It is coming up to the 2019 RYA dinghy show now – where did 2018 go?
So again we wait to see what PYN number the RYA assigns to the Albacore for 2019 – sadly based on the past 9 years experience I expect it to go down again – ie the RYA think the Albacore has got faster again!
I hope I am proved wrong.
To keep you all updated, in April 2018 I sent the following email to the RYA Technical committee.
“Looking at the 2018 PYn list, I notice that though we are told that the PYN calculation is an automatic process, largely generated by automatic returns from sailwave, the spreadsheet update must be manual.
The reason I think that this must be the case is because I saw two errors in the 2018 list.
One error - the Miracle difference column from 2017 you have already corrected.
The other error is that the Albacore number of races/returns in the 2017 and 2018 list is exactly the same number at 1934.
It is very unlikely that two years returns will be exactly the same.
As the Albacore PN since 2010 has gone down (ie got worse) by 27 points since 2010, for a 1953 design dinghy which has had no major upgrades or changes in that time (in contrast with our nearest "sister" the firefly which has changed 0 points since 2010) the Albacore association would like to know:
What is the correct number of returns/races that should appear on the 2018 list?
If this number is updated/corrected, is the PN number calculation still correct on the 2018 list?
Finally can you let us (the Albacore Associaton) know which club(s) are submitting the majority of these returns, so we can check with them if their Albacores are in class for example, and if they are using primary yardstick numbers - this will help us to help you ensure a "sanity check" on the numbers.
I know the easy response is that the calculation is an automatic process, and that the numbers are typical performance numbers and should be reviewed and adjusted by individual clubs as necessary, but the reality is that most clubs dont want to enter that minefield and use primary numbers only - also it is obviously in all our interests to try and ensure these numbers are as accurate as possible.”
I then got a response from the RYA (it took a couple of weeks) see the following:
Thanks for your email and apologies for the delay in getting back to you.
Thank you for highlighting the error with the number of Albacore races submitted – this was in fact 2126 races. I have corrected this on the PY Lists and republished the documents. The published PY number for the Albacore is correct, the only error was in reading the number of race results returned.
The easiest way of finding out what clubs submitted what numbers is to look on the PYOnline website:
. If you select Albacore from the drop down list on the left hand side, this will display every club that has reported Albacores sailing at their club, the fleet size and the PY number they race off if this has been returned within the last 5 years. As you will see, this varies considerably from club to club depending on the ability of their sailors and the typical conditions experienced. This shows us that the majority of clubs do actually adjust locally to provide fairer racing at their individual club.
If you have any further questions regarding the PY scheme, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I then checked up the link – on here you can see which clubs sent Albacore returns to the RYA, and if you click on each club you can see what PYN each club is using for the Albacore and the clubs fleet size.
After laboriously doing this and adding it up I can tell you that :
31 clubs are using their own increased PYNs (larger no is slower – so they think the Albacore is slower than the RYA think).
13 clubs are using the primary number ie what the RYA have given us.
6 clubs are using a reduced number ie they think the Albacore is faster than the RYA number.
It is difficult to get anything meaningful from this – I have to say I was surprised to find that there were 6 clubs reducing the number – they are all inland clubs so it is tempting to extrapolate that the Albacore does better on flat water in predominately light winds, rather than on the sea, but we would have guessed that anyway. What we can see is that by far the majority of clubs are adjusting the number.
It would seem reasonable to assume that those clubs that are using a reduced number are making their Albacores go faster than other dinghies at their club, so the next step might be for the Albacore Committee to contact those clubs (or perhaps all clubs sailing Albacores) with some form of questionnaire to find out what is making them go fast. (could be done at association renewal request time)
Something along the lines of:
How many of your races are in mixed fleets?
Why are you using an Albacore PYN lower than the primary number? Do you adjust all dinghy classes PYNs at your club? What local factors do you think may influence Albacore performance at your club? (eg predominately light winds).
Do your fast Albacores have certificates, measured sails and corrector weights where required?
I don’t have the authority or time for that matter to take this any further – but I thought I should pass on what I have found out anyway.
Happy sailing in 2019
Tim, Thanks for that information. We have had some limited contact with thecHandicapping department but as expected they will only reaffirm the results of their algorithm. They claim to be unable to entertain any kind of appeal for individual classes.
I will take on board your suggestions regarding contacting the clubs that submitted Albacore results.