River Cruiser Class - Current Handicap lists

2 lists are available:

RiverCruiserHandicaps.xls A full list of all Class yachts

RCCupdateList.xls, showing only changes since this year's Green Book. (Also a text file RCCupdateList.tab)   

Select one of the above to start the download of the file to your computer

The xls lists are formatted to be used electronically. Normal handicaps have a '-' sign and '+' handicaps are shown without any sign.
Note that the current handicap is in column D. The last column (H) shows what it was before the latest change

Technical information
The files are formatted as html tables. The first row is field names (column headings). They can be opened readily by most versions of Excel and have been given the .xls extension so that they will open automatically in Excel once loaded.
They can be opened in a web browser or imported into any other application (database) that can read html files. It may be necessary to change the extension to faciliate the process.
If you require any further assistance, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Provisional handicapping
Any newly registered yacht, or one which has undergone substantial modifications or has not completed three or more acceptable races in the two preceding seasons, will be allocated a provisional handicap. This handicap can however be ratified once at least three qualifying races have been completed (subject to timing of committee meetings). The minimum requirements of an acceptable race are that:
o It is a River Cruiser Class race
o It is organised under a club flag
o At least two other finishers have ratified RCC handicaps.

For a handicap to be ratified, these results must obviously be made available to the RCC committee and responsibility for this rests with owners. The committee should receive results from all Sabrina and Snowbird Trophy events. If your qualifying races are not included in these, you should ensure that a copy of the results (which must include times for all finishers) is e-mailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or sent to the Hon Registrar at the address in the Green Book.


River Cruiser Class Handicapping: Guidelines

The following guidelines embody general principles that have been in use for many years. They have been updated recently in the light of current practice.

1. The class committee aims to implement transparent, fair, accountable, reviewable handicap decisions for River Cruiser Class yachts.

2.  It is recognised that handicapping River Cruiser Class yachts, with their wide degree of diversity and their often eccentric design, is both an art and a science: the overriding object is to establish a single scale of handicaps which is – and appears to be – as fair as possible to the class as a whole.

3. Handicaps are based on the notion of the “revealed potential” of yachts within the class. Thus, a body of handicaps is established over a period of years, based on the known performance of yachts in a variety of races. Throughout any season, race results are reviewed at either the mid-year, or the annual handicap review.

4. During the season, an unaltered yacht’s rating is increased only when its handicap is seen to be allowing it to win by an excessive margin. In determining whether this is the case, the performance of the yacht is to be considered over a number of representative races – certainly more than one. A representative race is one with a reasonably large fleet, sailing on varied points of the compass with no external factors (such as a tide change during the race), which could distort results. The committee also considers whether factors other than boat speed may have been at play: for instance – did the yacht concerned make a start significantly better than other competitors and one which allowed it to build up a considerable winning margin? Some yachts race only irregularly, sometimes only in races that would not normally be considered “good handicapping” (i.e. “representative”) races. In these cases, the committee is prepared to exercise its judgement to prevent such yachts establishing an unfair advantage. If a yacht does not complete three representative races during two consecutive seasons, its handicap is designated “provisional” until re‐ratified following participation in three such races. A provisionally handicapped yacht may not be awarded a class trophy. In individual cases, the committee will decide whether a race is representative, and how many results are needed to arrive at an informed decision.

5. When a yacht’s handicap is changed as a consequence of its performance, it is never tightened to such an extent as to completely erode its winning performance except in the case of obvious anomaly. In other words, its new handicap will be such that the yacht would still have won the race(s) in question by a margin of at least one percent.

6. By and large, a yacht’s handicap is based not on its average performance, but on its performance in the conditions that suit it best. This practice prevents certain conditions from creating walkovers for certain boats. By militating against extremes, it also encourages designers (and skippers) to rig their boats as a compromise for a variety of conditions.

7. Regular adjustments of competing boats over a season may result in the handicaps of boats of a known comparable performance ending up with differing ratings. In recognition of this, an annual handicap review is held at the end of each season when adjustments are made, not on the basis of individual race results, but with a view to keeping similar boats broadly “in line” with each other. This is also an opportunity to spot boats that appear to have been over‐handicapped and to accordingly ease their rating.

8. From time to time boats are modified; in this case, the onus is on the owner to inform the committee of the changes before racing. An altered boat which has not been subject to review of its handicap is out of class and not eligible to win. On the experience of many years, the committee is of the opinion that removal of an inboard engine, fitting of carbon spars, fitting of a hydrofoil keel and the fitting of a hydrofoil rudder each individually result in an increase of performance (Small, modern inboard engines, centrally mounted and fitted with folding propellers are often considered, however, not to materially affect a boat’s performance either way). Committee members must consider these and other changes, particularly changes of rig, on the basis of their experience of similar boats. A reduction in rig size may, but not necessarily, bring about a change of handicap. After significant modification, a boat will usually be given a provisional handicap, which will normally be re‐assessed and ratified after three qualifying races.

9. When a yacht competes with an alteration to the rig (this includes new sails), and the committee has not been informed in a timely manner so it can be discussed at a committee meeting, then the Yacht has no handicap. This will apply for the Sabrina and Snowbird Trophy. The Class can issue a back dated provisional handicap for the period the yacht has no handicap. Also the Class will suggest that the same be done by the organising Sailing Club and trophies be re-allocated if necessary, this is at the discretion of the organising club.

10. No committee member may be present when their own handicap is discussed – except in the course of an annual review which is considering the performance of a group of boats of which their own may be one.

11. The committee is mindful that a handicap that is too severe is unfair on one owner: a handicap that is too lenient is unfair on all the rest of the class.

7th October 2020

Next review date September 30th 2023.