New Classic Rating Formula Rolls Out

By Kate Wilson

Summer is in full swing in New England and Classic Yachts are casting their dock lines to head to the starting line of the most prestigious international regattas and locally run events.

For the Classic Yacht Owner’s Association, the season began with the release of the new Classic Rating Formula Mark II, or CRFMkII, back on May 3rd. The Technical Committee led by Simon Davidson worked on the rating system in conjunction with the current administrators Mr. Chris Wick and Mr. Adam Langrman for over a year among nine members which includes four naval architects. Davidson attributes Jim Taylor, Lead Technical Naval Architect, as “instrumental in the development of rating rule as he crunched much of the data.”

The goal of the CRFMkII is to provide a more objective and transparent rating system. The updated formula uses all of the former CRF owner-declared data, plus three additional performance variables measuring beam, draft, and an additional spinnaker factor.  CYOA is working with the sailors, owners, and race committees hosting Classic regattas in 2017 to use the new rating system.  

Also, the CYOA has supported the updating of the CRF website to encompass all the changes made and to support the transition to the new rating rule. As of the end of June, 130 Certificates have been issued.  As a member benefit the CYOA is funding the certificate cost for new 2017 CRF Mk II Certificates to get this off the ground.

The New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta is the pivotal kickoff event for any race boat in New England, including the Classics. NYYC's 163rd edition hosted nearly 30 Classics with the 12-meters, 6-meters, and S-boats racing among their one-design classes and the other 11 classic racing using the CRFMkII rating system for the first time.

“The results from the new rating system were positive and the technical committee is happy with the overall results," says Davidson regarding the rollout at the Annual Regatta.

Davidson sailed on the NY 40, Marilee, with the owner and a board member Timothy Rutler.  Marilee beat out 20 boats the weekend prior during the Leukemia Cup to claim the top prize for PHRF. For the Annual Regatta, the crew was happy with their performance and were tied for first going into the last day. However, due to gear failure. Marilee had to retire from the racing and slipped to third in the Classics 1 Division.

Chuck Townsend, Chairman of the CYOA Board, missed the Annual Regatta this year with his S&S Yawl, Fidelio, but he was following the results closely and talking with owners and sailors. "I hear competitors saying they not just putting up with the rating change but are enthusiastic about it. I think we are in great place and will continue to improve as we roll out the new system.”

As with any new rollout, there were some bumps along the way. One Spirit of Tradition yacht was mixed in with the Classics altering the results.

"Ultimately, the organizing authority has the final say in the class allocations and the technical committee will continue to offer advice in the future with race committees," Davidson said. "However, we are looking forward to the rest of the regattas this summer to continue to vet both the process and the rating system."

The Classics will meet again using the CRS MkII this weekend for the Tiedeman Classics Regatta at New York Yacht Club followed by the Vineyard Cup July 7-9th.


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