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Thread: One Design Certificates

  1. #1
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    Default One Design Certificates

    Under then-existing SSS rules, I've been racing in SSS races in my J/105 in a one design configuration without a PHRF certificate for something like 7 or 8 years. I just learned that we've changed the rules so that one design boats are now required to get a PHRF certificate attesting to their rating. It seems like a pretty silly $75 tax which serves no purpose. All of my other racing on the Bay is in the J/105 fleet with no certificate required. Any idea what the rationale was for changing the rule?

    Adam
    Jam Session

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    I recently got a call from one of the SSS officers, asking if I knew the history about this. Apparently some of the fringe classes, those with just a few boats sailed in various configurations with multiple ratings, have been pushing to be treated as one-designs to avoid having to present a current PHRF certificate. It has become difficult for the Race Information Officer and R/C to handle these exceptions so the board is simplifying and clarifying the rule.

    It used to be that every boat entering an SSS race had to have a PHRF certificate. The only exception was the Three Bridge Fiasco - since it was in January a prior year certificate was allowed if you had one, otherwise you had to apply for a new one - but every boat had to have a certificate. Several years ago it occurred to us that for the Three Bridge Fiasco, having big OD fleets like the Moore 24's and Express 27's get PHRF certificates just for one race was unreasonable since most would be racing one-design for the remainder of the season. Also, those classes entered lots of boats in the 3BF - we knew for certain there would be more than five - and they were self-policing as to their one-design rules. Since "no good deed goes unpunished" we soon started getting requests from other recognized one-designs asking for the same exemption, even though they brought fewer than five boats to the line and they sometimes sailed with different configurations and ratings (not true OD). Moreover, most assume if they register five boats for one of our races they won't need a PHRF certificate but that creates a "circular" issue - by the time they know whether there are five boats in their class it's too late to get a certificate for that race. It's gotten all out of hand.

    My suggestion to the officer was to go back to the original intent: The exemption should only be in effect for the 3BF and for classes which consistently brought more than five boats, and who agreed to race in compliance with their class rules and with identical ratings. I further suggested that if a class consistently showed up with more than five boats (and that's five singlehanded OR five doublehanded, as required for separate scoring), they could apply for a OD exemption for the next season.

    The J/105's are certainly not a "fringe" class and they mostly sail with the same ratings (although "007" used to race with a genoa) but except for the 3BF, they rarely bring five boats SH or DH. Also, the 105's who race in SSS typically do other handicapped races during the year and buy certs for the season. Nine got certificates last year, although I see that "Jam Session" hasn't bought a cert since 2012.

    I don't know what the board formally decided - perhaps we'll get an update Wednesday night.
    Last edited by BobJ; 03-17-2015 at 02:38 PM.

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    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the clarification. At least I understand now where the rule change originated, even if it isn't broadly publicized. With an insane work schedule, family commitments and the J/105 Championship season, I don't have any time left to sail YRA season events, so I have no use for a PHRF certificate. Further, there are invariably scheduling conflicts between the J/105 calendar and the SSS calendar, so I only get in one or two SSS races a season, so this requirement only raises my barrier to participation. That said, I'm racing this weekend so the YRA just got my $75.

    By the way... the SSS might want to update the FAQs on their web site, which are wrong in that they say:

    Do I need a PHRF certificate?
    Short answer: Almost certainly. But we don’t require PHRF certificates from bona fide one-designs racing as such with the SSS, the class has a rating in the Northern California PHRF database, and your boat strictly conforms to the local fleet 1D definition.


    I recognize that there will be opposing viewpoints here, but in the interest of getting as broad a participation as possible in as many events as possible, perhaps the SSS can provide for individual race scoring without a certificate for participants in a recognized one design fleet but not score them for the season? That would remove an impediment from participation for the one-off competitor without handicapping those competing for the full season. Further, if anyone suspects that someone is gaming the system (not that getting the piece of paper from the YRA would actually stop any gaming), they or the Race Committee could always protest a competitor.

    I know... then the next question will be... why require new certificates each year for everyone else, if there are no changes in the boat? Yes, this is a big can of worms. Anyone need some bait to go fishing?

    Adam

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    Because the J/105 is such a good boat for doublehanding, it would be a worthy goal to have a group of them racing consistently in SSS. The local rating is harsh but that would be less of an an issue if they had their own division. I'd really like to see that happen. The Alerion Express 28's are another likely candidate.

    As for rating requirements, SSS decided long ago that it didn't want to be in the ratings business. Our accommodation to the larger OD fleets turned into its own can o' worms.

  5. #5
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    Commodore’s note on SSS PHRF policy

    Past established policy on PHRF was that all boats were required to have a certificate to race in SSS races. Exceptions were made only for the Three Bridge Fiasco and only to the extent of allowing the prior year’s certificate to be used for that race.

    When Moore 24’s included the 3-Bridge as part of their Roadmaster Series, it was decided to allow an exception for their one-design fleet and for that one race only, the logic being that many of them were coming from out of town and would not need certificates for the other races in their series. That policy was extended to other one-design fleets for the Three Bridge and eventually other regular season SSS races as well, although generally with the stipulation that there be at least 5 boats to form a one-design class. This relaxation of policy has lead to an increasing number of requests for exceptions to the PHRF Certificate requirement.

    Fundamentally, we all race to the Racing Rules of Sailing, and should support the efforts of US Sailing to maintain and improve these rules. YRA functions at the local level to provide a reasonable handicapping system that benefits all of us, allowing competition among disparate boat designs in as fair a way as possible. The purpose of the PHRF Certificate is for each sailor to affirm, whether sailing one design or not, the important dimensions of the boat and rig. This helps assure that boats of the same design (or varying designs) are either sailed as manufactured or, if modified, those changes are incorporated in the rating. The fees collected are used to support the administrative activities of the YRA, including PHRF administration, buoy maintenance, Coast Guard Race Event Permit coordination and handling of protest appeals. I think we should all be willing to contribute to these efforts. Furthermore, as Commodore of the SSS organization, it is my position that the Society is not in the business of encouraging sailors to side-step the PHRF certification system and the hard work of all the volunteer committee members.

    For these reasons we are reverting to past practice of requiring a current year PHRF Certificate as part of the registration for each regular season race.

  6. #6
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    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    The FAQ is updated. Really, we should get rid of the FAQ and just say "RTFNOR".

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    If you want them to just "RTFNOR" then you should also fix 11(b) in the FNOR.

    Just sayin'
    Last edited by BobJ; 03-18-2015 at 03:09 PM.

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    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    These days I really only race in SSS. My boat and rating never changes. I pay for YRA membership and PHRF certification every year. My sympathy for special pleading is extremely limited. No wait; it is non-existent.

  9. #9
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    NOR updated, 18 March

    http://sfbaysss.org/main/nor

  10. #10
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    NOR updated, 25 March (doc date is 26 March)

    http://sfbaysss.org/main/nor

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