RaceTrack  :  unofficial boat ranking


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about RaceTrack 

RaceTrack is a system that allows you to monitor your boat's true performance, relative to every other boat that you race against, in every race that you do with top Clubs.

How RaceTrack Works 

The system collects published race results and uses them to provide a very accurate ranking of your boat's performance relative to other boats that you race against.

RaceTrack builds a comparison table of your boat and every boat it has raced, for each race we have results and averages the comparisons to get a relative rating.

It will then scale the relative rating to produce an interim handicap for each boat which is similar to a TCF (time correction factor).

The third stage of the process is to use the interim handicaps and the elapsed times from each race to determine a rating for each boat, for each race.

Finally, using a weighting routine which incorporates factors for each race such as number of competitors, race duration, race 'seriousness' -- family cruising races are not weighted as heavily as the Y88 nationals -- and dampening the extreme results, RaceTrack averages each boat's individual race results to determine a final rating.

RaceTrack doesn't know how old your boat is, whether it's got new sails, or how sharp your crew are this season. There is only one thing that RaceTrack understands: what time your boat crosses the finish line.

Information in RaceTrack 

RaceTrack has a range of different pages which allow you to view it's information

Boats can be listed alphabetically or via the main boat rankings with options to 'drill down' to view details and individual race information for any boat

You can view information about classes of boats, more generic catagories of boats or list designers and the boats in RaceTrack they designed

You can list clubs, their series, divisions and the individual races and how RaceTrack rated each boat for that race

Using the 'recent racing' option, you can quickly get a view of the racing most recently added into RaceTrack and the 'recent changes' option will let you know of any changes and new features on the RaceTrack site


How was RaceTrack developed?

Since 1999 I have collected the web-published race results from a number of New Zealand yacht clubs (see 'list series and race' for details) and stored and processed them in a common results format.

Originally, the intention was simply to have a measure of how the boats I was racing on were performing race by race as club handicapping and results would not always fairly reflect the day's performance. From there the next question was 'where to we fit into an 'overall rankings' and when Crew.Org.NZ arrived on the scene, the idea of sharing the system more widely using the internet was born, and with it what at times seems to have become a little monster. Finally, I created RaceTrack's own site and as much detail on boat performance as anyone would ever want.

How often is RaceTrack updated?

We will be endeavouring to update RaceTrack on Tuesday and Friday mornings, incorporating the preceding weekend and mid-week results respectively over the summer racing season. Updates will typically be weekly on Tuesday mornings over winter but keep an eye on 'recent racing' and please email markm@racetrack.org.nz if there's some racing I seem to be missing.

How does RaceTrack ensure the data is accurate?

RaceTrack relies on volume of data for its accuracy. We do not publish a rating for a boat until we have five results recorded. With six years experience with the system, five races seems to be the point where a boat's rating gets fairly accurate and at 20 races it is as accurate as RaceTrack will get and changes in the rating more reflect improving performance on the boat, aging sails, changes of ownership rather than a 'more accurate' rating. Results are usually manually checked for 'sensibleness' before they are loaded and periodic checks are performed to ensure results are not recorded against the wrong boat.

What is a 'Ranking Type'?

A Ranking Type is a grouping of races from which the details of the page are based. The main ranking type is simply called 'RaceTrack' and comprises racing in the past two years excluding rum racing, ladies racing and cruising races and requires a minimum of five races for a boat to be included. 'Full History' on the other hand comprises any race no matter how long ago. RaceTrack is better in terms of it's accuracy but includes far fewer boats, 'full history' can be quite useful to track down the history of a boat, find boats that don't race often or to see how you're going when you've not yet done five races.

I'm not happy about something...

There are however around 10,00 races and 100,000 individual results currently in the system and mistakes will happen.

Please e-mail me at markm@racetrack.org.nz and RaceTrack will be updated accordingly.

How does RaceTrack compare the performance of boats in different cities?

RaceTrack depends on direct boat to boat comparisons for its accuracy. Boat comparisons from one city or racing area to another will tend to be less accurate than comparisons between boats regularly doing similar races because there is a low cross over of boats having raced in both areas.

Does RaceTrack replace conventional handicapping systems?

No - systems such as PHRF, IRC and ORC utilise complex formulas that take many factors relating to boat safety and design into account that RaceTrack doesn't. But it is a great way to figure out how your sailing has improved (or otherwise) each season.

Why does my boat's rating change when I haven't raced?

Your boat's rating is determined by the races it does and by the performance of the boats it races against. Even if you haven't raced, your rating will change slightly as the boats you race against get re-rated for additional races they do.

Contact Details 

Please email me on markm@racetrack.org.nz.