PHRF & ORC

About PHRF BC

PHRF is a general rating system that provides the basis for fair racing between dissimilar yachts. The system is competitor-driven and self-regulating with variations used throughout North America.
The PHRF BC system is run through the PHRF BC Handicappers Committee. BC Sailing provides the administrative support to enact decisions made by the Committee.
The Committee is comprised of yachting industry professionals and experienced PHRF racers appointed to the Committee through their yacht clubs’ fleet captains. The Handicappers Committee chair is chosen by the committee members. Technical and administrative support for the committee is provided by the chief handicapper who also works with BC Sailing to manage the PHRF rating system provincially.
Competitors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the current PHRF BC rules and then engage in continuing improvement by actively participating in refining the PHRF BC system and PHRF BC ratings in three ways:
  1. Competitors are responsible for keeping the fleet honest. This is done by protesting any competitor at a specific event for sailing with any measurements different than shown on their current PHRF BC certificate or racing with no PHRF BC certificate where that is required by the notice of race of a given event.

  2. Competitors are encouraged to appeal either their own rating or a competitor’s rating at the biannual appeals if they feel there is a case to be made for an adjustment. With detailed current race results and fleet support, an appeal will generally be granted.

  3. All current certificate holders are encouraged to come forward with ideas to improve the PHRF BC rules and their application. Ideas can be passed on to club handicappers or presentations can be made at the biannual handicappers meeting.

A Brief History of PHRF BC

A Brief History of PHRF BC (January 2022)


History The PHRF BC fleet was created as a stand-alone entity from its previous sub-regional status within the PHRF NW fleet in the early 1990s. Economic, administrative, and technical issues all played a part in the desire to establish a local provincial fleet. At the time the Executive Director of the non-profit organization BC Sailing (who had been actively involved with PHRF NW on behalf of BC racers) arranged for the BC Sailing Association to act as an umbrella organization under which administration of a PHRF rating system could support a local provincial fleet. The initial Rules and administration system were created with the aim of keeping things simple, inexpensive, and accessible. A smooth transition was made although a group of racers from Vancouver Island chose to remain with PHRF NW as a sub-regional fleet.

 

Changes since 2007


Since 2007 many changes have been initiated to focus PHRF BC to better serve the racing sailor in BC. It began with an updating of the Rules to accommodate asymmetric spinnakers, bow sprit retrofits, ODR’s and code 0 sails among other things. From this, a new application was developed to capture the full range of information necessary to fairly rate a boat. In order to increase transparency further, a new certificate was developed with all owner-supplied information shown. Also, current certificates can now be viewed on the website.

 

2010


In 2010 the entire PHRF BC fleet was asked to complete the new application form prior to certificate renewal in order to provide full documented disclosure. This process was used to update the fleet database with all modifications, sail measurements, and details of each yacht in the fleet. At that time some yachts rating assignments were changed to reflect the Pacific NW racing environment and many yachts were updated to include modifications that had not been previously reported.

 

The Handicapper’s T-rating Watch List was formalized in order to monitor that any rating changes did not adversely affect the yachts involved or the fleet these yachts sailed in. The Watch List is also used to monitor modified yachts where the degree of modification is difficult to estimate immediately and to monitor new rating assignments for yachts that may be able to reconfigure to maximize speed potential but in doing so will negatively affect their fleets. A biannual review of the list by the Handicappers Committee, with relevant input from the yacht’s designated handicapper, determines whether a yacht remains on the Watch List and/or whether a yacht’s handicap is further adjusted based on sailing results.

 

A “how-to” outline was created for protesting a competitor at a specific event for sailing with measurements different than those shown on their current PHRF BC certificate.

 

2018


In 2018, spinnaker measurement rules were changed to be compatible with
PHRF NW.

 

2019


Commencing 2019 all base ratings were reviewed to bring them closer to North American averages and to bring sports boat ratings more into line with cruiser-racer ratings. Also in 2019, the Royal Victoria Yacht Club changed its alliance from PHRF NW to PHRF BC making all BC clubs now affiliated with PHRF BC.

PHRF - Fees, Forms, Tools & Explanations

Fee: The current annual fee for a new application is $45. The fee includes one change per calendar year. Additional changes will be charged $45 per change.


Change Form Instructions: Current certificate holders are obligated to update their yacht’s information immediately upon changing gear, sails, or their yacht’s specifications (Rule 2.2). Please use the Application and Change Form making sure to indicate yacht name, sail number, class, the changes made, and the owner’s information.

How a PHRF BC Application-Change Form Is Processed

Rating Appeal Form: On completion please return to BC Sailing accompanied by all documentation as requested on the form.

RATING APPEAL FORM

How to file a measurement protest under Rule 4.4: This quick guide explains how to protest a competitor for racing in a PHRF class without a current PHRF BC certificate or with sails/rig different than those identified on the boat’s current certificate.

