RL24, RL28, and RL34 Trailable Yachts
from Rob Legg Yachts

RL Yacht Owner's Discussion Forum

Return to the Forum List

A letter from the Bay to Bay organisers
There is a new link on the left for the Bay to Bay race. This race is important to many RL sailors and news and information will be added there.

There is a letter from the organisers explaining the ratings and a list of ratings used in past years races.
Keith Merkley3-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: A letter from the Bay to Bay organisers
The last photo of the three RL 24s on the beach is absolutely tops and is what trailer boat racing was about in the early eighties. The photo took me back to the night before the start of the Marlay Point race. The photo reminded me of Plover point and when all RL 24 owners were all together as one class.
Alastair Russell4-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: A letter from the Bay to Bay organisers
Dear Mike
In our defence of tardy kite work - the photo was taken after the finish line from behind by Touche. Rob L has brought this up before about this particular photo which we let slide at the time. The beers in hand indicate that the celebrations had started.
Geoff McNamara7-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: A letter from the Bay to Bay organisers
I was as surprised as you to see this photo re-emerge and humbly apologise if it causes you angst. Your explanation is totally credible.
I might also point out, in the interests of giving credit where credit is due, that these photos were taken by a pretty handy photographer on Steel Away and a fairly talented graphic designer on Touche.
Re Col Verrall's letter; I have in past years noted our 22 sq m spinnaker on the entry form without declaring the boat as a modified class. With the current trend towards PBH, I think that this is acceptable as that is how our performance is being judged. I'll discuss this with Col to see if this is what he is looking for.

Mike7-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: A letter from the Bay to Bay organisers
You are correct in regards to your performance for a PBH result being judged on previous races using the larger sail area, but in the case as the B2B race is, were a CBH result is being awarded you are breaking class rules therefore gaining an uufair advantage over other RL and the rest of the fleet as 20sq metres is the class rule for an RL spinnaker so you need to enter as modified and sail under an amended CBH.
Andrew10-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: A letter from the Bay to Bay organisers
Further to my letter to RL owners I would like to advise that I accept some of the blame for not detecting some declared class modifications of RL 24 boats in previous Bay to Bays. For the 29th Bay to Bay I expect entrants of individually modified RL 24 class boats to put RL 24 MOD in the Class box on line 2.1 of the entry form with MOD in the line number box on the left and the details of the modifications in the appropriate box to the right to assist my detection of modifications and setting of higher CBH rating that reflects the potential increase resulting from the modification. I will share my provisional Bay to Bay RL 24 CBH ratings before the event so as to permit discussion and feedback before the event and the setting of final CBH ratings for the event.

Yours sincerely
Colin Verrall
Principal Race Officer
29th Bay to Bay
Colin Verrall10-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: A letter from the Bay to Bay organisers

I found your post with all the data on the subject of trailer yacht handicapping very interesting and helpful. You must be the first Principal Race officer of a TY event who has come forward and said that the system is not working well at the moment and show a willingness to try fixing the problem.

I am of the view that there would be no arguments, or divisions within the class or TYA racing, if every entrant and race officer complied totally with the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS book) and followed all Yachting Australia’s prescriptions and the Special Regulations pertaining to trailer yacht racing. When we enter a race we have to fill in an entry form declaring that the boat is a certain type or class and we also sign off after the race declaring that we have complied with all the relevant parts of the RRS rule book during the race. This has always been important to me.

Some TY racers seem to be totally unaware of Rule 2 --- Fair Sailing and also Rule 69 ---Gross Misconduct. In view of this I think it would be a good idea if all TY events notice of race documentation drew attention to these rules. As well as this, mention should be made that if a competitor knowingly races his boat that is not in compliance with the class rules or the boats declared dimensions, he could be placed on a major misconduct charge. This charge can be laid against a competitor on a report to a protest committee from any source. It could come from a spectator, a passing cruising boat, a race officer as well as a protest committee member and not necessarily from a fellow competitor.

