New national rating system launched for cruiser-racers

RYA, Royal Ocean Racing Club and South West Yacht Time Correction Factor join forces

Clubs wanting to encourage more cruiser-racer sailors to enjoy competing are set to benefit from the launch of a new national rating system.

The RYA and the Royal Ocean Racing Club are keen to encourage as many keelboat and cruiser-racer sailors as possible to enjoy racing at their clubs or local regattas.

With this in mind, and recognising the need for an effective entry level rating system, the RYA has joined forces with RORC Rating Office and South West Yacht Time Correction (YTC) to introduce a new national system for cruiser racers: RYA YTC, powered by RORC Rating.

The YTC was developed by a group of volunteers in the South West to rate a wide variety of cruiser/racer yachts so they can compete against each other easily, competitively and fairly.

The YTC team, led by RYA SW Regional Chair Chris Davis, is now supporting the RYA and RORC to enable a seamless transfer for existing users and to allow the system to be implemented nationally.

The system differs from the existing RYA National Handicap for Cruisers (NHC) by providing a rating rule based on the physical measurements of a boat rather than a handicap which is responsive to performance and changes depending on an individual boat’s results.

For those sailors who want to then progress further, the new RYA YTC, powered by RORC Rating Office, will also act as a stepping-stone to IRC racing. Clubs are being encouraged to share the details with their cruising/racing fleets this summer ahead of a full roll out of the new system in 2023.

Niall McLeod, RYA Racing Services Manager, said: “YTC is popular across a wide range of clubs in Falmouth, Fowey, Torbay, Dartmouth and elsewhere in the South West - so we’re taking what is working well in the South West to roll it out nationally and will be urging more clubs to adopt it in 2023 and beyond.

“Although we currently have the NHC National Handicap for Cruisers there’s been a gap for a simple, effective and free entry level rating system which sits under IRC. One of the main challenges we had with NHC was it needed yachts to compete in several races before the mathematical model would stabilise, so it was not well suited to clubs which may have sporadic or irregular competitors in their fleets. As the RYA YTC powered by RORC Rating Office is a rating system, then the same number can be used by the same boat at different clubs or in different fleets and it is easy to understand for those who may only compete a handful of times throughout the year.

“Those already using the South West YTC will notice no real change this year and since most other clubs will have already decided what they are doing in 2022, the aim is to have a soft launch of the new system this year with a drive to support clubs to adopt it in 2023.”

The RYA YTC powered by RORC Rating was unveiled last month, which you can read about here. Any clubs wanting to know more are welcome to get in touch with RYA Racing. Further information, including for boat owners interested in obtaining an RYA YTC rating, is available at: