By now, most would agree: it's pretty much pointless to complain about PHRF.

Recently, there was a (mercifully) short-lived thread on the Sailing Anarchy Forum headlined "phrf
sucks." A goodly amount of people wrote in, said, "quit whining or switch to OD racing." A surprising
number wrote in who were supportive of PHRF.

Things got a little snippy.

Look, the thing is not to take this stuff too seriously. I've said, for a while now, that racing PHRF is
basically "practice."

Sure, It's a great way to make sure you get on the water often (by participating in your local phrf club).
It's a great way to learn, too. But as a platform for serious racing and ego inflation it's woeful.

If there are people in your phrf fleet who have hissy fits and perpetuate feuds, you need to find another club. Or find a One Design fleet that has it's priorities straight.

There are plenty of ways to hook into an enjoyable keelboat OD fleet and there are some terrific class
orgs in our area that welcome and nurture new members (fresh meat!).

And it doesn't have to be expensive. The Catalina 27 OD Fleet 8 certainly stands out as one in which
the racing is very competitive, yet the atmosphere is incredibly friendly and hugely supportive. And the boats are widely available for not a lot of dough. The same can probably said about J/22's and J/24's, although I can't vouch for how "welcoming" either class org is.

A more performance-oriented platform would be more to my liking. Obviously price is a key factor and maybe that's why the Mumm and Melges fleets have never been massively popular.

What the world needs now is a decent entry into the small keelboat/sportboat market. I thought for a while it might be the Tripp 26 but that just hasn't happened, at least not around here. Availabilty must be an issue. Just try to find one to buy. When an owner in California has an advert in a recent issue of SpinSheet, that says he'll deliver the boat to the East Coast to unload it, it doesn't signify a healthy OD class.

One day, when something enticing comes along, like a Fleet of Blusail 24's, I'll bail from PHRF.

Until then I'll keep on practicing.