As I have said in this forum in the past, I really like the new ATYSBR rule produced by Yachting Australia (YA). I feel it is forward thinking and a very clear and concise set of trailer yacht racing rules. It covers all the go fast items, is an honest and fair system and if adopted by all States YA's and sailboat racing organisations would surely stop the decline in the numbers racing in TY events. Something has to be done to stop the way CBH handicapping systems are being operated at the moment. I hold the State YAs responsible for the present mess in mixed fleet CBH/keelboat racing as I feel it is their job to quality audit operations in their State.

The way I see it, if the new National CBH system fails to be accepted by all State TY organisations in the near future, the CBH system will collapse. There will be then no need any more for TYA’s, class associations or class rules. We would then have to adopt the Australian Measurement System (AMS) for our slower TY’s boats and then its derivative the Sportsboat Measurement System (SMS) for those above the .800 rating. This would mean that each boat would then be given an individual rating based on the supplied dimensions or a measurement process which will use the boats actual declared displacement weight.

During my lengthy and varied sailboat racing life I have always liked and leaned towards pure class racing with no handicaps. In saying this, I personally do not like to see performance based handicapping (PBH)system being used outside of local club racing. If they are used, in club racing then strict PBH rules like those used by the ‘TopYacht’ race control software or the YV PBH system have to be strictly followed (You can see the rules in their websites). I will admit now that modern computer technology if used properly could be made to improve the operation of PBH systems but only on the proviso that the strict rules are followed.

I have a feeling that if the present CBH system was being used now like it was in the early eighties there would not be the need to use a PBH system in the Bay to Bay race. I have fond memories of dawn coming up during one in the great Marlay Point years when we were running down past Raymond Island with spinnakers up and near the end of the race. When it became light, we could see that we were surrounded by masses of boats from several classes of TYs and practically all the boats in our group had the same .725 rating. Now that was when the CBH system was working well.

I really think we have to ensure that all TY designs that want to have a National class association with class rules, are affiliated to Yachting Australia and YA only. The class rules and the association’s constitution have to be approved by YA and registered. All the TY class rules would have to be modified to align them totally with the new ATYSB rule and of course this would mean adopting their hiking rules.

Anything different would mean that the every RL 24 would have to be treated as a one off design or a modified when applying for a CBH rating (see below). The only other thing we can do is to change the rules to break up all the restricted class Rl24 s into say 8 different strict one design TYs

I feel the RL 24 association members should just stick to clearly defining what they want a RL 24 to be. They should leave all safety issues such as engine power to the proper competent safety organisations who will declare the minimum HP. The RL 24 association should not get involved in issuing CBH numbers to certain swing keel RL 24s. I say leave it to the CBH committee using a VPP programme. I think the RL24 rules as they stand do not comply with the fair sailing rule and allow too big a difference in displacement weights between the “as built” drop keel and the modified “grand prix” drop keel boats.

The new ATYSBR method of weighing the actual displacement mass of the boat is much easier and far superior to that shown in our class rules. Surely it makes sense that all the different TY classes just have to be weighed using exactly the same method if YA wanted to use a VPP system to check out its CBH numbers.

The problems you mention in your letter are not just restricted to the RL 24 class, they are wide spread in other TY classes and especially in the classes that do not have a class association. The reason why the finger is being pointed at the RL 24 class at the moment is that we have had articles/letters written about us in the Australian Sailing magazine and we have a forum in this website and that some of us older RL24 owners are being a bit vocal on the subject. It could be because we remember how good the RL 24 class racing was way back in the early eighties. That was also when the CBH system worked well in mixed class racing.

Everyone involved in the TY racing game has to realise that handicapping technology has progressed a lot since then and most importantly, the various State CBH committeemen have to let go and accept the new way of doing things. They should have taken heed of the sports boat people who have rejected the current CBH system calling it ‘dart board handicapping’!

YA I feel is the only organisation that can correct the present CBH system to ensure that it is in compliance with the present RRS rule book. Naval Architects supply computer generated performance polar charts nowadays for all the boats they design. These graphs cover all wind strengths and angles of the wind, This gives the crew the information they need to reach max. possible speed the boat can do for the wind strength and angle of the wind its on at the time . They just watch the dials on the boat now to ensure that their boat is ‘hitting its numbers’.

