YTC: the Yacht Time Correction
The demise of the RYA's Portsmouth Number handicapping system for cruising yachts led to a very real problem. The RYA themselves tried to introduce an individual performance based alternative, which, for a variety of reasons was felt to be unsuitable in the PoFSA area. A simple alternative was sought which might assist the achievement of fair racing as required by the Racing Rules of Sailing, by setting a boat’s handicap in a fair, open and transparent manner. This alternative is termed the Yacht Time Correction, or YTC.
YTC has evolved from a local yardstick, Falmouth Area Yardstick. The name has changed to reflect its more widespread use. You may encounter the term FAY in older documentation and parlance.
The Yardstick is calculated from a small set of fairly simple measurements including: Sail Area, Displacement, Waterline Length, Draft and Keel Type. In the case of 2- or 3- bilge craft, Beam is also required.
The Yardstick is provided and then published by a Handicap Committee after submitting the YTC Application Form.
A full description of the handicap policy may be found here.
The Yardstick is applied in the same way that the Portsmouth Number was applied.
The yardstick is applied to all Village Regattas, to Falmouth Sailing Week, and by the majority of the Clubs. Portsmouth Numbers are still applied to racing dinghies, IRC is used for some of the larger yachts, and some classes compete as one-designs, but for handicapped cruising yachts, YTC is the commonly used system.
Note that the YTC used in Regattas and Falmouth Sailing Week may be adjusted by individual clubs for their own racing.