Thursday, 11 September 2008

Aligning Multihull ratings?

More multihulls racing at Granprix 2008 found on
(a rainy day with light winds - and people still smiled)

Having had the opportunity to race two consecutive weekends in a row, one realizes the efforts made by the rating committees to enable fair racing between different multihull models and to some extent also racing against mono hulls (even though the efforts are obviously not fair when results are not as expected……which is what a lot of the post race excuses and good stories are about).

In Sweden the LYS rating system is used for the majority of races which is more a fair assessment of the potential of the boat rather than a full mathematical formula. The rating can (and is) also updated if results are better or worse than expected. I have always pictured the golf handicap as a comparison......if you do better the rating will become more challenging. A single number handicap indicates you are good (at least on a good day..)....a high LYS rating makes you fight for “at least” the potential line honours).

Assessing performance rather than calculating means it is difficult to design a boat for better results in the long run, which obviously has two sides: One is that it decreases the opportunity to develop new models for better rating and results only; the other is that is both a challenge and an opportunity to design for the whole sailing experience, which for us to a large extent comes down to where to be on the performance scale, e.g. the parameter weight per sail area. Again our design philosophy is to reach comfortable high speeds quickly on the wind scale where the family also enjoys a good day “on” sea (which is where “Seaon” comes from….)
Obviously the experienced racing crew can be challenged with a different sail configuration (which will be addressed in a later blog entry).

For the rating it would obviously be good if we could have results and assessments from multiple countries……but it seems we are not there yet. Sweden, Denmark and Norway use different versions of the LYS system. In Finland, France, UK and other countries it seems to be a mix of Multihull 2000, Mocra and potentially other systems. Aligning rating systems in the Multihull community I believe would be a tough but good challenge that would pay off. I guess there is very little proof “protectionism” has paid off.


About the and results from the last race “Gran Prix”, organized by sailmaker Gransegel to be found at A part of the centre of gravity for multihulls in Sweden is found at Gransegel.
And the excuses? A rusty helmsman on Seaon 96crb SWE4. LYS does not seem to accommodate rust….