Class Rules


Essex County PHRF Class Rules (2003)

PREAMBLE

PERFORMANCE HANDICAPPING

EC PHRF ratings are boat performance handicaps. They are based on the speed potential of the boat determined as far as possible on observations of previous racing experiences. It is the intent of EC PHRF handicapping that any well equipped, well maintained, and well-sailed boat has a good chance of winning. Handicaps are adjusted as needed on the basis of the boat’s performance so that each well-sailed boat has an equal opportunity to win. This is the fundamental concept.

 

SECTION 1

CLASS REQUIREMENTS

Class requirements are primarily intended to limit interclub racing to “Cruising/Racing” auxiliary sail yachts and not to establish equipment or construction standards. Adequate equipment and crew for conditions to be encountered is inescapably the responsibility of the skipper or the master of a yacht. However, as a racing/cruising yacht it shall have an operable auxiliary power system and accommodations adequate to meet at least the minimums established for IOR, IMS or MORC yachts. Further, to be validated for racing in any invitational race the yacht must have lifelines, bow pulpits, and either a self-bailing cockpit or internal flotation sufficient to prevent the boat from sinking if swamped.

  1. Crew: (Unless prescribed by the race instructions as a single or double handed race)
    1. A spinnaker division yacht shall race with a minimum of three crew.
    2. A non-spinnaker division yacht shall race with a minimum of two crew.
    3. There shall be no maximum crew.
  2. Auxiliary Propulsion: a yacht must have an operable auxiliary engine of inboard or outboard type capable of propelling the yacht to and from the start/finish line at square root its LWL in knots.
  3. There is no handicap allowance for solid propellers. (Regular spinnaker ratings)
  4. There is a handicap allowance for inboard auxiliary engines.
  5. Yachts shall be raced in “boat show” trim. It is permitted to remove dining tables and V-berth cushions from forecastles. All other furnishings including berth cushions must remain on yacht. All other restrictions apply as per Rule 23.1 of International Yacht Racing Rules as adopted by USSA and CYA.
  6. Lifelines: one-design yachts, permitted by their class rules to not have standard lifelines, are exempt from this requirement. Competitors are reminded of rule 49.2 of the racing rules of sailing, “lifelines shall be taut”.

SECTION 2

BASE HANDICAPS

EC PHRF base handicaps are made on the assumption that:

  1. The spinnaker pole length is no greater than “J”
  2. The spinnaker maximum width is no greater than 180% of “SPL”.
  3. The spinnaker maximum length is equal to 95% of the length of the jibstay. i.e., 0.95∙√(I²+J²)
  4. The genoa LP is 155% of “J” or less.
  5. The number of battens and length of battens are restricted by class rules or as permitted by EC PHRF fleet rules.
  6. The boat is in racing condition.
  7. The boat has a folding or feathering propeller, a two bladed solid propeller in an aperture, or a retractable outboard motor.
  8. The hull and appendages are unmodified.
  9. The calculations usually are made from designer/builder specs, or physical measurements.
  10. There are no credits for undersize sails, solid props, or added interior accommodations.

SECTION 3

HANDICAP CLASSIFICATIONS

“P”    For a class to be granted Permanent status it is required that there are at least 75 race points in the files for that class and that there be at least 3 members of the class with 10 or more finishes in the file during the previous twelve months. A handicap in this category would only be changed during the off-season review period and would not be modified during the period from May 1st to October 31st.

““     A Regular rating is indicated in the printed listings by a blank. The handicap committee at any one of the regular meetings could change this class of handicap with the change to go into effect (7) seven days after the date of the meeting. Special efforts will be made to assure timely notification of the changes in regular handicaps.

“R”    Restricted handicaps will be issued to all yachts which do not meet the minimum equipment requirements specified for a normal EC PHRF class member. Yachts with restricted ratings will be issued special handicap cards, which state that the handicap is not valid for any Invitational race and race sponsors will be informed that it is strictly against class rules to allow a “R” handicap yacht to compete in the regular EC PHRF division.

