Genmar Star wrote:
Was there even open class racing back in the day? When you say results did you guys race for instance 16,17,18s all at once to arrive at these numbers?
Hobie Cat does not assign the handicap numbers. The numbers are developed from racing under the portsmouth handicap yardstick. The results are taken from ANY open racing that the boat particpates in. This could be a Hobie racing against other models of Hobie, or a Sunfish, or a Melges 24, or any other boat with an assigned handicap rating. The more race results that are logged for a particular type of boat, the more closely the handicap number zeros in on the actual performance of the boat. The handicap system is intended to allow boats of any type or make race on a level playing field (how well the system works is open to interpretation).
In the case of the SX18, I suspect that overall, there was probably very little racing done (especially when compared to boats like the H18SE, H16, or Laser, etc). They probably started with the H18SE number as the baseline and found the SX to be ever so slightly faster (keep in mind that it uses a spinnaker downwind which should make it significanlty faster around a race course). I highly doubt the current number would be accurate for an experienced crew using a modern spinnaker. Without using the spin, my experience is that the SX 18 is not any faster around a course than an 18SE.
I started racing Hobies in 1979, in most of the Division 11 events. None of the HCA events I sailed in ever had an open class, it was/is all one design.
That said, there may have been non-sanctioned racing that were handicapped by rating, whether Portsmouth or PHRF.
There was a period from the mid 90's to the mid 2000's when open racing allowed by the HCA and represented a significant percentage of racing particpants at Div 11 events, but for any number of reasons, the HCA decided to end it.