The AMS™ handicaps are based on measurement of the hull, displacement and sails of the vessel and a time on time rating is calculated. This rating is applied to the elapsed time of the boat to obtain its corrected time for the race.
Boats which perform well are not penalised as there is no performance component in the system. During the initial twelve months use was made of group factors to balance different types of boats (ie. IMS, IOR, Production Cruiser Racers, One designs ULDB) and these factors will reduce with the introduction of better data and the improved formula.
The AMS™ was created by a handicap committee set up by the VYC Keelboat Committee during August 1997. The committee recognised the difficulty in creating a measurement rule at short notice and issued provisional handicaps for the first twelve months. During this period the results of many races were analysed and the majority of the fleet was weighed so as to refine the data base and to improve the formula. This process will result in the issue of certificates for measured boats prior to the start of the 1998/9 summer season.
The design of the new AMS™ certificate is modern and contains the basic measurements of the vessel. Owners are required to carry a copy on the vessel when racing and to certify by signing it that they comply with the measurement trim.
The AMS™ formula was initially derived from data published on the USA Performance Handicap Racing Fleet and has been developed to improve the mathematics and to reflect more closely the characteristics of the Australian fleet.
Refinements are to be incorporated into the formula on an annual basis and certificates will require annual revalidation in order to ensure that the data base is accurate and to allow for improvements to be incorporated from formula changes.
The AMS™ formula is open for all to see and it will also be available on the internet from early 1999. The data base is made available to all clubs through their committee representative or club measurer and any queries or complaints can be made in writing to the AMS™ handicap committee.
Each keelboat club has appointed a Club Measurer who can arrange for the measurement of the hull and sails and submission of the application form to the YVoffice. Any owners wishing to arrange to measure their vessel should contact their Club Measurer for further details