“T”    All newly assigned handicaps and older handicaps, which the handicappers committee feel have not been adequately tested will be specified as Temporary. These handicaps can be changed by the Chief Handicapper between meetings if after consultation he is of the opinion that the situation makes it inadvisable to await the next meeting for reconsideration

 

SECTION 4

SAIL AND RIG LIMITATIONS

  1. Sail restrictions, which apply, to IOR, IMS, or MORC rated boats also apply to EC PHRF.This includes present limitations on special sails as well as restrictions concerning legal methods of trimming of sails, although there is no restriction on the number of sails on board for EC PHRF races. Mainsail battens of any desired length and layout patterns consistent with IMS specifications (up to six battens graded in flexibility) are allowed with only a standard leech line for control.

    In addition to sails, rig construction and adjustments must be in compliance with the IOR, IMS, or MORC specifications to be permitted in EC PHRF. Any yacht, which could not be, issued an IOR, IMS, or MORC certificate does not hold a valid EC PHRF handicap unless a specific exemption is present in these rules or is obtained from the Handicap Committee. Other non-handicapping rules of the IOR are in effect for EC PHRF. They include rules for placement and movement of ballast as well as such items as the positioning of crewmembers.

    In the past, active discussions and occasionally protests have come up over restrictions on setting and sheeting of headsails. (IOR defines the word headsail as a sail set in the fore triangle. It can be a spinnaker, asymmetrical spinnaker or a jib. Therefore, the following has been extracted from the IOR in an effort to clarify these restrictions.

  2. Distinction Between Spinnakers and Jibs:A sail shall not be measured as a spinnaker unless the mid-girth is 75% or more of the foot length and the sail is symmetrical about a line joining the head to the center of the foot. No jib may have a mid-girth measured between the mid points of the luff and the leech more than 50% of the foot length. Thus, headsails with mid-girths between 50% and 75% shall not be allowed.
  3. Jibs:
    1. A jib is defined as any sail, other than a spinnaker, that is to be set in the fore triangle. In any jib, the mid-girth (measured between mid-points of luff and leech) shall not exceed 50% of the foot length nor shall the length of any intermediate girth exceed a value similarly proportionate to its distance from the head of the sail.
    2. Jibs may be sheeted from only one point on the sail except in the process of reefing the sail.
    3. No jib shall have a luff length exceeding 0.98∙√(I²+J²)
    4. Battens may be used in jibs only if:
      1. The jib’s LP does not exceed 110% J.
      2. Their forward end is forward of the centerline of the mast supporting their halyard.
      3. The number of battens is limited to four, which must be arranged with approximately equal spacing between head and clew.
  4. Spinnakers must have the following characteristics:
    1. Luff and leech must be equal length.
    2. The sail must be symmetrical about a line joining the head to the center of the foot.
    3. The mid-girth shall not be less than 75% of the foot length.
    4. Spinnakers shall be sheeted from only one point in the sail.
    5. Battens shall not be used in spinnakers.
    6. Luff and leech shall be of equal length and shall not, without penalty, exceed 0.95∙√(I²+J²)
    7. Maximum width shall be limited to 1.8J without penalty.
    8. Adjustable leech lines are not permitted in spinnakers.
  5. Asymmetrical spinnakers must have the following characteristics:
    1. Luff and leech must be unequal length.
    2. The sail must be asymmetrical about a line joining the head to the center of the foot.
    3. The mid-girth shall not be less than 75% of the foot length.
    4. 50% of luff and leech shall not exceed, without penalty, 0.95∙√(I²+J²)
    5. Maximum width shall not exceed without penalty, ASF 1.8 J.
    6. Asymmetrical spinnakers shall be sheeted from only one point in the sail.
    7. Battens and adjustable leech lines are not allowed.
    8. For oversize asymmetrical spinnakers, the excess in width beyond 1.8 SPL will be used to calculate a spinnaker pole penalty. If the leech is oversized, a six (6) second penalty will be assessed.
    9. An asymmetrical spinnaker can be flown with or without a pole. When flown without a pole the tack must not be further forward of the mast than SPL.
  6. Bloopers are measured as jibs and therefore must be included when evaluating the LP of the largest jib for handicapping.
  7. Tack Points of Jibs:
    1. No jib may be set under a spinnaker nor inside another jib tacked in such a position that, if the sail were trimmed along a parallel to the centerline of the yacht, its clew would fall abaft the LP line.
    2. The LP line is defined as a line abaft and parallel to the foremost head stay and separated from it by the dimension of LP declared in the rating certificate. The foremost head stay is defined as the line joining the upper measurement point of “J” (not JC).
    3. No jib may be set under or abaft another headsail and so tacked that, if trimmed along a parallel to the centerline of the yacht, more than 55% of its area would fall abaft the foreside of the mast.
    4. No tack pennant greater than 2.5 feet may be used on a jib when set flying.
    5. Jibs may be sheeted to any part of the deck or rail, but no higher than 0.05B above the deck, or to the main boom, within the measurement limits.
    6. No jib may be set in conjunction with any other headsail so as by any means to simulate a double clewed or double luffed jib. (For example, no two jibs may be carried simultaneously in a luff grove device)

