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KLR has been used at Cowes Classics for the ‘Cruisers’ and Handicap Dayboat fleets since 2013.

KLR Formula was devised by a German classic yacht owner as a simple way of handicapping upwards of 200 yachts that do not normally race, arriving at weekend events like Flensburg Classics, and German Classics at Laboe near Kiel. It depends on owner/ skipper declaration of the normal yacht numbers to a knowledgeable data gatherer who, in an ideal world, will also recommend class divisions for good sport.

KLR factorises classic yacht vagaries, including penalising the use of exotic materials, and uses actual rather than potential sail area as an average of full sail upwind and reefed upwind. It does not factorise the condition and authenticity of the vessel, leaving such matters to concours d’exellence judges. But KLR does take into consideration the real age of hull and spars – ie, has the hull been totally rebuilt and is therefore like new, or is it the original hull maintained and repaired along the years. (I’ll stop there before entering Theseus's paradox territory…)

Over the past twenty years, KLR has been used in Baltic Germany to handicap upwards of 900 classic yachts, it is used also in Norway, has been the rule of choice at The Fife Regatta on the Clyde since 2003, where it has also been used for The Mylne Regatta - and in Ireland at Glandore Classic Regatta. It has even been used to handicap International 8-Metres with ages ranging over 100 years racing in a one-fleet one-start tune-up prior to their European Championship.

KLR has been used at Cowes Classics for the ‘Cruisers’ and Handicap Dayboat fleets since 2013.

Iain McAllister

NOTE: You can view the KLR handicapping page with formula details at

Applying for a KLR handicap

To apply for a KLR handicap you must contact Iain McAllister by email using the address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To those yachts which have previously taken part in Cowes Classics under KLR, for 2018 there was a slight change to the wording in the Questionnaire, so please do get in touch with Iain at the email address above. If you competed under KLR in 2018 or in any subsequent year and nothing has changed since, then there is no need to reapply.

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