Flying Fifteen Personal Handicaps…

For some years, we in the Datchet Fleet have run a personal handicap system quite diligently. I think it was started during my first stint as Fleet Captain, so it was a while ago. We still sporadically award the Trophy for it, and Big Bob Millar kindly administers the system for us. It is no longer quite front of mind for us though….

It was inspired by the then famous Dart Uk personal handicap series.  The idea was to make it feel like a golf handicap – there were quarterly seeding tables so you could track your progress, improvement or otherwise… and so on. It relied on having a “scratch” team which in these days would be Mark Firth and Tony Mumford. Then everyone was measured for speed relative to the scratch boat and new Yardstick numbers were issued on that basis. The whole thing runs on spreadsheets which probably need a bit of updating to see if they can be further automated. The trophy used to be awarded for 1st place, but we could for example award it each quarter to the team that improves its personal handicap most in the quarter??

We get the occasional query coming in to the FF Blog from Flying Fifteen owners who race on handicap.  I wonder if we should try and put a user manual together for handicap raced fleets??

We also had a shot at using it to implement a buddy system, but we didn’t manage to get that to take off….

It was quite a thing in its time – it was written up in “Roll Tacks” in Yachts and Yachting and everything. I was noticing that with our large number of new members we have quite a spread of abilities. Maybe we should consider updating it maybe, and pull it back into greater use??

Do you race your fifteens on handicap??  What do you think??…..

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