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2018 SBCC Handicap Form-page-001.jpg


PHRF® ratings are expressed in seconds per nautical mile to be deducted from elapsed times to produce corrected times. The higher rating indicates the slower boat. In the South Bay Cruising Club, monohulls and multihulls cannot be scored in the same division. If needed, another class will be provided, and will follow the same guidelines as the monohulls. PHRF® time allowances are not related to other systems. PHRF® base handicaps are made on the assumption that:

  • The spinnaker pole length is equal to J,

  • The spinnaker maximum width is 180% of SPL,

  • The spinnaker maximum length is equal to (.95√J2+I2)

  • The Genoa LP is between 150% and 155% of J (unless the stock boat configuration is with a

    different size jib. See section J),

  • The number of battens and the length of the battens are restricted by class rules or as permitted

    by PHRF® fleet rules,

  • The boat is in racing condition

  • The boat has a folding or feathering propeller, or a two bladed solid propeller in an aperture or a

    retractable outboard motor, and/or removable outboard secured below on the centerline and not

    moved while racing.

  • The hull and appendages are unmodified.


    A skipper may experiment with different ways of improving the performance of his boat. If there are changes to the hull, rig, sails or other factors upon which the existing rating is based, they must be reported to the handicapper for evaluation. If possible deviations on the part of the owner become apparent and not reported; other contestants are urged to file an appeal to the SBCC handicapper for inspection. These changes must be reported on the bottom of the SBCC Handicap form by the owner and will be evaluated on a case by case basis if needed by the Handicap Committee. These changes must be permanent for the racing season and can only be changed once a year. i.e. changing headsail size for rating purposes, furling systems, folding/2-3 blade props or any other sec/mile adjustment item listed in this document. Each owner should renew its SBCC PHRF Certificate every 2 years to keep the SBCC database current or when requested by the Handicap or Regatta Chair.


    The handicap of an individual boat is expressed in seconds per nautical mile. The smallest increment of performance normally used for rating is 3 sec/mi. Observations of numerous races show that it is impossible to spot a boats potential speed or performance more accurately than this because of the multiple factors involved. Differences in skipper and crew skill represent a much larger factor than 3 sec/mi.

    Because headsail size has so much to do with boat speed, SBCC PHRF® uses this factor as a means of handicapping. Boats are rated for use with large or small headsails with less than 155% of LP being the dividing line (see section J for exceptions). Once a boat is rated with a large headsail, this rating must be used, even though wind conditions may preclude use of the sail. A skipper is not allowed to have his boat re-rated frequently by choosing his headsail to fit expected race conditions. Maintaining the proper LP on file will be done by a bi- annual declaration of LP certificate by filing an adjusted SBCC Handicap Certificate, therefore renewing and updating the yachts existing SBCC PHRF certificate on file.


    A new boat in an established class is given the regional base rating for the class if available. Adjustment may be made for any deviation from the class. If adjustments are made, an indication is made in the handicap record that the boat is not a standard class boat and the reason for the adjustment. Sometimes these adjustments may be provisional and subject to constant review.

    For new classes and “one-of-a-kind” boats, the rating is determined on the basis of comparison with similar boats with established ratings. Comparison is made considering type of design and principal dimensions. The rating is assigned appropriately and monitored through results and observations, and is adjusted as performance data becomes available. These ratings will be maintained by the SBCC

Handicap and Measurement Chairman and Committee and adjusted as needed. Reviews and monitoring will be frequent and can be initiated by appeal or request by SBCC members.

PHRF SBCC utilizes a valid computer scoring program providing analytical methods to calculate race results and to collect statistics by boat class. Each class is handicapped against the performance of the fleet as a whole and the handicap may be raised or lowered as required for fair racing. However, winning or losing races does not automatically lead to an adjustment of the handicap.


SBCC races will be scored using the Time on Distance method. A boat’s corrected time will be based on its assigned handicap and the distance of the measured course. The boat with the lowest corrected time is the winner. When races involved with Spin and Non Spin classes or dual scoring, as in the case of awarding one of the many SBCC Perpetual Trophies, there will be a handicap adjustment applied. The adjustment will be based on reported windspeeds, and applied to the Spinnaker boat as follows:

Less than 10 knots of avg windspeed 10 to 19 knots of avg windspeed
20 Knots or greater avg windspeed

30 sec/mile Reduction in Handicap 24 sec/mile Reduction in Handicap 18 sec/mile Reduction in Handicap

Race Committees are urged to provide a race that promotes fair sailing under the SBCC PHRF Program. Guidelines that have been established by the club members and available online and often discussed at Skippers Meetings. It cannot be emphasized enough that the success of our sailing program, rating system, scoring program, and handicaps are based on standardized measured courses, windward/leeward courses with minimal reaching whenever possible, and no dangerous downwind starts. If conditions vary from the normal expected standards, it should be noted and the outcome reviewed. 


Formal appeals of ratings are made to the local Board of Handicappers (SBCC Handicap Committee) and are considered in their meetings. A skipper may appeal his own, or others‟ ratings. The appellant sets forth his views in writing, and documents his case with valid supporting information. When the appellant is not satisfied with the resolution of the appeal, a national appeal may be invoked when both the local fleet and appellant agree to abide by the national appeal procedure much like a protest appeal and information for that would be supplied by the Handicap Chairman or delegate. 

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