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2018 Season Analysis

I just got the formal report back from PHRF that gives a race-by-race breakdown of how well we sailed relative to our PHRF handicap.

On average, for the season, we performed equivalent to a rating of 76, whereas we are rated 73.  So, on average, we are almost sailing PERSPECTIVE to her rating!  That’s big progress for us.  Here’s a breakdown for the rest of the fleet:

Boat Rating Performance Net ST/Dev Comment
PERSPECTIVE 73 76 +3 11 Near our potential, not as consistent as we’d like
Battlewagon 72 82 +10 15 Off the pace
Sandpiper 75 78 +3 13 Same as us
Remarkable 72 70 -2 3.9 A model J35
Legacy 72 67 -5 12 Faster but less consistent than Remarkable
Top Gun 72 54 -18 13 Outperforming the fleet
Sabotage 63 20 -43 23 Ummm….I guess we knew this already, but it’s still overwhelming

So of course, I had to look deeper.  PHRF provides a “Net” value for each and every race.  The numbers above are the median values over the whole season. I went back through my notes to look at the wind for the night, which sails we set, and whether we had a good start and a clean race.  Here’s what I noticed:

Light wind: don’t fall into a hole!

Median: +8

ST/Dev: 15

We had some of our best results and some of our worst results in light wind.  The biggest difference was whether we fell into a hole (+17) or not (-7), and the best result came when we also had a good start (-21).

Heavy wind: avoid being overpowered!

Median: +9

ST/Dev: 15

On these nights, when we were overpowered, we did poorly.  When we weren’t, we did very well.  This improved a lot as the season progressed, essentially once we learned to harden the shrouds.  Early in the summer we averaged +30, whereas late in the summer we averaged -2 in the same conditions!  The other major factor is picking the wrong (too big) headsail.  The data shows that we fared better when we erred on the side of caution.  With the new #3 headsail (much flatter), let’s dial down earlier.

Medium wind: it’s all about putting in a clean race!

All Races Clean Races Races with mistakes
Median +3 +2 +11
ST/Dev 7 0 2

The data here are really interesting.  When we put in a clean race, we are perfectly consistent, and sail right near the boat’s potential, but blunders cost us.  There really two kind of blunders that come up:

Missing the layline costs us time and usually leads to a delayed hoist.

A tangle after the douse fouls our first upwind tack.

Summing it up

We’re doing great! With some more focus on just a few things we will consistently sail PERSPECTIVE at her speed potential (and win more flags).  Here’s a sort of prioritized list:

What to focus on What it’s worth (approx)
Balance in high winds (shrouds & sail choice) – 30
Avoiding holes in light winds – 20
Hitting the layline – 10
“Clear to tack” after a douse – 10
Getting a good start – 5

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