January
Tiger Trophy31 January/1 February
Grafham Grand Prix28 December 22 February



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The GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series is based around the UK's biggest winter handicap events. Sailors from many different dinghy fleets now consider this series as one of the main goals of their winter racing. With great prizes on offer, it attracts some of the best sailors in the country to compete against each other. The series is managed by SailRacer.

Series Info