PHRF Expectations

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Postby Guest » Thu Apr 18, 2002 7:19 pm

Been racing J-sprit boats for 4 years now, have a J/80, PHRF is the only game in town where I am. I race against older, larger boats, I have the highest rating in my Div. I think I know under what conditions I can sail the J/80 to it's rating and what conditions seem hopeless, but it occurs to me that maybe I'm just not sailing the boat well under some conditions. So for BUOY racing, under what conditions should I be competitive or not competitive?

Postby Guest » Fri Apr 19, 2002 9:29 am


I think a lot of your answer is who you sail against. I'm stuck in the same PHRF rut myself for the most part, on windward/leeward courses at the local weekend regattas and club racing every Tues night around the bouys. For background info, my boat is set up with a 135% Genoa for PHRF and rates locally 119sec/mi with the Genoa and 123sec/mi with one design sails. What this means is that with the Genoa my rating puts me among the slowest in the same class as the Sabre 42's, J/105's, J/35's, J/33's and the like - wheras in one design config I drop down to the class with the J/27's, J/24's and such. Consequently, every year I get two PHRF certificates.

Seems to me my most competitive conditions are moderate air/flat water, especially in one design sails. I only use the Genoa these days for club racing in the evening where we invariably see a dying breeze - conditions that are tough in one design. The extra horsepower upwind is essential in less than 8 knots true and makes up for the rating penalty.

For weekends however I almost always now enter in one design. Narragansett Bay gets a pretty consistent afternoon seabreeze so chop becomes the factor. To try and sail in chop with the bigger heavier boats is frustrating so I find I'm more competitive in a class with boats that will be slowed up by the chop the same way I will.

Finally, you should filter the above comments through the fact that I'm not a world champion at the helm.


Postby Guest » Sun Apr 21, 2002 8:45 pm

I agree with John's comments. I find it frustrating to compete with heavy displacment boats in chop and I seek to enter races where I am together with light displacement boats of similar size. J/24 local M 27, ect. I have been using one design jib for 4 years and I am happy with overall results. I feel the boat is very competitive against the tanks in races which have a high propotion of various reaching legs. We confinded on the river delta so cetain wind conditions produce the "ideal" races. Lots and Lots of reaches edither tight or beam or broad, as long as you can "hot up" the boat and generate aparent wind. Also find the boat ver competive in strong winds (lots of apparent wind generation) as long as the chop is not to much. Chop really kills the boat speed.
My best advise is to pick the best races for you taste and use the build in advantages of the boat.
Seek out similar boats if you can it is much more fun.
I finally gave in to pressure to have a 135%, only to get a first and fastest in my division in light air my OD 100% jib and with 7 crew.

Admission : I had the help of 3 junior skiff sailors on board.....

Lesson for me: Sail it like a overgrown dinghy.



Postby Guest » Tue Apr 23, 2002 1:16 pm

so you blew "em away with the small jib, in light air, with 7 crew!! So much for the idea that extra weight slows the boat down! I guess the class has a weight limit because extra weight makes the boat faster ....maybe you demonstrated that!

Postby Guest » Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:21 am

Last season I raced in a non spinnaker phrf
race in 5kts of wind with the class jib.
Did very well. It was an informal race and maybe
the "good" racers were not there, but
the boat has been very competitive in all types
of conditions.

Postby Guest » Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:15 pm

I would agree with the comments made about sailing in chop and the negative effects it has on J/80 boat speed. I recently finished a 11 mile windward/leeward race with fairly steep chop on the first upwind leg. My main competition were two J/30's at 7,000 lbs each and a Sweden 36 at 14K+ and all three dusted me on the first leg as I think I lost at least a knot of boat speed due to the pounding we were taking...of course once we turned the corner, things evened out as we saw 12+ knots on the speedo...

Postby Guest » Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:21 am

Well, now that IRC handicap system is becoming popular (at least dowm here in Italy) the question is : what is better to race (and be rated) with, 102% jib or 155% ? The latter means around 15 secs / mile penalty ... quite a lot. I feel that 102% should be the way to go even in the prevailing light air conditions ... any toughts ?

Thanks in advance



Postby Guest » Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:33 pm

Hawaii is thinking about going to IRC. Does anyone have any information on how a J80 rates under IRC, and does it fare better under IRC than PHRF or Americap?

Bob Stephenson
USA 370

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