National Handicap for Cruisers (NHC)

NHC handicaps individual boats as no two cruisers are the same through elements such as sail size and configuration, number of crew, weight of the boat, equipment on board, engine type, number of berths, etc etc.

Whilst NHC welcomes all types of boats it is designed for cruiser racing and looks to protect and promote core cruiser racing and will actively discourage “Grand Prix” style racing yachts from dominating club cruiser racing.

Base List

The RYA will publish base numbers for around 1200 designs for clubs to allocate to their boats.


How does it work?

Club Series is to be used by clubs holding racing over a number of days/ weekends (for example Wednesday evening racing/ Sunday points series) where all the entries are from the same club(s) and generally race against the same boats in each race. In “Club”, adjustments to handicap numbers are relatively gradual. 

All boats taking part in a NHC race for the first time will need a starting handicap. Starting handicaps will be allocated by the RYA in the form of the “Base List”. The Base list will be created from a rating formula using “boat show” data such as sail area, hull length, beam, weight etc. The RYA will publish base numbers for around 1200 designs for clubs to allocate to their boats. If a design is not on the base list and the RYA do not have data to create a base number for that design, the club will be given a “rating calculator” to calculate a base number to enable all to get onto the water and get racing!

When a boat first takes part in a club race it will start on its base number. After this it will develop its own personal club number which it will use for future races. If a boat moves to a new club it will go back to its base number and will develop a new club number as it will perform differently against different boats and in a different venue.

When a boat takes part in an open regatta it will always start on its base number as it will be racing against a different group of boats  and may be sailing at a new venue. After the regatta is finished  its end handicap is discarded and it goes back to its club and picks up its club handicap number and continues club racing.

All a club need do to use the scheme is use one of the approved results software’s and input some basic information about each race such as the boat/ sail number and elapsed time. The results software will then automatically calculate the result and the new handicap to be used for the next race which will automatically be applied to the next race. In other words nothing different from what happens now.