Lightning vs. Scot

This is an interesting topic that doesn't seem to have been addressed in the Forum for a long time; Lightnings have about a two and a half point advantage over the Scot in the Portsmouth ratings. If you've sailed around Lightnings in situations which have allowed you to make comparisons, what are your impressions? In my own limited experience, I haven't been able to point with them or stay with them upwind in a fresh breeze. I haven't raced my old Scot, which has used but no too bad sails, except on the most limited local level and so I really don't know how fast or slow it is, but on reaches and runs it seems to keep up with the average Lightning okay.

Comments

Last winter at Lake Eustis, FL, a Lightning owned by the Haydens

Last winter at Lake Eustis, FL, a Lightning owned by the Haydens was permitted to start with about 40 Scots, including Jeff/Amy Linton [who won overall] and Harry/Carrie Carpenter [2nd]. The Hayden family own at least 3 Lightnings, including #2 which Fisk Hayden restored. They have been successfully racing Lightnings for decades. As you know, a Lightning must be raced with 3 bodies aboard, which gives a 2-up Scot a weight advantage under 12 or so knots of air. So the Lightning was in the 1st third of the fleet and didn't pull away much the first light air day. But on Day 2 when it was a bit windier 12-16, the Lightning led around the course and pulled away significantly downwind with it's huge chute. The Scot class allowing 2-3-4 bodies is a much better deal, in my opinion.

The reason I asked about the differences in performance between

The reason I asked about the differences in performance between Scots and Lightnings is that I was wondering if those differences would be enough to preclude their racing together in situations (small fleets, small lakes) in which it can sometimes be difficult to get enough boats together for a non-handicap race. It seems that it would work well enough with Windmills. Their Portsmouth rating (89.5) is very close to that of the Scot (89.6 or 89.7)but Lightnings (87.1) might be too much. It was interesting, but not very encouraging, to read about how well the Hayden Lightning did in the Lake Eustis races. It would be great to hear from others who have been in such situations.

We have one lightning that comes out and races pretty regularly

We have one lightning that comes out and races pretty regularly on our small and usually not very windy lake. We keep times for all finishers and use the portsmouth numbers to handicap in mixed fleets. We have a strong Thistle fleet at our lake, and we have races where all boats start together, and others where we have separate starts for the Thistle and the Scot fleets. While it may seems "fair" to some to lump the Scot and Lightning together, it will be better to use the portsmouth numbers. That way is a one-hour race, if you finish within a minute or so of the winning Lightning, (in a Scot) you win. In our fleet, the Scot and Thistle have about a 10% difference in portsmouth rating, so in a short 30 minute race, if you finish 3 minutes behind a winning thistle, you are in the hunt. It keeps people interested in reeling in the Thistles. Have fun, Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

Phil, While I had been originally considering the possibili

Phil, While I had been originally considering the possibility of Lightnings joining Scots and Windmills in racing straight up, your comments have caused me to rethink this idea. In order to make it fair and include as many boats as possible it does look like the best way to go would be to use the Portsmouth ratings. Next summer we're going to be using "Sailwave" software to speed up the calculation of handicaps so inviting the Lightnings should work out fine. Thanks, Phil Bill Dobe FS 690

All sailboats are slow.

All sailboats are slow. Get comfortable with it.

Just trying to have a bit more fun, mate.

Just trying to have a bit more fun, mate.

A well-sailed Lightning will usually clean the clocks of a Scot.

A well-sailed Lightning will usually clean the clocks of a Scot. As a hard-chine boat, they compare more favorably to a Hampton One. A Scot points normally around 45 degrees. A Hampton, around 36 degrees, and I imagine a lightning is no worse than 38 degrees. So, in any breeze, it is game, set, match. As to sailing handicap on lakes, etc., using the Portsmouth -- it can be done somewhat fairly. As many lakes preclude the setting of ideal courses, that sometimes detracts from the accuracy of the Yardstick. But if enough races are sailed in a series, the Yardstick can even itself out so to speak. The problem with the Yardstick is getting participation to send in results. Many of the class data points are years or even decades old. For instance, we at FBYC race handicap one day a year - our July 4 Long Distance race, and the Scots almost always get clobbered by the Mobjacks which actually have a HIGHER Dpn number than the Scots (91.3 vs. 89.6). What is a Mobjack? It is a Thistle on steroids: It's Dpn should be close to the Thistle which is the base number of the Portsmouth - all wind conditions being 86. But the problem is that Mobjack data points are very old. As already mentioned, the Lightning is 87.0 Phil - you said "In our fleet, the Scot and Thistle have about a 10% difference in portsmouth rating, so in a short 30 minute race, if you finish 3 minutes behind a winning thistle, you are in the hunt. It keeps people interested in reeling in the Thistles." I am a bit confused unless you are purposely modifying the Yardstick. In a 30 min. race, you should be "in the hunt" with a little over a minute separation. Sloop John B.

Yup, my bad on the math.

Yup, my bad on the math. The idea was to show a way to race the two boats and have it a little more even playing field. We have a portsmouth fleet most weekends and our club sends in results pretty regularly. We often have one-design starts for the Thistles and Scots, but we also race in mixed portsmouth fleets. Have fun, Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

The Flying Scot is built far better than a Lightning and is much

The Flying Scot is built far better than a Lightning and is much more comfortable. I have beat Lightings more than once in racing conditions. Michael Mittman FS# 5804, Fleet 23 Corinthian Sailing Club White Rock Lake Dallas, TX

Michael Mittman

FS 5804, Fleet 23

Corinthian Sailing Club

White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX, USA