Velocity prediction software programmes (VPPs) are now being used by National race associations to test their measurement and formulae type ratings and handicapping systems. The VPPs have shown that the displacement weight variation within the class has quite an effect on the boats CBH rating. A good example of this is the YV AMS system and the new Sportsboat Measurement System SMS. All the boats have to be weighed in these systems and if you look at the ratings in the YV website you will see that all class TY that have been given slightly different AMS ratings and this is because the boats have different displacements when weighed.

Colin, have a look at the YA ATYSBR info below and then have a look at our class rules. The latest set of class rules are not in this web site as yet but have a look at the old version that’s there and compare it with the YA TY rules that are in the YV website.

The new YA ATYSR covers four classifications of trailer boats:
• Standard Trailer Yacht
• Open Trailer Yacht,
• Standard Sportsboat
• Open Sportsboat.

As well as this the YA ATYSR issues four types of CBH numbers:

• Affiliated one-design class (YA affiliated class association with registered class rules).
• None affiliated one-design (no YA affiliated class association).
• Individually modified one-design or one of kind(OAK)
• Provisional handicap until reliable performance data becomes available.

Colin, I would like finish off by saying that last year I chose to retire from ''proper'' racing. I have put my good North racing sails on our IF folkboat into storage and I am now using my cruising main with a self tacking jib.

I will keep my RL 24 in case there is major improvement in the way things are done down here with the TY and keel boat racing. I still have the notion to convert my RL into a fast 2 handed pensioner’s day boat by cutting half the cabin off and fitting a new cockpit with an open transom and fitting a bowsprit and an asymmetrical. I cannot justify the cost of the exercise until such times the CBH system gets sorted out or is replaced by a measurement rule just like the sportsboats are using.

Please keep in mind that YA has stated that all their CBH ratings this year are graded as Provisional

Alastair Russell14-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: A letter from the Bay to Bay organisers
We apparently come from opposite ends of the spectrum with regard to how we view our sailing. And aren't we lucky to live in a country where we can have differnt views and peacefully coexist?
My first TS sailing was over 30 years ago in a very mixed fleet in a very small club. At one stage the club consisted of boats like a Buccaneer 24 tri, a Trailertri 680, an RL24, a number of Hartley 18's, one of which was cutter rigged, a Hartley 16 (us), a couple of Hartley 21's, a Roberts 19, a Careel 18, a Bonito 22, a Southern Cross 23 etc, etc
The whole thing was performance based. It had to be. And we had the best time of our lives.
My view of strict class racing has been a bit jaundiced by watching the richest sailor buy the best boat and sails and walk away with the prizes. There is a place for that type of sailing but it's not for me. Maybe I feel that way because I couldn't afford to go down that track. I also think that sailing has priced itself off the park for many Australians, and that's sad.
For my money, Col Verrall is on the money with sticking with the PBH formula. Col wants the sailors in the race to sort out their problems on the water and this discussion is in that vein. For people like us who sometimes race once or twice a year, we can go out and have the best time, both on the water and socially and not have to take out an overdraft to do it. That's what I love about the Bay to Bay. My main and jib turn 26 this year and the kite was pensioned off from a 16 ft skiff maybe 15 years ago.
We have had some epic contests in the B2B over the years with other RL's, Noelexes etc. We usually have one day out of the two when we sail well and then we get buried in the fleet in the other. There are a number gung ho sailors who work their butts off, a number who just go along for a social sail and the rest of us fit in somewhere in between. And we love it that way and will continue to participate in this race as long as my body will let me. I'm confident that the boat has plenty of years left in her.
I do wish more TS owners would give it a go. Many are frightened off by the "racing" thing. We're not 18 ft skiffs chasing a world title. A race like the Bay to Bay has room for everyone and there's nothing like sailing in company with other boats to help you smarten up your sailing skills.

Mike14-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: A letter from the Bay to Bay organisers
I agree there is nothing like sailing in company to sharpen up your skills, however how do you know your conparing apples with apples? I have in the past admitted that I'm not a true racer and enjoy particularly the wintersun and somtimes the B2B but when we are all given the same class number when clearly some boats are not "true" RLs it does become a little discouraging. I was encourged to see Colin has recognised this problem and is trying even the playing field a little. Maybe I'll give the B2B another go!
Martyn Amberscade 2
Martyn14-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: A letter from the Bay to Bay organisers
Firstly, congratulations to Colin on his efforts to make the B2B event more inclusive for all competitors. I hope your efforts are acknowledged for their intent and don't create a rod for your back from those less participatorily minded (if our PM can make up words then so can I). If I can make a suggestion, please don't apply too harsh a penalty to those "part timers" with oversized sails as there are very few situations where oversized second hand sails give an RL24 sailor a competitive advantage.