PROTESTING AN INVALID CERTIFICATE

PHRF BC Fleet Certificates

Please search by the first letter of the boat name to view that boat’s current certificate. Updated March 18th, 2022
PHRF Database | BC Sailing Fleet List
ORC (Offshore Racing Congress)

Obtaining, Changing, or Renewing a PHRF Certificate

All paid-up yachts with completed applications will be issued a rating certificate which must be carried aboard when racing. The certificate will indicate the rating and how the yacht is equipped.

 

Any alteration in the yacht or its equipment will invalidate the current certificate. Owners who make changes to their yachts are obligated to report the change and obtain a new rating certificate at the time the changes are made.

 

Ratings become effective on the date that the rating certificate is issued.

 

Obtaining a PHRF BC Rating Certificate


A new boat Application Form must be completed for any of these situations:

 

  1. New boat or newly acquired second-hand boat.
  2. Change of ownership.

 

Complete the Application Form in full and return it with payment as outlined on the form to BC Sailing at the address stated on the form.

 

Certificates may take up to 3 weeks to process.

 

To obtain a sail number for your boat, see **How to Obtain a Sail Number (below).

 

Changes


Current certificate holders are obligated to update their boat’s information immediately upon changing equipment, sails, or their yacht’s specifications (Rule 2.2). Such changes are reported on a Change Form. However, changes to ownership must be submitted on an application form (see above).  

 

The upper part of the Change Form is required (Yacht Name, Sail Number, Make/Model/Class, Year Built) as well as the owner information. For the remainder of the form, enter only the items that have changed.

 

One change form submitted in a calendar year is free of charge. Each further certificate change in the year will be assessed an amount equal to the annual fee stated on the form.

 

Complete the Change Form and return it to BC Sailing at the address stated on the form.

 

It may take up to 3 weeks before you receive the revised certificate.

 

Renewal


Certificates are valid from January 1st through December 31st each year and must be renewed annually.

 

To renew, simply contact BC Sailing and pay the annual renewal fee, quoting your boat’s name and sail number. Current fees are indicated on the Application Form. It is not necessary to submit an application or change form unless there are changes to your boat’s equipment or other details on the form. Upon payment, a new certificate will be issued.

 

**How to Obtain a Sail Number


Sail Canada issues sail numbers directly. Numbers can be obtained via the application form located on the Sail Canada website: sailing.ca/sail-numbers/

Appeals & Protests

For current appeals see ‘Notices and Meeting Minutes.’

 

How to Appeal a PHRF Rating


The Handicappers Committee shall resolve rating appeals of current PHRF certificate holders regarding their own or other yachts. All PHRF BC member yacht clubs may nominate a representative to the Handicappers Committee.

 

Any yacht’s rating may be appealed by any current PHRF BC certificate holder, any handicapper recognized by PHRF BC, or the Handicapper’s Committee.

 

Certificate holders wishing to appeal a Base Yacht Rating shall submit a completed Rating Appeal Form to the BC Sailing office. The Appeal Form must be completed in full and accompanied by relevant supporting documentation including all available race results for the past year. The Appeal information will be made available to all Handicapper Committee members and any current PHRF BC Certificate Holders that may be directly affected by the requested change.

 

A rating appeal presented at two consecutive appeals hearings that pertains to substantially the same issue as previously decided will be subject to a filing fee equal to the annual certificate fee. This fee may be waived at the discretion of the committee.

 

Appeals shall be heard twice a year in the spring and fall. A Notice of Appeals Hearing will specify the time and place of the Hearing. Certificate holders who have applied to the Committee for a Base Yacht Rating change will be required to present their appeal request to the Committee (either in person or by nominee). Any PHRF BC certificate holders affected by another’s appeal will also be given an opportunity to present. Decisions of the Handicappers Committee will be mailed to all affected parties within two weeks of the Appeals Hearing.

 

How to Protest a Competitor for Violating PHRF BC Rules


The following explains how to protest a competitor for racing in a PHRF class without a current PHRF BC certificate or with sails/rig/equipment different than those specified on the boat’s current PHRF certificate.  Protesters should note Racing Rules of Sailing rule 78.1.

 

Competitors are the driving force in refining the accuracy of the PHRF rating system. Protesting a competitor for infringement of, or lack of compliance with, the Rules of PHRF BC and/or the Racing Rules of Sailing is one way the PHRF system’s fairness and objectivity are improved. Competitor protests of infringements at the event level ensure a fair race for all entrants.

 

Who can protest:


Any boat racing in the event whether in the protestee’s class or not. However, sportsmanship would tend to dictate that a same class competitor is the stakeholder and should therefore be the one to protest. A Protestee cannot exonerate themselves on the race course with penalty turns for breaking a measurement rule.

 

How and when to protest:


1) Measurement differences known prior to the start of the event:

Once the preparatory signal has sounded the Protestee is considered to be racing and is subject to all the rules outlined in the NOR/SI’s for the event. The Protester must hail the Protestee and fly a protest flag at the earliest opportunity after the preparatory flag has been set (usually 4 minutes prior to start – but this may be changed by the SI’s) – read RRS 61.1(a). The Protester should also note witnesses to their hail. Further, the Protester should make every effort to inform the Protestee of the Protest again as soon as possible after the finish to ensure the Protestee is aware of the Protest (on the water or on the dock).