SECTION 5

HULL AND RIG CUSTOM MODIFICATIONS

  1. EC PHRF must be notified of any modifications to a yacht, which modifies its weight, trim, or underwater shape in hull, keel, or rudder. The only work, which is exempt from the reporting requirement, would be the repair of grounding damage or filling and fairing of the magnitude associated with batten sanding.
  2. EC PHRF must be notified of any modifications to the standing rigging or spars of the yacht. Placement of deck hardware and other controls or running rigging is unrestricted provided it is not in contravention of the IOR, IMS or MORC rules on such matters.
  3. It will be assumed by EC PHRF that any changes to a yacht other than approximate replacement of broken or damaged components will increase the speed of the yacht. All modifications will initially receive a 3 second/mile or greater penalty. The handicappers committee will not accept a request for reduction of a modification penalty until after a minimum of one season of significant racing by the modified yacht.

SECTION 6

MODIFIED RIG or SAILPLAN

The following system is used for adjusting handicaps to account for modifications to a standard rig or sailplane where no change has been made to hull shape or ballast. Standard rig is considered to be fore triangle and mainsail dimensions no greater than originally specified by the designer, and LP no greater than 1.55 times the base of the fore triangle.

  1. MODIFIED SAILPLAN (regardless of changes to spars)
    1. LP 156 to 170% results in a 3-seconds/mile penalty.
    2. LP above 171% results in a 6-seconds/mile penalty.
    3. Mainsail Foot penalty is 3 seconds/mile for each 10% or fraction increase.
    4. Mainsail Luff penalty is 3 seconds/mile for each 5% or fraction increase.
  2. MODIFIED RIG
    1. Spinnaker Pole penalty is 3 seconds/mile for each 5% or fraction increase.
    2. Mast Height penalty is 3 seconds/mile for each 2% or fraction increase.
    3. Fractional Rig penalty is 3 seconds/mile for each 2.5% or fraction increase. (No change in spar)
    4. Spinnaker Halyard Height penalty is 3 seconds/mile for each 6% or fraction increase to 12% and 3 seconds/mile for each 1.5% or fraction increase over a 12% increase.
    5. Bowsprit or extended J will be assessed 3 seconds more than the equivalent spinnaker pole penalty.
    6. Spinnaker penalties for SMW and SPL are not additive. The larger of the two determines the penalty. Asymmetrical spinnaker penalties for ASLP and SPL are not additive. The larger of the two determines the penalty.
    7. Special Modifications: Due to the sometimes variable effects of rig modifications, the handicapping committee reserves the right to declare any particular modification as special and handicap the yacht outside of its class.
    8. Spinnaker Size: For oversize spinnakers, the excess in width beyond 1.8 SPL will be used to calculate a spinnaker pole penalty. If the leech is oversize, a 6-seconds/mile penalty will be assessed.

