DQSC has a vibrant handicap fleet, with a range of different dinghies enjoying the racing the club has to offer throughout the year. With friendly but skilful competition and a culture to help each other grow and improve, the handicap class welcomes racers of all experience.

Through this page, we hope to introduce you to the Handicap Class and help you understand handicap racing at DQSC.


Photo Credit: Simon Verrall


What is the Handicap Class?

The Handicap Class at DQSC is a class formed of a variety of single and double-handed dinghies. This includes dinghies such as the Laser/ILCA, RS400, Finn and Supernova.

Being part of the Handicap Class means you can sail any dinghy of your choosing and still compete with other boats when racing out in the harbour!

This differs from other classes such as the Solo Class, where you are only allowed to sail the Solo.

Handicap Racing

As the Handicap Class comprises of lots of different dinghies, we use a handicap system to balance out the performance difference between each boat.


This system is the RYA Portsmouth Yardstick scheme
which is maintained by the RYA and affiliated clubs such
as DQSC and reviewed yearly.


This system works assigning each dinghy with a Portsmouth Yardstick (or PY) number.


After a race has concluded, a dinghy’s time is correct
based on its PY number. For Pursuit races, a handicap is instead used to determine a staggered start time for each class (i.e. slower boats start before faster ones).


The current PY list can be accessed here.

See where each race occurs in a series through our event calendar.


Photo credit: Simon Verral


General Handicap Class

In some of our racing series, such as the Early Helm or Breakfast Breeze, the Handicap Class may expand to form a General Handicap Class.

The General Handicap Class incorporates all of the classes at DQSC, which includes the Handicap Class, Solo Class and Firefly Class.

A race then uses the handicap system for determining race results.

It’s a great way to bring together all the classes to enjoy some inter-class racing! The image below shows a General Handicap Class race fleet in action.


Photo Credit: Sue Manning

Handicap Class Captain

If you’d like to find out more or have any questions, please speak to our class captain, Jack de la Hunty.

Photo Credit: Jack de la Hunty


The Handicap Class has a dedicated WhatsApp group for racing updates and news. You can request access by messaging Jack.  

Useful resources for racers

To help you get racing at DQSC, below are a few useful resources often referred to.

Sailing Instructions & Notice of Race: Understand the rules of racing at DQSC

Racing Marks of Dell Quay Sailing Club & Chichester Yacht Club: Learn the racing marks we use to help you navigate our courses. Many racers also print out and add this map to their dinghies for reference.

Flags & Signals Guide: Learn the racing starting sequence and other signals to help you get underway at the right time!

Series Specific Notes: DQSC’s club racing calendar is varied and fun throughout the year. Whether you’re just looking to try a series or want to aim for a trophy, the series specific notes will help you understand the difference between each series, and how the Handicap Class fits in!

Looking to start racing? Here’s a few series we recommend:


  • The Sprint Series (This series is great for practicing your racing starts and for short, intense action)
  • The Easter Mini (A ‘less busy than usual’ series, great for less experienced racers. Also, a great event to fill your Easter Bank Holiday weekend)
  • The Early Trophy (A true club racing series fought over 4 Saturdays, it’s a great way to start the sailing season)



Photo credit: Mark Hitchin