GBCA - The Place to Race since 1947
GBCA Cruising Class
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The GBCA Cruising Class was developed to give cruisers, and less experienced racers, a fleet to sail in. The club handicap system is based on a boat's actual performance rather than potential performance over time. It takes into account the condition of the boat (bottom, sails, weight, etc.) and the skill of the crew. The ratings are adjusted after each regatta or race in a series, depending upon how the boat actually finished. Boats that finished at or near first place will see their handicap drop in the next race. Those in last place or near last place, will see their handicaps increase. Those in the middle will see no change. The idea is to provide close, competitive racing between boats that may have older sails, extra equipment on board, brushed-on bottom paint, novice crew, etc.
The GBCA club handicap is not a PHRF rating, although it is applied in the same fashion. Don't confuse the two. If your club rating drops below your PHRF rating, then congratulations are in order! It's probably a good indication you should change to a PHRF fleet. GBCA does not administer the PHRF handicap. Please contact PHRF of Galveston Bay (www.PHRFgb.com) for assistance with a PHRF rating.
If you are one of our well known bay racers and want to sail in the Club handicap, the GBCA board may assign you a lower handicap than the PHRF rating for your boat.
Each boat is assigned an initial rating somewhat arbitrarily. Cruising boats will be initially assigned a rating close to what their PHRF Non-Spin rating would be. Racing boats will be assigned ratings that are lower than their PHRF rating. Eventually the ratings will be adjusted up or down depending on how they perform.
Boats may use whatever sails they have: genoas, spinnakers, gennakers, bloopers, whatever. The idea is to encourage sailors to learn to use the sails they have. The ratings will be adjusted as they gain new skills in sail handling, and their finishes improve.
In the Icicle and Rum Race Series, it is VERY important for club handicap racers to provide the time for your finish to Race Management so we can adjust the ratings.