SECTION 7

RIG AND SAIL MEASUREMENTS

The verification of rig and sail dimensions by physical measurement is considered by EC PHRF to be necessary to assure the uniform application of handicaps to the yachts in our racing fleet. Although measurement is not a requirement for obtaining a handicap it is made a practical necessity for anyone racing seriously by the application of a (10) TEN-second penalty against any yacht, which does not have measurement verification on file with the EC PHRF office. Measurement verifications are not transferable and a yacht must be re-measured each time its ownership changes.

 

SECTION 8

ONE DESIGN CLASSES: (This is not a complete list of all one design classes)

A yacht, which adheres to its one-design class rules and incurs penalties under EC PHRF class rules, can be given a One Design (OD) handicap. If such a yacht chooses not to race in its One Design configuration then it shall have all standard penalties applied.

These classes are:

  1. J-24’s may carry spinnakers, which meet class specifications.
  2. J-30 OD may have SPL=12.5 and LP=18.8.
  3. Pearson Flyer OD may have SPL=10.9.
  4. Hobie 33 OD may have SPL=13.0.
  5. Morgan 27 either of the class approved rudder modifications are permitted without penalty.
  6. J-29 OD standard masthead rig may have the J=12.0, SPL=12.2. The standard fractional rig may have the J=11.5, SPL=12.5.
  7. J-22 OD may have SPL=9.0
  8. Laser 28 OD may have SPL=11.32

SECTION 9

CRUISING CREDITS

In recognition of the fact that many boats fitted out for cruising have features that result in decreased boat speed, and with the desire to allow these boats to compete more fairly against boats fitted out for the purpose of racing, EC-PHRF applies the following cruising credits. The adoption of cruising credits is an attempt to draw more sailors into racing. It is NOT designed for any one person or boat to gain an advantage. If the Handicapping Committee finds that a member is attempting to gain an unintended advantage from a cruising credit, the Handicapping Committee may rescind that member’s cruising credit.

  1. Cruising Credits are available only with the initial rating application or renewal application. Removal of cruising credits will only be permitted one time per season.
  2. Roller Furling Cruising Credit for Jib is: 6 seconds/mile.
    1. The drum of the roller furling must be above deck, with an upper swivel, and the sail must be attached to both.
    2. The sail must be designed and built for roller furling and furl easily and properly. Each roller-furling jib may be checked for compliance. Maximum 2 per boat.
    3. Boat classes that have a base rating that includes a roller-furling jib, e.g. the J-80, the base rating will be adjusted to allow for the credit.
  3. Fixed Propeller Cruising Credit is: 6 seconds per mile for 2 blades;9 seconds per mile for 3 blades.
    1. The installation must have an exposed shaft and strut.
    2. Boats that have at any time held a certificate indicating a feathering or a folding propeller will receive a fixed propeller allowance only after application and approval by the Handicapping Committee.
    3. Boat classes for which all performance data have been accumulated with a fixed propeller will have their base rating adjusted to reflect the fixed propeller credit (note: there will be no net change in rating.)

SECTION 10

ASSIGNING AND ADJUSTING HANDICAPS & APPEAL OF HANDICAP BY MEMBER

  1. Completed handicap application forms for boats without an EC-PHRF standard handicap will be considered at a Handicapping Committee meeting. If sufficient information is available a temporary handicap will be assigned at the meeting. There may be a review of the handicap at the next meeting following the initial assignment.
  2. Boats must sail at least 10 club races or 6 invitational races to be eligible to submit an appeal requesting a rating change. Any appeal for a rating change will not be heard unless these conditions are met in each instance.
  3. A request for a review of the handicap of a boat by a boat owner must be submitted on the Handicap Appeal Form. The request for review will be put on the agenda for the next Handicapping Committee meeting. A request to make a short presentation must accompany the submission of the Handicap Appeal form at which time the appellant will be notified of the data and time of the meeting. If insufficient data is available for that meeting, or if during that meeting the committee feels more data is needed, a decision may be delayed and the hearing may be rescheduled for the next meeting. If a third party appeals the rating, the appellant will be notified and given the opportunity to make a short presentation.
  4. Handicap discussions involve an informational discussion stage and a deliberation stage. The owner may be present for the presentation. The deliberation is in closed session.
  5. Unless delayed by committee action, any changes in handicap will be effective immediately. Revised certificates will be mailed as soon as practical after committee action.
  6. There is no local higher body for a rating appeal than the Essex County Handicapping Committee. The committee is composed of a diverse group of sailors, all of whom are available for discussion outside of the meeting. Handicap appeals can be made to US- PHRF if all local procedures fail to produce a satisfactory resolution of a handicap dispute. See your local handicapper or contact USSA in Portsmouth, Rl for details.