Alistair, where do I start! In the space of 2 threads you have accused two of my best mates along with my brother of cheating. Can I suggest that you take a ruler, put it up against the photo, and measure the distance of thigh both above (inside) and below (outside) the sheerline. If the portion below is greater than the portion above, then you have a case. If not, can I suggest an apology is in order? Funnily enough, when describing your own dalliance with the hiking rule you implied that Simon Walsh did not have the courage of his convictions when electing not to protest your actions yet you describe in detail not only that you "witnessed" cheating but that an "observer" is able to report said cheats for "gross misconduct". I'm surprised, well not really, that you didn't apply your own standards in that regard. Simon is one of my good mates. The reason he didn't protest you in that situation was that he saw no gain for either himself or the Association in discouraging your participation. Had he known you would one day accuse him of cheating in this public forum, he may have acted differently. Though probably not, because he would rather bowl outswingers with a taped tennis ball in the "Great Annual Cricket Match" than waste time in a protest room debating the meaning of "trapeze or like device". You'd have lost, by the way.

Which leads me to "togetherness". You mentioned in a post that you reminisced of the days when we were "together". Mate, WE STILL ARE!! At my recent wedding there were no less than six RL24 families represented and would have been more if my own immediate family were not so big. From what I can gather, there is an increasing group of banana benders who are "together" as well. Hopefully the two "together" groups can meet at the next Nationals and become an even more together group. But that won't happen whilst the likes of you continue to jump on this forum and misrepresent our Association as being some divided group of cheats. We are not. In the 30+ years I have been fronting up to these events, it has been almost without exception an opportunity for like minded yachties of all levels to come together and race at varying levels of competitiveness against each other and enjoy each others' company afterwards. It perhaps doesn't suit everyone, but you can't please all of the people all of the time. Some great and not so great yachtsmen and women have come through the Association over the years, some have stuck, others have moved on to other classes, but very very few would have described their experience as being a poor one. It really makes me angry that you write of "Grand Prix" RLs yet ignore that the Drop Keel title was won this year by a father and his underage children, with one or two of their underage mates, narrowly from a 68 year old grandfather of many, sailing with his two sons and one son in law. Are you getting it yet? If not, let me spell it out for you, perhaps a Melges or an Etchells is a better class for you.

As far as the outboard motor issue is concerned, I won't bother to defend it here, as the debate has been quite transparent on this website, save to say that the debate at the AGM was quite lively and the issue was dealt with democratically. I'll ask the Secretary to post the updated rules.

Hopefully, one of these years, the bride will grant me permission to get up to the Bay to Bay. It sounds like a hoot!!
James Shannon15-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: A letter from the Bay to Bay organisers
Correct me if I'm wrong, but my perception of CBH is that we are being rated against a boat in top racing condition with a new set of sails and a race tuned crew. Oh, and a skipper who knows what he is doing.
So I'm thinking that a bunch of old farts, not quite over the hill but with the hill in clear view, need to operate under a different system. Hence PBH. The only problem here is that you have to rock up a few times for the handicapper to be able to figure out where you fit into the picture. If you have a bit of fun in the process, then so much the better. As for actually winning, well that's the stuff that dreams are made of.
Meanwhile, some of us are already planning dinner on Friday night and working out the menu for the night at Garry's Anchorage.

Mike16-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: A letter from the Bay to Bay organisers
Mike, forgive me if I'm being presumptuous, but have you considered that the difference in performance from one day to the next that you described earlier may have something to do with what goes on at dinner in between times? Just a thought....
James Shannon16-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 
This discussion is now closed.
This topic has run its course and the entries are getting to be personal attacks which doesn't help the Bay to Bay organisers provide the event we all want - which is what this thread is about.
Keith Merkley16-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 

Return to the Forum List       Add a message to this discussion