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. NCPHRF 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.