The Pecking Order!

For those of us amongst the membership who race on a regular basis we all have an idea of the pecking order when it comes to who the best sailors are in the fleet. But are we right in our perceptions? Do the numbers agree? What do the numbers reveal about the relative performances of the various fleets e.g. Solo’s verses Lasers verses Scorpions?

The following graphs shows the average performance numbers for each helm and boat class combination as a percentage of the boats Portsmouth Yardstick based on the actual race results from the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Helm and boat combinations which have completed less than 4 races in a season or have a percentage result higher than 125% have been excluded from the results shown.

Click on the links below the images to open a PDF copy which will be easier to read.

So lets start with “The Pecking Order!” –

The Pecking Order 2013
PDF file : The Pecking Order 2013

And follow up with the detailed analysis of the numbers generated by the individual years race results.

The following legend explains how to interpret the following graphs.

It is the “average excluding values outside the +/- 1.645 x standard deviations” values which were used to generate the numbers shown in the pecking order above, as this removes the impact of any outliers e.g. races where you got becalmed whilst the rest of the fleet sailed away or vice versa.

Race Performance stats 2012
PDF file : Race Performance stats 2012

Race Performance stats 2013
PDF file : Race Performance stats 2013

The data shown above forms the basis for the on going evaluation of the handicap numbers used by the club during racing, and the revised handicaps proposed for 2014 will be based on the analysis of these results. These will be posted on the website in the New Year after the analysis is completed.

Jon Edwards

I started messing about in boats at school, did my National Elementary Dayboat Certificate (a predecessor of the current level 2) in 1980 and have carried on ever since. My first sail at Shotwick Lake was back in '91 and I've been a member for the majority of the years since. My boat owning history is very simple; I don't do "narrow" as testified to by an International Moth, 2 Merlin Rockets and 2 RS300's, all of which are between 6' 7" (2m) & 7' 5" (2.25m) wide! But that said I'll sail almost anything and have in most cases, including the Laser, Laser 2000, Topper, Solo, Wanderer, Albacore, Wayfarer, RS400, RS100, RS700, 59er, Pico, Laser 4000, RS Vareo, Enterprise, Scorpion ..... Racing is very much my thing in all its forms, whether it is around the cans at Shotwick, the Merlin Rocket nationals around Olympic triangle courses with 1 1/2 mile beats, the Lord Birkett on Ullswater (200 boats; 19 miles) or the Round the Isle of Sheppey race (32 miles) with the unique feature of having to capsize the boat to get it under the bridge. I've even managed to fit in team racing in Pico's too! And as I advance in age I've even ventured in to yachting, doing the round the Island race on a couple of occasions. This is an annual race around the Isle of Wight with up to 1,500 yachts of all shapes and size participating.