I’ve been away quite a bit recently, so I have lots of catching up to do here over the next few weeks. I’ll begin with a quick update and reminder about Hotlaps! :-)
Hotlaps 2013 is a format that lets sailors build sailing skills and have fun by doing solo practice runs and sharing the scores online.
Sailing a Hotlap takes only ten minutes, and you can do it any time you want, in any boat. Just go to one of the racelines and click on the ‘Hotlaps 2013′ poster above the green buoy; it will give you all the info you need.
The names of all the skippers that have posted lap times is shown in the table to the right. Each name is color-coded to make it easier to find a sailor’s individual lap times on the spreadsheets for each of the hotlaps courses.
If you go to the Handicap Hotlaps 2013 spreadsheet, you’ll find individual pages for each of the hotlaps sites, as well as raw data entry lists and summary sheets.
Here’s a snapshot of the current hotlaps results for Plum Gut, showing the individual timescores separated by boat class and the calculated “average good lap time” for each boat.
With repeated runs, it’s impressive that nearly all sailors come up with similar lap times for a given boat; the variance across the fleet is pretty small. (That’s good!)
The consistency of the Hotlaps data makes it possible to generate simple performance handicaps for different sailboat classes. The handicaps are ‘normalized’ with respect to an index boat (the Melges-24) to make the handicaps factors easy-to-use. The Melges-24 has a handicap of “1.00.” A boat with a handicap of 1.30 has a lap time that’s 30% faster than the M-24, while handicap of 0.70 means the boat is 30% slower.
Anyway, here’s a snapshot of the current, summary table showing the calculated handicaps for different boats on each of the six hotlaps courses. The handicap for a given boat is nearly always consistent across all six Hotlaps courses. That’s pretty good evidence that the handicaps are valid for any racecourse in SL.
If you look at the above table, you’ll see a few new boats listed. I’ve been sailing the Rene Marine 12 a lot recently, and it weighs in with a handicap of 0.69, making it roughly 30% slower than the Melges-24, but pretty close in performance to the RM Pilot, Laser One, Francois Jacques, and Trudeau One.
Kudos to Peacy Cortes, who recently added the venerable Tetra 35 to the spreadsheets. The Tetra clocked in with a respectably speedy 0.97, pretty close to the engine-related Tako 3 (1.03). Yesterday Wrye Diabolito also posted lap data for the Becky Baby Sloop II, earning that boat a 0.75 handicap similar to several other Bwind-engine vessels on the list.
There are several more additions to the list, so take a look. And if you don’t find the boat you’re looking for, or if you disagree with a handicap factor, that’s great! Just pull that boat out of your pocket and go run a few more laps on any of the six courses, and then post the results to the spreadsheet!
The more “average, good” lap times sailors submit, the more accurate the profile will be for each of the boats in the fleet.