Sailwave Reinvents FF Personal Handicaps….!!

To give more of an interest right through the FF Fleet at Datchet, for some years they have awarded a trophy based on Personal Handicap Results. The general ethos was to get all members of the fleet, regardless of ability (!),  working away at their personal handicap number and improving it over time. Just like a Golf Club!!  It’s another way to stop it being ‘the same old names’ always winning all the trophies!!  Sound familiar in your club??     The old system though took a fair bit of effort to administer and has not had any real development since the “Age of Sailwave” arrived.

Now with the help of scoring guru, Roger Abbey-Taylor, the fleet is relaunching the whole idea to make it more immediate and easier to work with. This is what Roger has to say…. He calls it now the “Personal Improvement Rating”.

Personal Improvement Rating

As usual the talk in the bar at Datchet Water Sailing Club turned to how we can encourage more Flying Fifteen sailors to get out on the water. We have a personal handicap which is calculated each year and for which a trophy is awarded but it is not applied to any actual racing. However it has no immediacy and the complicated calculation is lost on most folks. We decided that we needed something that changes each week with individual races so that it is a regular talking point. Something that motivates each individual by reflecting each sailor’s individual improvement. It could go to anyone and not just the top sailors.

We decided to use the Back Calculated Rating (BCR) which is an individual rating, calculated by Sailwave, and is a measure of how far that individual competitor is behind the winning boat. We then compare the current cumulative rating with that from the previous quarter’s series. The sailor with the best improvement, quarter on quarter, heads our Personal Improvement Rating table. We will then award our trophy to the best improver for each quarter.

The BCR is calculated automatically by Sailwave and a simple spreadsheet has been designed to show each competitor’s BCR for each race and then calculate a running average and then compare that with the BCR for the previous series.

If you or your Club would like to know more, you can email Roger Abbey-Taylor via or leave comments here on the FF Blog

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