SECTION 11

NON SPINNAKER FLEETS – JAM

  1. Basic rule for fore triangle: Only sails and rig combinations, which the boat is designed to carry upwind, may be flown off the wind. Off wind sails are not permitted.
  2. Jibs must be attached to the head stay for their entire length of luff when hoisted.
  3. Staysails may not be flown with a headsail UNLESS the boat is rated as a cutter. Double headsails are only permitted if they are the designed rig for the boat.
  4. Bloopers do not qualify as legal JAM sails.
  5. NON-SPINNAKER HANDICAPS: Alternate handicaps adjusted for the ratio between fore triangle and mainsail areas will be available for use in non-spinnaker (JAM) races. These adjusted handicaps are not designed for mixed fleet racing between boats with and without spinnakers. Based on work reported from PHRF of Narragansett Bay the local adjustment procedure derived from the rig measurements is defined by:

R = P*E/(I*J)           [sail areas ratio main to jib]

IF R<2.23 THEN NSH = 29.4 – 9.8*R

IF R>= 2.23 AND R< 3.65 THEN NSH = 13.3 – 2.56*R

IF R>= 3.65 AND R<7.4 THEN NSH = 8 -1.08*R

FR>7.4 THEN NSH = 0

JAM = PHRF + NSH – 12

 

SECTION 12

COMPLIANCE

EC PHRF IS ADMINISTERED BY VOLUNTEER HANDICAPPERS WHO GIVE FREELY OF THEIR TIME AND KNOWLEDGE TO SUPPORT GOOD AND FAIR HANDICAP SAILING. WE HAVE NEITHER THE FACILITIES NOR THE INCLINATION TO POLICE RULE COMPLIANCE. THE ORGANIZATION CONSIDERS THAT WE ARE ENGAGED IN A SPORTING ACTIVITY AND ANYONE PARTICIPATING IN VIOLATION OF THESE CLASS RULES IS GUILTY OF UN-SPORTSMAN LIKE BEHAVIOR. SYSTEMATIC OR FLAGRANT VIOLATIONS OF CLASS RULES IS TO BE CONSIDERED A VIOLATION OF RULE 69.1 OF THE USSA and CYA RACING RULES AND MAY RESULT IN SUSPENSION FROM ALL RACING ACTIVITIES.

THE EC PHRF COMMITTEE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SUSPEND A YACHTS CERTIFICATE FOR MEASUREMENT OR RULES DISCREPANCIES. REINSTATEMENT WILL BE SUBJECT TO SATISFACTION OF THE COMMITTEE (BY PHYSICAL INSPECTION IF NECESSARY) THAT THE YACHT IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH ITS CERTIFICATE AND CLASS RULES.

Updated September 10, 2003

 

APPENDIX A

MODIFIED RUDDERS

The following four points are what determines if a modified or replacement rudder (i.e. not original manufacturers equipment) will result in a rating change for a yacht.

  1. The reason for the change was to replace a damaged or lost rudder, or to make the boat safer by enlarging the rudder, not to increase performance.
  2. There is no decrease in rudder weight.
  3. There is no change in the rudder shape.
  4. There is no decrease in the rudders area (wetted surface).

If these four arguments have been met there may not be a rating change.