In recap: 1. Preparatory flag is set 2. Hail the vessel to be protested: “Protest (yacht name, sail #). Invalid PHRF BC certificate.” 3. Make a note of witnesses to your hailing attempt. 4. As soon as you can after the finish of the race find the protested yacht and owner/boat representative and reconfirm that you are protesting them. Get a contact phone # or email if you can. 3. Fill out a protest form immediately after the race and submit it to the Race Officer within the time limit specified in the Sailing Instructions.

 

2) Measurement differences observed after the start of the event:

The Protester must hail the Protestee and fly a protest flag at the earliest opportunity after the Protester has observed the Protestee flying a sail or using equipment that is not recorded on the Protestee`s PHRF BC certificate. The Protester should also note witnesses to their hail. As above, the Protester should make every effort to inform the Protestee of the Protest again as soon as possible after the finish to ensure the Protestee is aware of the Protest (on the water or on the dock).

In summary: 1. Violation is observed (use of undeclared sails/equipment). 2. Hail the vessel to be protested: “Protest (yacht name, sail #). Invalid PHRF BC certificate.” 3. Make a note of witnesses to your hailing attempt. 4. As soon as you can after the finish of the race find the protested yacht and owner/boat representative and reconfirm that you are protesting them. Get a contact phone # or email if you can. 3. Fill out a protest form immediately after the race and submit it to the Race Officer within the time limit specified in the Sailing Instructions.

 

3) Filling out the Protest Form when protesting a boat with an invalid but current certificate:

Items 1-4: Obtain a standard Sail Canada protest form and fill out items 1 to 4. In item 2 tickoff “Protest by boat against boat”. Item 5: Incident Time and place of incident Example 1 = starting area, blahblah series race #1, just after the preparatory signal (approx.___am), date Example 2= leg ____, blahblah series race #1, after rounding mark 3 (approx ____am), date Rules alleged to have been broken = PHRF BC Rule 2.2, RRS 78.1 Witnesses = list other competitors who heard/saw you hail “protest” Item 6: Informing Protestee – tick off relevant items By hailing __ When? Example 1 = after preparatory signal …as stated in item 5 OR Example 2 = leg ___, after rounding …as stated in item 5 Word(s) used = “Protest (yacht name, sail #). Invalid PHRF BC certificate.” By displaying a red flag ___ When? At the same time as the protest hail By informing her in some other way ___ (Boat name) and owner/ boat representative were also informed immediately after the race (at the finish line/ on the dock/ on the way in from the race) Item 7: Description of incident (no diagram necessary): (Boat name, sail #) is racing with an invalid PHRF BC certificate (PHRF BC Rule 1.2) in contravention of RRS 78.1 and as outlined in the NOR for this event. Specifically we believe the following measurement(s) differ from those reported on the yacht’s current PHRF BC Certificate: ___________________________.

 

4) Filling out the Protest Form when protesting a boat with no current certificate:

If a boat does not have a current PHRF BC certificate: Items 1-4: Fill out Protest Form as outlined above Item 5: Rules alleged to have been broken: RRS78.1 Item 6: Word(s) used: “Protest (yacht name, sail #). No PHRF BC certificate.” Item 7: Description of incident: (Boat name, sail #) does not have a current PHRF BC certificate in contravention of RRS 78.1 and as outlined in the NOR for this event. Although Race Committees make every effort to check the status of all event entrants not all entrants provide current information as specified. Competitor awareness and protests help to ensure a fair race for all entrants.

PHRF BC Handicappers Committee

    • Chair: John Windas (Sidney North Saanich YC)

    • Chief Handicapper: Jason Vandergaag (Royal Vancouver YC, Vancouver Rowing Club, Squamish YC, Gibsons YC, Kitsilano YC, Centennial SC, Stamps Landing YC, False Creek YC, Jericho Sailing Centre)

    • Ian Lloyd (West Vancouver YC)

    • Trevor Salmon (Deep Cove YC)

    • Katy Campbell (Eagle Harbour YC)

    • Al Whitfield (Point Roberts YC, International YC)

    • Jason Davies (Tiddly Cove YC, Bowen Island YC)

    • Peter Harlos (Kelowna YC, Penticton YC, Summerland YC, Vernon YC)

    • Terry Waters (Nanaimo YC, Campbell River YC, Schooner Cove YC, Garden Bay SC)

    • Graham Heath (CFSA Victoria)

    • Douglas Woolcock (Saltspring Island SC, Pender Island YC)

    • Kirk Palmer (Royal Victoria YC)

    • Rod Martin (Maple Bay YC)

Contact your handicapper through your club or email crew@bcsailing.bc.ca.

HANDICAPPER JOB DESCRIPTION
COMMITTEE MEMBER APPOINTMENT PROCEDURE
HANDICAPPER CODE OF CONDUCT