Club Racing takes place every Sunday morning throughout the year along side a spring to summer Wednesday afternoon series.
Different classes of boat have different speeds. Over many years a set of handicap numbers has been developed by the Royal Yachting Association (the Portsmouth Yardstick) which allows classes of all speeds to compete on an equal footing. Since these are average numbers for all types of sailing water, FOSSC makes some adjustments to these in order to provide Club Numbers.
In class racing, classes race in individual fleets. FoSSC currently has class racing for Lasers, Solos & Handicap fleet.
In handicap racing boats of all classes start together. They are timed over a set course and results are calculated using the Portsmouth Yardstick handicapping system to determine each boat’s average lap time with the results being scored in order from the lowest to highest average time. In this way if two classes of different speeds were sailed by equally skilled sailors, after the scaling their times should be equal even if they have sailed different numbers of laps. The overall results are based on the scaled times to complete the race, with the shortest time winning.
In pursuit racing, the starts are staggered such that a slow class starts before a fast class. Each class sails for a time equal to half their Club Number in minutes. All boats then finish at the same time and the results are taken as the positions of the boats on the water.
There are 2 “mini-series” held during the Summer months with a 12:30pm start that are specifically for our younger members. They sail one short race each week, over a more simplified course and lasting approximately 30 minutes. In addition to this, we are introducing the opportunity for Juniors to take part in the afternoon races too, using a “half-Pursuit” format (so the race will only last just over 40 minutes for Optimists) and also a separate Junior start for the Class Races, again with a shorter duration. We hope that these changes will encourage more of our juniors to become acquainted with dinghy racing.