This is and always has been an emotive subject.
As it is based on data returns of factual information you can forget any arguments about development classes and improvement in build etc. Totally irrelevant in the calculations.
However it strikes me that what cannot be seen in the results is the demographic of who is sailing in the various classes and the weather conditions/courses sailed (they can of course make allowance for type of water - sea/lake/river etc).
Just to throw it out there, the perverse consequence of an attractive class of boat is to attract a disproportionate number of good sailors whose results over a season will inflate the relative performance of the boat and lead to a reducing PY number!!
The solution may be to pack out the major handicap events and all sail badly??
However, the fundamental philosophy of the PY system still remains - clubs should adjust for local conditions. Trouble is which sailing sec has big enough balls big to do this and even if this is done the data used in the annual RYA calculations would ignore this anyway.
I do agree that demographics ie whether we sail on non tidal flat water or on the sea make big differences. However my concern is whether the data the RYA is using is accurate.
The RYA would have us believe that because we are using automatic returns and they are automatically calculating PY numbers then we cant challenge their figures because a computer program is doing the calculation - but we all know computer programs get it wrong - if the data input is incorrect the result is incorrect.
Is the entire calculation automatic and correct? I dont think so - as an example look at the Miracle PYN on the 2017 list - it is 1210. Look at the Miracle PYN on the 2018 list - it says 1200 and the change from '17 column says 0 - it should say -10.
So there is a mistake hitting us in the face, either human error or computer error.
Again I worry that the no of races for Albacore 2017 and 2018 are exactly the same at 1934.....suspiciously alike.
I would like the RYA to do a sanity check on our data being input, plus tell us where the fast Albacore results are coming from - ie a bit of manual checking.
Have there been any major Albacore developments (ie rule changes) since 2010 which would make the boat 27 points faster? (I think that is 2.535% faster if my maths is correct).
You will notice that the firefly probably our closest relative has the same PY no it had in 2010.
Our number has changed for the worse since 2010 -27 points, the National 12 and the Merlin Rocket have changed -25 and -26 points, so we are improving our results faster than two restricted development classes.
Something seems wrong to me - thats why I think we need to raise this with the RYA!
I think I need to buy a dog so I can take it for a walk now!
We, at South Cerney, use our own numbers worked out by a handicap committee, one of which has developed his own number crunching system that seems to work quite well. They have put the Albacore on 1043 which is a step in the right direction. The Solo is on 1124 which is better than 1038 and 1143.
I, like some that have commented, do have a problem with the 'coincidental' number of races - 1934 - that the RYA calculated out PY in 2107 and 2018..... hmmm
I dont think anyone has managed to contact the RYA - the problem is knowing how to contact them - it looks like the only contact email is a a general enquiry one, or possibly technical racing contact email. Does anyone have a contact within the rya who sould advise us?