Portsmouth Yardstick

The RYA Portsmouth Yardstick is a scheme operated jointly by the RYA and its Affiliated clubs.

Since its introduction in the 1950s, the RYA has resisted publishing the Portsmouth Numbers without, in the same document, publishing details of how the Numbers should be used and how clubs should assist the RYA in determining meaningful Numbers for publication. This is still the case and is why this website includes recommendations on the Schemes use, including methods of number adjustment and the current Portsmouth Numbers. In the interests of correctness, readers and users of the Numbers should read the text before applying Numbers.


No part of this website or attached publications may be re-produced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the RYA. If you wish to refer to this site on other websites, please provide a link to this site.


Portsmouth Yardstick Documentation

The RYA has now published the revised Portsmouth Yardstick Documentation. These documents have been designed for both sailors and clubs to gain a better understanding of how the scheme should be best used and getting the fairest results when allocating Portsmouth Numbers.


The documentation is formed of six documents:

·       Introduction: This is a brief introduction to the scheme as a whole, its objective and who can use the scheme.

·       Number adjustment & Club list: Gives guidance to clubs on methods of calculating number adjustments and how these should be applied to a clubs "club list".

·       Using the Scheme: Includes a variety of standard definitions used within the other documentation along with some other key principles.

·       Running Races: Provides details for race officers as to how races can be run, the types of races that can be run and the advantages of each type.

·       Pursuit Race: Is an excel spreadsheet used by a club to calculate the starting times for holding a pursuit race with the Portsmouth Yardstick scheme.

·       Specimen Race: Is one of the methods that a club can use to calculate any number adjustments required to give fairer handicaps. This worksheet takes the club through the steps in carrying out such a calculation.

·       Notice of Race & Sailing Instructions Advice: A standard template and details on writing Event and Race instructions using Portsmouth Yardstick.

All of
 these documents can be downloaded from this page using the Related Documents section.



To the right there is also a link to the RYA's Race analysis website which is mentioned within the documentation. This website offers a facility for Clubs to easily upload race result data and send it to RYA, as well as allowing a Club to run an individual PY Summary to produce a meaningful 'local' club list of Portsmouth Numbers. The RYA strongly recommend that all clubs adopt the use of this website if they have not already.



Clubs that have an active multihull fleet within their club racing may use the SHCRS system for rating multihulls. If a club also races mixed fleets where Dinghies, Keelboats and Multihulls race together an agreed conversion rate is used between the RYA and the SCHRS to convert SCHRS to PN "look alike" number. A link to the SCHRS page on converting their numbers is seen on the right of this page.


Any club that uses PN's for Multihulls or PN "look alike" numbers based on SCHRS number is strongly encouraged to use the PYOnline analysis website to further adjust PN's to ensure they are as statistically as accurate as possible.