Handicap Hotlaps Kickoff

Handicap Hotlaps lets sailors practice their skill on a short, standard course and then post the results online. The previous article includes a long list of links to a variety of old discussions about Hotlaps and the related boat handicap scores, but reading all that stuff  can get very boring, very fast.

But hey, do you have a few minutes? Forget about reading that stuff… Let’s go sail some Hotlaps instead! 🙂


Handicap Hotlaps 2013

All you need to do is go to a raceline that’s set up with a Hotlaps course and rez your boat. The first three Hotlaps racelines are located in Plum Gut, Knaptackicon, and soon Breadnut (as soon as Hawk puts up the posters).  Over the next few days I’ll add several more.

Here’s how it works.

When you go to a Hotlaps line you’ll see two posters. Click on the top one that says “Hotlaps 2013.” It gives you a notecard with all the details for that line.

Plum Gut Handicap Hotlaps 1005

That note will include the current Hotlaps chart for the line, and it will also tell you how to set the wind. (Here’s a tip: the Handicap wind is always 15 knots with no variance, but the wind angle depends on the orientation of each raceline and course. In Plum Gut the angle is 0.0°, in Knaptrackicon it’s 180°, and in Breadnut it’s 225°. Check the notecard to be sure which wind is correct at a particular race line.)

North Sea Hotlaps 2013 v105

Breadnut Hotlaps Course

Once you have the chart and the wind, you can sail a solo lap whenever its convenient for you by following the race course instructions. Once you complete the course, you’ll end up with a lap time (lap time is Finish Time minus Start Time). If you think that result is an ‘average, good‘ time for you in that boat class, then please take an extra moment to post your score online.

You can do that very easily by clicking the poster above the green buoy, the one that says “Enter your lap time here“. That will give you a web link to a data entry form.

DYC Handicap Hotlaps 2013 v106

Knaptrackicon DYC Hotlaps Course

Just add your skipper name, your boat class and your net lap time, and you’re done. Then you can go back and run the course again, or switch to a different boat!
Actually, you can run as many Hotlaps in as many different boats as you want; the more the better. Every time you submit a data lap time it helps define the relative performance of that boat class.

Please remember one thing: don’t just submit your best score on a race course; Hotlaps wants all your average, good scores. We are trying to determine the “average, good” lap time of an “average, good” skipper sailing many different boats!

Mo’ Hotlaps

Kudos to Hawk and Kentrock for all the help planning and setting up the first three Hotlaps courses. Hay Ah’s also promised to look at ways to improve the Hotlaps interface, so online scores will be better integrated with the raceline. 🙂

I’ll add Hotlaps to two more racelines this week, and Liv Leigh will soon add a Hotlaps course at Tradewinds. If you have a raceline, you can add your own Hotlaps course too. Just let me know so I can give you the info and add that site to the list!

Well, that’s enough reading; let’s sail!


13 responses to “HANDICAP HOTLAPS 2013

  1. Very good work Jane! Thank you! I will take some boats and run a few laps.
    Time to run a few laps soon! 🙂

  2. The poster and data entry is posted over the boat at North Sea. To use the setter, touch and hold, select notecards (card 5 is proper one) and select USE. To get a time touch the line, and select TIME TRIAL and you don’t need to worry about the start time, it only gives you your elapsed time. ENJOY…… Hawk…

  3. Reblogged this on Marina Sport Racer Sailing Club and commented:
    Goin’ back to an understand between handicap racings.
    Shoud be integrated with the “polars” as predicted performance ratio… it will be interesting,

    • Hiya!
      I agree Polars are important, but they only tell the steady-state boat speed at a particular wind angle. If a boat can’t turn or has poor acceleration, it will end up with a poor lap time, even if the polar looks good. An actual ‘test lap’ seems a better overall performance index for a boat.
      However I also admit solo lap times fail to consider other important variables, such as wind shadow or the boat’s size.

  4. are the hotlap courses in trapnav? if not, will they be?

  5. They aren’t in TrapNav yet, but they will be soon, unless someone beats me to it! (That’s why I listed the coordinates for the marks on each chart).

  6. I’ve just put them in… but only plum gut is public yet (see comment on the north sea one).

  7. ..and i’ve just made all three public in trapnav.

  8. …is it just me, or is breadnut always offline by the time i finish the course?

    • Breadnut’s been good for me; there’s lots of open water in North sea with few obstructions. Then again, I didn’t sail it today, so I can’t comment on current sim stability there!

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