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Handicap systems

IRC:

Well know and established rating system, used worldwide. Typically used for all major regattas and racing in UK. Large database of boats enables good correlation of ratings. Uses measurements to define the boat and sails, also includes a boat type allowance (Hull factor) which is used to amend the rating for different types of boat. More information at www.ircrating.org. Annual cost to obtain a rating.
 

PHHS (Poole Harbour Handicap System):

A rating system used within the Poole area. Based on IOR formula that has been refined over the years. Uses measurements to define the boat and sails, also includes a boat type allowance (Boat Allowance) which is used to amend the rating for different types of boat. More information is available via this website or the Poole Harbour yacht club handicappers. This rating system is free to all competitors racing in Poole Harbour.
 

PY (Portsmouth Yardstick):

This is an empirical rating system (no measurements) which analyses the performance of boats to derive a rating. Some values of PY are fixed for the year, typically for dinghies. It is also possible to use a PY which is varied statistically for each race based on performance of the boat. This rating system is free and is typically organised through either the club or via nationally agreed values for PY.
 

VPRS:

New system (2010) based on velocity prediction formula, principally created for Poole Yacht Racing Association (PYRA). Uses only measurements to predict performance via polar diagram which is then converted to a rating based on averaged wind strengths. More information at www.vprs.org. Annual cost to obtain rating.

RYA - National Handicap for Cruisers

New for 2013 as a  national based free replacement system for PY for cruisers. Uses a baseline number for specific boat classes which is then modified automatically based on race results so a rolling handicap system.
See http://www.rya.org.uk/racing/Pages/NHC.aspx. for more details.