Pursuit (Stern-Chaser) Races using TopYacht

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TopYacht offers two ways of producing Pursuit Race results

  • Manual adjustment of handicaps after each race.
  • Automatic Update of handicaps after each race.

Both systems assume ‘the slowest boat’ starts at time 0 i.e. the initial start time; and that all other boats have time offset after that initial start. If the initial start is 14:00:00 then a boat with a time offset of 13 minutes would start at 14:13:00.

The finish order determines each boat’s placing in the race. First to cross the line wins, next is second etc.

The Importance of the Anticipated Time for the Slowest Boat.

The effectiveness of pursuit race handicaps is very dependent on the accuracy of the estimated time of the slowest boat. It does not matter whether the time offsets are determined manually or set by the computer, if the ‘base time’ i.e. time of slowest boat, is incorrect then the whole assumption that all should finish together comes unraveled.

Using two boats as an example…

  • ‘Slowboat’ takes 100 mins to complete the course.
  • ‘FastBoat’ takes 90 mins to complete the course.

If the time of the slowest boat is accurately set then…

  • The Slowboat starts at time zero and gets to the finish line in exactly 100 mins.
  • The Fastboat starts 10 mins later and get to the finish line at virtually the same time.

If in fact the slowest boat normally takes 105 minutes then the faster boat (assuming its estimated course time is correct), will easily get home first as it started 10 minutes after the slowest boat but only takes 90 mins to complete the course.

Impact of Shortening a Pursuit Race

The underlying assumption of a pursuit race is that time to complete the course is known for each boat. If the wind dies and the race is shortened such that the elapsed time of the slowest boat is significantly different to the anticipated time then the underlying assumption becomes in valid. If the race is able to be shortened such that the slowest boat finishes in the anticipated time, then the assumption is more valid but may be biased in favour of some of the participating boats.

If the race is using TCF originated offset times, then the race can easily be converted to handicap corrected time results which may provide a fairer outcome for the race.

Pursuit Races with Manual Handicap Adjustment System

This expects that you input handicaps as a time offset in minutes from an initial/nominated race start time. These are not used in any calculations but will display on the entry list and results.

After each race the Handicapper must determine what needs changing and the changes are manually implemented for the next race. This can either be done be applying some mathematical formula or using subjective judgement.

One method is simply to add a 3 min penalty for first place, 2 min for second and 1 min for third. The aim of this approach is primarily to rotate the ‘winners’ through the fleet over the duration of the series (This is referred to in other documents as the Knock-Back reaction).

Topics covered include

  • Setting up Manual Pursuit Handicapping in TopYacht
  • Running a Race
  • Pursuit Races with Automatic Handicap Adjustment System
  • Setting the Handicap Recipe Parameters for Auto Adjusting Pursuit Handicaps
  • Setting up the Series
  • Using a Nominated AHC Rather Than the Slowest Boat as a Reference Point for the Offsets.
  • Negative Offset Times
  • Converting a Shortened Race to a Race that is Scored on Handicap Corrected Time Rather than Finish Order.
  • Auto update Pursuit Race Handicaps ~ Overall notes.

Click HERE to download the Discussion Paper (~ 18 Pages)