Ending the Rating Rule Debate

Published on April 1st, 2016

Humboldt, CA (April 1, 2016) – Handicap International (HI), known for their successful handicap systems in golf, horse racing, and figure skating, has announced the launch of a sailing division – Sailing HI – to promote their new rating rule, Sailing Handicap International’s Tight Tolerance Yachting (S.H.I.T.T.Y.).

The HI engineers use very sophisticated velocity prediction programs to mathematically characterize every boat’s potential performance. They then adjust the actual performance of each boat in a regatta based on that boat’s potential. All beta testing has proven to provide very tight racing.

Yacht designer Bruce Nelson, who is the handicapper for San Diego Yacht Club, tested the rule on a race data from the 2015 season. “This S.H.I.T.T.Y. rule has finally provided a basis for other boats to beat Dennis Conner,” remarked Nelson. “DC has a fleet of boats, and depending on the race, he uses the boat that will give him the best chance to win. Now, regardless of the race, DC can’t outwit this S.H.I.T.T.Y. rule.”

The S.H.I.T.T.Y. rating system uses time correction factors to adjust the actual elapsed times of the yachts racing. A yacht’s elapsed time is multiplied by its time correction factor to come up with the yacht’s corrected time. The key to the S.H.I.T.T.Y. rule’s success is the very tight tolerance in the time correction factors. The time correction factors vary from 0 to 0.0000001 depending on each yacht’s potential performance.

Applying for S.H.I.T.T.Y. certificates has been simplified as the HI engineers already know everything they need to know about every boat.

Jason Smithwick, Head of Technical & Offshore at World Sailing, believes this new system will be an end to the rating rule debate. “We are very excited about the new S.H.I.T.T.Y. rule. We believe that Sailing HI will be central to the growth of the sport.”


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